Eight gamers met with DM Don to continue the group’s adventures near the dwarf keep that has proven to be far too full of undead creatures:
Jon, playing Thorin, a dwarf cleric
Matt, playing Deegan, a human monk
Shawn, playing Maculate, a warlock of indeterminate elven race (except we all really know he’s a Drow.)
Martin, playing Varris, a sun elf wizard
James, playing Aevay, a dragonborn rogue
Derek, playing Ginsu, a human rogue
Robert, playing Anima, a dragonborn fighter
And your trusty reporter, Andy, with two characters:
Thandiina, a human
meat shield fighter
Varanus, a lizard man cleric
Having been seriously battered and barely surviving — with the help of a raise from the dead in the case of Maculate — and escaped back to the dwarf village, our heroes were determined to rest. Thandiina’s comment summed it up: “I have bruises on my bruises.”
Having rested, the bold adventurers were finally able to accrue experience points for the previous several sessions, and each character gained at least one level. Deegan actually gained two levels. [Due to the progression rules in 5e, since he was at the top of 2nd level to begin with, he traversed 3rd level completely.] Some time was taken up as the group proceeded to determine what new skills, powers, and abilities they had each gained as a result of their recent exertions.
Following the rest, Aevay was determined to replace her armor, which had been destroyed by a direct hit from a ballista. Thorin and Varris assisted, while a number of other characters explored the areas which had already been cleared out. Inside the dwarven temple the group discovered that the dwarf in amber was no longer there, only a set of armor. The group — probably wisely — decided to leave the armor alone out of respect for their former ally. Then the explorers proceeded to the site of the last battle in which the undead had been dispatched. Where the golem had been was a pile or stones. Some of the stones were glowing; Maculate and Thandiina each took one. (Maculate later Identified these stones as adding protection as well as light, but only when held in the hand.) Varanus rummaged through the pile of stones until he discovered a small stone that looked somewhat like an unpolished gem with a rune carved on it; he kept that for future examination.
Other experimentation with the stones seemed to be unfruitful, so by the time Aevay’s armor was finished the group was now ready to determine its next step. The remainder of the group came to the area before the tower at the center of the keep, and a discussion took place regarding how to approach the tower. After some discussion, and an abortive movement to enter the tower and explore up the stairs the rogues chose to climb the tower on the outside. No one saw anything through any of the arrow slits in the sides of the tower, and there was no opposition on the roof, so the rest of the party followed. The stairs reached the roof, and so the intrepid adventurers proceeded down the stairs, preceded by Varris’ familiar, this time in the form of a cat.
On the next floor down the group discovered a room which appeared to be a former office, a room with an altar which appeared to be a temple of some sort, and one other room. This was a room filled with coins of all denominations scattered about the floor, and additional nice things. The trouble was, the group wasn’t alone.
Another ethereal undead creature came through the walls and attacked Varris and Varanus. This time the group was better able to fight it; spreading out around the two adjacent rooms most of the characters waited for it to appear and then attacked. It did some harm, but after some time of using these tactics it was dispatched.
By now it was time to examine the treasure room more closely. There was a significant amount of cash, but also a reasonably large selection of magic items. Some discussion followed regarding the most equitable way to divide them; ultimately the group chose to take turns selecting, and the items were apportioned out. Each character ended up with at least two magic items, not including potions, so this was a lucrative day for a group which had seen few enough of those.
By now it was time for a quite happy, higher level, and better equipped group to break up, prior to exploring the next level below and the stairs leading below the “ground” level.