The Darkened North

Covering Ground...Slowly

From within the maze like catacombs of the monastery, the party and I left the dead end where we had decided to rest last. We proceeded to attempt to navigate the tunnels which dipped and rose according to the extensive tunnel systems that exist here, a system that in my experience is incredible when one considers that it is built in solid rock. We continued through the tunnel system coming across several intersections, marking our way on the walls until we came upon what we determined to be a bugbear nest. It was determined to be where our (and I cringe at this very notion) allies had been holed up all this time. I hate bugbears!!

The nest was a dead so we backtracked then went South to discover that this section of tunnel led back to the round room in which we started. This was somewhat exciting, if not for everyone else then for me, this meant that by process of elimination we would soon understand which of these doors leads where. I can’t help it when it comes to these feats of engineering, I feel right at home in these stone structures, I am in my element.

Nothing much took place for the next while other than the odd drive by spider attack which nearly took off our simple Paladin’s head. We continued to make our way through the tunnels which all led back to that same initial room. Things picked up once we arrived at a door which resembled the other doors belonging to the central room, that is to say water damaged and covered with an abundance of fungus, but this door in particular was slightly ajar. Our Ranger informed us that he could hear breathing coming from the other side of the door and when he tried to sneak a peak something nearly took his head off. I charged the door hoping to take whatever this was by surprise. I mean, really, who can truthfully say that they were expecting a giant Golem to come crashing through the door? Finally this was of no use, the beast had fled and the southern most door in the central room was open. The southern door, we already know, leads to another room much like the one we currently stood in, round with a total of 6 doors, the only door yet to be searched in this section faced north-east and so to tie up this section we decided to venture off in this direction.

This particular tunnel led east for some considerable time before swaying south and heading back in a western direction before coming to a dead end. Against the furthest wall was a rather thick wall of the same fungus that is apparently ubiquitous in these tunnels. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that there was a hidden tunnel beneath the fungus which was removed by the Tsar who then proceeded to make his way through the secret entrance, this was nearly a fatal move. Once on the other side of the wall, Zedd’s source of light went out and he was soon attacked by a swarm of giant mosquitoes. I had a lapse in judgement and thought I could plough through the wall but instead nearly knocked myself out in the process. It was clear that Zedd was in trouble and most of us went to his aid and entered the dark room. While they fought behind the wall I stood guard waiting for that damned spider to try again. Patience eventually paid off and it ran right into my axe, splitting it down the middle. It was a rough go for a bit but battered and bruised we all pulled through and spent the next ten hours resting, healing and meditating.

After some poor medical work and some rest, despite the rude interruptions by the three stupidest bugbears I’ve ever met, we awoke to what sounded like a scuffle. Really…stupid is putting it lightly, they couldn’t even follow basic directions!! They deserve to be down here…anyway… Everyone seemed concerned about our “allies” but I on the other hand could care less and chose to inspect one of the two secret doorways discovered during our repose. I soon discovered three chests, each with locks that bore strange markings. We soon discovered that these locks could only be opened by certain people one being our Paladin and myself being another. My chest held a golden serving tray along with a silver pitcher and 4 silver serving goblets, a jewelled cake knife, a bracelet and a jewel necklace that matches the golden necklace recovered from Kran’s throne room. The Paladin discovered a set weightless armour as well as a matching sword and a ring that seems to be the counterpart to the fire ring recovered from the doppelgänger. Now we need only discover how to open the last chest and continue on through the complex tunnel system.

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Reunited

I stumbled down the hallway, chased by the screams of Crand’s murderous minions and the echoes of my fallen comrades. I moved quickly down the corridor, making my way towards a sleeping giant. I woke Ironhide and we made our way back as fast as we could away from Crand’s forces, eventually coming to the drawing room. There, we saw tracks of mud outside the door. Undeterred, we entered the room.

What we found was a strange fellowship indeed. We briefly exchanged words, cautiously trying to discover the other’s intentions without revealing our own. It did not take long for me to realize that despite their motley arrangement, these were good men. I opened my hear and told them of Crand the losses I have suffered at his hand. One-by-one they stood up and rallied to my cause. My new pledges and I proceeded to make our way back towards Crand.

We took a short detour and encountered a group of weird bird creatures. Our eyes were indeed bigger than our stomachs… and perhaps our better judgement. The unassuming bird proved to be no easy prey. We managed to rid ourselves of the pests and got back on track.

We arrived at the small room where the fallen and I had garrisoned ourselves previously. Gore, guts, blood, broken bones and cracked skulls painted the room floor to ceiling. The defiled remains of my brethren lay spread out on all corners of the room, a brutal reminder of our collective failure.
We pressed on and discovered a large gladiatorial room. No doubt an arena for men to combat for Crand’s pleasure. There was not much activity other than two corpses and two dogs. The elf and I prepared to put the rabid quadrupeds out of their misery and readied our bows. The macabre Reaper however felt a strong attachment to the beasts. Though his demeanour makes me uneasy, his presence appeared to calm the bests. Just as Reaper had managed to calm the more ferocious of the two hounds, the ground began to rumble and we heard a loud marching sound.

Crand and his men were approaching. No matter, this fellowship was not composed of slackers and we positioned ourselves to fend off Crand and his goblins. Swords clashed, goblins were thronged with arrows and we held our ground. Our defense was going well. A large bestial man came around the corner carrying a flayed man with a sign on his chest with the words “Tsar of the Underdark.” It was our beloved Zedd on a spike, writhing in agony. We managed to free Zedd and at that time Crand began to shout. He was calling for a champion.

Reaper headed the call. Crand towered over the skeletal man and it became clear that Reaper was no match. Ironhide took his place and a powerful battle ensued. Things were not going well for Ironhide when suddenly a mysterious spell was cast and Crand and his goblins fled the scene.

We regrouped and decided to head back to where we encountered the screaming chickens. We entered a room nearby and “Bam!” In the blink of an eye Kraggar was gone! A few of us scrambled frantically to get to the other side while others went down the hall to try and find him.

When we finally made it through to the other side, we found Kraggar involved in a mirror match. Two identical Kraggar! I didn’t know which one to shoot! The scuffle continued until eventually the true Kraggar emerged victorious.

The monastery grows more dangerous and treacherous every day, with new twists and turns in every direction. Who knows what perils lay ahead? All I know is that Crand is still out there, and my recently deceased brethren left un-avenged. Not for long Crand, not for long.

-Yoginthal

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The Death of Heroes

I rejoined my companions at the monastery after spending some time brushing up on my skills as an archer after Ferris was harmed in a freak arrow launching accident. I was glad to see my old companions and pleased to make the acquaintance of some fresh faces. We navigated the halls of the ruined monastery where we passed a pool of water slowly dissipating and seeping through the floor. I drank from the pool and immediately regretted the decision. Mysterious water was a bad choice.

Following a clanging sound we made our way to an armory of some kind. There we made short work of goblins and acquired a blacksmith who had been imprisoned by Crand and his men. Due in large part to our sure-footed thief and some unorthodox door-opening techniques we were able to press on through the winding halls and myriad of rooms of the monastery.

We continued to cut down goblins and hobgoblins alike who were no match for the brute force of our metal, hulking, zombie… guy. Feeling perhaps a little over-confident in our abilities, we pressed on allowing our lumbering giant a brief respite from battle.

We continued our crusade and began to hear a fell voice proclaiming, “I am Crand! Tsar of the Underdark!” Not to be outdone, Zedd began vocalizing his claim as the true Tsar of the Underdark as the rest of us garrisoned ourselves in a small room. The thief and I readied our arrows atop the tables as the others stationed themselves near the door where we intended to bottleneck the oncoming horde.

Crand’s minions poured in through the door and for a while, were unable to gain any ground. My comrades fought bravely and held their ground, but there were just too many. I watched in horror as one after another, my friends met their untimely ends. Amidst the chaos, I lost track of Zedd and though it seems unlikely he escaped with his life, I maintain hope for his survival. As I bravely fled the scene, only a berserk Ferris was left standing, surrounded on all sides by Crand’s forces. In the end however, even Ferris met his end that fateful night.

I am saddened beyond words at the loss of the bravest men I have ever had the pleasure of questing with. I am filled with rage and desire to rid Crand of this world. Crand, you will not get away with this. Friends, sleep well and know that you will be avenged.

-Yoginthal

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We may be in over our heads

Having rejoined my fellow explorers after a short respite, we found ourselves in a room where a battle had recently taken place. An ogre lay dead in the room along with a several dead slaves. Aside from an empty chest the room had been looted of any valuables and the group decided to return to the study found at the opposite end of the monastery.

Once in the hallway leading to the library we could hear the voice of a recently fallen comrade coming from a room leaking a purple liquid from beneath the door. Catching the dwarf’s attention, Ferris found his way into the room closing the door behind him. The group paying no mind to this made its way to a room apparently devoted to dead men.

Meanwhile, I maintained a close ear to the events unfolding in the purple ooze room. Apparently, our thought to be recently fallen wizard was to some degree still “alive” and as a result was able to be salvaged…or at least his brain, which was now kept in a jar… with a built in voice box. The events that took place are a little hazy and in light of tragic circumstances will likely never be made clear, but whatever happened in that room left Ferris in a state of mental digression. Paranoia took a firm hold on the dwarf and upon his escape from said room, the group reconvened in the next room.

While enjoying a pause in hopes of getting the dwarf to calm himself, the fighter in the group decided to study the many images on the wall when it occurred to the rest of the group that the images bore a strong resemblance to our fellow fighter. As he touched one of the images he was magically fitted with a pair of fighter’s gloves presumed to be of some family endowment. It would not take him long to use them. As the group attempted to leave to room to continue their search for treasures, Ferris, still suffering from his paranoia, kept the door blocked and refused to budge. As our fighter tried to push through the dwarf lashed out leading to an exchange of blows. With the emergence of creatures in the room the fighter b-lined for the hallway and has not been heard from since …we hardly knew him…

The group then inspected the room central to the monastery discovering a trap door that leads outside. After weighing our options we decided to make our way to the lower levels where it is said that frog-like enemies await any who dare to trespass against them. After carefully approaching the cellar it was thought best to approach a dining room to the right. Once inside the dining room we were quickly approached by two bugbears, which were done away with only to have two more ambush us from the opposite door. A lengthy battle ensued ending with the tragic demise of our most veteran member and savior. After the group raised a cup for our fallen brother it was decided to return to a weapons stockpile in the upper level of the monastery in order to re-arm ourselves, an insignificant conciliation in light of the loss one of the greatest warrior I’ve ever known. He will be missed.

Sincerely,
Your common farmer

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The Death of a Hero
Not Lemmiwinks

Obviously I knew it existed, and I knew he had it. Still, all I had to do was mention that I was in the market and Locke (R.I.P) handed it over. We had only just met and he gave me the bloodhide armor, a truly priceless piece of protection. It’s since been passed on. And so has he.

The party delved deeper into the monastery, scouring a ruined library for manuscripts. Talia was quite excited. Content with our findings we moved on, but not before one of the frog men turned up, killed one of Ursis’ rats, and dropped a strange tiara in the room. The party recalled the debacle with the Goat Head amulet and was unwilling to touch it. Lemmiwinks the Rat (R.I.P) picked it up and brought it to Brother Simon (R.I.P) who wrapped it in cloth.

Moving on we discovered a large beautiful room with an enchanted ceiling and an immense swimming pool. Locke and I suggested we play a game of “Who can stand closest without falling in,” but nobody else wanted to play and, well… we weren’t going to push each other in. Lemmiwinks drank from the water with no ill effect, followed by Talia who was invigorated. Locke and I decided to follow suit. He became petrified for his last night on Earth and I puked like it was Mardi Gras.

The party scouted ahead while I guarded Locke and treated him with the utmost respect. The next morning we all set off down a secret passage to ambush some hobgoblins. Lacking a thief to stealthily unlock the door, we kicked it down and barged in. Locke and I were quickly surrounded with attackers. Rob the Wizard Dwarf quickly dispatched a large group of the hobgoblins while the party picked off the stragglers. Lemmiwinks died.

Flanked, Locke began losing blood quickly. The enemy leader, Skai, was resistant to my witty comments about his mother and his girly-looking wolf-helmet. Locke put up a brave resistance and felled many foes, but Skai killed him. Locke is no pansy; Skai was tough-he nearly killed me next, but Rob the Wizard Dwarf put the remaining enemies to sleep. I was unable to save Locke’s soul, but I took Skai’s for torment. I vow to you Locke, I will attach a lantern to a pig in your honour.

A Monk joined the party shortly after Locke’s death. He had intimate knowledge of the monastery from a time before it was overrun with foul beings. The rest of the party drank from the giant pool before moving onwards to a magically darkened room. Kane the monk knew there was a holy statue in the room someplace, and the party traveled in to find it. It was this terrible magical creature, but far more terrible was Brother Simon’s reaction to it. He stood on the platform and swung his flail at the statue, intending to knock its gems free. In a flash he was nothing but a puddle of goop on the floor.

Brother Simon’s death set off some sort of alarm. The party chased the noise to find an ogre murdering barbarian slaves. In a rare encounter the party was able to slay the ogre and his ogrey friend, thanks in large part to the magics provided by the Wizard and Druid, and the assistance of one of the freed barbarians.

In a chest we found a pile of gold, some gems, and a sneaky assassiny assassin magic item that would probably suit an assassin really well. Shame we didn’t have one with us and now I can’t find it.

-Zedd

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The Dark Ones
Or: why running around in the dark on a nightmare island is probably a bad idea

When the morning dawned bright and early, Ferris received several healing spells to counter the damage done to his throat by his comrade, Yoginthal, who was nowhere to be found. The group decided to stay a day or two with the barbarians before going after Crand, but Zedd the duelist and Jacen the simple farmer decided to accompany a barbarian patrol to scout ahead. Despite their ability to move silently, they and two of the barbarians were entranced by the piping of a mysterious force. The third barbarian traveled back to the camp to inform his chief, and a tense standoff ensued. The chief and Ursis had a conversation that none of the others understood while Locke argued with the scout but ultimately decided that discretion was the better part of valor. For reasons the party did not fully understand, Ursis was eventually persuaded to choose one of three young women, who was then escorted out to the barrows. The young woman and the chief’s wife were traded for the lives of the scouts and the missing party members. Unsettled but reunited, the group set off for the monastery.
In the re-purposed monastery the group found a statue with two giant diamonds. The retrieval of the diamonds necessitated the defeat of legendary (if skeletal) assassins (twice). In exploring the creatures’ resting places, Jacen found a lovely stiletto blade. Finding nothing else of value, the group continued to explore.
While Zedd and Locke discussed a game of ‘stand closest to the mysterious green algae lake without anything bad happening’, Brother Simon became stuck in it. In attempts to rescue him and Locke, who was nearly suffocated by the substance, nearly every party member became entangled, and it looked like Ferris might have to fight the nine approaching goblins alone. Ursis recalled a spell that propelled the party out of the lake just in time, and the goblins attempted to flee. A captured enemy pointed the party to a treasure before being released. In their search, the party acquired two new rodent companions and a few gems, but they continue to search the monastery buildings.

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Our new friend, the witch
She's good people

Ferris and Nigra drifted in and out of consciousness, diseased from the easily cleared bat-cave. Ursus had returned from his meeting with an elderly witch when a naked dwarf wizard emerged from the bushes, tailed by a goblin. Unperturbed, Yoginthal put an arrow through the dwarf’s throat. Wait, that’s not right. What would he do that for?

Eventually giving some clothing to the newcomer, the party continued on their way to meet up with the old witch for healing. She must have been out or something, but her beautiful young daughter greeted the travelers with delight. She healed Ferris of his disease in no time at all. Moments really. Girl was a pro.

She then met with me to exchange information. After giving me valuable map locations, she turned the conversation to the dagger looted from Kalorel. She described in detail the methods of using it, or as she called it the “Path of █████.” All I have to do is ████ █ █████ ██████ ██████ █ ████ ████ ████ ██ ███ █ ███ ████ █████ ████. Tricky business, but it’s good to know. The witch and I ███ █████████ ███ and now Ferris and I are Eskimo brothers.

The beautiful witch then made a deal with Ursis; she offered to remove his curse in exchange for the head of a local beast. The party set off, leaving the unconscious Nigra behind with the completely trustworthy and suddenly pregnant witch. After scaling a dangerous clifftop, Jacen the farmer went on ahead to introduce himself to the ogre. A fellow farmer, they got along famously. The ogre spun some tale about the witch, but he was a nice guy overall, so the party unanimously agreed to leave him and his family alone. They continued on to another steam cave.

Inside the cavern were some terrible locusts. They swarmed a handful of party members who quickly warded them off by jumping in pools of water. Wearing plate armor, Locke found himself unable to swim out. In a panic he stripped his armor and tried to fight off his rescuers, but they were able to pull him from the depths. Though he is noticeably depressed about his lost armor, Locke will live.

The party continued on and found a cave-dwelling village of escaped slaves and members of Ursis’ tribe. For literally the first time ever the adventurers were able to unwind without fear of disaster. They partied, drank, and fired arrows at each other or something. I’m not really sure. The mead was good.

Anyways, we awoke this morning with headaches and set out to free slaves and kill Krand. Ferris isn’t sounding to good and I guess Talia got her hair did.

Some sections are need to know and have been redacted. I need a scribe.

-Zedd

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To the Island

Our bold heroes decided to turn once more toward Cold Harbor, the festering den of villainy. The brigands who called themselves guards had greatly reinforced the town and now the puppet Lord Padraig had been all but replaced by a mage of low character.
Crimson mage
Any hope of being hailed as heroes and saviors was quashed when the beautiful bard attempted to treat with the “guards”. She was told that on the morrow at dawn a proper parley would take place. Immediately seeing through the ruse Zedd, Farmer, and Ferris made plans to infiltrate the town under cover of night using a secret passage.

Our party was now joined by two new members, a silent barbarian and a talkative illusionist.

As Ursis and his kinsman from the wolfclan set up camp outside of town the brave party of infiltrators began their mission. Sneaking into town without any trouble Zedd was able to rendezvous with the talkative illusionist and Locke the swordsman within the tower of the “historian” Valthrun.
Human wizard ruben ramos
Despite the suspicious appearance of Valthrun’s manservant and a very paranoid Locke, the evening passed very pleasantly. Zedd opened an enchanted bottle and so doing, finally claimed his noble birthright.

Around a campfire in the bush outside of town the two rowdy savages entertained the beautiful bard with tales of their homeland and a delicious rabbit stew, while she in turn regaled them with poems and stories from the civilized south. The two holy men of the southern lands listened intently, and refrained from trying to convert the heathens. Although differences of language and culture was a barrier, mutual respect was forming from a willingness to share and learn.

Just then a grisly discovery was made. A headless knight was found upon a dying horse stumbling along the road toward Cold Harbor from the North. In his saddlebags Acolyte Thane discovered a banner belonging to the Margrave of Blackmarch, Padraig’s older and more capable brother who rules in the North. Ursis didn’t have the heart to tell our gentle bard that the horse was already as good as dead and let her take the poor beast into town, although he knew it would have been a mercy to put the dying creature out of it’s misery instead of condemning it to a lingering death within a mouldering stable. He was also worried for her safety now that clearly the woods held unseen foes.

Ferris spent a very uncomfortable night in a cold damp cellar, with a young girl and a sinister farmer making poor companions. The only comfort Ferris could find was the familiar burn of cheap whiskey and the ghosts of dead comrades to see him through another long, dark, and lonely night.

In the morning after a disorganized start our heroes were able to avoid the villainous town guardsmen and cinnamon mage. They met out on the ice of the lake and gathered some paltry supplies left by their new benefactor Valthrun, although Zedd already began to regret the terms of his deal with the old man.

The journey across the ice took the better part of the day but finally the heroes arrived on the shore of the mysterious island. Halfway through the night the party was awoken by a fierce warband of skeletal warriors rising from the nearby depths of an icy river.
Lo s skeleton warrior

After a frantic battle the heroes were able to defeat the undead. The young barbarian was nearly slain however, laid low by a rusty ice encrusted sword, only being saved by the intervention of the southern holy-men.

During the battle Locke bravely held off the attacks of a malevolent spectre long enough for Zedd to rush to his aid and deliver a killing blow. Zedd struck with an ancient dagger taken from Kalerel which drew his soul into a battle with the wraith. After a few tense moments Zedd was able to master the dark soul of the creature and gathered information before it departed.

In the morning the band traveled further inland following the expert directions given by the illusionist, without whose navigational skills the party would have surely become lost. After passing a magical wicker-man and a strange pond the party encountered a strange and ancient stone idol and a collapsed cave opening, both set into a rocky hillside.

Unklar statue head

After examining the idol and clearing the cave mouth the party prepared to venture inside.

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Fall of Kalorel

By juboke.

The party descended ever deeper into the darkness of this vile dungeon only to come across more prisoners of the evil Kalorel. Two of the prisoners; Brother Simon, a cleric and a bard joined the party if only to put Kalorel to the sword once and for all. As the party managed themselves through the maze of rooms, Ursis and Nigra became separated and were trapped in a room sealing them off from escape. To make matters worse the room began to fill up quickly with water. Try as they might the party was unable to help their trapped companions and if not for the quick thinking and roguish skills of Nigra, both would have perished in this fiendish trap.

Reunited once more the party ventured forth and entered the inner sanctum of Kalorel.
Kalarel

This large room was dominated in its center by a pool filled with the blood of eviscerated prisoners chained to the ceiling above. Across the room where the party entered was a large statue of Orcus.
Orcus statue

Kalorel waited for the party on a raised dias flanked by two sinister looking undead minions with red gems for eyes. On the far side of the room a Wight moved to intercept the heroes as they entered and from behind them a Ghast approached.

Soldier skeleton knight

Battle ensued. Nigra, Thane and Zedd were holding off the undead minions of Kalorel. The others did not fare as well as Jacon was paralyzed by the Ghast; Brother Simon was seriously wounded and Ferris was held in place by Kalorel foul magic but not before seriously wounding him with his mighty battle axe. During the melee a giant worm-like tentacle burst from the pool of blood, flailing about a danger to friend and foe alike. The battle seemed as if the party could overcome Kalorel just as easily as he could defeat the heroes; that was until Locke was able to fell a crushing blow on Kalorel. Severely wounded and unable to defend himself, Ursis stepped forward and removed the burden of Kalorel head from his shoulders. As Kalorel head fell to the ground the statute of Orcus exploded into a thousand shards and a female demon appeared as if entombed within the statue itself.
Homm5 inferno succubus favo

The demon quickly dispatched Kalorel remaining minions (the exception being the Ghast who fled) and confronted the party. The heroes unable to answer any of the demons questions to her liking flew off but not before bestowing a curse the Druid, Ursis.

As the party was leaving the dungeon they were confronted by the Ghast who requested and had words with the bard <name> alone. What transpired between the two only they know … for now.
Ghast

Upon reaching the ruins that sit above this dungeon the party was sent upon by a party of orcs which the heroes easily dispatched. The group decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to leave as these orcs appeared to be a well-armed scouting party and they did not want to confront a much larger group. Wounded, tired and landed with treasure the heroes set off toward further adventures.

Orc scouts

As the party of heroes set off into the forest and faded from view they were watched from the darkness by the Ghast, smiling …

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New Friends and the Fall of a Giant

Having been cut off from his fellow travelers, Ferris found himself face to face with a bugbear and its master. As Ishmael strained to lift the porte cullis, Froyo and Zedd rushed through the opening to Ferris’ aid. Among the stench of spoiled food and stagnant air one would come to expect from a hobgoblin’s lair lingered the pungent smell of vinegar and pickles. Suddenly, from the lair’s storage containers emerged two unexpected allies. Covered in pickle juice, these two stowaways began to engage the Bugbear’s master. Our adventurers made quick work of the duo and were quickly alerted to the presence of other hobgoblins in the chamber’s sleeping quarters. Having been given an ultimatum, the three hidden hobgoblins surrendered and allowed Froyo to search the barracks.

The group voted to have one of the captives executed, so to minimize risk, and used one of the two remaining to search the leader’s chamber for traps. Despite his pleas and reluctance to enter the room, a search was conducted which revealed a chest filled with gold, two shackled children and a giant spider. The spider immediately attacked the group, almost as to protect the children, but among the confusion the hobgoblin darted for the children. As the spider was defeated, the hobgoblin executed the first child, using the other as leverage, ordering everyone out of the chamber. Sadly, while trying to rescue the child, the goblin caught us and executed the child then took his own life.

Once the group had finished looting, the last captive was offered an ultimatum; his life in exchange for a guided tour of the immediate area along with information on the children rumored to have been enslaved in the keep. The guide led the group through the main barracks, the kitchen and provided details on how to find the chamber where he had seen children being kept, and in exchange was released. Following the direction the hobgoblin had offered, our adventurers came to a door with beautifully crafted artwork made entirely of gold portraying two winged children, implying that they were on the right track. The detailed artwork was quickly looted, even as golden tears ran down the faces of the children they were plucked away. Once past the doors, our adventurers approached a statue of what resembled an ancient monastic knight, complete with sword in hand. This would be the site of Ishmael’s untimely demise. A pressure plate was activated as the group stood before the statue and when it activated, the statue swiped side to side, cutting down the giant. Coincidentally, there just happened to be a lowly farmer seeking his own adventure in the keep, who just happened to be in the same place as our adventurers. Introduced as Jacen, this farmer proposed he join the group so as to be able to share his knowledge of farming. Soon after his arrival, the decorative door locked tightly, leaving the group with limited options, but even faced with these difficulties the group pressed on.

In the next room, the group encountered a horde of undead as well as what appeared to be a leader of the group. The leader retreated to the room behind it as the rest engaged the group. There was a bloody battle that was eventually won but not before claiming the second life of the day as our newly found, pickle stained friend was overrun by the undead. Once the dust had settled and a quick thought was said, the remaining members of the group discussed options for the next step. A total party kill room lay ahead if they continued or they could return to site of Ishmael’s demise to attempt the door that had locked behind Jacen when he joined the group.

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