We spent the rest of the month in the town of Klukwan, waiting for Grigor’s floodwaters to recede. I had lots of time to train Uthaine. Osaris, Thia and Kosef left to go somewhere east. We were discussing what to do with Grigor, as he is Caswallon’s spy, when he disappeared one night. I did not feel safe with him around, but we could not just kill him. And at the moment, it is not a crime to be Caswallon’s friend.
Lord Krell’s men came to the village again and took some people. Klukwan is a town of women and children and weak men, the others have been taken by Krell. Krell is a harsh ruler for this land and I would like to get rid of him, but we would have to be careful. We cannot just remove Krell, we would need to make sure he is replaced with someone who would be a good ruler. Otherwise someone will just fill the void.
Dandelion, Morrick and Evendur came into town this morning. Apparently Evendur was taken to Queen Aisling of the fey and she removed the ring and turned him from stone back to flesh. If Evendur can find gifts sufficient to please her, she will remove one of her creations (or plagues) for each gift. This is a great opportunity, but I unfortunately do not have have anything valuable enough for a fey queen. He is also cursed to want to give away his most valuable possession each day. Usually he resists, but he still bemoans the curse. Queen Aisling wants another gift to remove that.
Emera merch Beswin, the local bard, told us that some men including a cleric with a symbol of a bunch of arrows had been looking for us and had questions about Caswallon and the ancient legends. They were headed to see Krell. Dandelion told us that the symbol was Hextor’s symbol and the Hextor was an evil god and that his people were behind the troubles in Gyruff.
With questioning, we found that Llywellen and Owen and others who were sacrificed to the greenman are not in the Voice of the Dead. Only those who have died and gone to the Winter King (Nerull) are part of the Voice of the Dead, so those who follow the Old Faith. The Greenman was summoned at Greenrise Ridge by a druid, but is diminished by each summoning. We concluded that we do not want to try to get Llywellen by summoning the Greenman.
As a way to block the route between Krell and Klukwan, Aoth planted the seedling Dandelion received at Emyr’s party on the Isle of Rhun. Aoth then asked the Mad Druid to help it grow. Hopefully that will keep Krell’s men away from Klukwan.
We again borrowed some climbing gear and left Uaithne in Klukwan. We climbed up to Dolmen Moor, which is quite high and snow covered. We found a central triangular tomb surrounded by three rings of tombs. The central tomb was an equilateral triangle 150 feet on each side. The doors were guarded by 8 ft stocky statues that remind one of dwarves. When we approached the doors, the statues stepped in front of the doors. They informed us when asked that Blaine had placed protections on the tomb. He was a dwarven king of the fourth and final dynasty. Apparently each dynasty had moved the previous dynasty out and taken the central tomb for themselves. Dandelion determined that Llywellen would be in the 3rd tomb of the third circle. We investigated the tombs to verify his theory. The last tomb in the 3rd circle was empty, but we found a set of 7 footprints near many of the tombs. Our investigation of the tombs proved Dandelion’s hypothesis. The inner circle had the first dynasty, the second circle had the second dynasty and the third had the third dynasty. The fourth dynasty was in the inner tomb. Some of the tombs had been opened, some from the inside, and some were still sealed. We found hoof prints which had melted the snow and foot prints of skeletons following the 7.
The tomb which we had determined was Llywellen’s was guarded with lots of magic. The pink cairn stones of one of the other kings had been rolled over to his tomb. What looked like boulders were intelligent rock creatures called galeb duhr. Fortunately Tornado could speak with them. They warned him to beware the wards of Ishcabeble. While Tornado was speaking with the Galeb Duhr, Aoth saw a headless warrior on a nightmare approaching, followed by 25 skeletal warriors. We managed to defeat the nightmare and the rider. Aoth destroyed the skeletons with spiked growth, but he noticed that the skeletons were reforming. This must be what is meant by the dead do not rest easy here.
We had some time before the skeletons would reform, so we investigated Llywellen’s tomb. In druidic, Aoth read something about beware the wards of Ishcabeble. He also read about needing 9 keys and Llewellen’s baldric was mentioned. We also learned that the king would be companionless on the lower level.
We remembered that Lord Krell’s men had taken some ancient keys from Garth’s hall. We set out for the village. Aoth talked the tree ent into helping us cross the river. A decrypted bard wearing a purple robe and a blue cap with a yellow feather was sitting in the middle of the river playing the mandolin. A tiny hand was accompanying him with a tambourine. We had found Loring the Lost. Dandelion challenged Loring to a bard duel, but Loring was incredibly good. Loring sang the song of the lines of the kings of Pelham. The third time he reached his name, an interplanar gateway opened and many imps poured out. Dandelion even joined the battle, using his rapier to bloody an imp. We managed to defeat them, but I can see why people don’t return from listening to Loring play. Hum, I wonder if Loring’s mandolin would be an appropriate gift for Queen Aisling and what the consequences of taking it would be.
Aoth was able to bypass the cave bears, so we returned to Klukwan without further incident. Then we made the short journey to Krell’s gate. His guards wanted a toll to enter the castle, but Dandelion jumped on the idea that we came from the regent and they let us in. We were escorted to the manor house, passing a temple to Obad Hai on the way in. Obad Hai is too many places and too popular. Maybe if we stop Caswallon, that will hinder Obad Hai also. Once we reached the manor house, we were handed over to an older servant named Kruthers. Krell offered the regent the ancient keys for 5000 gp. We were sent to the garden to await an answer. When Kruthers went to tell Krell that we were here, we heard the sounds of arguing and a slap. Dandelion asked questions of one of the servants, who had recently come from Klukwan. She told us that the keys had already been sold. When Kruthers returned, he bore the mark of a slap on one cheek. He also told us we needed to follow him to the cellar to retrieve the keys. Dandelion read his thoughts and discovered that Kruthers was stalling us. Dandelion persuaded him to tell us what was happening. The keys had been sold to the Hextorites and they were just leaving. We left Kruthers tied and gagged in the cellar and started after the Hextorites.
Dandelion persuaded the guards to let us out of the gate. We exited to find a narrow passage with a bright glowing bead in the middle. We ran past the bead quickly and it detonated just as the dwarf cleared the blast radius. We would have been seriously injured if we had not avoided the trap. A robed individual had been watching the gate and apparently detonated the fireball. We caught up to him and his five armored friends, four half orcs and an Oeridian cleric of Hextor. During the fighting the invisible rogue became apparent. We managed to defeat them all. Aoth turned into a dire wolf, startling Morrick. The rogue tried to jump off the cliff, but Dandelion levitated him back to the trail. The cleric of Hextor had 8 ancient keys and we also found the 5000 gold pieces. Apparently both sides cheated the deal. We will need to recover the 9th key from Krell.