The party wakes up and finds things to be eerily quiet. When they descend to the main tavern room, vacant of all evidence of anyone ever having been present. Zorran inspects the kitchen and finds it in the same state of vacancy. After deciding that the town poses no threat and simply a confusing mystery, the squad makes for the keep.
Upon reaching the courtyard, the bones of the skeletons that were felled the other day have disappeared from the ground. Shan warns the group to not eat the food before they prepare themselves to peek through the doors into the grand hall. Upon entering the feast hall, there is a new robed creature inside repairing the skeletons. When he asks if the party are adventurers, Amaira explains that they defended themselves when attacked. After some conversation, the man in robes pauses the feast and invites the adventuring team to enter to discuss further. He claims that adventurers should attack the skeletons as per “the script”.
He introduces himself as the apprentice to Lord Aberthrax, and eventually reveals that he himself is undead (formerly an elf in life). Amaira presses about Arven, with “conjured entities” as a “vacation attraction” for other “entities” with whom the lordship has dealings. Shan decides to be our “champion”, and the apprentice speaks to “his lordship” in infernal, telling it to combat with Shan with intent to kill. After a few rounds, Shan takes out the skeleton’s “non-beating non-heart” and it falls apart.
The apprentice takes out a crystal ball and beings to communicate with his master. A tall figure with blue skin (not of Zorran’s people) appears! He appears to not be undead, i.e. fully alive. Zorran introduces the concept of joining the lands. Aberthrax says his only conditions to joining are not destroying the town of Arven (nor malign any of his guests) and that entering the castle will result in being attacked by the creatures.
Zorran and Amaira determine that he has no reason to lie to us, and has an air of confidence and lack of worry. Momoko points out that this would make a good defensive point should any future land masses arrive that are unfriendly.
When Zorran tells Aberthrax that they agree to join, Aberthrax brings out a large scroll written in infernal, and Amaira reads it over to ensure it suits the agreement. After further discussion, Zorran hands Aberthrax the keystone to be placed. Following the signing, Amaira asks if the castle is named: it’s not, as it has no import. She asks about Arven, and then Bellamina, the latter of which definitely caught his attention, and other names…
On the way back to Dagna, Shan brings up her concerns about the “souls” living in Arven, and the eternal “Groundhog Day” in which they live. At least with the land attached, they can be helped some day.