In the morning, the group went to the town’s graveyard where they hoped to put an end to this latest threat. There they found several skeletons waiting for them as well as a familiar face from town… Ninaran, the elven huntress who had told them where to find Irontooth and his gang. She had performed a ritual which left a circle of sickly glowing runes in the ground and was obviously the source of the undead. Once Ninaran and her undead servants were defeated, Autumn was able to destroy the runic circle to prevent any more undead from rising.
In one of Ninaran’s pouches they found a handwritten letter which read: “I received your report on the adventurers. Next time you see them, put an end to their meddling. Mix the blood of ten people with the elixir my messenger brings. Then trace the following pattern on the ground of a graveyard and pour the liquid into the lines. That should supply you with a force to thwart them. I’m very close to completion; see that I’m not interrupted. ~ Kalarel”
With this information spurring them on, the group quickly heads back into town to report their findings to Lord Padraig and then head up the northern road to the keep.
They find the keep to be a ruined and crumbling shell like the townsfolk told them, but they quickly discover an entrance to the underground levels of the keep. As they entered the dungeon, they made quick work of a group of goblins who were being lazy in their guard duties. Then choosing one of the corridors to follow, they soon came upon a chamber that some other goblins were excavating. The goblins and their guard drakes were soon taken care of and the group pushed on. They found some natural tunnels and decided to explore them, finding rats, an ochre jelly and a nest of kruthiks. They also discovered a set of bronze doors with the words “Stay out. Really.” written across them. Naturally they did not heed this warning and entered through the doors to find a small chamber mostly filled with dank, brackish water. In the midst of this pool was a small island littered with bones and various objects. A closer look provoked an attack from a blob of blue slime that burst from the water. Once the slime was destroyed the group was able to search through the litter of its past victims and found a scroll tube containing these messages:
“Remember, don’t wet the nodule – unless Kalarel is not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach.”
“Greetings, Kalarel. I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way ~ Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers.”
The party figured this chamber would be a secure place to rest, so they barred the door and settle down to regain their strength before exploring the rest of the dungeon.