While the party was dealing with the chaos at Elan Gwaren’s castle, Macronian, Marria and Alton Tealeaf were arriving to see the king. What remained of their village was waiting within Corellon’s Shield, and they hoped to gain assistance from Elan in transplanting and retrieving their land from the ruin it was likely in. The obviously didn’t expect to be walking in on a battle, and were soon bombarded by spells from invisible attackers above. Mac and Sig Ollivander quickly recognized each other, and the gray elf brought the halfling up to speed.
Meanwhile, Zaden Holdstein rushed at the casters who struck him with lightning, activating the same traps which affected Razeil’s side earlier (who was attacked by a wizard as well, which was quickly slain by a Flame Strike). He slew the Randian Wizard with a single blow, forcing the other one to teleport in retreat. The wizard Thad attacked did the same action, while the one Zacharaia held was beaten into unconsciousness. The majority of the party began to follow in Raziel’s direction, who discovered an opening which housed the rubbish, trash and waste of the castle, which he quickly passed for fear of checking dirty of at the very least getting the smell on him. Zach managed to pass by him and run ahead, which had soldiers and wizards waiting for someone to spring a trap, encasing Zach inside the room with bars of magical force. Attempts to Dispel the magic had failed on Raziel’s account, though Zach was able to escape due to his martial and spiritual training. He killed two of the four wizards assaulting him and the two mercenaries assisting them, whilst the other two teleported away.
Through all this, Thad went in the other direction to search the castle, and came upon Ochre, whom was left when the party last came through. Despite this, Ochre at first acted as if he never met Thad before, though the dwarf just ignored this and asked what was happening in the castle. Ochre claimed they were under attack by Randians, and the king was currently within his throne room, which he had Thad go into. Upon entering however, he not only discovered it was overrun by Ghouls which rushed upon him, but Ochre joined in on the attack against him (casting Harm). Thad quickly dispatched Ochre before dealing with the Ghouls, who were no match for him, especially when the rest of the party began to show up one by one.
Sig expressed concern at Thad almost killing his friend Ochre, and attempted to restore him with a healing potion, bringing him back to consciousness. Ochre immediately recognized Sig and sought help from him against the dwarf, though when none of the party appeared to believe what he was saying, Ochre suddenly acted as if he was seeing all of them for the first time. He continued to say that Paulyn had come to attack the castle, and he had otherwise been in a “dark place” till seeing them. The party’s understanding of magic made it possible he was under effect of a Magic Jar, and Paulyn was likely somewhere else in the castle.
Continuing their search, they eventually discovered an open field littered with 24-Headed Skeleton Hydras, and began to clear them out. In the midst of battle, Sig gave Ochre a Phantom Steed to escape from the castle. Throughout all of this, each of them felt as if a force was trying to pull them from their body, which was ignored until Zach attempted to cast Slay Living upon one of them, and required to be put down. During this attacked, Ryuu Pendragon arrived for reasons of his own, and began to assist in the party. And because they were outside attacking the Skeleton Hydras, the magical barrage from the sky continued once more, prompting Marria to cast Fly upon herself and Raziel to track down the source of the assault. With Raziel’s Invisibility Purge still up, the Randian Wizard was eventually found, and was forced to Teleport away when he was within a Grasping Hand cast by Marria.
With Zach unconscious and all attacks against them seeming to end, the party continued to search the castle, Thad eventually walking into and searching where they housed the castle’s waste. Deep in the corner of this open section was Elan Gwaren hiding in the muck, for while he could hide normally and be Invisible as well, the Randian’s could See Invisibility, and hiding in the muck was the only other option. As to why he was hiding despite having The Moaning Diamond in his possession, he would have otherwise been slaughtered without backup, and now that he had it he quickly summoned an Elder Earth Elemental to assist in clearing out the castle.
Having been informed by the party as to what all happened, Elan explained Paulyn’s soul was likely still in the unconscious body of Zach via Magic Jar, and because of this his body must be close by so his soul could return once the spell ended. If they found Paulyn in time they could kill him and likely end his plans for Elfland. Another option would be to take Zach’s body out of the castle’s vicinity, which would keep Paulyn’s soul from returning and kill him as well…though kill Zach as well. Whatever they chose they needed to do it fast, for the spell was likely to end soon, and Paulyn would escape after that.
The party spread out through the castle, hoping to find where Paulyn could be hiding (Ryuu otherwise unwilling to help). They eventually found the treasury, to which Elan explained was trapped and no one but him may enter least they come to great harm, yet when Elan searched it he couldn’t find a single trace of Paulyn. Heeding Elan’s advice not to check it on their own, they continued to search the castle room by room, eventually finding a tiny alcove next to the throne room hidden behind an Illusory Wall (used to hide specialized guards against possible intruders). The discovery of this alcove was too late, however, for Paulyn had already left.