Keep on the Shadowfell Campaign – session 4
The party returned to Winterhaven and a heroes welcome. Reporting the success of their mission to Lord Padraig and their intention to head to the Keep they asked if he was able to sell them some horses. Rather than see the animals left outside the dangerous ruins he agreed to loan them horses on the condition that the local guide Ninaran accompany them so as to bring the mounts back once the heroes entered the ruins. Despite their suspicions that Ninaran was somehow connected to the cultists they agreed before retiring to Wrafton’s Inn and the impromptu party being held in their honour.
During the festivities Ninaran entered the taproom and approached the heroes congratulating them on their recent success and telling them they would be leaving in the morning for the Keep. The heroes were awakened by Wrafton’s stableboy and told the elf and the horses were waiting outside, so after a brief breakfast they allocated suitable mounts (not easy for the hulking goliath) and headed for the town gates. As they got there a crowd had gathered and Lord Padraig stood foremost as the residents of Winterhaven waved the heroes off. One of the heroes spotted a dark cloaked figure lurking at the rear which looked similar to one of the creatures they had fought in the hidden shrine but before he could raise an alarm the figure disappeared. Telling his allies they decided to leave it for now and concentrate on the task at hand.
Once outside Ninaran offered the heroes a choice or routes to the keep, a slower easy route that would get them there for nightfall or a rougher cross-country route that would see them arriving mid-afternoon. The heroes chose the quicker route and followed their guide. Other than a few bruises in tender areas the journey proved uneventful despite the heroes expecting the elf to lead them into an ambush. Dismounting at the bottom of the bluff the keep was built upon the elf prepared to return to Winterhaven when he noticed a multitude of tracks leading into the ruins. Pointing them out to the party he wished them luck and left.
Carefully climbing to the ruins the heroes found orc archers and guard drakes, and Bron quickly became a pin-cushion and a pair of human thugs joined the orcs. Just as they finished dealing with the guards they discovered partially ruined statue of Bahamut and then a small swarm of goblins appeared from deeper in the ruins, led by a hulking orc warrior.
As annoying as the goblins were, the orc proved worse. His viscious axe digging deep gouges into the genasi warlord before finally falling to the combined efforts of the genasi and goliath. With their leader down and several of their number immolated by the dragonborn elementalist a pair of cowardly goblins fled down a spiral staircase into the tunnels and chambers below. Mopping up the remaining foes and blocking the stairs with more pyrotechnics from the elementalist the remaining party members regroup and recover – preparing to descend into the depths.
Those of you familiar with the Keep on the Shadowfell adventure will probably be wondering what this session was about, well to be honest having read through the adventure I found that it seemed to have the pc’s delving straight into the tunnels below the ruined keep and besides a single picture there as no details of the remaining ruins of the keep. Therefore I decided to use the map my daughter had drawn for me based upon the one used for the Red Box Games Day adventure, not only because its a fun map, but also because any of my players that may possibly have played/ran Shadowfell previously wouldn’t be expecting it. I’m happy to say it proved a great success and everyone had a blast.
Next session see’s the heroes descending into the tunnels and crypts below the Keep, with its residents pre-warned!