Friday, January 1, 2010

Skarwall Keep – The Deadwatchers & the Skeletal Lancer

  • Characters: Aramir, Forkbeard, Henzio, Lazbin, Sentalial, They Call Him Carn
  • NPCs: Kooruk Coldrock
  • Synopsis: Over the next half-tenday the adventurers split time between Cedarspoke and Threshold, as the former offers a rich marketplace to sell and procure new magic items, and the latter offers access the Circle of Holundi and the sage advice of Julbin Cometstrike. The reconstituted party forms again and decides to explore the ruins of Skarwall Keep for the fabled Firehill Runestones. Drafting the warlock Henzio from the Army of Nature’s Wrath, the group is rejoined by the mysterious They Call Him Carn. Lazbin vouches for the monk before expediting their travels to Cedarspoke. Further research of the Skarwall Keep yields a historic truth that it was an outpost for the brash and outspoken Commander Firehill of Ironfang Deep, a dwarven city nestled in the eastern Orsraun Mountains. Henzio’s name does have some pull as they are given vital information by the dwarf ambassador to Ironfang Deep Kooruk Coldrock. Traveling to the dwarven city with a sealed letter of authorization, the group finds the city half embedded into the mountainscape, allowing for mining operations to be sheltered from the bitter winds and snow. There, the history of Skarwall Keep is more robust as some dwarven elders remember tales of Dessothal Firehill. Coldrock’s letter affords them a specialist that teleports them to the vicinity of the outpost. It isn’t long that Forkbeard finds the ancient path to a dormant volcanoe. Centered within and surrounded by a frozen lake, a very ornate and massive keep rests atop an island. Accessed only by a single causeway the keep is dead, until the visitors continue observing. Then lights periodically glow in the distance, moving from one section to another and a hint of wailing is heard riding with the loud winds. The causeway is protected by a decaying barbican, only half of which stands. Moving towards the bridge draws out an ambush as arrows rain down on the group. Scrambling to detect the attackers, the group disperses. Lazbin flies above the fray finding orc archers firing from the parapet. Arrow slits also protect others. With its face painted white the orc leader abandons the ranged attacks favoring to meet his prey face to face. Jumping from the upper floors of the barbican, the orcs engage only to find themselves quickly outmatched. The commander delivers damaging blows, but the shear volume of attacks does him in. The other orcs find a similar fate. After a quick reconnaissance the group finds two more orcs that immediately surrender. They are of the Deadwatcher tribe, responsible for prohibiting ingress and egress from Skarwall Keep. The recall ancient tribal traditions of the brief occupation of the keep, and subsequent annihilation. Allowing the weaklings to retreat the group moves to the long causeway high above the iced surface of the lake. Midway to the main gate the portcullis rises and a massive platoon of dwarven skeletons emerges lead by a skeletal lancer. Lazbin is having none of it as the skeletons are eaten by massive black tentacles. The lancer is undeterred and charges the group, breaking free from the wizard’s magicks. Henzio looses his eldritch blasts that jolt the rider. But it is not enough before the lance is lowered and Sentalial is skewered. The close range battle is lop-sided and the protector of the causeway is disassembled when his bones are scattered across the ice below.
  • Encounters: 7 orcs of the Deadwatcher tribe, 16 dwarven skeletons, skeletal sergeant atop a skeletal nighmare.
  • Achievements: reached Ironfang Deep, learned more of Skarwall Keep, reached the main gate by dispatching the initial sentries and first line of defense.

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