With a room full of undead ahead of them, the party decided to backtrack and find a “safer” way into the suspected unexplored chamber just north of the draugr. Making their way back to the manuscript room, they made there way through a previously unexplored door which led into a long hall that reconnected to the Bordermen Society tribunal room they had discovered when they first entered the Keep’s underbelly.
As they traversed the hall, they discovered three spy holes that revealed a portion of the room they were trying to access. Inside they could make out a tree growing in the center of a magic circle, skulls hanging from its branches —a Treskeggmal.
Behind it, along the west wall, was a mirror which made them nervous, but they pressed on just the same, eventually making their way to the entrance hall where a locked set of double doors awaited.
They had bypassed these doors when they’d first ventured in. Now they wondered — was the treasure the rival Houses all were fighting for so close?
Sebastian found the lock to difficult to pick, but Magnar had pilfered a ring with three keys on their adventure, and they appeared to fit the lock. But which one was the right one? He tossed the keys to his brother, Brukhart.
The first key attempt resulted in strange clicking noises followed by a loud crash. Brukhart moved away as Kik-Dos joined Sebastian beside the door. Sebastian tried a second key. Again, a clicking sound rang out and the two seamen leapt back and away just as the floor beneath them collapsed, revealing a deep, unfathomable pit.
Now knowing the final key would be the right one, they needed to find something to bridge across the chasm. They remembered a long bench in the previous hall and Brukhart went to obtain it.
When he removed the bench. however, it revealed a secret ladder descending down to another level of the underbelly.
He returned with the bench and they placed it across the pit. Sebastian walked across and turned the final key. The doors opened to reveal another pit opposite the door. Beyond lay the the Treskeggmal Tree, the mirror they had seen, and, against the south wall, a large, locked cabinet of curiosities.
They were intrigued but had to find another bridge to cross the pit inside, especially once they discovered a tremendous vacuum of air pulling down into the yawning chasm. Kik-Dos suggested they, instead, explore the secret ladder first, and all agreed.
They made their way back to the hall, but Gnarwald was still slowing them down, so Sir Jon waited on the hobbled priest while Brukhart, Kik-Dos, Magnar, and Sebastian descended into the depths.
This level appeared much older than anything else they had explored thus far, but they became nervous when they discovered the body of an armored soldier, recently killed. Then Magnar spotted a goblin sneaking up on them, then another, and even more still. In another chamber, they caught a glimpse of an underground lake, with a small sailing ship docked to a crumbling port, but then the goblins were swarming and they fled for their lives, back up the ladder from whence they’d come, the goblins on their heels.
Curiously, Sir Jon and Gnarwald were nowhere to be found, but there was a blood trail heading south. But first, they had to contend with the goblins. Brukhart and Magnar fought off those goblins who had climbed the ladder while Kik-Dos and Sebastian moved the manuscript stand from the next room to block the secret ladderwell.
Meanwhile, one goblin escaped, running deep into the depths of the Keep’s underbelly, while Brukhart released a draugr from its crypt so he could use its coffin lid as a make-shift bridge. The party converged to slay the undead warrior, then tried to catch their breath before heading out to find their missing companions.
The distant scream of a dying goblin echoed back to them…
to be continued