Nilmul 19 – Evening, Year of Whispering Shadows
On return from the Kobold Lair the party falls to their beds, exhausted. In the evening they awaken for dinner and for tasks around town.
Thuradin aids Smith Coalstriker in his efforts to repair the party’s gear – his plate is strong, but bears the subtle crease where Irontooth’s axe hit him with a mighty blow. Far from disappointed, he treats this as a badge of honour of how he protected his companions from the mighty goblin warlord.
Nebraxzis and Warashes visit the local bower and fletcher, to purchase supplies. Nebraxzis leaves for the training field with a new crossbow in hand and a prayer to Enora on his lips – Warashes searches without success for a thieves’ guild. Seeing as the last man to try to start one was strung up by his thumbs before being exiled, the young elf decides not to push his luck.
Much of Kithrellana’s day was taken up in prayer to Peronis in thanks for her guidance and for hope that the goddess will continue to watch over her and her unlikely companions.
Warren spent the fading hours of the day around town as well – a visit to Valthrun turned out to be well spent, as among the scraps of the sage’s abandoned scrolls he was able to find one more to his liking – a Scroll of Silence. On hearing that the young guard that he had met, Abram, was on the road to recovery, he also visited the local temple of the luck goddesses.
Nilmul 20 – Morning, Year of Whispering Shadows
The party leaves the gates of Wintershome, passing Ricaver in prayer upon the road as the sun rises above. Urging himself to keep hope, he sends you north to the ruin of the dwarven keep.
The road is rough and shows signs of the forest attempting to take it back – and stonework scavenged from the keep by the townsfolk force the party to travel single file. The party is on edge, and the sight of the following red-tail hawk does little to calm their nerves.
You reach the summit to find the keep in pieces, ruined by earthquakes. The grounds are dead of wildlife, and there is a cleared path through the rubble. Someone has been at work here.
Thuradin recognizes dwarven work. The Keep was built by dwarves, commissioned by humans – the surrounding walls are tall, but the keep itself seems to only have been a couple stories tall – but it likely that cellar levels exist. A stairway descends into darkness – the path to it is littered with small boot prints, and two deep furrows.
A glow lies at the bottom of the staircase, illuminating carvings of the walls – Knights of the Hart on horseback riding out against fantastical beasts. A cool breeze gusts through, and the light flickers as if from torches.
Sneaking down the stairs, you notice a goblin sentry and manage to surprise him. Running across the room sends Kithrellana tumbling into a pit trap, where rats swarm over her, squeaking and biting. While the party helps her out of the pit, more goblins with crossbows appear, taking pot shots.
A scream rings out from the western corridor, but all are too busy fighting to wonder who or what it is.
The party manages to trap the goblins in a room, and gather their courage and charge in. Soon enough their corpses litter the flagstones, and they are left alone in the depths of the ruined keep.