Party: Exandra, Ioelena, Hilniflit, Fledermaus
Day 0: No taxes to settle for Mission 07 loot. Visited Yanos to discuss ork skull and a new development with the green buds on the white branches: The buds have turned black and now new buds are growing. Yanos not sure what any of this means. Exandra, by the way, opts to buy herself a halberd which turns out to be an excessively wise decision…
Guild Kitty after buying supplies: 625 gp – 200 gp (Cure light wounds potions for party) – 425 gp
Day 01: Leave Westmarch, uneventful day and night.
Day 02: The party comes across a small, lake in what looks like a small crater. In the middle of the lake is an island with a weeping willow. The lake seems about 30' deep and the party doesn't seem up for a swim, so Ioelena summons an eagle to scout the island for us. When it returns, it tells Hil (#SpeakWithAnimals) that there's a dark hole on the island under the tree. The party notes the location of the island on the map and decides to return on a later mission. Camp that night is uneventful.
Day 03: It's a warm day and the party gets a little lost and find themselves in soft, boggy terrain. They hear a commotion in the distance. Hil sneaks up to the commotion and finds a family of boars fighting a (relatively) small green dragon about 12' in length. Hil sends a wizard's message back to Exandra, telling her there's a dragon, the rest of the party approaches and Fledermaus steps on a stick. The dragon is immediately alerted to the party's presence, still in the thick of the forest. Ioelena and Hil blast it from cover with magic missiles and a scorching ray. The dragon launches into the air and casts an entanglement spell that slows the party and ensnares Exandra.
To the members that speak draconic, they can hear the dragon complaining about annoying adventurers. The fight lasts another round, dealing some savage blows to the dragon, but it's clear that the dragon's acidic breath weapon might be more dangerous than expected (Hil barely escaped the main blast and suffered significant acid damage). Hil tells the dragon that it can surrender. The dragon lands a cautious distance from the party and tells them it is a young dragon fleeing its parents, looking for hunting grounds of its own. The party suggests it should move to the East in search of grounds not directly under the party's protection. The dragon grudgingly moves along after grabbing its boar snack. The party camps nearby that night and passes uneventfully.
Day 04: The party comes across a temple covered in yellowing ivy. Searching inside, they discover a book covered in a pile of rat skins that seem to have been drained of their innards by some dark art. The book's cover bears the image of a large fly and is filled with necromancer rituals. From the ceiling hang long threads with small silver pieces tied in shimmering chains. Hil taps Fledermaus and Exandra with the wand of Bull's Strength so they can climb the walls and grab the silver (40sp). The party keeps the book for later scrutiny and Hil incinerates the temple interior in disgust as they leave.
The party arrives in Dulwich. Hil and Ioelena travel to the Irori Temple to heal Hil. Exandra and Fleder head to the Dancing Bear Tavern to hopefully find a cleric to join us on the Shadowed Keep raid. The head priestess of the Irori Temple, Vuokko, tells Hil and Ioelena that Valio was hired as a contractor to turn the Bugbear Stronghold into an Irori safe haven free of Weido's Dulwich politics. Hil and Ioelena meet up with Exandra and Fledermaus at the tavern and find them plying a table of exhausted and traumatized adventurers with drinks. The bartender mentions that the adventurers are veterans of famous area dungeons – The Smoking Mountain, The Maze of the Blue Medusa, Eastmarch. They have been introduced to a female dwarf cleric named Thurv that's willing to help the party on the raid for a 20% cut of the loot, 15gp up front and her choice of any magical weapons that might be found. The party agrees and suggest they meet at dawn the next morning. The night at the inn was uneventful.
Day 05: On the way to the Shadowed Keep, the party runs into a Bloodmoon Goblin named Saar, holding his arms out to his side and clearly looking to parlay. He begs the party to help he and his supporters to oust an Ogre that has taken control of the Shadowed Keep tunnels. The Ogre, Ruknar, has been a menace to the goblins and Saar and his followers are tired of dealing with him, the bandits and the party's constant raids and slaughter. They are willing to help us get access to the Ogre's chambers if the party will then leave the Bloodmoon in peace… and leave them some of their treasure.
Saar seems to recall a map in the Ogre's chambers and this seals it for the party. The chance of pacifying the goblins, satisfying the bandits and finally finding the map in one stroke is too much to resist. Saar agrees to make sure the guard room is lightly guarded and tells the party any goblin wearing a yellow armband will be trustworthy. Saar also sketches out the route to the ogre's chamber for the party.
When the party reaches the Keep, they are stopped by a clearly frustrated and harried Firean and a couple bandits. They have grown tired from the constant and increasing assaults by the Ogre and his goblins. They have even lost two of their party, taken prisoner by the goblins. She has lost all patience with the party and is planning to leave Shadowed Keep entirely if they can just figure out what to do about their two captive members. The party offers to rescue them as they have a deal with a faction of the Bloodmoon. Firean is skeptical, but is happy for any help.
The party heads below the donjon and dispatches the guards at the bottom of the stairs swiftly. They head straight for the ogre's chambers. Hoping for the element of surprise, Hil throws open the door and casts flaming sphere, Fledermaus tosses a stun grenade and the rest of the party surges in, firing off magic missiles and swinging halberds. Ruknar and his harem of swift and nimble female goblin assassins are caught off guard. The quarters are cramped by a fire pit and a table surrounded by piles of moldy furs. This is not helped by the fact that the ogre himself is massive and nearly fills the room with his bulk.
The flaming sphere is dodged by the lead goblin and the stun grenade incapacitates another. Ioelena's missiles and Exandra's halberd wound the third goblin. Hil then directs the flaming sphere onto the stunned goblin, lighting her on fire. Fledermaus kills her with an arrow. The last two goblins attempt to charge Exandra, but the furthest is tripped up by the fur piles and the second is chopped nearly in half by Exandra as it tries to slip past the reach of her halberd (crit 20 opportunity attack). The ogre charges with a massive falchion and narrowly misses Exandra, glancing a badly timed blow off her shoulder. Exandra takes the opportunity to disarm him of his falchion and sends it flying back behind her, she then swings the halberd around and buries it deep into the ogre's collar bone (crit 20, again). Hil's flaming sphere then trundles toward the ogre and lights him up before fading into a puff of smoke. The flaming and enraged ogre takes the brunt of a few more magic missiles and then finally crumples across the table. The last goblin frees herself from the furs and stumbles back to a weapon wall, but is taken down by some more magic missiles before she can respond.
The battle was incredibly swift and efficient thanks in large part to Exandra's new halberd. The rest of the Keep barely had time to respond. Saar shows up after the battle and claims the ogre's falchion and drags it out to show the rest of the goblins that Ruknar is dead and is no longer their leader.
The party searches Ruknar's chambers and finally finds the "map" of the dwarven Khundrukar stronghold… unfortunately, the "map" is actually a massive stone geode with the map of the mines carved into it in full three dimensional relief.
On the outside is a carving showing the path to the mine's entrance. Hil and Exandra take some time transcribing the map to parchment as it looks as if the geode is going to be too heavy to move from the chamber.
The rest of the search reveals 45sp on the goblins, some goblin "jewelry" worth 10gp, 3 masterwork javelins (Exandra), gold earrings worth about 50gp, a wand of moderate wounds with 12 charges, a black leather pouch with the initials AH that contain a set of masterwork thieves' tools (Hilniflit), a golden necklace (value tbd), 300gp, 20 platinum and assorted copper and silver in a large chest.
The party gives Thurv the earrings and her 20% cut of gold and platinum. The falchion turns out to be masterwork, but is too big for human sized wielders, so they leave it with Saar as a ceremonial token of leadership as well as the silver and copper from the chest. Saar then releases the human prisoners – two of which are the bandits Firean mentioned and a third named Kirko. He's a large, muscular human that was captured by a goblin raid while transporting merchant trade between Dulwich and Longbridge. The party agrees to take him back to Dulwich. Thurv sets about healing the prisoners while Ioelena intimidates Saar into leaving human settlements in the area alone. Hil gives Saar a marked token that he can send back to Westmarch if anything weird comes up out of the sealed undercrypt below the goblin tunnels.
Once topside, the party returns the two prisoners to Firean who intimates that she and her bandits are pulling up stakes. They're done with the Keep and are going to find easier locations to ply their trade. She offers Thurv access to a shrine on the tower's rooftop if she'd like to pray to Irori and Thurv takes her up on the offer. When she returns, she tells the group it's not an Irori shrine. The party goes to investigate and finds glyphs similar to the ones on their adventuring stones provided by the Guild and was apparently built by Ironwolf. It turns out this is a new waypoint the party can travel to using their stones! (We can now "bamf" to Westmarch or Shadowed Keep after 10 minutes of meditation.)
All told, it was a fine treasure haul and I think we can finally cross Shadowed Keep off the to-do list…
Silver tied to string (~40sp – spent at some point)
Necromancer book of rituals
240 gp (-60 for Thurv)
16 pp (-4 for Thurv)
goblin jewelry (10gp)
3 masterwork javelins (Exandra)
Masterwork thieves' tools (Hilniflit)
Wand of moderate wounds (12 charges)
Golden necklace (tbd)