Just the Tip

Episode 8

Sir Keegan and Beltumal

The group decides to finish exploring the first level of the Keep, following a hallway from the zombie room down into a room laid out as some form of crypt. Inside they find ten sarcophagi lining the walls and two alters in niches at the end of the room. Sensing a trap, the group proceeds cautiously, but the trap is triggered. The sarcophagi burst open and expel a legion of skeletons that attack the group. The battle rages, and the sarcophagi continue to create new skeletons to replace the ones that are being struck down by the adventurers. Seeing that the altars have a message inscribed on them, ‘The Platinum Dragon is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my armour against the foes of life – I need only kneel and offer him praise’, Daemon Kaaw rushes forward and decides to kneel before the altar and offer an insincere prayer. The skeletons stop attacking and return to their sarcophagi. The group searches the room, finding a small alcove behind one of the alters that holds six small dragon statures, made of platinum and silver. While Quinn Quernes prays to Bahamut, the rogue Grok attempts to remove some of the platinum from the other altar, only to be stopped and chastised by Ky.

Proceeding through the double doors of the crypt, the group finds itself in a tomb with a single coffin sitting on a raised dais. The coffin is carved from stone and featured the likeness of a human paladin lying with his sword across his chest. Thorn and Grok move forward to open the coffin, but as they touch it, the lid bursts open and a skeletal figure rises from within. Challenged by the figure to declare their intentions, the group is able to assure the spectre that they are here to help keep the rift with the Shadowfell closed. After answering his questions, the group learns that this is Sir Keegan, the final commander of the Keep, who had killed his family and much of the garrison, resulting in its fall. They learn that his madness came from the evil magic leaking from the Shadowfell, and that after he overcame the madness, he sealed himself in the crypt, where his mortal body died. His soul is now attached to this place, forever to make penance for the duty he failed to keep in life. Asked by Ky if there was a way to release him, Sir Keegan says that he is past redemption, but that Aecris; (currently missing), his sword, may be redeemed. He gives it to the group and advises them to seek Bahamut’s boon at the altars, as he may also grant them aid.

Daemon Kaaw again goes before the altar, this time speaking a sincere prayer to Bahamut, and before him a bright light manifests, and when it dims the group find before them a dragonborn with blue skin. He is confused to where he is, saying that he had previously been performing his morning prayers, when a voice spoke to him, saying his skills were needed, and would he serve Bahamut for the greater good? When he said yes, the dragonborn saw a bright light and found himself here. They learn that the dragonborn is a sorcerer by the name of Beltumal Silverclaw, and that he comes from the far south. As the group continues through the keep, they catch Beltumal up on what has happened so far, and the evil they are trying to stop.

As the adventurers descend to the lower level of the keep, they are challenged by a pair of hobgoblin guards, who yell out a phrase: “Shadow seeks shadow”. Thorn, remembering a message found on the slain ranger Ninaran, yells back the phrase “from the ground some magic was found”. Unfortunately for the group, this must have been placed in the letter as a trap, and the hobgoblins immediately know Ninaran has been killed and yell to warn Kalarel. Ky, seeing that the groups been discovered, runs forward and attempts to knock the guards into a pit they are standing beside. One falls in, while the other is able to catch onto the edge. From the side rooms more hobgoblins appear and the battle rages in the entrance way with each group struggling to gain the upper hand. At one point, Beltumal sees an opening to turn the tide, and blasts a group of hobgoblins clustered around Grok. Unfortunately, the hobgoblins are able to hide behind their shields, while Grok only has his leather armour, and takes significant damage. The hobgoblins attack the injured Grok, who loses consciousness, crumpling to the ground. Hard pressed by another wave of hobgoblins, as well as two death jump spiders released from their cage, the group fights for its life. Paul of Quar is able to free himself long enough from the battle to heal Grok, and his revival encourages the group, who are able to beat back their foes. One hobgoblin, seeing the battle is lost, runs from the room to warn his comrades.

The group proceeds carefully, knowing their enemies are aware of their approach. They can sense strong magic emanating from ahead and follow that path, which leads into a room with several statues; a huge warrior, two large dragons, and four small cherubs with vases above their head. As they move forward, the warrior statue groans as its internal mechanics engage, and it sweeps its longsword around the room. Daemon Kaaw dodges out of the way, and the rest of the group presses to the wall to avoid the strike. Ky attempts to get past the warrior, but it swings again and knocks her to the ground, at which point the doors behind the group bang open and a large hobgoblin emerges with several others. The chief laughs at the adventurers attempts to bypass the trap, and tell his minions to take them alive, as they can be sold as slaves to the Bloodreavers. From the entrance way the hobgoblins attack, avoiding the traps, and attempting to manoeuvre the group into harms way. Quinn is struck by the warrior statue when he is hit by a burst from the hobgoblin war caster, but is able to get back into the fight and block the hobgoblins advance. Paul of Quar, who has climbed up onto of the statue, slowly picks off hobgoblins with his crossbow. In the end, it is just the war chief left standing, and he charges the group, unwilling to give in to defeat.

The group now attempts to disable the traps around the room. Unable to get the access panel open on the soldier statue, Paul and Grok smash its mechanics, disabling its attack capabilities. The dragons are a magical trap, and despite their attempts, Beltumal and Daemon are unable to disarm them. The group moves forward and works on the cherubs, after an initial success on one of the statues, they are unable to dispel the magic of the other one they have access to. Paul moves forward to work on the other two cherubs, only to be cut off from the group by a magical wall that appears. The wall creates a chamber that starts to fill with water from the cherubs vases. The group frantically attempts to get rid of the wall, but are hampered when the dragon statues begin belching blasts of force energy at them. Paul meanwhile works on getting rid of the magic of the cherubs, but is battered against the walls of the chamber as the water turns into a whirlpool. While Beltumal and Daemon disable the wall; Ky, Quinn, Thorn, and Grok attack the dragon statues, destroy the one nearest to them. Inside the whirlpool, Paul is able to disable another of the cherubs, disrupting the magic that creates the wall. With the wall gone, Paul is carried by the surge of water back out into the room.

Through the door protected by the cherub trap, the group finds another room guarded by zombies. As they push forward, out of the darkness comes a ghoul, who is much faster than the zombies and attempts to immobilize isolated group members. Through good tactics and a little luck, the group is able to defeat the zombies, kill the ghoul and thwart a clay scout that has been sent to warm Kalarel of their advance. Behind a pile of bodies, Thorn finds small passage that his explores, finding the ghoul’s den. Inside he clears away bodies to uncover a leather bag, which turns out to be a Bag of Holding.

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