Tales of the Dragon Coast: A Forgotten Realms Adventure

Enigmatic Excavations

Bustin' makes us feel good!!

Meanwhile, as the Dragonbusters took time to investigate the ancient Moathouse Keep following the expulsion of the young blue dragon Utreshimon, events seemed to be taking a turn for the bland. Most of what was left behind here hardly seemed as though it should have been of concern to Elminster. Aside from the odd gray ooze or halfway decent piece of treasure or ordinary gear, this place seemed to be something of a wild goose chase. Fortunately, the eyes of elven Rogues tend to be keener than most and it was Nero and Iseri who managed to locate a secret passage which led down under the ground floor of the keep and into the belly of the earth…

Treading cautiously down an old stone passage, the group managed to overhear the sounds of digging and the clattering of tools. A bit of stealth allowed the team to overhear a terse conversation between a female Cleric and a small band of gnolls, who seemed to be excavating the grounds under the keep in search of precious relics. Deciding to use the element of surprise to their advantage, Kiba sent in his loyal constrictor snake David to provide some chaos as the rest of the team prepared a little something for the would be archaeologists…

Iseri used her arcane powers to blast a smoldering hole through the chest of the Cleric and Kiba followed suit with a barrage of arrows that toppled her before she had the chance to utter a single healing spell. The gnolls, terrified at seeing their mistress so utterly destroyed by the powerful adventurers, threw down their weapons and sued for mercy. Kiba wanted to delight in a bit of aggressive interrogation, but this was not necessary. The gnolls revealed that they had been hired by a strange band of dark Clerics to perform knifework and manual labor for a healthy sum. Normally, the gnolls would not have considered this, but pickings had been slim lately thanks to what the gnolls described as ‘men folk in shiny steel pants’. The gnolls were so terrified at this point that one of them lost control and soiled itself from fright. Erelune the druid was happy to gather some gnoll’s urine to be used as a possible reagent in her alchemical endeavors. The Ranger still pressed from more violent measures, but was overruled by his fellow busters, who opted to let the terrified creatures flee into the hills. Nero was even so kind as to slip a few coppers into their pockets as a gesture of pity as they fled. Taking the time to examine the site, the group lucked into a few choice magical items. A Bead of Force was given to Nero and an archaic item known as a Torch of Revealing and three cones of incense used as its fuel were gathered to be examined later to determine their purpose. An ancient looking scepter which was encrusted with gemstones and of fine quality was also among the objects uncovered. Though non-magical it would fetch a fine sum once appraised. The fallen Cleric herself had some standard weapons and armor, but also some choicer potions. She also bore a holy symbol the same as those found on the bodies of the hobgoblin patrol the previous day. This would bear further investigating!

Elsbeth was later able to put her powers as a Morning Lady of Lathander (thanks to some mail order instructions sent from the Pope of Sareloon) to the test as a group of skeletons in adjacent room were inadvertently released by Nero. A moment’s concentration and a prayer to Lathander soon led to the room being full of blinding light, followed by nothing but ashes and discarded weapons. Meanwhile, Iseri and Erelune led the others to the western part of the complex, where they spied another guard patrol, this time comprised of nothing but gnolls. A bit of stealth and a fireball spell from Iseri soon had the room cleared (but the scent of gnoll-b-q would linger for at least a week). Further exploration led to a set of stairs leading up back to the main area of the fortress and a torture chamber to the south, which had become the residence of some ghasts. Iseri and Elsbeth managed to deal with the majority of the abominations along with Nero and Erelune’s panther companion, though Kiba was subjected to a bout of paralysis from the claws of one of the creatures. Following his recovery, the group began a detailed search of the rest of the area. In what appeared to be an abandoned armory, they came across a rather well dressed man in a red travel coat. In spite of his disheveled appearance, he spoke well and introduced himself as Spugnoir, recently arrived apothecary to Sandpoint Town. He had opened shop in the recent expansion and left his daughter to run things while he scoured the wilds for possible ingredients to use in his brews and tonics. Following the chaos with the dragon and defending himself from the hobgoblins and gnolls, the weary potions master fled to this place to hole up and try to think of a way to escape, but to no avail! The Dragonbusters, being compassionate souls, offered to guide the fellow out. His joy was great and in return for their kindness, he offered them a 30% grand opening discount at his shop when they returned to town! Furthermore, Spugnoir also offered to lead the group to a place of great interest to the Clerics that had come here that he had overheard tell of during his entrapment.

Following Spugnoir’s lead, the busters were lead to yet another secret passage in the underground, this one leading to an ancient crypt. Some ghouls still festered in this place, but with the busters on the scene, the undead were soon reduced to compost! Following this battle, Spugnoir again took the lead, to guide the adventurers further into the depths of the ancient keep…..

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