Presented with three possible corridors to follow deeper into the Shadowfell Keep, the party decided to investigate each a little. They followed each corridor until it came to a door. Once they got to each door, they listened for any information they could get about what was beyond it. At the first door, south and west of the entrance hall, they could not hear anything, but there was a chill breeze coming from under the door. The second corridor, west and north of the entrance hall, ended at three doors. They could not hear anything behind two of them, but behind the third they could hear goblin voices. Down the third corridor, east of the entrance hall, they could hear distant movement, but could not make out what it was. They decided to deal with the known threat first, the goblin voices to the northwest. The members of the party crowded around the doors, getting weapons and spells ready. Dominaro kicked the door open, and the group attacked. Gabriel and Satoris loosed magic and bullets into the room while Kolgarth charged into the torture chamber, headed straight at the head torturer, hopping over the rack that separated them. Then Dominaro stepped into the room, focusing on the goblin operating an iron maiden. The goblins recovered from their surprise quickly. The hobgoblin torturer grabbed a hot iron and seared it against Kolgarth, leaving his flesh burning. The rest of the goblins focused on attacking Dominaro. While his armor protected him from many attacks, some got through. Seeing the damage, Satoris tossed him a healing infusion just before the goblin working the iron maiden pushed Dominaro into it. On the other side of the room, Kolgarth finished off the torturer with the aid of Satoris’ magic shots. Driven by the kill, Kolgarth charged the goblin that was holding the iron maiden shut, bringing his maul around and critically hitting the goblin, killing him instantly. Gabriel and Satoris finished off some of the goblins that were staying back and firing bolts into the fray with hand crossbows. Once Satoris saw Dominaro back out of the iron maiden, he tossed him another healing infusion, and the group started approaching the final goblin that had locked himself in a cage to shoot from safety. Unfortunately for him, Satoris was able to pick the lock almost immediately, and Kolgarth made quick work of the goblin once he had. Then the group started searching the room. They found three cells down a corridor off the room. The middle one had a goblin inside, who introduced himself as Splug. Splug asked if he could join the adventurers, offering to carry their things and set up camp for them. When he was asked why he was imprisoned, he explained that the goblins would gamble for ale rations, and he seemed to win more than he should, so they locked him up for cheating. Although the group was very wary of the potential for Splug to betray them, they decided to take him with them. They explained that in order to protect him during combat, they would need to strap him to Kolgarth’s back. Kolgarth emptied his backpack. Then Splug got in as best as he could and Satoris secured him to Kolgarth’s back using a fifty foot length of rope. While Splug believed this was for his safety, Satoris tied him up tight enough that he would not be able to attack them either. As his first offering of information, Splug told them that one of the doors off the corridor that had led to the torture chamber was the goblins’ food supply room. The group prepared themselves and kicked in the door. Indeed there was nothing but supplies in the room. Each person took as much as they could carry reasonably in their backpack, except Kolgarth as his was full. Then Kolgarth destroyed the rest of the rations with his flaming maul. Following Splug’s directions, the party went to the final room on the corridor, which he explained led to Balgron the Fat’s lair, the head of the goblins. The party carefully unlatched the door, and kicked it in. This did not lead to the surprise that they were hoping for, as there were no enemies just inside the door. There were only a pair of guards around a corner. Alerted, they rang the alarm bell. Goblin warriors and cutters began pouring into the room, and the group was outnumbered three to one. Dominaro and Kolgarth quickly dove into the midst of the enemies. They were able to cut down a cutter here and there, but it was Gabriel unleashing divine predictions of the goblins’ defeat that caused most of them to fall. Satoris aided Gabriel by enchanting his staff with the power of frost, and continued to imbue it with additional energy using a magical shot. Half the goblins already dead, a pair of double doors to the east were thrown open and Balgron entered along with his bodyguard. However, within seconds, Balgron saw that his forces would not hold against the adventurers, so he tried to flee. Before he was able to, though, Gabriel knocked him flat with a lightning bolt. With the rest of the goblins dead and Balgron recovering from the blast, the group moved up to interrogate him. Balgron pleaded for his life, offering the group all the treasure that had been found in the excavation site, east from the entrance hall. Each member of the party threatened Balgron, demanding more from him than just his treasures. Gabriel: You will tell me what you know or I shall send your soul to suffer eternally in hell! Kolgarth: Fat slob, speak now and give me some reason to spare your life, or I shall strike you down on the spot. Not even Orcus will be able to save you. Dominaro: Enough games. Tell us what you know, or we’ll cut you down, along with Doresain and Orcus and everyone else who comes between us and the will of God almighty. However, Balgron the Fat did not believe the heroes would actually kill him now that he had surrendered. He gave them the keys to the room and to his treasure, but held onto his information. Gabriel decided to perform a ritual to ask the Silver Flame whether or not they should kill Balgron. The spectral hand stopped them from killing him. While Gabriel had no intention of going against the will of the Silver Flame, he decided that Balgron must be punished. He instructed Splug to cut off Balgron’s right hand. Splug did this, happy to be fully a part of the group. As Balgron screamed in pain, Kolgarth asked him, “Now Balgron, do you have anything you’d like to tell us, or shall I let my friend at your other hand?” Gabriel added, “God has willed you live, but has said nothing about you suffering.” Seeing that the adventurers were serious, Balgron broke down. He told them about the other areas of the first level of Shadowfell Keep. He also told them the pass phrase to get to the second level, “and life fails in the dark”. The party let Balgron go. He wasted no time, fleeing through a secret passage to get to the entrance hall and leave the keep. The party used his key to open his treasure chest under his bed. Inside they found four protective amulets. Satoris determined what their properties were, and then they split them up. The group then head to the excavation site to see if anything else had been uncovered that would aid them in their quest. They could hear the goblins arguing as they got closer. Splug told them that they were arguing about whether or not there was any more treasure to uncover as nothing had been found in weeks. The party then had Splug yell to the goblins in the room, “Balgron the Fat wants to see all of us! Anyone who is not there in thirty seconds will lose their ale rations for the next month!” They heard scurrying around in the excavation site as the goblins hurried, not wanting to lose their ale rations. The party also heard some of the goblins fall off of the planks in their rush to get to Balgron, hitting the earth below hard. They stepped in to attack the goblins in the chaos. The goblins stood no chance against the surprise, and were all dispatched quickly. The two guard drakes that were kept there also fell quickly, both beneath Kolgarth’s maul. The adventurers found a large crate of residuum and nine bottles of alchemist’s fire on the bodies of the goblin bombardiers. They decided to head back to Winterhaven for the evening so they could rest, and also upgrade some of their equipment with the residuum they had found. There was no trouble on the way back to town. When they got back, Kolgarth worked the power of lightning into Dominaro’s greatsword. Satoris modified Kolgarth’s backpack so that it would function as a carrier for Splug. Gabriel and Dominaro prayed at the shrine they had set up. Then the group went to Wrafton’s Inn to rest up. Dominaro would not sleep well, though, as he had the same nightmare he has whenever he closes his eyes. To his left were his wife and son, Sarah and John. To his right, the Emerald Claw Commander that had led the attack into Breland. Between them all, hordes of undead. Emerald Claw Commander: Weak paladin. You may think your faith is armor for you, but what protection is it for your family. Your prayers won’t save them now. Sarah: Why are you letting them hurt me Dom? I thought you loved me! John: Help us, father! Don’t let them eat us! Sarah and John were surrounded, and the undead were able to injure Sarah. John was able to hold up, somehow. Dominaro: That’s my son! Dominaro rushed passed a couple of skeletons, getting attacked as he passed. He fought through the pain, and reduced two others to dust. The commander waved his hand and raised more skeletons between Dominaro and his family. Sarah: Why are you letting this happen to us? Don’t you still love me? John: Father, help! There’s so many of them! This time John was injured by the undead pressing in around them. Dominaro: John! I’m coming for you! He fought through more, almost reaching John. Emerald Claw Commander: Foolish Dominaro, your wife’s screams will create the perfect accompaniment to my minions’ feast. Sarah: (sobbing) John: Father, father please hurry! Both Sarah and John were able to fend off the undead for a moment. John: You’re so close, father! Please don’t let us die! Dominaro was able to get to John’s side. Emerald Claw Commander: Enough of this foolishness, finish them now! Sarah: They are everywhere… please help! Some of the skeletons grab Sarah, bringing her one step closer to death. Dominaro: Sarah! John: No! They’ve got mother! Dominaro, in a fit of anger ran towards the Emerald Claw Commander, closing the distance fast. Emerald Claw Commander: You think to challenge me? Foolish farmer! The commander raised more skeletons with a wave of his hand, mostly cutting off Dominaro’s path to him. Sarah: Why have you abandoned me!! John: No, father! Don’t go! At that moment, John stumbled under the barrage of skeletons. Emerald Claw Commander: Leaving your family behind to die at the hands of my minions? Have we frightened you that much? Sarah broke free of the skeletons and leaned over John, protecting him with her body. Sarah: Don’t worry John, I’m here. John: Father, you said you’d always protect us! Protecting her son, Sarah was killed by the undead horde. Dominaro, reaching the commander, swung his greatsword to kill him. The sword passed through him as through shadow and the commander vanished and reappeared across the field. Seeing his wife fall, Dominaro rushed towards her and John. As he passed skeletons, they attacked, and brought him down. At that moment, Dominaro awoke in a cold sweat. The nightmare ended the way it always had.