After the encounter with Fadheela (I think I still have rocks in my ear; luckily, I’m not stone deaf!), we took a couple tendays rest in Pedestal. Well, most of us rested. Argo seems to know some new tricks with that wicked thrusting blade he has, and Thalamyr knows tons of new spells I can’t even begin to describe. Threw a bunch of scrolls at me too.
We picked up a local Svirfneblin that seems to have talents our late cleric (redead?) possessed. I’m surprised Ela’sen and the new guy aren’t up in arms, having to work together. But these are desperate times for us, with Red Hand threats looming and Theron’s bones still missing. The halfling ranger looked like he could handle himself in a fight, too. Belkar was vaguely familiar, but beyond the scope of my bardic knowledge.
We soon found ourselves standing before that strange portal of electricity. We were about to step through, but luckily Thalamyr decided to analyze it first, otherwise we could have been fried. Argo held out the portal key, and through we went. We came out in a forest, though we knew not whether we were closer to Drellin’s Ferry or Maztica. Espying ruins not too far off, we set off, hoping to find some answers as to our whereabouts. The keep had obviously been destroyed some time ago in a giant assault or siege. The gates hung askew and we advanced.
Peering into a dark room, Ela’sen was suddenly attacked, hurled spikes narrowly missing her (and me). Approaching more cautiously, Ela’sen, Belkar, and Argo entered the room, but were attacked by the winged beast that made its nest therein. They quickly dispatched the flying monster with the spiky tail, and Thalamyr and I advanced to the next room of the keep through a gaping hole in the wall. We saw the hobgoblins as they saw us. Thalamyr blasted them with acid and they soon shook with fear and fled. We cut them down as they ran, but a massive monster with the head of a bull attacked. Curiously, he withdrew around the side of the keep, with Argo in close pursuit. As Argo cut down the enemy, lightning and fire exploded from the lone tower of the keep. Injured, the Svirfneblin Spud, Argo, and Belkar advanced from the outside, as Ela’sen, Thalamyr and I advanced from within, though we were momentarily stymied by the locked door. Disaster struck, as waves of confusion assaulted our friends outside. To our horror, Argo laid out Spud, and killed Belkar. Inside, we rushed the sorceror, Koth, and forced him out of the tower. At this point, weary from overexertion during the prolonged fight, my consciousness slipped away. When I came to, Argo had apparently come to his senses and slain Koth. Further exploration of the keep yielded a long-lost treasure, but no bones. Theron’s remains must surely now lie in the grasp of the Red Hand, and the future looks bleak indeed.
We also came across a campaign war map of the region: we were but miles from Drellin’s Ferry, but the invasion plan we witnessed darkened our party’s mood. We found ourselves at a critical location between the mustering attackers, and the town of Drellin’s Ferry. Furthermore, Belkar lay dead, with naught but the possibility of a new-found staff’s power to raise him from the dead, and return him to the land of the living.