Shards of Crystal

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 11)
Corridors of the Cube

As the party entered the curiously clean area of the keep they made sure to check all of the alcoves to make sure nothing was lurking there waiting to ambush them. Unfortunately what was lurking in one of these alcoves was a dreaded gelatinous cube. Unknowing, the party turned their back to the voracious cube and moved to the south where they could see a larger room. Seeley was nominated to inspect the alcoves further to determine if there were any secret passageways, and she headed back as the rest of the party moved forward. Seeley walked straight into the cube as it slowly advanced towards the party, and then she found herself quickly engulfed by the creature.

The party quickly turned back to help their scout but as they turned their attention to the cube a pair of rotted corpses started to make their way from the southern room towards the party. Del and Shale held the undead monsters at bay while Kamal, Rozca, and Slate first pulled Seeley from the cube and then fought the monster back. The cube seemed nonplussed by the adventurers and was determined to get a meal. Del channeled the power of the Raven Queen and pushed the undead back into the room to the south. For what seemed like hours the party fought on two fronts until finally the cube and the undead were put down.

After the party collected themselves they found a pair of small sarcophagi, carved in the style of the Nerath Kingdom. On the tombs they found the names “Drystan Keegan” and “Ceinwein Keegan”, and determined that these had been the final resting place of Sir Keegan’s two children and that the power of portal below had corrupted their remains and turned them into the undead. Del noted that the spirits of the children were now at rest, and Rozca found a small chest with the likeness of Bahamut carved onto it. Inside the chest was the moldering clothes of a young boy and girl along with a small gold medallion (250gp) with the boy’s name carved into the back, a thin platinum bracelet (200gp) with the girl’s name etched into it. Also they found several toys and a hairbrush with a mother-of-pearl handle (5gp), and an amulet which Kamal identified as being a Safewing Amulet +1.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 10)
Hobnails and Wreaths

The party quickly hid themselves and the hobgoblin reinforcements arrived. As the party spied on the hobgoblins they could see that that there were many more of them than had been in the guardrooms and they were led by a hobgoblin in robes.

Despite their best efforts the party were spotted by the hobgoblin patrol and found themselves in the thick of battle. Kamal and Seeley managed to bottleneck the hobgoblins with a flurry of magic and a covering volley of arrows, which prevented the hobgoblins from using their superior numbers before the adventurers had a chance to thin their ranks. As the hobgoblins pressed forward they found a veritable wall of steel and magic before them that they could not overcome. Soon the hobgoblins lay on the floor and Rozca joked that the party could now celebrate “Tiefling Christmas”.

The hobgoblins defeated, the party continued further into the keep. Kamal and Del used their training in the Arcane to sense any sources of magic that might be nearby but they could not sense anything. So the decision was made to follow the corridors to the west where Seeley noted there was more dust on the floor than in other parts of the keep. The group came to a closed door and as they opened it, Seeley noticed that the area behind the door was strangely lacking in dust…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 9)
Enter the Bloodreavers

With the party rested they headed back to the maze of corridors that were warded by the Cult of Orcus. After examining the runes the party chose to use Kamal’s ritual of Tenser’s Floating Disk to float above the runes. Shortly afterwards the party found a secret chamber which concealed hidden armory. Unfortunately the armory contained more zombies which the party dispatched quickly. In the armory they found a set of old armor that was guarded by a riddle. Kamal quickly answered the riddle and claimed the suit of scale mail for the party.

The party then found themselves traveling deeper into the keep. A series of twisting staircases leading them further underground. In the lighted chamber at the bottom of the stairs they found a group of hobgoblins keeping guard. As the hobgoblin soldiers moved to attack the party and keep them bottled in the stairwell, a pair of hobgoblin thugs went to release a deathjump spider. Soon the spider was free and the party faced a disciplined foe with the pouncing attacks of the spider. As the fight turned in the party’s favor one of the soldiers tried to flee, but was cut down. However the party could hear the sounds of hobnail boots in the distance…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 8)
Darkness conceals more than evil.

The party began exploring the southern tunnels and quickly found that the area was littered with small pit traps, apparently dug by the goblins who had been excavating the area. As they explored they found that the tunnel walls were riddled with smaller passageways. Too small for any of the party to fit in comfortably, but large enough that the goblins could have made them. The area also seemed to have a strong musky scent, which Seeley identified being like the scents of reptiles and insects. An unnerving clacking sound could be heard coming out of the darkness and a small band of kruthik attacked the party. The band made up of one adult, several young, and about a half-dozen hatchlings quickly surrounded the party. With their backs to the tunnel walls the party fought off the kruthiks until all of the beasts were destroyed. Afterwards they found that there was a small partially collapsed tunnel at the south of the complex where the kruthiks must have entered the area of the keep. Based on the tunnels and the number of hatchlings, Seeley estimated that the beasts had only recently found their way to the keep. In a pile near the adult’s nest they found a collection of gold and silver coins, and on the body of a goblin in one of the pits they found two Potions of Healing.

Heading back north towards the excavation site the party returned to the barred door. Behind the door they found the keep’s cistern, which had become fouled. After a few moments a blue jelly attacked the party from beneath the murky depths. Tired from their previous encounter with the kruthik the party fought the beast and finally managed to slay it, but not before Del, Rozca, and Slatehad been knocked unconscious. Fortunately Kamal and Seeley were able to revive Del who then stabilized the other two. Bruised and weary the party decided to close the door and rest in the room. While camping in the cistern they found some more coins, a Potion of Healing, a Shield of Protection, and a message cylinder.

The message cylinder contained a map of the area around the keep, and two messages:

Remember, don’t wet the nodule—unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach.

Greetings, Kalarel. I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.

Krand, Chief of the Bloodreavers.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 7)
Even in death, dishonor is a heavy burden.

Seeley entered the room first and could see that the tomb may have once been splendid now lay in a state of abnormal decay. The walls of the tomb were covered in murals depicting knights in ancient livery fighting against orcish hordes. Traces of platinum leaf could still be seen, however most of it had flaked and been corrupted by whatever dark force was tainting the tomb.

As the party searched the room, they inspected the coffin at its heart. As Rozca touched the stone lid it slid open and an armored skeleton rose from inside and placing its bony hand on the hilt of a magnificent sword declared, “The rift must never be reopened!” it croaks. “State your intentions, or prepare to die!”

The party parleyed with Sir Keegan, Knight of the Dragon and discovered the truth behind the stories told about the Keep and the fell deeds that happened a century ago. The party convinced the fallen knight that they had the skills and resolve to see the rift to the Shadowfell closed. To aid them he let them know that the small statues of Bahamut that they found carried the Platinum Dragon’s blessing and may help them defeat the darkness, and he asked that they take his sword Aecris with them so that it might be redeemed. He also let them know that the rift, and the evil that was trying to open it was still some distance below the keep and with that the knight disappeared.

The party collected the sword and went to explore a series of rough hewn stone steps that led from where the goblins here excavating down to a natural cavern. Here they found only rats and an ochre jelly. Seeley noted that there were fewer goblin tracks in the caves than she had seen elsewhere. After destroying the jelly the part found a door that had been barricaded and a sign scratched into the door that read “Stay Out. Really.”, and a tunnel that led to to the south. The party decided to leave the door (for now) and explore the tunnel…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 6 )
The Restless Dead stir...

After a brief discussion on the stairs the party decided to head towards the area where Splug said that “Dead things walk”. So the party headed west into the dusty ruins. Seeley found that the area had a mix of goblin and hobgoblin tracks, with hobgoblins being in the majority. The party came to an area with some corridors and found evil ruins carved into the floor. Warding rune Del and Kamal determined that the ruins were some kind ward designed to prevent intruders from passing by them without suffering damage and creating a terrifying wailing sound. Before the party could investigate further they were attacked by shambling zombies who worked to surround the party. After a pitched battle the zombies were no more and an unsettling silence settled on the passageways. During the battle Splug fled back into the keep leaving the party to fight the undead horde.

After the first failed attempt to bypass the runes on the floor, the party chooses to follow the southern corridor where they found a crypt. Ten massive stone sarcophagi, five on each wall, lined this crypt. The sarcophagi were made from granite, with carved images of human warriors in plate armor. Sensing that another trap lay in wait for them, Seeley and Rozca moved cautiously forward to scout the area ahead. After the pair had reached the middle of the hallway skeleton warriors sprang from their resting place and attacked the party. The skeletons, animated by some power seemed to return again even after being struck down. With some effort the party silenced the skeletons and once more pressed further into the crypt. They entered a small shrine, dedicated to Bahamut, and found several small dragon statuettes made of platinum. Beyond the shrine stood a pair of massive stone doors leading to the main part of the crypt and the tomb of a fallen warrior…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 5 )
" name is Splug. I can help you!"

The party headed north in pursuit of the wounded goblin warrior. They came to a small room with three doors; one that led to a storeroom, one that led to the sounds of raised voices, and the last that led to the quiet sounds of dice being rolled and the clink of coins. The group chose to follow the sounds of coins, and came upon a pair of goblins quietly gambling with a small pile of silver.

Slate charged around the corner and upended the table sending it crashing into the two goblins and knocking to them to the floor. Soon the rest of the party had joined them but quickly found the room filling with goblins. The party held their ground as goblins continued to fill the room and a larger goblin with a crossbow entered and started barking orders to the rest of his fellows. However the goblins were no match for the party and were rapidly cut down. The leader goblin shrieked for help and started to run when a hobgoblin (the source of the raised voices) entered the room with a flaming hot poker. He led a small band of goblins who rushed the party from behind, where Kamal took the brunt of their attacks. The party met the new fight although it took their remaining strength to do so. Thunder rolled, arrows flew, blades sliced and cut and heads cracked under the morningstar’s might until all the goblins including the leader and hobgoblin were dead. Searching the goblins the party found that the hobgoblin wore magical hide armor and the goblin leader had a large stash of gold coins and a magic wand.

They party investigated the room where the hobgoblin came from and found a goblin prisoner named Splug. After some debate it was decided to keep the goblin along (as long as he remained useful) and that it would be Kamal’s job to watch him. Splug told the party that there were more hobgoblins to the west, a room where the goblins were digging for treasure to the East and dark places to the south where something lurked that “eats everything, goblins, hobgoblins, rats….everything.”

They went to the room where the goblins where digging and found some goblins and guard drakes. The goblins threw vials that exploded in fire while the guard drakes tried to chew on Shale and Slate. The party was hard pressed but finally cleared the room and found an old holy symbol dedicated to Bahamut. They rested and then headed down a set of rough stairs that led downward.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 4)

After discussing the aftermath of their battle with Irontooth the party returned to Winterhaven to stock up on supplies and find out more about the ruined keep in the distance. Kamal, Rozca, and Seeley went to go speak with the town’s resident wizard. Valthrun the Prescient the gave them a polite, if formal welcome and Kamal was invited back to Valthrun’s tower after the wizard had finished his studies for the day.

During that meeting Valthrun mentioned that his master Tavaglinni had come to Winterhaven because he had heard of a portal in the depths of the Keep that led to the Shadowfell. Tavaglinni had surmised that it was this portal which held the Keep’s true purpose and that the garrison stationed there by the Nerath Empire was done so to guard against the portal being used by fell powers to bring undead and other things through from the Shadowfell. Valthrun confessed that his master had not died, as local rumor tells it, but that he had disappeared one day taking his research with him. Valthrun does not know if his master was Tavaglinni of legend or if he was just a wizard who used the same name. In either case Valthrun has not heard from his former master in more than 20 years.

The party left Winterhaven at first light and made their way to the Keep. When they arrived the unnatural cold that has been creeping into the area seemed to worsen and the sky seemed a dull gray despite the the sun shining on the keep. The forest had not reclaimed the keep although it has been abandoned for nearly a century, and the party made their way to an area that had been cleared out and a staircase leading down.

Once entering the basement of the keep they ambushed some goblins and made short work of them, however one goblin managed to escape and ran off, presumably to bring back reinforcements…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 2 & 3)
Sometimes the hunter, becomes the prey.

The party arrived in Winterhaven and the villagers had no knowledge of any evil lurking in the woods nearby. The townsfolk seemed pleasant enough with the possible exception of the elven huntress Ninaran. Kamal met with Lord Padraig the ruler of the village who was happy to see the adventurers come to the village but was unaware of anything more sinister than kobold bandits in area surrounding the village. However Padraig did note that the kobolds had become more aggressive lately and offered a reward of 100gp to eliminate the kobolds from the area.

Lacking any better leads the party set out to track the kobolds based on the information given to them by Lord Padraig. They soon met another kobold ambush, which was dispatched quickly. Seeley was able to follow the kobold’s tracks to a waterfall where they discovered the kobolds had laired in a small cave behind the waterfall.

Forest Cliff Lair

During the fight with the kobolds guarding the waterfall the party discovered a stone circle that seemed to be connected with primal forces. Del and Kamal consulted briefly and determined that the kobolds had been using the circle, but had not created it. Whatever its origin the circle did not seem connected to the evil that Del had been warned about.

The party used the cover of the waterfall to quietly enter the cave, catching the remaining kobolds by surprise. The party eliminated many of the kobolds before they had a chance to react. However the party was then surprised to learn that the kobolds were being led by a goblin named Irontooth. Irontooth’s axes flashed in the dim light of the cave but his arrogance proved to be his undoing as he was no match for the party without the aid of his kobolds. In addition to the coins that the kobolds had been gambling for (12gp 48sp) the party found a small chest that contained a sizeable amount of gold coins (420gp) and a suit of magical Dwarven Chainmail.

Also in Irontooth’s belt pouch the party found a note addressed to the goblin:

My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.

- Kalarel
Keep on the Shadowfell (part 1)
A evil hidden for centuries begins to stir.

The party has returned to Fallcrest from the Coppernight mine for some well earned rest. Del informed the party that their rest would be a short one as they would be heading out a first light for Winterhaven, as she had received a vision from The Raven Queen that the undead had begun to stir there. The party agreed to head out to Winterhaven, after they had secured some provisions and completed their buisness in Fallcrest.

Seeley and Rozca talked with Teldorthan Ironhews and returned the green dragonhide that had been stolen (Sacked and Skinned). While there they found out that the dwarven armorer had planned to make a suit of armor with the dragonscale. Seeley asked that he send word to them when the armor was completed as they would be interested in buying the armor.

Kamal (Mirza Kalaq) had a brief meeting with Nimozaran, the High Septarch of Fallcrest, to discuss his findings in the Coppernight mine. Nimozaran was concerned about the letter that was found in Szartharrax’s lair. Kamal thought that the letter may be from another dragon near Winterhaven, however Nimozaran mentioned that Kalarel is not a draconic name and is spelled phonetically.

The party set out for Winterhaven and on the second day of their travels they were attacked by a group of kobold bandits. The bandits were dispatched quickly and the party continued on towards Winterhaven.


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