The Ballroom is large and sumptuously appointed. The lights are dim the tables are set with vast candelabras. The walls are decked in vast curtains of red and gold brocade. There is enough material here to rig the sails of an entire Navy. The chairs oak chairs are polished to a rich glow. Each has a red velvet cushion. Blocks of frankincense spiked with pesh smolder lazily in brazers at the corners of the room.
The hall is full of people dressed in rich silks and lace. Jewelry sparkles in the candle light. Some of the women have even pasted small jewels to their face like glittering beauty marks. Although their clothes and jewels are lovely they are all out of fashion. Some by many years. An orchestra of Automoton plays a low sonata.
The Lady Thrune is announced to the guests as are the rest of the group. Tanion, as an elf, is a novelty to these people, which grants him a level of celebrity. He spends most of the evening answering questions about the habits of his people, and avoiding the sexual advances of one of he Male dinner guests. Laeoden moves through the crowd charming the ladies, spreading rumors and gathering information on the rest of the castle and its occupants. Darian meets the Baron Lelange and his daughter Colette. Baron Lelaange makes a pass at Darian as does his daughter. Later he seems desperate to speek to Darian more privately, but will not reveal his reason. Sinjin and Thoroc are questioned about their homelands and travel. Both are barraged with thinly veiled innuendo from the Lady Argentirie.
Malvoleo arrives at the party. Laeoden pushes the issue of getting the Red King to free the Green Lady. Malvoleo offers to meet him later to discuss the matter privately.
Dinner is served. Half way through the meal the Red King himself makes an appearance. He is an old man shrivelled and palsied, confined to a wheel chair. Malvoleo approaches and bows to his master. He holds a flask under the Kings nose, allowing him to breath in a pale mist. The king under goes a rapid transformation. His muscles grow strong. His complexion becomes ruddy. His hair grows black and thick. He rises from his chair to the applause of his guests.
He formally welcomes Lady Thrune to the Castle. She thanks him for his most gracious protection. The feast continues with dish after dish of elaborate food, accompanied by fine wines. Between the Pesh and the Wine most of the guests are intoxicated.
Aether spots Lady Sarafina Buceliano. Sarafina eats in silence bringing the food to her mouth in jerky mechanical motions. Her expression is blank and she stares straight ahead not making any effort at conversation. When the clock strikes one a.m. she immediately rises from her chair, knocking it over. ignoring it, she turns and clomps out of the ballroom like a wind up toy. Laeoden and Tanion bothe see the chair tip and decide to follow the curios lady. After a few turns through the corridor they run into Thoroc and Sinjin. Thoroc is returning With Fezik’s the Merchants chest of goods. Sinjin offered to go with him to escape the Lady Argentirie. They drop Fezik’s chest off and hurry after Laeoden, Tanion, and Sarafina.
She is walking very slowly down a long corridor. She reaches a flight of stairs at the end and turns to mount them. Her leg pumps the air in front of her attempting to find the first step. She misses several times before she finally catches lowest step with her toes and she begins her ascent.
She comes to a part of the castle richly decorated in gold and red. The floors are plushly carpeted. The way is lit by small magical glass domes set into the ceiling.
At a turn in the hall way there is a small gold statue of a cherub holding a Azurite gemstone shaped like a robins egg. When they pass the gem glows and are all save Laeoden are beguiled by the light. Laeoden slaps and cajoles them till the trance is broken and they continue to follow Sarafina.
She enters a richly appointed bed chamber drinks a clear liquid from a decanter, disrobes and lays down on a massive four poster bed. She pays no heed to the group of four men that are following her. Even when they talk to her, snap their fingers, or prick her with a knife she does not move. She stares straight ahead, a blank expression on her face.
The party searches the room. They discover that the liquid in the decanter is clear like water but thick like oil. It writhes and slides along the decanter walls when a hand is brought near. The only thing that seems to be keeping it in the bottle is the decanter is too slick for the stuff to cling too. Laeoden pours some into a glass vial.
The other item of note in the room is a painting of the Red King as he might have been in his glory days. He is dressed in ornate full plate standing on a pile of corpses. The painting radiates a necromantic enchantment but Sinjin is unable to determine what the painting does.
The Party goes back to a door down the hall and discover that it has been nailed shut. They decide to break it down. Thoroc throws his shoulder into it the door is quickly cracked from its frame. Inside is trophy room filled with hundreds of Taxidermy mounts. Many have been vandelized. The are missing heads and limbs. Some are just piles of sawdust and the bases on which they stood. No remains of the creature are still present. It is decided that Sinjin and Thoroc will go and scout the room before the rest of the party enters.