From the Journal of Sarl:
It seems that the discovery of what was Sir Keegan foreshadowed what our journey may be for some time to come. After awaking after some hours, we began to make out way further into the depths of these ruins that lead deeper and deeper toward the Shadowfell, as if the very essence of this place has been tainted by the mere existence of the portal in its bowels.
Our first encounter of the day proved to be nearly fatal for myself. The room, not its contents, where what they seemed. Upon entering, we found after I tossed some lit rocks around the room to provide some illumination, some odd statues on the far side, facing a central figure in what could be described as a stooped repose on a raised dais, clad entirely in brass. We soon found though, that it was a sleeping giant of sorts. I later realized that what was the mechanical apparatus in front of us, lashed out at the party based solely upon the tiles which we stood. An ingenious contraption really; perhaps if ever in the opposite situation, where trapping a room, I may suggest use of similar pressure devices and mechana.
Upon destroying the brass hulk in the center, we still had to disable the winged statues blowing us toward the center of the room. We discovered their role in the larger trap of the room in the middle of trying to skirt, instead of disable (or destroy, as we did) the central figure. They blew us right up to his feet, so that he might swing mightily at us.
Upon disabling all the clever little tricks in the room, including a set of statues in the corridor beyond which, without forethought may have trapped us for eternity in walls hewn entirely of raw force, we found a room that almost appeared to be a well for blood. This nearly made me shiver, the realization of what was afoot at the bottom of the aperture in the floor. My guess, which proved correct, is that someone was in the middle of such a ritual as to open the very portal we where sent to protect its seal.
As we climbed down the hole by rope, we found Kalarel, the fiend that lay us to rest for over a hundred years, nearly finished with his duty of opening the rift to the Shadowfell. And he was not alone either. There where walking, rotted corpses, hacking at us and firing arrows in our midst, their flesh almost entirely disintegrated, aside from the bones and sinew that remain. And their strength! A man would not expect the undead left to rot so long would be able to twang a bow, let alone swing an axe with such force. They lack the very mechanism that allows man to do so! And if they where not enough, there was what I could only identify from my knowledge and study to be a White.
Those fearsome minions where trouble, I assure you. If it were not for the power of my magic, combined with the sheer force of my companions steel and wit, we may never have even laid a hand on Kalarel. The White froze our Halfing companion Tim in place for nearly the entire battle! If it where not for the fiery wrath I let forth on their heads, or the skillful craft of the shadows by Kel, or even the soothing hands of Ms. Duskpainter, our talented healer... I shudder to think.
Eventually, we beat of most of the hordes, with only Kalarel left. But the portal was open! It must be closed before the effect became permanent! I yelled to my allies instructions, and we all put forth all of our knowledge and skill to bear in order to reverse the ritual, and re-close the portal. And at the same time, we continued to fight Kalarel. Thank the Gods that Tim was able to finally able to be freed from the invisible chains wrapped around him by the Wite, otherwise even Ethyrion's great assistance in closing the void would be enough.
And it almost wasn't. The White was not the only one that could affect our movements, was Kalarel froze Echo, mid stride, very near the portal. I think we all feared for her life, and even her very soul, as tentacles emerged from the portal and started to drag her in. Kharduun was also nearly pulled into oblivion, but by some grace, they both managed to free themselves. And not a moment too soon, for once we closed the portal, it took all of us to rend some piece of revenge from Kalarel, paid for with what was left of his seemingly unending life, granted to him by Orcus.
With that great undertaking behind us, we defiled the statues and runes found throughout the room, and with some precision wielding of the forces of magic, brought down the columns supporting the ceiling as we made out exit. Let that be a final tomb for that wretched incarnation.
As we left the fortress behind us forever, we made our way toward Winterhaven, the only place to our knowledge which lay near. And that is where we are now. It is not what I expected, or hoped for, but it is also more. I will describe it more for my record in later days, but for now I must rest. Tomorrow I must venture to the Mage's district, so that I might learn what has befallen the word while we where locked in statis.