The intrepid and innagural group of five:
The group has been given a charter by the magistrate of their town: Map Stonehell! It comes with immense prestige for them and their kin – and any riches brought out from the dungeon are theirs to keep. But Stonehell will not give up it’s riches easily.
Some characters also have some personal reasons to expore the ancient prision. The Cerics are looking for a long-gone member of their order who went in more than 100 years ago to try and redeem the inmates – his fate is unknown.
The Magic Users are looking for a secret magical book rumored to have been hidden deep within Stonehell by a powerful magic user many decades ago. This book is known as the Forbidden Tome.
The Fighters are just looking for fame and fortune!
In the first session the group explored the eastern part of the canyon near the enterence of Stonehell Dungeon. While the dungeon proper lay to the west, the group stayed to the east and cleared out the now run-down Gates of Hell (the gatehouse which has fallen into disrepair and taken over by some goblins). A group of Goblins have taken up residence and where suprised when this clumbsy group of adventurers “invaded” their stronghold. In the upper levels of the gatehouse, a nest of Stirges have made their home and didn’t take kindly to the party exploring. Rumors and grafitti were written on the gate walls but otherwise there wasn’t all that much in the way of revealed secrets from the Gatehouse. But it’s clear now – excepting the tortured spirits of previous adventurers who can’t seem to find their final resting place – the party avoided any additional contact with those spirits.
Numerous caves (natural or otherwise) adorn the sides of the canyon as it wedges it’s way to the west (and towards Stonehell dungeon proper). Some of the caves gave off bad vibes… while one might possibly be the home of a huge black bear named Coal who has been rumored to be good luck when spotted by adventurers.
This canyon is also rumored to be a place high in bandit activity – briggands wanting to jump adventurers either going into the dungeon or those coming back out. So far, no sign of this group.
From exploring this part of the canyon, it’s clear that many hundreds of previous adventuring parties have been in this area over the many decades since the dungeon was “liberated”. But fortunate smiled on the group this first day – Coal the Black Bear was spotted and that’s good luck. Everyone has survived the clearing of the gatehouse and after a restful sleep in the Fallen Shrine of St. Ras, they are up early to explore the western section of the canyon… and soon will reach the main enterence to Stonehell dungeon proper!