Keep on the Shadowfell Campaign – session 7

shadowfellHaving taken a several serious wounds in their last few battles, the heroes decided to retire to the goblin war chief’s chamber to rest and recover with Shabba rigging a trip wire at the entryways as an alarm system. Thankfully their rest was less disturbed than their dreams as they all again shared a dream of Sister Linora of Winterhavens temple to Avandra. The young priestess was in one of the mausoleums in the towns graveyard and looked to about to be swarmed by grasping undead. Just as the first clammy claw struck, the priestess screamed and the heroes awoke.

The dreams were unsettling but the heroes were still determined to plumb the depths of the Keep rather than return to Winterhaven. They returned to the head of the rough stairs they had discovered close to the goblins excavation site and Shabba stealthily explored the darkened chamber below. He was greeted with several loud squeaks and many pairs of beady red eyes peered at him. He quickly  let his colleagues take point as a multitude of filthy, furry bodied vermin swarmed towards them.

Thanks to the glow from Korrin’s Sunblade illuminated more of the chamber as she entered and the heroes could see a slowly approaching amorphous mass of sickly yellow-grey mucus moving towards them. Nadaar was able to dispose of many of the rats with his fiery magic, though not before he, Rocky and Shabba had all been bitten by the critters, the wounds showing signs of infection from the rodents filth-laden jaws. Once the blob got closer the heroes were able to engage it but to their horror as they pounded upon it, it split in two! Although they were able to form pseudopods and strike at the heroes they didn’t last long against their combined assault.

Once all their enemies were defeated the heroes explored the chamber further, discovering a secret door theat hid a chamber laden with supplies. As everyone replenished their adventurers packs Bron found a barrel of ale and having filled his waterskin, and then drank a few pints for good measure. Emboldened by the ale, Bron investigated a large set of bronze doors which were covered in a layer of fungal growth. Written in goblin in the fungus were the words “Stay out. Really!” before his companions could stop him Bron kicked the doors open causing the fungus to explode in a cloud of spores before descending the stairs they revealed.

The room beyond was damp and the stairs led to a narrow ledge adjacent to a pool of stagnant, brackish water. A small island stood in the center of the pool and there seemed to be a pile of bones, coins and other assorted items strewn upon it. As the heroes watched the water’s surface rippled as if something moved beneath it, and then exploded in a fountain of foul-smelling froth as a blue slime burst forth, forming amorphous appendages. A wave of stench assaulted the senses of the closest heroes leaving Rocky feeling nauseated but not preventing him charging to the pool side and striking with his mighty maul. Korrin soon joined her companion while the rest of the party used ranged attacks.  As the last blow took the blobs life it lost cohesion and spread across the water’s surface in a thick oily coating. Now that it was safe to do so Shabba sprinted into the room and leapt onto the island to uncover the treasures left by the slimes previous victims. The party recovered a potion of healing, a shield of protection and an ivory scroll tube sealed with wax. After examining it Shabba noticed that it had been trapped and skilfully removed the seal without triggering it.  Inside were three sheets of vellum, the first being a map of the keep and its environs, the second was written in goblin which Bron deciphered as “Remember, don’t wet the nodule—unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach.”, the heroes assumed this referred to awakening the slime that had protected this chamber, the third sheet was written by the same hand but in common, read “Greetings, Kalarel. I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.” It is signed: “Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers.”. Shabba tried to leap back to shore but having less room to run up he didn’t reach safety and splashed noisily into the stinking, filth covered water. His allies helped him out but couldn’t hide their grins at his misfortune.

At the far side of the rats chamber a corridor led south. Still under the effects of the alcohol Bron boldly strode forward, straight through a concealed pit cover. His fall was cushioned by the body of a goblin that seemed to have died in a fight with a strange-looking creature. Part insect, part reptile, silvery chitinous plates covered its body and short tail, and had four limbs that ended in scythe-like claws. The creature had two smaller limbs, with finer digits close to the body. The head was vaguely reptilian, and the lower jaw a toothed plate flanked by serrated mandibles. Thankfully the creature was only the size of a cat and quite dead. After helping Bron out of the pit they proceeded more cautiously, discovering another concealed pit in the chamber beyond and several small tunnels leading into it.

A horde of the creatures poured out of the tunnels, a mass of gnashing teeth and claws with a trio of larger, dog sized creatures too. Nadaar’s fiery spells once again proved useful but appeared to aggravate the largest of the creatures which proceeded to lauch a volley of tail spikes at the elementalist and Shabba who stood beside him. The dragonborn managed to avoid being hit but the rogue was struck by the sharp spines and realised they had a mild poison within them. Rocky moved to block the tunnel entrance and prevent the large creature coming out, and Nadaar attempted to launch an elemental bolt at the beast, unfortunately striking his goliath companion by mistake. Unfortunately this triggered Rocky’s defensive ability (persistent harrier) and hulking warrior was teleported beside the foe that had struck him, before he realised it had been Nadaar his maul had smashed into the dragonborn with a sickening crunch.

Despite the mishap the heroes were victorious and followed the larger tunnel around to the chamber the creatures had been nesting in. Shabba discovered another pair of hidden pits (the second one by falling into it) before they found the pile of remains of their previous victims in the corner. As they searched through them they uncovered the emaciated body of a goblin but it had unusual lumps in its chest cavity. Subtlety went out the window as Rocky tore the corpse’s chest open with his bare hands, spilling a half-dozen gooey egg-like sacks onto the chamber floor. Nudging them into one of the open pits Nadaar then summoned elemental flames to destroy them. The heroes gathered the loot, counting the gold and silver coins up along with the pair of potions of healing. There was also a small chest which Shabba examined and determined that it was magically trapped. Passing it to Nadaar, the dragonborn was able to discover that a glyph of warding had been placed upon the chest but he believed he could disarm it. The rest of the party retreated to a safe distance, just in case, as Nadaar tried to disable the glyph. His first attempt failed but hadn’t triggered the glyph, sure that he had worked out where he went wrong he tried again – with disastrous results! The chest exploded in his hands, showering him with shards of the chest as its former contents dropped charred beyond use to the floor. After making sure Nadaar was ok the party looked at what was left, determining that they had been a pair of gem stones, but now nothing more than charred carbon.

The heroes retreated to the war chief’s safe room to lick their wounds and plan their next move. Should they act upon the dreams they had been having and head back to Winterhaven or descend into the lower levels of the Keep and whatever horrors lay below?

Photos from the session.

Another great session, with the players exploring the final part of the Keep’s first dungeon level. I know 4e doesn’t have any critical fumble rules but when Liam’s elementalist rolled a 1 to shoot past Matt’s goliath I had him roll to hit again with Matt as the target this time, I also allowed Matt to make a save for half damage as Liam specified that he was shouting a warning “Oh shit, look out Rocky!”. We almost had a repeat straight after as Rhys’s Shabba rolled a 1 on a bow shot again past Matt, but his second roll was also a 1 so I said he’d managed to unstring his bow.

As we packed our things away we discussed possible dates for our next session, agreeing on Jan 11th.  David (Bron) also asked with the mention of Thunderspire in the messages they had found, was I planning on running that following this adventure. Well yes I am (as long as the players are willing to put up with my lunacy) though I’m planning on substituting “Madness at Gardmore Abbey” in place of “Pyramid of Shadows” as I prefer the former. So plans are afoot for a good long-lasting campaign.

I’d like to take this opportunity to once again wish my players and all of you readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


One Response to “Keep on the Shadowfell Campaign – session 7”

  1. […] a gamers musings « Keep on the Shadowfell Campaign – session 7 […]

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