So as we start off, the party discovers that Mr. Faces is hollow under all those faces. Unnerving. You then discover that this Shedar-Kai sanctuary has been completely looted. During this searching, Sancero finds a dying Shedar-Kai and starts asking him about what happened. Veiden finds zombies and decides that attacking on his own is the best plan. Which is fair, he’s a dragon. Long story short, giant zombies step on Veiden and his allies have to come rescue him. Mekris almost dies and Kaifi becomes moderately useful in that she stopped Veiden and Mekris from bleeding to death. Loot the corpses! Sadly, the only thing these zombies have on them is AN AMBUSH!
A knight storms in through the mystical gate, accompanied by three squires and a pair of skeletal archers. Intrigued by the knight’s similarity to Vaygar Delcress in both features and armor (although this guy is both older and much stockier), Veralisse tries to calm things down as the knight is demanding that everyone drop their weapons. Unfortunately for her, apparently both Sancero and the knight botch their diplomacy checks and battle ensues. Veralisse becomes a conscientious objector concerned with information-gathering and linguistic acumen, while Zerion briefly considers joining her, but finally opts to fill some people with daggers. The fight goes back and forth, with this knight trying and failing to only engage one of the big fighters at a time. The knight is less powerful, but more consistent than Veiden and Sancero. He’s also more chatty, constantly taunting (or in some cases complimenting) his opponent and always bolstering his squires with stream of encouragement. Through these obnoxious exchanges you learn (this may not have been mentioned, but I’m adding it now) that the knight’s name is Mairn.
Mekris falls and Sancero and Veiden are both injured, but all through squires are knocked out of the fight and eventually Sir Mairn is knocked onto his ass, apparently defeated. Just before this, Mekris started choking and Zerion spotted a pair of sinister glowing eyes in the shadows. As Veiden stepped forward to deliver…well, either a killed blow or a “please stay down” poke in the chest, a figure (as black as night!) intervenes, briefly choking Veiden and throwing him back.
Commence uncomfortable standoff. Sir Mairn obviously recognizes the wraith and begins to address it, but is summarily choked into quiet (a rare state for Sir Mairn). The wraith addresses the party, saying that it has come as a guardian and asks what price the group would demand for Sir Mairn’s release. A great deal of arguing ensues, with Sancero and Veralisse demanding…all sorts of things. That the knight not actually be released. All information that the wraith has ever learning about anything. An Irish jig for their amusement? The wraith counter-offers with safe passage to anywhere in the Shadowfell, where they can then use their Shadowkey (which it somehow knows you have) to return to their own world. Zerion thinks that offer (with the hope of survival!) is fantastic. The others glower at him for valuing his own life above…stuff. More arguing commences. The wraith confirms that the knight (who he knocks out at this point) and Vaygar are brothers of the Delcress, a family in league with the Baron at Night’s End. He also clears up by pointing out that the “Baron” in the Shadowfell is not the same as in our world. He then thinks he’s given you enough information for now and demands that you leave the sanctuary. Veralisse and Sancero threaten both him and the unconscious knight. The wraith responds by expressing 1) a strange amount of apathy for the health of the knight he’s supposedly here to protect, and 2) contempt for the fighting prowess and current condition of the heroes. He reinforces his position by slamming Mekris’ head into the stone floor, spraying blood everywhere and causing another wraith to rise for the corpse. That gives everyone pause, but another threat was issued, so the wraith killed a squire in the same way, causing Zerion to kind of flip out and demand that his allies actually look at the situation. Apparently that was a good point. Especially for Sancero, who realized that further provoking the wraith would cause him to similarly steal the souls of the remaining squires. Everyone exits stage mystical gate, transporting everyone to some barren hilltop in the Shadowfell. The wraith follows, but surprisingly released the souls of the two wraiths he spawned before closing the gate to the sanctuary.