[Theo’s notes consist of a complete, detailed floor plan map of Castle Nathria: passages, rooms, entrances, exits, stables, secret passages, doorways, closets, guards, stable hands, holding pens, balconies… It’s an assault and infiltration team’s wet dream. She has spared no detail. The other pages cover more of the castle, people of note they may meet and how best to kill them, areas to avoid, even snipers perches and potential ambush locations, with diagrams and notes in the margins on how to use it all against the Master of Revendreth. Several figures of note have sketches of them and their various minions, going into even further detail. The handwriting could be better, and the pictures are not as artistic as the ones from the journal the Templars found before -she is after all currently one handed- but it is all legible and the resemblances good enough for an assault team to work off of.]

Shriekwing: A massive blind bat I trained. Blindness may be his weakness, but his sense of hearing and his ability to locate based on sound is unrivaled. Do not be hit by his screams, which are both incredibly damaging and will reveal your location. Muffle the heavy plate wearers if possible. He feeds on blood; your healers will see heavy work if he bites you. I’d use the pillars to my advantage; sound can’t go through stone. Watch for his leaps.

Huntsman Altimor: He killed Seeker. Return the favor. His three beasts are dangerous, starved for flesh on a routine basis, and hideously well trained. Hercutis’s howl is known to freeze enemies solid with terror; do not let it affect you. Barghast has been augmented with anima and creates illusions of himself that will tear you to pieces if they are not controlled. Margore simply hurts; watch for the claws and leaps. Altimor himself is not as good as shot as I was, but still very good. His crossbow is lethal; do not let his bolts hit, they’re augmented with anima as my arrows were.

Pride’s Prison, Kael’thas: A location familiar to several of you, this is the holding area for souls of particular note or potency for Revendreth. While multiple souls are stored here, one in particular stands out as important. Depriving Denathrius of it would be a blow. His name is Kael’thas Sunstrider, and his sins are pride and wrath, like mine. Watch for guards, stoneborn and venthyr alike. I remember hearing about this particular soul’s temper tantrums being fiery in the literal and figurative sense, though I was not involved in his repentance. It seems likely you will encounter the same.

The Weapons Room: A collection of very powerful, very dangerous weapons and artifacts from across the Shadowlands. Do not touch ANYTHING. The seeds are bombs, the axe is larger than I am tall, ect ect. Most have been provided by an ally called Artificer Xy’mox. When I left last, Denathrius was in “negotiations” with her. Be careful if you cross her. Her kind uses the warp and the in-between spaces and teleporting to their advantage.

Lower Levels, Giant Devourer: The lower levels have been compromised by invaders. There is a big one, a giant devourer, that you may encounter. Do not let him drag you in and eat you; watch for his anima ejections. Thirstlurkers hit hard, and he will hit even harder. Spread out so he cannot smash all of you at once.

Lady Inerva Darkvein: Lady Inerva Darkvein studies anima and it’s applications. She and her acolytes have perfected methods of stripping the anima from souls and enemies of the Sire. Her containers of anima can be used against her, however, and I recommend doing so. Watch out for her “cocktails” of explosive anima. She likes to throw them around akin to grenades, and they need to be intercepted. The anima may attract unwanted attentions; kill any manifestations quickly.

Council of Blood: A colloquial name for Castellan Niklaus, Lord Stavros, and Baroness Frieda. They host lavish parties and hold the Master’s Denathrius’s ear. Niklaus fancies himself a swordsman and somewhat to his credit, he is not unskilled, though he was never as good as I was. He’s got a reputation for military tactics and unique armor that will weather your blows well. I will give him some credit for his speed, especially his forward riposte. Do not let that catch you. His flanks are his weakest points. Lord Stavros likes to spar with him, though he does not win every time. He’s a dandy who prefers the finer things and using dredgers bloody entertainment when he gets bored. His signature attack is a teleport/lunge combination that strikes from behind. He is fond of using anima to make servants dance for his entertainment, and when they misstep, he kills them. Baroness Frieda is the cruelest of the three, skilled in manipulating anima and people alike. She will have loyal stoneborn and dredgers at her command, so expect interference. She is no bladeswoman, but does not need to be, and is deadly in her own right. Thier arrogance is their weakness; you can goad them into facing you directly if you make enough of a mess at one of their parties.

Sludgefist: Denathrius’s personal biggun dredger, kept for sheer intimidation purposes as well as his incredible brute strength. Utterly loyal, not the brightest, still a dangerous threat despite that. Formerly used to rip thirstlurkers limb from limb on the lower levels for Denathrius’s entertainment, he has apparently been brought inside, which is an interesting strategy, considering the amount of collateral damage he can cause. I’d use his size and strength (and his stupidity) against him in the confines of the room, but if he hits you, he may turn you into something akin to the jam spread on a crostini. He likes to swing around a giant chain like a wrecking ball.

The Stone Legion Generals: Kaal and Grashaal are fearsome, premier warriors and fanatically devoted to Denathrius. Expect them to use teamwork and all thier skill as well as other stoneborn to try and stop you. Attacks will likely come from above. Kaal was Draven’s apprentice before his defection, and a frequent sparring partner of mine; stone didn’t break when I played with them, or whine if I won. I did not always win against her. She’s ancient, canny, and a fiend with her blade, which she can also throw as well as wielding against you directly. Grashaal was Draven’s mentor, and will use innate stoneborn abilities against you as well as his own skill. He enjoyed turning Renethal’s rebels into stone statues; watch for attempts to crystallize you as well. He has a stronger defense than Kaal, but he is thankfully slower. They may attempt to turn themselves to stone if they are greviously injured; do not let them do so. They will emerge fully healed from that stasis and return to the fight.

Denathrius:

[A series of scratched out lines here, before it begins once more farther down the page. Seems like several starts and stops had to be made before Theo found her words.]

I will offer you what hope and advice I can give, but you are facing one of if not the most powerful entities the Shadowlands has to offer in his sanctum, with his faithful sword Remornia at his side. Remornia is a sentient thing, and devoted to obsession to her master, as rich as this may seem coming from me. You will need every advantage and ally you can acquire before this battle to survive it.

Denathrius is the best swordsman in the Shadowlands, but it is rare he wields Remornia himself; he considers it an “honor” to face him blade on blade in such a way. He will be guarded by the most loyal of all his venthyr- be prepared to deal with them. He may attempt to make you face atonement via agony, or see the burdens of your sins made manifest. Do not falter if you can help it. Remove such manifestations as fast as you can to keep fighting him. Remornia comes with her own destructive magics you will have to dodge, so be careful. She is fond of “skewering and slicing” his enemies, or impaling them for a slow death, taking joy in torment. Avoid her attacks. If he summons reinforcements, you will need to kill them as soon as possible.

Numbers and teamwork are your greatest strength. It is how I was defeated on the bridge. Use them to your advantage, Templars of the Rose.

Author Cael
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