Stick in the Mud1A - A damaged magical item has opened a portal to the Elemental Chaos, creating a mud-filled home for Bullywugs.
Den of the Slave-Takers1B - Gnolls kidnap victims for hideous sacrifices.
The Brothers Gray1C - Murderous halflings take up residence in an abandoned mine
Death in the Pincers1D - Giant ants defend the source of their mutations.
Tainted Spiral1E - Fell taints are drawn into the maze of passages that wind around a chaos shard.
Chance Encounter1G - The owners of a stranded wagon need help ... but do they want it?
Eyes of the Forest1H - A trail left by heroes, follow it or continue your own mission?
Elves of the Valley1I - What lies at the heart of tainted elves?
The Lost Library1F - A tribe of kobolds unearths an ancient, arcane library which predates the Scar. (Note that even though it is listed as 1F this adventure is for 2nd-level characters)
Sliver's Call2A - Characters are drawn into the rivalry between a pair of arcane scholars under malign influence.
The Shrine of the Glass-Spire Forest2B - Somewhere in the Chaos Scar, a forest of glass sings when the wind blows.
Dead by Dawn2C - An abandoned, desecrated temple draws unwelcome attention.
The Hammer Falls2D - The characters enter an abandoned metalworking refinery under the control of a clan of duergar who have given their souls to infernal forces in exchange for power.
Down the Goblin Hole2E - Urgog the Mangler was a vicious goblin warlord and marauder in his youth, but that was years ago.
The CrossroadsOff map encounter - Just outside the King's Wall is The Crossroads, where anything goes … almost.
The Crawling Fane3A - A crazed duergar unwittingly does the bidding of the chaos shard.
The Splintered Spring3B - A plague of ghostly spiders is responsible for the theft of magic items in the lands around the King’s Wall.
The Wayward Wyrmling3C - The malicious Fireclaw kobolds are training a recently orphaned adamantine wyrmling for raiding. Can the PCs eliminate the corrupting influences and earn themselves a baby draconic companion?
Glowstone Caverns4A - A warren of goblins, but is that really all it is?
Pillar of Eyes4B - A crooked stone pillar stands not far beyond the King's Wall. It seems harmless, but now something inside grows restive...
Vanguard Tower4C - A beholder gauth profiteer has capitalistic plans for some captured rust monsters. Care to investigate?
Slaver's Stone5A - Wereboar slaver Magrak Ironjaw is taking recent captives to the Slaver's Stone to make a good sell. Will the PCs be able to help the hostages before it's too late?
Rumble in the valleyA cunning hobgoblin plans to form a mighty army, uniting the diverse and quarrelsome inhabitants of the Chaos Scar into a fighting force, and lay siege to Restwell Keep. For this ambitious strategy to succeed, he must prove his might and remove a persistent problem: the adventurers..
The Radiant MournA few months ago, a priest who is a stranger to this region arrived with a small band of followers. They found a cave a few miles from the nearest settlement, cleaned it out, and set up the Temple of the Radiant Morn. They spread a message of salvation and relief from worldly woe which has found wide acceptance. After some resistance, the locals have grown accustomed to the presence of the temple and its disciples. Its message is nonthreatening, even comforting. So why does it make some people nervous?
Scarred for lifeAn infamous, scarred outlaw has come out of hiding to resolve his strange connection to the Chaos Scar. The heroes must decide whether to bring the outlaw to long-deserved justice, or cooperate with him to lift an ancient curse.
ScarbladeSomewhere in the Chaos Scar is the Proving Pit, a gladiatorial arena that is associated with an enticing magical sword called the Scarblade. Ruling over the Proving Pit is Morrn Bladeclaw, its foremost champion and former owner of the Scarblade. To claim the mystical blade, challengers must face Morrn Bladeclaw, but not until they've bested the pit's lesser champions first. But the Scarblade, and the Proving Pit itself, might have something to say about the situation.
Head in the CloudsThe adventurers notice something ominous in the sky, but instead of offering danger, the floating fortress begs for help. When it crashes, the characters have the opportunity to offer that aid when denizens of the Chaos Scar swarm the strange sky vessel.
Reflections of RuinWhen a cursed dragon begins using the power of the Chaos Scar to magically reflect her warped image onto the world, the adventurers must end her twisted plans. Thanks to the chaos the dragon has toyed with in the past, she and her tribe of ogre henchmen offer several surprises for the interlopers.
Pit of DeliriumA neogi slaver has learned how to harness the psychic energy trapped inside a fragment of the meteor that formed the Chaos Scar and is using it to enslave the inhabitants of nearby Restwell Keep. The adventurers will need all their wits, muscle, and insight to survive with their lives (and sanity) intact.
The Runecutter's RuinThe dwarf runepriest Olek Dael, devoted worshiper of Bane, intends to call an avatar of his god by scribing ancient, forbidden runes. Unknown to him, primordial threats, bound by the sanctity of these runes, strain the borders of their prison dimension. The more Olek uses his runes, the weaker the wards become. Olek’s followers, empowered by the forbidden runes, challenge the adventurers as they struggle to avert catastrophe
Heart of the ScarThe time has finally come to assault the fortress- temple standing above the remnants of the ancient meteor that carved the Chaos Scar centuries ago. A horrific creature lurks below the edifice, and this monster has the power to shake the citadel to its foundations and wreak havoc throughout the Nentir Vale.
D&D Encounters SynopsisHere is Wizard's synopsis of the Keep on the Borderlands D&D Encounters season. If and when the encounters become available we shall provide links.
D&D Encounters — Keep on the Borderlands Campaign Synopsis
Session 1: “Rescue Mission”A small group of adventurers arrived in Restwell Keep, intent on seeking fortune and glory in the nearby Chaos Scar. Soon enough, the intrepid band was invited to dinner with a humble friar, named Benwick. The holy man told the party of an individual named Ronnick—a local banker who used to be a nefarious rogue, now suspected of being a follower of Tiamat.
Benwick went on to explain how several of Ronnick’s lackeys kidnapped his friend, Gordi, and spirited him away to a grotto near the northern swamps. (Benwick suspected that the kidnapping wasn’t kept secret in hopes of luring the friar and any allies away from the safety of the Keep.) Eager to help the troubled holy man—and to make a name for themselves—the party took the job.
After a good night’s sleep, the adventurers set out from the Keep and followed a map through the marshy woodland to a dank, but smoky grotto. Inside, the party encountered a number of reptilian creatures, led by a battleaxe-wielding Dragonborn. A challenging battle within the prison grotto ensued, from which the heroes emerged victorious. The party released Gordi from his bindings and soon discovered that he had been poisoned.
BDC's encounter levelled up to lvl4:
Kresk-dragonorn spearfighter (D)
Rage drake (G) Use the MM version not my monster builder one as that one turned out incomplete.
Greenscale marsh mystic (T)
4 Poisonscale needlers (N) unchanged
Tactics: Harass the players from afar and hold the drake back until the PCs are within range of the needlers.
Pausing only long enough to gather a few spoils of battle (including a holy symbol of Tiamat), the party hurried back toward Restwell Keep, hoping to return Gordi safely to the care of their mutual friend, friar Benwick.
Session 2: “Jumped in the Bailey”Returning safely to security of the Keep, the heroes managed to get Gordi back to friar Benwick’s residence in time for the herbalist to treat the poison. The party then joined their benefactor for a celebratory dinner in the Stumbling Giant tavern.
The heroes regaled Benwick with the tale of how they battled their way into the prison grotto and rescued his friend. Expressing once more his thanks for their help, the holy man confirmed that they would discuss their next move against Ronnick in the morning, revealing that he placed a spy amongst the rogue/banker’s guards—a blonde-haired, gray-eyed human female named Sal.
With business concluded for the night, and rooms at the Traveler’s Inn already paid for, the party rose to leave. Only then did they notice a suspicious-looking halfling who had been eavesdropping on their conversation dart out the door.
The group moved quickly, but cautiously, outside into the rain-soaked plaza. As the halfling bolted across the Fountain Square, a number of thuggish goons moved to surround the party.
BDC's encounter levelled up to lvl4:
Halfling thief lvl6 (H)
3 Common bandits lvl 5 (B)
5 Human goons lvl 5 (G)
Despite the brutish tactics and superior number of brigands, the heroes quickly gained the upper hand. One of the bandits, who had hung back during the melee, called out her surrender as the remaining thugs attempted to flee. The party immediately recognized her from Benwick’s description—Sal.
When the party began questioning their “prisoner,” she quietly explained that she observed Ronnick entering his bank several hours ago and hasn’t seen him leave. As the group discussed waiting until dark to explore the bank, plumes of smoke billowed out from fire-lit windows—Ronnick was destroying evidence of his treachery.
Session 3: “Rush to Ronnick’s”With some effort, the heroes smashed their way into the secured, smoldering building. Immediately, they found themselves facing the source of the raging conflagration—a number of fire elementals. Behind the fiery creatures, a water elemental stood guard over an enchanted circle.
BDC's encounter levelled up to lvl4:
Skill challenge as is but +2 DC
3 Lesser Fire elementals lvl 4
1 Lesser Water elemental lvl4
A heated battle erupted, as some members of the party engaged the elementals while others worked to sabotage the magical source of the fire. Covered in soot and scorch marks, they adventurers prevailed, defeating the menacing creatures and dousing the mystical flames.
A quick search of the smoke-filled bank building revealed that Ronnick had already fled the scene, but a more thorough inspection turned up a singed map depicting area outside the Keep with a location marked “Well Hideout.”
Session 4: “King’s Wall Hideout”Having left behind the security of Restwell Keep, the brave group of troubleshooters moved quickly through the driving rain and into the darkening night. Following their charred map to the King’s Wall, the party located a seemingly abandoned well house featuring a newly erected wooden frame over an ancient well.
As the adventurers inspected the well, looking for further evidence of Ronnick’s passage, they were ambushed by band of nimble kobolds. After collapsing aweakened section of wall down on the heroes, the reptilian assailants fell upon them with zealous intent.
BDC's encounter levelled up to lvl4:
Kobold Dragonshield lvl 5 (D)
Kobold Slinger lvl 4 (S)
2 Kobold Slyblades (Q)
5 Kobold Miners lvl 4 (T)
Despite the ferocity of their attack, the kobolds were unable to get the upper hand against the capable band of adventurers. Having failed to overwhelm the heroes with surprise and numbers, the kobolds steeled their resolve to fight to the death, but not before directing the fastest of their (still living) number torun back to Dragontooth Hill and warn Ronnick and the others.
Victorious and exhausted, the party opted to take advantage of the shelter and relative safety of the well house, getting some long-overdue rest before setting out to confront Ronnick.
Session 5: “Entrance Cave”The party awakened to clear skies, refreshed and ready for action. Their overland trek led alongside a quick-running stream straight to a waterfall spilling out of a cave in the side of Dragontooth Hill. With little effort the stalwart band clambered up the cliff and into a large, dank cavern filled with slight odor of decay and dim blue light.
Carefully advancing into the damp grotto, the group discovered a series of ropes secured to the ceiling apparently used for crossing the swiftly running stream. Moving deeper into the natural chamber, navigating across the water and over slippery rocks, the heroes were set upon by a number of monstrous oozes that squelched out from various crevices around the room. Once the party was engaged in battle, a bone-clad kobold scuttled out from behind a hedge of oversized mushrooms (which were quickly discovered to spew forth acidic spores).
BDC's encounter levelled up to lvl4:
Kobold Ooze talker lvl 6 (K)
3 Squelching Oozes lvl 5 (O)
4 Acid cap mushrooms +2 to hit, 6 damage on hit 3 on miss
Amid the crashing roar of two waterfalls, the adventurers triumphed over their attackers The group harvested a few of the glowing crystals, which proved to be sturdy and reliable light sources, and set about exploring the area.
Attached to the wall of a small alcove, the group discovered a set of manacles, which seemed to have been installed recently, despite the aside from some moderate acid damage and bloodstains. The glint of metal led to the discovery of a submerged cache of treasure that included some small gems, a few pieces jewelry, and a suit of magic armor.
Bolstered by their successful entry into Dragontooth Hill, the heroes resolved to move quickly in order to catch Ronnick before he has a chance to slip away.
Session 6: “Old Shrine”The party climbed up the back wall of the cavern, alongside a second waterfall pouring out from a submerged crevice in the upper cave. They proceeded through an opening in the opposite wall, where flickering torchlight and yapping snippets of Draconic spilled from the room ahead. The natural cavern gave way to cut-stone walls and floors, revealing what appeared to be some sort of shrine.
The adventurers crept into the ornate room, taking notice of a glowing red rune that pulsed with flickering energy in tandem with an array of braziers set around the room. A number of kobolds that had been occupied with mundane tasks took notice of the intruding band and immediately sprung into action. As combat began, an elaborately robed kobold strode into the chamber, boldly presented a holy symbol of Tiamat, and shouted “Ixenstrix!” The other kobolds echoed the wyrmpriest, their chanting seeming to lend power to the glowing rune and braziers in the room, when began to lash out at the party with whips of flame.
The kobolds, aided by their mystical defenses, fought tenaciously but to no avail. When the tide decisively turned in the favor of the adventurers, one of the kobold leaders commanded one of the others to warn “Moxulhar and the others” about the intruders. The fleeing kobold sprung to a platform and furiously worked a crank that noisily raised the section of floor through an opening in the ceiling The heroes dispatched the remaining adversaries and quickly rushed up a spiral staircase, hoping to intercept the alarm-raising kobold.
Session 7: “Dragon Aerie”Stepping as quickly and carefully as possible, the party approached the top of the staircase, where they triggered a magical ward that loudly proclaimed “Greetings, unknown creatures!” Spurred by the alarm, the heroes courageously charged into the large chamber, which was bathed in bright daylight and cool, fresh air coming from a large balcony opening on the far wall.
The adventurers were immediately set upon by a pair of well-armored kobolds and a battleaxe-wielding dragonborn warrior. As the melee broke out, the sunlight glinted off the scales of a small copper dragon who leapt out of the shadows and into the fray, declaring that she was “a ferocious dragon.”
As the armored warriors fell, and the party’s energies focused on the eager, talkative, young dragon, it became apparent that the creature was more misinformed than malevolent. The prowess and persuasion of the heroes impressed the wyrmling, who surrendered and introduced herself as Moxulhar.
“Mox” had been lured into working with the cult of Tiamat by flattering promises of servitude, shelter, and treasure—including the Serpent’s Eye, which the party immediately confiscated.
She went on to confirm that Ronnck had visited Dragontooth Hill earlier that morning, adding that the banker had used a magical ritual to contact an allied tribe of lizardmen in order to plan the ambush and murder of someone named “Benwick.”
The party also collected a number of papers, including a letter and map that further incriminated Ronnick and indicated the intended location of Friar Benwick’s imminent demise. After securing Mox’s promise to never fall under evil influences again, the heroes dramatically exited Dragontooth Hill via zipline and rushed onward to Benwick’s rescue.
Session 8: “Saving Benwick ”Moving quickly across the countryside, the heroes hastened to the site of the impending ambush, arriving in time to hear Friar Benwick’s cries for help. The party charged into the clearing, taking stock of the scene before them: a trio of lizardfolk watching Benwick being held at swordpoint by a menacing dragonborn brigand while Ronnick looms over the motionless bodies of Gordi and Sal.
Upon seeing the would-be rescuers as a greater risk to the deal being struck with Ronnick, the lizardfolk and dragonborn attacked with little hesitation. The wild-eyed banker stood over his first two victims for a moment, until the heroes’ accusations of wrongdoing sparked indignant and unconvincing denials followed by an erratic charge into the fray.
Ignored by the monsters, Benwick stumbled across the clearing in order to lend aid to his now unattended fallen companions.
When the heated battle with the Tiamat worshippers concluded, the heroes spared Ronnick’s life—taking the infuriated man into custody. Benwick’s ministrations brought Gordi and Sal back to weakened consciousness. The grateful friar and his companions thanked their saviors for their timely and bold rescue.
Upon returning to the safety of Restwell Keep, the party remanded custody of the Serpent’s Eye and Ronnick over to Benwick and the authorities. The grateful citizens of the outer bailey thanked the party for saving them from “that snake, Ronnick,” treating the group to rounds of drinks at the Stumbling Giant.
Session 9: “First Gauntlet”After an evening of celebration and a night of well-earned rest, the heroes of Restwell Keep gathered once more at Friar Benwick’s apartment. Over dinner, their host introduced the group to a dwarf named Gorn Hammerfall, who is captain of the watch and—more importantly—descendant of Greysen Ramthane, the notorious bandit lord who once ruled the Keep.
Gorn revealed that he had discovered the hidden location of Greysen’s lost cache of ill-gotten booty. However, the treasure was too well guarded for the dwarf to recover safely and quietly. The friar and captain confessed their concerns that Lord Drysdale would confiscate any riches retrieved from the chambers beneath the Keep.
They proposed that if the party would brave the guardians of the bandit lord’s vault, they could retain any magic items as well as a share of whatever coin was recovered. As the rightful heir, Gorn would be entitled to any dwarven artifacts discovered. The dwarf also requested that the group attempt to return with the body of a companion that had fallen when the pair first discovered the secret chambers. Benwick added that he had activated a little of the latent powers within the Serpent’s Eye, and offered the use of the enchanted gemstone and the aid of a bundle of healing poultices. A deal was struck.
When night fell, the adventurers were soon led to a secret staircase hidden in a dark basement under one of the Keep’s towers. Gorn directed the heroes through a pair of great stone doors and accompanied Friar Benwick to tend to other errands. Past the doors, lay a chamber bathed in pale blue light emanating from runes carved in the floor around a large statue of dwarf who wielded a ponderous flail in one hand and held an iron key in the other. Beyond that, lay another pair of stout doors and the corpse of an armored warrior—Ralv.
As the adventurers moved into the room, a quartet of constructs emerged from shadowy alcoves and attacked. The statue dominating the center of the room animated, swinging and smashing its spiky flail with mechanical precision.
The party withstood the brutal encounter, defeating the constructs and disabling the flailing statue. They respectfully moved Ralv’s body back to the antechamber, in accordance with Gorn’s request. Then, having acquired the heavy iron key from the guardian statue, they proceeded to the iron-banded doors and prepared for whatever awaited on the other side.
Session 10: “Second Gauntlet”With a resonant *click* and a deep groan, the heavy doors swung open, revealing another large chamber containing a glowing pool of water. Staircases on either side of the entrance led up to a walkway that led around the room to another pair of doors on the far side of the room.
The heroes cautiously inspected the area, discovering a crystal key resting under the surface of the shallow pool. When the adventurers broke the surface of the pool in order to retrieve the sparkling key, a number of figures emerged from the walls lining the walkway above and proceeded to attack.
Despite having the element of surprise and the advantage of higher ground, the guardian constructs of the room were no match for the heroes. The party dispatched their assailants, secured the crystal key, and proceeded to the iron-banded doors blocking their progress.
Using both the iron and crystal keys in their possession, the adventurers unlocked the ponderous doors and steeled themselves against whatever would be encountered upon revealing the next room.
Session 11: “The Vault”Pushing open the double-locked doors, the heroes found themselves in a large chamber filled with stale air dimly lit by luminous runes carved into the floor and walls. Past a large bone-filled pit, the adventurers spied what appeared to be two large stone sarcophagi separated by yet another pit filled with more desiccated humanoid remains. Carefully stepping past the broken stone of a quartet of crumbled statues the group approached the first of the ancient coffins.
A gust of cold wind rushed through the room, stirring dust and chilling the air as it blew past the party. The ghostly form of a scale armor-clad dwarf coalesced before the group. The specter of Greysen Ramthane filled with anger as he spoke, saying “So, ye’ve taken me life and me home, Bertak. And now ye’ve come for me treasure…?” Rage washed through the undead Bandit Lord, and as phantasmal blood seeped from his armor, he shouted, “Ye’ll never take me treasure! NEVER!”
As the heroes mobilized to fight the elusive ghost, a clattering noise alerted them to a number of skeletal creatures forming within (and from the contents of) the nearest bone-filled pit. With a bonechilling howl, Greysen summoned more allies that joined the fray.
The fast-moving battle was brutal, but brief. As the party recovered in the chilling calm of victory, they cautiously opened the heavy stone boxes and discovered the hidden cache of gold and magic items. Having completed their quest, and finding no other path, the adventurers were eager to return to safety and to claim their respectable share of treasure.
Session 12: “Back to the Beginning”As the party prepared to exit the tomb of Greyson Ramthane, they used the Serpent’s Eye to send a quick message to Friar Benwick, notifying him (and Gorn) of their success. Their benefactor responded that they would meet the group at the entrance and reminded the party that they should divide the treasure there, to avoid suspicion within the Keep.
The adventurers warily retraced their steps through the central chamber, prepared for another battle against guardian creatures. Whether due to their caution or not, the heroes passes unhindered through the room and found themselves back in the first chamber. The entry room remained just as they had left it, but was now occupied by Benwick and Gorn, as well as the friar’s assistants, Gordi and Sal.
The group recounted their activities and encounters to the Friar and Captain of the Guard as they divided the gold. Benwick then asked for the group to return the Serpent’s Eye. When the heroes hesitated, having grown more suspicious of their employer, Friar Benwick snatched away the magical gem (using previously unrevealed arcane power), directed Gorn and the others to attack, then used the Serpent’s Eye to teleport away in a flash of sickly green light.
Betrayed, the party was then faced by a formidable array of enemies that seized the moment of surprise to launch a brutal assault. The adventurers defended themselves vigorously, fending off their murderous attackers and turning the tide in their favor, until they had slain all but one of their assailants, who had begged for mercy—promising to reveal Benwick’s plans if the party allowed him to live.
The desperate prisoner spilled everything—staring with the revelation that Benwick is actually a loyal follower of Zehir, the evil deity of poison. His plot against Ronnik was purely to frame him as a follower of Tiamat in order to use the heroes to secure the Serpent’s Eye and eliminate the influence of the rival cult. The party then learned of Benwick’s plans to use the Serpent’s Eye and the treasure the party just recovered to bribe a pair of black dragons (and the tribe of lizardfolk they rule) into attacking Restwell Keep—in order to turn the keep into a citadel dedicated to Zehir.
With that final piece of information, the party immediately set our to inform Lord Drysdale of Benwick’s treachery, to explain Ronnick’s innocence, and to warn of the impending attack upon the Keep.
Session 13: “Chasing the Serpent”The dire urgency of the heroes’ news gained them an immediate audience with Lord Drysdale, who listened intently to their tale. Drysdale ordered his guards to take custody of the party’s latest prisoners and to release the wrongly imprisoned Ferdinand Ronnick. The Lord of Restwell Keep then charged the adventurers with tracking down Benwick, gathering as much information about the impending attack as possible—and with slaying the two black dragons, Vermastyx and Yulbraxis. Exhausted from their recent endeavors, and following Drysdale’s advice, the group spent the morning getting some much-needed rest.
Just after mid-day, the intrepid band left Restwell Keep and headed southwest into the wet woodlands of the Chaos Scar. After trekking aimlessly through the rough terrain, the group finally discovered the standing stones marking the trail to the dragon’s lair.
Moving cautiously past a stand of trees draped with spiderwebs, the heroes were surprised by a band of lizardfolk who attacked from the tree line. Amid the confusion of the reptiles’ javelins and blow darts, the party was also attacked by a pair of wolf-sized spiders. The well-rested and anxious heroes swiftly defeated both sets of attackers, brushed themselves off, and proceeded to follow their chosen path further into the lizardfolk’s territory.
Session 14 “Watchers in the Water”The adventurers proceeded along the marked trail and came out of the woods alongside the banks of a flowing stream. As they moved past a pair of small ponds on the way to the next trailhead, they were ambushed by lizardfolk snipers. As combat was engaged, more lizardfolk emerged from the murky water.
The heroes swiftly proved more powerful than their attackers, who soon called out their surrender. Questioning revealed that these lizardfolk were aware of the impending attack on the Keep, but were not joining in the assault. They also confirmed that Benwick had passed their burrows earlier in the morning, heading toward a nearby ruin where the black dragons are laired.
The heroes left the surviving lizardfolk behind, vanquished, as they continued onward.
Session 15: “Sacred Ground”Continuing along the swampy path, the adventurers soon found themselves approaching a ruined stone structure. They approached warily, spotting a brutishly large black-scaled lizardfolk, which seemed to be guarding the area. Moving with stealth and speed, the heroes managed to surprise the fierce guardian, who proved to be a sturdy opponent—and not alone. Other lizardfolk and a pair of acid-spewing drakes quickly joined the battle atop the ruins. The bold party was unrelenting in their assault, dealing more damage to their foes than the received. While not unscathed, the heroes claimed victory, and stood ready to descend into the dragon’s lair.
Session 16: “Into the Dragon Lair”The adventurers descended into the ruins, climbing quickly and quietly down a sturdy rope ladder. A dim green light greeted the explorers as they entered a large chamber. From atop a damp ledge, they surveyed they area, taking in the features of the room, including a number of glowing crystals, pools of water fed by a subterranean stream, and a grisly collection of partially consumed humanoid corpses.
The group cautiously explored the grotto, expecting to be confronted by the draconic occupants at any moment. Abruptly, the surface of the water was broken, as a large, black dragon burst into the chamber and attacked.
The heroes, relieved to be facing only one of the pair of dragons, fought desperately against the elusive creature. The dragon repeatedly attacked, then disappeared under the dark, churning water, only to reappear elsewhere in the cavern. As they adventurers wore down the dragon, they attempted to convince the acid-spewing creature to give up her onslaught. Eventually, the party’s prowess proved to be too much for Vermastyx, who relented, more interested in her own survival than anything else.
The dragon informed the group that Benwick and her brother, Yulbraxis, had departed earlier in the day in order to marshal a number of other lizardfolk tribes for the assault on Restwell Keep—an attack planned to commence on the following morning. Vermastryx promised the heroes that she would stay out of the fight, if they allowed her to live. The party deigned to spare the creature’s life, but claimed the treasure hidden in the chamber—a small horde which included coins from Greysen Ramthane’s treasure as well as the Serpents Eye.
Battered from their expedition, but knowing that time was of the essence, the adventurers were expeditious in their withdrawal from the dragons’ lair and return to Restwell Keep.
Session 17: “Monsters at the Door”Upon their safe return to the keep, the party met with Lord Drysdale to pass along all they’d learned of Benwick’s forces, then sought much-needed rest. They were awakened the next morning by the trumpeting alarm of the imminent attack.
Outside the Great Hall, Lord Drysdale gave each of the heroes a battle horn, to mark them as having the authority to give orders to the keep’s other defenders.As a black dragon soared overhead, a page rushed up to the group, reporting that a large force of lizardfolk were assaulting the front gate with the aid of an immense behemoth. Without hesitation, Drysdale charged the heroes with repelling the main attack, telling them to meet him in Fountain Square after the gate was secured. The party rushed to the outer gatehouse, where the siege was in full swing.
Within moments, a huge, horned beast crashed through the thick wooden gate and thundered into the sturdy portcullis while a troop of lizardfolk warriors threatened to swarm up and over the outer wall. The heroes took up positions atop the wall and at the portcullis, fending off the onslaught.
From the elevated height, the group spotted Moxulhar, who was surveying the scene. With a blast from one of the battle horns, the adventurers summoned the copper dragon to join the fray. Without warning, Mox was interrupted in mid-flight when a familiar black dragon—Vermastyx—crashed into the metallic dragon and spiraled out of sight.
The portcullis held long enough for the party to slay the Behemoth, signaling the turning point in the battle. The adventurers redoubled their efforts, directing the guards atop the walls, and slowly beat back the attack.
Additional soldiers arrived to relieve the heroes and hold the now-secured gate. The party regrouped and turned their attention toward the other side of the keep.
Session 18: “Breach in the Square”The adventurers rushed through the streets of Restwell Keep toward the sounds of battle raging from the Fountain Square. The wide plaza was filled with guards and lizardfolk engaged in battle. More reptilian invaders emerged from a familiar red-roofed building—Benwick’s home. One of the guards shouted that there must be a tunnel within the structure.
Lord Drysdale was nowhere to be seen, but the party took notice of a pair of lizardfolk standing over the corpses of the noble’s personal guards. Further glancing around the battlefield, revealed Ronnick, armed and ready to enter battle at the behest of the heroes. Atop a nearby wall, a catapult and crew stood ready for orders.
Calling Ronnick to their side, the party also commanded the catapult crew to lay siege to Benwick’s home, then plunged into battle. The fighting was tense, but swung in the favor of the defenders when a second boulder brought Benwick’s home crumbling down into a pile of rubble that sealed the unseen tunnel and cut off the lizardfolk’s reinforcements.
As the guards secured the area, a terrifying roar drew the heroes’ attention to the northern section of the keep.
Session 19: “The Battle’s Turn”Arriving at the public square outside the inner keep, the group was confronted by the aftermath of a brutal battle. The bodies of slain lizardfolk and soldiers lay sprawled around the area—several of the human corpses appeared to have been brutally mauled and burned by caustic acid.
Then, with a snarl, a fierce black dragon leapt into view atop a nearby building. The creature taunted the party, telling them that Lord Drysdale was near death, if not dead already. With that, the dragon and several lurking lizardfolk attacked the group and the remaining guardsman that can to their aid.
As the heroes engaged in battle that ranged all over—and above—the square, they chanced upon Chendera, the priestess of Avandra, who informed the party that Drysdale had been poisoned and taken into the Inner Keep.
The urgency of the situation spurred the adventurers to put down their enemies quickly. While Yulbraxis the dragon proved to be a ferocious foe, he was soon slain, along with his reptilian counterparts.
With no time to spare, Chendara and the heroes rushed to save Lord Drysdale.
Session 20: “Snakes in the Hall”The group was met on the steps outside the Great Hall by Kendon Longstrider, the elderly bailiff of the keep. The heavily armored man confirmed that Benwick was inside, and may have already finished off Lord Drysdale.
The heroes threw open the doors to the Great Hall and strode inside and past huge tables spattered with the blood of the servants and guards whose bodies were strewn about the fire-lit hall.
Across the room, atop a low dais, Benwick loomed over the prostrate form of Lord Drysdale. With sneering menace, the villain called out, “So, it has come to this, friends…Zehir’s darkness will take you all!” With that, he flung out his arm, creating a number of venomous snakes, which joined a pair of man-sized serpents in lashing out at the heroes.
Benwick fought with zealous fervor, proving to be far more menacing than anyone expected and using an array of powers at his command—including his charisma. He played to Kendon’s mercenary tendencies and attempted to sway him to betray the party. Benwick’s venomous attempt was foiled when the heroes reminded the bailiff of his duty—and of their determination to defeat their enemies. The heroes pressed their attack and defeated Benwick and his serpents in time for Chendara to administer antivenom to Lord Drysdale.
With Benwick destroyed and his army broken, the inhabitants of Restwell Keep cheered their victory. Lord Drysdale rewarded each of the valiant adventurers, who were hailed as true heroes—the Defenders of the Borderlands.