When last we met Sir Keegan, or what was left of him, he had risen from is final resting place.
Not willing to take our word for it that our intentions were pure, Sir Keegan put our party through a series of challenges in order to determine both our valor and ability to stay alive, putting all our skills to the test, a test that we dare not fail.
Impressive feats of magic were performed, dazzling displays of diplomacy were invoked, and eventually Sir Keegan was sufficiently convinced that we were both willing and able to put an end to a tale that had begun with Sir Keegan himself.
It turns out that Sir Keegan had opened a ‘rift’ in the depths of his keep, letting lose an evil that eventually took him over, resulting in the slaughter that became the stuff of legend and song. Sir Keegan, having seemingly shed this evil influence after his death, charged us with the task of closing this rift. While not part of the original plan, refusing seemed foolish for several reasons, a few of which littered the floor not so far away from where we stood.
Perhaps as a result of Jak’s particularly lack luster performance in the recent challenge, Sir Keegan empowered Jak’s spear with magical properties suited to help deal with the challenges that awaited us, particularly those of the less than alive, but not quite dead variety.
With this, left Sir Keegan’s chambers with the distinct feeling that returning before the quest was complete would be more than futile.
As we made our way from the crypt, we noticed that the bodied of the foul creatures we had presumably slain on our way in were remarkably absent, leaving behind only bits and pieces we had dislodged in combat. As if this were not disturbing enough, we could faintly make out the form of what seemed to be a small child hunched down at the far end of the corridor. As we cautiously approached what appeared to be a disheveled young girl, River attempted to communicate with the clearly distraught child, who seemed not to notice our presence. The girl responded by accusing our party of ‘being mean’ to her friends and then ran into the darkness. We attempted to follow, but our pursuit was thwarted by the mysterious runes that we had avoided crossing earlier.
In a continued attempt to avoid the consequences of treading upon the runes, Jak took a running leap, successfully clearing the glyph by quite a distance, but also leaving his companions in near total darkness, being it was his illuminated spear that was providing the light for the party. Jak broke out a sunrod so that the others could see clearly enough to take their turn in jumping across the rune. The success would be short lived as the next attempt to clear the rune triggered it upon contact, resulting in an ear piercing blast of horror that effected everyone within several yards of the glyph with the clear intention of scaring its target to death.
The sound had an added effect of alerting the decrepit denizens of the dark, for soon our party was up to its ringing ears with more decaying undead fully intent on our demise. This proved rather unfortunate, given half of our part had yet to cross the terror inducing glyph, though Arak seemed perfectly adept at attacking our foes from afar, while Jak and Crow attempted to keep them pinned down in the narrow hallway and River making sure we all remained firmly on the living side of the spectrum. The arrangement seemed to prove effective and soon the creatures lay motionless on the ground.
After taking stock of all our fingers, toes, and hooves and determining that the limbs that lay on the ground did not belong to any still standing, Arak decided to explore the halls, getting the feeling that the terror glyphs guarded more than just a few walking dead. His hunch paid off as he discovered a door to a secret room expertly hidden along a wall (how many of these have we passed already?). The room’s sole occupant was a single wooden chest. With much anticipation, we opened the chest, only to find it disappointingly empty. Having heard many tall tails from the Chicken’s many customers regarding secret levers and other such devices, we attempted to move the chest. The chest proved impervious to our attempts. In an attempt to test for a false bottom, a glint of metal attracted Jak’s attention, which proved to be a metal placard onto which the words “I can only be kept after being given to someone”
After a brief discussion, followed by a not so brief silence, Crow cleverly uttered “A Promise” and the hidden contents of the chest appeared out of thin air. The prize was a dark cloak that appeared almost black, but reflected tones of deep scarlet. Upon closer examination, we got the clear impression that the hypnotically shifting tones of the cloak were more than aesthetic and would make the barer decidedly more difficult to focus on and this harder to hit directly. Subtle patterns embroidered into the lining of the piece depicting fiery skulls also indicated it may give the barer protection from both flame and the foul effects of the undead.
Despite the humorous and subtly ironic image of a giant bull wearing what amounted to a red cape, the group decided that Jak, the party’s front line defense, would be the most appropriate barer of the cloak.
- Headed downstairs towards a torch-lit room. The room is guarded by the hobgoblin mercenaries Ech spoke of.