The Baron is totally unaware: The PCs make it to the stronghold within 10 days without Blackthorn’s help and avoid the area 9 trap then it is possible for the PCs to make it to area 11 undetected unless they make a lot of noise. Within the 1st week no additional forces will be at the stronghold. Read the stronghold text as is. This situation is also possible if the Baron has all the masks but has not done the ritual because the proper date has not arrived. He will ignore everything else being consumed from having all the masks. He will test them, use them, and be preparing for the ritual. He will summon no troops to the location. The stronghold will remain in its same status, unfinished.

The Baron is expecting them: If Blackthorn led them to the area, or the it is day 11 -14 and the PCs have the Mask of Divination the Baron will be prepared. Near the end of 2 weeks he will be expecting them because it will be close to the ritual. All the trolls will be on alert for the PCs arrival. The Baron will have dugout a 15’x3′ area along the north wall of area 11 to view what is going on below. The opening will be covered by a permanent illusion of rock, created by Ganth and the Mask of Illusion. Only he is aware of this. 10 soldiers will be stationed outside. One soldier will have a horn and blow it if any trouble occurs so others will be alerted to the danger present. There is a gate on the outside walls, one small 10′ tent for supply storage, and several other tents for the soldiers. A 30′ tent has also been erected for the Baron to accept visitors. It is stylishly furnished.

1 Commander, 9 soldiers

Commander: Ftr4: CR 4; Size M; HD 4d10+8; hp 28; Init +0; Spd 30 ft.; AC 15; Attack +7 melee, or +4 ranged; (long sword 1d8+4, dagger 1d4+2) SV Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +1; AL NE; Str 15, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Intuit direction +1, Spot 0, Swim +3; Improved initiative, 2 Weapon, Ambidex, Weapon Spec (long sword), Weapon Focus (long sword).

EQ: chainmail, longsword, dagger.

Soldiers: Human Ftr2: CR 2; Size M (6 ft., 3 in. tall); HD 2d10; hp 13; Init +1 (+1 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 11 (+1 Dex); Attack +3 melee, or +3 ranged; SV Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +0; AL N; Str 13, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 6.

Skills and Feats: Heal +1, Hide +3, Listen +0, Move silently +1, Spot +0, Tumble +2, Wilderness lore +2; Blind-fight, Combat reflexes, Power attack, Quick draw.

EQ: chainmail, longsword, medium shield.

Week 3 and beyond the Baron will be prepared for any visitors: 3 wooden buildings will now be present and under construction along the west and east sides within the stronghold walls. A moat will have been excavated and filled with spikes and an almost difficult ledge facing the stronghold walls (DC 30 climb check). The base of the stronghold is currently being created near the rear of the mountain. Now there will be 4 commanders and 46 soldiers. Also remember at this point the Baron is looking for the PCs.