The party's paladin was suffering from the "disease" table roll I had done on him, a chronic gastro-intestinal mess that would sap his strength and constitution over the next "x" weeks - affecting him every day. It was not terminal, but it means his usefulness was on a a limited basis and would be dropping over time.
There was also the introduction of the Dryad. A point of information for the party (there are 3 scattered in the Keep: Dryad, Tindoreg, and Sisspak - the last is very dangerous/deadly) and it could have gone poorly. She's a bit mad and not trusting, but the druid used a plant growth spell right on top of her tree and I shifted a few plusses into the reaction roll because of it. It's good because she was helpful - otherwise would have been neutral. And that might have meant the druid was not going to get out of her loving grasp for a few days/weeks instead of a few hours.
Write up follows:
The party spent the rest of the evening eating, reading, and writing, eventually falling to sleep. Fergus grew iller during the night, the paladin’s stomach roiling and cramping. He woke up terribly sick, needing a place to go to the bathroom. He cramp-walked his way across the chapel of Zeus, made his one into one of the naves, and let himself go. The rest of the party broke their fast and gave Fergus a wide berth after he returned.
We left the chapel and made out way across the courtyard to the stable, keeping a wary eye for any stirges. Once there we fed and watered them, doing what little we could to keep them clean with no fresh hay. It was decided that we had another day tops for the horses where they were before the floor of the stalls would get too foul for them to stay. We would have to move them.
As for our next plan, we wanted to walk the inside of the bailey walls and try to find either a back way to the Two-Horn lizardman area, or maybe their “secretive” way in. We entered with care, the bailey interior was disused and in poor repair. The floor of the south east tower was visible through the portcullis bars and there seemed to be an inordinate amount of bees.
We looked about and discovered a narrow 4’ wide corridor that ran northward through the wall towards the keep itself. We opted to take it, walking single file, and searching with deliberate care the entirety of the western wall in hopes of discovering a secret passage. It was slow going and eventually we were ended at a lowered portcullis.
Beyond it and to the left was a door which would lead to the Two-Horn tribe area, and past that was a bar to raise/lower the portcullis. There was no way to raise the bar and even Tempi’s prodigious strength could not lift the iron gateway. It was decided we should leave here and try something else inside the keep proper.
While turning around and trying to make their way out of the bailey wall, we were dismayed to find the number of bees and hornets had tripled for some reason and they were agitated. We had to get out and it meant skirting the bees. The group ran one at a time out the door and into the courtyard, a few of us getting stung but nothing terrible.
It was almost 10 AM when we entered Candlewick Keep again and made our way across the Grand Foyer and through the Great Hall in hopes of making it to the back of the Armory area near Tindoreg. It was here that we saw a goblin body lying outside the Spymaster’s office, dead. An examination showed he had died from poison and we suspected Sisspak was behind it.
At this point we suspected that there was a set of secret corridors on the lizardman side of the Keep to mirror the ones on the goblin side. Knowing about the third stone up from the bottom trick, we entered the Castellan’s office and Fist’al proceeded to check out the eastern wall. And when he felt the 4th stone he checked click slightly and sink in, he felt that he was successful.
Until the spring loaded door fully opened and he was shot in the chest twice by lizardman arrows. We dragged him away from the doorway and staggered out into the hall, pulling the door closed as more arrows thunked into the wooden portal with a faint vibration. Just outside Tindoreg’s area, near the back door to the Armory, we saw a few lizardmen waiting on line. They wanted the arrows in Fist’al’s chest and even though it was macabre, we traded. Feeling a bit “out there” and knowing now the Two-Horn tribe was aware of us and ready, we wanted to go and meet with Funtarig of Clan Garthic goblins and discuss what tactics we could in regards to the upcoming fight.
We were let into the goblin territory and met with the leader who was anxious to get the attack rolling and soon. More apt to do a frontal assault, we instead filled them in on sneaking in the Armory way. But we wanted a count of the lizardmen arrayed against us. That was when he let us question the tortured humanoid he had here (we found a common language of elvish to speak to it with).
Its name was Nalifess and was one of the sons of Korlok the Devil’s Fang (leader of the Two-horn lizardmen). It said its number were like the stars in the night sky. It was not very helpful but it did answer a few questions and then it was slain and it’s body cooked and eaten. A battle plan was drawn up where we guaranteed we can open the Armory door and sneak into the lizardman area from behind. Funtarig committed 12 of his clan to the attack, knowing that any more would leave the goblins in a weakened position. This was going to happen in a few hours.
Flimflam wanted to check out the garden again, relying on a tip from Tindoreg that spirit was there somehow and tied with the tree that is still there. He was given leave and Tempi and Fergus went with him. He used his contact with Demeter to make the local plants grow (including the oak) and while pouring his efforts into the spell effect, Fergus and Tempi just had a desire to walk away and think “Flimflam is going to be ok!”
When it was over, a gnomish woman with green hair and brownish skin was standing there. She was named Davers and identified herself as a dryad. She gave some more info about the Crimson Sanctuary to the druid and then invited him to spend time with her. 6 hours. Sated and empty, Flimflam went back to the goblins tired and the “battle plan” was moved off until tomorrow.
We went to the courtyard where we readied the chapel for possible horses (and the cart), using the grasses we had gotten from the garden in the goblin area for the steeds. Unsure as to whether the lizardmen could come at us from the well, we checked it out. 25’ down to the water level, we took the bucket and chain and then collapsed the cover onto of the well to keep it blocked.
It was here that we thought it would be best to take care of one last thing at the stables and Fist’al ran out to take care of it. But it was on his trip back that stirges came from the sky and hit him. He was getting stuck and drunk from and staggering closer and the group was going to run out to help him when Marcus told everyone to “look out” and he cast a sleep spell right on the elf and his stirge brigade. The elf was immune but his stirges were not and they well asleep right on and in him. He raced into the chapel and we slammed the door just as other stirges were dive-bombing from the sky.
We pulled them from his body, crushed the bat/birds, and hurled them outside (seeing 1 stirge stuck on the other side of the door!). Some healing was dispensed and then we ate, took care of the horses, and the water skins were refilled by Flimflam and his “create water” spell. Exhausted at 8:30 we were going to discuss our plan for tomorrow and how it was going to play out.