When last we left our adventurers, they had just bravely defeated a hideous troll and were off to storm Isling (forgetting to burn the remains of the troll, no trolls were actually killed in this battle).
Our friends were heading to Isling on quest to find Redge, the scoundrel sheriff of Marakesh.
But first some back history to get you caught up this far…
Lady Bloodstone, Lily Blackthorn and Fistbeard BeardFist had been tasked with saving Lady Velora from kidnappers. In the battle, the foe used a magic wand which backfired and sent our party to a crystal tower where they met Deladora, a half elf. Battling their way out of the tower they found a portal activated by a topaz key which transported them to the forest in a world where magic still existed. The mages in Deladora’s town agreed that they would look into trying to find a way home for the adventurers and try to find out how the portal worked. In the meantime, the team traveled to Marakesh to look for work. There they met Redge at the Green Pony Tavern & Inn. They gathered info for Redge and in turn Redge informed them of a Keep that had been “occupied” and that all expeditions to the Keep ended in tragedy. Since clearing the Keep of occupation also included keeping the riches as bounty, our the team decided to liberate the Keep.
Successfully chasing off Kurjun Sawtooth an Orc Cleric Necromancer that had been stealing townfolk and forcing them into slave labor, the party became known as the Heroes of Brightstone Keep! <queue>.
Things were going very well for our friends. They had cleared the keep and had liberated the slaves, had started a thriving mining community. They were making money, population in the Keep was expanding, trade routes opened to the towns and knowledge of the heroes expanding. They put out a call for mercenaries and strong soldiers to protect and defend their Keep.
One of the slaves, a Gnome named Erkie Timbers befriended them and and became a fierce ally. He informed the team that there were still 20 people trapped in the mine. And there was also the issue of following Sawtooth and “bringing him to justice”. The team of 4 headed out to search for the miners and Sawtooth once the caves were cleared. After a short time, they found the miners imprisoned in a small cell. They were freed and informed the party that Sawtooth had went further into the caverns recently as well as informed them that they found one cave with a strange Blue Glow.
Upon finding the cave with the blue glow, the team also found a dragon protecting it’s lair and treasure. With the help of Erkie, the team defeated the dragon, collected the Dragon’s treasure and also discovered the half eaten body of Sawtooth.
Sending the dragon back to the Keep, the team decided to press forward deeper into the caves. A decision that would soon be regretted…
Long story short, Blackthorn was killed by a creature’s gaze instantly and unexpectedly shortly after the battle with the dragon. Narrowly escaping their own death, they defeated the terrible monster. Her friends mourned her passing and were heartbroken to lose such a dearly loved and powerful ally. Woefully, they pressed on without her and found the lair of a vampire! They slaughtered the vamp and almost lost dear Erkie in the process. Upon exiting the lair, they found that Blackthorn’s body had transformed into a creature similar to what had killed her and attacked. Beardfist fell in the battle leaving Bloodstone and a critically wounded Erkie. The creature was narrowly destroyed and this time Bloodstone and Erkie disposed of the body of Beardfist so he would not transform. They returned to the Keep, broken. However Lady Bloodstone became famously renown as the slaughterer of dragons, the slayer of vampires and a just and righteous lord of what is now known as Bloodstone Keep.
Upon returning to the Keep, Lady BLoodstone found that the keep was attacked by Markolov Sen, a dwarf from Marakesh who worked for an evil cleric. The mercenaries and soldiers defended the keep and Bloodstone had to decide what to do next, petitions were being brought in;
There was a town being held hostage (connected to Sawtooth)
There was a bounty to recover a spellbook for a 10,000GP reward
There were rumors of a silver skeleton in the Dwarven ruins.
Bloodstone decided to take revenge on Markolov, and decided to hire 2 mercenaries who valiantly protected the keep from his first onslaught; 1/2 Orc Barbarien Rogar Kron and human cleric Eri Kazeshini.
The first stop was a visit to Redge in Marakesh. They learned that Makolov was wanted by Redge for the murder of Loren, a laborer and known scoundrel and thief who had ties to Sawtooth. Upon investigations, the bloody body of cleric Gerard Ishcar was found on the roof near the “Bloodstone” Inn. Eri used her mysterious abilities to speak with this dead cleric and they found that Loren had killed him for failing his task and that the hideout was at Lightening Falls. At this time, Rogar intuitively determined that we should question Loren’s body. Redge arranged for a guard to accompany the travelers to the graveyard where they exhumed the body and questioned it. They found that Loren’s job was to bring villages to the mine to work as slaves, but he failed his job and that Redge was behind it all! In the meantime, a bored Rogar decided to dig up another body adjacent to the grave – and found that it was the body of Makalov Sen. (Investigation of the body found a letter in Draconian).
The guard informed them that Redge had left for the evening and headed east.
The team went to the Inn to gather information from the barkeep and determined that Redge was headed to Isling. Discussion became heated and Gibbons the barkeep and friends forced the party to leave. On the path to Isling, they were ambushed by Gibbons’ men and they found that their presence had been leaked…
When they arrived at Isling, they found the entrance to be guarded by at least 40 guards….