Moving away from the first guard room, we encounter a bunk room and quickly kill the waiting priest and two barely-waking guards, taking minimal damage with several crits from our group. Searching the room, we discover some small coins on the guards, but a fair amount of gold on the priest, along with some fine full chain mail, a very nice mace, a clerical scroll, a potion, and a key.
The door at the end was locked, but we open it with the key pulled from the priest. As it opens, a loud chime can be heard back in the bunkroom.
A winding tunnel hewn in stone slopes upwards and forks into another going down to the right and up to the left.
We ascend to the left, the passage ending in a heavy locked door. Again, the key opens it and we enter a large room with a broad table, firepit, pots, pans, etc. – a castle kitchen – with servants and cooks milling around. They take no notice of us as we’re dressed as the priests. In all likelihood, this is just one floor below the main floor. Tarak quickly asks one of the servants for ale and bread; they fetch it and we leave, locking the door behind us as if we were just breaking for supplies.
Heading back down the other passage, we find another heavy locked door; this one does not open with our key. There is a barred window; it is dark inside and quickly turns a corner, but ITarak can smell human occupants.
Rather than exploring the upper floors randomly, we decide to hide and wait near the tunnel intersection. Shortly after getting ourselves set up, the kitchen door unlocks and we see a Captain of The Guard (Cleffort Von Graff) with large ring of keys head past us, flanked by four Baronial guards.
As he begins to try and unlock the lower door, Tarak casts Sonic Boom, stunning the four guards, while Menelaus hits the leader with a Magic Missile.
Tarak misses with his first shot, but Menelaus catches two of the stunned guards with a sleep spell. Kiint closes and hits one of the awake guards.
As the Captain of the Guard and Tarak begin slogging it out, Menelaus unleashes another huge Magic Missile. Seeing they are outmatched, he and the remaining guards surrender. We move inside towards the prison, dragging the sleeping guards.
He begins negotiating for his life, pleading that he will tell us anything we want to know in exchange for letting him walk out the keep and out of the city for good, noting that he was starting to prepare for a career change anyway. When asked what we should do about the other guards, he motions towards us to slit their throats – it would make no difference to him. Tarak openly calls him on this in front of the guards, repeating that we do not take lives lightly. Turning to one of the guards, we ask what they would have us do – perhaps lock them in the cells here and come back once we have defeated Nepherus? They agree – they have wives and children, after all – anything that will allow them to return to their families.
As we interrogate Cleffort, he reveals that Heimer seems full-on crazy, always talking to himself in that accent and referring to the Fell Axe as if it were talking back to him. Cleffort describes the basic Keep layout and notes the locations of both the Baron’s bedroom and also his audience chamber. According to Cleffort, Heimer often spends time there either brooding and talking to his Axe or taking meetings with Nepherus.
When asked about other important staff, he mentions the advisor Blistig manages the finances and records; he would control the treasury. Silvanus is the Master of the Keep.
Cleffort suggests that we would probably be best catching Nepherus alone; he is dangerous enough on his own; combined with Heimer, we would be hard pressed to win.
After he tells us what he knows, we take his ring of keys, along with a fine ring from his hand. We leave him his weapon, armor and coins/jewelry as it would be suspicious for him to leave without those. He asked if there were any way we could reconsider letting him keep his ring. When Tarak reminds him that we could have taken his life as well, he acknowledges the point and drops the matter.
When we ask the Baronial Guards if he’s leaving anything out, one mentions we need to be wary of Heimer’s bodyguard Theres Cruel; Cruel carries a magic staff that can freeze people to death.
After learning what we can, we send Cleffort up through the Keep, reading against betrayal. As we discuss our plans, we lock the Baronial Guards we captured up in one of the dungeon cells, but give them the ale and bread we took and spread rations out through the other prisoners – mostly falsely accused.
Given the potential risk upstairs, especially in the Audience Chamber, it makes most sense for us to head back to the bunkroom where the chime sounded and wait it out for Nepherus or at least other Unklar worshipers come down, trying to catch them away from Heimer and the other House Staff.
385 XP Each (Combat and treasure)
- 130 gp in gold and jewelry
- Very nice mace (probably +2) – Tarak wields this
- Full chain (non-magical; grab it later)
- Scroll (Cause Fear) – Tarak takes this
- (Healing) potion – Kiint takes this
- Key to the next door – Kiint takes this
Upper Dungeon Entrance
Cleffort Von Graff (Captain of the Guard)
- Fine Ring (he was reluctant to part with this)
- Ring of House Keys (including Dungeon)