After regrouping in our safe house, we gathered our wits and our resolve and headed back into the chamber of ghouls. Psyche was able to speed of thought into an extremely tactical position from which we pulled the ghouls into the narrow hallway. This allowed us to pepper them with ranged attacks while controlling which characters they had access to. The ghouls managed to land immobilizing, dazing blow after blow, but for a tank like Psyche it really didn’t matter much. He soaked the hits while I repositioned friend and foe alike into more advantageous positions. The payoff for this fight was extremely nice as the ghouls had quite a hefty treasure horde tucked away.
As we delved further into the bowels of the keep we entered an unlit maze structure. Writ upon the floor in random intervals were fear wards, and as we began our cautious explorations we were ambushed by a coven of vampire spawn and their vampire lord. Vampires are pretty nasty critters and when you add in the awesome mobility from their spider climb ability this turned into a very dramatic fight. We stood, huddling in the dim light of my familiar, fighting off wave after wave of vampire spawn. Like twisted humanoid cockroaches they descended upon us from the walls and ceilings. Finally their lord launched himself from the shadows and fell upon me. As we battled this monstrous undead leech he dominated Skye turning her own magic against us, drained her blood and fled down the passage in gaseous form to regroup. In risky and uncharacteristic form we broke formation and gave wild chase after him. Reconstituting into his corporeal form he dominated Dust draining her blood as well. Though the battle was long we prevailed, and upon his death it was revealed that he was but a lesser vampire lord in the service of his master… Kalarel, priest of Orcus!
The next area of the complex was a tomb filled with trapped sarcophagi. A combination of skill and detect magic rituals revealed their nature and thanks to the wonders of Tenser’s Floating Disk we hover boarded past the fear glyphs and trap wards into the next room. A room containing Sir Keegan, revenant paladin, and former owner of the keep. Thanks to some Last Sight rituals I already knew that Keegan had lost his mind and killed everyone in the keep including his high priest, wife, and children, and then himself. Apparently the shadowfell was not done with him because he was standing around his coffin looking for a fight. Lucky for us, I am a bard, and we have a priestess of true death in the party. We explained our situation to the man, his situation, and the merits of not fighting us, and low and behold, he bestowed a holy symbol to Dust and then… joined the party. Yes, folks, when people ask, “Should we have a bard in our adventuring party?” You now know that the answer is a solid, “Yes.”