Dugan's Dungeon

Excavation Site

After going down the stairs in the secret hallway, Splug asked us if he was allowed to leave us, he just wanted out of the keep and to be allowed his freedom. We let him go on his way after promising to be good, then we made our way east to an excavation site.



Needs to be completed… Time warping to last week’s campaign, but I will come back to fill this in.

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Balgron the Fat

When Lief kicked open the door leading to Balgron’s chambers we saw two goblins at the end of the hallway. Splug surprised us all by running ahead of Lief and chucking a spear at the goblins. We all followed the spear, dismantling the guards outside of Balgron’s personal chambers. After some fun watching Lief attempt table jumping (and falling) we torn down the tapestries dividing the chamber, we chased Balgron into his personal quarters and finished him off quickly. He had a couple of keys in his pocket, one opened a chest under his bed that had a magic wand in it. Catikia snatched up the wand fast, the other key lead to a door hidden behind another curtain, the door held a staircase that led downwards to another secret door.

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Onwards and Downwards

We arrived at the keep around mid-morning. The clearing that held the ruins was empty of all plant life. There were some obvious signs of activity recently; someone had uncovered a staircase going down into the keep. The stairway was finely crafted stone, possibly dwarven. We starting our way down the stairs when out of nowhere Lief took off at top speed running down the stairs and into the first room. He only made it a few steps however because he fell into a pit filled with rats. Crazy human… We followed him down the stairs and met up with the goblins that he was probably charging into before he fell. We dispatched the four goblins without too much of a problem; Friel apparently felt the need to play with the rats though, because he fell into the already exposed rat pit about half way through the fight. We eventually got everyone out of the pit, fixed up and rested. We started following the western corridor into a slightly wider hall; we had to make a choice here between the double doors to the East and single doors on the North and West walls. We told Lief to kick in the door to the North, which led into a torture chamber, Lief charged right in when he saw someone laying on a mat and being jabbed with hot pokers by a large hobgoblin. Sátōkō really changed up from her normal moves, she ran right in the room with the rest of us turning the hobgoblin into a pincushion! Casper got stuck in an iron maiden and then beat through the cage until we got him out; he was royally pissed after that. He took out a goblin as soon as he came out and then almost tripped over the prone form of Lief. We were surprised when the prisoner turned out to be our friend Falcrast, he had left the village before we had and must have been caught by one of the bands of goblins before we killed them all. When we finally finished clearing out the room of all the goblins that were trying to kill us we had a chance to find out what had happened to Falcrast. He didn’t have much to say when it came to his capture, he just wanted to get his drink on and find his gear. I started checking out the cells that were in a hallway off of the main room, there were three cells, and the middle one contained a goblin by the name Splug. Lief took an instantaneous liking to the little guy, but most of the group was very wary of him. I sat and talked with him for a while to get his story, he told us that he was in the cell because he had figured out that the work they were doing was just busy work, that there was no treasure to be found in the room they were told to excavate. He started conning his fellow goblin workers out of their ale rations and they united against him. He begged to be set free so he could leave the dungeon and never trouble us again. In return for the promise of setting him free he gave us information about Belgron the Fat, the boss of the excavation site, and about the layout of the site itself. He also told us that Falcrast’s gear was in a closet outside the torture chamber, across from the double doors that lead to Belgron’s chambers. I assured him that I would set him free after we had a chance to rest and recuperate from the fight we just had. Once we were ready to move I let Splug out of his cell and let him take any of the armor and weapons he wanted from the bodies of his former comrades.

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Dragon Burial Site

After making sure we had everyone, we set off again for the burial site. When we got there, we saw some people in a pit next to some dragon bones, a gnome called out to us, “Hey! Come look what we found!” We figured that we had found the gnome mentioned in the note from Irontooth, so we were on guard against him. There were a couple of watch drakes stationed at the top of the ramp leading into the dig site, Lief and Casper charged in a kept the drakes busy while the casters took out the humans who were in the pit below. The gnome somehow became invisible during the fight. A halfling jumped into the pit and started slinging stones at us. Sátōkō and Lady Silence put a stop to him with their arrows though. We had to search around a bit for the darn gnome, but we did manage to find the little creep. Catikia centered a blast of ice on Lief and chilled both him and the gnome out. Once the gnome was taken care of we started checking around, found Douvan Staul tied up and scared. We freed him and let him go on his way, before he left though he took a picture of his wife out of a locket and gave it to Rena. He said that the locket grants the wearer extra health. We went back to town; the townsfolk were still scared and generally un-agreeable. We reported in to Lord Padraig again and he sent us off to Shadowfel Keep to seal the rift and clear out the place.

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History Lesson

We went back to Winterhaven to rest, resupply, and report in to Lord Padraig. Everyone was hiding in their homes and the city was very quiet. Salvana Wrafton seemed a completely different person; gone was the friendly banter, replaced with a fear that she would not talk about. We went to the temple and spoke with Linora, the priest on duty; she mentioned that she has been having bad dreams about a door being opened. After stopping by the shop to pick up more oil and ammo, we saw Valthrun coming out of his tower. We stopped him to ask about the necklace we found. He took us up into his tower and told us about Shadowfell keep. He said:

The people of Winterhaven avoid Shadowfell Keep. Some leave it alone because all ancient ruins have a disturbing feeling about them, a feeling composed of lingering memories and unknown mysteries. Some say the place is haunted. Others fear the rumors of goblinoids using the place as a lair. Whatever the reason behind its solitude, one fact is clear. Within two short decades after the collapse of the Nareth Empire, Shadowfell Keep was abandoned and left to fall apart and decay. It was on a grisly night about eighty years ago that the commander of the keep garrison, Sir Keegan, put into motion the events that led to the keep’s downfall.

Perhaps the Shadow Rift’s malign influence is too strong to resist. Maybe Sir Keegan was an insane monster driven by demons we may never understand. Whatever the case, at the stroke of midnight on that fateful day, Sir Keegan began to systematically slaughter every resident of the keep. His own wife and children were first to fall to his blade, then his trusted advisors, and finally many of the soldiers under his command. Sir Keegan was too skilled for any one soldier to defeat, yet eventually the garrison managed to respond with an organized defense. Although many brave soldiers died, they managed to drive the mad knight into the passages beneath the keep and finally dispatch him.

The keep became notorious for a time. As one of the last bastions of the fallen empire, there was no one to order it back into service. So, it was abandoned, feared for a time, and eventually, more or less forgotten. An earthquake a few years later collapsed the upper towers and walls, and turned the place into a ruin of tumbled stone. Rumors persist of great treasures buried beneath the keep, yet few have dared explore the passages over the year. Sir Keegan’s ghost is said to roam the corridors beneath the ruins, wailing in grief over the tragedy of his life. The people of Winterhaven avoid the place, and the mere mention of Shadowfell Keep is considered bad luck by many of the farmers and villagers.

We left Valthrun’s and went to Lord Padraig’s manor. The guards would only allow two of us entrance, we sent in Rena and Friel to explain the situation so far to the Lord and find out what he would like us to do next. His advice was to stop the cultists from getting the artifact from the dragon burial site.

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Trolls!

We followed the river downstream for a ways until we found a clearing with two huge trolls in it. We attempted to sneak up on them, but being a dwarf I am not really good at sneaking around. They heard me coming and jumped up at us, forcing us to charge them abandoning our attempt at stealth. We shot them with arrows and magic, hacked them with swords and bashed them with hammers, they just would not stay down. We finally tried fire and found that they could not regenerate the wounds caused by flame. After a lot of effort, we eventually burned them enough to drop them. What a pain it was, to have them keep coming back at us even after we dropped them. It’s a good thing we had flasks of oil on us or we may not have made it out of that fight alive.

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Irontooth

We continued walking down the road to the place of our first skirmish with the kobolds. Seeing nothing interesting that they left behind from yesterday’s fight, Sátōkō started looking around for tracks. It didn’t take her very long to find them and off we went in search of the kobold lair.

We could hear the waterfall through the forest and see some movement through the trees. We saw a large group of kobolds wandering around near a waterfall. This must be the entrance to their lair! The woods opened up into two trails, one going up stream, and the other going down. We split into two groups in an attempt to flank them and give us an advantage when the fighting starts. Casper, Rena, Lady Silence, and Catikia went down stream a little ways and started slipping through the woods. Meanwhile, Lief, Sátōkō, Friel and I tried to sneak upstream a short distance. Sátōkō spotted a beefy kobold in the woods and tried to take him out quietly with two quick shots from her bow. Unfortunately, the rat started squealing and alerted the entire camp to our presence. Some of the kobolds started throwing spears at us through the trees, they aren’t very smart, they kept missing us and hitting the trees instead. I ran over to a kobold that was about to beat on Lief and bashed him in the head with my war hammer, then Lief flailed his sword over both of our heads, I wasn’t sure if he was trying to hit the kobold or me. Sátōkō took out the pest that got us noticed with two more quick shots, nearly at point-blank. Friel was paying much better attention this time and started things off right with an eldritch blast that took out the kobold right next to me. I ducked back a ways when I saw a rage take over Lief, he swung around and nearly chopped an arm off of one of the big kobolds, his swing was so ferocious that his swing came free of the big guy and split the head of the kobold standing next to him. Sátōkō fired two shots into the chest of the now angry kobold that Lief had hit, killing him.

Meanwhile, Casper had noticed that there were a couple of the big guys standing in some sort of circle, one was just screaming his head off, so he started shooting him through the trees with his crossbow. His first shot hit the yeller on the arm and didn’t seem to affect it too much, he shot a few more times but wasn’t having much luck getting arrows through the trees. He took off through the trees, running right up to the circle to take on the kobolds in close combat. Rena and Lady Silence had snuck off through the trees and were coming up behind everyone and thinning out the crowd of kobolds for us. Almost every attack from them killed another kobold; soon there were only the two big kobolds in the circle left. We all started to work our way over to help Casper finish off this group. Sátōkō got in a few more shots with her bow and Catikia was pounding on them with her magic missiles, but it was Lady Silence shooting the yeller from behind that finally quieted him down. As it died, it yelled out “Irontooth must be warned.” Casper and Lief took out the remaining kobold and we all stopped to take a quick rest before moving on into the caves that we knew were behind the falls.

We split into two teams to try to flank anyone coming out of the waterfall, as we were getting into position Sátōkō found a second cave entrance and went in to check it out. She let us know that the cave split and lead over to the entrance by the falls and had a passage that went further back into the hill. There were many kobolds in the caves and she signaled for us to come join her. Lief and I came in, but Friel had gone off to check out the circle that two big kobolds had been staying in. We took stock of the numbers in the cave and Sátōkō went back outside to signal for Catikia to send in some flames. Catikia sent a few scorching blasts into the waterfall to draw their attention away from the side entrance. Lief charged into the smaller hallway leading to the back of the cave and met up with a large goblin who could only be Irontooth. Lief kept the goblin busy with a very comedic show of skill, avoiding all of the goblins swings while not managing to hit the goblin with his own attacks either. It was almost like they were dancing together while the rest of us took out all of the other goblins. Eventually we did get them all and Lief ended his show and started beating on the goblin hard. The goblin really had no chance once all of his minions were gone and we had little trouble dispatching him. His last words were “Kalarel and Lord Orcus prepare my way!” We will have to find out who this Kalarel is.

Upon searching the kobolds and the goblin’s stash, we found 12 gold and 48 silver pieces, a chainmail shirt, a battle-axe, a small key, and a scroll. The key opened a chest where we found 420 gold pieces and a suit of +1 dwarven chainmail (worth 520g). Written on the scroll was:

“My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors. It probably doesn’t matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift when the gnome finds the artifact in the dragon’s bones. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for all that Lord Orcus sends to serve me.”

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Ambush

The next morning we set off to find out what we could about the kobolds and possibly the cult. Silvana, that wonderful woman, provided us with two days worth of rations each. As we left town we were once again attacked by some kobolds, this time they had a magic user of some type with them. Casper and Lief sure tested my ability to keep them alive this time, I love watching them swing and miss, swing and miss, they are great entertainment and great meat shields. Luckily, Catikia managed to deal with their caster spell for spell, taking him out with the sizzle of acid. During the fight, one of the kobolds thought he could gain the high ground on us by jumping up onto a rock, to bad for him he landed bad and fell off right next to me. Casper must not have noticed the failed attempt to gain higher ground by the kobold because he tried to jump up on the rocks too. That rock must have been slippery because he fell right off too, silly meat shields. Friel, although completely oblivious to the fact that we were even in a fight for our lives at first, did manage to pull his head out of the clouds long enough to dispatch one kobold and even harm a couple of others. Working together, we managed to take them all down and I stood everyone back up with some well placed healing, if I do say so myself. We all, of course, had to pick on our meat shield friends a bit for their… wonderful… performance. Even Friel joined in for some lighthearted ribbing of the guys. As we gathered up their weapons Rena and Sátōkō again managed to find money on these little monsters, they came up with 5 gold, 23 silver between them. Catikia went to check out her kill and found the little bugger had a necklace with a symbol of Orcus on it. These little critters are part of the Cult!

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Arrivial at Winterhaven

When we arrived at the gates of Winterhaven, a couple of friendly guards pointed us towards the local inn run by Salvana Wrafton. We happily followed the directions and soon found ourselves in the company of a tired yet content looking Silvana. She offered us room and board for the promise of an attempt at clearing out the wood surrounding the town of the goblin menace, and set up a meeting with the mayor, Lord Padraig, for us. We all stowed our gear in the offered two rooms and rested up a bit from our long walk. At dinner, we moved a couple of tables together and started questioning the locals to find out what was what. I met a nice old man named Ellion, a local farmer to the south. He told me about a friend of his named Douvan Staul that had gone off looking for a dragon burial site to the southeast. He also pointed me to the temple at the west end of town so I could go and meditate later on. Lord Padraig joined us for dinner, he did not seem very impressed by our collection of kobold spears that we had brought with us, but told us that if we can stop the kobold attacks for 30 days then he would pay us 100 gold. Friel and Lief tried chatting up a half elf woman, and from what I understand did not get very far with her. The smooth talking Casper, on the other hand, managed to find the location of the cult’s lair. Apparently, we need to go back east, the way we came, to the bend in the road, then head directly south to the waterfall. Passing through the waterfall will reveal the lair. We really should have asked her how she knew such detail about the location. There was also an old man in the bar named Valthrun, I am not sure if anyone tried to talk to him or not, he seemed very stand offish.

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Journey to Winterhaven

Moyra, the head cleric of our village in the Nentir Vale, gathered up our group of friends and told us to go to Winterhaven. (Quest Link)She was always asking us to do little jobs near the town for her, but this was the first time she sent us out of town for an extended time. Apparently, a Cult of Orcus had set up shop either in or near there and she wants us to find out anything we can about it and, if the rumors prove to be true, then put a stop to it. From what I remember from my religion classes Orcus was a very evil god who was killed and resurrected without his divinity and is a demon lord instead of a god now.

Not long after leaving home, we were waylaid by a small band of kobold raiders on the King’s Road. It should be noted that the road has fallen to ill repair, probably due to the kobolds harassing travelers too much to make it worth the risk in taking this route. This didn’t seem like a normal kobold gathering group, there was one in the back who slung some poorly aimed pots of goop in our direction, missing everyone. There were also a couple of slightly larger than normal kobolds among them, carrying shields that were shaped like dragon scales. After a short fight, we took out the band and kept their spears. Rena and Sátōkō found 34 silver pieces; I do not want to know where they had to check to find that on those disgusting little creatures, I sure didn’t see any belt pouches on them. After that encounter, our journey continued uninterrupted all the way to Winterhaven.

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