After their initial incursion, the group was sealed into a portion of the dungeon by an enterprising group of goblins with some left-over blasting materials. After fighting their way through a kruthik nest, the group was able to find a tunnel to the surface, where they reentered the keep, much to the surprise of the goblin guards. Upon breaking into a torture chamber, the group discovered the gnome, Agrid, strapped to a table, begging for death. Locked in a nearby cell was a goblin named Splug.
The group released Splug, who told them all he knew of the place and offered to be a porter for them, but was very hesitant to actually go up against Kalarel. He directed them to Balgron, the commander of the upper levels. After a failed attempt to infiltrate the goblins, Balgron escaped on Nil’s horse. Needing a rest, and to resupply, the group decided to head back to Winterhaven.
When they arrived, they found an attacking force of zombies and kobolds. With the group’s assistance, Winterhaven was able to repel the attack, capturing Balgron in the process. The group turned Agrid in to the authorities there, and upon hearing that the undead came from the nearby graveyard, the group set out again.
Upon arriving, they found a magic circle scrawled in the dirt in the middle of the graveyard, pulsing with sickly blue energy. They went in to investigate, and upon doing so were ambushed by Ninaran at the head of a group of skeletons. The group took Ninaran alive back to Winterhaven, where they questioned her concerning their father and Kalarel. She was uncooperative, but they did manage to ascertain that Kalarel would soon complete the ritual. They also ascertained that Douven’s amulet was given to her by Kalarel, with specific instructions to sell it to someone passing through to Fallcrest. She also noted that the buyer approached her.
After resting up and taking Ninaran’s equipment so that Sid could take her form and impersonate her, the group returned to the keep. Exploring another nook, they found more undead guarding a tomb and a shrine to Bahamut. This tomb turned out to be that of Sir Keegan…the man who slew his family and most of the order of Bahamut in a fit of madness almost a hundred years prior. After convincing him they weren’t here to grave rob or reoppen the rift, he gave them some advice to check the shrine for a hidden compartment. Being bound to his crypt, he was unable to help, but he gave them his sword, Aecris, in the hope that it might make the difference.
They went to check the shrine, and found five small platinum statues of Bahamut. They seemed to have properties of some sort of luck charm, but the group was unable to ascertain precisely what they did.
The group pressed on, going down deeper into the keep. They were greeted by a hobgoblin guard station. Sid attempted to impersonate Ninaran, and everything went well until they learned that Kalarel was hours away from completing his ritual to open the rift, and as such, weren’t taken directly to him. Throwing caution to the wind, the group attacked. After a hard fight, the group emerged victorious and pressed forward, disregarding side rooms in an effort to get to Kalarel before he completed his dark work.
After getting cut off from the group by a trap, Nil found himself surrounded by shambling undead. He quickly ran down a corridor and put his back to a corner, and was able to hold off for a little while, but ultimately fell to the last two zombies left standing in his wake.
When the group finally caught up, they discovered an unconscious Nil about to be eaten alive by a ghoul. They put a stop to it immediately and revived their brother.
Resolved to end this, they threw open the doors to the inner sanctum, and found not Kalarel, but one of his lieutenants and a group of vampires and crazed cultists. Blood flowed in great streams from an altar towards a pit in the floor, situated in the mouth of an engraving of Orcus’ symbol. Chains suspended from the ceiling, slick with blood, hung down into the pit.
The group cut their way through the cultists, knocking the lieutenant unconscious. They now stand on the brink of the pit leading down to the Rift.