Excerpts from the Memoirs of Balothron Shieldbrow…
(detailing the events of 24-25 Olarune 999 YK)
Dreadhold! The very name strikes fear, terror, and awe into the hearts of criminals and
dissidents alike. Only a few days after we first met, my then-new comrades-in-arms
announced that they planned to break someone out! That was when I knew that Darin’s
stories of their prowess were true – only the greatest of warriors could accomplish such an
unheard-of feat. Once we arrived near the island, we left in the skiff with Meriele to scout
around. We had no trouble seeing the main entrance from afar, but we concluded that
it would be far too well-guarded for us to break in that way, so we decided to bet on the
existence of a second entrance for supplies.
Upon arriving in Dreadhold, it appears that we were separated, with my companions taken
to various storage rooms while my barrel of
monkeys fish was left in the dock. A quick survey of the area revealed far too many guards for me to overpower on my own, so I waited quietly in my
barrel for the right moment to sneak away.
Such a moment never came.
When this hit me, I surveyed the area from my barrel and saw a ballista nearby. Tossing
away my barrel, I ran to the ballista and ordered everyone in the dock to the floor. They
all dropped obediently, but out of nowhere came a huge troll – one the likes of which I had
never seen before. And he looked pissed. I fired the ballista and hit him square between
the eyes, but that did not even faze him in the slightest, so great was this foe. As he rushed
towards me, I saw that I had no recourse but to wrestle him into the water. After proving
my superior strength, I ran to the dock’s only ladder and destroyed it to ensure that he
would not trouble me again. The guards at the dock saw which way the wind blew and
jumped into the water in terror to get away from me.
Shortly after leaving the dock, I came across Adrik and Melchizedek, who had apparently
come across a few guards and disposed of them. Adrik had the foresight to take the armor
from one of their bodies as well. The reunion, however, was less joyous than it could have
been, as we were beset by another troll, even more furious and massive than the last. After
a hard battle (aided by Bree’s timely arrival and intervention) we finally subdued this
mighty foe, forcing him to give ground all the way back to the docks, where he joined his
kin in the sea.
It was at about this time that we found Tethys and Dolph. Much to our dismay, though,
they were in the water with the trolls! A trap had sent them to a watery doom they had
barely escaped, only to find themselves in the face of a far more violent death. Bree and I
took the ballistae and cowed the trolls into submission as Adrik pulled our companions out
of the water.
We then went to the prison entrance to find the location of the changeling we had been
sent to rescue, scaring the hell out of a poor scribe to find that Ret was being held in block
A. We made our way there posing as prisoners being escorted by a disguised Adrik, where
we could then ambush the guards as they prepared to take us to our cells. I led the ambush,
striking a guard with my fist and quickly grabbing my glaive from Adrik. Melchizedek was
close behind, tossing spells left and right. Eventually, we overpowered them all and made
our way to Ret’s cell.
The changeling had apparently kept his identity secret well, as he was still being held with
the humans. Rather than feeling compelled to escape immediately, however, he decided
that our time would be better spent finding something out for him – what lay in a more
heavily guarded and secret wing of the prison. We agreed to do so.
Following his directions, we came to a huge door with a stone-faced Warforged guard on
either side. After defeating them, we entered and found, to our surprise, a withered youth
claiming to be King Kaius III of Karnath! Melchizedek believed him immediately, though
the rest of us had our doubts, believing him to be a poor soul who had simply snapped after
decades in captivity.
We could not leave him there, though, so we broke him out and took him with us. After
making our way through the cave system beneath Dreadhold, we finally found a stairway
to the surface, where we called to our ship. Doing so, however, alerted the guards to our
location, so a veritable army, led by the trolls we had left in the dock, poured to the prison’s
roof. We held our own, though, slaying one of the trolls and countless guards, until our ship
arrived and threw down ropes for us to escape on.
We took the withered prisoner to Leonid so he could see to his well-being, and I do not
remember much after that – I was exhausted, and probably went straight to my bunk after
sharing a pint or two with Darin about what happened.