The Drakenblades were successful in their first defense of the Knightswatch Keep, and they suggested burning the bodies of the undead that were defeated so they could not rise again. Albrecht wanted to head out then and there to find where the undead were originating from, but Commander Eroth asked him for patience. He explained that he had an accomplished scout in the marshes looking for that very thing. Several more waves attacked the keep, but the soldiers managed to fend them off. One attack came earlier than expected and a group of soldiers were caught out in the field while they collected bodies to burn. Albrecht, Sythaeren, and Moonshadow aided the wounded as they came in, while Larissa and Kordan helped guide the soldiers as they ran back through the keep doors. Kordan noticed two soldiers fighting in the vanguard, allowing the others to retreat. He went to aid them and found a dwarf male and a very young half elf female. The dwarf had been mortally wounded (a sword blade had snapped off between his ribs) but still fought on. When Kordan suggested the dwarf retreated he quite emphatically informed Kordan that he would not leave his daughter behind, and motioned at the half-elf. The dwarf almost fell then, but the half-elf put his arm around her shoulder and motioned for Kordan to do the same and together they drug him back to the keep.
Albrecht healed the dwarf and the group conversed with them a bit and found out the dwarf was Gorok, and the half-elf was his adopted daughter Navina. Navina was training to become a Mag-Knight and lied about her age to enter military service early so that she could find her brother. It seemed that the group may come across them again in the future perhaps. Shortly after that encounter a guard informed the commander that there was movement to the south, which was odd considering that the undead were coming from the south east. As the movement got closer, the group made out a small column of elven, half-elven, and human warriors from Duania who had come to aid the beleaguered soldiers of the keep. and to put their dead to proper rest (most of the undead attacking the keep were elvish) The Captain of the elven troops, Ci’nalith was also Moonshadow’s commanding officer when she was a Duanian scout. He took her aside and gave her an object, a brooch that had belonged to her father. Ci’nalith told her that it was found in the marshes, not too far from where they were. She took heart that her parents had obviously made it this far, and that perhaps they were still alive.
Later that night, the scout, an Arazian (another nation, think Arabian Nights type theme) named Aren, returned and offered to guide the group to a half-buried crypt that the undead seemed to congregate around. They immediately headed out and he led them straight there through the marshlands. the group prepared themselves and headed into the crypt. As they entered the first room they first saw a large statue of Sehanine Moonbow on the far wall. They also saw ghouls feasting on several bodies in coffins, and even as they moved to attack several skeletons and zombies raised from the ground to join in the attack. They fought a rising tide of undead before Albrecht thought to pray in front of the statue of the elven goddess and was granted extra power to his turning. He then shouted divine words that turned not only the undead already risen, but the undead that had yet to rise within the room, putting a stop to the seemingly endless numbers of skeletons and zombies.
The group then turned left and headed up a set of stairs to a closed door. Moonshadow checked the door for traps and then unlocked it once she determined it was safe. They looked into the room and found a fountain atop a raised dais amidst fallen columns that created rubble throughout the room. The fountain glowed with a foul energy and Albrecht could immediately feel that it was unholy. As they stepped into the room a black cloud roiled forth from the fountain as a wraith formed and attacked the group. Albrecht tried to turn it, but to no avail as it laughed at his feeble connection to the divine. Thankfully the group’s weapons seemed to harm it, and eventually they vanquished it, sending it back from whence it came. The fountain then began to glow with a radiant energy. Albrecht collected some of the water in a flask and they headed towards the main room and then to the right, checking the large statue in the main room along the way and finding a mechanism that might allow it to move, but with no way to activate it.
As they climbed the stairs to the right from the main room, Moonshadow again checked the door at the top of the stairs before determining that it was safe and opening it. Within they found a human sized statue of Corellon Larethian in the center of a magic circle engraved into the floor. There was also an undead monstrosity waiting for them, a creature known as a wight. Kordan immediately snapped off a shot with his thunderstaff (flintlock rifle), and put a hole in the creature even as Albrecht failed at his attempt to turn this creature as well. The creature grew incensed and rushed Kordan and clawed at him. The wound he sustained form the claws of the creature was small, but the life draining effects of the creatures claws did its job and Kordan felt the loss of his life force as it flowed away from him. He felt weakened but fought on, and Albrecht noted with concern that he had no way to heal such a grievous wound. The group managed to slay the creature with no one else feeling its blighted touch. As Albrecht sized up the statue and the magic circle, a thought occurred to him and he sprinkled the water from the fountain into the circle, and as he did so, the group heard a grinding noise from the main chamber. They went to investigate and found that the statue had moved and there was a door on the wall behind where it had been.
Again Moonshadow checked the door and found no traps and opened it into a wide corridor that lead to ornate double doors at the end. Moonshadow went ahead of the group, searching for traps along the entire corridor. When she reached the door she managed to find what appeared to be a flame trap mechanism on the door and walls on either side of the door. She managed to flip the mechanism and disarm the trap. The group then moved into the final room of the crypt. Within they found four alcoves on the far wall with expensive looking tapestries, and a large woven rug on the floor between two ornate sarcophagi. Moonshadow began to decrypt the writing on one sarcophagi when the other one opened with the sound of grinding stone and a creature that Albrecht recognized as a mummy got out and gazed upon the group with hate filled sockets. Larissa and Syth were held fast by their terror of the undead creature, and the rest of the group began a desperate battle with the thing. Albrecht managed to catch it on fire, burning some of its wrappings away to reveal an amulet with obvious necromantic energies pouring out of it. Albrecht threw a vial of holy water upon the amulet, causing it to shatter and the mummy fell to the floor.
Shortly after a ghost rose from the mummy’s body and thanked them for freeing it. It explained that a necromancer defeated the wards placed upon the crypt as well and forced him into his undead body to fight any who came looking for the amulet. He thanked them again and told Albrecht of his holy sword in a crypt in Duania. He also allowed the group to take the worldly possessions that he had been buried with. The Drakenblades to the offered treasure and went back to Knightswatch Keep and found that the undead had stopped their assault. They were thanked profusely by the defenders of the keep, and Eroth promised that their reputation would travel even further than it already had within the kingdom. Feeling accomplished, the group left the keep and headed to Syris to enjoy their hard earned treasure, buying many things they had previously been dreaming about owning to further their adventuring abilities like new armor and replacements for ammunition.
After spending a week in Syris, they left for the Orcrage Hills to help with the orcs that had apparently been getting bold enough to move out of their hills to attack villages and travelers. On their travels towards the encampment of soldiers trying to keep the orcs in check they came across a great orcish force moving south into the hills. Some two-hundred or more strong, the group was prudent and stayed out of sight and watched them march along, noting that there were some new tribal banners at the head of the formations. After that, on the fifth day of travel, they awoke to a thick fog that rolled across the scrublands they were in. Later that morning they noticed a HUGE shadow moving ahead of them in the fog. As they watched, the realized it was a giant and Albrecht began taunting it as he had NO love for giants. It was eventually goaded into an attack, and though the heroes took some serious hits from the huge humanoid, they managed to finally bring it down.
It was obvious that the giant was also on its way into the hills, likely to join the orcs. It seemed that the orcs were organized and gaining allies from giants. This did not bode well, and the Drakenblades increased their hurry in order to arrive at the encampment, as it seemed that the situation was far more dire than they had originally anticipated…