The Barren Kingdoms

1.01. Keep in the Barren Lands

The adventure commences!

Five intrepid adventurers — Chance Hammerstone, duerkin fighter; Biff Longfellow, elf wizard; Caelynn Galanadel, elf ranger/fighter; Thrunder Bluespark, dragonborn cleric; and a bard with no name (yet) — trekked northeast into the Barren Kingdoms in search of information. They had been given orders to seek out an old garrison near the town of Cardevale where an “incident” had supposedly taken place just days prior to the Great Dying. Their mission was to find the garrison captain’s log book and any other information on what happened.

(Read Simon Keeper’s Written Orders)

Upon approaching the garrison, the group spied smoke from a cook-fire and quickly discovered that orken were camping in the keep (which was really just a tower with a basic defensive wall and some outbuildings). Rather than approach the front, the PCs snuck around back, where a wooden door had already been broken open. Caelynn tried to sneak inside, but she inadvertently alerted the enemies to her presence.

A fight ensued; Chance clobbered orken both large and small, while Thrunder found himself overwhelmed by the might of the powerful orken in charge and fell unconscious. Ultimately, the party prevailed over the orken and saved their cleric. A handful of small orken got away, one of them blowing a hunting horn as it ran.

Exploring the keep, the party found evidence that a larger orken force had been camping here. They also found the door to the keep’s dungeon, which the orken had barred and blocked with rubble; near that door was a dead orken, his head cleaved nearly in half, a festering bite-mark on his arm. They found little of value, and specifically did not find the book they sought.

In one of the outbuildings (a smithy) they found a second enterance to the dungeon, this one unblocked, but locked. Chance forced the door open. Beyond they found a jail area and another locked door leading to the rest of the dungeon.

In one of the cells was a dwarf, almost certainly undead, who pleaded with them to let him out and who kept complaining of hunger. It was determined that he had been locked up just prior to the Great Dying, and therefore might know something about the incident the party was here to investigate; however, the party was not inclined to let him out and so he refused to share what he knew.

The party looked around the rest of the jail area. They found a lockbox (not yet opened), and also a secret door. As the night ended, something could be heard shambling out of the darkness at them …



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