Splug proved to be somewhat helpful to the heroes, if reluctant. He told them the name of Boss Falgron, the goblin leader, and gave a basic layout of the first level, what rooms the goblins used and what they did not. He repeated the phrase “ghosts and bones” over and over, very upset the heroes didn’t seem to grasp its simple meaning. He also informed them that the lower levels were patrolled by Hobgoblins, and that he had never been there because the hobbs were notoriously mean to the regular goblins. Splug promised the heroes more information if he was given his freedom, even offering to serve them if they would release him. However, the notion of a goblin butler did not appeal to the party, so, they decided to leave him in his cell. Some heroes. As Darmok and Grak attempted to scare any last bit of information they could out of the goblin, Onodrim moved towards the door, to prevent an ambush. As the Wilden approached the doorway, he and his companions heard a bloodchilling scream. Anguished and pained, it seemed beyond the range of any of the free folk. Well, any of the living free folk at least. Once his surlier fellows had abandoned the goblin to his fate, the party exited the torture chamber, determined to bring justice to Boss Fatty, leader of the goblins. As they moved into the hallway, strange events began to occur. Onodrim, peering out the door saw the ghosts of a young human girl, perhaps 10, who looked at him angrily before vanishing. As he attempted to explain this phenomenon, Vimak and Grak had visions of the walls around them bleeding. Echoing through the hallways, they once again heard an unnerving scream. Gathering their remaining courage and putting the haunting aside, the heroes stepped through the doorway Splug promised would lead them to Boss Falgron’s chambers. At first glance, the room yielded no goblins, only another section of bloody wall, this time visible to John Snow. No sooner had the vision cleared than the goblins attacked, swarming from behind closed doors and curtains. An initial onslaught was followed quickly by Falgron himself, the overweight goblin charging forth from his chambers, crossbow bolts flying at the intruders. A pitched battle ensued, Fatty’s chosen henchmen protecting him as he fired from cover, their swords and spears matching our heroes armor and shields. However, in the end the goblins could not hold back their larger foes, and were felled one by one. In his dying breaths, Falgron passed on to the heroes the pass-phrase into the second level, “And life fails in the dark”. His body yielded Fatty’s second secret, the key to a treasure chest in his bedchambers, which contained a powerful magic wand, which Darmok quickly claimed. As Vimak and Magdronan moved the now empty, looted chest away from the wall, something strange caught their eyes. They quickly discovered a false panel in the wall, leading to a small dark hallway. Exploring forward, the heroes found themselves at another false door, this in the hallway west of the entrance chamber. They also found themselves face to face with a large message, dripping from the wall across from them in blood. “Daddy’s Angry”, proclaimed the ghostly blood before vanishing. Another scream was heard, echoing back from the way they’d came. As Darmok snuck down the hallway ahead the sounds of hammer and chisel could be heard, along with a low growling and snarling. The Dwarf entered into a large chamber, clearly under excavation. Splug had told the heroes this was where Fatty had the goblins digging for treasures of the keep. Darmok’s luck ran out however, and a goblin watchmen spotted him, throwing an exploding grenade at the sorcerer. His party members ran towards the sound and entered battle. The growling sounds revealed themselves to be a pair of hungry guard drakes, and across the room goblins traded their swords for spears and swords. Once more the battle was pitched, with blows raining down from both sides. As the dust settled, it was clear the goblins had been unsuccesful in their treasure hunt. As the group prepared to leave, Magdronan and Vimak felt a strong pull towards the collapsed wall in the southeast corner, where a few moments of work gave them something the goblins had missed, a holy symbol of battle, marked with the runes of the Platinum Dragon. Back down the hallway, Onodrim was sure he once again saw the ghostly child, but she was gone again before he could alert his fellows. A cavern led off from the hallway to the adventurers left, and the sounds of dripping water could be heard. This formation was a natural rock, not the cut stone of the keep. Inside, the cautious heroes found the freshwater well that had served the keep, and another tunnel that led further into the uncut stone. As the approached they could hear sounds as if something scraped on rock, perhaps bone, perhaps stone. A pit opened in the hall, revealing a goblin trap that suprisingly had worked, catching a small, strange creature upon its spikes. Silvery grey, appearing simulteanously reptillian and insectoid, it was unmistakably the foul beast so beloved by the Turathi empire of old. A Kruthik. As the party examined the remains of the beast, they noticed a grouping of tunnels coming out of the natural rock. Before they could piece two and two together, a swarm of kruthiks of all sizes emerged, jaws snapping and chitin legs scraping across the stone floor. The onslaught nearly felled our heroes, weary from fighting goblins and seeing ghosts, but they summoned their will and fought on, defeating the kruthiks and driving them back to their hive. With no other way out, the heroes returned to the excavation hallway, tired and bruised. This time it was Grak and Darmok who saw the girl, awaiting them at the top of the stairs. She lingered longer than anytime before, but again vanished as they approached. The group made their way into Falgron’s chambers through the secret passage, and after checking the surrounding doors, barracaded themselves in for the night.
As Onodrim’s angelic protector watched over them, the group slept soundly, visions of ghosts and bleeding walls playing through their minds. The night passed without incident, and the heroes awoke to start fresh. Passing back through the secret tunnel, there were no signs of intrusion, it seemed they had been left to slumber unwatched. One unexplored route remained, the back of the entrance lobby. Massive oak doors banded with bronze stood watch, but they were unlocked and creaked open under the slightest of pressure. The walkways beyond were dark, and Snow remembered that this area was the catacombs, where the honored dead of the Nerathi legion were buried. Onodrim cracked a sun-rod, and Darmok a torch as the party entered the chamber. Bronze sconces stood against the walls, interspaced with Sarcophogai depicting proud Nerathi soldiers. Mere feet into the room the group encountered a strange symbol on the floor, too big to walk around, too ominous to risk crossing. Turning back, they found a second and third hallway, both marked the same. Detecting nothing overtly arcane about the sigil, Darmok risked a step across, and a high shriek ripped through the still musty air. Echoing off in the distance, a low moan could be heard, and a sound like padded footsteps. Turning back towards the first symbol, Magdronan led the way, activating a second symbol as he fumbled in the darkness. The hallway opened to a large room with heavy stone doors and the symbol of Bahamut, but before the Dragonborn could investigate, he was accosted by a hand in the dark. Onodrim arrived a second later, his sunrod illuminating the room, revealing that it was filled with zombies. The undead shambled after our heroes, and as John Snow and Grak sought another way out, they too were accosted from the dark. Undead swarmed the hallways, and the shrieks of the alarm symbols gave proof more were coming. Thanking their gods for their recent rest the heroes turned sword and magic against the abominations. Radiant light burst forth from Magdronan, Onodrim and Vimak as they summoned the divine power to sear undead flesh. Bursts of fire flared from the sorcerer’s wand, and the glint reflected off the cold steel of Grak and Snow’s blades as they removed head from shoulders. Eventually, the heroes made their way to the north end of the catacombs, where they found the doorway that led to the lower level locked and heavily chained against their entrance. A shimmer in the wall, this time not of blood, caught Onodrim’s eyes, and he and John Snow pushed against a section of wall, only to pass right through it, momentarily face to face with four zombies. However, the hidden chamber was small, and our heroes forced the zombies back, and soon had them cornered and beheaded. An ancient Nerathi suit of armor lay upon the wall, guarded by a mysterious plaque which spoke to them in riddle. John Snow’s quick wits provided the answer, and the armor shed its rusty appearance and revealed its magical nature. Empty of spells and weak of arm from their zombie battles, the heroes seized this as the perfect location to sleep unseen and garner strength for the battles that lay ahead…..