As you traverse the last stretch leading up to Castle Mitternacht, you come across a ruined temple to Joleph. You explore it, hoping for some clue as to what might have happened here. It does not take long to find the pack of werewolves that were formerly priests.
They are stronger than previous foes, and manage to back you into a corner. Luckily you share this corner with the pedestal upon which Joleph’s lance rests, and you grab it in a brief moment of heresy and survival instinct. Its magic makes short work of the beasts and you decide to borrow it until your mission is done.
You find some other useful items in the temple: holy robes and small charms capable of turning blades.
Fully outfitted for your final confrontation with the creatures of the night, you ride on and reach Castle Mitternacht by noon. No guards try to stop your entry. You push the heavy doors open and step in.
Only a few paces into the entry hall, all the rumors about Lord Makhail start to make sense. Strange voices emanate from empty rooms; cold breezes blow through unblemished stone. This castle is quite clearly haunted. Wispy spirits pop up from the floor, doing their best to scare you.
You are frightened but you press on. When you attempt to throw fireballs at the pesky spirits you notice that their ethereal forms make them impervious to your magic. Even Joleph’s holy magic doesn’t hurt them–but your cold silver flails make short work of any that dare come near.
Here and there they turn a flagstone into acid, but, all in all, you consider the spirits a harmless nuisance until they begin melting your armor with a powerful evil magic.
You spend most of the day locked in combat with these otherworldly foes. It is a harrowing journey from entry hall to throne room, and by the time you have defeated all the castle’s ghosts, night is falling. You understand that the night somehow fuels these monsters, but still, you cannot turn back now. You stand at the threshold to the throne room and see Jovana seated within. Count Yurik stands by her side, rapier in hand.
It is time to end this blight.
To be continued…