Winterhaven, Day 5 continued
With his sword at the throat of Torinn, the skeletal knight demanded to know why the party was there. In turn, he asked each person about their motives, their abilities, or their backgrounds. Each person answered to the best of their ability: Torinn explained their presence and his worthiness as a paladin of the Raven Queen; Remmeke the Learned filled in the knight on the history of the area since his demise and the new dangers brought about by the re-opening of the rift; Varrin the Wise proved that he was a priest of Pelor by reciting the doctrine of his church; and poor Parin started to describe his ability to slay undead, but Remmeke reminded him that their questioner was also undead, and then Parin stumbled for the right words. Torinn stepped in and talked of the rogues abilities, and Parin provided a demonstration of his sneakiness by vanishing from sight (aka bluff and stealth).
Satisfied, the knight revealed himself to be Sir Keegan and explained his predicament. Having died with enormous guilt on his souls, he rose again from his death and found himself bound to his own crypt. He can feel the seals on the rift weakening, but is powerless on his own to stop it. The party says that their mission is to stop the one opening the rift, but they would be glad of any help that the knight could give them. The knight then offered his sword, Aecris, to Torinn, and wished the party good luck in their quest.
Heading back to the entry room, the party went through a set of doors and down a short stairwell. From ahead, they heard goblins arguing, so they chose to enter a hole in the hallway wall that went into a natural cavern. In the cavern, they were set upon by large rats and a strange yellow-brown ooze that split apart when it was near death. The party was victorious, and in the aftermath, Remmeke found a concealed door that led to what looked like a panic room, stocked with a musty bedroll, some rations, and a couple of sunrods. They also found a pair of bronze double doors, greened with age, with "Do Not Enter. No Really." written on them. For the moment, they decided to heed the warning.
Further into the caverns, the group found strange, small tunnels burrowed through the rock. They found the creators of the tunnels when small insect-like reptiles came rushing out of the holes and surrounded the scouting Parin. The fight against the creatures was quick, but not before the party realized how sharp the claws of their opponents were.
With only one other option in the caverns, the party decided to open the bronze doors. In the room beyond was a small underground pond with an island in the middle, and on the island gold pieces and other bits of treasure glittered. As the group neared the water, a bubble of foul-smelling gas erupted from the pond's surface, causing Torinn to reel with disgust. Then a blue amoeba-like creature burst from the water and attacked. In the fight that followed, the party survived, mainly by using range to keep out of reach of the creature and blast it from the entryway. (We also finally looked at swimming rules, since Parin took a tumble into the pond.) In the loot, the group found three pieces of parchment. One was a map of the surrounding countryside, with Winterhaven, the burial site, the kobold cave, and the Keep clearly marked.
The second piece had a message saying:
"Remember, don't wet the nodule—unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach.'
The third piece had another message written in the same hand:
I have recently learned of your actiity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.
Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers"
After the fight, the group locked themselves in the panic room and took a well-deserved rest.
Winterhaven, day 6 (campaign day 11)
The party emerged from the panic room and went into the room where they had earlier heard the goblins arguing. Apparently, the argument was a longstanding one, because they seemed to still be at it. Their room looked like an excavation site, with small ten foot high pillars of the original floor scattered about the room, connected by small planks. The majority of the room was a dirt hole, with one ramp leading into the room. The party had the element of surprise, but in a lengthy discussion of tactics, lost it. However, the combat was relatively easy, with the only difficult part coming when Torinn and Varrin attempted to run across one of the planks and wound up falling into the hole. In the rubble afterwards, the party found a dirt-encrusted holy symbol of Bahamut.
Onward, and the party headed to the last exit from the dungeon's entry room. In this room, they heard voices behind a door, but decided to go through another door, a decision that would come back to haunt them in the next battle. In the next room, they found two goblins gambling and a large bell on the table between them. Remmeke used his mage hand to steal the bell, and the party attacked. One goblin ran for help through a curtain and before long, the party was swarmed by goblins led by a fat goblin. Just when the fight seemed to be under control, the running goblin returned with help from the room the party had left behind. A well placed Sleep spell from Remmeke kept the battle under control, but many a party member was bloodied or knocked down before the party finally won.
After this battle, the party headed back to their panic room, and in the night, they could hear deep, guttural voices talking outside their door. (The party gained enough xp to put them at third level at the end of the session.)