The Keep at Ridgehaven

Day 3

Enter the Keep at Shadowfell, almost die while killing lots of goblins. Find Okai again. Adopt Splug, make him fight to the death. Get eaten by jello.

Strengthened by the experience of genocide, the adventurers return to Winterhaven to find the villagers nervous. The town oracle warned them that a dark gate had been opened, and a rift to the shadowfell is being subject to rituals by the death cultists the adventurers had originally convened in Winterhaven to stop (before getting distracted by kobold murder). After stopping for supplies and some upgraded weaponry and armor, the party follows the disused and overrun path to the abandoned ruins of the keep that used to protect this rift. Finding them recently disturbed, they discover a stone staircase heading underground and follow it down. After falling into a pit, getting peppered with arrows
and stumbling in the dark, the adventurers defeat the goblin guards, making sure none survived to warn the others.

The next room they found was the torturer’s lair, where for some odd reason the human grappler decided to moon his enemies after smashing down the door, wasting the element of surprise and allowing them to violate him with a red hot poker and shove him into an iron maiden. The next to enter the room, the warden, took three arrows to the chest as soon as she stepped in the room, which nonetheless provided the trigger for the monk to deftly leap through the doorway, flank and double-team the goblin warrior with her, taking him down. They make short work of the torturer and the other goblin sharpshooters, except for the one that locked himself in a cage and shot between the bars, who took several minutes of missing and self-harm to defeat. The cleric discovers her vow of pacifism clashes so strongly with the party dynamic that after taking a smash at a bloodied goblin, her god stuns her in punishment. The party eventually stumbles upon Splug, an imprisoned goblin who promises them to be their loyal servant if they let him free.

Led by their captive Splug, the adventurers stomp into the dungeon’s barracks with no regard to stealth, quickly getting swarmed by goblin cutters and warriors in three waves of brutal counter attacks. Causing as much damage to themselves as to their enemies in such enclosed spaces, the tiefling burns off several bits of his own horn, and the monk knocks himself out twice while taking out two adjacent enemies at a time, much to the cleric’s dismay, jabbing out one of his own eyes and a notching his ear in the process. The warden smashes, the cleric heals, the drug-addled brawler grabs, punches and shoves, the wizard conjures flames everywhere, the monk whirls madly in a flurry of punches, kicks, headbutts and leaps, and even the hardy goblin leader, Balgron the Fat, surrenders rather than face a brutal death. He then dies a brutal death regardless, his pleas for mercy ignored. The adventurers loot his body, finding keys to his treasure chests and choosing to rest for a bit before facing the rest of the dungeon.

In the private chambers of the goblin leader the adventurers find a trapped revenant, covered in blood, dirt and with a vacant look on her face. Despite never having seen her before, she recognizes them, naming them with some concentration. She has little memory of her brief existence since she was sent back to reality by the Raven Queen in this new guise, but she recalls fighting in the forest, being subdued and captured by goblins and being taken to her cell while they figured out what to do with her. She has brief flashes of her past life, and smiles with teeth like knives when she’s told of the death of their kobold companion a few days prior. She says little, but the lust for bloodshed in her eyes reveals that Okai has returned to continue the rampage of destruction even death could only delay.

Continuing to explore the dungeon, the adventurers stumble upon some goblins digging in the caves, arguing over not having found anything of value. Hiding behind the walls of the hallway, the group is showered in explosive firepots as they take down the goblin bombardiers and their guardian drakes, and several of the heavier armored party members fall while attempting to traverse the plank bridges between excavations. When only one of their number remains, the goblin bombardier surrenders, offering a substantial treasure in exchange for his life, despite the brawler’s insistence that they should kill him immediately. Even after revealing his hidden holy symbol valued at over 1000gp, instead of releasing him as promised they took him and their other loyal captive, Splug, and forced them to fight to the death for their amusement.

Knowing his death was assured, the bombardier waited until he was surrounded by the party and set off all of his remaining firepots, nearly wiping the party in a massive fireball and forcing the cleric to make some very hurried heal checks while three fourths of his teammates made desperate death saving throws. Ultimately, even Splug survived, although horribly scarred, and the party raised him from the level of meat shield to team pet for his unfailing loyalty.

After recovering from the explosion, the team makes their way through the dungeon traveling down into a series of caves that appear to have been there from before the dungeon was built, stone walls turning to dirt and roots, the paths thick with concealing stalactites and stalagmites. Peering cautiously into the darkness, any member who strays too far from the group is quickly ambushed by swarms of large rats, who vanish back into the darkness between strikes. When the party sticks together, they find the attacks stop, but the sound of rats in the walls, chittering and squeaking and scraping razor-sharp claws against stone builds and surrounds them like a wall of murmering, whispering sound, and still none can be seen. Spotting an open area, cleared of bones and debris, where the sound seems to be quieter, the party walks into the branching room only to walk face first into a gelatinous cube, whereupon the sound of the rats is suddenly replaced with a thundering silence. Trapped between a rampaging, acidic cube, slamming and absorbing every adventurer it can reach and the abruptly swarming rats, the party has to fight desperately to slay the little beasts and whittle down the giant gelatinous monster. As quickly as they are swallowed the adventurers burst out of the cube in explosions of arcane fire and bashing fists, and when they seem to get the upper hand and bloody it it splits into two smaller cubes, which they pound and ignite and slice until they are finally free from their cherry and grape flavored grasps. They collapse from exhaustion, covered in gore and jello, recovering their strength for another day.

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