Exhausted from their battles, the party treks back to Winterhaven, only to find the town under siege. Lord Padraig informs the team that villagers are missing from the outlying farms, and undead have been spotted in the graveyard near town. Weary, but heroes to the end, the party makes the short trip to the cemetery, where they discover a glowing green rune circle, and many disturbed graves. They approach cautiously, and are prepared for the inevitable ambush, this time by a dozen skeletons, a pair of gravehounds, and an old “friend”, Ninaran. The elven archer calls Thoreth out and puts a well-placed arrow into his lung. Ryltar, however, steps up and drops her almost immediately in a flurry of dagger blows. The heroes handily clear out the rest of the undead and deactivate the circle, but not before Ryltar has the chance to kill Ninaran a second time – when she returns to unlife.
Winterhaven gives the party a heroes’ welcome. They have a well-deserved rest which is marred by a shared nightmare involving, yet again, a dark portal. Feeling that their time is running out, they hurry back to the Keep. Their first stop is at what turns out to be Sir Keegan’s crypt. He is a skeleton now, bound to the Keep by duty. The team convinces him that they are here to close the portal and have the skill to do so. Convinced, Sir Keegan trades his heirloom magical longsword, Aecris, for his children’s jewelry. If the party can defeat Kalarel and rebind the portal, he will be redeemed and can finally rest.
Fortified with this knowledge, the group pushes ahead to a dark cathedral, where they find a priest of Orcus bleeding out a villager onto a floor awash in blood. The blood drains into a hole in the center of the room, cascading into a deeper room where they catch glimpses of a large rune circle and the dark portal from their dreams. The heroes rush to engage the enemies in the cathedral, with Thoreth moving in an uncharacteristically aggressive fashion. He is quickly swarmed by vampire spawn and a berserker nearly hammers him to the ground with a heavy axe blow. The party rallies and turns the tide on the cultists, but not before a second berserker turns his wrath on the Eladrin wizard, knocking him out for the first time.
Having won the day, the party takes a short rest, hoping that the loud droning of the ritual below has disguised the sounds of battle above.
· +1 sylvan leather armor. 680 gp. PHB 231.
· +1 lifedrinker longsword. 1000 gp. PHB 235. “Aecris”, Sir Keegan’s heirloom blade. Inlaid with platinum, it has a line of three black diamonds set into the flat of its blade and a pommel carved to resemble the head of a platinum dragon.
· 39 gp.
Creatures Killed & XP Earned
· 525 XP per person.
· Ninaran executed. Twice.
· 12 decrepit skeletons crushed.
· 2 gravehounds put down.
· The spirit of Sir Keegan redeemed.
· 5 vampire spawn staked.
· 2 berserkers axed.
· Dark Halfling cut in half.
· Orcus Underpriest sent to Orcus.
· Running XP Total (without haikus): 3203 XP.
· 10 word recaps = 40 XP. Haikus = 41 XP.