Swirling Doom!

The Return to Winterhaven, and Breaching the Keep, Part One

After Verro and Gotrek finished decapitating the fallen corpse of Irontooth, and following a short rest, our heroes left the Kobold lair and headed back to Winterhaven. Shortly after entering the town the party were met warmly by Lord Padraig; his attention instantly drawn by the bloody, ramskull-tattooed head dangling by its hair from Verro’s clutches. Expressing his deeply felt gratitude on behalf of himself and the town, Padraig paid the adventurers what little gold the community could afford to spare. The party revealed the note they had found, indicating there may be a spy in Winterhaven working for someone with sinister intentions.

It was shortly after this meet that our fearless warriors realised the town had changed somehow. There was no market, yet it was market day. The streets were bare. Spotting Rond Kelfem, Captain of the Winterhaven guard, the group decided to investigate the matter. When enquiring as to what was going on, the party was barked away in frustration. “Can’t you see I’m busy? We’re drilling here!” Our heroes apologised and moved on, confused and sheepish.

At a loose end, our brigade of glory-seekers went to the one place they knew they could find an answer to their problems: The pub. In Wrafton’s the party ascertained that some kind of gloom had fallen upon the town and that Eilian the Old, as well as other townsfolk, had had strange dreams about doors opening into darkness. What could this possibly mean?

Valthrun elaborated some information on the abandoned keep located to the northwest of the town. He explained how it was built in ages past to keep guard over a rift to the shadowfell, and that its final master, Lord Keegan, fell into a madness in which he slew his family and many of his guard. After a long and gruelling conflict with the master-swordsman, Keegan’s own garrison eventually managed to force him back into the deepest cellars of the keep, the last he was heard or seen of again. According to rumour, great wealth and treasure lie buried deep within the ancient stronghold…

Believing this legend as well as the recovered note may somehow be related to the current chill that had descended upon Winterhaven, the group decided to head for the keep. Despite our heroes’ deepest insistence, Lord Padraig would hear nothing of the possibility of a spy in Winterhaven, or that anyone should be involved in any unusual activity, particularly relating to a prince of undeath. The party finally readied to leave, and were seen off by the people of Winterhaven, wishing them well on their quest. Delphina Moongem warned the party to beware of goblins that inhabit the keep, while Ninaren the elven ranger sarcastically waved them goodbye.

Following a day’s hard march the warriors reach the outskirts of the keep and, with a wise word from Jin, decide to set up camp. When Myst expresses his eagerness to crush some goblin skulls Blaze cheerily remarks “Why, did goblins kill your family?” to which Myst looks forlornly into the distance, mortifying the hapless warrior. While the Dwarven brothers say their goodnight prayers to Moradin and Jin spends some time rigging an alarm trap at the entrance to the keep, Verro watches lazily as Blaze tries to climb a tree, still in his scale armour, and rig a hammock, which proceeds to break and send him hurtling to the ground, bruising a little more than his pride.

Awakening bright and early the next morning, the band readied their things to enter the ruins. Jin, cautiously sneaking ahead, thought her carefully rigged alarm trap may have been disturbed in the night. But she couldn’t be sure what lurked below…

Entering a small room with four pillars, Jin spotted a lone goblin, apparently keeping a poor watch. There was goblin chatter to be heard in adjacent rooms, which Myst discerned to be an argument over possession. Jin snuck ahead, dagger at the ready, preparing to take out the unwary green creature. When she reached halfway across one side of the room, Jin heard a loud clattering sound from the entrance way, like a tumbling steel bear. Blaze could wait no longer. Hoping that his luck might have changed for the better, he charged across the room, letting roar an intimidating war-cry: “STEALTH!!!” The enormous fighter was almost upon the terrified critter when suddenly the goblin gave a wicked smirk, and the ground beneath Blaze opened up, sending him crashing to the ground for the second time, although in this incidence he was met by a swarm of bloodthirsty rats. The rest of the party quickly mobilised, but struggled to navigate the narrow pathway around the hole. Verro let fly his illusory onslaught while the dwarves ran forward. In his eagerness to carry out the will of Moradin, Gotrek missed a javelin that flew past his very eyes, but quickly caught sight of the goblin thrower and charged forward to unleash divine devastation. More goblins joined the fray while Jin closed on the front line, sneakily backstabbing and slyly flourishing. Blaze managed to clamber out of the pit, but a number of the rats had managed to crawl and gnaw their way beneath his armour. Forced back by the might of Jin and Blaze and cut off by Verro’s psychic force, the goblins were driven to the back of the chamber where their numbers were reduced to two. While attempting to flee, one was met by the quick steel of Blaze and Durgen, while the other had his mind crushed by Verro’s destructive mind-tricks. The party were victorious. They rested briefly, and continued on their delve…

Comments

This is fantastic, I’m eagerly awaiting Part Two.

CEDEOTE

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