Into the Lion’s Den

The front of the keep has a long drawbridge that used to mate up with a pier; however, the pier has been smashed up and is easily 10' short of the length it needs to be to reach the drawbridge. The party scavanges some planks from the city and builds a sturdy extension that will work for a few days. They then use their newly-found wand of knock to bring down the drawbridge. Peregrine starts across to the portculis, but when he reaches it the drawbridge explodes in a wall of fire. The bridge starts to burn, but Emby puts out the fire with a wall of ice from her staff as Peregrine dives into the water. That obstacle overcome, Amilyn, Peregrine, and Damir lift the portculis with much effort. They cross into a 20'-long tunnel through the outer walls, then enter a large, ornate foyer. The doors are chained, and the walls are covered with ruined paintings of the former leaders of the castle. The party triggers a musical spell as they walk through the room, and they notice arrow slits behind the paintings. They also notice that the doors are chained, and Peregrine believes the chain to be trapped. He disarms the trap, and the party continues through into a hallway. They sneak off to the left, finding the door into the arrow-slit room. They open the door and are hit by a lightning bolt, but persevere and bring down the skeleton archers in that room. Then they continue down the hall the other way, finding an identical room and bringing down those skeleton archers as well. Each time, Damir throws their equipment through the arrow slits into the foyer. The party continues exploring, soon finding a large ballroom with a pipe organ that seems to be the source of the musical trap they triggered. Peregrine carefully makes his way to the organ and disarms it by breaking it. He also notices that the floor seems to be solid along the walls, but further into the room he senses some sort of pit trap covered by an illusory wall. Emby uses her rod of negation on the illusion and nearly the whole floor disappears; the room is truly a ballroom, but the ballroom is sunken and has grand staircases leading down into it. The banisters that used to protect the balcony-goes from falling have been destroyed, their rubble tossed to the floor below the illusion. Downstairs, three ghouls and three zombies are lurking; when the ceiling disappears, they head toward the party. They are quickly brought low by well-placed arrows, and Peregrine performs a cursory search of the room. He finds many doors downstairs, but he chooses to explore this level first; the party retreats from this room and examines some other rooms on this floor. They find an armory with a crossbow trap and a zombie inside; they kill the zombie and disarm the trap, then loot the armory, returning the loot to the foyer to go through it later. The next few rooms the party searches are empty barracks; the party finds nothing of value there. Peregrine does find some glyphs guarding hallways, triggering some lightning bolts in the process of trying to destroy them. He is uninjured, however. The party then finds some guest rooms that used to be well appointed but are now rotting away. Damir finds a set of fine clothing in one of the wardrobes and sets it with the rest of the loot. He also finds some bottles of wine, a painting, and three pearls. The party continues exploring, finding an alchemy lab with a warding circle protecting its equipment. Emby tries to negate the wardings, but the spell defeats the negation, unbeknownst to the party. Peregrine, in trying to break the circle carefully, triggers the spell, which sets off every alchemical item in the room. This deafens Peregrine temporarily and sets back the party for a few minutes as they extract themselves from tanglefoot bags and put out small fires. They take this time to regroup and remove the unbroken lab gear to the foyer. They then return to the alchemy lab and continue through a door there into a library. As they sneak around the tall bookcases, they see a large skeleton with a huge morningstar standing in the cases. The skeleton attacks, driving down some of the bookcases during the melee. Damir kills the skeleton with a last-ditch punch from his rapier hilt as it is about to deliver a killing blow to him, but Peregrine, Amilyn, and Emby did the vast majority of the damage to it. With the party now running low on healing spells and out of attack spells, they decide to retreat for the day and return tomorrow. They bring their wagon to the front of the keep and load it down with their new loot. Damir gives each priest one of the pearls and tells them to contact Bastion. He tells them that they plan to take this gear, including a possibly important book they found in the library (which Damir thinks references Kazaad), back to Bastion, and that they would appreciate guards. The party then heads to Bastion with their wagonload of goods to resupply themselves and give their newly-aquired weaponry to the priests for use in the war. After resupplying themselves, they return to the Citadel to continue looting the keep.


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