Out on the frontier

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

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