17 Ches, 300 ADW
Our party was invited to stay in Steelwind keep, the home of Lord Commander Craiger, where we were able to rest and bathe and let the enormity of our current situation sink in. We also had the misfortune of meeting Mag, Head Magistrate and Seneschal for Steelwind Keep, who was given the task of showing us to our chambers. Mag is a slimy, self important little man, who clearly thought it beneath him to deal with my friends and me. He advised us that we were “invited” to dine with the court that evening. When we were bathed and dressed, we were given a tour of the castle. It is a magnificent place, overlooking both the city and the Sage Wood. It is a working military keep though so although finely dressed, most in the house wore their armour and weapons as well. As if the keep is ready for a fight at any time. It is a good thing too.
When we arrived back in our rooms we were attacked by cultists and an assassin looking for the journal we had found in the ruins below the city. They put up a mighty fight, but were unable to make off with the journal, and were all killed. We discovered that they had entered our rooms through a secret door that led to a series of secret passages throughout the castle. It was clear these passages were meant, at least in part, to spy on occupants of the keep. Reading the journal we discovered the key to opening the obsidian door down in the ruins. That night we dined with the court and were asked back to Commander Craiger’s chambers to chat in private. He let us know of his son’s rapidly failing health. He also offered us what aid he could for our quest into the ruins beneath the keep.
We headed back into the ruins and made our way to the room where we found the journal and the statues. We managed to open the strange obsidian door in the ruins under Dragonscales. The door opened with an ominous sound and we could hear the screech of a beast as it did so. The first room we entered had the remains of old corpses and four fresher ones being fed on by purple Alderian Soul Maggots.
The professor advised us that eating the maggots would allow us to gain the memories of the men they were feeding on. We took turns eating the maggots which, in addition to tasting horrible, gave us memories of 5 men being told to meet Mag in disguise, and at his command, preparing to enter the dungeon from one of the secret tunnels hidden behind the walls of Steelwind keep. in This room there was also a glowing, murky well. Hawkenthorne dove down through the murky water and pulled up a glowing red orb. The glow faded when removed from the water, and we decided to hold onto it, not knowing yet it’s significance.
From here we began to explore this strange new set of ruins, when the tunnels collapsed. We were separated, with Grog, the professor and myself finding each other rapidly. We found Alathor the Lost when he inadvertently awoke some skeletal warriors who had before just been a pile of bones. We dispatched the skeletons just as Hawkenthorne finally found his way back to us. We argued on whether to continue on into the caverns or to go back to the castle. Some thought we should head back to warn the castle that the beast rumoured to be held down here may have escaped, wile myself and others were determined to go on. When things did not go his way, Hawkenthorne became angry and transformed into monster, a shapeshifter! We battled it and, despite a hard fight, the creature fell. We managed to locate the real Hawkenthorne buried under rubble in an old throne room. It is here that we are resting, preparing for whatever lies next.