The feast, and an interview with Blanchfleur
naraoia and LoBo, if you please
The Golem and the Pachyderm
Upon entering the chateau, the party moved promptly to the grand stair. Pritchard Hood approached the bannister, explaining that he saw a light down below. One by one, the party approached the rail, peering over into the abyss. As the goblins dismissed it as nothing, and the golem peered over the wizard called out, "Now, Rusty Buckles!"
The halfling forgot his intention to grease the golem's footing with lard, and flung himself at its waist. He was unable to topple the mighty construct, but it did wobble briefly enough for the rest of the party to engage. Pritchard bewitched the goblins, and they collapsed in a deep slumber; he attempted to blind the rock monster's hideous mockery of an eye, but the horrid thing's arcane nature afforded it some supernatural protection from his enchantments. While Boarface, Rusty, Odd and Gathring tilted against the stony aberration, Snickwick gulped down a potion that transformed him into a juvenile oliphant and rushed into the fray. The golem swung wildly into the party, injuring Snickwick gravely. In an attempt to protect the party as they heaved, Pritchard rendered them all invisible; the golem responded by grabbing wildly into the space of his opponents, and scooped Rusty Buckles up in his terrible grasp.
Pritchard flung a magical web into the air above, attempting to secure Rusty from a fall to his death. The precarious circumstances gave the party pause, but their hesitation vanished as Rusty counted off a coordinated heave once more, even as he was ensnared in rocky clutches and tangling webs. The golem finally fell, but alas… he took the halfling with him. Some seconds of silence followed, followed by a fiery explosion in the depths below.
The Goblins Investigate
While the party paused to mourn their comrade, a night goblin war party- roused by the echoing cries and crashing descent of the battle with the golem- stalked up the staircase. Alerted to their new nemeses, the party crouched behind the railing in hopes of avoiding the inevitable barrage of javelins. Unfortunately Pritchard- always, it seems, the tallest of the expeditions he leads- was the target of several spears. He deftly avoid one, was grazed by another, and was struck by a third. The party began to retreat, and Pritchard struggled to pull on his protective Ab'scheid. The goblins gave chase, even to the stairs of the donjon- where they met a combined stand of Orcs and Crossed Swords. After a bloody melee in which the three dwarves struck many goblins down, the party retreated to rest at the Tower of the Boss. Evangelista's goblins, it is presumed, were not passed sleeping by the ravenous night goblins.
A Remembrance Interrupted
The Crossed Swords nursed their wounds and their brooding thoughts at the Tower. The following morning was interrupted by a coarse shouting: "Rusty Buckles! I've come to collect my champion's purse, or your hide!" A distraught Pritchard investigated, and nearly came to blows with a pugnacious halfling outside. The churlish yardling, unaware of the danger an angry Pritchard represented, strode arrogantly forward and demanded that Rusty be produced. Snickwick, sensing a dangerous confrontation, intervened and suggested that the newcomer could be satisfied of Rusty's fate and possibly come away richer if he accompanied the party into the chateau. Introducing himself as Cut Coutelain, the halfling warily consented.
After describing the last battle of Rusty Buckles at its site, the new party struck out into the first floor of the chateau. They burst into a room, and gawked at the unsettling sight of man-eating spiders, killed and reanimated in an unholy new existence. The dwarves and the halfling stepped bravely forward, Boarface dealing with one of the spiders while Cut somehow managed to fight two others without interrupting his braggadocio. Distressed and depleted, the party retreated to the surface to lick their wounds and plan their next steps.
Losses and Loot
The second Rusty Buckles plummeted to his doom, landing in a minor conflagration of firestones.
Defeated opponents included Evangelista's strange cube-headed golem and its goblin handlers Brynne and Salgo, as well as nine night goblins, three night hobgoblins, five shadows and three undead spiders. The party recovered some stray silver pieces and silver jewelry from a pack of night goblins. When divided up among the survivors, this came to 11gp per party member.
For monsters defeated and treasure recovered, each surviving party member earned 278xp.