After detailing his knowledge of the Fort and its ogre pillagers, Jakardros returned to Turtleback Ferry to rally Magnimaran reserves. The heroes approached Rannick’s southern gate near nightfall and found ogres lazily manning the walls. Using Jakardros’ maps, the party found a hidden cavern entrance behind the cataract that became Rannick’s wide moat.
Within Nip found a pair of shocker lizards near the entrance to a Black Arrow weapons cache. Nip scurried along the walls and dropped on one nearly killing it. Maggie rushed forward and finished it off. The second one fell when Mal and Remy joined the fight.
The party found a hidden passage that had been broken through by the lizards. Within they found several natural cavern chambers and a nest full of shockers. Nip and Remy swarmed one while Maggie snuck in and inadvertently ran right toward another. The lizards released a combined lightning burst that singed Maggie and Mal. Azrak planted his tower shield to block the lizards’ advance. The ratfolk, Maggie and Albi moved forward taking down several more lizards. Another lighting burst singed the party. Over the following chaotic moments, the party defeated the remaining lizards, 10 in all.
After finding the back of a secret door that entered the keep, the heroes decided to rest overnight, which passed uneventfully.
The group opened the secret door into the keep’s dungeon. Within the cells they found a battered unconscious ranger, Vale Temros. After a couple of healing draughts he roused and told of the keep’s fall, the commander’s absence, and his solemn gratitude for being saved. In no shape to fight, he returned through the caverns to guard the waterfall entrance.
Azrak suggested the ogre leaders might be in the larger, upper rooms so the party snuck to the second floor. They went first to the commander’s quarters. They heard raucous snoring within. Mal, Albi, and Azrak covered the hall, while Nip, Remy and Maggie slipped inside. They found the back of an ogre witch hovering over a large cauldron while an enormous ogre brute snored loudly while draped over the commander’s ruined bed.
Maggie moved to the sleeping form while the ratfolk slipped silently behind the witch. All three attacked simultaneously. Maggie drove her dagger into the brute’s closed eyelid until the hilt crunched through the bridge of his nose. (coup de grace!) He spasmed wildly before death took him.
Remy and Nip unleashed a coordinated flurry of blades opening half a dozen slashes in the witch before she even could spin around (Remy delivered almost 50 hp of damage with a single strike!) The ogre spun around and cast an evocation but under the ratfolk’s constant torment the effect never manifested. Several more slashes from the the melee fighters and arrows from Mal struck the witch over then next few seconds and the giant fell loudly to the floor. (Nip finished it off.)
Standing at the ready everyone waited for other threats to arrive but none came.