Just the Tip

Episode 6

The Crypt of Shadows

Continuing their exploration of the Second Sub-level, the group encounters more zombies who react when the magic runes are triggered. After the fight, Ky’Vruck finds a secret door, which Grok is able to open. Inside appears to be an old armoury, yet it has been picked bare as only weapon racks and dust remains. Yet Ky picks up the sound of movement and groans coming from behind the far wall. On a whim, Grok decides to launch a sling bullet, and the group is surprised when the bullets sails through the wall. Grok sneaks forward through the wall, only to find himself surrounded by zombies. Still unnoticed, Grok prepares an attack, but before he can launch it, Thorn enters the room, and the zombies lurch forward. Grok, now trapped in the room, lets loose a flurry of blades, but finds himself the target several zombies. The group outside the room attempts to help, and have to make quick work of the zombies to rescue a bloodied Grok.

Behind the illusory wall, the group finds some old rusted swords and halberds, a heavily rusted suit of plate armour, and a plaque affixed to the wall. When the plaque is approached, a magical voice reads them a riddle, testing to see how virtuous they are. The group correctly identifies the answer, and the suit of rusted plate turns into a Bloodiron Plate Armor, which Quinn dons.

The group decide to clear the rest the first floor before heading deeper into the keep, and they find themselves in a much older part of the structure, no longer masonry, they are in a cave dug hundreds of years ago. Limited visibility and darkness creates a problem for the group, forcing them to split in to two. As the get farther from each other, a large number of cave rats attack, dropping from the ceiling. Ky is able to identify them early and keep the group from being surprised, and despite being separated, the two groups deal with the rats easily. Yet the group of Quinn, Grok and Paul of Quar decide to push on alone, and stumble upon an ochre jelly, which attacks mercilessly. Grok is significantly damaged in the first attack, and Quinn attempts to keep the jelly focused off of Grok. Thorn appears out of the darkness and together with Quinn is able to battle back the jelly. Yet just as the tide appears to be turning, the jelly splits in two and begins to attack separately. The arrival of the rest of the group saves the day, and a bloodied Grok and Quinn, beginning a discussion about whether they should turn back and regroup. One more room is chosen to explore, the one with the sign marked ‘Stay Out. Really.’

Inside they find an old cistern, filled with brackish water, with a very small island in the middle. Ky perceives something moving beneath the surface, but the lure of treasure is too tempting, and Thorn jumps across to the island to investigate. As he is sorting through the debris, a surge of bubbles breaks the water’s surface and a noxious smell dazes the most of the group. From the water surges a large blue slime that attacks those standing on the waterline. Ky is able to nimbly dodge the attack, but Splug is hit hard by the slime. The group tries to withdraw but before they can the slime covers them in an acidic jelly that is too much for the already wounded Splug. The group, especially Ky, is shocked by the death of Splug, and surge back into the room to attack the slime. Grok attempts to jump to the island and help Thorn, but misses his landing and falls into the water. His splashing draws the slime to him, yet the attacks of those on shore are able to defeat the slime and save Grok once again. On the island the group finds a Sylvan Leather Armor, which is claimed by a suitably embarrassed Grok, as well as a letter to Kalarel from a group of slavers called the Bloodreavers, asking for humanoid captives that Kalarel might want to sell. There is a second letter, telling the messenger to wet the nodule if Kalarel is unreceptive, then run like hell. This supposedly would bring a creature out of its dormancy that will consume anything it can reach. Whether this refers to the blue slime or not is unknown.

Bloodied and tired from their foray into the caves, the group decides to leave the final corridor for now, and return to Winterhaven to regroup. Yet upon arriving at the town gates, they find them closed and barred, a guard on the battlements informing them that the dead have risen in the cemetery and several farmers have gone missing. The group requests admittance to rest and resupply, then they will deal with the threat.

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Snaryl

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