The gate to the keep was barred from the inside which posed a bit of a problem. Lir clambered up the wall and, not without a few tense moments, made it over the top. A few tense minutes passed before the sound of the bar being removed from the door and the gate creaking open showed Lir was OK.
“There’s no’ a single person in here,” she said, frowning.
“How far did you look?” Lugh asked her.
“I din’ go far, just up the wall and down the battlemen’s,” she said. “But there wasn’ a single guard to be seen.”
“We need to look into this,” Rory said.
“Yes,” Lugh agreed, “but we need to be careful. Colin, stay close to Rory and Astra, I’ll stay close to Era. Lir and Dee, you take rear guard and watch our backs. Keep your bows ready but try not to shoot us,” he added sardonically.
“You’ fat ass too big a target to miss, husband,” Lir said, smirking. “I may stick an arrow in it on gen’ral principles.”
“Dee is having a bad influence on you,” he said. “Bad Dee, daddy spank.”
“Later,” Dee said “For now, stay on focus, this is creepy as fuck.”
They moved into the castle further. As Lir had said, there was no one to be seen.
“Creepy as fuck. Check,” Colin muttered as they looked into yet another empty chamber.
They came to the main hall. The tables were set with what looked to be the evening meal. Benches were askew, suggesting the diners got up very abruptly.
“The food’s just starting to turn,” Rory observed to Astra. “Two days?”
Astra nodded, “Two, maybe three. Certainly more recent than the disappearances.”
“First the sheep, then the herd beasts, there was the trader in there someplace – he was the most overdue so likely he was first. Now this. Whatever’s going on, it’s escalating,” Rory observed.