I checked back in with the Freyvid, the butler. He didn't seem to know what happened to Geirleif, but he found it odd that there was a locked door he didn't know about. He gave me his master key, and said to check some of the rooms upstairs, but that I should be careful.
I went upstairs and sure enough, the only room that had a locked door was that of the captian of the guard, Captian Killanious. I quietly checked inside. Everything seemed to be in order, but when I checked the chest of drawers, I found a key that didn't seem to go to anything in the building. I put it in my pocket and went to the armory. There was business that needed tending to.
The first thing I grabbed was a most special sword: Heimdall's Head, Aegir Brondolf's sword.
"Come with me," I said, "for there is work to be done."
With that, I gathered up some of the better armor I had found recently that Ardian, Son of Wolfmane, had sold to me. I took a few of my favorite potions and enchanted items. It was heavy, but I wasn't expecting to go treasure hunting, and since I knew how close it was, it wouldn't be a very long walk to get back here anyway. I went all the way back to the castle dungeon, and tried the key found in Captian Killanious' room. Strangely enough, it worked. What was more strange, is that it worked easily. This was not one of those old, forgotten locks - it was well kept, meaning it was used recently.
There was trouble as soon as I opened the door. A very strong bonelord shot a bolt of fire at me. I managed to shoot one back as soon as I saw the spell being formed in the darkness. THAT's what was waiting for me in the gloom of this chamber. My spell met it's spell in mid-flight, and both exploded harmlessly. I shot another fireball at the creature as it was trying to shoot one more spell at me. As it did, I stepped back and slammed the door shut. The bonelord screamed as it's 4 boney arms tried to grab at me through the window of the door. I leaned against the door, holding it shut. I summoned a bonewalker, deadra, and a clanfear. Since they appear 5 feet in front of me, they appeared on the other side of the door. That would destract the bonelord long enough for a more potent spell: Wall of Fire. I made the spell manifest zero feet in front of me, so it would appear right on the other side of the door. The other creatures would keep the bonelord pinned against the door. As the spell took hold, I could hear it's screams in the fire. Behind it was a solid door, and in front of it was a blazing mass of fire. The battle was soon over, but the bonelord took a long time to die. A most powerful wizard or spell must have created such a creature.
I finally opened the door and ventured into the cave. The smell of dead things was almost overpowering.
I encountered a flame antronch several yards into the cave. I summoned one of my own and let them play. Mine won. As I ventured deeper into the cave, I saw pools of red-hot lava, and the smell of dead things became stronger.
I found several dead bodies in various positions, some of which looked like they had been positioned there, while others looked as though they died right were they dropped. In yet another chamber, several skeleton archers attacked me with enchanted arrows. My armor protected me from the arrows, and I absorbed the magic of the spells. I summoned my own daedric bow, and with several silver arrows, quickly dispatched the skeleton archers. There were also a few more bonelords floating over the lava. I dispatched them with a bunch silver arrows. It took a bunch.
As I finished off the last of the skeleton archers, I found yet another chamber. Inside was what appeared to be several bodies, one of which looked as it it had been put through some terrible torture. The poor soul looked as though he were still in pain, even in death. Now I was getting angry.
What sick person would do this to people?
After making sure that the dead that guarded this horrible place were now really dead, I checked bridge and platform that I had seen. It lead to yet another stairway and another locked door.
Once again, the key found in the room of Captain Killanious worked this door too easily. Inside, smell of death was almost overpowering. Who was working in here, and what were they doing? As I entered the room, I came across the body of a young guard. It was Geirleif. Someone had killed him and just left his body on the floor to rot, along with the other bodies in the room.
I found a few more bodies to my left. They looked like they had been laid-out and killed right there. There was an axe left in one body, and another one that was under what looked like a constant effect poison spell. Someone had an evil mind.
I found a book of necromancy spells. As I touched the book, I felt evil from it. I tried to read some of the pages, trying to get an idea of what this person was up to, but my eyes watered, as if by design. The hairs on the back of my neck raised up, and I had to put the book down. I would have to search elsewhere for clues as to the person in charge of this place.
The smell of decaying flesh was almost overpowering. I was about to turn and leave when a book on another table caught my eye. It was a journal.
I opened it, and read the pages inside. It was the journal of Captain Killanious. In these pages, he writes that he was the one who killed Geirleif for discovering his secret lair. He also wrote that he poisoned Aegir Brondolf, hoping to claim the castle for himself. He admits not only the murder of Aegir, but of trying to burn the body by magic. That magic went wrong, and now the fire that burns over Aegir's body simply preserves it. A spell that went wrong - well, that won't be the only thing that goes wrong in Killanious' life.
I brought the journal back with me, and entered the castle. I found Killanious near the front entrance.
As soon as he saw me holding his journal, he knew the game was up. He attacked. Part of my armor had been damaged in the dungeon cave, but I still had enough to protect me. I used a spell of Medusa's Gaze, and then used Aegir's sword, Heimdall's Head, to beat some sense into the wayward captain.
Eventually, I made my point, and Killanious begged for mercy. I wanted to finish him off, in payment for all those poor, tortured bodies in the cave that I had found, but I held my anger in check.
"You'll go to the dungeon, and spend the rest of your life there. Every day that you live, I hope you see the faces of those you killed, staring you in the face." His gaze lowered to the floor, a beaten man. He knew he had no other choice, other than death at the edge of the sword of the very champion he murdered. It would have been a most fitting end.
I had two of the guards haul him away to his prison cell. If I had given into temptation, I might have taken him upstairs to the lab and thrown him into the chamber with those dwemer machines. Then again, someone would have to clean up the mess afterwards, and that wouldn't have been fair to the maid.
I went back to Ardian's shop across the courtyard and reported on the sad news of their son, Geirleif. Ardian took the news well, though I could see sadness in his eyes. He said he would have killed Killanious, but said that perhaps it was just as well that I let him live, so as to languish in prison for the rest of his life, knowing he will never see the light of day again.
I spoke to his wife, and expressed my regrets that her son was no more. I told her that her son died with his sword in his hand. That brought some satisfaction to her eyes. "He died bravely, on that you can be assured." I told her. She hugged me, and thanked me for putting this matter to rest for them.
My work here was done for the day. Armor and sword fully repaired, I headed back to the castle. As I did, it started snowing again. It made the whole scene one of peacefulness. Aegir could now be at peace, knowing his death was avenged, and that his castle was in good hands. I would have to visit him in the future to let him know. Perhaps then he could finally rest in peace.
I put the armor away, then went to the adjoining display room. There, I returned Aegir's sword back in it's display case. Now, it too may rest, knowing that justice was done. The mystery of Solstheim Castle, and Aegir's untimely death, had been solved.
It was time for a trip to Davy Jones' tavern for some much needed rest.
Odd, it seems every time I try to have a vacation, something odd comes along to spoil it. Maybe I should stop taking vacations.
On second thought, were's the fun in that?