Shadows of Northmere

Session 4 (Attack at the Magistrate's Manor)

The PCs returned to Strathaven from Strathall Keep. They received healing at the temple and went to the magistrate’s manor to report their findings and collect their reward. It was early afternoon when they arrived, and the magistrate’s guards allowed them entry. They reported all they found to the magistrate, and he seemed extremely interested in the baron receiving a cursed blade possibly from Dame Alana.

During the meeting, the PCs witnessed one of the magistrate’s guards being killed at the front gate, which burst open, allowing entry to one of the burning skeletons similar to those in the keep. Behind it followed additional undead, mainly zombies. The group fought them in the front courtyard, while Kell ran for help. Corienne and his guards attempted to escape out the back garden gate, but it, too, was blocked by undead that pursued the magistrate back into his estate.

The PCs fought waves of undead, and then saw the baron himself arrived. After the baron curt Sir Malkar down, Kairne attempted a desperate but successful disarm, sending the evil sword spinning from the baron’s hand. The baron collapsed next to Sir Malkar, while the remaining undead attempted to secure the fallen blade.

Kell returned with help, including Magister Elisedd, Quintus Jinn, Lucien, and High Priestess Valya. The rest of the undead were dispatched, and Max made sure he secured the cursed blade without touching it, using a set of fireplace tongs to place it in a cloak.

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Session 3 (Rescuing Deirdre)

The PCs received some Potions of Healing from the Temple of the Pantheon and returned to the castle. They entered keep itself and fought more undead, including flaming skeletons that burned anyone standing adjacent to them.

The heroes found a young lad named Kell hiding in a chimney in the old great hall. He thanked them for their help and they asked what he was doing. He said he was investigating the castle and the group took him for a looter, emptying his pouches and lightly interrogating him. Kell told them he believed at least one knight was still alive, as well as the Baron’s adopted daughter, Deirdre. Kell claimed Deirdre was not attacked by the undead and Kell had heard her talking to the baron.

the PCs worked their way towards the new great hall, whereupon they spotted Baron Armin Strath, who seemed to be alive, sitting on his throne with an evil black sword laying across his lap. Flanking him were two flaming skeletons.

The PCs wisely decided to leave him alone and instead followed the sounds of fighting to the top of a tower. Kell climbed the tower from the upper battlements and secured a rope for the rest of the PCs. They discovered a weary, hungry, and wounded Sir Malkar, one of the baron’s knights, fighting off some undead. A smile pile of undead lay on the stairs leading up from the stairs of the tower.

Sir Malkar thanked the PCs for coming to his aid and informed them that the sword in possession of the baron was brought to him by a group of guards from Ashwood, supposedly a gift from Dame Alana. It possessed him and he slayed everyone in the castle except Deirdre. Sir Malkar said the baron was able to slay the strongest knight in the castle with the black blade, which Malkar found frightening because that knight could normally have bested the baron.

The PCs decided to attempt a rescue of Deirdre and sent Kell to the top of the keep to reach Deirdre’s balcony. The group found Deirdre inside, and she seemed oddly calm. She accepted their offer of rescue and denied being a part of the happenings in the castle. Deirdre claimed the undead were outside her door and would attack her if they could.

The Pcs, along with Deirdre, left the castle and returned to town.

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Session 2 (Clearing the Courtyard of Strathall Keep)

The PCs continued to investigate the outer courtyard and were attacked by several undead, included zombies and skeletons. The PCs were injured enough that they closed the gate to the castle and returned to town for healing and rest.

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Session 1 (Investigating Strathall Keep)

The PCs were called to the Mandrake Inn to meet with Magistrate Corienne regarding a problem in Strathaven. Corienne is the duke’s magistrate assigned to the barony, and oversees taxes and the duke’s interests.

The PCs learned that Strathall Keep, located on a peak overlooking the town, closed its gates and no one has exited it in the past two days. No guards can be seen on the battlements and there is no response from the locked gate. Captain Rowan of the Redcloaks sent two men in, neither of whom was heard from again.

The Baron was last seen in the castle, but his second-in-command and steward, Dame Alana, was sent east to Ashwood to deal with a gnoll incursion. She took half the knights and men-at-arms, and later the Captain of the Guard, a man nicknamed “Shiv,” took additional men to help Alana. As a result, there were few guards left at the castle and none left in the town itself.

Corienne was prepared to pay each PC 100 gp to investigate the castle. The PCs agreed and decided to use the front gate. Simon and Kairne climbed over the gate and unbarred it, but were attacked by several undead hounds. After the fight, the PCs could see two dead bodies in the courtyard, one being a Redcloak. The keep itself was closed but not locked.

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