J’Zhirr finds the journal next to the ruined books on the bookcase. In the journal, Serana’s mother wrote about her research on creating a portal to the Soul Cairn for a lengthy exile. It seems that is probably where Serana’s mother had gone.
J’Zhirr shows Serana the journal and ask her what is a Soul Cairn. Serana says her mother thinks that’s where the souls inside the soul gems end up when they’re used. She says, “The Soul Cairn is home to very powerful beings. Necromancers send them souls, and receive powers of their own in return. My mother spent a lot of time trying to contact them directly, to travel to the Soul Cairn itself.”
Serana thinks the circle in the center of the room is the portal. Luckily her mother listed the ingredients she used so we can recreate her formula. There’s one hiccup though. Her mother used her own blood as part of the formula.
Serana has no idea that her mother’s laboratory existed. She says, “She had an alchemy setup in her drawing room, but nothing that even comes close to what’s here. Looking at the equipment and materials, it looks like she was trying to advance her necromancy.”
J’Zhirr wonders why and Serana admits that she doesn’t know. She says, “Certainly not longevity. Kind of a waste of time for a vampire.”
At the top is a room filled with all sorts of ingredients. Not food, but alchemy.
Serana is excited, “Look at this place. This has to be it!” Walking around the room, she says, “I knew she was deep into necromancy. I mean, she taught me everything I know. But I had no idea she had a setup like this. Look at all this. She must have spent years collecting these components.”
Serana’s mother is obviously no longer here. So Serana suggests that we look around to see if there are clues about where her mother went. Her mother used to keep a small journal, maybe there are hints in there.
The gargoyle workshop seems to be a dead end.
However, Serana says, “I don’t think we’ve reached the top yet. I’d bet there’s some kind of secret passage around here.”
Guess what? Serana is right. Next to the fireplace is a non-burning candle. When J’Zhirr turns it, the back of the fireplace slides open. As J’Zhirr walks up the stairs, he hears Serana saying something about her mother being smarter than Serana gives her credit for.
In the upper floors is a room filled with gargoyle statues. There are gargoyles on the floor, gargoyles on the walls, half formed gargoyles and fully finished gargoyles.
And of course, the moment J’Zhirr steps into the room, the gargoyles burst into life.
A gate guards the entry into a big hall. There may be a way to open it but J’Zhirr spots a door by the side and decides to open it. The door leads to a corridor that runs along the side of the hall.
J’Zhirr passes by a weapon rack. Most of the weapons are run-of-the-mill weapons and J’Zhirr can probably resell them to a blacksmith for a decent price. Two of the weapons glow quietly in the darkness, revealing their magical properties. One is a Dwarven Battleaxe of Fire while the other is a Hunting Bow of Souls.