After the harrowing events in the Hellsforge, the heroes decide they’ve had enough adventuring for one day and head back to Stonewatch Keep. With the sun setting on the horizon and their muscles aching, even the drafty keep seems like a paradise and the four push on, eager to be out of their soiled armor.
When they arrive at the bridge to the keep, they see that the gate is already shut. With a shrug and a few murmured words about paranoid dwarves, the heroes cross the bridge and knock on the gate. To their surprise, the gate creaks open and a sour odor spills outward. A quick check by Brandis confirms the party’s suspicions; death has come to Stonewatch.
The heroes ready their weapons and move forward, each prepared to fend off what evil befell the keep. However, once the door swings wide, all thoughts of valiance are replaced by horror.
The brave dwarves of the Frontier Watch are scattered all over the castle. In fact, some of them are in pieces large enough to recognize. The cold stone floor is slick with their blood and the drone of carrion insects confirms the heroes worst fears. There’s not a living soul left in this place.
The heroes carefully pick their way through the grisly scene and come upon the blacksmith’s table. And though the blacksmith’s mangled head stares up at them from a blood-soaked barrel beside it, they find themselves drawn to an item on the table itself. It’s the rune they’d pulled from the hill tribe near the edge of the Grey Deep. Before his death, the blacksmith appeared to have repaired it.
The mystic attempts a spell to reveal the rune’s purpose but the device simply glows blue for a few moments. Clearly, they needed someone more familiar with runes if they were to have any luck determining what the item does.
Their hearts heavy, the heroes turn to leave the keep. As they do, something catches Rhogar’s eye and morbid curiosity gets the better of him. He heads towards the keep’s open watchtower and to his surprise, sees a lone figure standing at its center. In the dim light of fading sun, he can barely make out it’s shape, but the one thing that’s clear is that it is not the Frost Giant that had been stranded out their before.
Calling out to the rest of the party, he instructs Brandis and the mystic to take up positions near the entrance to the keep and has Tandros follow him across the bridge. They call out to the figure but the wind takes their voices and it doesn’t respond. Feeling wary, the two heft their weapons and make their way closer, hoping that Brandis and the mystic have their own weapons ready.
Their caution is rewarded for just as they get within a few paces of the figure it turns around and reveals itself – the Juggernaut has returned. An inhuman scream echoes from beneath the gleaming armor and the construct charges forward, its giant sword angled towards Rhogar’s chest.
Fortunately, the dragonborn warrior is ready and with Tandros covering his left side, Rhogar swings to the right and parries the Juggernaut’s swing, clipping its shoulder and sending bits of armor into the dark waters below.
Tandros then tosses a pair of throwing knives at the creature’s face, as Brandis skillfully sends two arrows into its midsection. To their dismay, the Juggernaut shrugs off the blows and even cleaves the mystic’s fireball in half with it’s massive sword. But it wasn’t prepared for Rhogar and with a mighty swing, the warrior buries the head of his axe into the center of the armored creature. Gripping his weapon in two hands, he then pulls upwards and out, tearing the construct to pieces.
As the enchanted armor falls the to walkway, the heroes, remembering the last time they faced the unstoppable being, sweep the glowing pieces into the Grey Deep, hoping against hope that the dark waters can disrupt whatever magic is holding it together. To the relief, the construct does not reappear and the heroes walk back into the keep to plan their next move.
As exhaustion threatens to overtake them, the heroes look at their options. Despite their best efforts, Stonewatch Keep had fallen. Yes, the Giant’s invasion may have been delayed, but in a few weeks time, the beasts would regroup and without the Frontier Watch to hold the line, there was nothing to stop them from completely overrunning the North. And while Lieutenent Rathar may be drumming up reinforcements, the Silven Glade needed to know that the situation was even more dire than expected.
That meant only one thing – the heroes had to travel to the Silven Glade, the largest city in the North and, coincidentally, the site of the 3rd Centennial Prestige Games.