Mug Bearers of the Oaken Table

Adventure 05 - Session 01
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 3

Quick Recap:
* Winterhaven taken by Blacktongue
* Party tasked by Blacktongue to kill witch Denoa

Leaving Winterhaven, our journey continued eastward, back through Fallcrest on our way to find and destroy the Shadar-kai witch Denoa. “Somewhere in the mountains” were our directions – blast those rocks stretch for hundreds of miles! And only given less than two ten-day to complete our task…

It would take a divine miracle to save us.

Along the trade road, we spotted an outdoor temple. The Platinum Lord! I rubbed my eyes, had they deceived me on my prior travels down this road? Damn to my day-dreaming fancies, they may one day be the end of me!

My self-admonishing would have to wait, for we then we heard the unmistakable sounds of battle…

Hurrying, we found a lone dwarf, surrounded. From his attire one would guess a merchant or scholar; he did not even possess a weapon. His enemies, a pair of fiends, black-winged and wielding greatswords. Creatures of the Hells. With them were several cultist lackeys, loyal to the false power and certain madness such devils promise.

Fiends! In Bahamut’s Garden! The Sacrilege! The Arrogance!

Mustering our morale we charged in, attempting to save the helpless dwarf. The devils and their minions fought back, and who emerged victorious is still unclear. For while we managed to send them back to the Hells, they took the life of our nameless dwarf.

A trapdoor led down, beneath which showed the temple for the facade it was. A nest of devils, led by a beguiling succubus, was using this lair to summon more of their foul kind for reasons unknown. A statue of the Lord of the 7th, whom I shall scribe, overlooked an icy pool of death.

About The Pool
No mere pool, this deadly trap encases those foolish enough to venture near it in an icy tomb. It was our unfortunate mispleasure to find no only the bounty-hunter Pip within, but also the elven pair from Harkenwold. Why or how they arrived here is still a mystery.

I would say in all our battle this one was the most perilous, for these villians were well versed in coordinated tactics, and my over-zealousness at the mockery to my Lord may have caused me to act less than rational.

The trickster attempted to barter with us for her escape, promising valuable items for her unconditional release. Enraged, I forbade any parlay with the creature and together we subdued her, bound her, and forced her into our Bag of Holding. May her fiendish soul experience a thousand torturous deaths.

With the fiend caged, we recovered the fallen dwarf from above. A badge identified him of someone of importance, however we still lacked information. A quick burial was all we could provide the others, along with a vow to uncover the mystery of their deaths.

About The Temple
When time permits, it will be my duty to return and perform proper consecration services to restore balance to this tainted spot.

We head East, towards the mountains, with an unknown corpse and a bound fiend in our possession. Although victorious, I cannot help but ponder if our situation is now worse off than before…

Adventure 04 - Session 04
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 2

There we stood staring at him… The rot of Harkenwold, a blight on all that is good and humane.

Lord Blacktongue,the vampire, the reason for all the suffering we’ve recently been through.

Our lovelorn tiefling could barely restrain his contempt for this creature and the pain he had caused. I could hear knuckles crack and brows furrow; although in our battle-weary state we were in no condition to battle such a vicious foe.

And this foe was not alone.

From a darkened corner, the beast emerged. He was man-like, although far larger – at least 7 feet if not taller.

One might mistake this ‘thing’ for an ogre or mishappen troll, were it not for the distinct human features and an array of patchwork stitching across every angle of his body. No – a Golem, perhaps… foul abominations fused with magical life.

Without word, the beast lumbered over to recover the dead sorcerer’s body, and retrieving his prize moved to his master’s side.

About The Creature
This thing was able to bring a fully healed warrior to the brink of death with a single blow!

Footsteps heralded the arrival of others. First, a man: large, bare-chested, with a bestial quality to him. We recognized him immediately as the lycanthrope we encountered inside Shadowfell Keep.

Behind him – a woman: young, delicate, graceful. This was Kat Kip, whom I’d only briefly once before but heard several tales.

Battered, surrounded, and outmatched, we knew our only chances of survival was parlay.

Our Demands: That Blacktongue stop their attacks on Harkenwold and leave.
Their Demands: That we assist in establishing their new base to the west in Winterhaven.

It is with heavy heart that I write of the unfortunate events after, and of the victims of the small town of Winterhaven. Though intentionally we bore no ill-will, our party has nonetheless been involved with either the sale, displacement, or murder of just about every resident in the town and its borders.
The Great Lord will be displeased indeed unless I can attone for our party’s sins! Mercy on my soul!

If only we had stopped in Fallcrest to learn of current events!

I wish I could write that we were unsuccessful in our mission to assist Blacktongue, but alas the fates were set against us. Try as we might, the devilish powder made its way into the town’s food, and within moments the effects had begun. Shorty after, they arrived, to reap their reward and dispose of those villagers who showed signs of resistance.

About our Relationship with Blacktongue
It appears lines are divided within the party regarding our current situation.
Some, such as our goliath and elf, are clouded by promises of riches and fame. Others, like as our tiefling and eladrin, are consumed with bitter hatred. As for myself, I know my faith as well as my limits. I must learn the devil’s dance before I can foil his step. May his Lord guide us.

Our sins committed, we were free to leave. The promises of riches however was too alluring for some of our resource-minded team. The request to slay an evil witch, well some measure of redemption was better than none! Slaying evil at the behest of evil – oh if fat Friar Feargus was here to debate that topic!

Once again we had to leave the residents of Winterhaven with hope Avandra would shine fortune their way. If we were ever to free them, we would need to find the right opportunity – we may need some of that fortune ourselves!

About the Mysterious Powder
As one of faith, I am horrified as the effects of this unknown drug.
As a man of science, I am amazed.
Just what is this substance?

Adventure 04 - Session 03
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 1

Honor, Justice, Righteousness, Nobility. Those are the precepts of my faith. And I have failed them all.

I last penned of druids and turtles and disgusting swamps, and that tale is weeks in the past. We left the swamp, bearing gifts from Ranme to help us cleanse the Raven Roost. We arrived back in Harkenwold, to see once again the town had been attacked. The Inn of the Slumbering Serpent had been targeted, and hideous creatures had dragged poor Ollwyn into the night!

We vowed to his wife Belba that she would not be a widow this eve, and mounting phantom steeds chased after the creatures and their captive vintner.

Our magical mounts covered ground quickly, and soon we were upon our quarry – a pack of ravenous ghouls… lead by Priest Abramo! Steel, spell, and arrow challenged venomous claw and tooth, while the priests tested skills of divine grace. More than once paralyzing toxins ravaged our bodies, most noticibly poor Jub-Jub, who seemed to get the worst of it.

In the end however, Abramo and his beast pack were felled and by good Bahamut’s grace Ollwyn brought home to recover.

A Belated Prayer for Priests Abramo and Misha
Unfortunate souls!
May you be judged fairly and with even hand
As you meet eternal rest beyond

We spent the shortest time possible in Harkenwold, first to ensure that Abramo was safe (there was a rather nasty mob of villagers wanting possession of him – some rather suspicious if you ask me), and then to update the Baron on our situation. Finally our group was in dire need of rest, which we took at the Slumbering Serpent.

In the morning it was noticiable that something had unnerved Jub-Jub over the course of the evening. He informed us that his missing love Kat, the reason we came to this dreary locale, visited him in the evening. She warned him to leave, then attacked bearing fangs. He believes she is now a vampire – things did not look promising.

They still do not.

In the morning we rode North, on normal mounts, to the base of the Raven Roost. A squarish complex, obvious of military origin; I’ve seen plenty similar in D’jed Thymar and the surrounding lands. What was new and peculiar though, was the thorny briar-like growth which surrounded the complex, including the front doors.

Ranme had warned us of this – ‘Daggerthorn’ I believe he called it, and not native to the realm. Luckily we had in our possession a concoction from the ‘mad’ druid which would weaken and wither the plant, at least temporarily. We decided on a direct attack, through the front doors in the light of day. If vampires were to blame this could be our best chance.

We were wrong.

Inside, we suprised a sorcerous man behind a desk, who had apparently expected someone – just not us. He was not alone however, a pair of wicked zombies came from shadowed corners to assist in delaying our intrusion. As we battled, we noticed corpses crawling out from drainage grates within the complex. A slow steady stream of shambling undead made way towards us as we fought against mage and his fearsome bodyguards.

The sorcerer moved to higher ground, transforming into a misty cloud and floating to the balcony above. We had seen this trick before, while investigating the whereabouts of the local Tanner, whom we also believe to be a vampire. Scales might how many vampires are there in this infested area?!

I may never know the answer – for then… HE appeared…

The wizard fell; by arrow or blade I cannot remember. But shortly after our tiefling screamed, an arrow launched, and then – bats… Countless bats, screaching flapping wings everywhere!

Bats around us, around the zombies (who had unanimously and mysteriously stopped their assault), around the whole room, all combining to form a figure!

It was a man, of average height and weight, neatly dressed, with short blond hair. He was clean-shaven, except for a small patch between lip and chin. His eyes, one blue one brown, and blackened tongue were the only noticable physical flaws. Until we saw the fangs…

THIS was the leader of the nest. Lord Blacktongue, as he introduced himself. He spoke in a style and manner of a lord, or someone accustomed to the rules of nobility. From where, none of us could guess.

Behind his genial facade however, was an aura of death, and power, and misery. He radiated it, and now I know firsthand what my teacher-priests could only reference in tomes and texts.


Adventure 04 - Session 02
When Harriet Met Jub-Jub...
If there is one thing I have learned in my short time with our company, it is that Adventuring is a Dirty Business…

About Mysterio
Our warlock’s business is as much a mystery as his name, whatever that may be. I admit I know little about his kind and far less of profession, and has he his way I never will. I suspect he has dealings with infernal creatures; now a homunculus-like imp perches atop his shoulder like some mocking gargoyle… dragon’s beard what have I gotten myself into?!

We continued South, through Harken Wood. Over soiling mud through thrashing brush we went, in search of this ‘Ranme the Hermit’ (or ‘Ranme the Mad’ – depending on whom you are speaking with).

To say that ‘we’ found ‘him’ might be a bit stretching, although certainly we were aware of the beasts of the wood which tailed and flanked us through our search. Even now I’m unsure what my final assessment is of the man, although I will say in his favor that he was able to cure our goliath of his diminutive situation in addition to providing us assistance.

In fact if it wasn’t for Harriet, I would say I was quite fond of the fellow…

Ah Harriet… The one item Ranme ‘forgot’ to mention. One would think a monstrous turtle with a temper for trespassers would be an important fact to include when sending one on a mission.

Perhaps in the long run it is a lesson for us to learn about reconnaissance and preparation. I must say I would very much to have liked to see Jub-Jub successfully calm that reptilian beast!

“In the end the old man did not even need the reagents he sent us for; they were just part of his evening meal…”

Heading back, we once again found tragedy in Harkenwold; several building were ablaze – including the good Inn of the Slumbering Serpent! While we found Belba alive, Ollwyn was apparently taken in the night by several fiendish creatures… ghouls by the description. A hag’s beard, more ghouls?!

Deciding to pursue, we headed North – riding nightmarish steeds produced by our warlock. North, in the direction of the Raven Roost, the location indicated by Ranme as the source of the taint which has cursed the barony. Sehanine was with us that evening, and by moonlight we caught up to the creatures, galloping ahead of us on all fours. At the head of the pack was a mysterious robed figure, whom we found to be Priest Abramo!

The creatures halted as our party bore towards them, and Jub-Jub launched the first volley whilst standing atop his steed. Fearless, the creatures advanced, raking claws grasping at both horse and man. It would be a lie to say that each of us did not feel the numbing sting of ghoulish claw.

About Ghouls
Woe to anyone who must stand unarmed before a ghoul. Both strong and fast, they are excellent climbers and fearless. But it is their touch which is most deadly; a single scrape from a ghoul’s finger can leave you immobilized…

How we survived that ordeal is a mixture of Avandra’s grace and Bahamut’s wing! (And if I might add, a bit of draconic healing…) Even I felt a moment of despair when Abramo banished our warlock, effectively removing him from the latter half of combat. Justice was meted however, as one-by-one Abramo and his fiendish minions were felled low. All praise Bahamut!

Tattered but alive, we now face a decision: do we forge ahead, battered and bruised, to the Raven Roost? Or do we turn back to replenish, knowing full well our actions may create dire repercussions for the residents of Harkenwold…

Adventure 04 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 2
By skin and scale the six of us barely escaped that foulborn swamp!

A solemn song and prayer to those we had to leave behind, bound in servitude within that marshy bog:

“O’ Platinum Scales
Rest your shielding wing
Round those your humble servant could not save
And offer strength to be brave
Against unknown pain and suffering-”

We had all made a promise to our tiefling friend, and it was my our duty to see it done. Something to do with arrows and werewolves or something… he didn’t elaborate quite clearly but I’m pretty sure this was not to be a compensatory assignment.

“The inability to save those poor souls has plauged me with no small amount grief. Once our current business is concluded, I may in fact pay the libraries of Fallcrest University a visit to find out what denizens lurk within that cursed glade”

Anyway the six of us set out, making headway Southeast from Fallcrest to Harkenwold, travelling along a rather unused road. In two day’s time we reached the tiefling’s Barony; by far the most queer and unsettling village I’ve yet to visit in my tenure…

I will not delve into the unlimited reasoning as to why I found this place so queer and so unsettling, however I will share just some tidbits and events to properly catalog our journey while advancing our story:

Ten Reasons Not to Visit Harkenwold
  1. There’s a slight but perpetual fog surrounding the area
  2. Except for frogs, worms and ravens, there’s little if any natural wildlife
  3. A vicious collection of wolves, dogs, and a giant centipede attacked us
  4. The local blacksmith is quite insane, and attacked without provocation
  5. A house burned in the middle of town and no one can offer answers
  6. Residents who frequent the local Inn just sit and stare in silence
  7. A pair of unknown elves are seen wandering around, unapproachable
  8. Bodies are mysteriously exhumed from the local graveyard
  9. Villagers are said to disappear for weeks at a time
  10. There’s no temple to Bahamut (the worst offense of all!)

Working for the village regent, Baron Stockmer, we investigated the local oddities on his (and our non-compensatory tiefling’s) behalf. Our trail finally became heated with the dragon’s fire, as we discovered the local priests were involved in the kidnapping of at least one lass! Unfortunately before we could interrogate the pair properly, one was killed while in jail while the other presumably escaped!

Both myself and our eladrin friend were most dissatisfied with the level of security offered by the town officials, and his words to them, although base, echoed my silent sentiments and ire.

We now head South, at the behest of the mysterious elves who only recently unveiled themselves as allies of Stockmer. We head deep into the woods, to find a lone hermit named Ranme, who may be able to shine light on this ever-twisting puzzle…

About Jub-Jub
I’m uncertain what bonds Harkenwold to our tiefling friend; surely a man of his talents could find better places to put his services to use. From the few stories he’s shared I’ve conjectured that he may find some solace in being close to the mountain caves from which he first emerged after years of orphaned solitude within the Thunderspire Mountains… Or that there’s something within those endless caves which he still desires…

Adventure 03 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 1

It appears the task of chronicling our journey has fallen unto me, Mushi Stormscale, Initiate of the Bronze Flame. As these papers are in such shoddy disarray, I feel it best to recap some major points and advance our story quickly to the current state of affairs:

Although paper and quill were unceremoniously thrust into my lap (by those who shall remain nameless…), in hindsight I find myself the most qualified among my colleagues to adequately (and with a level of literacy) account for our brave and adventurous tales.

Summary to Date

Our adventuring party, whom to this point have been undecided on a name, had just disrupted an evil ritual aimed to release an ancient Wyrm (curse their lot!). With Bahamut’s protecting grace we dispatched the forces of evil, however I fear that dreaded Keep will forever be a damned place.

If only the party would accept my offers to name our adventuring team. I’m positive they would be most appreciative of the prestigious titles I could conjure. Just the other day I came up with, “The Stormscale Protectors”, and “Mushi and his the Fearless Five”.

Our team now measures six, after rescuing a shifter who until recent was associated with a less-skilled and more-unfortunate party. The whereabouts of our eladrin friend remain in question, although I we suspect his body may be still within the overtaken town of Winterhaven. The residents of said town have fled South, where they seek refuge within the city of Fallcrest.

About Karok~
This shifter fellow… no one seems to know much about him. It’s evident he has a measure of skill in combat. Unfortunately he seems prisoner to some cursed artifact, a stoppered bottle which randomly traps and releases him.

We spent only the shortest time in Fallcrest refueling supplies. My years involved as an ambassador immediately sensed growing tensions between Lords Markelhay and Padraig. In addition to our desire to infiltrate Winterhaven, our tiefling has some sort of engagement or appointment, and is marking daily the passing of days. I’d be more interested had I not other pressing matters which required my attention…

Before leaving, I we managed to uncover information regarding a shipment headed to the warband controlling Winterhaven. We acquired a wagon and attempted to disguise ourselves to infiltrate the humanoid town.

Unfortunately, our plans did not go as expected, and we were forced to fight through hordes of hobgoblin guards. By sword and spell and Bahamut’s grace we pushed them back, and made our way to where we believed our mysterious warlock was to be found.

There we found him, his corpse still in suspended state save for being without clothes. My hunch was correct, and thankfully I had the insight to bring a ressurection scroll, acquired at no small cost from my good friend Highpriest Grundlemar.

Midway through the ritual, we encountered some of the elite warriors within the encampment, including their leader the masked hobgoblin Grimm. Our party intercepted them while I completed the restorative ritual, but Grimm’s forces were overpowering. We were captured!

Instead of keeping us prisoners (or worse) Grimm decided to have us escort other captured Dalesfolk south to an undisclosed location. It grieved me terribly to be helpless to save these poor souls, although I we managed to allow a few to escape. The rest we handed to an army of goblins dwelling in a swamp two days south of Winterhaven.

Quick (albeit foolish) actions on our eladrin’s part saved us; causing a diversion between the two parties and allowing us escape. You would think a race with such prolonged lifespan would appreciate the value of living – however his interest in his fiendish art is proof enough (to me) of his instability.

Racing quickly, we escaped capture by both the hobgoblin slavers and the swamp goblin army. Eventually we made it back to Fallcrest, the six of us, alive and well… Bahamut be praised!

Adventure 02 - Session 15
Showdown with Kalarel

The party, bloodied and weary from combat, still had one final task ahead of them. They must descend down the blood-slicked chains to face the ritual in progress, and stop the restoration of the dragon Shadraxil to the mortal realm.

One by one they began their descent, moving as quietly as possible. The floor beneath the chains were thick with pooled blood, unfortunate victims from the proceeding above. The room was spacious; against the western wall was another raised altar prefaced by a wide staircase. To the north, a small humanoid army watched a robed human, drenched in sweat. The man possessed an aura of foul power, and his voice droned the deafening words of the ritual heard throughout the keep. To the west, unseen voices lent their support and strength to the drenched priest.

Behind the army and behind the priest and over the blood-stained floor hovered a sickening sight: a stone-wreathed portal, spinning and twisting, its center as black as ink. Within the blackness, tentacles and clawed hands pushed inward, attempting to spill out from the other side.

Without haste, the party launched into combat. Mushi calculated that the ritual’s completion was close at hand, and no effort should be spared!

The evil priest was not without preperation, for within the shadows lurked many minions. Several hobgoblins guarded Kalarel, ready to intercept any who came close. A shadowy wraith-like figure appeared from the shadows. Most disturbing however, was the discovery of a half-score of goblin shamans, working feverishly with Kalarel to complete the portal!

Killjoy charged the hobgoblins standing one against many while Jub-Jub and Mushi unleashed wave after wave of spell and arrow. Felicity moved to confront the shadowy wraith, uncertain of it’s power. Meanwhile the priest and shamans continued to chant…

Blow by blow, the forces of guards began to thin, allowing opportunities at the priest behind. Felicity managed a killing strike which left open ground between her and the goblins. Sprinting, she climbed the short stairs to the altar where they practiced their wicked ceremony. One by one she stabbed and sliced, killing each one in turn. But not before each managed to bring the ritual closer to completion…

Kalarel was now engaged, inter-mixing spell and chant in an attempt to keep the ritual alive. His involvement helped balance the scales, and soon the party was on the defensive, using spells and potions to remain alive!

In a brief moment of desperation, someone remembered the Hand of Torm statues and tossed theirs into the portal. At once the portal flared, almost angrily as the statue passed through it’s boundary. Reacting, the party members each began to throw theirs into the portal. Realizing the ritual was being undone, Kalarel reacted fiercely, pushing forward to keep the party on the defensive while continuing to mend his work.

Using the last of his reserves, Mushi cast down and blessed the unholy ground, causing both relief to his friends and pain to his foes. The scales once again tipped, and this time Kalarel was pressed on defense! As he backed away from the painful earth, he stepped too closely to the domain of the portal. Black tentacles reached out, en-wrapping the priest head to toe as they dragged him screaming into the inky portal. When the last of his body was through, the tentacles retreated back into their portal, which fell over with a thunderous crash!

Kalarel was defeated, the party victorious! Solemnly, the party said soft prayer for their fallen mysterious eladrin, who was not there to share in their joy. Suddenly, Felicity remembered the strange map left by Splug…. could there be something to this?

Adventure 02 - Session 14
A Surprise Guest

The party returns to Sir Keegan to seek respite within the Keep. The chanting sounds of the ritual below continue to echo throughout the ruins, and both Mushi and Sir Keegan are worried about how much time the party has left. Sir Keegan bestows his final gift, a divine boon which grants the party an accelerated rest. When the party leaves Keegan’s chamber, the door seals for its final time.

Fully armed, the party once again decends to the lower depths of the Keep, to the door next to where Karok was chained. Listening against the door, they barely discern some sort of ceremony taking place in the room beyond. They enter, and across a large room they see a priestly figure behind a stone altar, knife in hand. The altar is smeared with blood, atop which lays a chained helpless figure. Between the party and the ceremony, a large pit opens into blackness. Four chains descend from the ceiling into the pit; blood from prior sacrifices have made their way to coat the chain with a wet, sticky coating.

Felicity peers past the ceremonial altar, and picks up additional figures huddled in the darkness. Shadowy creatures, goblin sized, stand silently on either side of the priest. To the side, two men and a female stand by, apparent guests to the horrid spectacle. Jub-Jub sees them as well, and locks eyes with the blonde female. ‘Kat Kip from Harkenwold?’ ‘What’s she doing here?!’

Before questions can be answered one of the men, a fur-chested human, spots the party. He snarls and advances, transforming into a bestial creature. His counterparts, including Kat Kip, disperse into misty forms and leave the scene immediately. As the beast and the shadows move in, yips and barks announce additional guests in the chamber – a kobold shaman with a contingent of soldiers!

The two teams advanced, both wary of the central pit. Mushi confronted the priest in a battle of divine mettle, while Killjoy intercepts the beastman and several kobolds. Jub-Jub and Karock move into open range, to better loose their volleys. Felicity positions herself around a corner for a stealthy maneuver, only to find that the shadowy creatures can in-fact traverse through solid wall!

Karock was downed early, imprisoned within a small magical vessel hurled by the priest. Meanwhile Killjoy was backed into a corner by the advancing beastman and his kobold allies. Felicity was faring only a tad better; luckily she had remembered a small vial of oil she purchased in Fallcrest which assisted in attacking insubstantial creatures. Daggers coated, she nimbly danced between the shadows scoring hits where possible.

Mushi issued a command word, backed by the power of his god, and helplessly the priest was forced to comply. Running, the priest hurled himself into the pit, descending into darkness. Mushi himself met a similar fate however, as later in the combat a force spell from the kobold shaman knocked the dragonborn over the edge.

With the enemy priest removed from combat, the party found renewed vigor. Jub-Jub launched arrow after arrow, dispatching the kobold shaman and many of his soldiers. Felicity’s oil-enchanted daggers found their target more often than not, and dispatched the shadowy figures back to the netherworld. Even the beastman’s ferocity began to wane under the constant press of Killjoy’s war axe. Seeing there was no victory to be had, the beastman managed a hasty escape through the entranceway. Only the chanting, which was coming directly from the pit below, prevented the party from pursuing.

As the party was dispatching the remaining enemies, a blood-soaked chain within the pit twitched. Peering below, they saw Mushi climbing his way out of the darkness! With a helping hand the party assists the cleric, who is ashen-faced and distraught.

‘Gentlemen, and Lady’ he said, in his deep barotone voice. ‘The unspeakable happens below as I speak!’

Adventure 02 - Session 13
A New Friend

After defeating the traps within the Statuary, the party took a short rest to prepare for the upcoming dangers. The chanting is ever present, and the party is acutely aware they must continue forward if they are to stop Kalarel.

The party continued South, through double doors in the Statuary alcove. Opening these doors presented a rotting smell, which brought on alert. The only light available was still the sun-rod the party possessed.

Entering cautiously, the party found this room to be sectioned off into corral-like corridors. From ahead, shambling figures were seen moving slowly towards the party. Zombies! Taking a defensive approach, the party moved towards a corner of the room and prepared for engagement. Suddenly two new combatants emerged; flapping amidst the zombies was a small, bat-like creature which looked surprisingly like a statuette. More sinister but equally concerning were the gaunt humanoids which came climbing across the walls; long claws digging deeply into the stone surface. Ghouls!

While Killjoy moved to intercept the zombie horde, Felicity and Jub-Jub battled the ghouls. Occasionally arrows would harrass the bat-like creature, which assaulted the party with it’s numbing gaze. Mushi offered healing prayers in between the grasping hands of the hungry zombies.

The ghoul’s infectious toxins began to take their toll, and the party suffered many wounds. Just as the ghouls were being destroyed, the party noticed more zombies filtering in, a mass of ravenous mouths and hands. The flapping statue was also active, fluttering in and out of sight to make its devious attacks. The party’s only option it seemed was to fall back to safety.

Moving North, the party re-entered the Statuary, with zombies still chasing them. Here in the open, the standing party members used speed to their advantage, and fired round after round into their undead bodies. Apparently sensing defeat, the statuette flapped off piping, ‘Kalarel Kalarel!’. Eventually brains defeated brawn, and the party quickly tended to the fallen.

Back on their feet, the party re-entered the rotting chamber. Besides the multitude of destroyed corpses, they found two things of interest. One was a burrow, about 2 feet wide. The other was a pair of shackled captives, unconscious but safe behind gated bars. The locks on the bars and shackles were simple to pick, however inspection of the bodies by Mushi determined that they were both on the brink of death, and only one could be saved in time.

Jub-Jub inspected the pair, attempting to quickly find a reason to save one over the other. Both captives were stripped naked, and neither appeared to be older than forty Summers. One captive, a male gnome, has many tattoos across his body. Some of them were symbols to dark lords and devils, particularly Asmodeous. The other, a furred shifter, had no such markings. The decision was made, and as Mushi applied his healing skills, the unknown gnome passed away.

The Shifter, surprised at his rescue, informed the party he is Karok, hired as part of a team by Amara Azaer to recover the stolen caravan. This second party also managed to find the caravan tracks, but went straight to the Keep instead of stopping in Winterhaven. There, they were captured and shackled. Most of Karok’s party were taken into the next room; Karok feared they have all been killed. His last ally was the dead gnome captive.

Down one member, the party offered Karok a temporary alliance, which he accepted. Desperately needing rest, the party heads back to the safest place they can think of, the chamber of Sir Keegan.

Adventure 02 - Session 12
It's a Trap!

Still in the bowels of the Keep, the party heads South, past the mess hall and once again into the darkness…

The pass a wall, one which Felicity Fingers believed to have a secret door, although no one could determine how to open it. The party made note of the observance and moved on.

Further South, the party entered an immense room, bare of any furnishings except several statues. The central and most imposing one was of a giant, sword brandished and an wicked smile on his face. In two far corners sat statues of some sort of dragon, their mouths agape in a frozen hiss. A double door was visible in a southern alcove, where four cherub statues stood on pedestals facing each other.

The party quickly learned the cruel design of this room; Killjoy became trapped inside the alcove by a magic barrier, while a watery substance began pouring from the cherubs’ mouth and eyes!

Noticing the danger their pint size friend was in, the party moved towards the alcove, only to be intercepted by the giant; the entire statue spun round, its stone sword swooping through most of the room. The dragon statues also activated, and blasted fiery death upon any who came near. Faced with three dangers, the party had to act quickly if they were going to save their goliath ally!

The cherubs continued filling the alcove, and soon the levels were so high Killjoy was forced to swim for life! Meanwhile, the rest of the team was attempting to disarm the attacking statues to no avail; more than one of them wished for Mysterio’s knowledge of the arts Arcana to help solve this puzzle.

Finally in desperation, Mushi scales atop the giant statue, avoiding his sweeping strikes. He begins to attack the statue from above, hammering with spell and spear. Following suit, Felicity joins him and the two begin to chip away. Jub-Jub decides to attack the dragon statues, and unleashed arrow after arrown into their stone forms.

Chip by chip, the statues begin to crumble; eventually toppling into heaps of rubble. When the last statue falls, the barrier to the alcove drops, spilling out Killjoy.


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