Rho’Shel kicked open the doors, ignoring the phrase “Stay Out – Really!” written in common over the doors. The party ducked as something shot over their heads out into the darkness.
The scene the greeted the party was a featureless room that was partially filled with water. The preternatural stillness of the water gave pause even to Alrin. “Perhaps this is not part of our path” muttered Enna nervously. “Yeah, there’s that stairway back near the entrance that we haven’t investigated yet.” agreed Krag.
No one in the party seemed too inclined to take the first step into the room to perform a true investigation of the nature of the black water, so after conferring for a moment, they decided to leave the silence alone and quietly closed the doors before retreating back to the more familiar dangers presented by the kobold and undead certain to be haunting the rest of the keep.
As they explored the next set of rooms, Drac spotted some movement in a side room which turned out to be a small horde of Zombies Rotters and a couple of true Zombies. The party quickly wiped out the horde (with the help of a Greater Turn Undead by Enna), but the battle wasn’t over as another few Rotters and Zombies lurched from the darkness behind them—plus the unwelcome stench of a Corruption Corpse who proceeded to inflict necrotic damage at will. The party generally emerged emerged unscathed and pressed on into the darkness.
The next room presented a long wide hallway with large crypts lining the walls. As Rho’Shel and Krag started toppling the crypts against the protests of the shocked Cleric Enna, Drac took the opportunity to explore down the hallway, triggering a trap! The 10 crypts flung themselves open and out stepped ten Skeletons, prepared to deal punishment to the invaders (ie, the party).
Drac immediately regretted being separated from the rest of the party, but due to the quick thinking of Dayereth and Alrin (who both had prepared attacks in case of such of an event) the party was able to recover their composure and regroup. Rho’Shel moved up and executed a nifty Hammer and Anvil move with Light Touch that effectively reduced the opposing Skeletons to the dust and tatters. Krag, who had been otherwise occupied, whooped as Light Touch landed a telling blow but yelled “I thought we were exclusive” across the battle to Rho’Shel.
The party breathed a sigh of relief as the last Skeleton fell and a few of them carefully investigated the next to find a pair of ornate alters along with a glowing portrait of a platinum dragon that covered the dome above them. Written in common on the alters was:
- The Platinum Dragon is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.
- He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my armor against the
- foes of life—I need only kneel and offer him my praise.
Just as half of the party entered the room, the crypt doors slammed open again releasing another ten Skeletons! The party shared a moment of panic as they realized that Enna was cut off from the rest of them with the skeletons turning to attack her. Rho’Shel shouted urgently to Dayereth to “PRAY AT THE ALTER!” before turning to wade into the skeletons to rescue Enna. Dayereth ran over to an alter and mumbled a quick prayer to the platinum dragon: “Praise be to Bahamut!”. As the prayer ended, the Skeletons crumbled to the ground, their lifeless bodies now joining their brethren on the floor.
Venturing on into the final room beyond the Bahamut shrine, they came upon a raised dais with a sarcophagus upon it. As the party investigated, the top of the shrine exploded open to reveal a stark skeleton who screamed “The Rift must never be opened!” as he emerged. Several party members immediately protested that they were there to protect the rift, not open it. The skeleton paused, fingered his long sword carefully before identifying himself as Sir Keegan, the erstwhile commander of the Keep Over Shadowfell. Sir Keegan reluctantly started interrogating the party members to determine their true intent. Each person acquitted themselves with aplomb as they remained true to their agreed upon intent to protect the rift. Sir Keegan eventually became satisfied that the party was not there to simply plunder the keep or even worse, open the Rift. He provided Rho’Shel with his sword, Aecris, and charged the party with investigating the threat to the Rift, which was located further down in the keep.