Balgron's End; Unsettling Darkness

Rhea tracked Balgron the Fat to a wild cave connected to the Old Keep and found his secret room there … the door had been carefully concealed to match the surrounding natural stone. Apparently, the door was not concealed well enough. You found him inside, standing over his treasure and clutching a crossbow. With desperate malevolence in his eyes and blood dripping from his many wounds, he fired his crossbow at Aloyisus from point blank range, then quickly reloaded and fired again.

Aloysius moved in and finished him, and the others moved in behind and closed the door to keep out the rising cacophony of the rats that seemed to be gathering in the cave. After Syrzan picked the lock on the Balgron’s stash and counted it up, Bralm suddenly got the feeling that something was coming up behind him … that something was buried alive in the wall and trying to get out. After some frantic digging and striking solid rock, the feeling passed.

The party made its way out of the wild cave and back into the Old Keep, seeking to bury Balgron’s treasure in the excavated area, since it was far too heavy to carry around. In the process of keeping watch, with his back against a wall, Iados felt a cold hand come through the wall and grab his shoulder from behind. Syrzan and Bralm ran over to help free him, but saw nothing other than Iados struggling in place with nothing holding him. The hand then seemed to let go.

The next part of the Keep to be explored was shut behind double doors bound in iron. The area beyond felt unnaturally cold; strange symbols had been carved into the floor here and there. Upon descending the stairs, a group of Zombies lurched out of the shadows, stomping toward you. Their undead fury was no match for your combat skills, and you were able to cut them down as fast as they came. In the process, Aloysius charged a group of zombies, stepping on one of the carved symbols. A ghostly scream arose from the symbol, striking fear into your hearts; you felt compelled to run away from the sounds.

Now that the Zombies have been slain, a deathly quiet has settled once again. To the north, more passageways and catacombs with those strange symbols on the floor. To the south, a large room with stone coffins carved to look like statues of warriors. Which way do you dare to tread?

Balgron the Fat

You have wiped out the goblin’s HQ and tracked their leader (Balgron) to a dark, creepy stalactite-riddled cave. Do you dare enter to find him?

Hobgoblin Torture Chamber

You smashed the resistance put up by the masked Hobgoblin “leatherface” and now have the goblin named Xarn in your grasp, and he is begging for his life.

Xarn claims to hate the other goblins and has a nasty burn mark to back up his story. He wants to be your tour guide of sorts, seeking vengeance by showing you a secret way to Balgron’s lair. Is he an asset or a liability?

2nd Level!

Your experiences have honed your skills … after your next extended rest (overnight camp) you will be 2nd level!

Dirt Covered Statue

Some further info on that item Bralm found on the goblins (the statue of Bahamut, The Platinum Dragon). Once the dirt is removed, and upon further reflection, it becomes clear that the item is a holy symbol, specifically, a Symbol of Battle. It strengthens and empowers physical attacks and makes divine attacks more deadly.

In exact terms, it is a +1 Symbol of Battle that grants the following: +1 to attacks, +1 on damage, 1d8 extra dmg on a critical hit when used with divine powers that have the Implement keyword … also, as a free action, deal 1d8 extra damage when hitting with a power that uses this holy symbol (this last power recharges automatically when you reach a milestone).

Stonecunning in the Keep

Bralm takes a quick look around the floors and other stonework … they are flagstone with mortar in between … they appear to be well crafted once you blow off the dust, scrape off the goblin filth and/or sweep away the cobwebs. You do not find any dwarven clan symbols carved into them at this time, although that would be unusual for ordinary stonework. Generally, dwarven stonecrafters will only mark a signature piece with their clan symbol…

Vergwild Darkening .. First Contact in the Old Keep

Your return to Vergwild has been somewhat shocking, as the character of the town has begun to change rapidly for the worse. Everyone is on edge, the crops are failing, and a sense of impending doom is everywhere. Stories of your defeat of the Kobold raiders spread rapidly about the town, and many villagers have come to see your party as their last and only hope against a fate that is beyond their imaginations.

Your journey to the old Keep began with great fanfare, with the town’s guards even gathering at the main gates to shower you with applause as you set off. You followed the Old Road all day and, upon arrival at the Keep, you made your way through the rubble on a narrow pathway that someone (or something) has maintained. The path lead to a staircase that led down into the darkness.

The stairway consisted of finely crafted stone, perhaps the work of dwarves. A breeze chilled you to the bones as you took each step down. The flicker of torchlight spilled from a room at the bottom of the stairs.

Syrzan entered first, relying on her stealth to conceal and protect her. She found a lone goblin, slumped against a wall, apparently on guard duty but snoozing instead. One quick thrust of her sword dispatched the sleeping goblin, but his cry alerted others nearby.

Aloysius advanced down the stairs to take up a position near Syrzan, but in the process stepped into a trap set by the goblins: a thin plaster cover over a pit filled with a seething swarm of rats, hungry for a meal. The rats immedately set upon Aloysius, and began to climb the rope that Bralm dropped down for him, but the vermin were soon disappointed as Aloysius’ powerful athleticism enabled him to regain his feet and climb right back out of the pit, almost immediately.

A brief battle ensued, and although Aloysius received the worst of the goblins’ counterattack, they were quickly overwhelmed. A search of your fallen enemies revealed that they were carrying quite a bit of loot for such filthy creatures.

Silence has fallen once again. You now have a moment to catch your breath and begin your exploration of the old Keep, to hopefully reveal the secrets that it has kept for over a hundred years.

What is (or was) the Keep? Is a set of catacombs? A tomb? A cathedral? A military outpost? A storage depot? Why was it abandoned? Who (or what) inhabits these dark depths after all these years, and for what purpose? Who is Kalarel, where is he, what is he up to, and how can he be stopped?

Dragon Burial Site

You have discovered the site of a dragon buried at the bottom of a crater and were subsequently attacked by the group you encountered there: an evil gnome, his henchmen, and their two guard Drakes. The gnome, Agrid, tried to appear non-hostile at first, then ordered his crew to attack. Syrzan was nearly killed by the Drakes who set upon her with their razor sharp teeth. Bralm then intervened with his healing powers and Syrzan was able to use her Fey Step to get away from the kill zone.

A brief but vicious battle ensued. Aloysius dealt with Agrid and most of the henchmen, while Bralm, Syrzan, Iados and Rhea defeated the guard Drakes and the stone-slinging halfling who roamed the lip of the crater.

Once the battle ended, a search of Agrid turned up an unusual mirror and an amulet with a woman’s picture inside.

Syrzan and Rhea began searching the tents because they heard muffled sounds coming from one of them. In the last tent, Syrzan discovered her former mentor, Douven Stahl, bound and gagged under a blanket. Douven was disoriented but was finally able to describe how he had been forced to travel to the area and aid in the search for the burial ground. He explained that an evil cultist named Kalarel needed the mirror for a ritual that he is working on, and that the amulet originally belonged to him (Douven). Upon hearing that Syrzan intends to go to the Old Keep, he suggests that she take the amulet, and that it will protect her.

(In exact terms, it is a +1 Amulet of Health, and bestows upon its wearer a +1 bonus to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will defense, as well as Resist poison 5.)

Douven explained that he can’t return to his family without putting them in grave danger from Kalarel’s spies. In essence, he can’t go home again, or even show his face in public as long as Kalarel is alive. His intention is to somehow get the message that he is ok back to his family, then to return to the Vergwild area to assist Syrzan and the rest of the party if possible. You have discussed purchasing some supplies for Douven in order to see him on his way.

Ok … Bralm has the mirror … Iados has an excavated dragon skull … Syrzan has rescued her former mentor … next stop Vergwild

Bralm's Agenda

That name: Kalarel. This is the one the High Priest Marlah was telling Bralm about. So, Bralm thinks, the church’s spies were right. There really is an evil cult operating in the Borderlands. Bralm resolves to find out everything he can about their activities, and then find and destroy them.

Dwarven Chain Mail

Aloysius and Bralm take turns trying on the dwarven chain mail and putting it through its paces by doing their normal daily weapons practice while wearing it. They can tell that the armor is clearly magical. Not only does it provide magical protection against enemy blows, it fortifies its wearer against fatigue, loss of morale, and even bodily injury to some extent.

(In exact terms, the armor provides a +1 AC bonus, a +1 bonus on Endurance checks, and as a daily power, allows the wearer to regain hit points as if a healing surge had been spent, as a free action.)


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