The party (minus Stone, who stayed back in town to investigate further) hiked the winding mountain trail westward and upward to the Keep on the Shadowfell. The air was still, and dark clouds seemed to hover close at hand. No grass or tree sprouted in the ancient ruins. Some huge stones were stacked precariously, the skeletons of once-mighty towers; other stones had toppled haphazardly to the ground. But through the carnage of masonry there wound a well-cleared path, which disappeared, finally, down a stone staircase into the hard, gray earth.
Althaea and Nuvok attempted to move quietly down the staircase. Below them they could see the flickering light of torches. Before they could see far into the room at the foot of the stairs, a goblin voice exclaimed, “They’re here!” and the stamp of feet foretold the coming of reinforcements. For the moment, however, only one goblin was visible in the four-columned room at the foot of the stairs, armed with a spear, and Brandis strode bravely toward it… and directly into a trap.
The floor in the center of the room collapsed beneath the wizard’s weight, and she fell prone at the bottom of a ten-foot pit, surrounded by a swarm of rats that bit and scratched at her. Meanwhile, two more goblins holding crossbows revealed themselves in a hall leading away to the south, whom De’Wayne set forth to engage. Another goblin holding a spear emerged from the eastern hallway, aiming for Nuvok and Althaea.
De’Wayne was able to handle his two goblins with little outside help. Brandis scattered the rats with an icy blast, and they scurried up the wall of the pit, where they struck sporadically at both the party and the goblins. Soon four goblins and many rats lay dead in the now quiet ruin. A search of the area revealed a small barracks to the south, and a storeroom to the southeast. Closed doors led off to the east and west, while a hallway led away north. Gingerly opening the eastern door, the party discovered a staircase leading down into another torchlit hallway. From a chamber at its terminus came the sounds of digging and goblin voices arguing. The party shut the door.
Just beyond the western door a staircase descended into pitch blackness and silence. Again the party closed the door.
Following the torchlit hall way north, the party entered a room with closed doors on the west, north, and south sides. Behind the northern door they heard deep goblin voices shouting. No sound was audible from behind the other two doors. The door on the west opened upon a another store room. The door to the east opened to a short, torchlit hallway, which Althaea stealthily made her way down. Peaking around a corner, she saw two goblins playing cards at a large table. She signaled to the party, and quietly drew an arrow. The goblin yelped loudly when it pierced his shoulder.
Battle was joined, and a seemingly endless stream of goblins emerged from behind two heavy curtains covering hallways that led away to the east. De’Wayne fought from atop a table, and Althaea teleported into position to drive her short sword stealthily in the backs of her opponents. Brandis meanwhile created an illusionary pit beneath one of the curtains, forcing all of the goblin reinforcements to come around from the other direction. Finally, only one goblin remained in the room, and he threw down his spear and exclaimed, “I’ll tell you everything! Just don’t kill me.”
A short interrogation followed, wherein the goblin revealed that he and a few dozen other goblins led by one Balgron had occupied the ruins for several months. Balgron, he said, had been hired by the shadar-kai. Asked whether any prisoners were being held, the goblin squealed that there was Splug, a goblin, and an “elf lady.” De’Wayne bound the hands of the goblin, and he, Nuvok, and Brandis began sorting through plans for how they could hold up their end of the bargain, and leave their prisoner alive, without too great a risk that he would prove a liability.
Althaea searched the remainder of the area, finding a couple of goblin bunk rooms, and a room draped with heavy curtains, and a larger bed, clearly inhabited by a leader of some sort. No sign of the occupant was apparent. Picking the lock of a chest next to the bed, she found 560 gp and a pair of magical bracers.
Returning to the scene of the battle, the rogue found that the party was still debating their prisoner’s fate. Impatient, she stealthily strode up behind goblin’s back and slit his green throat. Without a word, the bold but uncharacteristically squeamish eladrin marched off to the corner of the room and vomited. After a few moments, with all the dignity she was able to muster, she explained, “Somebody had to do it.” No one had the nerve to argue with the rogue.
When we reconvene it will be 1600, 2 Flocktime 588.