Chris Fallcrest

The Plot Thickens!

Session 6: The Plot Thickens!

As the party looted the bodies and tied up Agrid, Tabris talked with Nathan. The turncoat merc showed them that Douven was alive, if a bit beaten up. With Douven awake and healed, he pulled out a large dragon shaped statue from one of the storage crates. Douven explained that Agrid was searching for this statue, an ancient gift of friendship from the Nerath Empire to the dragon that used to live in this region. Why the gnome wanted it, he didn’t have a clue. Eventually, the group decided to interrogate the gnome.

Agrid awoke in his undies and deep in a hole in the ground. He was bluffed into believing the party was going to bury him alive. As Kalidus kept pouring dirt into Agrid’s makeshift grave, Agrid looked to Nathan for support only for the merc to point out that the gnome didn’t have anything of value anymore. Agrid tried to be defiant but inadvertently blurted out that he and his crew worked for Kalerel. Norkul lunged forward and grasped the gnome by his neck. The avenger demanded a location. Tabris pretended to pull his friend off the gnome and conned Agrid into believing that Tabris was on his side. Eventually, Agrid admitted that Kalerel was hiding in Shadowfell Keep. Although trying to get any more info from Agrid was like pulling teeth, Nathan undermined the gnome’s lies. He told the group that Kalerel’s party consisted of goblins, hobgoblins, humans and several undead. While he didn’t have exact numbers, he guessed that there were about a hundred or so all total. Nathan asked if they had any more questions and when they said no, the halfling mercenary simply bowed and made his exit. He wasn’t stupid enough to stay around Winterhaven any more. The party escorted Douven back to Winterhaven and dragged Agrid along so that he could cool his heels in a guard cell.

When they arrived in Winterhaven, they were greeted by priestess Linora. She was a little stunned about the hogtied, almost nude gnome but composed herself. She had spoken to the captain of the guards, Rond Keflem, about the cult and the idea of a spy. They had focused their investigation on Nema, the tiefling merchant. According to Linora, the tiefling was carrying a large quantity of sending scrolls on her and frequently sneaking in and out of Winterhaven. When they pressed her information, she refused to give the name of her merchant master. The situation escalated until they decided to toss her in a cell. They also tried to search for the elven huntress, Ninaran, but she had apparently left town and they couldn’t find her. Linora wanted the party’s assistance in further questioning.

After tossing Agrid into a cell and warning the guards about the gnome’s invisibility tricks, the group proceeded to talk to Nema. She was indignant at first but agreed to speak only in front of Tabris and Harbek. Although everyone else left the cell area, Norkul placed his ear against the door and listened in. Nema explained that she had been using those scrolls to keep in contact with her employer, Estavan. By her description, Estavan was a giant ogre with a sharp mind and an eye for business. Nema usually acted as his face in villages, towns and cities where people would be unnerved to see an ogre regardless if they were just selling goods. She admitted to sneaking out and in from time to time but honestly told them that she wasn’t trying to harm Winterhaven at all. She personally blamed the demographic of the village, “Just because I have horns, red skin and a tail doesn’t mean I’m crazy enough to worship Orcus!” The two men agreed to do their best to convince the guards of her innocence. After having some words with Linora, the priestess soon found herself regretting how things had turned out. She was interested in justice and didn’t mind giving Nema a chance to prove her innocence. Rond was not so easily convinced and wanted Lord Padraig’s take on this before even considering letting her go.

With numerous things to discuss, the Heroes of Winterhaven, Linora and Douven met with Lord Padraig. Lord Padraig congratulated them on their success with the Kobolds and paid them for their services. During the meeting, Norkul stepped forward and brought up the cult business again. Before Padraig could dismiss such notions again, he showed the amulet of Orcus and the Letter to Irontooth to him. Linora proceeded to back up Norkul’s claim and highly advised him not to dismiss it again. Harbek also mentioned Agrid’s arrest as further proof. By now, the Lord of Winterhaven was sweating bullets. He immediately wanted to hire the group to deal with this threat and offered them 250 gold each. When one of the heroes requested a small portion of land as well, Padraig grudgingly accepted the deal. He suggested that they chat with Valthran, the local wizard and historian in town. Douven also offered his services as well in this endeavor. Before they departed, the group brought up Nema’s imprisonment. Linora admitted that she might have been too hasty in her search for a spy. Padraig agreed that he’d want her set free if she really was innocent. If they party could provide proof of that, she would be released. The plan was to contact Estavan and have him prove her credibility.

Once the meeting ended, Tabris suggested that Douven contact his wife before he got knee deep in research. Norkul also wanted to send an update of the situation to Marla back in Fallcrest. With a little help from Markus, both messages were ready to be sent. Harbek used the down time to collect his staff from the dwarven smithy and turn in the autheticity parchment to Barwin’s Grand Shoppe. Morgran spent his time shopping and preparing for the journey tomorrow.

After the message was sent, Tabris and Douven headed to Valthran’s tower. After digging through the books, The trio learned that the history of Shadowfell Keep. Hundreds of years ago during the time of the great empires, a temple to orcus stood upon this land. The human empire of Nerath fought a bloody war with the cultists and their army of undead. They even called for aid from other empires and a silver dragon. Eventually, the temple was burned to the ground and the cult defeated. The alliance discovered a rift gate in the lowest portion of the temple ruins that led to another plane under Orcus’ control. Naturally, destroying a rift gate was a suicidal idea on principle. The arcane energies released from an active gate’s destruction would scorch the land for several miles. Thus, the alliance decided to seal the gate instead. The statue was critical for a ritual regarding a rift gate. With the statue, one could seal the gate or hold it open indefinitely. Thus the statue was entrusted to the silver dragon to protect. The Nerath Empire also built a fortress on top of the temple remains. Unfortunately, the fortress is now a ruin and Kalerel’s forces have apparently moved in. A skilled caster wouldn’t need the statue to actually open the gate, but they would be unable to leave the gate’s location. It was decided that the group had to enter the belly of the beast and reseal the gate.

Before they left, Valthran cast a ritual to shrink the statue to make it easier to carry. He gave Tabris a reversal ritual scroll to increase it back to its normal size. When Tabris inquired about what they needed to do, Valthran said that there should be an altar nearby with inscriptions. He stated there was a chance the inscriptions were Draconic. Douven offered to do any necessary translation work but Tabris was concerned about putting him into more danager. It was then that he came up with a brilliant idea. The group could use Nema’s collection of sending ritual scrolls to contact Douven and get a translation without having to risk his life. However this required that they get her out of her cell first.

Tabris caught up with the rest of the group and they headed for the jail cells. With Rond’s permission, they proceeded to interrogate Agrid further at the guard house. Tabris worked together with the guards to make it seem like everyone was clamoring for Agrid’s death and Tabris was the only voice of reason. Unfortunately, the gnome saw through the ploy and refused to talk. Tabris continued to goad him into speaking until he accidentally let slip that an ‘elven wench’ was the spy. When the bard identified her as Ninanran, Agrid’s face turned pale. With no deal on the table, the gnome tried to plead for his release with an artifact he hid at the burial site. Unfortunately, no one was buying his deal. Tabris offered to plead for leniency if the gnome drew a map of the lower levels of the keep. Once again, Agrid pushed his luck and drew up a fake map. If tabris hadn’t known the layout of the first level of the keep from Valthran’s books, he might have been fooled by the map. The party washed their hands of the gnome and let the guards knock him out when he started acting up again. The confession from Agrid was enough that Rond grudgingly let Nema go but he warned her to stay within village limits until this cult business is over. Grateful to be out, Nema agreed to help the party. She gave them four sending ritual scrolls.

As evening set in, Tabris caught everyone to speed regarding the history of the Shadowfell Keep. Nema and Douven got a chance to chat among themselves and she learned how to properly pronounce draconic words. The group decided to rest for the night and head to the ruins first thing in the morning. Late that night, Norkul, Harbek and Nema were shocked out of their sleep with a cold chill running down their spines. As quickly as the feeling came, it ended moments later. While nothing looked out of the ordinary, Harbek was able to sense that the chilling wave had come from the North, specifically in the direction of Shadowfell Keep. He had a brief chat with Nema the next morning about it and Nema also offered to join the group whenever she could get the ‘stubborn tin-heads’ to ease off the leash. She hoped it would be before this cultist business was resolved but she doubted it. Together, they learned that this night chill wasn’t an isolated incident. Salvana overheard them and commented that a few other patrons had complained to her about a draft. Although they couldn’t tell what it meant, they all felt it was a bad sign…

Tying Up Loose Ends

Session 5: Tying Up Loose Ends

The aftermath of the battle against Irontooth and his kobold army came quickly. Physically and mentally exhausted, the heroes finally had a chance to catch their respective breath. Stone in particular had a difficult time as his secret finally came to life. Irontooth had managed to slice up his clothing enough that everyone could see his pale skin. Worse, he had suffered enough damage that he needed to rely on his undead traits just to continue fighting. Thankfully, Harbek had heard tales about Revanants before and promptly defended Stone’s place in the party. Tabris was also fairly open minded to the revelation. Morgran even lent Stone his cloak so that the rogue could re-enter Winterhaven without drawing attention.

With one crisis averted, the party proceeded to collect any valuables from the lair. After some minor difficulty and a swollen foot, they broke open Irontooth’s private chest and retireved a piece of dwarven chain mail. They claimed the former leader’s battleaxe and all the gold he collected from his raiding. Among the fallen bodies, they also found a letter from Kalerel addressed to Irontooth. Between the written document and unholy symbols of Orcus, there was no room for doubt. The cult was active in the area and apparently had a spy in Winterhaven. After taking a moment to clear the waterfall from dead corpses, the group headed back to town late into the evening. With the guards informed about the kobold slaying, some members of the group decided to retire for the evening. Morgran had family living in the village so he didn’t need to stay at the inn. Norkul made a brief detour to the Temple of Avandra to speak with priestess Linora once more. He presented this evidence to her and won her complete support. Linora offered to join the group when they met with Lord Padraig at noon the next day. She would help them convince him that this is a serious threat. In the meantime, she asked that Norkul hold on to the evidence for safe keeping.

The next day started early for Reavis, whom finally recovered from his accident and drunken stupor. He was soon greeted by Tabris who told him that his ‘assistance’ was no longer needed. When Reavis whined about the plan, Tabris merely pointed out that it was never his idea to betray Aria’s trust. Beside himself with indignation, Reavis exited the inn and left in a huff. Kalidus suggested that they just deal with the fool once and for all, but Tabris thought better of this choice. Only time would tell which one of them was right.

Between the late evening hours and early morning, the news of the dead kobolds spread like wildfire. All that remained was to speak with Lord Padriag and inform him personally to collect their reward. The group decided to sell Irontooth’s Battle Axe to a halfling merchant named Barwin, who had a near monopoly on all magical items sold in Winterhaven. Although the halfling did try to pull a fast one on the group, they managed to prove themselves into being the better barterers. They sold the axe plus authenticity signatures for 4 times its actual worth, wrangled a 5% discount (since the halfling normally inflated his prices) and a promise to buy any reasonably useable item from them. Afterwards, they met with the dwarven blacksmith, Thair Coalstriker, to repair their gear and make some custom craftwork. As the sun began to rise, Tabris wanted to check out Dragon Burial Site for any signs of Douven. There was still time in the day to hurry to the location and be back by noon.

When the group arrived, they spotted several humans and a gnome digging around the area. The way down was guarded by two pet drakes. The drakes soon sniffed the air trying to detect the group. One drake managed to get mud in its snout and thus couldn’t smell much of anything. The second one managed to pick up the group’s scent. In a desperate ploy, the heroes tried to distract the beast with a stone containing their scent, but the creature was too clever to fall for it. The drake screeched out loud attracting the attention of everyone in the pit. The gnome, Agrid, acted in a very friendly manner and invited the group to join them down in the pit. He was an exceedingly skilled liar and almost suckered the heroes into a trap. His only failing was that his allies couldn’t keep their weapons concealed long enough.

As the battle raged below, a figure emerged from around a boulder on the other side of the cliff. A halfling merc named Nathan stared down at the fight and seemed indifferent to it. Only when Agrid offered to pay extra for his services did Nathan briefly enter the fray. The party made a counter-offer and while it wasn’t enough to convince the merc to join their side, it was substantial enough to force him back out of the conflict. The human thugs were promptly dealt with but Agrid and his pet drakes proved to be problematic. Agrid kept fading from view with invisibility. However, the party goaded the gnome with short jokes and tricked him into revealing his location. It didn’t take too long for the drakes to perish and Norkul managed to knock Agrid unconscious. With Nathan neutral to them and Agrid ripe for an interrogation, the heroes of Winterhaven have some avenues to find out more about Douven’s fate.

The Best Laid Plans....

Session 4: The Best Laid Plans…

Norkul had briefly stayed behind in Winterhaven to take of last minute details while the others scouted out the kobold lair. Following Tabris’ request, the avenger checked up on Reavis. However, he didn’t have to look far. He spotted Priestess Linora dragging the unconscious man to the Wrafton’s Inn. Linora explained to Norkul that he had burst in her temple asking for healing over some snapped bow string accident. Since she didn’t think it was that serious of a wound, she opted to use mundane healing instead of wasting her healing spells. She pulled out some strong ale that she often used to clean wounds. Unfortunately, Reavis drank her ale supply when her back was turned. Linora already stated that Norkul nor any of his allies needed to worry about her lost stock. She took the difference from Reavis’ coin pouch while he was unconscious. Since it was obvious that the fool wasn’t going anywhere today, Norkul decided to catch up with the others and trade intel.

Norkul arrived just in time to aid his allies in their assault of the kobold lair. Since they didn’t know the sleeping habits of their enemy, they opted to attack while the sun was still up. The plan proceeded well, the combined might of Stone and Tabris cleared the north entrance to the lair while the main group made a ruckus near the circle. The duo headed to the central entrance and dealt with the forces there. Slowly, but surely, the front guards were being wiped out. Eventually, three of the kobolds broke off from combat to warn their allies in the waterfall lair. Two ran for the center entrance while the third headed for the southern entrance. Stone, Norkul and Morgran were able to stop the first two easily. Kalidus and Tabris chased after the last one while Harbek cast spells at its retreating form. Unfortunately, the kobold ducked and weaved long enough to escape their grasp and run inside.

The cries of over a dozen kobolds echoed through the lair. They began pouring out of all three lair entrances. Kalidus bravely held the line at the southern entrance while Morgran did the same for the central entrance. Norkul charged the center path and began slicing the scaled beasts apart. Stone decided to use some of the vials he acquired from the slingers on the attacking force and managed to take two down in one shot. In order to get some pressure off the center area, Tabris taunted a few of the kobolds trying to herd them south towards Kalidus. While the caster didn’t take the bait two dragonshield warriors did. Meanwhile, two very confused kobolds were left alone in the northern entrance. Since they couldn’t see the attackers from their position, they headed south and eventually joined the fray in the center.

A bard among the kobolds suddenly appeared and blew a badly bent trumpet to announce the presence of Irontooth. The massive hulk of a hobgoblin strode confidently into battle with his battle axe. Norkul and Harbek did their best to immobilize and delay Irontooth while the others dealt with the kobolds in the area. Stone and Morgran cleared a path to the boss of the kobolds but had their hands too full to deal with the caster taking pot shots at them all. Kalidus was stuck in a 2 versus one duel against the two dragonshield warriors. While he was holding his own, he did have to use his lay on hand spells just to stay alive. Tabris split his time between cutting down the middle forces and running south to support Kalidus.

Irontooth swung his axe with deadly accuracy once he was finally in range. He took swipes at Norkul, Stone and Harbek for most of the battle. His attacks only grew worse once he was bloodied. The fearsome warrior flew into a blood induced frenzy and sliced up everything in his path. He even decapitated one of his own kobolds. Stone was the first to fall from Irontooth’s blows. However, the revenant’s latent power finally kicked in. Stone stood up defiantly despite his grievous wounds and continue to assualt Irontooth. Norkul dealt the finishing blow by skewering Irontooth through his stomach. The hobgoblin snarled out as his last breath, “Lord…Orcus…prepare my…way….”

Norkul’s victory was short lived as the forgotten kobold caster launched an acid orb at his exposed back knocking him out of the fight. With Tabris’ help, Kalidus managed to slay the dragonshields and arrive in time to heal Norkul with his final lay on hands. Morgran and Harbek slew the caster before he could do any more damage. Pushed to their limits, the heroes breathed a sigh of relief as all the kobolds were dead at their feet.

How many Kobolds does it take to ambush a Dwarf?

Enter Morgran / Seassion 3: How many Kobolds does it take to ambush a Dwarf?

As the party prepared to leave Winterhaven on their task to defeat the kobolds and Irontooth, Norkul expressed a desire to stay behind a while longer. He still had a few more preparations and asked that the others didn’t wait up for him. Tabris chose this time to ask him to make sure Reavis doesn’t leave town prematurely. The bard had his own plans for the egotistical archer.

Meanwhile, a dwarven fighter by the name of Morgran Blackwood was on his way to Winterhaven both out of concern of trouble brewing and the fact that his sister lived in the region. Unfortunately, he was too distracted by his thoughts to notice several kobolds hiding alongside the road. The scaled mauraders proceeded to ambush and surround him. Their attack might have succeeded if Harbek, Stone, Tabris and Kalidus hadn’t arrived in time. Although a caster among the kobolds managed several damaging blows, the combined might of the five travelers decemiated the kobolds. Morgran introduced himself and learned about the plans of the party. Eager to help out and repay a debt, he decided to join up with them. As they searched the bodies of the kobolds, they discovered that the caster wore the holy symbol of Orcus around his neck. Before anyone else could react, Morgran destroyed the necklace. Kalidus was livid since it was the first bit of solid evidence the group found regarding cult activity in the region. However, he calmed down after realizing there were probably more amulets like this one at the lair.

Stone volunteered to scout of the waterfall area and managed to sneak in and out undetected. When he returned to the group, he drew out the area in the dirt and included all the kobolds he could spy on. He also mentioned a magic circle of some kind and drew the runes on a sheet of parchment for the others to see. Unfortunately, all they could identify was that Stone has a solid sketching skill. Eventually, the group came up with a plan of their own. Stone and Tabris would sneak along the north side of the waterfall and attack the scout up there. The rest of the group would push the center near the circle and defeat any kobolds near the circle. The two forces would meet up near the fall’s edge and mop up any remaining forces. All that was left was to decide when to attack, before sunset or after.

Small Village, Winterhaven

Enter Norkul and Kalidus

After learning about the possibility of cultist activity via a letter from his childhood friend, Marla, Norkul set off to the Winterhaven region to investigate and put his friend’s concerns to rest one way or the other. Meanwhile, the Grand Church in Fallcrest put out a more general request for aid that managed to reach even a secluded mountain temple dedicated to Erathis. It was from this temple that Kalidus received the call and made his way to Winterhaven as well. Both men had decided that the straightest route was the fastest. While traversing through the forest northeast of their destination, they were both interrupted by the sounds of battle. Norkul arrived on the scene first to see a man getting skewered by a hobgoblin javelin. He drew his sword and swiftly attacked the creature even as more gathered around. Kalidus made his way into the fray shortly after taking another slice out of the hobgoblin scouts. The muscular goblinoids regrouped quickly and tried to intimidate the trio. Norkul and Kalidus managed to prove themselves to be the greater threat and forced the monsters to back off and regroup with their main force. After mending the man’s wounds and escaping, they all introduced themselves.

The man they saved was a courier named Markus. He had been traveling to Winterhaven to deliver two letters when he was suddenly besieged by kobolds. He was knocked off his horse and forced to flee to the north while his steed limped to the east. The kobolds got a lucky shot on him and was bleeding badly. That was when he ran into the Hobgoblins whom nearly finished him off. As Norkul and Kalidus got to talking, they both realized that they were working on the same goal and decided to join forces.

Session 2: Small Village, Winterhaven

At the Gates to Winterhaven, Markus, Norkul and Kalidus ran into a bit of a back-up. There was another group of travelers trying to get into the town just as they arrived. Tabris, Harbek, Stone and Reavis were asking about accommodations and telling the guards about the kobolds. Markus chimed in his two cents and eventually the group realized he was the missing courier. The two groups headed towards the Wrafton’s Inn to swap stories. When Markus got his ledger back, he agreed to deliver messages for all those present free of charge. He owed them dearly for his life and his business. Harbek, never one to believe in coincidences, thought that perhaps their respective quests were somehow linked. They all decided to form an alliance and aid one another in their respective goals.

As happy hour was going into full swing, the group took note of the various patrons and staff in the Inn. Outside of the normal crowd of farmers and hunters there were a few folks who did stand out. A pair of human men, one very well dressed and the other in greyish robes, were chatting quietly among themselves. An old human farmer had taken to drinking at a central table occassionally smiling and just enjoying the atmosphere. At another table, a dwarven man and a tiefling woman were playfully arguing about which one of them could handle their ale. Finally at the far corner of the room, a female elf sat quietly nursing her drink. The owner and barkeep, Salvana, welcomed the group and spoke with them when her assistant staff showed up. Tabris managed to swing a room for himself in return for performing for the crowd. Kalidus decided to ask about cult activity. When Salvana answered that she had no clue what he was talking about, he tried to threaten her. However, she had seen her share of angry drunks and promptly slapped him across the face. She returned his threat by saying she would call the guards if he didn’t behave. Thankfully, the rest of the party eased the tension between the two.

The dwarf and tiefling pair started to call for participants in their drinking contest. Several locals, Harbek and Reavis decided to join in. Tabris pulled out his lute and planned to play appropriate background music for the event. After a false start on stage, Tabris got his stride and showed his bardic skills. Reavis was knocked out cold in the first round. Although Kalidus didn’t actively cheer, he did send psychic messages to mess up the other contestants. Stone offered words of encouragement to bolster Harbek’s resolve. As each round passed, more people either passed out or pulled out. Finally, it was down to the dwarf, the tiefling woman and Harkbek. The tiefling suggested that they used Salvana’s strongest ale for this last round. The first dwarf passed out in this round. Harbek struggled but he managed to down the ale. The tiefling chugged her ale and also remained conscious. Impressed, she conceded that Harbek had an Iron clad stomach. They decided to have one last normal drink for health.

With the contest over, Tabris proceeded to ask about Douven. Salvana pointed him to Eilian the Old, a farmer whom also acted as the local gossip/historian. He informed Tabris that he told Douven of the site’s location. He thought it was just an old trash heap but he respected Douven’s determination and made a map for the explorer. He made a second map for Tabris and wished him luck in finding Douven. Norkul decided to ask Markus about his delivery and learned that Marla had sent a letter to Priestess Linora in Winterhaven with the intent of bringing her up to speed. Norkul requested to deliver the letter himself. Markus agreed but only if he could be there as well. With that, the two agreed to meet with Linora the next day. Meanwhile, Kalidus decided to have a little fun with Reavis. He loosened the string knot on the human ranger’s bow so that the next time he tried to use it, the string would pull off. As happy hour winded dwon, the tiefling woman introduced herself as Nema, a traveling merchant. She gave the group 3 gold to pay for their rooms and stumbled up the stairs to her own room. Tabris, coming up with his own plan, asked Markus to deliver a letter for him. The bard wrote a message to Aria giving her an update on the situation as well as telling her all about Reavis’ lack of support. He even tipped Markus enough to rent a new horse.

The next day came quickly. The group decided to spread out and investigate the town on their own for a bit. Kalidus had a bit of fun at Reavis’ expense. He sent a psychic shout into Reavis’ mind. The ranger woke up in a panic falling over on his back. In a half-sleep daze, he reached for his bow and pulled back on the string. The string promptly snapped from the pressure and struck Reavis in the cheek drawing blood. He left the inn in a panic trying to find a healer for his wounds. Kalidus headed to the guards barracks to learn more about the kobolds. He heard from them that they knew the kobolds were hiding out in a waterfall cavern to the southeast of the village but they couldn’t spare the manpower to clear it out without leaving the village defenseless. Furthermore, they knew that the kobolds were being led by someone named Irontooth. However, Irontooth’s identity was anyone’s guess. There was a 600 gold bounty out for Irontooth.

Norkul and Markus proceeded to the temple of Avandra and found Priestess Linora. They handed her the letter but the priestess was hard pressed to believe the story of cult activity. Linora had certainly never heard of anyone named Kalerel nor anyone matching his description. Still, she didn’t dismiss Norkul’s claim outright and commented on the list of likely suspects. There were only three strangers in the village that matched the timeframe of Kalerel’s likely arrival yet she highly doubted any of them were involved. The first was an explorer named Douven Staul. She didn’t get an evil vibe from him at all but his arrival matched the timeframe. The second was an elven huntress named Ninaran. While it was true that Ninaran was a quiet loner, she always seemed sociable enough. Furthermore, the elf constantly brought in pelts which was not all that uncommon among the hunter population in Winterhaven. The third suspect was Nema, the tiefling merchant. While the tiefling was very boisterous, Linora found herself doubting the woman’s claims about being a merchant. She seemed to spend more time drinking than selling wares but that could be explained by her attempts to get a permit to sell goods by Lord Padraig. Regardless, Linora said she would look into this matter even if she thought this was a wild goose chase. With this matter settled, Markus departed for Fallcrest.

Tabris and Stone decided to go shopping in the open stall market area. Tabris bought a sack from one of the merchants and when he asked about glass jars, he was directed to a stall run by Delphina Moongem, an young elven woman who sold wildflowers and vases for them. He purchased a few vases and stuffed them into the sack. He then proceeded to break the vases in the sack. When Delphina questioned what he was doing, the bard waved off any concern. Once Tabris was finished, Stone directed them both to the local smithy. There they were reintroduced to Thair Coalstriker, the dwarf from the drinking contest last night. Stone wished to purchase a few more daggers. Thair was still a little hungover but in good spirits. He gave Stone the first dagger for free. Tabris decided to seek out another sage in the village while Stone finished his shopping. He found the tower of Valthrun the Prescient, the only local wizard in town. Although he didn’t learn much more information about the dragon burial site, he was given a promise that Valthrun would look up information on Shadowfell Keep to the north for him.

The group reconviened at the Inn. Once Harbek recovered from his hangover, the group decided to speak with Lord Padriag about the kobold problem. Tabris told an extravagant story about the party being world-class kobold slayers. Lord Padriag was impressed enough that he agreed to the request for free food and lodging at the Wrafton’s Inn as well as the 600 gold reward and any plunder they managed to find from the kobolds. Norkul and Kalidus tried to inform the lord about the threat of cult activity but Lord Padriag obviously didn’t believe them. They dropped the subject but stressed that he shouldn’t be making assumptions. With their tasks set before them, the group decided to deal with the kobolds first.

On the Open Road

Enter Tabris and Reavis (NPC “ally”)

During his stay at the one of the inns in Fallcrest, Tabris noticed a middle aged human woman coming in to the tavern and approaching anyone who seemed to fit the generic mold of an adventurer. Although he weren’t privy to the exact conversations she had with these individuals, the bard overheard a conversation between a patron and the bartender. The patron, a surly human with dark brown hair, asked what was the fuss about. The bartender told him that the woman’s name was Aria and her husband, a well-known explorer named Douven Staul, had gone missing. She was looking for anyone to go search for him but so far she has had little luck. Apparently, some folks waved it off as unwarranted concern since he had a habit of getting lost in his work. Still, Aria swears Douben has never been gone this long…a little over two months. Sweayed by her troubles, Tabris volunteered his services to Aria. When she spoke a 250 gold reward for any information regarding her husband, the patron speaking with the bartender turned his head and also signed up. She had no qualms about paying both of them the same amount each. All she wanted was closure.

The next 2 days since the duo left Fallcrest on the way to Winterhaven had been interesting to say the least. A few things had become very apparent. The man named Reavis was very boisterous about his so called “exploits”. As a bard, Tabris had heard enough tall tales that he could figure Reavis was just telling him dozens of lies to make himself look important. Second, it was clear that “the greatest archer in the land” had no real vested interest in doing a good job at all. Reavis kept saying that this was a good way to make some easy gold. He came up with the idea of just hanging around Winterhaven for a few days then heading back claiming that Douven was dead. Aria would be distraught but still keep to her word on payment. It was very clear that Reavis was a con artist and he didn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. If Tabris wanted to help Aria, you would have to do it on your own…or perhaps find more sympathetic ears….

Enter Stone and Harbek

It was inevitable. The revenant rogue, Stone, knew that in order to perform whatever tasks the Raven Queen set before him, he would need to be prepared. Being prepared meant supplies, weapons, armor and gold. There was no getting around actually venturing into civilization every once in awhile. Still, he was always aware that most people can’t tell a revenant from a ghoul and even if they could, that hardly made one trust them. So he often concealed himself in thick cloaks and cloth masks over-top his normal gear and hoped to take jobs that would require as minimum interaction as possible.

Harbek, the dwaven invoker of Moradin, had his own reasons for being a bit introverted. His childhood as a slave still haunts him on occasion. However, he found peace with his adopted father and purpose with his order. Now he travels the land trying to learn more about stone-working, architecture and the nature of the world.

The idea of mapping out an ancient ruin was intriguing to both of them. For Stone, the majority of the job would be away from others. For Harbek, he hoped to gleam some insight on the state of the world. Unfortunately, they inquired at the same time. Since Parle Cranewing wanted this job done right, he told both of them that they would have to work together. He cited the recent increase of roadside attacks in the region as a reason for this decision and offered to pay both men the reward, 250 gp each. All efforts to persuade him otherwise would have proven useless as both of them demonstrated their own knowledge. It was either work with each other or don’t work at all. Considering the difficulty in being hired, there really wasn’t much of a choice in the matter.

Thus, for better or worse, they set out with each other hoping to complete the task without causing any rifts. The first two days of travel were peaceful. Stone proved to be a calm and well-spoken ally. Although Harbek did manage to spot that Stone was exceedingly pale for a human, he has yet to identify Stone as a revanant…

Session 1: On the Open Road

On the third day of travel, Tabris and Reavis stumbled upon a group of rats gnawing at a dead horse for sustainance. Some of these rats were three times normal size and clearly Dire Rats leading the pack. The vermin had not noticed the duo and probably could have been avoided completely if Reavis hadn’t wanted to show off. He raised his longbow and fired at the pack figuring that he could scare them off or maybe one-shot one of the larger ones. Although he did hit them, he didn’t kill any of them. The rats were rightfully enraged and were numerous enough that they didn’t feel the need to flee. The pack charged blindly at the pair.

A few feet away, Harbek and Stone had reached the top of a hill on the road and saw the whole affair. Although they had no real respect for the fool archer, they decided to come to the half-elf bard’s defense at least. The battle was fierce as the larger rats took numerous bites out of Reavis, Stone and Harbek. Thankfully Tabris was nearby to heal them. Slowly but surely, all the rats were killed. While Harbek used his nature knowledge to create antidotes for the diseases the rats carried, Tabris thanked the strangers for their assistance. A bit battered but still standing, the group chewed into Reavis for being an idiot. Tabris was especially ticked off as he had put up with the greedy fool’s personality for two days. After some discussion, they learned that they were all heading to Winterhaven. It was quickly decided that they would travel together to village.

Upon checking the half-eaten horse, the party noticed that the beast had a saddle. Stone found a saddlebag on the corpse and inside was a ledger. It seemed that the horse belonged to a courier whom was delivering parcels and letters around the region. The book contained dates, names, type of parcel and payment received. The last two entries were of most importance since according to the book, they had not been completed. The first was a letter of some kind that was from a Priestess Marla in fallcrest. It was supposed to be delivered to a Sister Linora residing in Winterhaven. The second letter was from a woman named Aria addressed to Douven Staul with the instructions to leave the message at the inn if he could not be found. The physical letters were missing as was the rider. Harbek’s knowledge of anatomy came in handy as well as he determined that the rats didn’t kill this horse. The horse merely bleed to death here and the rats came along sometime later. It seemed the beast was wounded by bladed weapons and then fled east back to Fallcrest but obviously didn’t make it.

Concerned about the path ahead, the group pressed on carefully. Stone volunteered to scout ahead while the others gave him room to work. Much further down the road, Stone came across a group of kobolds hiding behind stones and bushes along the road. It was clear that they would ambush anyone walking along the road, still they had not spotted the revanant. He retreated to his allies and informed them what he saw. They decided to plan an ambush of their own. Stone returned to the kobolds and struck a nearby bush with a rock to get their attention. When they investigated the sound, the kobolds found themselves in combat. Stone managed to shank a few of them while Harbek’s holy powers burned the evil creatures. Tabris aided the group with his war song strike and the kobolds were quickly overwhelmed. Reavis pulled out of the fight mid battle because he thought the other three could handle it. With some shouting from Tabris, he was convinced to stop fooling around and actually finish the fight.

Habrek went to work and managed to work out what happened to the courier. Apparently, the kobolds had successfully ambushed the rider. They separated the courier from the horse and wounded both of them. The horse fled east while the rider fled north into the nearby woods. Judging from the amount of blood and the age of it, Harbek knew the chances of the rider actually being alive were one in a million. The rider would have also bleed to death if he wasn’t treated long before the party arrived. The group gathered what they could from the kobolds including a sling, a few javelins and a gluepot solution. With night quickly approaching, the party decided to press on towards Winterhaven.

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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