Veronica as Euna Dunhall the Human Fighter
Anna as Zesvyrae Melduis the Drow Cleric
Bob as Malklyr the Drow Assassin
Jacob as Aurochs the Minotaur Warden
Robert as Grobash the Half-Orc Fighter
Casey as Caerwyn the Satyr Bard
Tim as DM
After some rest from their earlier heroics, the adventures find themselves again at the comfortable apartment of their patron, Benwick. The friar summoned them here, suggesting he had another task for them and the Serpent’s Eye, a jewel the helped recover. Benwick’s acolytes, Venn and Jarell, serve them dinner. A red-haired dwarf who has an air of authority is also in attendance. Benwick introduces the dwarf as Gorn Hammerfall, a captain of the watch.
Gorn is dressed in fine, thick leather and armed with two hammers. He is stern, smiles little, and speaks forthrightly. One noticeable quirk is his habit of raising one eyebrow while narrowing the opposite eye when he finds a subject questionable or disagreeable.
Benwick is jolly and bright-eyed, given to smiling and laughing. His acolytes grin and react briefly if addressed, but they say little. They are priests who revere Avandra, Ioun, and Sehanine. The friar doesn’t like Lord Drysdale or the lord’s intent to make the keep a military bastion.
“Friends, I am ashamed to burden you with another difficult task, but I believe you can succeed where others would fail.
“The esteemed captain here is the descendant of a dwarf who once occupied this keep. This ancestor was the bandit lord Greysen Ramthane.
“When Nerath’s warriors overthrew Greysen, they found little of his ill-gotten loot. Tales say that Greysen hid his wealth somewhere in this keep.”
Gorn interrupts, “Enough history, Benwick. You’ll put us all to sleep. Anyway, turns out the stories are true. Took me years, but I found the bandit’s cache.
“Thing is, it’s too well guarded. Almost got myself skinned when I went in with a buddy of mine. Poor Ralv didn’t even make it out.”
“Benwick says you’re made of stout stuff and the rumor mill says the same. Benwick thinks we might make a deal.”
Benwick takes up the conversation. “Yes. Gorn and I are concerned that Lord Drysdale might confiscate the treasure. Gorn deserves any dwarven relics as the rightful heir. As adventurers, you have more use for magic items than Gorn or me, so you can keep those. We were hoping you’d consider a friendly three-way split of any monetary wealth.”
Gorn adds, “I’d also be much obliged if you could recover Ralv’s body for me.”
Benwick looks gravely at Gorn and lays a hand on the dwarf ’s shoulder. He looks at you and says, “I can also lend you the Serpent’s Eye. I’ve activated some of its latent power, so it should aid your quest
“So, will you accept?”
Gorn describes the attackers in the first area as “metal constructs with hammers and pincers, and a trapped statue that swings a great flail. The hammerers come out of the walls.” Discretion is required. No one else can know of Ramthane’s hidden vault yet.
Benwick again gives each character one herbal poultice to aid in the job.
After some discussion the adventures agree and are told to meet an hour before down.
The adventures return to their rooms in the inn and ask a few questions in the Stumbling Giant. Mother Aran, the alehouse’s owner, reveals that Benwick’s suspicions of Lord Drysdale are misguided if well-intentioned. The lord is a follower of Erathis, but Mother Aran doesn’t believe he’s going to enforce Erathis worship or a military takeover of the keep.
Zesvyrae examines the herbal poultices and it attests to Benwick’s herbalist skills. Someone else recalls that the creatures Gorn described sound like homunculi, guardian constructs that come in numerous forms and are very good at defending the objects, creatures, or areas they were designed to protect. The statue sounds more like a contraption than a creature.
The adventures retire for the night and arise early to meet their appointment.
The keep is quiet at this early hour, the rain keeping most folks indoors. Benwick and Gorn lead the way to a tower on the south side of the castle, near the keep’s Fountain Square. They descend into a dark basement. Gorn opens a secret staircase into a tunnel below the fortress’s foundations. It opens into a small antechamber before great stone doors that are slightly open. A soft blue glow issues from between them, as does the slight smell of something dead.
“This is it, mates,” says Gorn, “Go carefully. Last time, almost as soon as we entered the room, everything went crazy.
“I got to finish up my shift. If you recover Ralv’s body, leave it near these outer doors, will you?”
Benwick adds, “I have a few brief errands to attend. Gorn and I will be close at hand when you return, so we can divide the treasure away from Drysdale’s greedy eyes. Remember, you can use the Serpent’s Eye to call me when you finish. Gods’ speed, friends.”
Centered in the chamber is a large stone statue of a dwarf wielding a flail in one hand. In the statue’s other hand is an open loop that has a oversized iron key. Around the statue, the floor is cracked as if hit by a massive crushing force.
Dim blue light from glowing dwarven runes along the walls also reveals a set of four alcoves carved in the east and west sides of the room. The walls adjacent to the alcoves look dangerous, for they bear intricate spiked carvings of stylized weapons and armor.
Ahead the adventures perceive the crumpled form of Ralv a few paces from the northern doors. The form is the body of an armored man, crushed and twisted in death.
The runes and walls within the alcoves are weakly magical. Aurochs, who reads Dwarven, realizes that the runes are only there to illuminate the room. (So much for the DM sending the players after a red herring.)
Grobash peeks around the room and slowly makes his way to the statue. With a grinding sound, the central statue starts to rotate and swing its flail. Metal and stone humanoids fashioned to look like dwarves emerge from some of the alcoves. Three have hammers and pincers for hands, and one is a shorter figure with spears for hands
The adventurers fight off the homunculi and try to dodge the statuses flails. The statue knocks them into the walls where the spiked carvings of weapons swing out and slash at them. The homunculi either try to pin them down in range of the statue or pull them closer to statue.
The homunculi are destroyed one by one, and the statue is deactivated through the an access panel on the bottom of the statue.
After taking a short rest, the heroes find the remains of Ralv, a brawny human soldier who was hammered to death. He has ruined armor, a broken shield, a mace, a potion of healing, and 12 gp.
They move Ralv to near the entrance of the room and prepare themselves to enter the next room.