In the depths of the Raventree Crypts, the party knew they needed a plan to find the missing captives and get out alive. They decided to return to the Raven Queen’s shrine in hopes of finding clues to the missing Mirtala. They did not, but they did find more goblins, who were unable to ambush the adventurers thanks to Kaolen’s keen senses. The battle was brief, and brutal for the attackers – only the hobgoblin archer who had harassed them before escaped.
The group entered a trapezoid-shaped room with a glowing image along the largest wall. The edges shimmered and crackled with magical energy, and they could see into what seemed to be the interior of another castle. As they stood staring at it, they watched as a gold-colored, amorphous blob oozed out of the portal and moved toward them. It attacked seemingly as an impulse, slamming them with its acidic form, until finally the party was able to destroy the slimy menace.
As the others collected themselves after the skirmish, Perrin wandered down the hallway to find another set of doors. Seemingly without thinking, he opened them, expecting to confirm that his mental map of the dungeon’s layout was correct. It was, but more than that knowledge awaited – a patrol of hobgoblins was on the other side, and they grinned wickedly as they spotted the halfling.
The ensuing battle was fierce, but the heroes thought it well in hand when they defeated the goblin hexer who seemed to be leading the group. That was when the northern doors burst open, nearly breaking them from their hinges, as the largest hobgoblin the party had yet seen entered the fray. He wore spiked plate mail, carried a spiked chain with a deadly ball at the end, and he wanted their blood. He was Sinruth, the warleader of Sinruth’s Hand, and he fought the adventurers to the edge of death. Despite his fearsome prowess, however, in the end he could not stand against the combined ability of Perrin’s brave band, and he died that day in the ancient crypts beneath the ruins of Raventree Keep.
After the latest battle in the room with the sarcophagi, Kedrick destroyed the hobgolins’ altar to Bane.
Kedrick and Kaolen noticed that the weapons being used by the goblin army were of particularly high quality, and all seemed to bear the same maker’s mark in the shape of an arrow.
In addition to his fearsome armor and weapon, Sinruth was wearing an elaborately decorated pair of gauntlets, which the party took with them. Kaolen expressed a suspicion that they might be part of the trophies stolen from the Hall of Great Valor.
When Kedrick searched Sinruth’s body, he found a letter from an unknown sender (the part where the signature likely was had been torn off) encouraging Sinruth to attack Haven, and mentioning possible reinforcements from other tribes. It also spoke of giving the captives to “the wight.” The characters are left to puzzle the larger questions raised by this communique.
This adventure has been based off of a pre-written adventure from Wizards of the Coast (experienced D&D players might recognize it), but I’ve modified it considerably to make it fit my players and create what I hope is a more interesting story.
In the original, Sinruth waits alone in a room in one branch of the dungeon, but I found that a bit boring. I also felt that since the actions of the party led to the hobgoblin army knowing that the PC’s are in their lair, they should be reacting and looking for ways to corner and take care of these intruders. Sinruth seemed like the type of chief to be violent and more than a little cocky, with a desire to kill the intruders himself. I’ve been hoping for the right time to have this encounter, and the end of this session provided the perfect opportunity. It was humorous that the players didn’t seem to believe this was actually the big bad during the early stages of the fight, but I think he challenged them greatly and gave them a great sense of victory once he was defeated. I’m not sure if they expected to fight Sinruth so soon – I imagine they suspected him to be the “final boss” that wouldn’t show up until the end of the adventure. The good news is there are still at least a few surprises waiting for them before their quest draws to an end.