After cleaning out a torture chamber of a hobgoblin and his murderous assistants, the guild freed Splug, a plucky little goblin who was imprisoned by his compatriots because “I was too good at cards!”. Whisper thought the creature adorable and harmless and convinced the others to let him be taken in, with the provision Bambi could smash him if he got out of line.
When they awoke (time was not able to be calculated due the fact they were below the ground.), it was to the smell of Splug cooking some of the rations over the brazier the other goblins had been using to heat pokers earlier. Once he realized the “Mistresses!” were up, he divvied up the fruits of his labors and tore into his own. Surprisingly, the goblin’s cooking was edible, and so breakfast was consumed while the helpful little goblin set about breaking camp. (“We need to get him hats!” Exclaimed Bambi)
It was decided that rather than delve back into the dark and face the zombies once more, the Guild would explore the one door off the main chamber that they had not explored. As the guild proceeded this way, they became aware of a presence following them. Turning around to face the potential threat, they were surprised to see an other-worldly being, grayish purple with blue patterns marking his body. He identified himself as Michael, an avenger in the service of Bahumut. Whisper, a devotee of the Platinum Dragon herself, saw this man as a comrade and convinced the others it would be wise to have him provide aid as he was seeking the same end as they were. (To rid the Keep of the corruption spreading through it.) Serma and Bambi reluctantly agreed, plotting various ways to make his time with them a living hell.
Proceeding through the door, and past what appeared to be a cave entrance, the girls walked into what looked like an archaeological dig, with most of the original floor piled in a corner and the remaining used as platforms connected by planks. Goblins were arguing as they dug into the dirt searching for something, while saurian-like lizards watched the area. Serma and Bambi made a racketing as the party entered, alerting the Goblins and their pets to their presence. A fierce combat on the remaining platforms of floor and packed dirt beneath ensued, with Michael using his frost falchion to eviscerate one of the lizards, and Whisper engulfing the other in dire radiance. Bambi engaged in an archery duel with one of the goblins, each riddling the other with arrows (or crossbow bolts in the goblin’s case.) until Bambi put one between the little bugger’s eyes. Serma deftly charged over the planks, engaging in combat with a goblin until Reaghan picked it off.
And finally, there was little Michael J. Goblin. Michael had been mocked by his peers as he was forced to drink “Medisin” to stop his shaking. How he had been given a crossbow, much less aim one, was anyone’s guess. For most of the battle, poor little Michael embedded bolt after bolt into the ceiling, his wild jittering allowing him to avoid magical blasts and arrows. Finally, in a moment of clarity, the dark lords smiled on the runty little goblin, and he put a crossbow bolt through the Avenger Michael’s chest. Reaghan then smashed the goblin’s dreams to pieces by smashing him repeatedly with a quickly cast force orb.
After the battle, the guild (and Michael) recovered some gold from the goblins (Bambi making off with a holy symbol of Bahumut as Whisper and Michael wrestled for the right to carry it, a moot point as Michael already had such a symbol.) After an hour’s rest, and still avoiding the dread idea of having to face the shambling zombies, the group stepped down into the caves they passed by earlier. Serma and Bambi noticed “Rats approximately the size of Kobolds” and everyone decided that they were better off taking on the zombies.
The guild (and Michael) proceeded back through the foreboding door, descending back down into the darkness. Exploring in the opposite direction of the rune they’d encountered last time, the group rounded the corner right into a pack of zombies! Reacting quickly, the party decimated the undead, with only a couple superficial wounds. They decided the zombies weren’t as bad as they’d built them up to be. The hall continued, and so did they.
The group emerged into a crypt, lined with Sarcophagi. Michael could hear the scratching and scrabbling in them and warned the others not to touch the tombs, for fear of what was inside. Keeping Bambi close, they proceeded down the hall. Alas, it seems this was not enough. The sarcophagi sprang open, disgorging skeletons and separating the party. The tombs seemed to hold limitless skeletons as more were discouraged for each one the heroes killed. Finally, when they were up to their shins (in Splug’s case, his knees) in bones, the waves ceased. The guild (and Michael) proceeded east into a larger room with altars and a lit mural of Bahumut in the ceiling. Following the directions of inscriptions on the altars, Whisper and Michael knelt and paid homage to Bahumut. Immediately the room became bright as day, and the sarcophagi (still in view down the hall) slammed shut. The atmosphere of the room was very calming, but double doors set to the East intrigued the group and they proceeded after a short rest.
The room was simple and small, only the sarcophagus of a warrior on a dais. As they proceeded closer to examine it, the lid exploded off and a skeletal knight rose from the coffin, it’s dead hair twisting and writhing as if a living thing. The girls fell back slightly with a fright, as they knew they faced the dread Sir Keaton and his gerbil eating mane. Only Michael remained steadfast and answered the knight’s challenge, the girls aiding him in convincing Sir Keaton they were in the keep to prevent the rift to the Shadowfell from being opened. After a brief test of their loyalties and strengths, Sir Keaton came to believe them and told them of the night in which Orcus’ taint had seeped through the rift and drove him mad, causing him to slay his family and loyal captains. He’d hidden down in the catacombs once the remaining soldiers mobilized, knowing he could not fight them. They’d sealed the catacombs to trap him in, and there he had stayed, the madness lifting and leaving him to contemplate his actions. He believed himself beyond redemption, but ceded his Sword Aecris to Michael, asking that he redeem the blade in the eyes of the gods. As he handed the master-crafted to the avenger, he collapsed into dust, his voice echoing and distant, saying he saw danger approaching Winterhaven, and that the guild would have to rush back to prevent it. He also advised them to examine the altars, that Bahumut may give them aid. With that, Sir Keaton was laid to final rest. As everyone left, they checked the altars. Bambi found a hidden compartment which had a clutch of idols to Bahumut, one for everyone. The guild (and Michael) made all due haste for Winterhaven, Sir Keaton’s warning ominous…..