Out on the frontier

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Assault on Dreddstun - Part I
Observing the fallen village

After regrouping with Boominott in  Botkinburg, our party once again headed out to further investigate the towns under Miles Freland's domain. Having previously departed the bandit trailhead as it emerged on the main road near  Botkinburg, the gang decided to head there rather than return to the much further trail on the way to  Ludensheim.

Scouting along the trail, Boominott and Kiint encountered an emerging bandit raiding party. Both sides were caught off-guard, but the bandits pursued our scouts right into a hastily-constructed ambush. After a short battle, the 7 bandits were defeated.

We continued on to Gipsheim and monitored the town from our previous surveillance site for a few hours. Learning little new, we decided to make our way south to  Dreddstun. As we approached, we discovered it was even worse than the miserable reputation it had gained. Slightly more than a dozen small ramshackle buildings were clustered around a hilltop with a single larger structure roughly centered in the settlement. Scattered in the fields nearby, a number of weak serfs including several frail Gnomes were observed, as well as several thuggish overseers.

Kiint scouted a good vantage point and while the rest of the group watched on, Boominott made his way close to one of the further Gnomes. As he approached, the gnome warned him away lest the overseers notice, but he was quick to find concealment behind some nearby cover.

The Gnome was terrified and related how his group had been ambushed and taken on their way to  Havenwale. He was taken and forced to work the fields and his wife and daughter had been given up to the Ungen. They had a map that showed the trail to  Havenwale, but that has been seized and is held somewhere within town.

As  Boominott put him at ease, he opened up a bit further and related that Reglar was one of the bandit leaders of  Dreddstun. In addition to roughly 12 bandit men throughout town, there were also a handful of Goblins and Kreetkruk the Ogre,  who typically stayed in the Inn. Fearing he might draw attention with any further conversation, Boominott cautiously crept back to the party's hiding place.

After brief discussion, we determined that a score of bandits and Goblins as well as the Ogre would be too difficult for a direct assault. However, as we had heard that Kreetkruk would periodically travel to  Gipsheim, we decided to wait and see if extended surveillance would reveal anything. Luck was on our side and after only 3 days vigil, we saw Kreetkruk depart the inn, taking 8 Goblins and a reluctant human along with him. As they left at night, the human was particularly uncomfortable, stumbling along the trail since the rest of his group needed no light source to travel in the dark. Nevertheless, the way he carried himself gave the impression that he was otherwise a nasty individual and would not be easily taken. Kreetkruk himself was armed with a huge ball & chain that hung off his shoulder and had a large club slung across his back.

Our intrepid adventurers pondered whether now was the time to strike at the weakened defenses of Dreddstun in his absence, or whether they should instead follow Kreetkruk's small group towards  Gipsheim and try to get the drop on them when isolated from either village…

The Fall of Kreetkruk
Or the liberation of Nordin the Translator

Trailing Kreetkruk through the night, we catch up near dawn 

Captured Nordin – a human translator.

Slagheap – the mines near Havenwale.

Winter camp not far from Botkinburg made it convenient to stage the attacks.

Freyland is not responsible for the attacks on Botkinburg; he is far more concerned with Ludenshiem.

Freyland – 40, sandy hair, keeps himself in good shape. Never saw him in any armor or heavy weapons; just flowing leggings and a belt knife. Never seems to get cold. Very dangerous.

Dresden is not the choice posting; Reglard and his crew are the scum of the scum. He has an evil dwarf Gretle and there are about 10 others.

Upstairs of the Inn is basically fallen apart. Only 6 or so goblins left now including a priest. All slept in the kitchen including Kreetkruk. Kept his trunk in the kitchen cabinet.

Dietrick going to bring us a bunch of money to stop the attacks as they were not working. Kreetkruk's plan was probably to double-cross him and continue the raiding.

Dietrick was paying Kreetkruk to give the Rotten Kip money to stage the raids near Botkinberg; they were not supposed to wear the Red Caps to obscure what tribe they were with, but given the tattoos, it probably wouldn't be that hard to figure out. Originally Moglerod was being paid, but Kreetkruk eventually took over.

Dietrick's crew is dangerous, though not as tough as Freyland.

Reglar lives in the big house a few down from the Inn; he's Miles Freyland's guy at Dresden.

The Ungen came for supplies; talking with the bandits. Brought a cart south towards the Slagheap, traded some gnomes in exchange for some wine and similar to Reglar. One big Ungen and two little ones, along with some orcs.

We let Nordin leave with his gold, weapons and some supplies.

As we camped in the woods off the trail to rest up from the long overnight, Kiint spotted a raiding party of 10 Orcs passing nearby. Although they were passing relatively stealthily off the trail, we were well enough concealed that they did not notice us and Kiint allowed them to pass by unnoticed and without noticing us.

We slept through the next night and returned to our surveillance point outside Dresden. Settling in for a long watch, we divided our shifts over 24 hours, with Millipen and Tarak focusing on the heart of the night and Kiint, Magic Jack, Menelaus and Dai'ga dividing the daylight hours. For the most part, the town ignores the absence of Kreetkruk and his group as he was expected to be away for several days on his errand to Gipsheim.

After a day or two watching their movements, we determine that the bandits mostly mill around during the day, bullying the gnome slaves and drinking. As the night begins to fall, they start to turn in and the goblins begin to come out. They appear to be more organized and structured, which is a sad commentary on the bandits.

Having assessed this, we decide to try and attack the goblins in the Inn in the middle of the night after the bandits have turned in and/or passed out. We crept up to the Inn door, but as we prepared to attack, a goblin opened the Inn's kitchen door, mutually surprising each other.

The goblin, coming to his senses first, shouted "Attackers" and drawing his sword, retreated into the kitchen where three other goblins stood waiting. Tarak quickly cast Light on his mace and Magic Jack followed up, sleeping all four of them. We dispatched the sleeping goblins and Magic Jack and Tarak began to head towards the other room.

As Tarak crept towards the door to the main room,, a loud bang centered in the room stunned Dai'ga, Magic Jack, Kiint and Millipen – the victims of the goblin priest's Sound Blast. Passing through the main room door, another goblin attacked Tarak while the priest, entering from the kitchen back door cast another Sound Burst, taking out Magic Jack and Menelous and stunning his own ally. Tarak Commanded the priest to "Die", causing him to collapse.

Dai'ga attacked the downed priest, wounding him slightly while Millipin lunged towards the goblin in the doorway, widely missing. Tarak struck a crushing blow, caving in its skull and together, they quickly finished off the priest in the doorway.

Closing the doors to lick our wounds, we propped the doors and began to heal each other, preparing for the bandits, who were most certainly waking up from all the noise. As the others made preparations, Magic Jack opened the chest in the cupboard and discovered roughly 100 platinum and several gems. We were once again rich – if only we could survive the night…

Assault on Dreddston - Part II
The Fall of Dreddston

Though wounded by the goblin shaman’s multiple Sound Bursts and a few lesser attacks by the goblin lieutenant, the party quickly regrouped and prepared against Reglar and his bandit force, who would certainly be upon them quickly given all the racket coming from the Inn.
Potions were drunk while doors were barricaded and braced.
As Reglar and his dwarf aide Grattl approached the door from their quarters, Avonde saw an opportunity and unleashed a well-aimed arrow from the treeline. The bandits began to reorganize outside as Grattl rushed the door, allowing several bandits entry. Reglar chose to fire his crossbow from a safe distance away and did some significant damage with a few choice shots.
However, Magic Jack had a few more sleep spells that he unleashed against the bandits and their leader. With missiles magical and mundane flying from woods and Inn, some crushing blows by Tarak and a few dagger strikes here or there, the bandits were vanquished.
Tarak and Millipen began searching the remaining houses and were able to free the gnomes and other enslaved humans. After Tarak reiterated his promise to locate Nurfin’s wife and daughter, Nurfin told him how to find Reglar’s house, and the stashed map to Havenwale Nurfin had described – obscured by Gnomish magics to appear like a family tree unless the proper trigger words were spoken.
Meanwhile, Avonde and the others began questioning Reglar’s crew (in a somewhat brutal and bloody manner.) Two of the surviving bandits quickly assessed their plight and appeared to be relatively content to return to the simple village lives they had prior to becoming recruited into Miles Freland’s gang – it was better than having their throats slit. As part of the negotiation, one offered up Reglar’s hiding place in the woods where he had buried his stash.
At this point, Tarak returned and offered to return their basic possessions and weapons, along with some small coin to ensure they got back on their feet before having to resort to criminal endeavors again.
The freed humans begged that the group escort them back to civilization. Agreeing to this, the entire group made its way cautiously back along the trail, widely skirting Gipsheim, eventually making their way into Botkinburg. As a parting gift, Tarak returned a handful of gold to the refugees – a small but welcome compensation for their loss and years of hardship.
Although Aldadius was away at the time, they recapped their recent discoveries to the Sergeant of Arms, who promised to bring him up to speed.
Vowing to locate Havenwale and take on the Ungen next, the group set off again, travelling though Neegle‘s wood as it was on the way. For once, Neegle and her dwarf “cook” seemed to be happy to see them and paid close attention as they related their tales of Risticulian and the return of the Ungen. They even partook of the meals the party had brought with them, glad to be rid of the mud-stew that was normally their daily fare. As a parting gift, Neegle found a few more healing draughts that she’d been working on since their last visit.
Rested and refreshed, the group set out, determined to figure out what was going on in the caverns of the SlagHeap.

Brief recap: Havenwale Burial Mound

This is a quick recap/summary of past adventure sessions. It is not meant to be comprehensive at this time, nor is it in character.

Session 6/15/2016:

PCs Present: Tarak, Dai’ga Kayaldra, Magic Jack
PCs Missing: Boominott, Avonde
NPCs Present: Kiint, Menelaus
NPCs Missing: None (Millipen died in previous session)

The Burial Mound near Havenwale
The group followed the gnomes’ description up to their old burial cavern. In past years, this used to be a well-maintained entrance to the town’s crypts where the dead were buried with honor. Since the Witch Queen sent Ceroneus to take over the town, the crypts have fallen into disrepair. There is still a sturdy, wide door to the entrance, but upon opening it, the party was presented with a horrible stench of decay. Inside, water had infiltrated to make everything slimy and promote decomposition. The center of a large entry chamber was filled with partially rotted gnome bodies in a huge pile where they had been deposited by the orcs and ungen without the traditional embalming rituals.
Tarak had cast Detect Undead and immediately perceived there were some medium-powered undead somewhere in the pile. The other exits from the room appeared to be sealed off from the rest of the tomb by cave ins triggered by the lack of upkeep.
Three gnome ghouls burst from the pile and attacked the group, paralyzing both Dai’ga and Tarak in their initial assault. However, the rest of the group were able to dispatch them without all becoming paralyzed and Tarak and Dai’ga quickly snapped out of it.
Another scan of the room by Tarak showed no more undead – at least in the accessible portions – and he noticed a number of glittering items. It was clear that the ghouls had been raiding the deeper tombs up until the passages collapsed and had looted some treasure.
From the corpses group retrieved:
[44 pp and 200 gp] These were returned to Havenwale to help them rebuild.
The rest of the below were revealed by Boris Micklewax as part of his own ancestor’s personal treasure. He offered them to the party as thanks for the town’s freedom with the condition that we offered the jewelry to the Micklewax family in Botkinburg first so that they had an opportunity to buy back these heirlooms:
400 gp jewelry (sold at value indicated to Herbert Micklewax in Botkinburg; at about 2x the appraised value)
Magic Short Sword (later revealed as +1); holding onto for now
(4) Magic Crossbow Bolts (claimed by Dai’ga)
Magic Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic (claimed by Tarak)

We met with Boris Micklewax – the leader of the gnomes that had been ensorcelled. He and the freed gnomes led an assault party to take over the inn from the renegade traitorous gnomes and restore the village. We promised him to keep the location and other information about Havenwale on the D/L; they would have enough problems with Freyland’s bandits having been there periodically. When asked, he provided better directions for more direct paths onto the road to Botkinburg so that we could easily return if needed without having to travel through Gypsheim and Dredston.

Retrieving the carefully-bundled Witch Queen’s mirror, we next headed back to Dredston with Nurfin’s wife Frema and daughter Owlen. On the way back, we encountered an Ogre attempting to ambush us, but Tarak easily noticed him and the party turned the ambush back on him. Fearful that he might cause problems with the gnomes if left alive, they quickly dispatched the ogre. Other than a 25-30 gp necklace he had been using as a nose ring, he had little else of value.

Nurfin’s family were reunited and were extremely grateful. They headed off towards Havenwale to return to their home.

Returning through Neagle’s woods on the way to Botkinburg, we were greeted by the dwarf (who put on more mud stew) and Neagle. She was extremely interested in our journey and in the mirror…

(Update to follow)

Battle with the witch queen

As the party was standing over the corpses of a cleric of Unklar and four Ungern (from last week), the Witch Queen and escorts appeared to do combat with our heroes.

The battle with the Witch Queen proceeded quickly, with the party consisting of only four—Barbarian, Cleric, Ranger, Wizard. Menlaus took out an Ogre (with sleep), Tarak caused a delay to opponent spellcasting with Silence, and Dai’ga did huge damage to the witch queen with a massive critical hit, before she tossed a fireball and took out both Tarak and Dai’ga (unconscious, not dead). Fortunately, Kiint and Menlaus (controlled by John and Brandon) were able to finish off the fleeing Witch Queen (two Magic Missiles) and, finally, the remaining Ogre who’d also been significantly weakened by the fireball his mistress had so callously cast. The use of all party healing potions was enough to restore everyone to single-digit hit points.

The rest of the evening was spent hunting for the Witch Queen’s base of operations, which also entailed getting prickled by stone blades and spears summoned by an Ungern high priest (at least one of Dai’ga and Tarak went down again; dexterity checks are hard when you’re large and clumsy) before he was dispatched. Some clever trap-avoidance and secret-door-finding later, the party had a lot of swag, most of which was sold after a relatively uneventful trip (other than the half-day lost fleeing and then circling around 7 giant spiders) back to Botkinburg. The gold and resulting xp will be shared with Magic Jack (if he returns) and Witrix, so everyone is now fourth level (other characters will be similarly enhanced on their return).

Discussion with the recently-returned Aldadius suggests that Ludensheim is the source of the region’s troubles, from apparently paying Redcaps to raid, to making deals with Miles Freland (via Barldrus and his companions), through to the Witch Queen both supplying the Silk Guild (Dietbold Heimer’s power base) and having her agents take over Havenwale and charm and exploit its inhabitants. Added to Aristiculian’s concerns about a great evil being done in the town, a return to Ludensheim may be on the cards!

A reluctant but necessary second visit to Ludenshine

Note: need to do spelling corrections and add links.

This occurs after the recent defeat of the witch queen in the Ziggurat, after which we made our way back to Botkinburg to report our findings to Aldadeus. Aldadeus’s long journey to New Aenoch did not turn up much useful information, other than that there was a personality change in Deepbold Himer around the time of his becoming mayor. Due to the strong suspicion that something in Ludenshine is at the heart of the recent troubles, we travel back to find out more information. We are beset by some starving bandits who do not appear to be associated with Miles Freeland (since they are starving).

We covertly arrange to meet with the wizard/alchemist Risticulean, and we find out several interesting bits of information. We find out that Ludenshine was built on remnants of Unklar’s creation; Dai’ga speculates that maybe Deepbold discovered a mirror like the one found in Havenwell. The Baronial guard is loyal to Himer, but not the city guard. Juskin Nitell is the leader of the city guard and is not a supporter of Himer or the prior mayor, Vrieland. There are about 40 in the Baronial guard and 30 in the city guard; the city guard has 6 day, 12-hour shifts. The “old city” has sewers going under many of the buildings – used to be full of rats, but now they are all gone. There could be catacombs under the city as well.

We meet halflings Nigel and Pampin who are fisherman who frequent the Goldpan Inn where we are staying. They take us to see rat catchers, for the low, low price of 5g, at the Drooling Dwarf, where Tristin Foulsouth is the proprietor. We are introduced to Joras, a rat catcher, who takes us into sewers for 2g/day. Joras notes that the sewers unde the castle were never to be visited (a rule passed down by his father and grandfather before him; perhaps these are the catacombs spoken of?). We see a large, three legged, long-tentacled, headless, many-toothed creature, which Joras obviously hadn’t seen before (as he became paralyzed with fear). After dispatching the creature, luckily without overly much effort, we see that there is a whole in the wall where such a creature may have bored through. We drop Joras back off at the Drooling Dwarf, paying him a few extra gold for his trauma and his silence. We then head back to the Goldpan, where we learn from Nigel (who is an information dealer) that Tull Merriweather was sent by the sheepherder guild to find out where the silk comes from, but hasn’t returned. We learn about Dibblegurm, a gnome who sells to shady clientelle (wizards); he runs a store in the bazaar. After meeting Dibblegurm in the bazaar, we arrange to discreetly meet him back at the Goldpan.

Treachery and a discovery!
Mysteriouser and mysteriouser

The party, thanks to surviving an attack from Dibblegurn (who they’d approached for help; unfortunately, he turned out to be a low-level employee of the Cabal, a secretive and powerful organisation with tendrils everywhere), has learnt the identity, at least, of that evil group, who also tried to have you assassinated.

What next? The party have let Dibblegurn flee, minus a few toes, but the rest of the ambushers are dead. The sewers contain monsters, there’s a shadowy group up to no good, and the enemy must have some idea of who you are by now.

Infiltrating the Keep - Part 1

(Avonde, Da’iga, Tarak, Menelaus, Kiint)

Our intrepid heroes retreated to the Gold Pan to lick their wounds and regroup. They discover Avonde there and bring him up to speed.

After a night’s rest and healing, they head back out into the sewers intending to track back towards the narrow passage near the keep and see if they can find a hidden entrance.
After searching a bit, another blobbish tentacled creature is revealed in a chamber. Avonde and Dai’ga launch arrows at it, but miss. It closed and nailed them with those nasty tentacles, paralyzing them and pulling them towards its maw. Kiint scored several solid blows on a tentacle, while Menelaus tossed daggers past it and Tarak misses several times with his mace.

As Dai’ga and Avonde break free and begin to whittle it down; it shifts focus and snags Tarak and pulls him in for a crushing bite. Kiint also gets smacked hard, but is not caught by the tentacle and finally deals a killing blow to the beast.
They all step back and administer healing potions and spells while surveying the damage.
Eventually, we have more or less mapped out the circumference of the sewers and a few of the caverns, moving closer towards the center in an narrowing spiral.
As we near the center, we come across a small cavern with some bones, a tattered/rotting cloak and the remnants of a backpack which appears to contain a crystalline ball that Menelaus identified as magical. The group passed this to Tarak, who placed it in a belt pouch.
A little further, we find another corpse with a unmarked longsword (magic), a golden cord (small bracelet?), some rusted armor, 150gp of jewelry and 10pp and 100gp. The sword glows bright blue (20’ radius) when picked up by Avonde. Tarak picks up the golden cord and puts it in another belt pouch for later examination.
Finally, we get close to what we feel must be the middle and we hear a familiar heavy tread – another one of these creatures entering the other side of a larger cavern we just entered. It sees us and hungrily closes. Before it can strike out, Kiint slices into it with his sword and Tarak brings thunder down upon it, stunning it briefly. Avonde gets a mighty blow, severely damaging the creature, but misses on his following attack, as did Dai’ga. It lashes wildly out with its tentacles, but missed and Kiint gets in the killing blow. Fortunately, the group was essentially unharmed.

We finally find a large central cavern (roughly 80′×30′ × 60′ ceiling). A platform with stairs going up is about 40’ above the center, but the walls on all sides are perfectly smooth. Avonde manages to throw a grappling hook with rope up to the top and snags the top, but upon trying to climb the rope, manages to dislodge the grappling hook, causing it to come clattering down. After a few more attempts, he succeeds in ascending to the platform. He finds a secured rope attached to a brass ring set in the platform and everyone else climbs up.

Tarak casts a spell to detect traps and they carefully head up the stairs and listen at a wooden door at the top, uncovering a lighted guardroom with two men – one in leather armor and another sleeping. Avonde kicks down the door and immediately dispatches the awake man, while Kiint, Tarak and Dai’ga.try to rush the sleeping man to incapacitate him, but all clumsily miss. Finally, Menelaus slaps a hand over his mouth, succeeding in keeping him from raising the alarm and the others struggle to hold him down until he yields.
He, and others, are recruited from the Baronial Guard and are blindfolded and led down to this room to watch the door. Sometimes priests dressed in dark robes come the other direction leading prisoners down into the caverns, threatening to feed them to the Otyugh (must be the creatures we encountered). They rotate shifts every 12 hours; they are blindfolded by the keep’s guard when led down and then handed off as they descend; when they are retrieved, priests or others of higher importance place the blindfolds on again and return them to the keep’s guards before returning them to their quarters. His shift started at dawn; he has no idea how long has passed. They are told to never wander the corridors.
We begin exploring the corridors, leaving him behind but told that we’d try to make sure he is ok… (He seems a bit shifty at that, but doesn’t disagree.)
The first door we encounter is very nice and the living quarters behind it are especially well appointed with poster bed, crushed velvet pillows, trunks, armoires, etc. (The furniture alone is probably worth 800gp or so.) The armoires contain fancy clothing that a wealthy dandy would wear. One trunk is locked, but after several brute force failed attempts, Kiint twists a sword through the hasp and breaks it open. Very fine clothing is inside with a fine white ermine robe. Having figured out the trick, Kiint quickly snaps the lock here and finds numerous fancy personal items – a silver shaving mirror and the like. Tarak discovers a trap on the third chest; Avonde sets it off with a well-placed thrown axe (it was a gas trap, but it dissipates before the group returns to the room) and the chest is found to contain a great deal of valuable/expensive spell components (appear to be used by a wizard or illusionist).
A second room reveals a 4 sleeping guards with armor and so forth; they begin waking up, but quickly Sleeps them again. The next room is another guard room with another 4 sleeping guards. Upon discovering this and realizing we’re leaving a formidable force behind us, we begin 2-on-one subduing and tying each up, minimizing their risk to us. The 8th wakes before we can tie him up,; fortunately, Menelaus drove a dagger through his throat, killing him before he can raise an alarm.
Avonde begins questioning one, but he indicates they are only hired to guard this corridor and the fancy room at the end. Occasionally they see a priest or two along the halls and one “high priest” who resides in that room.
We track further into a series of winding corridors that open into a simple room with a corridor off another wall, a basic cot and a chair wedged under a door to prevent it from opening. In the distance down the open corridor, we can see two more doors flanking the end and another corridor that T-s midway off the right side.

Adventure: +350XP

From Otyugh caves:
Magic Sword (Avonde; later identified as 2, +3/6 vs Ungen; glows blue 20’ diameter when unsheathed)
Crystal Ball (Tarak)
Golden Cord (Tarak)

From fancy quarters (Later discovered to be from Nepherus’):

  • Magic White Ermine Cloak (Avonde)
  • Large quantity of magical components (worth money)
  • Various other valuable clothing and trinkets
Infiltrating the Keep - Part 2

(Avonde, Tarak, Kiint, Menelaus)

We continue exploring, beginning with the door propped closed with the chair. A long corridor stretches out with two doors along the left side and another at the far end. As we approached the middle, a secret door opened on our right with a long corridor sloping upward – apparently triggering on our approach. As we moved away again, the secret door closed again. All three doors in this corridor appeared to be locked/barred from the other side.

Doubling back and investigating the original main hall, we uncover a horrible, stinky room with a strong lock on the inside that would require a key to get out. I realize this is a room where flesh golems are created. Between Menelaus and Tarak, we determine that flesh golems can be very dangerous, being immune to many magical spells and requiring significant magical weaponry to hit. There is a book that has recipes and similar describing the process. By skimming this, we determine they are relatively stupid and about our speed, are slowed by fire and cold, but made stronger by lightning.

Across the hall, we hear some chanting and prayer. We prepare for an ambush and quietly rush the door, taking the four low-level acolytes praying to a statue of Unklar by surprise. Closing the door behind us to minimize noise. We quickly dispatch three, upon which the remaining one readily surrenders. He has had second thoughts of late and will happily help us. The golem wanders all the corridors, but appears to leave the robed priests (and anyone led by them) alone. He says Nepherus (the fancy quarters we found) holds great sway over Heimer. If he’s not down here, he is elsewhere up in the keep. He is a great manipulator/wizard; he carries spellbooks with him.
He is supposed to avoid Nepherus’ quarters and the Black Pits. Two priests above them whose commands they must obey; they are quartered further down the halls.
No visitors that Nepherus has ever shown deference to; he is a very self-contained and competent man.
He explains the secret door leads to the palace cellars and out into the keep proper, then into the city. The corridor behind them leads to guard rooms that are shut/barred to keep the flesh golem out. Priests are to knock and enter to retrieve the guards for shift changes (the guards prohibited from leaving on their own for their safety…)
After letting the one acolyte escape to rethink his ways, we discover a long room with tables and 5 fresh corpses laid out (presumably awaiting incorporation into a flesh golem…)
Another smaller room has several empty cages. The next room has racks of coats and robes.
A very long (but lit) corridor extends further away and turns to the right and shortly hooks back towards the guard rooms, exposing a medium sized room with dried rations and several doors. As we explore this and the first pantry off of it, we see a flurry of arrows coming from slits that we hadn’t noticed the first time through.
Avonde tries to bash down a door, but fails; Kiint succeeds, but then a burst of sound echoes through the room, stunning Avonde and Menelaus and doing damage to the group. Several guards rush through while a wizard hides in the corner. Tarak cast Hold Person on the priest. Avonde rushes in and kills several guards in a single blow. Tarak takes out another guard at the door, Menelaus hits a guard defending the priest and Kiint kills another. Menelaus finishes off the remaining guard and the priest looks very uncomfortable (even while Held). As we close the door behind us, Avonde binds and gags him and removed all possessions.
Tarak casts Detect Magic and determines that the very fancy White Ermine Cloak (from Nepherus’ room; Avonde carrying), and fancy Hammer (Tarak takes) and Leather Jerkin (Kiint takes to carry) from this priest all detect magical. We dispatch the priest and continue searching onward.
Another sound burst hits us as we open the next door, stunning Tarak and knocking Menelaus out. Four guards and a priest huddle in the room and we hear commotion from down the other corridor. The priest cast Hold Person on Avonde as two more guards come and begin attacking Tarak. A crescent room (former shrine) was being worked on to repurpose; it was beat up and sculptors were working on refinishing it…
We find a guard dog tied up, who begins barking, but we knock him out or dead.
To our best knowledge, we have cleared and mapped this level. We release the other guards down the pit (lowering them down the rope), warning them that the keep has been taken by indescribable evil and their only hope for redemption is to escape through the sewers and not return.
We rest in one of the guard rooms, listening for anyone to do a shift change, and manage to get enough rest to heal up and prepare spells.
Deciding to head up into the keep, we begin ascending the ramp and soon enter an area of magical darkness. This lasts for a short distance and we emerge from a false panel/pitch black mouth. Upon entering this room, we hear a deep moaning that causes us (all but Kiint ) intense fear at ever entering the mouth again. Kiint and Tarak find a secret door that leads into a 20′ × 20′ room. Avonde opens it and surprises four guards. We make quick work of them.

Adventure: 200XP
Magic Leather Jerkin (Kiint carrying; probably sell for gold)
Magic War Hammer (Tarak is using)
Books on crafting Golems


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