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Interlude - Zwarte Drakenbotten

Valthrun de Wijze heeft het volgende te melden:

Het bot van de zwarte draak is doordrenkt met magie uit de shadowfell. Enig onderzoek en wat oude legendes verder heeft Valthrun deze magie gelinkt aan een nabijgelegen ruine.

“My books and scrolls tell me that the ruined keep was built by the old empire, Nerath, as I suspected. The Nerath Empire was attacked by hordes of undead and demons at the time, over three hundred years ago, released onto the earth by the mighty wizard Karavakos from a rift to the Shadowfell. Finally, in a great battle, the empire of Nerath’s legionnaires managed to eliminate the threat of the rift to the Shadowfell. The empire’s soldiers destroyed the remaining undead, sealed the opening, and built a keep to watch over the location and contain the threat. This is
the site known as the Keep on the Shadowfell.” “The Shadowfell is a place of darkness and shadows, but not all of it is evil, but this rift apparently connects to an unholy sanctuary of Orcus, the demon lord of the undead. Skeletons, ghouls, and stranger, fouler creatures once crawled through the opening into the light of day. By destroying the undead and sealing the rift, the Nerath Empire thought that was the end of the story. Now, I’m not so sure.” “Take a look at this poem I found in the ‘Collection of Lyrics from Melgold – The Mad Poet of Almhurst’

Dreams of blood and shadow

This poem sent me digging deeper into the fall of this Kinslayer and this is what I found: Within two short decades after the collapse of the Nareth Empire, Shadowfell Keep was abandoned and left to fall apart and decay. It was on a grisly night about eighty years ago that the lord and commander of the keep garrison, Sir Jerold Keegan, put into motion the events that led to the keep’s downfall.”

“Perhaps the Shadow Rift’s malign influence is too strong to resist. Maybe Sir Keegan was a crazed lunatic driven by demons we may never understand. Whatever the case, at the stroke of midnight on that fateful day, Sir Keegan began to systematically slaughter every resident of the keep, forever cursing the place. The author of the historical treatises speculates that he suffered paranoid delusions, for Keegan went on a rampage through the keep. His own wife and children were first to fall to his blade, then his trusted advisors, and finally many of the soldiers under his command. Sir Keegan was too skilled for any one soldier to defeat, yet eventually the garrison managed to respond with an organized defense. Although many brave
soldiers died, they managed to inflict him a grievous wound that drove the mad knight to flee into the keep’s crypts were they finally managed to dispatch him.”

“The keep became notorious for a time, as one of the last bastions of the fallen empire. There was no one to order it back into service. So it was abandoned, feared for a time, and eventually, more or less forgotten. An earthquake a few years later collapsed the upper towers and walls, and turned the place into a ruin of tumbled stone.”

“Rumors persist of great treasures buried beneath the keep, yet few have dared explore the passages over the year. Sir Keegan’s ghost is said to roam the corridors beneath the ruins, wailing in grief over the tragedy of his life. The people of Winterhaven avoid the place, and the mere mention of Shadowfell Keep is considered bad luck by many of the farmers and villagers.” “Whatever activity is occurring at the keep, it can only mean ill for Winterhaven and those of nearby lands. Please, will you do what you can to help?”

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