Peanut, amidst almost getting killed in the black market, cultivated some new relationships and learned 6 pieces of info, some adventuring tips, and a new sidequest.
From Valthrun we learned the following:
1) The Keep was built during the time of the Nerath Empire, a widespread human empire that covered the Nentir Vale and beyond. They constructed the Keep specifically to protect the sealed portal to the Shadowfell
2) After the fall of the empire, Sir Keegan, a paladin from Winterhaven, took up residence in the keep with a regiment of soldiers. The short version of the story is that Keegan was eventually driven mad and he began to slaughter the people in the keep…. starting with his wife and children. Nobody is sure what happened next, but it is believed that eventually some of his own soldiers were able to drive him into the depths of the keep and kill him. Now, Sir Keegan’s ghost is rumored to still reside in the Keep. If his ghost can truly be found there, something must be tying him to that place. (hint hint… skill challenge)
3) The Raven Queen: She is an unaligned god that left the Astral Sea and set up a fortress in the Shadowfell. Many people revere her for her role as the caretaker of the souls that have left this world. Some say that she can call a soul back to this plane, or even keep souls for her own use.
4) Orcus, the Demon Lord of the Dead, wants to overthrow the the raven Queen and control her access to the departed souls. This is why the portal under Shadowfell Keep is so dangerous. It is near one of Orcus’ many strongholds in the Shadowfell, where he is amassing an army of the undead to stage a coup. One can only imagine the deal Kalarel has struck with the demon lord
Then, from McDonald and Wendy (the Black Market guys) we learned about Zehir:
5) Zehir: god of darkness, poison, and lies. Zehir doesnt have a presence in the Shadowfell yet, but many of his followers reside there. Zehir is not as overt as Orcus, but he has his eye on the Shadowfell as well. He is still in the astral sea, with most of the other gods. Zehir works through misinformation
Finally, Falsun briefly discussed Vecna:
6) Vecna, God of Secrets, has some holdings in the Shadowfell as well. Vecna is biding his time, waiting for the moment the Raven Queen shows weakness. Maybe he waits until Orcs and the Raven Queen fight, and then undermines the winner?
Thoel gave us some nice tips on what to take in our adventures and a sweet side quest for some gold and XP.
T: anyways, I’d take food and clean water, several sources of light possibly of different strengths. Those sunrods brighten up the whole damn room right? But what if you dont want the whole room bright. Plus, their fire is magical, I’d bring some real flame, maybe there are some braziers to light or something. Last thing I’d bring is charcoal or chalk. Thats how we mapped the mines in the first place
P: Would a map of the passage be worth something to you, Thoel?
T: Absolutely! I’d also make it worth your while if you could tell me the state that my mine is in. If you go and pick through the old quarry, you can find a lot of the discarded red sandstones that will mark up a wall fairly well, and I can get you a sheaf of paper and some charcoal to map with.
We each need to go to the quarry to collect some sandstone for our mapping job. Peanut not being the most adept manages to kick one red stone out of a larger pile Showing it to Thoel, he confirms the find and says that you can make 10 marks on the wall.