The following is a key to the locations within the keep and the contents thereof, as well as the treasure the party finds from its previous (hobgoblin and undead) occupants.
The keep is constructed of hard granite, for the most part, structurally sound even by dwarven standards. The red clay of the valley is an abundant resource--quite a bit of the pottery and décor on the inside is formed from it. There are no banners flying at the moment, the old dwarven and elven banners having all been torn down and burned or defiled long ago.
1. Two towers, 30’ high, flanking a 20’ high gatehouse. There are holes for arrows and bolts in each. There is a deep crevice, crossable via drawbridge, with a portcullis at the entry and large gates at the interior. The passage through the gatehouse is 10’ high, with murder holes in the ceiling and arrow holes in the walls on either side.
2. Flanking towers, 30’ high, each stocked with two-hundred arrows, eight longspears, and three barrels of oil. Inside each tower are strung hammocks for sleeping, an empty chest, a small table, and a few benches.
3. Entry yard, paved.
4. Common stable, 15’ high, with a parapet atop its flat roof for assisting in defense of the gate. The gateside wall is pierced for arrows. From the smell, it’s rather obvious that these were recently used to house wolves, or worgs… or worse.
5. Common warehouse, built in the same style as the stable (4). Its double-doors were once chained and padlocked, but the chain has recently been broken and the key to the lock is nowhere to be found. Inside are two wagons and a cart, as well as hay strewn about. Everything else seems to have been ransacked.
6. Bailiff’s tower, once occupied by the superintendent of the outer bailey. The furnishings are mostly intact (bed, armoire containing boots and an elven uniform, table, chairs, rugs), but there is nothing visible of value besides a small locked chest.
7. Private apartments, well-furnished but recently ransacked. There is nothing of value here except a small sack in 7b containing 30 platinum pieces, and a small locked chest.
8. Smithy and armory, 20’ high, with a 5’ parapet and arrow slits for defense. Inside the smithy are masterwork blacksmith tools, masterwork armorer tools, a barrel full of horseshoes, two longswords, one scimitar, two short swords, one mace, a suit of medium chain mail, and eleven spears.
9. Provisioner, a low building that has mostly been ransacked, except for five 10’ long wooden poles.
10. Trader, also ransacked. Still contains a decent supply of firewood, a barrel of salt, and several yarns of rough cloth.
11. Bank, also ransacked. In the cellar, however, is a locked and reinforced iron door. Clearly there have been recent attempts to break into it, but to no avail.
12. Watch tower, 45’ tall. Contains 200 arrows, several large rocks, two barrels of oil, and twelve longspears. The first floor has decent furnishings, and contains a silver flagon and tankard, each worth 20 gp.
13. Fountain square, with a large water fountain in the middle of the square. Farmers and traders used to set up booths in this area.
14. Inn, containing five small private rooms and one large common room. Most of the accomodations are intact, but there are neither coins nor valuables here.
15. Tavern, mostly ransacked. Tucked away under some blankets and crates of rotten fruit are a pouch containing 18gp, a barrel of honey mead, a barrel of Easterleigh Red Ale, and a case of what seems to be elven wine from the north, if the markings are to be believed.
16. Guild house, once containing artisans, merchants, and craftsmen of all sorts. Nothing of value remains except a strongbox with a broken hinge, and a small gold ring (50gp) under a pile of rags in a corner.
17. Chapel, once dedicated to the human interpretations of the dwarven [Norse] pantheon, but repurposed to elven gods, and then defiled and dedicated to the dark gods of the hobgoblins. In a small, unlocked chest are five scrolls and five potions.
18. Inner gatehouse, built like a small fort. The southern portion is 15’ high while the northern portion is 30’ high (not including battlements). There are arrow slits on either side, though the northern slits appear to have been recently carved (by the hobgoblins, most likely). The passage through the gatehouse is 20’ wide and 10’ high, with arrow slits on either side. There are heavy, ironbound, spiked gates on the inner potion. The first floor of the gatehouse appears to have once contained a major armory, with mounting for shields and weaponry of all sorts.
19. Small tower, 30’ tall. The base of the tower is solid granite, apart from a small stairway leading to the top. At the top of the tower is the sole remaining ballista in the keep, the rest having been damaged or allowed to fall apart over the past few years. Also at the top of the tower are twenty ballista bolts, and 100 arrows.
20. Guard tower, 50’ tall, with stores of dry rations, 100 arrows, and two barrels of oil at the top.
21. Inner bailey. This area is mostly grass, though indentations on the ground speak to it having been used regularly for drilling and weapons practice.
22. Cavalry stables, recently converted to a torture/rape chamber for sating the sadistic/carnal urges of the hobgoblins. The area is stained and reeks from its recent use.
23. Great tower, 60’ high, which has recently been used for storing smoked meat carved from the bodies of elves. Everything of value in this tower has been ransacked, though there is a catapult in a rather unusable state of disrepair.
24. Keep fortress. The main area is 30’ high, the front area is 15’ high, and the towers are each 60’ high. The front doors are solid iron, and the fortress contains a great hall, an armory, and several side chambers. The cellars contain provisions, servant quarters, a cistern, and four jail cells. The second floor contains cavalry chambers.
25. Towers, each 40’ high, with arrow slits. They have been ransacked, though, and only contain piles of large rocks for tossing down at invaders.
26. Central towers, each standing 20’ above the fortress proper (50’ high overall), each containing fifty arrows. One of them has a large tapestry that appears rather valuable (500gp).
27. Castellan’s chambers. Appears to have housed a hobgoblin for a time, recently ransacked. The furniture is ornate, and the armoire contains a fur robe worth approximately 100gp, but there is nothing else of value remaining here.
Treasure from combat:
Zombies (x4): Chain mail, longsword, heavy wooden shield, elven keep livery (torn)
Skeletons (x4): Chain mail, longsword, heavy wooden shield, composite longbow (+1 str), 20 arrows, torn and stained elven uniform
Hobgoblin (x4): Chain mail, scimitar, heavy wooden shield, composite longbow (+1 str), 20 arrows, hobgoblin uniform, thick furs
Hobgoblin cleric: Black-tinted masterwork banded mail, masterwork longsword, darkwood heavy wooden shield, headband of inspired wisdom (+2), pearl (150gp), thick furs, black robes, antitoxin (1 vial), unholy water (2 vials), thick furs
The elves who came to visit also delivered about 9,000gp to the party in platinum pieces and small-value gemstones.
Below is a short summary of the most recent two sessions, in which the party took possession of the keep and a whole lot of possibilities opened up for the next task.
The party defeated the hobgoblin and undead forces within the keep. The party did most of the killing, though a rebellious goblin slave named Nop took out one of the two ballistae, managing to send hobgoblin and siege weapon tumbling out of the tower (hobgoblin landed first, then siege weapon landed on top of hobgoblin... you get the picture). The hobgoblin shaman seems to have escaped, but before doing so he blew on a horn, receiving an answering horn signal from west of the keep (something or someone was apparently stationed about a mile out).
The elf woman whom Anor focused on rescuing during the combat turned out to be Darya of the House Akulov. She was on a long patrol and was supposed to bring the last elves in the garrison back to the elven forests with her, when Bartouk (the hobgoblin antipaladin) and his barghest caught her. They killed the rest of her patrol and took Darya for rapes and funsies.
Nop, the female goblin who attacked her hobgoblin owners, has been granted sanctuary by the party. She busies herself cleaning (often ineffectually) and fantasizing about Anor, the prettiest male she's ever seen and the ONLY source of physical affection thus far in her life. Nop has informed the party that there are many hobgoblin warcamps to the west (estimated several days of travel).
The party has also come to the realization that the undead employed by the hobgoblins came from different sources. The plague zombies were keep garrison, but the skeleton archers were elven combatants in the Battles of Red Valley. The Battles of Red Valley had about fifty-thousand casualties, elven and dwarven and human, so... well yeah. Could be an additional concern.
Darya turns out to be elven nobility, of the House Akulov. She offered to return east to her people and send back aid, and appears to have kept her word. Her father, Lord Alexei Akulov, visited the keep four days later with an elven host of cavalry, and left a small cadre of (six) elven scouts to keep the party informed of any threats. He also presented the party with a large sum of coins and small gems, as well as a personal gift of a mithral breast plate +1 to Anor. In addition, he conferred the title of "Elf-Friend" upon Anor, a title that the elves have not given in centuries, if the translator is to be believed.
Finally, Lord Akulov gave the party a warning: Eisenberg was gearing up for war, a war that Axtkopf did not seem to be preparing for. Based on this and other inside information, it's believed that Eisenberg may be preparing to march upon and conquer Axtkopf (with a significant numerical advantage, as the disgraced General Reinhardt's army is the only real military strength remaining in the northern dwarven city-states).
A day after taking the keep, Morna left for Axtkopf to get supplies and reinforcements (and to sell off anything the party didn't want and to buy anything the party did want; but run any magic items by me, and the party's used gear will sell at half-price). When she returned, she had about three dozen raw recruits with her from Axtkopf, as well as a stonemason/engineer.
The party needs lumber to begin major tunneling beneath the keep (necessary if they're to create a proper dwarven stronghold). Unfortunately, contact has been lost with the logging communities to the east, and there are rumors of a white dragon terrorizing that area.
Also, the party believes that the best way to prevent the civil war between Axtkopf and Eisenberg would be to find General Agathe Reinhardt and have her regain command of her old army (essentially leading a military coup against Duke Urs Reinhardt, her headstrong brother). It's believed that Eisenberg exiled her to the North, which would either place her in the logging community or in elven territory.
Finally, Anor might prevail upon the elves as the party's new allies, visiting them to secure good relations and to inquire as to the whereabouts of General Reinhardt.
Morna will stay behind with the stonemason and perform what fortification they can, while attempting to train the rather green recruits. Nop will be torn between her first real home (the keep) and her first true love (the very pretty but completely oblivious Anor).
The big question is where the party decides to go first: rescue the loggers (and Bohzag's family) or visit the elves (and get more information). Either way, the answers seem to lie to the East.
Next session will be this Friday, at 1800 GMT (the usual time).
I'm afraid I'm going to need to take a bit of a break from the game. My thesis due date is looming near, and other assignments are going to be circling over my head like buzzards over the next two months. I need to get my academic life in better order, and if I'm to have a prayer of graduating I won't be able to devote the time needed to properly run a game.
I'm going to need to take at least a month off--that means the next possible session will occur on 6 March, 2015. I will try to post edited transcripts from our previous sessions in the interim, but we will have no sessions during the month of February. Hopefully by March I will have a better handle on things.
I'm terribly sorry to delay this game, and if anyone loses interest in playing, I completely understand. Thank you for your understanding.
I'm going to write this now before I forget. But for all intents and purposes, I'm dropping out of the game. Not because I am not having fun with it, but because (if it hasn't been obvious) of scheduling and limited free time of late. Since moving and the start of the year, most of my Fridays are now taken up with guests, some work, etc. I had fun while I was in the game, but rather than continue to make excuses to stay in, I'd rather just make it official now.
I understand completely, Keylo. With that said, I may have to revise the schedule soon, anyway. It looks as though I'll be working on Fridays, starting in May. So don't throw Duvak's character sheet away just yet, please.
Real life, far more troublesome than any dragon, is rearing up its ugly head at me. I'm in the middle of finals week, making this Friday difficult (and probably a bad idea). Next Friday is the actual day of graduation. On 3 April, I will be driving. So the next two Fridays that I can reasonably guarantee would be 10 April and 17 April.
That's when things will go from troublesome to impossible. Fridays are unlikely to be conducive to gaming, as my new assignment appears to be a Monday through Friday deal. That means I'll have Saturdays and Sundays off. I'm open to gaming on either of those days, but over 50% of our current players (Spodah, Caulder, and Rathuris) are currently enjoying a Ravenloft game on Sunday, so Sunday is out. In other words, it boils down to Saturdays.
Please let me know what you'd like to do. If you're interested in continuing the game on Saturdays (starting 11 April), we can do that. If Saturdays do not work for you (or if my scheduling shenanigans have given you a sour taste about the game, or if you just don't like my gaming style, etc.), please let me know that, too.
I apologize for the inconvenience. Sometimes life can be a real bastard about these things.
I've been pulled into some family obligations, and will be unable to run KaRV this Saturday. Our next session will be 25 April (and probably run from a hotel room, at that).
I'd also like to move the starting time back to 1600 GMT. I just moved three timezones to the east, and while I have no problem with our current game time, some of our European players are having to stay up very late for sessions. This will hopefully make life a little easier for them.
Please speak up if you have any objections. Otherwise, our next session will be 1600 GMT on Saturday, 25 April (that's 1100EST or 0800PST).
Bracelet 265gp, Black pearl 109gp, Jade 93gp, Sard 49gp, Blue quartz 1gp, Bloodstone 18gp, Malachite 2gp, Blue quartz 2gp, Azurite 1gp, Obsidian 5gp
16pp, 248gp, 1090sp, 2800cp
Obviously, the party will need to work to identify these items. I've also excluded any gear previously owned by the party's dwarven allies, which they promptly reclaim. Most of it's mundane gear, except for General Agathe Reinhardt's ornate family armor (which is probably magical) and her hammer (which is almost certainly magical). Lognar Uthbeck also has some masterwork (or magical) gear that he reclaims, unless the party tries to prevent this. Finally, Bohzaug Baumfaller (Bohzag's father) will ask for the padded armor and handaxe, as his old armor and weapon were both destroyed when the dragon took him prisoner. He's also good at lighting fires in adverse conditions, and asks to borrow the flint and steel until the group reaches the logging town again.
EDIT: Folks, it's been a very long week and I'm still living out of boxes. Today's going to mostly be a light bookkeeping and plot-moving session, getting folks to the places they need to go. Much more action next week.
I really hate going back on my word, but there will be no KaRV session today. To be frank, I need a break. For reasons beyond my comprehension, somehow running (and planning) KaRV has become less gleeful, and begun to feel more and more like a chore. That attitude doesn't make for fun sessions, for the DM or the players, so I'm taking a break. When KaRV resumes, I promise to give each and every player 24-hour notice by e-mail. I apologize for letting you folks down.