Arriving in Fort Marroth by Windwhale, hoping they have beaten McMasters to what they believe is the final stage in his path, the party meets with the Commander of Fort Marroth. Though at first their request to access the catacombs beneath the fort to look for an entrance are denied, the Commander is brought around by the compelling words and Anzula and the Judge, under the condition they not allow any undead access into the fort from below.
After finding a route to the ruins through the catacombs, and initially deciding to make a stand in the restrictive tunnels below the fort, the party realizes there may be another entrance to the ruins they hadn’t found yet. Gjalund goes deep into the ruins and discovers at least one other entrance from above, and the party begins revising their strategy, deciding to set up their ambush in the temple itself. Gjalund locates another entrance in the wilds above the ruins, and enlists the aid of the fort’s alchemist to destroy the entrance with explosives. Wary of any possible other entry’s they can’t spot, the party hunkers down in the central chamber and waits. A few short days later, they are rewarded for their expediency by McMasters and his spider arriving at the temple. A pitched battle begins, with injury taken on all sides, but eventually the spider is killed after McMasters is heavily wounded, with none of the party taking casualties. However, the presence of a dying creature provides the final component McMasters needed to cast a potent spell, heavily stunning and paralyzing the party. Near death but not stopped, McMasters heavily climbs his way to the top of the dais in the center of the temple, and produces the three crystals, formed into a single key. His near-manic laughter is cut short after opening the altar, and finding the Soul Cairn is not present. The party manages to begin breaking free from the spell, and a final blow is dealt to McMasters, distracted in shock by the loss of his prize. His death, however, was cheated, as the gauntlet he wore flared a bright blue and an otherwordly being took possession over the corpse of McMasters: The Gauntlet.
Shock and Horror at the development allowed the rest of the party to shrug off the spell, and they threw everything they had left in their dwindling arsenal into The Gauntlet, damaging the body to the point the animating spirit’s hatred couldn’t keep the possession maintained. They then drastically mangled and damaged the gauntlet on the corpse, trying to ensure he could not come back, though the chilling last words that the “Old Foe” weren’t gone, and were only waiting for a chance to return and take Jord back under their control echoed through their minds as they returned to the surface.