TES:D20

Pierce the Keep!

 

 

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The party finds themselves outside the gates of the protected fort of Sundered Redoubt the Raiders are currently calling home. Together, they gather outside the heavy portcullis that separates the main base and the outside portion of their base. A quick examination of the gate shows an iron door built into the heavy bars, acting as an entryway while the portcullis is closed. Having already picked the key off one of the corpses from earlier, they decided to proceed onward.

 

Dra’Jhad fails after attempting to detect the life forces inside the walls two times. Decided something else may be lurking behind the walls, they decide to play it safe. Taking a move from their usual playbook, Bokralt approaches the door and uses the key to unlock the mechanism. Dra’Jhad gets ready and, in an instant, Borkalt throws open the door while Dra’Jhad shoots out red balls of fury towards the handful of foes inside the camp known as Sundered Redoubt. Thus begins the second portion of the fight to free the Imperial Ambassador, Jonuley.

 

Inside the walls of the compound are more huts constructed from local lumber, rocks, and animal pelts. There seems to be a higher population inside the walls, most of which are deep in drink and slow to react as the party begins laying out the enemies one by one. Even as reinforcements step out from the huts to join the fight, the entire encounter is over in a matter of minutes. Surprisingly, they’re able to take care of the foes in the first sector without alerting any of the others in the other section of the base, which is separated by a stone wall and an iron gate.

 

It’s due to their quickness that the party is able to listen to an exchange between two Raiders while hiding in the shadows. They learn that suspicions are high that something is happening, even through the drunken stupor of most of in the inhabitants. While the particular interchange between the Raiders is shrugged off by the lone guard as nothings, the party wastes no time and decides to act quickly and decisively. They sweep in, taking out one the two Raiders they had seen, plus a third which had been sleeping inside a tent out of sight. They also made quick business of the guard, who had originally attempted to run, likely to grab reinforcements. Luckily, Borkalt is quick to act, chasing the man and taking him out before he can spread the word.

 

This leaves one lone Raider, who questions the party about the death of his friend Ragnar. They indulge his fancies and tell him that his friend is indeed dead, at their hands. They also waste no time assuring the Raider that he will be next. Solemnly, he asks simply for a quick and merciful death. He’s accepted that it’s his time to die and he just wishes to leave the world as a warrior. Unfortunately, there are other motives at hand inside of the party.

 

Stepping forward and falsely promising a quick death, Jethro bares his fangs and sinks his teeth deeply into the Nord’s flesh. In a scene that’s anything but merciful, Jethro drains both the life energy and the blood from the Raider. He struggles at first, but his weakened form is quickly overpowered and he falls limply to the ground, forming a pool of blood. The wound in his neck is jagged and torn, leaving Jethro’s face looking like something out of a slasher story. Abashedly, he quickly wipes away what he can from his body before continuing onwards, hearing the sounds of battle from deeper within as Borkalt meets with the next line of foes.

 

This time two handed warriors in heavy armor and strong tactics are their foes, creating a stronger defense that seems to stall the party in place. Thinking quickly, they use the environment to their advantage and hope to widdle the enemy down before moving what looks to be the end of the fort. At the same time, Dra’Jhad steps up and with the accuracy only the most critical moment can allow, is able to cast a strong fury over two foes simultaneously. Although the part can now count the two massive warrior as helpers for now, they also hear the tearing sound as a portal to Oblivion is ripped into the world.

 

From around the corner they can see the shape of a Flame Atronach, which wastes no time shooting balls of fire forward. This adds a new element to the encounter as the party slays the first atronach, but is surprised by the form of another atronach summoned in response. They quickly learn that the mage not only controls flame atronachs, but also has dominion over frost and shock atronachs. Going all out, the party rushes the last portion of the fort and eventually are able to maneuver their way to the summoner. They take his life and force the onslaught from the atronachs to cease. During the chaos of the fight, they also watch as a well armoured and lithe figure slips inside a cave entrance which seems to be where the main path leads into.

 

Soon, the party are standing outside the entrance of the cave, the only ones left alive being those with the party. Surprisingly, Svenngor the guard is still alive and looks longingly towards the entrance of the cave and the possibility of completing his personal goal. Wasting no time with the corpses of the slain, they move straight into the low light of the cave and towards what they hope is the end of the encounter.

 

Stepping inside, the party quickly finds that the cool, damp, cave is a natural formation, with a massive chamber nearly fifteen meters cubed. Standing near the center of the room is a stone dias with two tiers of steps leading up to a platform. Stone fingers reach out at four angles, with torches burning and filling the chamber with their flickering light and acrid smoke. Off to one side of the cavern is the lithe figure they saw earlier, likely the second in command.

 

Standing atop the dias is an Orc in heavy ebony armor and wielding a warhammer also made of ebony. As the party steps into the cave, he makes a quick movement and seems to tie a bottle to his belt with a length of cordage. At the same time, he speaks to the party and calls them out. Letting them know he’s holding their “friend” captive, he also mentions that he’s been poisoned and that the only relief is the bottle hanging at his hip. He then readies himself atop the dais, both him and his second in command in the dark leather armor waiting for the party to make the first move.

 

Borkalt wastes no time and immediately rushes the dias, to the slight dismay of Jethro. Although not able to draw close enough to immediately attack, he’s able to maneuver himself halfway up stairs. At the same time, Alluria lets loose her lightning towards the Orc, although his armor seems to resonate with a strange energy that slightly displaces the shocking power. The second-in-command also steps up and begins throwing knives at the party, hitting Borkalt and barely missing the others. In response, Dra’Jhad uses his telekinetic powers to send the throwing knife that missed him flying back towards the wielder, landing a solid blow.

 

Realizing things are not going as smoothly as they could, the Orc Raider steps down on a hidden switch atop the dias and sends arcing lightning current along hidden wires resting on the steps. It catches Borkalt and the party watches as his body becomes rigid with shock. As it winds down, he is shaken but not finished and quickly moves to end the battle. During the confusion of the shock, the second in command also takes a moment to toss out a poison bomb, hitting most of the rest of the group in a poison haze.

 

The battle continues with each side dealing blows on the other. Eventually, the second in command falls to the combined efforts of Alluria’s lightning, Dra’Jhads controlling spells, and Svenngor’s mace. Jethro and Borkalt continue the relentless onslaught against the Orc leader until he finally stumbles and falls to the ground due to the paralyzing light Dra’Jhad lances his way. The Orc Raider is close to death but not dead. Alluria takes advantage of the situation, stepping up and with no fanfare, buries her newly acquired glass war axe into the spine of the Orc. He twitches once, twice, thrice, and then lays dead. The party now stands amongst the remains of the dead, quickly and quietly collecting the valuables from the corpses.

 

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