Castle Whiterock—Chapter 2: Escape and Revenge

Characters

  • Emmeline Forthwrought, eccentric human wizard.
  • Frevia Arden, self-sufficient human druid, with Roberta, snake animal companion.
  • Imra Shadowmantle, disciplined elven rogue.
  • Melanie Shadowmantle, aristocratic human fighter.

Prologue

Roberta the snake had been seperated from her mistress when Frevia and the others were captured by the slaver "monks." She managed to follow the scent trail to a well-furnished bedroom, where the smells disappeared into a stone wall. Unable to fathom how this could be, Roberta hid under the bed and waited for the situation to make more sense.

Eventually, a large man came in and pulled a torch sconce on the wall, revealing a secret door. As he went into the tunnel beyond, Roberta followed as stealthily as she could. The man seemed to hear her, but the snake was able to hide behind some crates while he turned back to investigate. In the darkness, Roberta struggled to find her way, but she eventually discovered a door and a set of stairs going down. From below, she could hear the faint, distant sounds of a battle.

Prison Break

Meanwhile, the party and their new allies finished dispatching a number of orc guards, including a hulking leader. As they finished looting, they heard mechanisms activate and saw the portcullis to the prison cells raising. More orcs charged out of the darkness. While Melanie held the glaive-wielding orcs off, the party was able to dispatch them with bow and spell. From behind the orcs, Roberta emerged, reuniting with a relieved Frevia.

The group investigated deeper into the prison to find the source of a strange baying sound. In the lead orc's chambers, they recovered an iron lock box containing gold, a fine carving of a nixie, some thunderstones, and a bottle of dwarven deepwine. The animal sounds turned out to be a collection of trollhounds kept in a kennel in the next room. Taking pity on the creatures, Melanie fed them orc flesh before the group decided to find their way back to the surface.

The party freed a half-dozen weakened slaves from the prison pit and made their way to a set of stairs up. Imra was able to avoid a few tripwire traps and point the hazards out to the others. The stairs emerged into a partially collapsed room. Amidst the rubble, Emmeline discovered the skeleton of an owlbear, which unfortunately came to life and attacked. The undead nearly killed Melanie, but healing from Frevia, Emmeline, and Sapphira gave her enough strength to finish the skeleton.

Surface Karma

The party activated the secret door Roberta had come through earlier and found the slaver leader sitting at his desk in the next room. Before he could shout an alarm, Emmeline dazed him, and the entire party beat him nearly to death.

Amidst the ruins, the group dispatched the last remaining slavers quickly. While investigating a dead body amidst the ruins of a collapsed tower, Imra encountered a giant praying mantis. Eventually, the party decided to leave the ruins and rest for the night.

In the morning, Sapphira, Hugin, and Kat set off for the safety of Cillamar with the slaves. The party tried questioning the slaver leader, but he stonewalled them. They knocked him out again and left him manacled and tied to a tree before heading back to Castle Whiterock.

Investigating the stables, the party found 13 light riding horses. While they others set out food and water for the animals, Imra uncovered a dead body rotting in an iron cage hidden under the cloth of a covered wagon. Seeing a perfect holding cell for their captive, the party returned to their camp only to find the slaver had been released by someone. Wagon tracks headed away from the camp, thankfully in the opposite direction from Cillamar. Incensed, the group headed back to the ruins to clear out the remainder of the surface level.

In the standing ground-level tower, Imra recovered a prayer rug, a box of candles, and a pouch of dried figs that turned out to indeed be dried figs. Then the party climbed up a narrow path to a watch tower above the castle. Atop the tower, they discovered the abandoned possessions of a fled sentry. Descending through the tower, they drove off a nest of blood hawks with stenchpots and thunderstones and recovered an unhatched blood hawk egg. Finally, at the bottom of the tower, they encountered a rust spider, which Melanie dispatched with a leaping cleave from her greatsword.

The group intends to descend back into the orc mines and free any remaining slaves. They know that Kat's brother is down there somewhere, and Sapphira guessed there were at least another dozen orcs, including a few leaders. The exploration continues...

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