“Not much of a towne eh,” I turn and say to the band of traveler as we crest the hill and lay eyes on Hillsboro. Not much, but enough, enough to begin my quest for fame and riches to show up my hated brother. That wretch who cheated me out of the lions share of my father’s inheritance. My wits, my skill at alchemy, and the gnosis grated to me by the Maker of Makers will be more then enough to show the world the Quality of Tostig Moonstone… I bid my marching companions goodbye and head to the tavern to shake of the dirt and soreness of a two day march.
Entering the tavern it seems the whole region is within the great hall. Half the room is filled with the usual merchants, miners, and common folk. Tis the other half that catches my eye. That lot is comprised of sellswords, woodsmen, apprentices, accolytes, squires, rouges, and adventures of every stripe… I spy an open seat at a table of woodsmen. They seem kin but of a strange sort. An elf, a Jendarri, and one half elven. They seem friendly as I sit and introduce myself. Moments after we are joined in the last seat by elf of noble and knightly bearing. Despite his minor haughtiness Aidran quickly earns the good graces of the table by spending the coin to feast with us much food and drink, more then the woodsmen kin or myself could have afforded to waste. Though cautiously guarding our personal secrets, we reveal all here came to Hillsboro to answer the call for heroes by the local lord. Our temperments and skills seeming to be compatible, we agree to form an adventuring band.
As the night came to an end. A drunken display by a town elder caught our attention. He claimed the recent banditry was linked to an old evil. He claimed a stronghold of a cult defeated in my youth was being repurposed and that was the cause of the increase in bedlam. He was laughed down and jeered. Even trough the ale soaked haze, my companions and I quickly realized this was our chance. To the Hells with guarding cargo or patrols, this sounds like adventure!
After a good nights rest we canvass the town about the old mans ravings. Speaking to the stable boy and then the local druid we set off to the east in search of a ruined outpost. Upon arriving at the ruined keep we are immeadiatly set upon by monsterous beasts. Giant frogs, spiders, lizards, and snakes.. These beasts are the least of our worries. When we breach the main hall of the keep we are attacked by a host of bandits! After a furious melee our band stands triumphant!!
h1. We clear the above ground ruins of the keep to our satisfaction. WE do find a stairway leading down into a dungeon level. Our elven scout, Eldwin, is overwhelmed by a swarm of dire rats and after the battle with our wounds mounting and resources wearing thin we decide to rest before we head lower.
On our decent our first challenge is an archway covered in slime. It is no normal substance but some evil acidic peril that we must deal with. Continuing our decent, we reach the lower level dungeon complex. It is a prison and torture chamber. Aidran is easily able to sense the evil necromancy in the skeletons in the cells. The paladin strides out to lure the dead to him and the battle is joined! The horde of skeletons swarm us and we suffer wounds but we are victorious in the end. We find several storerooms with arms and armour all bearing the same heraldry. All far better quality the the bandits upstairs had. We also find a secret door in one of the torture columns leading below that Aidran can sense grave evil coming from. WE leave the secret tunnel alone for the moment and turn our attention to a door to the north. A great rumbling and smashing can be heard from that direction.
Heading to the noise we encounter a orge! The giant monster engages us in battle! Trading blows eventually whittles the beast down and our superior numbers carry the day. The beast guards a passage way to lower levels. We continue down leading to a warren of caverns mixed with construction. IN these lower levels we battle monstrous humaniods. Gnolls and bugbears lair here are we are able to battle them near their nests. Though there is a passage way leading further we contemplate our situation. Our resources drained, we decide to head back to the surface to rest. Along the way we notice the ogre hid a door behind a large table we thought to be rubble. In in were several prisoners.
In our redoubt I tend to the wounds of our new guests while my companions question them. It is revealed to us that one of them is actually a bandit who was turned on by his bandit confederates. We question him to the whos, whats, and whys. Now we prepare to rest while deciding our future. Aidran swears he must not leave till he deals with the greater evil below. I think we have a duty to return the bandit and prisoners to Hillsboro. The giant snake our barbarian Hrund is cooking for dinner is almost complete. When dinner is done we shall decide….