Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Session 15: To the hills

After liberating the slaves from the slave pits under Darkshelf, Flint, Galathil, and Lynnya turned east, to investigate reports that the slave caravans were passing through a fortification there.Along the way, they spotted some masked dwarves ahead on the road. Having heard about "chaos dwarves" Flint was cautious, but asked them if they knew anything about the slavers. When it was clear that the
party was not pro-slaver, a fight ensued. The strangely masked dwarves fought briefly before two of their number were knocked out with a sleep spell, and the last one turned invisible in an attempt to flee. In a rare stroke of luck, Lynnya was able to both detect the invisible target and pinpoint it twice in a row, taking him down with a brace of arrows from long range. Examining the corpse and removing its mask, Flint noticed that the creature did not have a face, so much as a darkness that suggested a face. Disturbed, and not wanting to take any chances with more disappearing dwarves, the party euthanized the other two.

Some time after this, and after about a day of travel, they were face to face with a four story fortress with a large curtain wall and drawbridge. Spotting sentries actively walking the top, they decided that a frontal assault was not a viable option, and decided to wait in the surrounding woods, keeping a close watch for any parties leaving or arriving. In the middle of the night, Lynnya spotted a rope being thrown from a second story window and a malnourished, disheveled man came darting into the woods. The party surprised him and made their intentions clear. Though startled, the man said his name was Parzifal and that he had escaped his captors but he did not know much information about the inside of the keep. After accepting some food, he was content to run along and try to find his way to safety.

The party then stealthily crossed the remaining distance to the rope that dangled from the window and climbed into a dusty room. They backtracked Parzifal's trail in the dust through several rooms until they came to stairs going up and down. They decided to go up to work their way to the sentries. Passing through the third floor, they found abandoned rooms and heard the eerie noises of the din of an ancient battle echoing on the sound of the crickets and the wind. Undeterred, they came to a cobweb, bone dust and old blood stain filled room with a ladder leading up on the opposite end. Attempting to sprint through the room, they were set upon by a ghost haunting this area against trespassers. It was unresponsive to being turned, and proved resilient against the arrows that were fired through it. However, Galathil's magic took no notice of its incorporeal nature and soon had the unnatural creature destroyed. Upstairs, the party ambushed a party of three hobgoblins and three humans, including one barechested knife thrower. Putting the weaker humans to sleep and killing the hobgoblins was simple enough, but the barechested man gave as good as he got in the fight against Flint.

There was a door to the outside of the curtain wall above the gate, where two groups of hobgoblins were quickly dispatched with sleep and violence. At this point, running low on spells, they decided to lower a rope for their remaining companions. At this point, Flint also began to obsess over the schematics for the mechanical construct he liberated from the Harpell's library. He wonders if he can make sense of them with the help of the tinker's tools and the broken animated armor parts he took from elsewhere in that odd manse.