The Looming Flames

Making Headway

"Making friends is easy, keeping them is hard"

The magic-user Django had recently departed The Gnarley Forest after kobold attacks on his people had become more frequent. In search of answers, he left towards civilization to find a wizard that often visited his village but had not been heard from in quite some time. While on his way Django encountered two fellow travelers: the cleric Korlund and the paladin Maraxus. The pair were well-matched to each other, despite their ideological differences, and found each other’s company pleasant enough to travel east together as they both had business along the Selintan River. As the three meet along the trail and begin talking, Django notes a shift in the air. He mentions this to his new companions who seem not to notice whatever it is that has agitated the caster. Consulting his bones, Django informs them that something to the south of them is amiss; a foulness of nature. His mind made up to investigate, as this could be the source of his people’s kobold problems, Django leaves the road and enters the woods to the south. Not comfortable letting the man travel alone Korlund and Maraxus follow. Soon the trio find the woods give way to grassland, which in turn becomes a dry, scorched earth. It is in the center of this land where seemingly nothing grows that they see a chasm. Surrounding its edges are a number of pillars with strange runes and markings on them. But one pillar seems particularly out of place, for tied fast to it are a donkey and a rope that leads down into the chasm. The three adventurers waste no time in making their way down and are soon greeted with a very odd sight. Through the slim shafts of light penetrate the darkness they are able to see a ruined keep at the bottom of the chasm. Heading towards it they notice the entrance has seen some recent use, as bloody tracks are quite visible. Quickly setting aside their fears the three press on into the old stone fortress.

Meanwhile the adventurers who have spent the past couple days inside this keep have roused and are preparing to renew their exploration. As they are exiting the chamber they had barred the night before they almost stumble directly on top of the three new entrants. After a few tense moments during which each group is feeling out the other, greetings and salutations are made. Explanations are made as each side tells the tale of how they arrived here. Both groups quickly arrive at the decision to join forces and now the group, stronger in numbers than ever, is once again off into the bowels of the sunken keep.

Picking up where they left off the day before, the party passes through the rooms where they were waylaid by goblins. After carefully making their way through winding passages and corridors that have collapsed walls or parts of their ceiling caved in, the party enters a large room of many pillars. Each pillar bears a lit torch and the room is filled with oily smoke. The smoke may have been set as a trap by kobolds because not long after entering the room the party is attacked. After dealing with the threat, the group heads north into a portion of the keep previously unexplored. Soon they come into a chamber that houses a large, circular shaft that looks to go approximately 60-70 feet down. On the side of this hole opposite the party is a makeshift throne, upon which is seated a nasty-looking bugbear. It is flanked by several goblins but the bugbear is also holding in its hand two leashes to the lead to a couple of the vilest looking dire rats the companions have ever laid eyes on. The bugbear appeared to be expecting someone, or something, to enter its chamber but it seems surprised to see the adventurers but grunts out something indistinguishable in the guttural goblin tongue, and the room explodes into action. A brutal fight ensues but after several minutes of intense fighting, the prowess and sheer numbers of the adventuring group overwhelm the goblinoids and they are annihilated. As they party spends some time tending to their wounded, looting the fallen, and exploring the chamber, it is Fenrik Levesdun that takes to inspecting the shaft. While checking the shaft’s walls for any hand and footholds the young fighter loses his balance and plunges down the vertical drop. Many of his companions see this happen but none are near enough to offer any assistance before the young man has disappeared from sight, his body landing with a sickening crunch as he impacts the hard, stone floor at the bottom. The party stands shocked, unbelieving what has just transpired.

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