After freeing Winterhaven from the clutches of Kobold Fever, the girls themselves all came down with a case of actual fever, preventing them from leaving the inn for almost a month. Finally, on the eve of a performance by the Iron Maidens, who had made their way to the town after learning the way to Winterhaven had been cleared. It was huge event, with almost everyone in town in attendance. The Maidens debuted a new song they had crafted while staying in Winterhaven, “The Ballad of Sir Keaton“, a power ballad telling the story of the Keep’s last lord, and how one night he suddenly lost his mind slaughtering the keep’s inhabitants heedlessly. The song left the mad knight’s fate uncertain, whether he had been put down or whether his bloodthirsty form still stalked the corridors of the old keep. The Maiden’s also played “The Fall of Saruun Kell”, detailing some history of the Nentir Vale and Thunderspire Mountain.
Some time part way through the 2nd act, Whisper slipped out to wantder the streets. Bambi and Reaghan got into the spirit of the festivities, while Serma pragmatically sought out Valthrun before joining them. When she found him, Serma quite surprised. According to his research, it seemed that the old keep had been built not to guard against raiders, but to lay on a rift to the Shadowfell, and a dark reflection of the world. It just so happened the rift opened onto an unholy sanctuary of Orcus, the Demon Lord of the Undead. The then-mighty human Empire of Nerath defeated the undead that poured from rift, and then sealed it and built the keep over the rift to guard it. Since the incident with Sir Keaton however, the keep had been abandoned and had fallen into ruin. Common town knowledge indicated goblins laired in the ruins, but there had been no attacks by them.
After a night of feasting and drinking, all the girls awoke the next morning with hangovers. Over a breakfast of warm bread, greasy bacon, and eggs (no eggs for Serma), the quartet discussed their plan of action ow that they were no longer bed-ridden. Obviously, they would go to see what was going on at the keep. After suiting up, they struck out north. It took them a few hours to find the almost overgrown track. Curiously enough, the ruined keep and the clearing it was almost vegetation free (and completely silent.) A path had been cleared to center, where a staircase descended into the foundations of the once mighty bastion.
Finally gathering up the courage to enter, the girls made their down the stairs into a relatively clean and well lit foyer of sorts. Serma and Bambi crept down the staircase with nary a peep, while Whisper and Reaghan’s bickering over who would be next to the fighters in the marching order alerted the lone goblin sentry in foyer, causing him to make a rude gesture at them and miss with a javelin shot. Serma was understandably upset and charged headlong at the cheeky little monster, only to find the stones beneath her feet were in fact dirt covered canvas, hiding a pit of hungry rats. The others piled down the stairs, lobbing shots at the goblin as it’s friends joined the fray, hearing the sounds of combat from elsewhere in the complex. After the rats practically gnawed Serma to ribbons, she managed to scrabble out of the pit and help kill the goblins before they could do serious harm or go for help.
After resting, the girls split up, with Whisper and Reaghan exploring the guard room the goblins had all come from, while Serma chased after Bambi, who decided to wander aimless in another direction. The spellcasters found a door that gave them a curious feeling. Rather than investigate further without something hard and preferably dragon/elf-shaped to hide behind, they went ot find the others. Serma and Bambi in the meantime, had avoided some doors with blood stains between them in favor of searching for gay goblins in a supply closet. Finding none there, they soon joined in the closet by Whisper and Reaghan. After discussing their options, everyone decided to come out of the closet before something bad found them there.
After some arguements and Bambi dragging Serma halfway down one hall, the rest of the party convinced the elf to explore the spooky door with them, promising things to kill if she came along. Intrigued by this prospect, the guild picked it’s way back to the barred door. Heading down into the dank, dark catacombs, they were forced to make their way through the twisting passageways by the light of Reaghan’s staff. Finally, they encountered a set of ominous runes carved into the floor. Remembering some of her studies, Whisper was able to determine the rune were touch activated, and likely a possible trap left by the Death Cultists. After trying to decide how to proceed, it was decided whatever lay beyond the runes must be important and therefore worth going after. Whisper and Reaghan elegantly pole vaulted over the runes using their Scythe and Staff respectively. Bambi had a very, very bad feeling the runes and refused to cross them, until the other bullied her into vault across as they did. Surprisingly, the nimble athletic elf failed to execute a successful vault and land face first on the runes. A throat-tearing scream issued from the runes, scaring Whisper witless and causing her to flee in a panic. While the others were unnerved, they were unaffected. Of more concern was the moans that were coming closer after the scream had echoed through the halls. After catching a glimpse of something shambling out of the gloom towards her, Reaghan urged the others to beat a hasty retreat back up the stairs. The girls slammed the door shut and piled the dead goblins’ straw beds in front of it.
As they had promised to Bambi, since the catacombs were not a viable option at this point, the girls returned to the hall across from the closet to explore that part of the dungeon. While the others decided how to proceed, Bambi skipped down the hall and right into the middle of a goblin card game. After sounding an alarm, combat was joined. The girls fought valiantly against an evergrowing tide of goblins, constantly pouring from behind a pair of tapestries opposite the hall they came from. The apparent leader was a particularly fat greasy goblin wielding a crossbow. Once all of the beasts were dispatched, the girls searched around for anything of use, Bambi claiming the alarm bell and Reaghan sulking because she wanted it. A key found on the fat goblin was put to use in one of the adjoining goblin barracks, opening a chest of gold and with a magic wand, which Shadow snatched up and gave to Reaghan.
Will the guild brave the zombies to plunge deeper into the dungeon? Who is the spy in Winterhaven? Will they find the Deathpriest Scott before he unleashes an undead nightmare on Winterhaven? Tune in next week to find out!