Our heroes continue their search for a lost relic of great power. As the sun rises they get the first good look at their objective – an ancient keep built into a steep hillside. The backside of the hill is a sheer cliff, punctuated by a cave opening nearly 200 feet up. The more accessible front side is divided by walls into multiple tiers.
The lowest tier is made up mostly of collapsed, overgrown buildings. The wall here are partially collapsed and easily passable. The party catches glimpses of wild dogs(?) fighting over scraps amidst the rubble.
A steep overgrown road leads to the front gate of the middle tier. Behind an intact wall and functioning gatehouse, tens of dozens of serpent people have made a semi-permanent camp in what was once a village. A tall tower rises from the center.
At the top of the hill sits what remains of a great walled keep. Several stone buildings remain standing inside the walls. Getting to the keep will require making your way through either the lower or middle tiers (or both).
As the last light of the day fades, the party climbs over the ruined wall and into the rubble-filled lower section of the fort. Their attention is drawn by birdmen talking loudly in squawking voices. Their group was hunting for treasure among the ruins when one of their companions fell down a hole into a nest of giant insects. They are too afraid to go after him, and our heroes agree to try and retrieve the missing birdman.
Down into the hole our heroes go! At the bottom they have to battle a nest of giant insects, and then navigate a maze of small tunnels on their hands and knees while fending off the attacks of juvenile insects. (Keth does not like me bugs to begin with – this probably gave him a permanent phobia!)
The tunnels lead to the basement of the collapsed tower where they find a black ooze creature hiding at the bottom of a well. It’s a tough fight as their weapon attacks only slice off a smaller version of the whole!
The main floor of the watchtower is inhabited by several minotaur “zombies” animated by a sentient mold colony.
After defeating the zombies, the party finds a moldy chest holding treasure (see below) and the watch captain’s journal. It describes their arrivals at this keep, and how the relic they seek is locked away in a special vault, with multiple layers of protection. The keys for which have been distributed among the watch captain, the keep’s wizard, and the lord of the keep. They also found unusual gem tipped rod, which controls a type of construct (presumably one of the keys).
Returning to the surface the party is betrayed by the birdme. There is no injured companion. They demand the party leave their treasure and flee. That doesn’t end well for the birdmen, however. In the combat that follows most of them are pushed back into the pit where they are eaten alive by hungry juvenile bugs.
+2 quick blade
Level up to 7!!
Jeweled crown 50 gp
2 gem studded collars (50 gp ea)
18 topaz (50 gp ea)
2 rubies (100 go ea)
Necklace 100 gp
Raise dead (scroll)
circle of protection