After watching the asylum fall into the ground, we decided it was best to get out of town quickly as the event caused all eyes to turn in our direction. We started to cautiously but with haste head back to the Yammery to report back in. Having to avoid what looked to be pursuing patrols, Bing was able to spot a place off the road to dart into and take cover while they passed.
Before reaching the Yammery we were intercepted by a halfling who said he was sent by Hanrick. He had news of a situation going in Kaslip (a fishing village) to the southeast. Some of Moskal’s Legion has been captured and are being held in a keep called the Shadow Keep. We are to rescue them and take them to the Tangles if extracted. Our party moves off to Kaslip with haste.
Kaslip appears to be your standard fishing village, upon entering the village we do what all good folk should do with all haste… find a tavern (The Spritsail Saloon). Upon entering the Saloon we find are surprised to find some familiar faces (Homba & Fingers) sitting at a table with another group. We find our own table and order drinks and food from the waitress; the ale is good. Everything goes quiet as a Church of Iuz group enters and goes to the bar whilst scanning the room. All in the room are prompted to say “Hail Iuz” as their gaze falls upon them and Bing passes out in his drink. When questioned about Bing we explain he has had a little too much ale and this seems to appease them. When they leave, we ask the barmaid about them and she says that they don’t come in very often but when they do people just keep their heads down.
Viktis, the face of our party, talks to the other group and finds out that they have been sent for the same reason as us and we decide to work together. For some reason, Bing seems not to like Fingers.
We talk to the waitress about Shadow Keep and find that it was here long before Iuz invaded, previously used by pirates as a stronghold. It is now called Shadow Keep due to its apparent gloom. We also learn that occasionally everyone in town experiences nightmares and they cast no shadows the following day. The Keep is only occupied by Orcs and goods are delivered weekly by a ferry captained by Barney. Barney seems not to be liked too well by the townsfolk.
As we leave the Saloon, we are approached by a sailor named Captain U who tells us that his boat is open for charter as he has overheard some of our questions. The group uses his services to scout the Keep and we devise a plan to assault the keep under the cover of night broken into two groups. Captain U says he can assist us for 300GP but the pickup may be a little more difficult. One group is to cause a distraction and Bing joins this group to help keep them healed and hopefully prolong the distraction. The second group is joined by a gnome named Dickey from the first group. This group is to try and quietly assault the keep from the rear and discreetly rescue the prisoners.
The best plans only last until first contact, so the saying goes. The distraction goes off as planned and we make our way up the battlements taking out the first group of guards without them sounding an alarm. There seems to be an inky substance covering the inner building and the Orcs appeared to be some kind of unnatural Orc, covered in black shadow. We are spotted as we move to the building and some large wolves are sent after us. Viktis moves inside the building which is quickly covered by magical darkness. Our little Gnomish friend moves inside (and later we find out) gracefully falls down a set of stairs into a kitchen occupied by Orcs and human slaves. The battle commences upstairs and downstairs. The Orcs don’t seem to use the doors other than to do some type of magical portal through the bars. When an Orc is hit hard enough or killed its darkness drops. These Orcs seem to have the ability to drain the strength from you with a touch and the wolves who join the battle from the rear can breathe some type of shadowy attack. We use every trick in our arsenal, but we hear Viktis go down somewhere in the darkness, I myself am dropped but Granny comes to my rescue, and I regain almost all my health only to be at death’s door soon enough. After healing me, Granny tries to do the same for Viktis. She searches in the magical darkness, though Viktis’ body is not in the room. He is gone. Granny and I retreat out of the door and are pursued by what appears to be some kind of mage Orc with a deadly spear. We are joined by one of the party members of our other group, but things are looking grim as we appear to be fighting the entire keep at this point. By the gods, I heard Granny cry out in pain now, as the darkness surrounded “her”.