So, yeah. We got that old fort as payment, but keep in mind that it was still practically a ruin. Dax had been crunching numbers and said it would take far more gold than we’ve seen so far to even repair the place, needless to say maintaining it. Sort of makes me miss the old days when I was just wandering the wilds, just me, my axe and whatever I could catch for dinner. Sure, it was brutal and harsh, but it was simple, you know?
Anyways, we decided that we’d spend a few days doing a few basic things for the keep, then would leave to work some more jobs. I guess eventually we’d be able to get the place presentable. I spent most of that time chopping at some of the trees that had grown up around the place. Can’t say I cleared even a fraction of the area, but at least the brush won’t be giving as much cover once we have to worry about stopping attackers at the walls. During all that, Dax hired a few laborers to come from town and help clear some of the rubble inside and for some reason, that lot kept coming to me and asking for me to find them some wild garlic. Easy enough to do, but why? Were each of them making the same thing for dinner? Was it a Sutherland thing? I don’t know.
Anyways, they finally managed to clear one of the collapsed entrances to the cellar of the fort, only to find it covered in thick webs. Yeah, you know what happened next, right? We thought we did too, so we gathered together and went down to try to clean out any vermin that had been nesting down there. Didn’t want any laborers getting eaten if we could help it. We did find some large spiders, odd ones too that kept disappearing and reappearing, but we killed most of those and scattered those that remained. But here’s the thing, the cellar had a hole in one of the walls that connected to a large cave network underneath the keep itself. We had to check that too before we could consider the cellar secure and guess what we found down there?
What, a connection to the Deep? No, but that was a worry I had in the back of my mind when we went in. No, try again. Another dragon? Huh, that actually would have been better. No, what we found was something called a Hellmouth. Yeah, an actual portal to the Nine Hells. There was some devil creature crawling out when we found it and we had to attack it and some large skeletons that it had created. During the fight, Samuel did something and the devil faded away, which was a good thing. That creature was stronger than I could really handle, even when I was in the red haze. After we dispatched the undead, we did what we could to stop up the portal, which probably isn’t good enough. We also found a collapsed tunnel leading away, which I’ll want to look into later in case something can easily dig through it and get at us that way.
On the bright side though, we found a small treasure trove near that collapsed tunnel, enough to at least pay for most of the repairs of the keep, so we weren’t as tight on money as we once were. Still not enough, mind you, but at least this way we can have walls, a roof and a strong gate if things go sour on us again.