It was almost as if Ninaran was already defeated. Once Zoren arrived on the scene, the elf was unconscious within ten seconds. You tied her to a nearby tree while she roused. When she did, you interrogated her about the keep. She told you what she knew about the keep and about Kalarel; you learned that the priest of Orcus had taken Ninaran under his wing when he found her battered body on the hillside, where she had collapsed after being savaged by a monster in the northlands. And the huntress’ life which had begun so violently ended in the same way as Gronnell snapped her neck without a word. You cut her now lifeless form from the tree, carried her body back to town, and placed her in the care of Sister Linora to be laid to rest.
The next day, you struck north for the fabled keep, in the desperate hope of stopping Kalarel before he finishes his dark ritual and summons the armies of Orcus into the world. When you arrived, the crumbled, moss-covered masonry that you found suggested nothing of the sinister workings taking place beneath it. The whole scene looked almost bucolic, if somewhat neglected. But sure enough, you were greeted with hostility as soon as you set foot inside. Four goblin guards, one pit trap filled with a swarm of rats, and one very surprised Seiza later, you made your way to the next section of the dungeon. This room was completely darkened, and you were only able to pierce the inky blackness thanks to Kace’s everburning torch.
What you saw, however, was little comfort. Terror runes littered the floor, and rather than risk stepping on one, you went south, straight into a pack of zombies. As you engaged them, you heard a bone-chilling scream emanating from the north, and then another. No sooner than you had defeated the first group of zombies, another arrived on the scene, coming from behind you. Using the narrow halls to your advantage, however, you made quick work of these corpses and continued south.
Along the walls of this long room stood ten sarcophagi. For lack of a better idea, Gronnell approached the first sarcophagus he could reach, and started abusing it. After a full-strength blow from his hammer barely chipped the granite, he attempted to pry open the lid, only to be greeted by a skeleton clawing its way out of the coffin, to be joined by nine of its compatriots from the other sarcophagi. The stage is set for your next grueling battle.