Difficulty: Level 10 Nightmare Castle has been a blight upon the surrounding lands for generations. Its beasts hunt the marshes. Its shrouded and hissing servants skulk through the swamp. It's time to put a stop to the castle's evil -- time to end the nightmare.
Total adventure time: 3h 7 minutes to 3h 20 minutes
This Swamp Encounter is inconsistently included, see discussion. All later Encounters remain. Add 1 to each encounter number if necessary.
The adventure continues . . .
NAME's long trek through the swamp was over, and before him/her loomed Nightmare Castle. Its black gates were guarded by several shrouded warriors, but NAME spotted an opening in the wall of a ruined tower and used the fog to cover his/her entrance.
Screaming in frustration, the tiefling turned from the throne room and pushed on a nearby statue, disappearing into a secret passage. NAME gave chase, and quickly found him/herself in a hall appointed with devilish designs and dark depictions of fire and slavery.
NAME crept up to the throne room, avoiding notice by the guards. Sitting in the throne was an ancient man in a tarnished crown, asleep and wracked by fear. Nearby, a masked woman chanted and waved her hands, drawing the king's dark dreams from his sweating brow. From these she wove a shrouded warrior, giving flesh to the king's nightmares!
NAME realized that there were too many guards for a direct assault, but waking the king might end his nightmares. When the tiefling woman wasn't looking, NAME hurled his/her waterskin at the king. It landed in his lap and sprayed all over. As he awoke, the shrouded warriors all vanished! The old king looked up at NAME in admiration, tossing him/her a jeweled ring as NAME ran by in pursuit of the masked woman.
NAME realized the king needed to be woken up and charged into the room yelling at the top of his lungs. The battle with the tiefling woman and her shrouded warriors was fierce. NAME reached the king and shook him awake. With that, the shrouded warriors vanished.
Encounter 17 or 18: Final Encounter Text
At last NAME cornered the tiefling in a temple chamber. She ran toward an altar of iron atop which stood a glowing crown of steel. Surely allowing her to reach the artifact would not be good. It was a contest of strength and speed. NAME bolted after her desperate to catch her before she reached the altar.
NAME was plenty fast and clotheslined the tiefling from behind. Then he/she charged past her prone form to knock the crown from the altar. As it clattered to the floor, the altar split and crashed to the floor. From the place where the altar stood, a deep voice boomed, "You have failed me, and your reward shall fit your performance." A scream behind NAME caused him/her to turn in time to see the tiefling erupt into flames and vanish, leaving only her jeweled dagger behind.
NAME just barely caught the tiefling at the altar and shoved her forward. She tumbled into the altar, knocking the crown from it -- and onto her head! In an instant, the tiefling rose into the air before NAME, fire spewing from her mouth and eyes as the red glow of the crown intensified. "Great Asmodeus, grant your servant the power to crush this upstart!" the tiefling screamed. Batting flames from his/her cloak, NAME turned and fled from the temple and the Nightmare Castle, never looking back (except to grab some valuables on the way out).