After retracing their steps to the hobgoblin stronghold within the Keep, our heroes came upon a cat-like humanoid with a wolf companion. After tense negotiation, she revealed herself to be Aurora, a Razorclaw Shifter who came to the Keep because of rumors of evil goings on. Aurora also mentioned that she had only met a single goblin in the Keep so far, and pushed him into the well into which he was urinating freely. The party was outraged that she had thrown Splug into his own bodily fluids and Thorir went to rescue their poor friend.
After his return, they proceeded down a hallway and (as if anyone would be surprised) Thorir set off a trap! A portcullis dropped from the ceiling and blocked their path forwards. Thorir chuckled as he broke through it. Beyond, they found a small room with two doors and a table covered in papers. Thorir took a look and recognized battle plans. The hobgoblin commander had mapped a siege of Winterhaven, and had marked units of commanding hobgoblins and a veritable horde of unknown units, which Dak assumed to be a legion of undead.
Sunny decided to take a look into one of the rooms, but it was blocked…by hobgoblins…and a bugbear. More hobgoblins entered from the south and ambushed our heroes! Sunny managed to blockade the other door, so that none of the creatures could exit into melee range. Gorstag and Dak used the opportunity to cause big ol’ ’splosions all over their faces, while Thorir went toe-to-toe with a particularly vicious hobgoblin with an eyepatch nailed to his face.
Cornered and cramped, our heroes struggled on. Dak had created a whirlwind of shards in the blockaded room, which slowly but surely killed everyone there. Gorstag traded positions with Sunny and unleashed yet more area attacks. The grunts of the troop died off, mostly unnoticed by Thorir. Aurora pitched in and whiffed some attacks. Fortunately, her wolf friend, Marshmallow, took her fill of their throats.
Soon all foes lay dead, and Sunny and Thorir claimed some pretty awesome weapons. Charged by victory, they continued to the nearby room, which happened to be the barracks, and killed everyone there using the same “everyone block the door” tactics. An arcane foe made things slightly more difficult, but Aurora and Gorstag managed to take him down.
With the hobgoblin army in ruins, after some well-earned rest, during which Gorstag cuddled with Sunny against her will, our heroes proceeded to the shiny door towards the corridor of the cube. As they approached, Sunny walked right in (in a very stealthy manner, albeit) and set off a magical glyph! Everyone got really bad migraines and were blinded by a great flash! After almost everyone recovered, they entered a large hall with a great statue of a soldier wielding a greater sword. There were also dragon statues. Dak noticed that the dragon statues were arcane, and that the soldier was animate. Gorstag noticed that the dragon statues could breath blasts of force. Sensing traps galore, the party hugged the wall and made it safely to the other side. Relieved by their success, the party decided to continue towards the door, which awaited at the other end of a somewhat wide and somewhat short hallway flanked by cherub statues holding arcane vases.
Aurora took a step forward with Marshmallow, and a force wall arose! The vases turned over and began to fill the small room with water! Terrified at the prospect of drowning, Aurora reveled a hidden power…she’s a werewolf! Now she and Marshmallow were two wolves stuck in a room filling with water. It was the worst bath-time in history. They began to attack the vases in the hope that they could stop the flow. Gorstag teleported into the area to lend aid. As the room began to fill to Gorstag’s sternum, the water began to swirl. A whirlpool formed and began flinging the trio about! They attacked the vases with gusto and managed to disable the trap. Wet and battered, they decided to take a brief rest before continuing.
How will our heroes cope with their lycanthropic new ally? What horrors await them? Will Aurora ever stop smelling like wet dog? Find out next time!