While Kestrel took the two woodsmen armed with bows to the ramparts overlooking the gate, Das Wald, Aelfric and Quingar searched the flaming ruins of the courtyard for evidence of the mutant band’s activities. The three other woodsmen warily watched the door through which a half dozen men and women had just run a moment before, bracing themselves for a counterattack. But no counterattack came, and while little of much use was turned up in the scattered debris of the yard, Das Wald did manage to find a wooden trap door set in among the paving stones. The door had been pried open recently, as was evidenced by fresh gouging on its surface, and a large black smear in the shape of an ‘X’ had been painted across it using dirt and animal fat. Das Wald opened the trapdoor using a spear and, ever curious, Quingar led the group (minus Kestrel) down the stone steps below with Aelfric holding a quickly made torch aloft for light. Before the group extended a dirty corridor that couldn’t have seen any use in hundreds of years save for a trail of fairly fresh footprints leading down beneath. Thirty feet later and the group found themselves in a square room about 25′ × 25′ filled with old, desiccated, crates and barrels and the corridor continuing on the opposite side of the room. Quingar’s dwarven eyes picked out one wooden box in particular that stood out among the others; copper bound it was, and locked. As Quingar examined the box, Das Wald looked down the far corridor as far as he could see, and though he saw nothing save the rough stone walls of the underground passage, he thought he heard, for a moment, a strange scratching sound coming from down the hallway, and at the same time, a very faint skritching sound seeming to come from all around. Aelfric stood by the near entrance to the room and listened as well, wary as always. Meanwhile, quingar set himself to try and pick the lock to the box and succeeded fairly quickly in doing so to the old, rusty mechanism. However, just as he heard the lock click open, there was another snapping click and a sharp needle darted out of a small hole near the lock and struck him in the hard! Quingar felt the sting of the wound, and for a moment the throb of potential infection, but the constitution of a Dwarf is strong indeed, and quickly sucking out whatever foreign material had been thrust into his hand, he spat it open the floor and the sense of potential poisoning threatened him no longer. Looking inside the box, Quingar saw a sword most finely crafted indeed. Despite the years it must have lain there, its blade remained sharp and keen. The metal was a dull grey in colour, a tarnish running deep into the composition of the blade that was not merely surface dirt but rather the colour of the metal itself. As well, where the hilt met the blade the metal was carved into the shape of a skull. Quingar, intensely interested in the blade, lifted it aloft and felt that it indeed was a very well crafted sword. Just then, Das Wald gave a shout of warning and let loose an arrow down the further hallway! Aelfric ran to his aid just as a huge monstrosity of a spider came careening down the tunnel and lay into them with slavery mandibles and powerful, striking limbs! At the same time, thousands of biting insect began to come out of the walls and fall from the ceiling upon out adventurers! Aelfric let forth a savage battle cry and rent a giant gash in the spider’s abdomen, sending a spray of giant spider blood across Das Wald and the surrounding walls. The creature let forth an inhuman scream but continued to strike out against them! Das Wald fled to the other side of the room which gave Quingar the space to rush in and deliver a dextrous blow to the falling creature and bring it to the ground, dead. The party’s troubles were not over yet however, as the swarm of insects continued to issue forth from all around them and threatened to bring them down! Das Wald, completely freaked out, ran down the further hallway wiping insects from his body and making as much speed as he could to get away! Qungar and Aelfric followed suit, lashing out with sword and torch as they fled! The creatures bit and stung them but soon Das Wald saw light in the distance and the party came to an area where the tunnel ended and the ceiling opened up to the Reikwald forest above. The corridor had taken on a more earthen composition and there were the sticky strands of spider’s webs at the mouth of the tunnel. Pulling themselves out, the party found they were indeed in the forest somewhere north of the keep. The trees around them were hung with several tightly wound packages of spider silk which from within they could make out the forms of both woodsman and Beastman! The party beat back what insects still pursued them from the tunnel and took stock of their surroundings.
Meanwhile up on the walls of the keep, Kestrel felt that all was well. The forest was peaceful and he felt content that all was secure. He sent a man down to watch over the crumbling southern wall of the keep and to make sure the front gate was securely closed and bolted. He could see that the other 3 woodsmen in the courtyard continued to watch the door to the inner keep. Suddenly, without warning, a hideous mutant with lizard-like scales and small leathery bat wings and a long reptilian tail reared itself over the ramparts from the outside and charged him! One, two, there arrows flew from Kestrel’s bow and the creature was sent tumbling over the edge of the wall. As he watched it fall, Kestrel saw more figures running the the keep and into the forest on the northern edge. “Let them go” he thought.
Quingar, Aelfric and Das Wald took it upon themselves to stuff the opening to the tunnel with burning debris to keep the insects inside, and hopefully burn them or drown them in smoke. Wanting to be out of the forest, Quingar, Aelfric and Das Wald decided to return to the keep, and exiting for woods saw Kestrel upon the ramparts waving to them. Soon they were all united in the courtyard and traded stories of what had occurred. It was decided that the tunnel beneath the fort was too dangerous and should be avoided, but the interior of the keep should now be explored.
Searching the ruins the party found a broken wooden symbol of Sigar, a silver chain with a dove pendant, a book of adventure stories and some coins. It was also determined that the fleeing mutants had piled up debris under a window in one of the rooms, climbed out and escaped into the forest that way.
Not wanting to waste more time, the party continued to investigate the forest path which led north and where they had followed the beastmen previously.
*this entry is incomplete due to writing fatigue. The next couple of sessions are also not entered… boo. If I get time I’ll try and put them in at least in point form…