The Power Puff Guild

In the Hall of the Mountain Mages
In which the Guild has a marked change of scenery.

After the defeat of Deathpriest Scott, life in Winterhaven became a lot more relaxed. The guild was hailed as heroes and champions of good, and did not wont for anything. (Certainly didn’t have to pay for drinks or meals at the Inn.) After a few days, Michael Went bounding off on another crusade, and Bambi was AWOL, leaving Whisper, Reaghan and Serma to field the next call to action.

Sister Linora, a priestess of Avandra, came to the Inn, asking for the party’s aid (While enduring some lascivious looks from Whisper) in rescuing some villagers from Riversdown (in the nearby Harkenwold Forest) who had been taken captive by the Bloodreavers . The name was one Serma recalled being thrown about by the Hobgoblin Warchief down in the Keep, and was one which carried connotations of slavers. Serma had heard the name around the Vale, the group it belong to was a band of cutthroats and brigands based somewhere near Thunderspire Mountain, for whom slavery would just be another way to make coin. She told the sister the group would consider rendering aid, and discussed it with Reghan and Whisper. While the eladrin was reluctant, Whisper saw this as an opportunity to right a great wrong in Bahumut’s name. Outvoted, Reghan elected to travel with the others to free the captives. Based on Serma’s knowledge of the gang, the group assumed they would be holded up either on or in the mountain. Reghan’s near encyclopedic knowledge kicked in, allowing her to advise the others of the presence of the Mages of Saruun and the Seven Pillared Hall in the mountain. Serma decided that at the very least, it would be a good place to begin their search. During the conversation, also discussed were the tales of Lord Anthony Stark and his suit of magical armor.

While the other two tucked in what would likely be their last decent meal for awhile, Serma headed out to the chapel to inform Sister Linora they would be saving the captives (And to apologize for Whisper’s flirting.) As she proceeded down the the street, she noticed she was being tailed. The person noticed she noticed and revealed himself to be Bairwin, the owner of the Shop of Wonders in town. He’d overheard the conversation back at the inn and had a request of his own to make. Serma cautiously heard him out. Bairwin wished for her to conduct a trade on his behalf while in the Seven Pillared Hall. He wanted her to give a cask (which he gave to her.) to a drow that would be identified as “Gendar” in exchange for what Gendar would provide. As long as this was done discreetly (With only Gendar knowing she was Bairwin’s proxy) and the item procured from Gendar was given to Bairwin, Bairwin would be more than happy to compensate Serma for her time. Serma reluctantly accepted, and threatened to take Bairwin down if what he was trying to have her do got her into trouble.

Serma then reported back to Sister Linora, and told her the guild would recover the captives. The Sister was happy that there would be a rescue mounted, and told Serma there were 10 captives to recover. Serma made a note of this and left the chapel after being blessed in Avandra’s name. She then visited the smith and collected the dagger she requested be forged once she returned from the battle with the deathpriest (The dagger the new one was replacing had been lost down a pit when it was thrown at the undead mage in the portal chamber.), she then went about town and collected materials for a healer’s kit, including herbs, sewing materials, and cloth. Reghan went to the blacksmith’s forge and requested a katar be forged. After sketching a picture for the smith, he agreed to attempt to make one for her. Since she would be out of town for the duration of the forging, the wait time was not an issue.

After a night’s rest, the girls set out after being given a hero’s farewell by the town. As they proceeded down the road to the mountain in the distance, they came across the wagon of The Iron Maidens, who offered transportation on wagon in return for an escort to the mountain. The majority of the time traveling passed without incident, (Save for a goblin attack which was quickly turned aside after Reghan’s face was scarred.) with a brief stop in Fallcrest before proceeding into the foothills of the Khel Vale. In the dawn light, just before the group entered the mountain, a griffon swooped down attempted to eat one of the horses. Reghan quickly put the beast to sleep, and Whisper tied up the monster and attempted to tame it. (Ever since she was a young girl, she dream of having a griffon to ride as most girls dream of having ponies.) While it did not eat her, her attempts to feed it from her hand almost ended with her losing her hand. After freeing the griffon, (only after deciding it wasn’t going to be tamed in a morning.) Whisper managed to catch up with the traveling group just as they entered the yawning maw into Thunderspire mountain. down a lit hall, twisting down into the gloom they pressed. After a few hours more travel, the guild was greeted with the wondrous sight of the Seven Pillared hall. Structure and cave flowed together, while multi-colored glowing globes lit the cavern. Beings of many types mingled in the streets as they made their way to various shops and locations. Now, the hunt for the Bloodreavers could begin….

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Date with a Deathpriest
In which the party confronts their foe

Upon awaking, the guild felt a cold dark feeling wash over them. Things that should not have been crept towards them in the darkness. Michael bounded after them, promising to hold the rearguard while the girls went onward. Bursting through the looming double doors, they emerged in what appeared to be some sort of dark cathedral, partially ruined with creatures lurking. Standing on the altar was a priest offering blood to Orcus, flanked by frothing barbarians. He loosed them on the guild, as vampires and the shadows themselves emerged to fight the party. In the ring of steel on steel, and the explosions of magic, Serma was laid low by one of the barbarians. Her companions fought on, Michael rejoining the group and helping to slaughter the legions. Bambi used her sylvan lore to help bind Serma’s wounds, waking her to consciousness. Cautious, but undaunted, the party peered down the gaping maw in the floor into which the blood from the sacrifices flowed. Sliding down chains which went down into the hole (Reaghan just barely managing to hold on), they plummeted into a nightmare. The blood pooled and flowed throughout this large chamber. A gigantic statue of Orcus stood at one of the room, as if poised to open the portal the opposite end of the room. Something was trying to push it’s way though. Guarded by skeletal warriors was the Deathpriest Scott. Snapping curses at the party, he ordered the skeletons to attack, while some sort of undead mage cast spells from another part of the room. Serma tried to tend to the mage, while the others made quick work of the skeletons. As they reached the deathpriest, he vanished, reappearing before the portal as if to welcome the beast in the Shadowfell over to this realm. Soon enough, the entire was engaging the priest, who’s dark powers aided and protected him against the deadly warriors. All the while, the thing in the portal attempted to drag the party members to a grim fate. It was a battle of the ages, as Fey magic and Elven steel blended with Dragon’s Fire and Deva Might, while the Tiefling magic of the stars thrummed and boomed, hammering the worshipper of unlife. In the end, even a creature such as he could not withstand the assault, and allowed himself to be taken by the thing in the portal rather than be defeated by such pithy travelers. As Scott vanished, the portal was sealed, and the aura around the chamber lifted, but only slightly so. After picking the area clean, the guild ascended the chain, and left the keep, returning to a hero’s welcome in Winterhaven! And so ends the tale of the Power Puff Guild and the Keep on the Shadowfell….

Next time: The Power Puff Guild and the Thunderspire....

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Girls, girls......zombies?
In which the party draws closer to their foe...

Picking up immediately after the Guild’s initial encounter with the hobgoblin guards, they took a rest, binding their wounds and eating a Splug prepared snack of Imitation Goblin Jerky. (may or may not contain real Goblin.) After this, they explored the surrounding rooms and found only empty hobgoblin barracks, stacked with filthy beds. Proceeding easterly, Serma and Bambi followed a hall which seemed to lead to a sort of meeting room. A flagstone shifted beneath Serma’s feet and brought a portcullis crashing down in front of her. She and Bambi attempted to break the bars, but to no avail. After careful assessment, Michael step forward and smote the gate with his bare hand, shattering it with holy fury. The party proceeded forward.

Once in the room, they were able to find little of value. Quickly, the doors to the east and south slammed open, with more Hobgoblins swarming out. Lead by a tall, menacing Hobgoblin dressed as a Warchief, he instructed his minions to take the Guild alive, so that they could be sold to the Bloodreavers, presumably as slaves. This was not looked upon favorably by those the hobgoblins intended to take prisoner. Reaghan reacted the quickest, putting a trio of the beasts to sleep. The Warchief’s phalanx of protective suck ups was dissolved rapidly by Serma, Whisper, and Bambi. Caught between all of them, with no support, the Hobgoblin leader quickly fell, and then his sleeping cohorts were made to never wake again. Searching the area, Whisper located a chest in what seemed to be the Chief’s room, securing a pile of gold as well as a vicious serrated short sword. She knew that while it would be wonderful to maim her enemies with it, it was not the weapon for her. She traded it to Bambi for a crossbow, momentarily forgetting her pact with the Star Gods had robbed her of the nimble fingers necessary to operate the device.

Leaving the area, the party explored a set of doors to the north, alerting more hobgoblins to their presence. Bambi, clutching her new short sword, was a foaming nightmare, hacking down Hobgoblins left and right. Reaghan had memorized a new spell and dazzled enemies with it’s pyrotechnic displays. A slight mishap did occur during the battle when Reaghan accidentally fired on Bambi and hit her. Bambi shrugged off the shot physically, but was annoyed at Reaghan’s horrible aim. Without much further mishap, the hobgoblins were dispatched. Serma and Bambi split the coin found.

For lack of anywhere else to go, the party proceeded south from the guard rooms, into darkness. Lit by Reaghan’s wand, they passed through a set of doors into what appeared to be a memorial, with a colossal statue of a warrior dominating the center of the room, and dragon statues on the east end. To the south, more doors beckoned with a flock of cherub statues surrounding it. Bambi immediately sensed something wrong, noticing the dust near the statues was disturbed. Warning the others, she cautiously approached the warrior statue, everyone fearing dark magic would animate the sculptures. They were partially right. As Bambi approached, a small click was heard, and she was knocked to the ground by the swing of the statue’s stone sword, the sculpture spinning around in a huge circle on it’s pedestal. She crawled back quickly out of range, the statue stopping it’s motion. It appeared to be either motion or proximity triggered. Not wishing to find out the effects of the dragon statue, the party stuck close to the west wall, avoiding the reach of the statue’s sword. Whisper proceeded past the cherub statues towards the south doors, when magical walls boxed her in between the cherubim, the cherubs tipping their jars over and starting to fill the space with water. Seeing the immediate danger, Reaghan and Bambi rushed over, working together along with Whisper to disable the magic animating one of the cherubs and the wall being generated. Michael attacked another, hacking at it with his falchion. Serma walked forward to work with Michael, finding the dragon statues would blast anyone who came too close with waves of energy. Unaffected by their attack, Serma struck Aecris against the enchanted stone, hoping to disrupt the enchantment so Whisper could escape a watery fate. The water had reached to Whisper’s chest by the time the two statues were disabled or destroyed, respectively. Reaghan took cover around the corner as the water and Whisper rushed out, knocking most of the party backwards into the range of the Warrior Statue. The girls hit the floor, remembering it’s deadly attack. Michael managed to bend backwards almost in half to avoid the trap’s sweep. Serma endured another blast of the dragon statues as everyone beat a hasty retreat into the south room, failing to stop for a rest.

Bambi was the first through the door, running smack into a pack of zombies. Half gnawed humanoid corpses were scattered through the crypt. As battle was joined, it was made clear the zombies were following the lead of a ghoul, who was handily dispatched through the combined efforts of Bambi, Reaghan, and Michael, who dealt the creature a staggering blow when he abjurred it in Bahumut’s name. While fighting zombies, the party noticed a small clay homunculus was watching their efforts, and as the ghoul was defeated, it screeched for it’s master and made for a side hallway. Michael dispatched the construct, baking it with the blessing of Bahumut. After that, the zombies were easily mopped up, leaving the group time to search the area. Bambi found a small tunnel leading to another abattoir of a chamber. Searching the rotted and half-eaten bodies, she found a bag that jingled. As she poured out the gold, she noticed that it held more gold than it possibly could have based on it’s weight and size. She quickly scooped the gold back up, claiming the bag as hers. Though ill at ease and almost literally at death’s doorstep, the party elected to make camp, daring ot rest one last time before their final battle with the Deathpriest

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She's the smartest dumb elf I know
In which the party is betrayed

Racing back to Winterhaven on the advice of Sir Keaton, the Powerpuff Guild (and Michael) arrived to find the gates shut. Lord Laurie appeared atop the wall, begging the guild to rid the local cemetery of the undead that had risen there, and had surely attacked some of villagers whom had gone missing. Without a moment to lose, the guild followed the path to the Winterhaven Cemetery, on the other side of a grove bordering the town. A wrought-iron fence ringed the graveyard, with the only gate chained and padlocked (Likely to prevent the flesh-hungry undead from escaping the grounds of their rest.) Michael scaled the fence, only to fall off and land on the other side. Whisper and Reaghan gracefully made their way over. Serma, wearing full armor, elected to instead melt the lock with her acidic breath and then smash it off the chain with her hammer. Whisper noticed a large pulsing sigil on the ground and recognized it as magical in nature. The party proceeded to investigate it.

As they did so, a horde of skeletons clawed out of the ground, along with a pair large undead hounds. Directing these troops of the damned was Ninaran, the elf ranger that had first directed the group to the lair of the Winterhaven Kobolds. At this point, should decidedly less friendly, leading skeleton archers in a fusillade while a wave of them descended on the heroes. As the guild (and Michael) waded into fray, Reaghan darted for the sigil, realizing she could disrupt the power flowing through it and stop the undead. Frentically, she bent the circle’s arcane powers to her, will, braving withering barrages of arrow while the others distracted the bulk of Ninaran’s forces. After tense spell-weaving, the wizard broke the sigil, the undead ceasing their assault, leaving a furious Ninaran to fight the battle by herself. As the Guild surrounded her, Whisper murmured in the dreadful tongue of Star Gods for Ninaran’s end. Ninaran seized up, clutching at her own breast as she fell over, stone dead from fright, as if seeing something not meant to be. Michael quickly pocketed Ninaran’s coin purse (“For Bahumut’s glory, of course”), whilst Reaghan and Serma snatched up piece of Vellum. Whisper set about decapitating Ninaran’s head (Bambi chastising her the whole while, saying it was wrong and she shouldn’t do it.). The note found on Ninaran appeared to confirm she was in the employ of Deathpriest Scott, whom had had Ninaran slay villagers and use their blood to create the sigil which had raised the dead. With the mysteries thus solved, Bambi and Michael returned to town. The others paused in the grove to deal with Ninaran’s head (A medieval reenactment of the copy machine beatdown from Office Space “Damn it feels to good to be an adventurer…”) Michael and Bambi reported the battle to Lord Laurie, and the townspeople welcomed the heroes back with open arms. Whisper, Serma and Reaghan followed about an hour later, covered in gore and elf brains. After a nice hot bath for each of them, they settled in at Zin’s Inn, determined to return to the keep and find the lower level referred to in Deathpriest Scott’s letter to Ninaran (it had also provided them with the pass-code to enter that level “From the ground, some magic was found.”)

The next morning, they returned to the Old Keep, intending to explore the remaining crypts. (Still shying away from the idea of battling Kobold-sized rats) Again, they ran afoul of the death cult runes, triggering one’s soul piercing screams. However, it failed to affect them. They easily dispatched the zombie guards that answered the scream, and proceeded through the dark catacombs. Whilst resting in a room wherein they located some stairs descending down, Bambi noticed a wall was false. Searching diligently, she found a switch hidden in the ceiling and opened the door (Bambi may not be bright, but she is observant.) The others followed her into what appeared to a bare room. Reaghan saw through the illusion and plunged through the rooms far wall, right in another pack of zombies. The group, after having overcome it’s initial surprise at what had happened, joined the fight and sooner the undead were covering their armor rather than gnawing on it. The room they now stood was likely to be an old armory, with little of use in it as it had not been maintained since the days of Sir Keaton. However, as they searched, a magical plaque imbedded in the wall spoke a riddle to them:

“A wondrous treasure, Valued by all, sought by many. Found in both victory and defeat, Yet never at the bottom of a treasure chest. It marches before you like a herald, And lives long after you are gone. Of what do I speak?”

After a few minutes of thought, and head scratching, Bambi piped up “Fame!”. The boomed “Close enough!” and melt from the image of a helmet to the word “Honor” as one of the sets of armor gleamed brightly, transform into a fine suit of blackiron scale armor. Bambi wasted no time in putting it on, with the others doing little to stop her, as she had solved the riddle, though how no one could guess. (Truth is, Bambi had heard it years ago, but couldn’t remember the exact answer.)

After a short rest, they proceeded down the stairs they’d located, into the light of a torch filled chamber, guarded by a quartet of mean looking hobgoblins “Shadow seeks shadow!” snarled one as a challenge phrase. While the others worked to remember the pass-phrase, Whisper noticed a spider the size of a horse being kept in a cage down the hall and grew panicked, praying to Bahumut the creature wasn’t unleashed on them. The others responded with “From the ground, all magic is found” The goblin recognized the phrase, yelling a warning that Ninaran had been slain. twice betrayed by the deceitful elf in as many days, once from beyond the grave, the Guild (and Michael) once more became locked in combat. Whisper and Michael shoved a pair of the hobgoblin guards into the well, with Bambi and Reaghan picking off the other two before they could get to the spider cage. After that, it was a battle of attrition, with the heroes using every trick at their disposal to stay a step ahead of the remaining hobgoblin guards which emerged from surrounding rooms to join the fight. Reaghan created a column of ice in the well, prevent the broken hobgoblins inside from rejoining the fight, whilst Bambi fought off three hobgoblins with Serma’s direction. Michael barely survived a pair of the nasty monsters, the creatures using their shields to make miniature phalanxes and block blows. Finally, with the magical support desperately needed, and some conducting of the symphony of war by Serma, all hobgoblin guards lay dead at their feet. Everyone then turned to the cage and slaughtered the massive spider, not wishing for it to be released and used on them later. It was at this point they elected to take a brief respite.

What other challenges lie in wait in the keep? Will the Guild locate Deathpriest Scott before he opens the rift to the Shadowfell? Why are even dumb elves smarter than freaking wizards. Tune in next time to find out…!

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You can call me Hunt
In which a man joins the party (Gasp and Shock!)

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…..

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Shadow, Shadowfell, what the hell?

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!

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Of Kobolds and Kaverns
"Wherein the Guild arrives at Winterhaven"

The Power Puff Guild is requested to help the church of Pelor investigate the activities of a Death Cult in Winterhaven. Having nothing better do and with gold running low, the guild agrees to have a look about.

On the way to the village, they are jumped by kobold brigands. They barely manage to fight the tenacious beasts off, with Bambi bleeding from multiple wounds where the monsters ganged up on her near death, while Serma’s face had been badly burned by a well-placed kobold firepot.

Without further incident, the guild set up shop in Winterhaven, settling in at Zin’s Inn to use as a base of operations. While Whisper and Bambi took naps to recover from the ordeal on the road, Reaghan was besmitten by and engaged in conversation with Lord Laurie, whom had popped in to have a beer. Interwoven throughout the convesation, his lordship expressed his woes over being unable to gather up a sufficient to drive out the Kobolds from Winterhaven. Reaghan made it obvious their guild could help with the situation. Overjoyed, Lord Laurie commissioned them to stamp out the kobolds and then rushed home to his wife’s dinner, much to Reaghan’s dismay.

Serma, at the same time, pumped the locals for information. After getting nothing of Eilian but a wish to see demon sacrifices, Serma consulted Valthrun, whom had little advice other than to see if the Kobolds were related, or possibly the ruined old keep north of town. He promised Serma to do research on the old keep and see if he could find out why it might where it was. Much more helpful was Ninaran, whom despite being a bit brusque, seemed to have an idea of what was going on.

She expressed her fear that the town was under the sway of the death cult and that not only was the town working with the death cult, but that the cult was working with the Kobolds. As it was the only solid lead, Serma obtained the location of the Kobold’s lair from Ninaran and went to go get the others. At a round table meeting, (With Eilian presiding from beneath Bambi’s skirt.) the guild formed a plan of attack, sharing everything they had learned in their time in town. As it was getting dark and they were still weary from the days events, they decided to rest and strike out for the lair the next morning, after stocking up on items to prevent grievous injuries like that day’s attack from happening again.

The next morning, the girls went shopping in the market, finally stepping into Bairwin’s Shop of Wonders to see what he had to offer. The flamboyant Bairwin struck a sour note with Reaghan, whom thought he was shady. Regardless, Bairwin’s was the only shop in town that stocked precious healing potions, a necessity for their assault on the kobold lair. Sadly though, they were penniless. (This of course, excepts Reaghan whom had the gold to buy a potion but kept the knowledge to herself.)Through intense negotiation and some hard feelings, the girls managed to obtain the potion’s, having to leave Shadow and the owl behind as collateral.

After leaving town, the guild was again ambushed, this time by a small pack of kobolds. These were easier dispatched, with Whisper finding an amulet of demon prince Orcus on one of the kobold bodies. This seemed to confirm Ninaran’s theory, and the girls trooped off to the Waterfall.

Upon arriving there, Bambi spotted a dozen kobolds lurking outside the waterfall, apparently guards. While girls were fiercely arguing what course of action to take, with Whisper advocating the group posing a prisoners with her as a priestess (To which the others pointed out the didn’t exactly seem like prisoners.). Of course, the kobolds heard their argument and raised the alarm, attempting to gather around an old druid circle and harness it’s power. Serma and Whisper leapt in the fray, hacking and smashing kobolds left and right, whilst Bambi (being held in reserve for true dangers inside the lair) and Reaghan launched arrows and magic from afar.

Once the guards had been dealt with, the guild made their way into the lair behind the waterfall. Inside, waves of kobolds came at them like a scaly torrent of blades. The beasts continued to fall, wearing down their foes for their fearless leader. Finally, the bray of warhorn, Irontooth joined the battle. Like a goblin possessed, the chieftain swung his axe at Bambi and Serma, while Whisper held down a flank with her scythe. Reaghan provided arcane aid whilst the others weather the goblin’s assault. All seemed lost as the kobolds seemed to endlessly parade in, Irontooth driven mad by the taste of his own blood, denting and crushing the armor of Serma and Bambi. Finally, lashing out in desperation and frustation, Whisper swung her scythe at the goblin chief. The blade buried in his chest. Again she swung, and and again, blood spurting from his body. As he fell, she continued to lacerate and impale his body, the kobolds fleeing at the loss of their chief to such hardy souls.

With the battle won, the girls rested, then searched the lair, removing a scroll tube and key from Irontooth’s body. They then located a treasure chest near the back, containing a good amount of gold and a well forged shirt of chainmail which Bambi snatched away immediately. After filling their bakcpacks with the spoils, they read Irontooth’s note. It was from Deathpriest Scott, the purported leader of the death cult. Apparently, he was working on a way to unleash undead on Winterhaven. Troubled by this news, but having no idea where to look next, the Power Puff Guild made their way back to Winterhaven, but not before loading the now empty chest with as many kobold weapons as Bambi could carry (Hint: It was pretty much all of them.) to take back to town to sell for smelting.

Until next time….

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