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Session 14 (24th Nov 2014)

For the second adventure in our Lonely Coast campaign I turned once again to Raging Swan.  This time I went to the brilliant Shadowed Keep On The Borderlands which got amazing reviews and makes for a totally different style of play from the groups previous adventure Retribution.  If you’d like to read the whole campaign’s adventure log it’s posted in order here.  The previous session can be found here and the whole of the Shadowed Keep sessions here.

Note if as a player your GM is likely to run Shadowed Keep On The Borderlands by Raging Swan please do not read any further, the adventure is one that will be wrecked by spoilers.

As the party arrived the common room in The Hare And The Ass was sparsely populated.  Choosing the fire-place furthest from the door the taverns speciality dwarven ale was ordered as well as bowls of thick beef stew and the group started to thaw out nicely by the roaring fire.  By the time Gor had replenished their tankards several times the room was more crowded, several of the regulars remarking that they didn’t expect the group to return anywhere near as quickly, cloaks and boots had finished steaming away the worst of the soaking they’d received and all were feeling far more positive about their fortunes.

Outside in the street Arris Renbar peered from under his hood at the sign of the bizarrely named tavern, took a deep breath and pushed open the door feeling the warmth and noise of the interior reach out to engulf him.  As he stepped inside the room he cast his mind back to the recent discussion with Her Grace Meylor Vosper and her description of the strange group she’d asked him to befriend.  As he shook the worst of the rain from his cloak he reminded himself that these were responsible for protecting The Priory Of Cymer from the worst of the evil that Cymer himself had prophesied so long ago.  Scanning the room an elven figure stood out, several inches higher than most of those around him.  His features fitted those that had been described to him and having bought a drink from the bar he approached the group with slight trepidation.

Introducing himself to the group he explained that Meylor had told him that they had both defended the Priory and recovered the prophecies of Cymer which as a defender of the Darlenite faith he was most impressed by.  On learning that the group were planning to immediately return to Ironwolf Keep to drive out bandits and goblins he’d decided that if such a brave group would have him he would like to travel with them and aid them in their quest and set out for the tavern to find them.  Having already been driven off from the tower once the party were certainly not adverse to having someone else join them and judging from Arris’ build everyone realised he’d be an asset in a fight.  Over several further tankards of Thunderhammer plans were laid for taking on such a well fortified position and a shopping list made for items that would help them out.

The following morning the weather, while still cold, had dried up and after revisiting both Meylor Vosper and Commander Nance the day was spent shopping (as well as selling various items recovered in their adventures so far).  Meylor Vosper was obviously pleased to discover that Arris had joined up with the group and as discussed paid the reward for the recovery of the books of prophecies.  The visit to see Commander Nance was the surprise of the day though.  Although on the previous day the Commander had seemed non-committal about the idea of some kind of reward for clearing out bandits and goblins from Ironwolf this time his demeanour (while never cheerful or welcoming) was completely different.  The offer of a generous reward was made quite openly and agreed upon by all.

After another night dry, warm and well fed at The Hare And The Ass the group set out early in the morning trekking until late afternoon to get back to Ironwolf Keep.  As they finally reached the treeline obscuring the building they just caught sight of several figures of human height crossing the threshold into the courtyard.  Setting up a camp out of sight of the keep a watch was kept all night on the keep but the figures did not return.  Just as the first light of day crept into the sky the adventurers crossed stealthily to the main gate of the outer wall and slipped inside.

Armitage quickly scaled the wall to the ramparts and crept along to the tower’s second entrance. Taking a silk rope that they had prepared for the task Armitage withdrew one of the scrolls that they had bought in Wolverton and read it quietly under his breath. As he pointed at it the rope lifted itself and climbed higher and higher until the loop in the end was above a crenelation on the roof of the tower where it then lowered itself until it was secure. Armitage then scaled the rope, ascending like the silent shadow of a cat until he reached the roof. Relieved not to find anyone else there the rest of the party one by one joined him atop the tower. Each slipped across the roof to ready their weapons by the trapdoor at the north-west corner of the roof while Armitage checked over the trapdoor for traps and locks. Last to climb the rope as Arris neared the top of the roof his boot slipped and he swung heavily into the side of the tower, the impact taking the breath from him with a loud exhalation. Time seemed to stand still, each member of the group hearing their own hearts beating loud in their ears and aware of the sound of their breaths rasping loudly in the night. From below woman’s sleepy voice called out some question that was largely unintelligible but although the minutes passed like hours, especially as Arris finally made it to the roof, all still seemed quiet below.

Finally convinced that an army of bandits was not about to stream up the stairs to the rooftop Armitage gently opened the trapdoor and crept down the spiral stairs. As he descended the landing below slowly came into view, the stairs continuing on to the next level down. The landing was small, barely big enough to allow for the two doors leading off it. Behind the silent halfling Arris missed his step on the stairs, not only making a sudden noise but also knocking into Dvadi whose warhammer banged into the wall of the stairwell. After a moment’s pause the barking of a large sounding dog started from behind the nearest of the two doors, shattering the silence of the night.