Session 17 (19th Jan 2015)
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.
The torch guttered as Hederas descended the stairs to the basement of the watchtower. Largely ignoring the calls of the captive bandits he instead concentrated his attention on the goblin cowering in the corner. Yar appeared eager to help, repeating his pleads to be released but didn’t seem to understand requests to draw a map of the Blood Moon clan’s lair. His call for Elrohir to come and help with the intimidation of the creature was answered and the elf explained that filthy wretch wouldn’t know how to draw a map, his innate fear of paper and writing stopping him from understanding how to even hold a pen. Hederas instead turned to questions about the Blood Moon and soon discovered that the clan had around 80 members and was led by an ogre called Ruknar. Having decided that no more useful information would be forthcoming the companions returned to the tower to discuss the best option for clearing out the infestation beneath the keep.
After the spending of several healing spells, a long rest and some food everyone’s spirits were improved. Rethnic, released from his prison beneath the tower, was recovering and while gruff and stern was friendly in his own way. The group quickly decided that the best option was to have another night’s rest in the tower and then attack the goblins with the dawn, hopefully as they were preparing to sleep for the day. Rethnic was not keen on accompanying the group below ground, Hederas felt that the dwarf felt the physical impact of his imprisonment too keenly, but eventually Rethnic volunteered to stay in the tower so that the group had a bolt hole if they needed it. Having thrown some food to the prisoners and prepared their gear for the next day they settled down for a final rest before heading into the fray.
Creeping across the courtyard through the early morning drizzle as the sky first lightened the donjon seemed larger than it had previously and the black entrance unwelcoming, the silhouette of one of it’s doors hanging at a strange angle gave it an unpleasant look. Inside the building was dry but the explorers felt the weight of the darkness pressing down on them as they retraced their steps back to the top of the stairs down to the lair of the Blood Moon clan. Armitage left the lights with the party before creeping down the darkened stairs towards the faint fire light below. As he descended Armitage heard the unmistakeable sound of goblin voices getting louder, a disagreement of some sort was going on. Peeping through the doorway into the large room at the bottom he could see six of the squat, large headed creatures squabbling around a table in the middle of the room near to a small fire. Carefully keeping in the shadows he beckoned Elrohir to come down to as well. Elrohir sliently made his way down the stairs and quietly nocked an arrow before beckoning to the rest. Hederas arrived first followed by Dvadi however before Arris could descend sounds on the darkened stairs alerted the goblins to the company and battle was joined. Elrohir filled the air with arrows and Armitage cast a sleep spell which dropped several of the foes immediately. Dvadi, Hederas and Arris stormed into the room, hacking into the goblins with deadly force. Arris cut the first goblin he met in two while Dvadi was a whirl of axe blades dealing death to those goblins near him. Seeing the situation as hopeless one of the goblins turned and fled from the assault, chased by Arris who managed to cut him down in the corridor as Armitage dazed the creature.
Having subdued the guards Hederas noted that one of the goblins was still alive and brought him round. Questioning him brought about some basic information, primarily that the corridor the goblin had fled down led to the tribe while the other led to a well. Deciding that they had all the information they were likely to get Hederas drove his dagger into the goblin’s neck without warning, ending it’s life. Having regained their breath after the short but bloody conflict Armitage initially investigated the area to the north on his own. Having confirmed that the room was unoccupied he beckoned Elrohir to join him in the hopes that his excellent eyesight would improve their odds in the near darkness. A crumbling well stood in one corner and a further darkened corridor led off to the west. The faint musky odour that came from that corridor made them think of canines, convincing them that something lurked further down that path and in the darkness beyond the range of their lights.
Returning to the group a hurried, quiet discussion decided that the best course of action would be to ignore this corridor and instead penetrate as far as they could into the goblin lair itself. If it was possible to take out Ruknor without causing a general alarm that may take the fight out of the tribe.
Armitage scouted ahead down darkened corridors before long arriving at a large chamber with a dark shadowy pit filling the centre. Shining light into it displayed a thirty foot drop into an even larger cavern below. This vast space appeared empty and therefore carefully skirting the edges Armitage decided to press on. Of the two exits from this chamber the one to the south showed some signs of faint illumination and sounds of occupancy echoed up it while the one to the west was shrouded in absolute darkness and silence. Choosing to investigate the source of the illumination Armitage crept down the south passage.
The sound of voices grew louder and the flickering of firelight brighter as Armitage crept down this corridor. Peering round a bend in the passage he found himself staring into another large chamber. Lit by a large fire, over which cooked some sort of meat, the moving shadows of at least 30 goblins flickered on the walls. Tables and benches filled much of the space, goblin children running around ugly females while warriors drank and ate. A short headcount was all that Armitage felt he had time for before returning to the previous chamber to brief his comrades.
After hearing what awaited them down the southern corridor the party agreed that if they were to find Ruknor without alerting the tribe the western corridor was a better option. Again Armitage led the way into the darkness, relying on the faint light of Hederas’ magical light to find his way. Stopping by the only doorway in the corridor before it eventually turned itself to the south the young halfling strained his ears for sounds that the room beyond was occupied. He was rewarded by the deep sound of the snore of something large within. Should he continue to push further ahead or bring up the rest of the party and try to quietly dispatch the occupants?