You continued on the road north throughout the afternoon. A couple of hours before sundown, you saw a ruined keep through the trees.
You quickly left the path while Theos scouted the keep in hawk form. The keep was ruined, with boulders scattered all around, and openings in the walls. You learned of a manticore, several goblinoids, and the corpse of some poor human used to simulate a haunting at the keep.Later, after some exceptionally well-rendered drawings in the dirt, you had a plan:
- Just before the hobgoblins began to stir, Theos would fly to the outer wall where the manticore was sleeping, and cave the wall on top of it using stone shape.
- San Te would sneak around front and engage the hobgoblin on watch.
- The rest of the group would then charge from the treeline, enter the opening Theos made, and take the keep!
- Jorr would stay back with the horses.
The plan went well. The manticore was crushed by the toppled wall, and trapped by heavy stone. As you entered to finish it off, you noticed you were in a stables. The stables also contained two goblins and their worg mounts!
The goblins were asleep and unprepared, but the worgs were quickly awake. One howled an alarm, waking everyone in the keep.
You sicced your wolf companions on the worgs and moved to finish the manticore. It struggled free from the collapsed wall, and flew out a hole in the ceiling, firing spikes from its tail back down inside at you. Quick arrow fire finished what you had started though, and the manticore fell from the air, dead.
You had little time for celebration—the goblins were now awake, ready with weapons, and quarreling with the worgs. Before long, a minotaur and three more hobgoblins trundled toward the fight. The minotaur burst into the room with its enormous greataxe swinging, while two hobgoblins with no time to don armor, went out front with their swords to face the monk.
The minotaur sliced into Azureus immediately, and surely would have killed A’mar with one mighty blow had the elf not used his Hero Point. Instead, he tumbled under the axe, forcing the minotaur to swing wild, accidentally slaying a goblin instead.
Azureus knew something would have to be done. Spending his Hero Point, he kicked two of his dropped swords up into the minotaur’s chest, while hurling the two swords he was holding! Then somehow, with inhuman speed, he tried to drink two healing potions simultaneously.
The gambit paid off, as three swords felled the minotaur with a thud. Behind it stood your deadliest foe yet, Wyrmlord Koth.
Meanwhile, Theos changed to wolf form and joined San Te’s fight against the hobgoblin guards, who put up a surprising amount of fight. One dogged Theos for the rest of the encounter.
Back inside, Koth quickly spotted the spellcaster, and punished the fragile Az Magyar with a magic missile volley from his wand. He followed with a lightning bolt, killing the wizard outright!
The rest of the party pressed him, so he drank a potion of fly and zoomed up to the ceiling, where he continued to whittle your dwindling hit points with his wand of magic missile.
Arrows and thrown rocks dropped him eventually, and silence descended over the keep. At great cost, you won the day before the sun even came up.
You haven’t had time to search the keep or your defeated enemies yet.
Everyone gains 1,542 experience points! Remember, you need to rest before you can gain the level.
Theos gains a Hero Point for negating the manticore threat. Huzzah!