In the chamber beyond the Hobgoblin’s lair there were two doors. One was barred and smelled of dank musk. The other seemed well used and scratched and splattered with blood.
Glide the Scion of Paladine, Hans Olo the Ruthless Ruffian and Mirrrsal the Dragon’s Son decided to take the road most travelled. They scampered down the hall and took a gander to the left. The paladin had just found a small funereal chamber when Glide gasped as she caught a glistening in the corner of her eye… a wall of translucent gloop was leaning most subtly out of the darkness!!
Splug while the battle ensued. Both Cleric and Holy Warrior were engulfed by the gelatinous cube but the halfling hacked and hacked, they all struggled mightily and eventually the slime was spreading in a drying puddle on the flagstones. Various mysterious objects were found in the wreckage, including an small tin knife like a children’s toy, and Ceinwein’s Amulet of Safewinging.
After a perusal of a pair of small tombs (child sized), the trio turned their attention to yet another door. Beyond this door could be heard the faint noise of scratching, intermittent with a wheasing whine.
Hans Olo cracked the door and slipped into the dimly lit chamber beyond. Moving like a shadow he stole forward, and finding nothing in this antechamber, motioned for his friends to follow. These friends were not so subtle and the racket of their clanking armor drew the attention of one that lurked in the shadows.
Of a sudden the Dragon’s Son was struck by a brilliant pain in his frontal lobe, searing his very integrity! He cried out and looked around but could not see his assailant through pain dimmed eyes.
Hans Olo and Glide were not blinded and they saw the small winged devil perching atop a burned out torch sconce, tittering madly and calling out to some dark allies in the shadows beyond. These allies duly appeared, two of the ravenous dead, gaunt ghouls with hands like claws, rushing eagerly toward the promise of a cannibal feast, for these were once men, long ago before they met their unholy fate!
The battle was joined! But the new heroes of the Shadow Keep were not easily daunted and they soon turned the tide of battle, and so the evil fairy dodged and evaded Hans Olos’ bloody blades and fled, opening the great double doors into the Temple Beyond.
As shouts and curses came from the vaulted chamber and the trio decided upon the better part of valour and retreated to make fast a mor defensible redoubt. In the chamber of childrens’ tombs they blocked the door and attempted to catch their breath, and not a moment too soon as the stone door soon shook with a furious smash. Amidst the shouting and reinforcing, the heroes did catch their breath and were about to retreat further out of the maze when the door burst asunder and a mighty form appeared amongst the wreckage. This fearsome foe was no denizen of lovely light, instead a hulking figure, only vaguely related to human kind, 9 feet tall and nearly as broad, with a jutting beard crusted with dried blood, eyes burning with eldricht flame and skin like coal, the entrance of this dark giant shot a tremor of fear through the veins of even the doughty paladin. Close behind were two berzerk warriors of uncertain terrestrial origin, frothing at the mouth and swinging wicked axes. The battle was joined. A mighty battle it was. For a moment the fate of the heroic trio seemed uncertain, but then the flame of Paladine burned brightly in the souls of his supplicants and at least the dungeon giant fell, though not before the pesky devil scout escaped again. When the giant fell a strange thing happened! It began to shrink and focus down into a smaller form until the vanquished foe was no larger than a very short human, or dwarf…
There, shaking, tired and terrified, the heroes hefted their chipped and dented defenses, even as the portentious tones of deep devil chanting drifted to their ears and they knew that time was indeed of the essence! Whomever was in the Temple Beyond must be stopped!