Leopold Axestone: Mountain dwarf and acting commander of the keep, he is very strict and severe, disliking weakness in any capacity.
Maven Wickerman: Kellsh human and lieutenant, she is well liked by the soldiery and was very close to the murdered Lord Traver.
Marrel Lithaunai: High elf and steward of the keep, Marrel is usually a serene-minded individual who likes gardening. He hires the party to investigate the murder of Lord Traver.
The companions are hired by a caravan of elvish
merchants monks scholars, who are travelling to Duandaria, deep in the Crossex Mountains. Their destination is Marchwell Keep, a fortification manned by the Dark Knights of Crossex.
The Dark Knights protect the many mountain roads and passes of the Crossex Mountains, in order to defend Duandaria from trouble.
The party makes it to the keep without incident, and the scholars pay them. However, upon reaching the keep, they learn that all is not well. The commander of the keep, Lord Traver, was murdered a week before, and there is now a power struggle between Captain Leopold Axestone and Lieutenant Maven Wickerman.
Upon meeting with the high elven Steward Marrell, who maintains the keep from a logistical standpoint and acts as a go-between from Duandaria to the keep, the party is asked to discretely investigate the murder of Lord Traver. Leopold, acting commander of the keep until word from Duandaria, should be doing an investigation, but the ensuing power struggle seems to be getting in the way.
They learn a power struggle exists because though Leopold is next in the line of command, Maven is well liked by the soldiers and was close to Lord Traver before his death. Because of this, the atmosphere of the fort is tense.
After a night of investigation and speaking with a few people, including a drunken halfling servant, the PCs find the murder weapon and realize that the killing was an angry one, and the commander was made to suffer because the glaive blade used was enchanted so that wounds it causes did not heal naturally. Also papers are found, one having the words Myrmidon Azalus written on it hastily.
Also found out is some of Lord Traver’s past: he was a high ranking member in the Rhoenish military, and had a daughter named Lily.
They are soon embroiled in the power struggle when different PCs are asked by both Leopold and Maven to investigate the other for evidence that could lead to one of them being the murderer.
Various clues are found: messages written in Dwarrow in Leopold’s room, a map of the Kellmark with names and towns marked on the back of it in Maven’s room, though nothing implicates either of them.
The cleric of the elven shrine within the keep turns up dead in one of the towers, with the unhallowed symbol of the Mother of Tears carved into his chest; the symbol being used by an assassin order from Carnosca.
The keep is put on lockdown and Maven is found in the shrine, where she admits to Peregrine that she and the commander were involved. She is made to go to the officer’s tower while a headcount is made. All soldiers in the barracks are accounted for.
When the PCs and Marrel reach the officer’s tower, they find the three other officers dead on their beds, and Maven in a daze, babbling in Carnoscan.
She is implicated as the murderer and, with some trouble, manacled. She possesses a scrap of parchment with something written on it that seems to make her lose control when read. The writing involves the Mother of Tears.
Leopold believes himself triumphant, however Marrel sends him off with Maven in shackles and discretely asks the PCs to search his room again.
This time, with Oren Stormsmith with them, the PCs can read the papers, which seem to implicate Leopold in some sort of plot with Myrmidon Azalus from Carnosca. A scroll found in his dresser reveals the Myrmidon stopped by the keep on his way to Duandaria, and tried to secretly threaten Lord Traver, a former general of Rhoenia, in order to get some sort of information from him.
In Leopold’s tasteful arrangement of warhammers is found the pole part of the murder weapon. When confronted with this evidence, Leopold seems to weaken and give up, admitting that he killed the commander in an argument about the Myrmidon.
Marell imprisons him and pays the PCs, though some mysteries still remain.
-Why was Maven enchanted to go insane, with obvious ties to the cult of the Mother of Tears?
-What information did Traver have that the Myrmidon Azalus wanted?