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Session 5 Summary

The Barracks

Gelatinous Cube We join the party right as it cleared the war room, taking down a hobgoblin warlord in the process. The party decided to head back north to the closest door, and the Judge rushed in as per normal procedure. The party saw the face of a hobgoblin peek around the corner and then duck back out of sight. Then footsteps could be heard, as well as a door slamming. The heroes were unfazed and continued right into the next room, where some hobgoblins were ready. The hobgoblins, however, were not very smart and bunched up in the hallway, making it very easy for Travok target them all with spells. Unfortunately, the Judge had different plans and ran into the middle of hobgoblins, using his dragonbreath to roast them all. Travok was not pleased with this, as it was normally his responsiblity to blow lots of creatures up at once. The heroes quickly overwhelmed the poorly prepared hobgoblins, including a warcaster. The poor warcaster barely got a chance to shoot of some of his powerful spells before he was brutally massacred by the heroes. The heroes quickly ended the easy fight and looted the area, finding a barrel of disgusting mackerel. The Judge was completely grossed out by this, and detailed the horrible flavor of mackerel, comparing it to "eating garbage." Corruption Corpse The party set their sights southward, back towards the statue room. However, the heroes decided to take a detour to the west and arrived at another door with a sign on it. The sign simply read "Closed" in crudely scrawled common. Remembering that the last time a door had a warning sign on they encountered a horrible ooze, the heroes chuckled to themselves and stepped into the room. Merryweather immediately began scouting around, but he simply wasn't observant enough to notice the strangely clean floors. Merryweather walked to the other side of the hallway, and convinced the area was safe, he motioned the rest of the party in. Travok, hoping to investigate some more, walked around the corner and straight into a gelatinous cube! The thing immediately engulfed Travok and began to slide towards the others. The party engaged the ooze, but the thing was surprisingly resilient and simply lurched onto the heroes, engulfing them. The heroes became quite annoyed at this, and unleashed some attacks that ended up dazing and immobilizing the cube and it could only lash out with pseudopod slams as a result. The heroes pounded away at the thing and it eventually was destroyed, leaving a pool of clear slime everywhere. Yuck.

The heroes, only mildly disgusted, continued to the east and discovered some coffins and a door. The trap was rather obvious to the heroes, and they set up to engage whatever would undoubtedly lurch out of the coffins when the door was opened. The Judge opened the door, and sure enough, two corruption corpses shuffled out of the coffins with surprising speed. It was worth noting that the Judge felt the party was better prepared than this and was disappointed that no one was able to get a free hit on the things. The zombies had a nasty attack, consisting of grabbing a handful of the disgusting black glop inside of them and hurling it at the heroes. The junk burned, stuck like glue, and smelled like mackerel. The zombies weren't particularly tough, but upon death, the heroes discovered that they exploded, sending waves of the black necrotic sludge everywhere. After the battle, the heroes felt they had had enough grossness for one day, and took a brief rest. Searching around, the heroes looted a box full of personal effects belonging to the Keegan family. They respectfully returned them to Sir Keegan, but he said that if the items were able to help the heroes in their battle against Shadowfell Keep, they could keep them.

Return to the Statue Room

The heroes decided it was finally time to face their fears and headed back to the statue room with the giant sword swinging statue. Merryweather knew he could disable the trap if he could just find a place to work his magic. After glancing at the thing from a distance, the Judge suddenly saw a small access panel on the back of the statue's head. After some heated explanations and much violent pointing at the statue, Merryweather spotted the panel and ran over to it. The statue took a swing at Merryweather with its giant sword, but he easily dodged it and jumped onto the statue. A few minutes later, the statue clanked to a stop and the heroes were relieved. Staying far away from the dragon statues to the east, the heroes walked past some cherub statues and another trap activated. Four walls of force activated, encasing the heroes in a rectangular force cage and the area began to fill with water. The heroes quickly realized the statues were causing the flood and the force walls. Striking at one of the statues ferociously, they destroyed it, but the water was rising too fast. The heroes had no time to chop away at the other statues and it seemed they might drown. Then, Merryweather, with all his might, let loose a terrible roar and toppled one of the statues, breaking it. One force wall disappeared and the water all rushed out. The others all stared aghast at the little beast (for the second time) and wondered just how he had managed to topple a statue four times as tall as him. Regardless, the party was safe again and headed southward.

The heroes entered another room absolutely packed with zombies of all sorts, including one particularly nasty ghoul. The ghoul bolted over to engage the Judge 28 Days Later-style and the fight was on. Mialee noticed a small impish-looking homunculus darting for a door to the east. She immediately immobilized the little devil and teleported over to block its progress. The rest of the heroes engaged the motley assortment of zombies. Unfortunately, the homunculus ferociously attacked Mialee when cornered, and dazed her severely. However, Mialee was able to take the impish creature down before it got away and joined in the battle against the zombies. Travok ran into the middle of a group in order to more effectively blast them and got surrounded. Unfortunately, the zombies were so pathetic that Travok was barely even injured before the fight was over. Searching around, the heroes found a thin corridor leading into a secret room. The secret room had a lot of junk in it, as well as a bag of holding. Merryweather deposited all of the disgusting heads he had been collecting into the bag, ensuring that no one else would ever want it. The heroes headed east and down some stairs leading to the third floor.

The Temple to Orcus

The Thing in the Portal The heroes descended the stairs into a large temple with religious symbols of Orcus around. The heroes spotted an altar with a statue that appeared to be pouring blood out along the ground, where it eventually ran into a grating covering a deep pit. A death priest of Orcus commanded the fanatic worshippers to attack the heroes and combat ensued. The worshippers wielded axes and continuously mumbled prayers to Orcus as they feverishly lumbered over to the heroes. In addition, some vampire spawns ran out of the shadows to the west, crawling along the walls and ceiling. Then, a strange shadowy-looking thing ran up and stabbed the unsuspecting Merryweather in the back. It then set its sights on Travok and Chase in the rear and ran at them, utilizing its shadowy step. The thing moved with unnatural speed and was almost impossible to hit. Travok, thinking quickly, used an ice spell to immobilize the shadow creeper, eliminating any chance it had of being useful. The death priest of Orcus drew near and began to heal his allies, but the party overwhelmed them and the followers were slain. The heroes searched the temple, but could find no doors or passages. The heroes spotted some chains leading down into the pit, and threw a corpse down the pit to see how far down it went - clearly, a rock or something would never have worked. It was decided that the heroes would climb down the chains to investigate below. The heroes dropped into a what looked like a nightmare. The room they entered was dimly lit with candles surrounding a statue and an archway containing what could only be a portal to somewhere bad. A black, tentacled thing strained against the portal, two armored skeletons stood at the edge of the pool of blood the heroes stood in, and a wight stood at the other end of the room. Finally, at a large, bloody altar, stood none other than Kalarel himself. Kalarel Kalarel was ready for the heroes, as he had seen the corpse fall from above. He immediately shouted at the heroes that they had no chance of stopping him and the final battle began. The skeletons ran over to engage the heroes and Kalarel stayed back and bolstered his minions. Travok froze the skeletons in place, as he was quickly becoming wont to do and the Judge charged Kalarel. Kalarel, surrounded, took a whack at the Judge with his Rod of Ruin and teleported to a magic circle against good inscribed into the ground in front of the portal. The Judge again charged Kalarel while the other heroes fought and destroyed the skeletons. Unfortunately, the tentacled black thing inside the portal grabbed the Judge and very nearly pulled him into the portal. Kalarel teleported to the other side of the circle and continued shouting at the heroes, calling them "pitiful wretches." The heroes then focused on the wight, and quickly destroyed it. It came down to Kalarel and the heroes, but things looked grim. The heroes needed to get him out of his circle, as he was much more difficult to injure while inside it. The party ran away from Kalarel and hid behind some pillars in the true style of arena combat. Kalarel called them cowards and emerged from his circle. The Judge ran over and struck a terrible blow, and Travok blasted Kalarel with an ice ray. Kalarel knew he was in trouble and teleported back to his circle for safety. The heroes once again lured him out, and Kalarel took a chance to try and finish off the Judge with a shot from his Rod of Ruin. Unfortunately for Kalarel, his injuries were too much and he missed. Knowing he was finished, Kalarel gazed toward the portal, and said a prayer to Orcus as Travok blasted him one final time. Kalarel teleported back to his circle and fell to one knee. Begging Orcus for forgiveness, Kalarel coughed and began to fade. Just then, the tentacled thing reached out and grabbed Kalarel, pulling him into the portal. Terrible screams echoed throughout the evil temple and the portal closed forever. Satisfied, the party returned to Sir Keegan's ghost, who thanked them, and then passed on. However, the party had one final challenge to face before leaving Shadowfell Keep.

An Old Foe

The party remembered back at the beginning of the search when they had encountered a giant blue slime. The had been forced to run from the ooze, and had vowed to return and slay it, except for the Judge, who staunchly refused. The party returned to the pool of water and the thing emerged, but it was no match this time. The heroes (minus the Judge) easily defeated the slime and claimed its loot pile. The final battle was now truly over. Victorious, the heroes returned to Winterhaven. Lord Padraig praised the heroes and paid the reward. The townsfolk rejoiced and a great feast will now be had in celebration. The heroes have saved Winterhaven, but what lies in store for them next? G
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