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DM: @krforget93

Damian (Paladin 3) @Waylander322
Mafol (Fighter 2) @water2770
Virith (Fighter 2) @TheOddity
Koa (Barbarian 3) @Kiwi
Karthis (Wizard 3) @Trulhammaren
Morros (Rogue 3) @Iceforge

Mission Date: 18JAN22

Dedicated to: Koa, Mafol, Virith and Karthis. My brave fellow adventurers who looked evil in the eye without flinching. May their souls find peace!

Summary for the impatient:
– A group of adventurers head to Blackchasm Keep to clear the crypts of undead
– We learn more of the Knights of the New Dawn who had keeps in different areas of the island.
– Vongrimaths followers killed the Knights of the New Dawn several centureis ago
– The undead in the crypts are the slain corpses of the Knights raised against their will by evil magic

On a cold winter day our adventure starts and we start traveling towards the western forest to Blackchasm Keep. We meet a guy that plays us a melody on a lute.
After that it appears that we are traveling slower than expected and prepare for the night in the plains. We couldn’t have gone more than a few miles from the road intersection after the bridge.
During the night we are visited by some sort of mist that is encircling our camp but stays away from the light. When we try to interact with it, it decides to attack us and we are forced to destroy it.
Before the night passes a group 9 wild horses passing by.

It is ok to borrow some books but Sir Coel would like to have them back at some point. There is also a library in the seccond floor that we don’t get access to. The second floor and some parts of the basement are generally forbidden for us as we are not supposed to disturb some of Sir Coels guests who are staying at the keep.
When talking with Niegel we learn that he was the assistant of the father of Sir Coel. He is unsure of how many years ago he started living in this castle.
We recevie a very nice meal for dinner and a bed each to rest during the night.

Niegel is sad that we din’t bring the blood diamonds that Sir Coel asked adventurers several months ago. However he asks us inside as a previous adventuring party said they would take care of some creatures in the bsement that wasn’t completely dealt with.
We are offered a great deal of hospitality in this creepy place and even receive access to the library and some guest chambers.
In the library we come accross a few interesting books. One talks about “Augustus the Defender the Holy Paladin”, another one about “The Noble Ambition of the Werewolf Hunter” and then there were a few books that were like a guide on demons and devils as well as several humanoid and another one with very particular tips against one specific creature. I think Karthis took this one on him. Book info at the end.

As we arrive at the keep it appears that the sunlight does not reach an around close around the keep. There is some sort of moat around the castle which is filled with darkness instead of water. As soon as light from a cantrip touches the darkness it is not visible anymore. Even darkvision is not able to pierce through it. However the bridge is unaffected as the effect starts roughly 20 feet below it.
When approaching the entrance on the stairs we have a feeling of being watched. There are two stone statues nearby but Karthis couldn’t find any magic on them.
A very old man is opening the door for as and tells us, that Sir Coel has been gone for a month now. He is supposed to meet Mr. Alexander south of the island.
When asked about the darkness we learn from Niegel, who is the old man, that the darkness was here before Sir Coel arrived and therefore belonged to the previous owner.

Niegel wakes us the next morning and after another great meal we ask to see the cook to compliment him. All the servants are humans and there is one cook and one servant asides from Niegel employed at the keep. Asked about the local cuisine for his guests at the upper level the cook goes very quiet and just says this and that. It cleearly looks like he is evading some specifics.
We are then escorted to a room with stairs to the basement at the area left to the entrance to the keep itself. In the basement the rooms to the north and east are to be avoided as these are guestchambers for Sir Coel. We are all sure that there is something weird going on with this castle and its servants but can’t pinpoint what exactly.

Karthis’ curious nature pushes him to listen on the eastern door and he says there is some iron clanking behind the door.
Towards the southern door is a very old crypt which we go to next. We find coffins of humanoids aligned on the walls of the crypt and a strange emblem depicted to the right. I remember having read something about the “Knights of the New Dawn” in the library that seems to be linked to.
Woing through some of the coffins we disturb something undead that attacks us, is able to heal itself and threatens our very life all on its own. Karthis thinks that it is vulnerable to radiant damage and flowing water. Only with holy water flasks and me smiting the undead creature we are able to finally slay it before it kills one of us.
However we lost a lot of spells and energy in that fight in additon to several wounds taken and need to take a break before continuing.

Near an intersection in the south-eastern part we find a coffin of a knight in pristine condition. It has the symbol from above on it.
North of this is a sealed door that we hear some metal chains clinging and screaming faintly in the back.
At this time Virith seems to be talking to someone south of us near the kngiht’s coffin. Soon a knight spirit emerges and says his companions are to the east but now arisen by the evildoers.
Vongrimath and his followers have slain the Knights which happened several centuries ago. The spirits name is Augustus the Defender and he claims to not know the name Sir Coel.
As we decide that another visit at the library might be good, the spirit refuses to leave his coffin and says that the keeper of the keep cannot be trusted. (He didn’t recognize the name of Sir Coel – maybe he knows something we don’t.)
In the library we are able to find out that the Knights of the New Dawn were dealing with 3 vampire lords or something similar. The book says that the knights once had several keeps on the island. One of those was in a jungle (in the southeastern part of the island) and one in the western part of the island in a snowy area. Another one was supposed to be in the central part of the island. It also mentions something about Blackchasm Keep, though it appears that there might have been another name written in there as the original name is crossed out and replaced with Blackchasm Keep.

Our next decision appears to be doomed looking back though. We are heading to the stairs we found in the southeastern part of the crypt past the coffin of the knight.
We find very large piles of bones at the bottom of the stairs and analyze the sitauation. It is possible for three people to squeeze next to each other on the stairs which we do as sounds are coming closer from the back of this part of the crypt.
The large piles of bones are then starting to move and swarm all over us as they combine their sizes. Fully engulfed by bones Virith, Koa and Karthis are knocked out an I seriously wounded. As there are two more skeletons we fall back to only decide to try save our friends as the skeletons drag the bodies of Virith and Koa away. Karthis we were able to heal when falling back.
In a serious of brave actions in which all of our party members tried to work together as best as possible to save Koa and Virith, taking hits from the skeletons for each other, the situation looked very dire as we were only doing very little progress back towards the stairs. We were using every last trick we had to attempt to get everybody out and it looked very promising before the skeletons reached us at the stairs again. Unable to quickly move on the staircase and having to squeeze past each other our attempt as excaping soon became very desperate.
Unable to contribute much  with everything spent and at the brink of loosing consciousness I shouted to my group to get out of there and bolted for the door. The last sight I saw of my group was Mafol heroically making a stand against the skeletons to give the others a headstart.
When heading for the door I saw more skeltons coming in from another part of the cave, warned my group and waited behind the door for the others.
Only Morros was able to make it out of the darkness of the crypt and shok his head when asked about our party. I slammed the door shut and we ran upstairs.

Still in shock at the loss of our party we arrived back on the main floor. Morros and I spent the night at the keep and left it the next morning to run all the way back to Port Mirandia. We ran most of the night and arrived deeply exhausted at the gates of the town.

Below you’ll find a summary of the books that are in my possession when leaving the castle. How the werewolves and the Knights of the New Dawn are connected in the past might be something that is worth investigating. Also, there is definitely something off about the keep. However as the basement problem is officially still not solved we might have another reason we can use to gain access to the crypts if it would be needed. Overall the presence of undead is very strong in the keep and Sir Coel might still have something to do with the Knights of the New Dawn even though the spirti didn’t recognize his name. After all he (Sir Coel) is the only keeper of the keep we know of.

 

“Augustus the Defender” the Holy Paladin: A True Heir

This book is torn, stained, and fraid at the edges of the spine, showing its age.It is written in Common Speech. It is bound in heavy wooden frames.

This book is an account of “Agustus the Defender’s” life story and his connection with the Knights of the New Dawn holy warriors. It talks about their attempts to get rid of all evils in the lands of the island and their key objective was to stop The Eternal Descents and a newly establish Cult at the time, The Chosen ones of Vongrimath. This book written by someone else.

“The Noble¬† Ambition of the Werevwolf Hunter”: A True Heir

This book talks of a male slayer of the wolves and wolf humanoids known as werewolves. he slaid them for many years with his silvered shortsword, daggers and crossbows. It talks how over time he got old and settled down haveing a family with a farmer in the region and having a set of twins, who soon took after their fathers ambitions.

This book is leafed through, but otherwise good condition. It is written in Common Language. It has a cover made of silver edging. Iron rings hold it together.