Play date: 17/4/10
After resting up in the secret room they found earlier, our heroes move on from the kruthik’s lair and enter a labyrinthine area where strange runes adorn some floor areas. They adroitly avoid these and wonder around for a bit, eventually heading south. Straight into a bunch of Zombies, who they quickly dispatch. They then dispatch the group of zombies that come up behind them. Things are looking pretty straight forward for the Red Corsairs at this point.
Bolstered in confidence after the straight forward conflict they have just strolled through they keep moving south into a mausoleum, it’s walls lined with sarcophagi. Having noticed a scratching sound coming from within the nearest one they discuss trying to break into it, and the possibility of destroying them. ‘Something’ gives them the feeling that this might prove fruitless. They move down the hall.
As soon as Matasia and Thom pass through the final pair of sarcophagi all ten slam open, each disgorging a skeletal warrior. Matasia and Thom find themselves separated from the rest of the party by the presence of two slightly healthier looking specimens, and battle ensues.
At the rear of the party Sky gets set upon by many skeletons, and suffers heavily at their cadaverous hands, but Darrow fairs no better as seven of the skeletal legion manage to land arrows in his body, turning a sneer about the minimal damage each presents into concern as his health become depleted. The fight is vicious as sarcophagus after sarcophagus disgorges further skeletons into the fray. Only when our heroes enter the brightly lit temple of Bahamut found at the end of the hall, and Darrow prays at an alter in His honour, do the skeletal legion return to their coffins.
Our party examine the two altars found in the temple, and after some poking around find that the southern altar holds a secret compartment in which they find five dragon statues of silver and platinum. They move on through the double doors at the end of the temple and enter a tomb.
Lifting the lid on the coffin sat on a raised dais in front of them elicits a surprising response from it’s occupant. The heavy coffin lid explodes in a flurry of dust. A humanoid skeleton girded in plate armor rises from the cloud. Its breast- plate is emblazoned with a stylized dragon’s head, and the skeleton holds aloft a longsword. “The rift must never be re- opened!” it croaks. “State your intentions, or prepare to die!”
There follows a short Q&A with the skeletal being, during which our party manage to persuade him that they are not grave robbers and that they are here for good reasons. Lord Keegan, for this is who the skeleton is, holds quite a civilised conversation with the party, during which he conveys the following answers:
Matasia: “Who are you?”
Sir Keegan: “I am Sir Keegan. I was commander here in Shadowfell Keep. It was my charge to keep the rift sealed, lest Orcus’s unholy powers once again seep into the world.”
Thom: “Why is Shadowfell Keep ruined?”
Sir Keegan: “I failed in my responsibility. I allowed the influence of the Shadow Rift and my knowledge of the crumbling empire to distract me from my sworn oath. The corruption that lies on the other side of the rift touched me and triggered disaster.”
Thom: “What disaster? What happened?”
Sir Keegan: “Orcus’s vile taint soaked through the rift and into my dreams. A madness overcame me. I was possessed! In a rage, I drew my sword and slew my wife and children. From that bloody deed I moved outward, attacking my captains, one by one, killing them even as they stared in shock. I had become a murderous fiend!”
Matasia: “How can we destroy the rift? Can you help us?”
Sir Keegan: “I wish I knew. It was not in my power to destroy the rift. I now pay the price.”
Thom: “Why are you down here?”
Sir Keegan: “Finally the alarm went up, and what remained of the legion banded together against me. Even in my rage, I knew I couldn’t best them all, so I fled into the crypts to hide from vengeance. Only then did the madness lift. I realized what I had done and despaired. I had killed my love and broken my oath. More than that, I had done so with my sword, Aecris, an implement given to me by King Elidyr when I was knighted.
“The remnants of my legion sealed the passage and trapped me here. I selected this as a fitting place to spend eternity.”
Darrow: “What can we do to help you?”
Sir Keegan: “I am past redemption. But perhaps I can grant you aid. I cannot leave this crypt, but Aecris can. Perhaps this elegant weapon, unlike me, can be redeemed. I give it to you that you might purge Shadowfell Keep of those who work to open the rift. Seek Baha- mut’s boon at the altars outside and perhaps he too will grant you aid.”
Our party gains another artifact from Lord Keegan, together with the knowledge that the statues they ‘found’ in the altar outside may help them in the trials to come. Lord Keegand also tells them that the entrance to the second level of the keep is in the North-Westernmost corner of this level.
Here we leave our party.