People of Fallcrest, I implore you!

The party cleans out the barracks

With Darla the drake headed towards the apparent safety of the surface, the party located an empty bedroom that had been used by the guards, barricaded itself inside, and took what rest it could. Upon awaking, they heard feet scuffling, and quiet but harshly spoken orders: the sounds of a hasty ambush being prepared. They disassembled their barricade, and charged out the door, hoping to get the drop on their attackers. It was about ten hobgoblins, including an archer and a wizard. During the battle, Brandis proved her worth again and again, using bolt of ice to slide the hobgoblins into a deep well, or dropping Winston, her familiar, into the fray to breathe a cloud of flame over her enemies.

With the hobgoblins defeated, the party elected to head east, saving the passage south for later. In the eastern passage, a passage branched off to the south, which was blocked by a portcullis. A large table was visible in the chamber behind the portcullis. The party instead ventured through an open door on the north side of the hallway first. Althaea crept through a few interconnected chambers, which, it became apparent, comprised an empty hobgoblin barracks. Straw mattresses and tables strewn with the remains of an abandoned meal were scattered about. In one of the sleeping quarters, the party discovered the following note:

Gura,
Luckily for you and your master, I was not so attached to that particular messenger. It will be a pleasure working with you, I am sure. When can I expect your first shipment?
— V.

As the party made its way back to the portcullis in the southern hallway, a floor tile depressed beneath Althaea’s foot, triggering a click within the eastern wall, but no visible change. After a few moments of silent tension, De’Wayne approached the bars, investigated them, and with a few share jerks, dislodged one of the bars, allowing the group to squeeze through. They emerged into the room with the wooden table, discovering two further closed doors, one on the south wall, and one on the east.

The large wooden table in the chamber beyond was covered in maps, some depicting the Nentir Vale region, others depicting regions the party had never heard of; places with names like Moil and Thyrin Gol. The markings on the maps indicated that someone was planning an invasion. One of the maps clearly showed a large scale force descending on Winterhaven out of the Keep on the Shadowfell.

Without warning, both doors burst open, and Althaea, who was standing next to the eastern door, took the worst of it from three rapier- and crossbow-wielding Raven’s Roost Bandits. From the southern chamber emerged four more bandits, and a lithe shader-kai warrior who announced, “You made a wrong turn somewhere, friends. My hobgoblin associates mighta just sold ya to Vohx. Us, well, we’re gonna kill ya.”

Althaea gave swift strike with her short sword to the nearest bandit, and fey stepped across the room, making space for De’Wayne to block the door. In the fight, he was nicked with many rapier cuts, and pierced by many bolts, but in the end, all three bandits in the eastern room lay dead at his feet. Stonegraves and Nuvok took the lead against the attackers from the south, hewing down four bandits, and cornering the shader-kai warrior even when he attempted to meld into shadow. He was finally laid low as well.

In the eastern room the party discovered a lever on the wall. It required a great deal of effort to pull, but when it finally came unstuck, it raised the portcullis in the hall. In a chest in the southern room, the party found an enchanted shortbow, which Althaea claimed, and 500 gp. Tucked underneath the mattress of the shadar-kai leader’s bed was a note reading as follows:

SAMMINEL,
ERZOUN HAS BEEN UNCOMMUNICATIVE—SHE HAS HARDLY LEFT THECHAPELIN SEVERAL DAYS. BUT SHE HAS BEGUN CALLING FOR SACRIFICES. I TAKE THIS TO MEAN THAT SHE IS APPROACHING A BREAKTHROUGH. THE CHAPEL SHOULD SOON BE RECONSECRATED TO THE GODDESS, AND THE PORTAL WILL BE SAFE TO USE. GOOD RIDDANCE TO BANDITRY! OUR NATIVE LACKEYS BORE ME MORE THAN EVER.(LEMNAS WAS RIGHTALLOWING THEM TO PURSUE THEIR SLAVE TRADESECRETLYHAS OCCUPIED THEIR SMALL MINDS AND CUT DOWN ON INFIGHTING). IT WILL PLEASE ME GREATLY TO BE BACK AMONG OUR KIN. THIS LAND IS RIPE FOR MORE SYSTEMATIC PILLAGE, MORE WHOLESALE DEVASTATION, THAN THESE HUMANS CAN

The party now returned to the connected set of chambers from which they had initially faced the combined forces of the human and bandit guards. Only one path remained to be taken, and it was a long, completely unlit hallway that led away to the south. As the party moved down it, they began to detect the stench of decay, which soon became overpowering. They continued for about fifty feet, and now discovered a passageway branching off to the west. The main passage south remained free of obvious obstructions, but the side passage is littered with bricks and stones, The stench seemed to get stronger in the southern corridor.

When we reconvene, it will be 2000, 3 Flocktime 588.

View
The crawfish and the drake
A zoological expedition through the Keep on the Shadowfell

De’Wayne opened the rotten door slowly, revealing a brackish pool with a small island in its center, about ten feet from the shore. This was apparently the “cistern” referred to in Balgron‘s journal. On the little island were scattered many odds and ends, some coins, weapons, and most notably, a shield bearing the same device as the one Nuvok had acquired from the orcs who ambushed the party near Fallcrest: an eye with a vertical line through it. Stonegraves detected something moving in the water, and from the filthy conditions, he surmised that it was most likely a crustacean or some sort of slime. De’Wayne took this news in stride, stood by the shore pondering for a moment, and before his dwarven comrade could say, “What do you think you’re doing?” the knight plunged his sword into the dark water to investigate.

With a great splash, and a sound like a dull hiss, a giant crawfish erupted from the still water and clamped one of its great claws around De’Wayne. The rest of the party took up offensive positions, and began pounding the creature, or pelting it with spells and arrows. The beast, however, squeezed De’Wayne in its claws, causing the knight to fall unconscious, then dropped him from its grasp to focus on the remaining threats. Nuvok managed to revive the knight, and for the rest of the battle, the party played it safe, attempting to stay out of the monster’s reach. It was finally the little goblin Splug, his bonds by this time removed, who felled the beast with one of his javelins (after four or five others of his missiles had bounded uselessly off the thing’s carapace).

Althaea, who had fey stepped out to the little island during the encounter in order to get the drop on the monster, now rummaged through the pile of rubbish in its center. In it, she discovered a powerfully enchanted hand axe, which Stonegraves claimed, as well as a wooden message cylinder containing the following two messages:

Greetings Erzoun. I have an offer for you. I am in need of slave stock here in Thunderspire, and thought your operation in Winterhaven might answer my needs. You seem ever so much more practical than Samminel, after all. In any event, if you see fit to start taking prisoners, I am eager to purchase them from you.
-Capt. Vohx
of the Severed Eyes

And:

Break the capsule if Erzoun is not receptive to our offer, and then run. The creature will emerge from its dormancy and devour anything in its reach. Beware its claws. It is slow-moving, but has a strong grip.

The party now quietly returned to the maze of tunnels sealed with the arcane alarm runes. Althaea teleported across the first one, and Stone jumped across it. De’Wayne tried next, and almost made it across, but his heel just dragged across a rune-inscribed tile. The rune emitted a high-pitched shriek, and a wave of magical fear descended over the party. Most resisted, but both Althaea and Splug bolted towards the stairs; they ran ten yards before they calmed and slowed to a stop. Brandis meanwhile whipped together a magical disc (courtesy of the arch wizard Tenser), and offered to begin ferrying the others across the tiles. "Why didn’t you do that earlier? De’Wayne asked.

Brandis deadpanned: “I wanted to see what would happen.”

After ferrying their way across a few more trapped tiles, the party emerged into a small room, the only notable feature of which was a staircase leading farther down. The flicker of flames was visible from down below. Althaea attempted to sneak down, but dislodged a rock which clattered down into the chamber below. A hobgoblin peered around the corner, and shouted, “Intruders!”

Their surprise attack ruined, the party rushed down the stairs and hoped for the best. The room was occupied by a few hobgoblins and humans, whose raven masks hung from around their necks. From rooms off to the east and west, more humans and hobgoblins poured in. One of the humans called out, “Sic Darla on ’em!” and two hobgoblins started northward into a farther chamber. There, they began undoing latches on a heavy cage, in which there reclined a large, surly horned drake, which appeared somewhat the worse for wear.

As the enemies charged in, Brandis disrupted them with an illusory pit. Althaea meanwhile pestered the hobgoblins who were trying to open Darla’s cage with arrows. Stone, Nuvok, and De’Wayne handled the melee combatants, and the party managed to dispose of all of the guards before anyone was able to bring the drake into the fight.

Concerned for the beast, Stone approached cautiously. He saw evidence of injury, from where the drake had bashed its shoulders against the bars of its too small cage. He spoke soothingly to the drake, and after a few moments, it allowed him to stroke its neck. Stone summoned Brandis to aid him with the cage, and ordered the others to make themselves scarce in one of the guards’ bedrooms. The wizard and the ranger undid the straps on Darla’s cage, and lifted it. The beast growled, just for a moment, before remembering that it was in no danger. Brandis’ dragooning familiar, Winston, chirruped, and brushed Darla with a wing, leading her in the direction of the stairs upward. Sensing freedom for the first time in a long time, Darla took the hint, and lumbered silently up the stairs.

When we reconvene, it will be 1200 Flocktime, 588.

View
The tragedies of Keegan and Ninaran

The party decided it could take a moment to investigate the coffin before returning to Winterhaven. As soon as De’Wayne began to slide the coffin open, the heavy lid exploded in a flurry of dust. A heavy mist seeped from the open coffin, and flowed over the ground. The room seemed to darken, and in the south corner of the dais, a sickly green glowing form materialized from the mist. It was a skeletal apparition, wearing a helmet and breastplate, and holding a spectral shield and broadsword. Its shield was emblazoned with the symbol of Bahamut. “Thieves and grave robbers!” it croaked menacingly, “the portal must never be opened! Declare your intentions, or prepare to die!” Then, gesturing towards De’Wayne’s hip, he said, “You have my sword, knight.”

With some fast talking, the party managed to convince to skeletal knight that they were not in the keep for plunder, or to open the portal, but to stop the portal from being opened by Erzoun. De’Wayne further explained that he had the sword in the possession of one of Erzoun’s shadar-kai lieutenants. Seeming to accept the party’s claims, the wraith identified himself as Keegan, the last commander of Shadowfell Keep before its fall. Keegan gave his version of the fall of the keep: how his pride and sense of righteousness left him vulnerable to Orcus’s influence, and how he was finally possessed by evil, and murdered his wife, children, and many of his commanders. He fled into these crypts to escape the vengeance of his remaining troops, and his madness lifted. He wished to die, but found that he could not. He therefore resolved to protect the portal alone, fulfilling the oath he had been unable to live up to during his life.

Keegan also explained that Orcus’s influence has grown in the years since the fall of the keep: as a result, he had been unable to leave this small area that remained consecrated to Bahamut in many years. He did report that some time ago, perhaps years, he had felt a presence push through the portal from the other side, after which the portal snapped shut behind them. Whoever that was, he reported, felt the same to him as the person now trying to open the rift from this side. The party was now in a rush to check in on the safety of Winterhaven, but before they left, Keegan granted De’Wayne continued use of his sword, Aecris, wishing that someday the knight might prove himself worthy to bear such a blade.

As the party emerged from the keep’s basement, the eerie green light from the cemetery remained, but was now outshone by the orange light of flames inside the city walls. The sound of shouting voices could just be made out in the distance. As the party descended the mountainside, the flames could be seen to subside, and the shouting diminished. Finally they reached the city gates, around which they saw evidence of a mighty struggle: the bodies of many zombies were littered about. The drawbridge was down, its chains hanging uselessly, but a portcullis had been lowered behind it, gruesomely bisecting an unfortunate zombie hulk in its attempt to enter the walled town. The smoldering ruin of Wrafton’s Inn was visible behind the gate. Two Winterhaven Regulars stood within the gate with halberds raised, and the captain of the guard approached with his hand on the hilt of his sword. He said to the party, “You’d better account for your whereabouts.”

The party explained that it had been exploring the ruins of the old keep, and that the attack on the town seemed to have something to do with activity there. The captain accepted the explanation, but refused to allow anyone to enter the town until the immediate threat had been disposed of. He explained that during the assault on the town, witnesses had seen a figure in black, first atop the city walls, and then fleeing away to the south. Valthrun reported that he could see from his tower that a green glow was emanating from the cemetery, and surmised that the intruder had fled in that direction. As the captain explained all this, Sister Linora approached the gate, and demanded that Nuvok at least, be allowed to enter and help her tend to the wounded, who included Lord Padraig and Thair Coalstriker, the blacksmith. The captain grudgingly relented, and Nuvok entered the town as the rest of the party prepared to deal with whatever threat lay hidden in the graveyard. It was at this point that one of the guards informed the group that Randy, De’Wayne’s sometime lover, had fallen in the battle to defend the city’s gate.

The party entered the cemetery gates, and saw no one by the sickly glow of what was now seen to be a mystic circle in the ground of the graveyard. Three stately mausoleums stood in the dark, surrounded by many simpler grave markers. Then, suddenly, a number of skeleton archers erupted from the earth, and a ravenous ghoul charged at the party from the darkness of one of the mausoleums. The skeletons fell quickly, but the ghoul tore a swathe through the party, gashing the De’Wayne’s and Stone’s flesh with its vicious teeth and claws. Then, from one of the other mausoleums slunk a black cloaked figure wearing a raven mask, peppering the party with arrows.

Finally the party felled the ghoul and was able to concentrate on the masked bandit. The bandit fought bravely for a time, but was badly outnumbered, and finally, on the verge of defeat, snatched a sheathed dagger, and screamed accusingly at the party, “Where WERE you?” It was a woman’s voice they heard. The bandit then plunged the dagger into her own belly, and fell dying to the ground. Althaea removed the mask from the bandit’s face, and was shocked to see the lifeless eyes of Ninaran staring back. On Ninaran’s body the party found two notes, one written in Common and one in Elven. The note in Common read:

Ninaran,
I have a job for you. The adventurers of whom you wrote have become a thorn in my side. Eliminate them. I haven’t the manpower now to spare for this sort of thing. We’ll all just have to improvise, I suppose. I am granting you a different means to assault the town and put an end to our meddling friends.
My messenger carries a ritual elixir. Combine it with the blood of a dozen locals, then trace the pattern depicted on the bottle in the soil of a graveyard and pour out the libation. That should raise a force sufficient for your purposes. Strike at night, when they are least prepared.
If it will ease your pitiful conscience, the influence of Orcus is particularly strong in this region; perhaps it will require the lifeblood of a handful fewer villagers to muster your troops. Then again, it would be better not to take any chances, would it not?
Erzoun

Only Althaea read Elven, and she declined to reveal the full contents of the other note: only that Ninaran had addressed it to Althaea personally, and that Ninaran’s actions against the party had been forced, because Erzoun was holding Myna, Ninaran’s sister, hostage. Althaea declared that with Ninaran dead, Myna’s life was likely forfeit now as well. Althaea knelt down and found a pendant of Sehanine around Ninaran’s neck, much like the one the party had found in the cell block beneath the keep, but with one small gem missing. She pocketed the find, and demanded help moving Ninaran’s broken body to one of the now unoccupied crypts. The party complied, and meanwhile, Brandis performed a short ritual to disable the necromantic circle that Ninaran had etched in the soil. The glow subsided and the party prepared to return to Winterhaven with Ninaran’s raven mask as proof that they had dealt with the immediate threat to the town. As they returned townward, dawn seemed to break somewhere far away, offering only the faintest hint of light in the east behind a thick wall of clouds that seemed to cover the whole earth.

The town guard now allowed the party to enter the city, where they retrieved Nuvok, and obtained the items they had purchased earlier from Thair Coalstriker: an enchanted suit of chainmail for Nuvok and a magical waraxe for Stone. Thair was walking on crutches now, from an injury sustained in defending the town, but seemed to be in good spirits.

The party considered taking a rest in town, but elected instead to return to the keep. They now headed east from the entrance chamber. Just a few feet down the hallway, Althaea located a secret passage on a northern wall. The party found that the secret passage opened into the goblin barracks. Returning to the main hallway, the party took note of a set of stairs down to the south that appeared to open into a dark natural cavern, but continued eastward before investigating it. The hallway finally opened into a large chamber whose floor had been destroyed in many places, so that the ground level was now ten feet below the original floor. A huge mound of dirt was piled in the northwestern corner of the room, and small islands of the original floor were connected with one another by wooden planks. No inhabitants were visible here, but a number of weapons, shovels, and other digging implements were strewn about the area. After searching the room, the party returned to the darkened stairway in the passage behind them.

The party descended into a cavern draped in spider webs. Within moments, they were under attack by a couple of jumping spiders, that leapt in, attacked, and leapt away, too quickly for any useful reaction. More troubling, The party was able to make out the sound of something burrowing towards them from the south. De’Wayne and Stone managed to corner one of the spiders, while the other focused its attacks on Brandis with impunity. Then, with a great hiss, a giant insect erupted from the earth behind De’Wayne and Stone, and snapped De’Wayne up in its pincers. The party didn’t know it, but the creature was called an ankheg. The ankheg next emitted a great splash of acid from near its mandibles, burning the skin of human, dwarf, and eladrin. The party managed to dispatch both spiders and the ankheg, but Brandis was considerably the worse for wear, having taken the brunt of one spider’s attacks.

Searching the natural cavern, Althaea and Stone located a false wall, and behind it, a dirty bedroll, some empty wineskins, and spoiled rations. Amid the mess, they discovered Balgron’s Journal, in which the megalomaniacal goblin interspersed some seeming truths with his own imaginations and delusions of grandeur. It was not easy to determine which were which in all cases.

Meanwhile, along the western wall of the cavern, Brandis and De’Wayne located an old door, grown over now with a carpet of fungus. Into that carpet had been scratched, relatively recently, the words, in Common, “Keep out. Really.”

When we reconvene, it will be 1000, 3 Flocktime 588.

View
Balgron spills the beans

The party and Splug made their way out of the keep’s basement around sundown, and found a secluded copse of trees in which to hunker down for a rest. Nothing disturbed their slumber, but when they broke camp around midnight, a foul mood pervaded the group. They noticed an eerie green light coming from south of Winterhaven (Stonegraves was able to identify its source as the Winterhaven cemetery), but elected not to investigate at the moment.

Making their way back into the cellar, Althaea heard a low growl coming from the western hallway off the main entrance, followed by a “Shhh!” Althaea signaled back to the group, nocked an arrow, and stepped into the hallway ready to attack. Thirty feet down the hallway stood two hyena-like creatures (Stone would later identify them as krenshars), and a goblin bending down, stupidly tying its shoelaces. Althaea fired an arrow at one of the krenshars, and Nuvok and De’Wayne piled in behind, quickly dispatching one of the beasts. Meanwhile, however, more goblins leapt out of hiding in the southern and eastern corridors, and fired arrows at Stone, Althaea, and Brandis, who still stood exposed in the entrance hall. Brandis, uncharacteristically fearful even for a young, adventuring wizard, cowered behind a pillar and projected magic missiles at her approaching foes.

At last, the fattest goblin any of the party had ever seen emerged from the eastern hallway, and bloviated, “Ha! What luck! Imagine ”/wikis/erzoun" class=“wiki-page-link”>Erzoun‘s surprise!" He continued stupidly, "She plans an assault on the town tonight to take out you troublemakers, and here you walk right into my waiting hands. Imagine the looks on her lackeys’ raven faces when they learn that they’ve been beaten to the punch by Balgron!" Balgron then produced a crossbow and fired at Althaea.

Nuvok and De’Wayne meanwhile had their hands full with the remaining krenshar and his goblin keeper. The krenshar bared its fangs at De’Wayne, and simultaneously, the skin on its face pulled back, exposing the beast’s skull. Needless to say, this display unnerved the ordinarily brave knight, and he swung wildly a few times before he could regain his composure. Stone charged to his aid, while Nuvok extricated himself from the melee to aid Althaea, who was taking the worst of it from the goblin in the south passage.

Balgron and one of his lackeys had by now almost closed on Brandis, who shivered in unnatural fear. As calmly as she could manage, she waved her staff in a circle, and emitted a blast of cold at the two goblins, sliding them into the very pit that she herself had fallen into earlier in the day. Now the goblins were on the ropes, and the party was quickly able to dispatch all but Balgron. When only Balgron remained, Splug rushed down from his perch on the staircase, and exclaimed, “Now I have you Balgron!” The rest of the party surrounded the pit. Balgron briefly tried to bargain for his life, but the party didn’t believe he had anything to offer alive; they slaughtered him where he stood, and looted his body, taking a magical pair of bracers.

Even now, having learned that Erzoun had planned an attack on Winterhaven for this very night, an uncharacteristically terse Stonegraves just said, “Let them deal with it themselves,” and headed deeper into the basement of the Keep. The party reentered the halls where they had fought off a horde of zombies, and then turned southward, discovering a large chamber lined with ten stone sarcophagi. A faint, starry glow shone from the domed ceiling of the room’s eastern end; below it was a shut double door. The party moved gingerly eastward, though they noticed no immediate signs of danger. Then, all of a sudden, all ten sarcophagi burst open and ejected bones into the room, which magically arranged themselves into animated skeletons. The party was able to destroy each individual skeleton quickly, but every few seconds, more skeleton erupted from the sarcophagi. Assuming that some magic must be causing the skeletons to animate, De’Wayne and Stone pushed farther into the chamber, into the domed portion. There they saw two altars, each topped with dragon statuary. The walls in this portion of the chamber were covered in murals depicting knights kneeling before a dragon. On the altars there was writing, which they recognized as draconic script, but were unable to read.

In order to deal with the steady flow of undead, Nuvok called upon Pelor‘s wrath, summoning an aura that was able to destroy many of the undead at a touch. This allowed Brandis, still quaking with fear, to follow De’Wayne and Stone eastward, where she hoped she could decipher the text on the altars. Frustrated, Stone almost destroyed one of the dragon statues, before realizing it was an icon of Bahamut, and thereupon stayed his hand. De’Wayne, seeing little else for him to do, kicked in the door at the eastern end of the chamber, revealing a round room with a dais occupying its eastern half. Atop the dais was a large stone sarcophagus.

Someone called to De’Wayne, “What are you doing?” He responded, “Sometimes it’s dangerous to play it too safe,” and made his way up to the sarcophagus.

Brandis meanwhile had reached the altar, where she was able to read the following inscription:

The Platinum Dragon is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. He is my stronghold, my refuge, and my armor against the foes of life—I need only kneel and offer him my praise.

“Everybody kneel!” she shouted.

“Even me?” De’Wayne said, his hands even then hovering over the stone lid of the sarcophagus, decorated with the image of a knight in heavy armor.

“Especially you!” the wizard replied. The party all complied, and the flow of skeleton from the sarcophagi stopped. Nuvok and Althaea picked off the few undead that remained in the crypt, while the rest of the party caught their breath. Stone, now having a minute to think, was suddenly overcome by what he now perceived as his selfishness, in having failed to go to the aid of WInterhaven earlier. “Oh gods,” he announced, “We have to get back to the town. They’re under attack!”

De’Wayne was unimpressed. “What about this coffin?” the knight countered.

When we reconvene, it will be 0200, 3 Flocktime 588.

View
Splug the prisoner, and a minor zombie apocalypse

Stonegraves made his way alone up the mountain, having learned little from the extra time he spent around Winterhaven. He was familiar with the path, and gained time on his companions. By 1600, he ventured into the exposed basement of the Keep on the Shadowfell, where he found four goblin bodies lying in pools of rapidly drying blood. Using his tracking skills, he determined that his companions had exited the entrance hall to the west. He turned a corner just as the rest of the party was entering the same hallway. Without thinking about the closed door to the north, behind which they had earlier heard voices, Brandis greeted Stone aloud.

The door to the north burst open, and in the doorway stood a bugbear near seven feet tall. A voice shouted from deeper in the room, “Don’t kill ’em! We can sell ’em to ”/wikis/Vohx/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Vohx!" The bugbear held its position in the doorway for as long as it could, while a group of hobgoblins attacked with javelins from behind. Eventually, after a few blows from De’Wayne and Stone, the bugbear was forced to retreat, at which point the party was able to move into the chamber. The table in the middle of the room had rows of straps. In one corner was a cage, and in two other corners were tables full of torture implements. Next to the door was an iron maiden and in the rear of the room was a fire pit full of pokers. A hallway to the west led to a number of cells.

Brandis stayed outside of the torture chamber, casting bolts of ice through the open door, and causing two of the hobgoblins to slide into their own fire pit. Stonegraves leapt onto the table in the center of the room and landed two spinning axe blows on the bugbear. Meanwhile, Nuvok, Althaea, and De’Wayne pushed deeper into the chamber, pushing the hobgoblins back before them. Soon all of the foes lay dead.

Stone laid claim to a suit of magical hide armor worn by the bugbear. As the party searched the rest of the bodies, a goblin voice was heard from down the hall with the cells; it said, “Who’s there?” Moving to investigate, the party found a goblin locked away in the central cell. They questioned him. He said his name was Splug. He claimed he had been locked up by Balgron after quarreling with him over whether the tribe should have allied with the shadar-kai. Disbelieving him, Althaea rattled his cage menacingly, whereupon he admitted that he had been locked up for being caught cheating at cards one too many times, and expected that he would soon be sold as a slave. Splug begged the party to set him free, explaining that he could help them find their way around the dungeon, and that he could help them find the elf woman who had recently been moved from the next cell down.

Althaea picked the lock of the cell where the elf woman had allegedly been kept. After a few minutes raking through the filthy straw that comprised the cell’s bedding, they found a silver chain with a jeweled crescent moon on it, the emblem of the goddess Sehanine. Deciding to extend Splug a slender reed of trust, the party unlocked his cell and Stone bound his hands tightly behind his back.

The group returned to the entrance hall, and asked Splug which way to the elven prisoner. He shrugged towards the western door, “past the dead ones,” he explained. Asked what was back the other way, Splug said, “Stupid goblins. They just dig and dig and dig. The cistern is that way too. We don’t go there anymore, since the accident. Big monster.”

The party opened the western door, Brandis cast a spell of light on De’Wayne’s sword, and the party and Splug descended into the pitch blackness. Almost immediately the passage branched off to the left and right. Nuvok asked Splug which way, and the goblin seemed to think for a moment, and then said loudly, “Left!” Nuvok was quite sure that the creature had no idea where he was taking them.

A faint moaning echoed through the halls. Althaea peeked around the corner into the southern passage, and saw, unblinking and unmoving, four swaying undead staring at her, apparently uninterested. After she whispered her discovery to the party, De’Wayne decided that a frontal assault was necessary, and charged into the room at the two zombies farthest from the entrance. Nuvok followed, exulting in the opportunity to bring glory to Pelor by smiting these abominations. Althaea and Brandis remained in the hallway attacking from afar, while Stone ventured a distance up the northern passage to guard the rear. On the floor in front of him he saw a rune he did not recognize, and went no further.

The zombies used mob tactics, trying to grab and immobilize Nuvok and De’Wayne, who had their hands full with the undead. Nuvok struck with the full force of Pelor’s might against a zombie that was grabbing De’Wayne, freeing the helpless knight from the creature’s grasp just in the nick of time. More menacing was the sound of heavy footsteps approaching from the west. When the approaching creature revealed itself, it was a huge, plodding zombie, eight feet in height and almost filling the width of the the ten-foot hallway. It charged and landed a heavy blow on the unsuspecting Althaea, who called for Stone to reinforce the group.

The tide was beginning to turn for Nuvok and De’Wayne, who had laid several of the zombies low. Stone charged the hulking zombie while Althaea and Brandis retreated to relative safety behind him. Stone took a few heavy blows before De’Wayne could join him, but returned at least one for every one he received. Then, just as the giant fell, another group of zombies appeared from the northern passage. They had arrived too late, however, and the party was now arrayed to dispatch them with ease. Splug, who had spent the battle perched awkwardly on the lower steps, did his best to applaud the party’s prowess with his hands tied behind his back. “You guys strong!” he beamed.

Brandis and Nuvok now followed Stone to examine the runes he had discovered. Nuvok recognized them as a magical alarm system, that would trigger a loud noise if touched by the party. Stone and Althaea then wandered the halls carefully, finding the way blocked in several places by more of the alarm runes, but otherwise finding little of interest in the area. The party next needed to decide whether to make camp or continue on. Nuvok in particular had been hard hit by the day’s battles and was nearly exhausted.

When we reconvene it will be 1800, 2 Flocktime 588

View
No prisoners

The party (minus Stone, who stayed back in town to investigate further) hiked the winding mountain trail westward and upward to the Keep on the Shadowfell. The air was still, and dark clouds seemed to hover close at hand. No grass or tree sprouted in the ancient ruins. Some huge stones were stacked precariously, the skeletons of once-mighty towers; other stones had toppled haphazardly to the ground. But through the carnage of masonry there wound a well-cleared path, which disappeared, finally, down a stone staircase into the hard, gray earth.

Althaea and Nuvok attempted to move quietly down the staircase. Below them they could see the flickering light of torches. Before they could see far into the room at the foot of the stairs, a goblin voice exclaimed, “They’re here!” and the stamp of feet foretold the coming of reinforcements. For the moment, however, only one goblin was visible in the four-columned room at the foot of the stairs, armed with a spear, and Brandis strode bravely toward it… and directly into a trap.

The floor in the center of the room collapsed beneath the wizard’s weight, and she fell prone at the bottom of a ten-foot pit, surrounded by a swarm of rats that bit and scratched at her. Meanwhile, two more goblins holding crossbows revealed themselves in a hall leading away to the south, whom De’Wayne set forth to engage. Another goblin holding a spear emerged from the eastern hallway, aiming for Nuvok and Althaea.

De’Wayne was able to handle his two goblins with little outside help. Brandis scattered the rats with an icy blast, and they scurried up the wall of the pit, where they struck sporadically at both the party and the goblins. Soon four goblins and many rats lay dead in the now quiet ruin. A search of the area revealed a small barracks to the south, and a storeroom to the southeast. Closed doors led off to the east and west, while a hallway led away north. Gingerly opening the eastern door, the party discovered a staircase leading down into another torchlit hallway. From a chamber at its terminus came the sounds of digging and goblin voices arguing. The party shut the door.

Just beyond the western door a staircase descended into pitch blackness and silence. Again the party closed the door.

Following the torchlit hall way north, the party entered a room with closed doors on the west, north, and south sides. Behind the northern door they heard deep goblin voices shouting. No sound was audible from behind the other two doors. The door on the west opened upon a another store room. The door to the east opened to a short, torchlit hallway, which Althaea stealthily made her way down. Peaking around a corner, she saw two goblins playing cards at a large table. She signaled to the party, and quietly drew an arrow. The goblin yelped loudly when it pierced his shoulder.

Battle was joined, and a seemingly endless stream of goblins emerged from behind two heavy curtains covering hallways that led away to the east. De’Wayne fought from atop a table, and Althaea teleported into position to drive her short sword stealthily in the backs of her opponents. Brandis meanwhile created an illusionary pit beneath one of the curtains, forcing all of the goblin reinforcements to come around from the other direction. Finally, only one goblin remained in the room, and he threw down his spear and exclaimed, “I’ll tell you everything! Just don’t kill me.”

A short interrogation followed, wherein the goblin revealed that he and a few dozen other goblins led by one Balgron had occupied the ruins for several months. Balgron, he said, had been hired by the shadar-kai. Asked whether any prisoners were being held, the goblin squealed that there was Splug, a goblin, and an “elf lady.” De’Wayne bound the hands of the goblin, and he, Nuvok, and Brandis began sorting through plans for how they could hold up their end of the bargain, and leave their prisoner alive, without too great a risk that he would prove a liability.

Althaea searched the remainder of the area, finding a couple of goblin bunk rooms, and a room draped with heavy curtains, and a larger bed, clearly inhabited by a leader of some sort. No sign of the occupant was apparent. Picking the lock of a chest next to the bed, she found 560 gp and a pair of magical bracers.

Returning to the scene of the battle, the rogue found that the party was still debating their prisoner’s fate. Impatient, she stealthily strode up behind goblin’s back and slit his green throat. Without a word, the bold but uncharacteristically squeamish eladrin marched off to the corner of the room and vomited. After a few moments, with all the dignity she was able to muster, she explained, “Somebody had to do it.” No one had the nerve to argue with the rogue.

When we reconvene it will be 1600, 2 Flocktime 588.

View
In the shadow of the Keep

A crossbow bolt whizzed by De’Wayne’s head, just brushing the ends of his flowing blonde locks. The bolt had been fired from away across the crater, but the shooter remained hidden. Meanwhile, the men in the pit dropped their shovels and drew forth their morningstars, and their guard drakes bared their fangs at the party. A battle ensued, in which the halfling who had first spoken escaped away to the south. More worryingly, the party identified the crossbowman as a Dark One, a diminutive native of the Shadowfell. He easily escaped to the east before the part could climb the side of the crater to the rocks where he had perched. The party turned its attention to searching the dig site.

In the center of the crater was an empty hole about ten feet deep. Seeing nothing of interest in the pit, the party turned its attention to the excavator’s tents. Hearing soft whimpering coming from one of the tents, they entered carefully, and found a human woman bound and gagged. Removing her gag, but not her bonds, the party interrogated the prisoner. She introduced herself as Cordelia Stahl, just as the party had expected. She related that she had been hired by the Gray Company to follow up a clue from an esoteric text regarding the fate of the Lost Legion. When, during her reconnaissance of the area, she was attacked from behind and imprisoned, she feared that the entire story had been a ruse put on by the Grays in order to catch her at unawares. (Nuvok rightly intuited that Cordelia had a complicated history with the Gray Company). However, Cordelia no longer believes that her attackers were affiliated with the Gray Company, since wherever she had been held, she smelled and heard goblins coming and going, and the Grays had nothing to do with goblinkind.

Althaea meanwhile searched the other tent, finding four more raven masks, and a bag of holding containing 100 gp and a heavy silver diadem adorned with raven carvings. Returning, and suspecting that her soft-hearted colleagues might have botched the interrogation, Althaea asked for a few minutes alone with Cordelia. The prisoner showed her courage by laughing in the face of the bad cop act, but was motivated enough to recall that she had heard her captors talking about “opening” something in the keep above Winterhaven. Cordelia had no clue what they could have been talking about, but thought that perhaps Valthrun could shed some light on the subject.

With Cordelia in tow, the party returned to Winterhaven and sought out Valthrun, and confronted him directly, demanding to learn what he had been hiding about the old keep. Valthrun apologized for his earlier hesitance, and explained he had been afraid that the aid he had provided to Cordelia had been to blame for her disappearance. Now, confident that Cordelia was safe, and that the party could take care of itself, he shared as much of the story of the keep as he knew.

Valthrun explained that the army of undead raised by the cultists of Orcus was not actually the greatest threat to the region all those years ago. Worse, the cultists had opened a portal to one of Orcus’ unholy sites in the Shadowfell. After the battle, the most powerful priests and wizards of Nerath were able to close, but not destroy, the portal. The closed portal could not be abandoned, so Nerath built a fortress atop the site, and stationed a garrison there. The keep was continuously garrisoned until the period of Nerath’s decline. One fateful night, however, the commander of the garrison, Sir Keegan, went on a killing spree through the halls of the keep, starting with his own family, and then meticulously slaughtering his troops, until finally, his men were able to regroup and counterattack. Finally, a group of soldiers were able to corner Keegan in the catacombs below the keep, and hew the madman down.

With this information, the party decided to share Erzoun’s letter with Valthrun. The news that shadar-kai were apparently attempting to re-open the portal both terrified and perplexed the old sage. It was bad enough that the portal might be reopened, but the mystery of shadar-kai, usually fanatics of the Raven Queen apparently cooperating with Orcus, was terrifying.

With those disturbing thoughts, the party made its way to Wrafton’s for the night, with plans to explore the abandoned keep the next day. The next gray morning, the clouds above Winterhaven were so thick that they not only blotted out the sun, but seemed to blot out even memories of the sun. The party members each awoke in a sullen mood.

Stoically, Stone and De’Wayne made their way to an audience with Lord Padraig. Stone presented the four raven masks they had discovered at the crater. Padraig appeared concerned, and demanded to know more about the bandits the party had encountered, so that he could prepare the town’s defenses. Stone suggested that the town be fortified, but refused to reveal much more. Padraig, sensing that something was being withheld, demanded more, but Stone refused. Stone also refused to comment on where the party would next be found. Padraig ordered the two out of his sight, and demanded that they return with the first shred of evidence of a plot against the town.

Meanwhile, Althaea and Nuvok visited the temple of Avandra again. Sister Linora welcomed them and thanked them for having rescued Cordelia from the bandits. She also related that early that morning, Cordelia had visited the temple before riding away to the south. Althaea huddled in close and asked if the three could speak privately. Linora enthusiastically agreed, appearing titillated, as a priestess of the goddess of travelers, to finally find herself adventure-adjacent. Althaea produced the silver diadem found at the crater and asked if Linora recognized it. Linora had seen something similar before: it was the ceremonial headgear of the Raven Queen’s itinerant clergy. This one, however, was heavier and more ornately decorated. In parting, Linora mentioned that a few days earlier, she had spoken with Ninaran about the somber mood of the town, and that the elf appeared to be on the verge of saying something important, but suddenly turned away and stormed off.

The party congregated at the gates of Winterhaven, and prepared for the expedition up the slopes to the Keep on the Shadowfell.

When we reconvene, it will be 1000, 2 Flocktime 588.

View
More clues, and De'Wayne gets randy

The sky was beginning to darken as the party reentered Winterhaven. At Wrafton’s, they met Elian, already a few pints in, who confided a troubling dream to Stonegraves. As he was napping on his porch in the early afternoon, he dreamed that he had awoken in a cold sweat in his bed, in the dark of night. In his dream, he knew that there was something lurking in his closet. After what seems like hours, he crept to the closet door, and pulled it open… but nothing was there. “I don’t mean there was nothing strange there,” Elian explained, “I mean there was nothing there. It was like the edge of the whole world was behind that door. It was terrifying. I was sure I would fall into it. I thought everything would fall in. And then I woke up.”

Throughout their night at the tavern, the party tried to get answers to many of the questions that had arisen over the course of the day’s events. Regarding the Lost Legion, only Valthrun could add to what Brandis remembered: he said that many theories had been floated to explain the legion’s disappearance, including that they succumbed to a curse placed on them by the cultists of Orcus and slaughtered each other on their way back to Nerath, or that Orcus himself had laid them low out of revenge for their interference. In passing, Brandis mentioned something about a portal (referred to in Erzoun’s letter to Lemnas), and Valthrun stonewalled, refusing to say anything more on the subject.

When Lord Padraig arrived later in the night, Stonegraves approached and subtly showed the mayor the raven mask in his pack. Padraig seemed quite pleased to offer Stone his bounty, somewhat quieting the party’s suspicions that the mayor was in league with the bandits. Padraig asked Stone to come take possession of his reward at the city’s inner gate in the morning.

Before turning in for the night, the party combed the streets of Winterhaven for any additional clues. Nuvok made the acquaintance of Sister Linora, a priestess of Avandra, who was engaged in her evening prayers at the altar of Winterhaven’s small temple. Linora said that she was not local to the area, and knew little about its folklore, and directed Nuvok to Valthrun for questions about the Lost Legion.

De’Wayne and Brandis meanwhile approached the guards at the outer gate, who mentioned that the mood in the town had been strangely edgy lately; they’d been called in to break up more fights than usual, and more than the usual number of petty criminals had been placed in the stocks for a few hours. The head of the guard tersely warned the two adventurers not to make any trouble for the Winterhaven guard, and went on to suggest that they’d both live longer if they’d settle down in one place like normal people. De’Wayne barely heard his advice, so distracted was he by the looks of one of the other guards on duty. Indeed, at the end of his shift, the guard furtively made his way to De’Wayne’s chamber, where the two warriors made noises that ensured Brandis, in the adjoining room, would get no sleep at all that night.

Finally, Althaea and Stone made the rounds of the town later into the night trying to spy anything suspicious. Stone stayed low, wandering the streets, playing drunk, and schmoozing the town guards as he passed them, but saw nothing untoward. Althaea meanwhile surveyed the scene from the town’s many roofs. Spotting an open window in the third floor of Valthrun’s tower, she observed the pattern of the guard’s sweeps, and at an auspicious moment, made the easy climb and peaked inside. She heard Valthrun snoring in his bed near the window, and could see an oil lamp still burning on a table across the room, covered with stacks of books. Althaea crept in silently, and learned what she could about the books on the table. They appeared to be volumes of local history: on the town, the keep, and the battle with the cultists that brought Nerath into the area. She was unable to learn more under the circumstances, and crept back out the window and returned to her room at Wrafton’s.

In the morning, after breakfast and a quick shopping trip to Thair Coalstriker‘s smithy, Stone claimed the 500 gp bounty on the heads of the Raven’s Roost Bandits. Then the party headed south for the crater that Elian had marked on their map, hoping that there they might find some clue as to Cordelia’s whereabouts, and that the explorer would still be alive when they caught up with her.

As the party approached the crater, all but De’Wayne put on one of the raven masks they’d obtained in the waterfall hideout. Down in the crater was a campsite of a few tents, occupied by several humans and a couple of guard drakes, as well as a halfling. On spotting the party up on the bluff, all of them instinctively went for their weapons, but the halfling quickly changed his tune, yelling up to the party, “So you’re alright then? Good. Anyway, take those masks off. You know you’re not s’posed to be wearing them out in the open without orders from up top.” Then, noticing De’Wayne for the first time, the halfling added, “Wait, who’s that?”

“Prisoner,” Stone explained, thinking fast.

“Ain’t supposed to take no prisoners,” the halfling retorted, and reached for a weapon. Then, from somewhere unexpected, a bowstring twanged.

When we reconvene, it will be 1400, 1 Flocktime 588.

View
Lemnas' demise, and a traitor in Winterhaven

The party discovered three entrances to a cave behind the waterfall, and Althaea snuck in through the northmost one. Slinking around corners, she was able to see that a central room directly behind the waterfall was occupied with at least a few goblins and kobolds; she was unable to get a good idea of how many. Althaea signaled back for Stonegraves and Nuvok to carefully follow her, but they unfortunately made a bit too much noise and alerted the occupants to their presence. A goblin shouted, ‘ Lemnas, they’re here!’ and the battle was on.

Althaea used her advanced position to attack the charging goblins and kobolds from behind, while De’Wayne and Brandis circled around to enter through the waterfall itself. The enemies stood their ground as best they could, but were clearly outclassed. They continued shouting for the absent Lemnas… who eventually appeared.

In a dark corner of the cave, he materialized, seemingly out of thin air. He had gray skin, adorned with numerous tattoos and piercings. His eyes were black orbs, and his long hair was elaborately styled. Without a word, he raised his wand toward De’Wayne, who instantaneously experienced a flash of light and a wave of nausea, like a migraine.

Now the party was attacked on two fronts: Althaea was occupied with a goblin in the rear of the cave from whom she couldn’t disengage, and Nuvok and De’Wayne were closing on Lemnas. Brandis had mercifully avoided melee, but Stonegraves was flanked by two goblins, who were finally able to hew the stoic dwarf down. Nuvok now raced back across the cavern to aid his fallen friend, and after a quick prayer to Pelor, Stone was back on his feet.

Three goblins now fell in rapid succession, with Althaea, Brandis, and Stonegraves all claiming kills, while Lemnas found that he could not safely disengage from De’Wayne. Finally, Lemnas was forced to teleport away from the knight, but his freedom would prove shot-lived. While the rest of the party converged on him, Brandis circled back outside the cave and blocked the exit Lemnas was heading for. In just a few moments, the gray-skinned man was dead. He had not spoken a single word.

Althaea, now getting her first clear look at their exotic attacker, recognized Lemnas for what he was: shadar-kai, a humanoid denizen of the Shadowfell, typically fanatically devoted to the Raven Queen. On his body the party discovered a small key.

Inside what appeared to be the cavern’s sleeping quarters, the party discovered four raven masks, each sitting atop a neatly folded black cape. In the southeast corner of the complex, they found what appeared to be a prisoner’s quarters, now unoccupied, with chains and manacles along the walls, and dirty straw strewn across the floor. In the northeast corner of the complex, they found what appeared to be Lemnas’ quarters. The key taken from his body fit a chest therein: inside was 500 gp and a magical broadsword, which De’Wayne claimed. Both sides of the hilt were adorned with the royal crest of Nerath, a three-pointed crown with a shooting star above it. On a table, the party discovered the following correspondence written in common:

Lemnas,
You forget yourself. You answer questions. I pose them.
Nonetheless, ignoring momentarily that it is none of your concern, preparations go slowly. I’ve no experience with these rituals. Relics of the Lost Legion might provide some better clue, but I begin to suspect that Fate has played us a cruel joke. So much the crueler will it prove to our guest if she does not soon turn up something useful. She may find that she has dug her own grave at the bottom of that crater.
Regardless, my work will continue apace. Even if I must fall back on nothing but my own wits, I will eventually decipher the rituals to re-open the portal. I have made progress already. Samminel’s conquest will be delayed in the meantime, but leave him and his displeasure to me.
I ramble. None of this concerns you. Report to me what you can about the actions of our agent in the town. I have no faith in the purchased loyalty of these simpering primes. The ties of blood mean little to me, and so perhaps I am needlessly suspicious of them in others.
Erzoun

Among the party, only Brandis was familiar with the legend of the Lost Legion. She explained that centuries earlier, before the founding of Winterhaven, Nerath had sent several legions northward to deal with an uprising of cultists of Orcus, the Demon Prince of the Undead. After a difficult battle with the cultists and their demonic and undead allies, the armies of Nerath were victorious. While the rest of the victorious legions bivouacked afterwards for the season, one of the commanders intended to lead his legion southward, back to Nerath. Although the legion should have reached Gardmore Abbey only a few days later, it never arrived, and was never heard from again. It was unclear to Brandis what relics the letter might refer to.

Also on the table was another short note written in Goblin. None of the party read goblin, but Brandis performed a short ritual which allowed her to read it. It said: “Lemnas, adventurers headed your way. Be prepared.”

The party now began its return trek to Winterhaven, full of questions. Who was Erzoun? Who was her agent in the town? Could it be Lord Padraig himself, as Ninaran suspected? Who was Samminel, and what were his plans? What portal? And finally, would Cordelia Stahl still be alive when the party made its way to the crater where Elian had directed them?

When we reconvene, it 1800, 30 Planting 588, and the party will be re-entering the gates of Winterhaven.

View
On Cordelia's trail

The party (less Baern, who elected to stay behind in Fallcrest to attempt to break into the real estate business) soon entered the gates of Winterhaven. Within, they met and took up with a local ranger, the dwarf, Stone Graves.

Within the city, their first stop was Wrafton’s Inn, where the proprietor, Salvana Wrafton, recalled Cordelia Stahl’s stay there a few weeks earlier. Salvana did not know what Cordelia was doing in Winterhaven on her most recent visit, but remembered that she had met with the town sage, Valthrun, the old farmer, Elian, and the huntress, Ninaran. Valthrun, Salvana told them, lived in the tower behind the inn, and the other two could often be found at the inn in the evening.

The party next paid the learned and enthusiastic Valthrun a visit. Brandis did most of the talking. Valthrun reported that Cordelia had talked to him when she was in Winterhaven a few weeks earlier. He said that she was searching for a nearby crater, at the bottom of which she believed a dragon was buried. Cordelia was not interested in a dragon’s hoard, which had likely been picked clean over preceding centuries; rather, on this trip she was interested in the creature’s remains. Valthrun doesn’t know the location of any craters nearby, but directed Cordelia to Ninaran, who still frequents the wilds around the town, and Elian, who did so in his youth.

At dusk, the party headed back to Wrafton’s, which was now beginning to fill up with patrons. Salvana pointed the party to old Elian, who was just then easing into a chair with a foaming ale. Stone sat down easily across from his old friend, and chatted away. Elian drew the party a map to the old crater southeast of town, which he remembered from the hunting trips of his youth: the same crater to which he had directed Cordelia weeks earlier. He also related that his son, Annis, had seen some of the reputed Raven’s Roost Bandits from a distance on a couple of occasions. Elian himself had seen no such thing, stating, “I don’t see so good these days.” When asked about Ninaran, Elian stated that the elf usually kept to herself, and might not be seen in Winterhaven for weeks at a time. Then, looking towards the door, he muttered, “Speak of the devil…”

Ninaran was striding into the inn at that moment, and motioned silently to the barkeep for two drinks before making her way to a table in a still-empty corner of the room. Althaea approached the hunter, and offered her a drink, but Ninaran rebuffed her. The hunter related to Althaea the same thing she said she had related to Cordelia weeks earlier: that there are no craters in the area, and that it would be safer not to poke around in the wilds with all these goblins afoot. When asked about the goblins, Ninaran reported that they were holed up in a cave behind a waterfall south of town. Finally, Althaea pressed for one too many answers from the elf, and Ninaran dumped out a drink on the rogue’s boots. Stone then intervened, and apologized for his new friend. Ninaran responded, “Keep your friends in line, Stone. I come here for the noise, not for the company.”

A general shout of welcome then erupted in the little inn: ‘Lord Padraig!’ Indeed, the mayor of Winterhaven was then entering the tavern. The man gave a silent wave to all assembled, bought a mug of ale, and then sat down alone to drain it. Stone, who had been employed by Padraig in the past, approached and made small talk about the goblins, the bandits, and the missing explorer. Padraig offered the party a bounty for clearing out the goblins in their waterfall lair. He also said that there were indications that the goblins and the bandits in the area had formed an alliance.

As Stone was winding up his conversation with Padraig, Ninaran motioned Althaea to approach. The elf pointedly did not apologize for Althaea’s wet boots, but did suggest that the party should closely scrutinize Padraig. The mayor, Ninaran explained, fancied himself a warlord, and had become frustrated by his inability to increase the size of Winterhaven’s militia. Ninaran would not be surprised if Padraig were in league with the Raven’s Roost Bandits, in an attempt to scare the town into devoting more resources to its military forces.

Having learned much, the party retired, and in the morning headed south towards the waterfall, stopping on the way to interview Annis, Elian’s son, regarding the bandit sightings. Annis reported that he had seen a man wearing a black raven mask at a distance four or five months earlier. He did a double take, and when he looked again, the man had disappeared. One of his friends said that he had seen two of the masked men together, again at a distance, but isn’t sure whether he believes him.

As the party approached the waterfall, they found a group of kobolds and goblins lying in wait for them. Brandis opened the battle by unleashing her dragonling familiar’s breath weapon on a group of kobolds. Althaea meanwhile took to the trees and fired arrows from the shadows. Stone, Nuvok, and De’Wayne hacked, slashed, and bashed their way into the fray. In the waning moments of the battle, when most of the foes were bleeding on the ground, one of the goblins attempted to retreat into the waterfall cave. Brandis and Althaea combined their efforts to stop it before it could gather reinforcements, Brandis striking with a phantasmal assault, and Althaea finishing the stunned goblin with a well-timed arrow.

When we reconvene, it will be 1200, 30 Planting 588.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.