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Stone Soules Summary XIV: Griffon Castle and other Mysteries

"A griffin is a cross between a lion and an eagle:

...Later that afternoon we found a castle with a griffin on top and
attacked it.

We fought long and hard and eventually we won and captured the Duke and
rescued the Prince.

Lowar cast Knock on the Gate and reduce was cast at the Porculus to create
a door through it."

These are essentially a part of a logbook that we received from Holland.
Our scouting has revealed that Griffin castle is similiar to what was
described except we see no Griffin. There is a Gate and porculus.

The castle is approx. 200ft x 200ft square- with gate houses in the middle
of the N and S walls and Bastion towers in the middle of the E and W
walls. The Four corners have a circular tower about 50ft high and 30 in
diameter. Next to the bastion tower on one side are two buildings believed
to be the stables. in the center is a well. Next to the other Bastion
tower are two buildings with wooden roofs. There is a separate building in
the courtyard with a wooden roof.

We estimate 4 watch shifts of 6 crossbowmen each and 2-3 cavalry patrols
of 6 each, so the estimate of guards is around 40-50. We anticipate
magical traps and guardians around the areas where the records would be.
The illegal goods are probably themselves untrapped, but the area they are
kept in may be.

The lack of a griffin anywhere in sight leads us to believe that the Duke
is now present at this time.

What do we want to know before we attack?

(1) the presence of enemy spellcasters - clerics in particular- try to
identify armoured guards without edged weapons.

(2) the presence and relative location of the Duke's records and the
illegal goods

(3) the presence magical guardians or creatures which aid the guards when
the castle is attacked.

(4) Who and where is the commander of the castle, assuming the Duke is
away- In a combined sneak/frontal assault if the commander is
incapacitated or killed quickly then the defenses of the castle may be
more easily overcome.

(5) is there extensive dungeons- or significant areas underground?

I suggest we send Ludo in deeper with a potion of flying and a token of
dimension door ready to use to escape. Ludo could identify the building
used as the barracks for the guards and the identity and location of the
castle headquarters. He may also observe and identify possible
spellcasters and the castle commander.

After this important info has been gained, we should think about covertly
exploring areas of the castle. Closely before the our assault, I could use
a dose of the flying potion to fly invisible over the walls. I could meet
Ludo, also invisible, close to the buildings to be explored. With Find
Trap and Detect Magic cast before, we would have a small amount of time to
try to find the areas where the goods/records are kept and where the traps
are. Once this area is identified, we would leave the building, and Ludo
would return to inform the rest of the party. I could hide invisible in a
area specified by Ludo and would remain in the castle until the party
attacks. If discovered, I would have a dose of the flying portion or the
dimension door token to use to escape.

When the party does decide to attack, I suggests that Ludo climb over the
walls invisible again and find me. Together we would wait close the the
castle headquarters and wait for the party's attack signal. When the
attack begins, Ludo and I could attempt to backstab, hold, command, or
otherwise kill or incapacitate the commander and the headquarters area.

The party's attack could go as follows: Theo or Faranyn or Cassana uses the
potion of climbing to climb up and attach a rope somewhere on top of the
wall while invisible. As he lowers the rope, the rest of the party will
see the rope visible and begin to start climbing on the wall while the
clerics command or hold the crossbowmen. Once the party is on the walls
they start assaulting the towers. The few guards on the walls will be
overwhelmed quickly and the larger force awakening around the castle will
be leaderless.

Should the castle's guards and forces be defeated easily, then we will
bound survivors and go about exploring the castle expediently. If the
defenses prove to be initially overwhelmed but reinforcements are coming,
then the party could try to dispel the traps around the records, kill
whatever beasts guard the records, and try to escape. If the party is
clearly facing difficulty defeating the castle forces, then a retreat may
be necessary.

Overall, the castle's defenses look too easily overcome, so I suspect
there is more to this than we are led to believe. Could be that there are
significant guardian forces within the castle other than the guards. Could
be that the party was set up and the Duke is suspecting this attack- We
could succeed in breaking into the castle but be trapped inside by his massive
reinforcements awaiting nearby the castle. Almost certainly the Duke has
an added precaution to take if the castle is attacked, particularly since
the castle was attacked and taken before. The Duke may have manupulated
Holland to attempt to get the party to try this.

I fear for the worse, so despite a clearly thought out attack, I believe
risk to the party is immense. I predict a 50/50 chance of either
succeeding to overthrow the Duke or total party annihilation, with very
little middle ground.



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