Forth!

Goblins in the Keep
Quinn did what?!

After a good night’s rest, the party seeks out Valthrun the Prescient to ask him about the mirror they found at the Dragon Burial mound as well as the letter from Kalarel that they got from Irontooth. Valthrun becomes very concerned about the mention of Orcus in that missive and, given the medallion the party also has, is convinced that a group of Orcus death cultists is operating in the area and must be trying to re-open the Rift to the Shadowfell.

Leaving the dangerous mirror with Valthrun, the party finishes their business in town and departs for the Keep. At the gate is a small throng of villagers who cheer the party as the “Heroes of Winterhaven”.

The road to the Keep is rough going, as it is overgrown from disuse. Once the party reaches the Keep, it becomes unnaturally quiet, as if the birds and animals of the woods are scared of the ruins. Someone has obviously cleared a path to the stairs to enter the dungeon beneath the Keep.

At the bottom of the stairs, the party is confronted by a single Goblin Warrior. This looks to be an easy fight.

Except suddenly Quinn turns and, yelling “Kalarel”, attacks Magnus. Could this be the spy? Now, beset by a group of Goblins, some with some rather deadly crossbows, as well as a traitorous Warden (or is he?) the party is hard-pressed. Recognizing Quinn as the greater threat, the party concentrates on him and brings him down quickly, but at a price.

Unfortunately, one of the Goblins is able to get away and bring back reinforcements. Still, the party is able to prevail.

After a short rest, screams in the distance prompt the party to investigate. They find a torture chamber with a Hobgoblin torturer and some other Goblins. The party is holding their own when suddenly one of the Goblin Sharpshooters is brutally slain by an unseen opponent. This stranger then joins the fight and he and the party make short work of the rest of their enemies.

The stranger turns out to be Gideon, an Eladrin Ranger known to Magnus. Gideon is hunting Bloodreaver Orcs for destroying his home, the same tribe of Orcs that destroyed Magnus’ village. He was captured by the goblins and brought here, tortured, and likely would have been sold into slavery. He was able to hide a makeshift lockpick and, when he heard the battle joined in the next room, escaped and joined in.

In another cell is Splug, a goblin apparently being punished for stealing from his companions. In exchange for his life, he leads the party to the secret door that leads to Balgron the Fat’s chamber.

Quiet as cats, Gideon and Gyani sneak up to where Balgron is sound asleep. He has no chance as Gideon impales him on both his swords. Balgron’s guards, caught unaware, have no chance. The party sets up an ambush and makes quick work of the guards. No fewer than five are caught in Uriondir’s Cloud of Daggers.

With all the goblins (apparently) slain, the party sets up for an Extended Rest in the very defensible Goblin Chieftain’s lair. The rest of the dungeon awaits!

View
On to Shadowfell Keep
Many people, including Gyani and Thorgrim, just don't seem themselves

The party is able to escort Douven Stahl back to Winterhaven. Once there, Douven parts company with…the company, to rest in a real bed and, presumably, arrange transportation back to Fallcrest and his wife.

In Winterhaven, however, everyone is acting strangely. People are actively avoiding the party and previously friendly individuals are out of sorts and even a little hostile. When asked, no one can really put a finger on what it is that’s bothering them.

The party speaks to Valthrun the Prescient, who has no further insight into everyone’s mood. However, he does tell the story of Shadowfell Keep and its purpose in guarding the sealed rift to the Shadowfell. He also tells the sad story of Sir Keegan, who was in charge of the keep until going mad and killing his family, friends, and many of his soldiers before he was brought down.

They also speak to Lord Padraig, who pays them 100 gold pieces for their work in removing the kobold threat. The party apprises Lord Padraig of other information they’ve discovered, including the existence of a spy in Winterhaven.

They are interrupted, however, by an injured man-at-arms who tells of an ambush by kobolds of some merchant carts en route to Winterhaven. Our heroes quickly depart to affect a rescue. Moving carefully along the moonlit road, the party discovers the aforementioned kobolds hiding behind the overturned wagons. A battle is joined, and the would-be ambushers are defeated. One is kept alive and questioned.

The party learns that this was a group sent out by Irontooth to find the party, apparently before Irontooth met with his untimely end. There is no sign of the merchants or their guards, and the prisoner indicates they’ve been sold to a group of hobgoblin slavers. The party returns to Winterhaven with their prisoner.

Leaving first thing in the morning, the party returns to the scene of the ambush and follows the trail north. It doesn’t take long before the party catches up to the hobgoblins. A battle ensues in which Quinn finds himself beset about on all sides. The party ultimately prevails and escorts the two merchants and their two guards back to Winterhaven.

After another rest in Wrafton’s Inn, the party is ready to go explore the mysterious Shadowfell Keep.

View
Entering the Kobold Lair
A fifth member joins the group

After defeating the kobold ambush en route to finding the kobold lair, our intrepid adventurers camped for the night. Scarcely an hour into the first watch, Magnus heard the distinctive sounds of battle nearby. He woke the others and Gyani went ahead to scout it out.

In a clearing in the wood, a human was barely holding his own against a group of kobolds. Two kobolds were already dead, but four others surrounded him and he was already bloodied. Already sick of kobolds and their evil ways, the party attacked. Quick work was made of the kobolds and the human, named Quinn, joined the party in their camp.

The rest of the night passed without incident. The next day, our heroes, joined by Quinn, a Warder, happens upon a group of kobolds near a waterfall. This idyllic scene soon turns into one of carnage as the adventurers kill kobold after kobold. One kobold, seeing the fight is going very poorly, shouts “Irontooth must be warned!” and runs through the waterfall. Thorgrim isn’t able to stop him, but Gyani gives chase.

Behind the waterfall is the kobold lair, and six kobolds, just warned by their compatriot from outside, throw their javelins at Gyani. Miraculously, none strike home. Gyani beats a hasty retreat. The rest of the kobolds outside are soon defeated.

The party waits for the kobolds to emerge, but they stay put. After waiting five minutes, our heroes move to enter the lair through the waterfall. They are confronted by a bunch of minions, some skirmishers, and the slinger that had retreated earlier. The fight goes well for the first three minutes, until a trumpet heralds the arrival of Irontooth.

Magnus goes down to a Denwarden’s javelin, but Uriondir is able to apply some first aid to Magnus to keep him out of danger. Quinn, however, takes the form of Winter’s Herald and slows Irontooth down. Combined with Uriondir’s earlier sleep spell, Irontooth is held at bay until virtually all of the kobolds are already dead. Able to concentrate on this single threat, Irontooth does not last long.

The encounter is fruitful for the party. Irontooth has been found and defeated, some new clues are found and a significant cache of gold coins. Additionally, Thorgrim earned a suit of magical Dwarven chainmail. A message is found:

My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably doesn’t matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.

It is signed by “Kalarel”.

After camping in the now cleared kobold lair, the party heads west to look for the missing Douven Stahl. They come upon the excavation site and a bunch of humanoids working it. A gnome tries to convince the party he is an associate of Stahl’s, but he fools no one (except for Quinn). An apparition watching over the site commands “kill them”.

This fight is significantly easier than the previous one, even though the apparition keeps raising the fallen humans as zombies and the gnome seems to blink in and out of existence. The party again prevails, captures the treasure (an ancient mirror), and frees Douven Stahl, who gifts them with an Amulet of Health.

The party heads back to Winterhaven, escorting the weakened but grateful Douven Stahl.

View
Journey to Winterhaven
More kobolds?

The adventurers head out on the old King’s Road to the northwest. Four days pass relatively uneventfully. On the fifth, close to Winterhaven, the party is attacked by a group of kobolds which are easily dispatched.

Less than a day later they arrive at the gate to Winterhaven, a small walled village surrounded by farms. The village and its surrounding area has less than 1,000 residents, primarily human with a few dwarven families. The vast majority of them are farmers.

Directed by the guards to Wrafton’s Inn, the only lodging in town. The inn is large and used to hosting traveling merchants. The taproom is busy every night with travelers as well as locals. They meet a few people and gather information.

  • Salvana Wrafton – the proprietess of Wrafton’s Inn. Friendly and welcoming.
  • Eilian the Old – local farmer and regular customer. Fancies himself a bit of a historian. Gave the adventurers directions the site Douven Stahl apparently went to. Slightly confused and/or senile.
  • Lord Padraig – the Lord of the village is a fairly regular customer at Wrafton’s and is very approachable. Upon learning that our heroes are, in fact, adventurers, offers them a commission to rid the area of the kobolds which have been plaguing the area lately.
  • Ninaran – a quiet elf hunter who usually drinks alone. She very emphatically rebuffed Uriondir’s attempts at conversation

The adventurers did not spend much time in town, but instead quickly set out to find the kobold lair which is supposedly in the southeast.

Before they got very far, they were ambushed by another group of kobolds, apparently looking for revenge for their fellows. This group is also similarly dispatched fairly quickly.

The group decided to make camp before moving on.

View
Szartharrax!
In the dungeon the mighty dungeon the dragon sleeps tonight...

After resting up, Uriondir announces that the staff taken from the Kobold Wyrmpriest is a +1 Staff of the War Mage.

Once satisfied they’re ready to proceed, the party unlocks the secret door. Behind it is a large natural cavern with a frozen pool of water. The entire dungeon has been a bit cold up to this point, but this chamber is frigid.

When nothing attacks the party after tossing in a sling stone with a Light cantrip on it as well as a Sunrod, the party advances.

Suddenly, a white dragon springs from the shadows, flies at the party and uses its frost breath to do serious damage to Thorgrim and Gyani.

The party then spreads out, rightly thinking to avoid another breath attack.

Uriondir, perhaps inspired by the first magic item found by the party, casts Sleep on the dragon.

The dragon goes down!

Recognizing their opportunity, the party, led by Thorgrim and Gyani, start pounding on the unconscious dragon.

But this is a dragon we’re talking about. After several sharp blows, the dragon is battered but not near dead. It rises and attacks Thorgrim.

For the next several tense minutes, Thorgrim pounds on the dragon, while Magnus alternates between attacking the dragon and keeping Thorgrim alive, and Gyani and Uriondir attack from the shadows.

Finally, the dragon lets out a ragged shriek…and dies! Victory!

Our heroes gather up the dragon’s treasure, including the missing cured dragon hide Teldorthan sent them after, a magical long sword (also claimed by Uriondir), and a mysterious letter from someone Irontooth suggestion that his (her?) kobold forces combined with Szartharrax’s kobolds could be a lucrative alliance.

The party made its way back out of the manor to the daylight. Their previous kobold captive has somehow escaped. They then head back to Fallcrest.

Teldorthan is glad to see them as well as his cured dragon hide, which he plans to use to create a great suit of scale armor. He also rewards with 200 gold pieces.

After spending a pleasant evening at the Silver Unicorn the party has an audience with Lord Markelhay. When he learns that Kobold Hall has been emptied he rewards the party with more gold. He also asks our heroes if they can help his friend Lord Padraig in Winterhaven, who is having a large bit of kobold trouble as well.

The party also learns that locally famous adventure Douven Stahl has been missing for months and his wife is beside herself with worry. He apparently thought he’d discovered the location of a dragon burial site.

The group agrees and decides to journey the five days to Winterhaven.

View
In which a fourth member joins the party
Going...going...gone!

Our party of three follows the blood trail down a set of stairs into a large chamber. There they find three more kobold skirmishers. Some vandalized coffins indicate the kobolds are the worst sort of delinquents and two sets of plate armor stand stoically in nearby alcoves.

The kobolds spot our heroes but are suddenly distracted by a shadowy figure stealing the gold offering from their makeshift altar to Tiamat. Two of the kobolds immediately move on the intruder, a halfling, and stick him with their spears.

Our protagonists, recognizing the “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” trope, move to attack. After a short battle in which Uriondir finds two of the pressure plates that trigger the dart traps in the suits of armor (Magnus finds a third), our heroes prevail, slaying two of the kobolds, while the third begs for his life.

Some introductions are made and Gyani (the halfling) agrees to join the group and help them with the “job”. (How Gyani got past the first set of kobolds remains a bit of a mystery.) Additionally, the traps in the suits of armor are examined and destroyed.

Deciding they’re too wounded to move on, the group camps for a few scant hours to rest up and study. There is much discussion as to what to do with their prisoner. Kill him? Use him as bait? Set him free? Eventually, our adventurers tie him up and leave him in the room as they move on.

The party moves on to the next room, sending Gyani ahead to reconnoiter. There’s another pit of that famous glowing green goo, some more ruined coffins, and a group of kobolds playing “Skull-Skull!” The adventurers surprise the kobolds but, unfortunately, they’re all on the other side of the room some 50 feet away on ten-foot-high platforms.

Missiles, spells, and the Skull-Skull stone fill the air. Our heroes move across the room but neither they nor the kobolds can seem to get the upper hand. Based on their position, though, the kobolds have the upper hand.

Thorgrim, dodging sling stones and javelins, makes it to the double doors and opens them, perhaps thinking to flank the kobolds on the platforms. A good idea, except for the two guard drakes that are…well, guarding the stairs. Thorgrim quickly closes the doors and looks around frantically for a way to keep them closed.

Meanwhile, Magnus, with few options for hitting the kobolds above him, climbs the wall like some sort of arachnid-man. The two kobolds on top of the platform are taken aback, but one of the guard drakes scampers up the stairs and squishes Magnus like a bug.

The other guard drake busts through the door in front of Thorgrim. Trouble is, Thorgrim is good and angry now and takes it out on the drake. Gyani, forgetting about the kobolds for now, flanks the drake to help out.

Uriondir, also running out of magical options, moves to the front lines and is also crunched by a guard drake. With half the party out of action, Thorgrim, with able assistance from Gyani, gets the other drake and two more kobolds. Two other kobolds decide to retreat further into the lair.

With two members of the party so recently at death’s door, they all retreat to the surface to camp, being sure to collect their prisoner on the way out. The night passes uneventfully and, loins fully girded, the party re-enters the lair.

The kobolds are poor housekeepers, and not even their companions killed the previous day have been moved. Our heroes return to the scene of their last battle and find some coins and a few gems.

Cautiously moving deeper into the lair, the adventurers enter a large room when suddenly a ten-foot-diameter boulder comes rolling toward them! Carefully avoiding being squished, everyone runs up the steps to the platform where the boulder was. After exchanging a few lobbies of slings and spells with the kobold chieftain, the chieftain’s pet, a spiretop drake, begins flying across the room toward the party. Thorgrim tapped his cleats, reared back, and sent the drake flying back the way it had come, with virtually every bone in its body broken. (Fortunately, there is no anabolic steroid testing of dungeon adventurers.)

Around this same time, a kobold slinger and minion (the ones who had run away from the previous room) climb on to the platform in the middle of the room and engage the party with missile weapons. As with the drake they are quickly dealt with (although perhaps not as dramatically).

Then, with precise timing, the adventurers follow the still rolling boulder and charge the chieftain and his bodyguards (kobold dragonshields). Once again, Thorgrim, still apparently embarrassed about the glue incident, wades right in and starts pounding on enemies. With able assistance from all three of his adventuring companions quick work is made of the chieftain (a Wyrmpriest) and his bodyguards.

Exhausted but exultant, the party finds a silver key and a piece of parchment describing a secret door to another chamber. Additionally, the chieftain’s staff appears to be magical and his skull mask, while not magical, seems to have some special significance.

Is the party up to taking on what’s behind that secret door? I guess they’ll find out after a good night’s rest.

To be continued…

View
In which the company meets and takes on a job
That's some glue!

Three would-be adventurers with wildly divergent backgrounds—a human cleric, a dwarven fighter, and an eladrin wizard who had been raised by elves—somehow simultaneously arrive at Teldorthan’s Arms in the town of Fallcrest.

Magnus is a simple cleric of Avandra, looking for the best chainmail armor he can afford. Thorgrim, the dwarf, has arrived with a letter of introduction from his father, Lorgan, who is an old friend of Teldorthan’s. It is unclear what is in the letter, but Teldorthan immediately accepts the young dwarf into his household. Uriondir, the eladrin wizard, is on some strange sort of vision quest. Teldorthan is dubious, but the mysterious letter seems to have made him generous.

Teldorthan mentions his missing cured green dragon hide and offers the job to the three newcomers. They head over to the Lucky Gnome Taphouse to seal the deal, along with Teldorthan’s two apprentice sons: Kreldan and Gordain. After a round of ales and a decent meal, Teldorthan and his sons take their leave to get back to work. He instructs the new adventurers to come by later and he’ll set up a cot for each of them for the night.

After the weaponsmith and his sons leave, three local toughs decide to make trouble. Uriondir makes quick work of them by using Sleep on two of them. The third picks up a bench and hits Uriondir with it, but to little effect. Magnus uses Cause Fear and the brawl was basically over.

The next day our new party heads out toward Kobold Hall. They find it easily on the second day, and descend the stairs under a trap door.

In the first room, a Kobold Slinger uses a Glue Shot on Thorgrim, holding him fast. Our intrepid heroes stumble over themselves trying to get into the room. Magnus is similarly glued to the floor but only briefly. Meanwhile, two Kobold Skirmishers emerge and come around a sludge-filled pit to attack Magnus, who is the only one able to do any damage so far. Thorgrim is held in place for what seems an eternity, but in reality was only five minutes. He was, however, able to use his throwing hammers effectively.

Using Cloud of Daggers and Lance of Faith, Uriondir and Magnus are able to wound their foes, but Magnus is hurt pretty badly. The Kobold Slinger, badly wounded, retreats from the room, probably to find help. Meanwhile, Thorgrim finally gets free, and between a well-time Sleep spell and Thorgrim’s mighty Maul, short work is made of the two Kobold Skirmishers.

After a brief rest and a fruitless search, the adventurers move past the open portcullis and follow the trail of blood down a set of stairs into a large room with some vandalized coffins and three more Kobold Skirmishers waiting for the party.

To be continued…

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.