Session 13 And 14

Part the Fifteenth; A Moment in the Sun
[arbitrary date+15], evening, The City of the Flower, Royal Palace
Well, despite the grim tone of my last entry, we managed to win through, and we are, to the best of my knowledge, victorious. Picking up where I left off last, we had been trapped in the royal dungeons, the prisoners of some sort of sick bloodsport, where the guards promised the survivors would get to join the aliesterian military. For my part, I beleive they meant that the winners would become vampires, where the dead would become more of the zombies infesting this kingdom. Unfortunately, the other prisoners immediately fell upon each other, but my own companions and I managed to fight our way free and reclaim our weapons, when we made further moves to escape, along with two other survivors, we encountered the rest of our team coming to rescue us! Excellent news, though it pained me to leave the dead behind.
From that point, we had to move quickly. A lady ryona was there, and told us we needed to get to the queen as quickly as possible, because she was one of the vampires, or working with them. That was among the least of her sins, but I'll get to that in time.
We searched the princess's quarters first, off the theory that there would be fewer guards and she might be there preparing for her coronation. Her private chambers were horridly overdone. They remind me of the time I visited my grandmother's summer home, only completely covered in black lace and owned by someone with enough money to pursue the truly tasteless decorations. The princess was not there, but a servant masquerading as her was, and she pulled one of the nine great weapons on Framboise. Shocking, I know. Framboise was injured, but our princess is made of sterner stuff than that, and we quickly. After reclaiming the revolver (I am not leaving a firearm to be tampered with by those unversed in the gunsmith's arts) and determining that the decoy was mentally compelled, we advanced to the throne room, fully aware that the princess knew we were coming, and would set far greater challenges in our path. But they were not the ones I expected.
As we approached the throne room, we were intercepted by the royal guard, but instead of blocking us they formed an honor guard and escorted us to the throne room, still more of them lining the walls. In the throne room itself, there were hundreds of ghosts and spectres lining the walls.
From the ceiling dropped an honest to Lyralae demon. I did not recognize the specific breed, but the bright red skin, cloven hooves, and murderous intent are impossible to mistake for anything else. How the princess gained the services of such a fiend I do not know. I thought it was the summoning circle we assaulted earlier, but Naera assures me if it had been the demon they were calling up there, it would have been a far more deadly foe. A mighty battle of course ensued. I feel I gave a good accounting of myself, but the true heros of this fight were Naesra and Framboise, whose final blow struck the foul beast in twain in spite of her own grievous injuries. My only regret is that the demon melted away into mist before I was able to claim a trophy.
As for the princess herself… I was prepared for another hard-won victory, but she surrendered the moment we reached the throne. Stating that she had grown tired of her game. As if the deaths of thousands, the corruption of her entire kingdom, and even her own life was a mild annoyance to be dispensed with when it bored her. It was clear she was utterly daft, especially once she knighted Fuchs and declared Framboise her successor, so baldric disabled her before she could stall long enough for reinforcements to arrive or whatever devious plan she had next. As of yet, we've found no evidence of one, but her execution is scheduled for a few days from now, so we must be vigilant.
I for one am deeply concerned for the lack of fight she displayed once we confronted her directly. We have no idea how she became a vampire, and in light of her behavior, I wonder what power was manipulating her. We found the shard in her crown, among her recently murdered advisors, and it has been-
It has been placed in a secure location. We do not dare risk damaging or destroying it until we learn more. I, for one, plan to spend the near future ferreting out any further pockets of undead or their sympathizers. Perhaps they will have the answers I seek.
It's hard to beleive I started on this quest a mere fortnight ago.

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