As our party ascended towards Hyrule Castle, it became painfully clear the several fires had been started within the towers above. Within a short distance, they came upon a gate that barred them from proceeding further, but took notice of a weeping solider on the opposite side. Through conversation, they learned that two Gerudo ambassadors had arrived “earlier than expected” to speak with the King, which then somehow led to an entire invading force of Gerudo, cultist and mercenary forces appearing within the compound and overthrowing the entire royal guard. Assuring the guard that the situation would be dealt with, the party was permitted to proceed forward, with the gate being locked behind them and the guard remaining behind to “fulfill his final duty”.
The party now stood before the royal gardens, which had long been planted before the main gates that stood before the castle walls. On the far side of the garden, a large bonfire had been constructed, with several robed figures standing before it, two of whom were uttering incantations. It was also perceived that there were bodies in the fire, though it was unclear exactly what race the bodies belonged to. While determining a course of action, Namoori appeared before the party once more, recounting that she had picked the lock on her cell and escaped during the invasion, and was now determined to enter Hyrule Castle so as to recover an important amulet, the significance of which was not made clear. Somewhat begrudgingly, the party agreed to have Namoori accompany them inside, as it seemed clear that the Gerudo knew a more secret way inside, compared to simply walking in through the front door.
First, it was decided that they should each proceed one at a time past the nearby cultists as quietly as possible, which almost went perfectly to plan until Talir, the last one to move, was spotted by one of the cloaked men. While Talir attempted to persuade the man to simply take him inside to be “cleansed”, Kin cast a thorn trap between the feet of Talir and the cultist that the Zora was conversing with, which ultimately injured the cultist and triggered a moderate fight in the gardens. Once the cultists were dispatched entirely, the party continued around the right-hand side of the castle, eventually coming to a side-entrance that seemed to be used for consumable deliveries. Once inside, they began moving quietly through the stockroom and kitchen, heading upstairs and into an unusually-dark corridor.
After investigating a few small guest/maid rooms, discovering few things of interest (save for the sounds of someone quickly retreating into a wardrobe, which no one decided to investigate further), a strong magical presence was detected in a room further ahead. Before reaching it, a large suit of armour was noticeably blocking the entry to another corridor, which Namoori noted was grossly “out of place”. Using Shadow as a distraction, the suit of armour was led away once it had been activated, allowing the group to move further in. At this stage, the throne room was merely a few feet away, and it was perceived that the “strong magical presence” was within it, prompting Namoori to urge everyone to move by as quietly as possible, which was achieved. Coming upon a descending flight of stairs and the entrance to the War Room, the party decided to forgo further exploration and immediately proceeded down into the Dining Hall.
Once downstairs, the hall was entirely littered with the now-asleep invaders, none of whom appeared to wake as the party moved quietly once more through the room and into the castle’s entry chamber. It was here that they finally found the entrance to the library – a source of valuable books, magical scrolls and (potentially) the amulet that Namoori had been seeking. While Talir investigated the children’s book section, Namoori poured through several desk drawers, and all other party members take some time to look through various sections of the library, Kin immediately located the magical scrolls that he had long been seeking since first hearing of them the last time he was in Castle Town some days ago. Finding that the scrolls were contained in a magically-sealed glass case, he opted to use a torch so as to smash the glass open, resulting in the sounds of several astonished and angry voices – as well as the stomping of feet and banging of weaponry – from back in the Dining Hall. Sensing the oncoming danger, Albus cast a Cloud of Daggers spell in front of the library door – the only entry or exit to the room. In the meantime, Kin gathered up three of the scrolls, temporarily allowing Albus to take the other three, while the rest of the party searched thoroughly for another exit. Thankfully, such an exit was discovered by Talir back in the children’s section, allowing for a quick escape. In the process, Talir was unable to convince Namoori to flee with them, leaving her to continue rummaging through various storage spaces for the amulet as the horde of enemies began to enter the library.
Making their escape, and with the secret exit sealing itself behind them, the group took notice of the fact that both Kin and Shadow were no longer present among them. Furthermore, they had exited in such a hurry from Hyrule Castle that they had only just discovered a new threat – a mass of flaming corpses, who were pacing towards them with a look of insatiable hunger burning in their eyes.