Session Report: The Obsidian Keep #2

Our heroes returned, once again via video over Discord, to explore the dark and deadly halls of the Obsidian Keep. Will they solve the mystery of the Red Storm? Will they loot the palace of its arcane treasures? Will they suffer horrific mutations and mutilations?

Yes to most of that.

Play time: 5 hours

Heroes:

  • Levira, the halfling rogue
  • Lysander, the human warlock
  • Ilefaen, the aasimar bard
  • Sardos, the tortle barbarian
  • Hultharn, the goliath paladin

In media res

We resumed the action where we left off, standing outside the walls of the Obsidian Keep. A volcanic eruption had destroyed one tower and crushed the gate, also smashing a carriage that seemed to have been leaving the keep. Ilefaen ventured inside and discovered a well-dressed gentleman in a white mask. Under the mask was a scaled face with no nose. In his pockets were a red pearl key and a threatening letter to the invading fleet.

Inside the keep, Levira climbed up onto a small cottage that was floating in midair after first removing an electric charge by throwing a rock at it. Inside, she discovered a cobbler’s shop and obtained a very cool black leather jacket, which she gave to Ilefaen.

Creepy Pets

Hultharn led the way to some large cages and found a giant white hound with a rattlesnake tail, a third eye, and rows of shark teeth. He noped out, but Levira quickly began feeding it. Sardos smashed the lock off and Levira quickly befriended the horrific dog, naming him Snake Bite. She promptly began using him as a mount.

Hultharn also check the stables and found one living horse with a white skull for a head that ate ashes. He took it, but promptly forgot about him. Then Hultharn found the smith Silvio and managed to convince the terrified man that the heroes were not ghosts. “We’re here to rescue you!” Silvio was not eager to leave, but Hultharn offered to trade his nice great sword for the smith’s ugly cleaver, and the smith took the deal, and headed out.

Sardos opened the fence to the White Garden and took a bite of a white pumpkin, which turned out to be full of toxic white worms. He then tried a blood orange, which healed him, so everyone took an orange.

They crossed the courtyard to the kitchens and met Durante, the frog-handed servant. He was not terribly helpful, but he was amusing. The team decided it was time to head into the keep itself!

The Keep Itself!

Ascending to the ballroom, the adventurers found dozens of bodies and strangely deformed musical instruments all over the floor. And they were promptly attacked by three Lovely Horrors in ballroom attire. Levira ran circles around the horrors on her mutant hound, and the team quickly dispatched the monsters, but not without taking a lot of damage.

In the dining hall, they found Princess Viola bent over the corpse of an eye-less red priest. The princess’s skin was clear as glass, revealing her muscles and organs, as well as the white worms wriggling about inside her. She explained that her brother Orsino had tried to evacuate the servants while she remained behind to kill the red priests. But she was too late to stop the madness. She begged the heroes to kill her, but they insisted that they would try to help her and moved on.

Upstairs were the nobility’s suites, but we were running long, so we skipped them and proceeded straight to…

The Royal Suite

In a room of gorgeous black and gold furnishings, the heroes discovered countless books of arcane lore, as well as 23 glass spheres full of raging storm energy. Out on the balcony, Sardos found a charred corpse in a chair grasping a staff made of human bones. The corpse asked if she had stopped the fleet and saved the keep. And then asked if her children were still alive.

Lysander mimicked Viola’s voice to reveal that Orsino was dead. The corpse screamed in agony and a bolt of red lighting incinerated her body and badly burned everyone else on the balcony.

Lysander then discovered the suite was full of small alcoves the exact same shape as the storm spheres, so everyone took turns installing the spheres to activate the lights and fans, and finally discovered the hidden stairwell to the Chamber of Evil Secrets.

The Inner Sanctum

A one-armed corpse in royal regalia lay by the doorway, along with countless dead animals in various states of decay. In the center of the room, a woman lay chained to the floor with a knife impaled in her still-beating heart.

Hultharn looted the dead Duke’s jewels while Ilefaen found the Duke’s keys and tried to free the woman. As soon as he touched her, Ilefaen could suddenly see the giant ethereal worm hovering over her. The worm Vermesh begged him to shove the knife into the woman and complete the ritual, offering to give him the Voidflesh Blessing.

Instead, Ilefaen yanked the knife out of her chest. In that same instant, his arm was disintegrated and the ethereal horror vanished. Levira quickly tended to his horrible wound and Ilefaen stabilized, along with Princess Bianca.

Wrap-Up

With the two princesses together, the team learned that the Duke had brought the red priests into the keep to give him power to rival his wife. But when he summoned Vermesh, everyone went mad, including his wife, and all hell broke loose. Lysander hunted down the Duchess’s lost staff of bones, and the team headed home with their loot and their refugees!

DM Notes

This was a super fun session. Everyone loved the mutant animals, and were appropriately squicked out by the mutant people. They liked exploring the spaces and solving the puzzles. We also had our only traditional grid-based combat, which went as well as any traditional combat. It reminded me that I personally do not ever want more than one medium-sized combat in a session, just because they take so long.

I got a few good notes for updating the adventure, which I will publish in the coming week or so.

Next time, we start our Campaign!!!

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