Keep on (truckin' to ) Shadowfell

2nd day

The party returns to Winterhaven, victorious. Lord Padraig gives them a hale and hearty welcome and pays them their 100 silv..no, it was 100 gold pieces. They purchased two healing potions and some cigars from Bilius’s Grand Shoppe. They questioned Ninaren the elf huntress, and hear tell of an explorer named Douven who came before them and has disappeared after exploring a dragon burial site to the south. Ninaren seemed reticent as always.
After purchasing a few rabbit skins, they called it a night and got up early to speak with Lord Padraig.

He knew nothing of the cult or Kalarel when shown the note, and referred them to Valthrun.
The name “Kalarel” meant nothing to those who had studied their history, but it sure sounded evil. Lord Padraig sounded on the up and up as far as his ignorance of all things death-cult.

They met with Valthrun. Valthrun revealed that he did in fact know some things about death cults, and while he couldn’t provide them with any solid information on Lord Orcus, or Kalarel in particular, he pointed them toward Shadowfell keep. Apparently the keep sits atop a rift to the Shadowfell, and were it to be opened, Very Bad Things would occur. Like every zombie movie ever plus Left For Dead 1 and 2 all put together Very Bad.

After two days travel, the group arrived at a ruined and blasted looking castle, and located a passageway down into the deeps below. Faeus “found” a pit trap, but was telekineted out quickly enough by Gezernit. A few goblins were killed off quickly, and one was hunted down before he could warn any others.

A second group of goblins was killed in a torture chamber, and a servile goblin named Splug joined the party, professing his undying loyalty, etc etc. Splug pointd them to Balgron’s chamber, and after the party fought through a group of minions, Balgron was smashed quickly indeed.

The party elected to camp uneasily in Balgron’s chamber before searching out the treasure room Splug keeps raving about.

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Day 3

Torloke got his dick bit off by a guard drake, after “scouting” the “treasure” room.

Yeah, that’s about the size of it. Splug betrayed the party to a group of goblin archers, and their guard drakes. Upon rushing into the room, which had been heavily excavated by goblin workers, Torloke was riddled by arrows from three archers. The guard drakes growled and raved down in the pit meanwhile. After taking a few hits from the archers, the party mowed them down from long range and then dispatched the drakes with a minimum of fuss… except poor Torloke who was nearly reduced to unconsciousness again.

The treasure was fairly worthless, only 22 gold pieces, but there was also some good quality Bloodweave armor, which the party unanimously voted to Torloke. Poor bastard wa at least lucky enough to find his cock, and it seems to have fitted back on alright… time will tell.

Next room proved to be rat-infested, but those were easily dispatched. An ochre jelly proved a little bit tougher, but it was handled well enough too. And no penises were harmed.

Further even still down the cave area, the group stumbled into a hive of kruthiks. The hathclings verily melted away before the combined firepower of Shal, Torloke, Io, and Gezernit.
The grownups had some trouble managing to bite anyone, (odd considering that’s pretty much what they live to do…)

A bit of treasure and a few healing potions were recovered, and camp was made for the night. Hopefully this end of the caverns will prove quiet…

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Day 4

Having rested uneasily overnight in the kruithik lair, our intrepid heroes set out to further explore the dungeons below Shadowfell Keep. Behind door number one… show us what lovely prizes we have for our adventurers, Vanna! That’s right! A monster!

A blue slime, to be exact, which was turned into blue mush soon enough. Amongst the remains of previous visitors to the blue slime’s lair, they found some messages referring to a deal with Kalarel, apparently carried by an emisarry from a group called The Bloodreavers. Probably a Wednesday night bowling league.

Back in the civilized portion of the dungeon, it was a zombie jamboree, followed by a skeleton shindig. Beyond ye olde skelton warriors lay the crypt of Sir Keegan.

when challenged by Sir Keegan, the group proved to be quite convincing in their intent to close this mysterious rift that seems to lie below Shadowfell Keep. Sir Keegan also gifted them with Aecris, his magic longsword, which is thus far the least un-suitable magic item they’ve recovered. He seemed poised to go on a long monologue about duty and honor and sacrifice, but Io and the rest were all “Yeah, yeah, old man, point the way to the rift and let us spend the night, huh?”

So they bedded down in Old Sir Keegan’s lair and rested up for the lower level of the Shadowfell dungeons!

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Day 5

Having passed the night listening to Sir Keegan’s ghost farting and snoring, our intrepid adventurers headed downward, ever downward…

No more goblins for these, our heroes! No! HOBgoblins are the order of the day!
And let me tell you, hobgoblins, though tough, proved no problem. The hobgoblin guards were unable to pull off a quality ambush, and melted away before the combined efforts of, well… everyone got their licks in this time out.

Speaking of everyone, a second Thri-kreen warrior tracked down our party, and joined forces with them… apparently she was after Shal for some as yet unspecified reason. Her services as a cleric proved invaluable, and no doubt once they take a breather, she will be invited to join up.

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Day 6

Our intrepid adventurers now number lucky number seven again, since Ari has returned from hunting down Splug the Lying Cheating Scum.
They were awakened mid-nap by a returning hobgoblin patrol, and that went kinda-sorta badly for Maggie, but she got out of the line of fire in time. And then hellfire & etc. etc. rained down upon the hobgoblins.

Naptime resumed, and everyone got their forty winks in this time.

They went down on the hallway, where they found a gelatinous cube. Good thing Shal went ahead to scout and was paying attention.

They located a couple of sarcophagi that evidently belonged to the Keegan children and awarded a amulet of I-can’t-remember-what (Safewing Amulet – +1 Fort Reflex and Will defenses; wearer falls slowly, lands on his/her feet after falling, and damage is reduced by 10 feet )to Maggie.

And there it lay because Ye DM was le tired and needed to take a nap before he fired ze missiles.

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Day 7

So, the final stretch! Our intrepid crew zipped right through a pack of zombies at the top of the stairs (the ghoul in charge of them was a little troublesome, but once his minions were gone…. poof!) and headed down into the Cathedral of Holy-Crap-That’s-A-Lot-Of-Blood.

Vampires! Not the sexy True Blood humping kind of vampires, but kinda yucky clawing type vamps. Accompanied by a couple berserkers, a Dark Creeper and a rather nasty UnderPriest or Orcus.
These fell easily enough before the might of our heroes, and they elected (wisely as it turned out) to use their own, nice dry ropes, to rappel down into the lower chamber, rather than sliding down the blood-slicked chains and risking a 50 foot fall.

And who do you think they found here? Why, none other than Kalarel himself, busily trying to open the rift to Lord Orcus’s realm in the Shadowfell.

Furious at being interrupted, Kalarel sicced his skeleton warriors and a Deathlock Wight on the heroes. Faeus and Torloke knew what to do about a caster though – get in his face and knock him down. With the wight occupied, the skeletons proved only a minor annoyance. However, Kalarel teleported into the middle of a glowing rune and rained destruction on all who came near.
A tough customer, he absorbed many hits and dodged even more, until our heroes ganged up on him – literally surrounding him and holding him down so that Shal and Faeus could beat him down.

The rift appears stable now, though dark claws are still attempting to swipe at anything coming near it. With any luck, no more death cult fanatics will find their way here to re-attempt what Kalarel so nearly achieved.

Next up… a victory feast at Winterhaven, followed by the continuing adventures, as told by Ashley

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