Mug Bearers of the Oaken Table

Adventure 06 - Session 02
A Name from the Past

Quick Recap:
* Encountered General Bradwarton
* Traveled to the Ruins of Fastormel
* Repelled Nexull

This entry will be brief, which is not due to pressure of time or inconvenience but a more serious nature:

The area I am in is filthy.

A sewer! Never once in my youth when I dreamed of high adventure did I envision sloshing through muck-infested puddles, full of pestilence and more disease ridden creatures that even I have read about!

Yet here we are, alive at least, which I cannot say for the poor troglodyte creatures nearby. What is it down this dark and mysterious tunnel before me that would cause these creatures lay down their lives to protect it? Whatever it is, it is precious enough that someone would see fit to summon a guardian Naga to protect it! Whiskers and beards what an unusual creature!

But enough of that. What is of utmost importance, and what prompts me to put quill to paper is a mysterious figure we encountered in the throned room above. A figure who tried to kill us. A figure….who should have been long deceased.

Crowfinger… Borrit Crowfinger to be precise. A Necromancer, and a nasty one at that, in his day and age. According to history, the Crowfingers were an accomplished family from the country of Damara. Many of the kin were practices in the arcane arts, with several turning towards the darker arts of Necromancy.

It was Borrit however, that truly mastered the art, becoming so feared that many within the kingdom feared his very existence was a factor in the events which led up to the Time of Troubles. In 1376 DR, over 100 years ago, Borrit was tried on heresy charges and hanged. Following his execution, there are no further records of the Crowfinger name, and the family property was found abandoned and promptly seized by the state.

Yet tonight we encountered the man, or someone pretending to be him. His power appeared so great he could summon the dead merely at whim, and held the vampire lord Nexull a captive puppet for his macabre pleasure. Truly, it appears we may have put and end to the foul sorcerer, but I have reserves that our party, accomplished as it is, could vanquish a fiend that evaded death and certainly has outlived his normal lifespan.

About Nexull
We again encountered the vampire Nexull; however instead of the robust, elegant and graceful creature we encountered earlier we now found a distorted creature: twisted, stretched, and awkward in movement. What caused this radical conversion?


As always, there are mysteries within mysteries. But for now I must put quill to rest, as this sickening smell defeats me! I know I have a ritual somewhere for this!!!








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Adventure 06 - Session 01
A General Request

Quick Recap:
* Traveled to Nenlast on Blacktongue’s Order
* Encountered Zombies, Minimal Survivors
* Uncovered Blacktongue Setup
* Defeated Tulka Deathrattle

We were thrice blessed to escape the doomed town of Nenlast with our skins intact. It was almost certain that our end would come from the hundreds of gnashing, wailing zombies which littered every crevice of the town. Their horrid shreiking cries will haunt my dreams for quite some time.

But as it is, we are alive… For now at least.

Given our former employer’s decision to ‘terminate’ our services (and ourselves!), we agreed that travel along the main road may not be advisable. It is unknown how far Blacktongue’s reach is, although certainly his agents have been seen as far east as the Five Leage and as west as Winterhaven.

Instead, we ran west, along seldom used footroads known best by our elven and goliath comrades. Our goal was to reach Fallcrest, safely, to what ends I don’t think any of us were 100% certain. However all those half-laid plans were put on hold when we met a most unusual creature; a creature named General Bradwarton.

It was a satyr, a creature of the Feywild of which many have entered the forests of the Realms. He spoke in an unusual accent, one mixed with excitement and enchantment – maybe that is how they speak in the Wild. His companions, huge beasts called Owlbears, a ferocious mixture of two creatures into a feral incarnation. I had once seen a painting of the creatures in the grand room of Lady Acolades of Djed Thymar. Hindsight now tells me that I should have focused more on the painting, and less on the sweet smell of Acolades…

But I digress… It not without reason that he had initial suspicions of us, travelling in our condition and away from the now-cursed Nenlast. And in fact it took a good measure of reassurement that we were not (err no longer) aligned with those who have caused such recent havoc within the Vale.

About Little Petunia
Even the smallest and youngest of Bradwarton’s owlbears soundly thrashed our goliath champion in a friendly wrestling match. I hesitate to think the wounds a full grown and unfriendly one could enact.


Bradwarton informed us that the evil found in Nenlast has spread elsewhere, and suspects one source to be within the Ruins of Fastormel, a town which fell during the Bloodspear War. The General urged us to investigate the issue, offering several items of value as pre-payment for services. One of which I currently possess; a magical cloak which provides additional protection against attacks to the body and mind. These items were part of Bradwarton’s order: The Scales of the Chameleon, which assist in outfitting adventuring parties who are allied to ridding the realms of evil.

Armed with new items, we travelled northeast, to Fastormel. A thick mist obscurred much, and on arrival we were hard-pressed to even see the structures in front of us. Finding what we believe to be the central tower, we descended below.

We were not alone…

Several humans, involved in unknown activity, were interrupted by our advance. Behind them, a trio of coiled serpents, Cobalt Serpents to be precise, giant snakes with debilitating gazes. Victory was to be ours, but not without expending a deal of our reserves. And this was only the entryway.

Moving past the entrance, we then found ourselves within a fiendishly trapped corridor; a single step in the wrong direction would cause razor-sharp teeth to project from holes lodged in the ceiling. Clever but devlish! To add complexity, a porticullis sealed shut, barring our exit! Our teifling, full of tricks, provided a means of bypassing the gate, but the trap-tiled corridor was still a concern each of us had to cross.

The corridor opened into a darkened room; movement could be heard within. A sunrod showed the area to contain several coffins amidst a cobweb lined room. And the undead that once rested within them.

Amongst the rabble of moaning and gnawing we heard a deep voice, “I am Nexull. To defeat me is impossible.” What this creature was, a vampire lord perhaps, is unclear. However he spoke with poise and confidence to assert that we were not the first to combat him. And potentially not the last…

The gnawing teeth and battering hands of Nexull’s minions proved difficult, even more so when Nexull managed to enthrall our goliath, exposing our vulnerabilty. Clever positioning and raw firepower proved the stronger however, and we were able to force Nexull to retreat (for the time being perhaps…).

As I close this entry, we are still within the walls of an unknown building. Heavy cobwebs obscure areas, and there is at least one passage unexplored. And potentially, a vampire lord waiting for revenge…








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Adventure 05 - Session 06
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 8

Quick Recap:
* Solved the Murder of Tock
* Fled from a Hydra in Fallcrest
* Deposited the Succubus with Warlock’s Guild

It was certainly refreshing to be free from the yoke of impending trial, and to have a moment’s peace.

Too bad it did not last…

We sought to complete our business with our ‘employer’ Lord Blacktongue, and be done with the devilry with which our party had been drudged into. The witch Denoa was no more, and we were to collect our rewards. To his word, the vampire did compensate us as expected, with our Goliath acquiring a fearsome axe. May the Tymora grant us the luck to return the item, into the creature’s smoldering corpse!

But there was no time for idle daydreams, Blacktongue demanded another task from us, and he could not be bargained otherwise. A simple delivery, so it seemed, up to a colleague of his within the lake town of Nenlast. I felt somewhat relieved at this, as I knew it was home to our Elven lady. Maybe a reprieve nestled within a comfy Inn, sipping spiced cider while watching the final ships pull in their winter catch would be enjoyable.

If only we were so lucky…

We should have seen the signs. I should have seen the signs… The eery silence, the absence of people, and that faint taste of iron in the air. It wasn’t until we actually arrived in the village proper that we realized something was amiss. And by then, it was too late…

Zombies, hundreds of them… what must have been the whole town – converted into a sick mockery. We managed to encounter a handful of survivors; poor panicked souls too scared to be rational. Our best efforts to rescue them were only marginal – out of six original survivors only two managed to escape Nenlast at all.




About Sturdy Harry
In Nenlast we met an interesting companion of an injured halfling paladin. A boar mount, extremely obedient, almost to the point of having supernatural intelligence. Indeed the porcine possessed powers granted by divinity, and was a fierce ally in the cold twisting alleys of Nenlast.

It is sad his rider did not survive; hopefully Sturdy will find his way to Hammerfast or other sanctuary.


And there were others we could not save. A captain and crew, hopelessly battling some sort of sea creature! They cried for our assistance but we had to choose between them and our existing refugees, who were already running as fast as they could away from the lake.

And into the heart of the village.

I could hear the undead shuffling into motion with every noise we made, every twig broken heard by nearby creatures with only one desire: to feed. And a new enemy, a skeletal snake flew between rooftops, diving down to inflict venemous bites at leisure. Twice we smote the creature and it returned, again and again resurrected into it’s skeletal animation. What the blazes was this thing!?

We hoped that Blacktongue’s comrade, a ‘Tulka Deathrattle’, was still alive and able to shed light. We heard drums, and hoped it was in fact her calling for help. We raced, leaving the dead in burning heaps as we exhausted some of our best powers to reach aide quickly. It was only when we saw the skeletal serpent coiled around the shamaness that we knew the treachery of Blacktongue.

The village, destroyed by Tulka herself, now a shell of lifeless undead. At it’s center, the shamaness and her foul snake. The message we delivered was in fact our death sentence, as ordered by Blacktongue and to be carried out by the current inhabitants of Nenlast. Tulka had not only zombies, but shadowy allies with her which could drain your very essence – and we could hear the multitudes being drawn in by their drums, all hungry to feed!

We were indeed lucky to find a smith who made such beautifully balanced throwing axes. It was unfortunate that they were not sufficient to prevent his own death however.


By luck alone, we overcame Tulka and her minions, but the throngs proved far too many to destroy. As I write this, we are hiding, in our poor Elf’s former residence. If she is grieved by these events, she certainly hides it well, or is in shock. Or it could possibly be the elven way – my history of elven customs is shaky to say the least. Regardless, we will allow her time to recover what sentiments she must as well as investigate for surviving friends, but only as far as safety permits…

Beyond that moment – we are again unemployed. Our list of enemies has increased, and our ability to escape this village alive is in question.

Just another day of adventuring it seems! Bahamut Protect Us!








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Adventure 05 - Session 05
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 7

Quick Recap:
* Defeated Denoa
* Acquired mysterious Amulet “The Child”
* Heading North to Hammerfast

I shall never in my life forget the cursed name of Milstone

And the mystery surrounding it, or ‘they’ shall I say. In fact, were it not for a compassionate ally (whom shall remain nameless, for their own safety), we may never have uncovered the bizarre series of events which led us to the House of Milstone, and to our freedom.

I move too fast. Let me begin this entry by recalling that we were to stand trial for the murder of young Tock Seekingstone, an official of Hammerfast and son of a prominent Guildmaster. By local custom were were permitted a tenday to build our case, afterwhich trial would begin with our without our presence.

In my days of training within the Order, it was mandatory to attend city trial. It was pounded into us that we must not only be able to define good from evil, but also that we understand the reasons for Law within society.

Of course with such ample background I felt it would be upon my shoulders to lead the defense, should our case go to trial.


Through a certain ‘gift’, we were able to unravel clues which pieced together the construction of the Temple outside Fallcrest, and hinted at other, more sinister plots. Further investigation led us back into the heart of Fallcrest itself!

The Succubus Captive

Indeed I am glad to be rid of that harpy beast! How our Eladrin managed to safely dispose of it he would not say. That alone leads me to worry for our future…


Our troubles however, did not end once we breached the city wall. Nor did it immediately lead us to Milstone, the enemy of which I wrote of earlier. Instead we travelled to the Docks, to an unassuming warehouse – oddly guarded by unknown eladrin. Inside the warehouse we faced a creature the likes of which we’d never seen: a many-headed serpent, of no allegiance to those who guarded her. Truly it was our first encounter where discretion was the better part of Valour – for we left those poor souls alone with the creature as we ran as far as we could from those Docks. But not without first gaining a clue…

Our next stop, a salty tavern on the worse side of town. We are looking for a man we cannot identify save his name: Milstone. Even with plied drink we could not loose lips, for the excitement was directed toward an exhibition of combat – an underground Arena!

About the Arena

I was extremely surprised when our tiefling decided to be our champion for the evening. One would assume that our Goliath would have that spotlight, given his size, stamina, and limited capacity to avoid confrontation.


Our teifling’s heroics gained us temporary comraderie amongst the crowd, which was sufficient to link a name to an address. Much to our surprise it was just round the corner!

On the dreary street known as Block Alley lay the House of Milstone. Dark and unkept, the facade matched the exterior of the other buildings occupying this lonely stretch.

MILSTONE.

Inside, we found not one, but two assassins, heavily tattooed halflings with foul demeanors to match. These creatures were masters of an unarmed form of combat, allowing them to redirect attacks to nearby allies! Only through sheer determination to survive did we best these two, capturing them for evidence as the true murderers of poor Tock Seekingstone.

The Soul Knife

From the Milstones, we have acquire a wholly evil item. A blade, capable of extracting the very soul from a dying creature! An item such as this can do no Good within the world, and I fear our Goliath fried may be tempted with it’s evil powers.









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Adventure 05 - Session 04
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 6

Quick Recap:
* Saved Mushi and Galwik
* Accused of Murder in Hammerfast, Trial Pending
* Purchased Maps from Old Gaff
* Heading South to Denoa’s through across the mountains

It is done. The witch Denoa is no more.

And yet, although we have accomplished our mission, there are now more questions unanswered than when we began.

I write this entry still in her cave, the sickly smell of foul incenses burning my nostrils, while my comrades perform their standard plunder for rewards. And as I write, I ponder:

  • What was this creature, this hag in human’s clothing?
  • Why did Blacktongue desire her dead, when clearly she did not know of him?
  • Who belong to the names Denoa mentioned: Agatha, Stravalla, and Myrtlemai?
  • What of the strange amulet that can communicate through thoughts?

As I write and ponder, I also cannot deny the existence of gnawing pangs, urging my more baser desire to join my comrades in exploring what riches might be available. Already I possess an item of the former witch-hag, a leather sash designed to hold multiple flasks, elixirs and other bottled items.

Likewise did my companions acquire objects of magical nature, and both Mysterio and I agree there is still a good chance of finding tomes, scrolls, regeants, or other ritualistic components once the damage has been cleared away.

Damage. That is a very good word to describe the condition of things. Broken glass, overturned furniture, torn and shredded volumes, all of it scorched and burned. And above and below the wreckage are various bodies of strange creatures, from grub-like worms to imps to hounds of pure shadow. The creature Denoa – whatever she was – indeed challeged our endurance to the limits!

Questions, always more questions. There will be time for discussion of these matters, but that is not for now. For now I will close my entry, so that the child in me may join my companions in the hopeful search for wonderous treasure. Let tomorrow be the day of worry, of dangerous travels, of addressing wrongful accusations, of mysterious pendants, of bound devils and of accursed employers!

Until then – may Bahamut protect us (and Tymora favor us!)








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Adventure 05 - Session 03
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 5

Quick Recap:
* Battled Lothar at Five League
* Defended caravan against one-eyed halfling
* Deposited dead dwarf magistrate at false temple

In Fallcrest, the party found me absent at the rendezvous hour, which I’m sure caused them much grief, dismay, alarm, and concern. In my stead I had sent High Priest Gundlemar to deliver a message, that I had to atone for my knowledge in the lies surrounding the dead magistrate, Tock Seekingstone.

I will say how grateful I am, that although my companions can at times display attitudes that are less than pious, less than honest, and less than noble, they do stick together and defend their own through thick and thin. Had they not, both Galwik and I would forever be encased within the icy tomb trap in the devils lair.

About Priest Tad
Not only did Grundlemar accompany the party to our rescue, but also the new found ‘Priest’ Tad. It seems the former guard has managed to convince himself of his devotion, and even now practices teachings within the House of the Sun. I swear though, if I hear him refer to our Divine Platinum Lord as ‘The Dragon Dude’ one more time, he’ll need Bahamut’s protection from my wrath!

Good Lord, have I just become my teachers?


Cold and wet, but alive, we headed to Hammerfast. Unsure of our fate, we met with two of the town leaders, Marsinda Goldspinner, whom was Galwik’s mother, and Geld Seekingtone, who was Tock’s father. Not even I could successfully implore our case to the furious Geld, who demanded death. High Master Goldspinner however, was more even tempered, and so began our ten-day before a trial would be held in the murder of Tock Seekingstone.

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HAMMERFAST

  • It was once a dwarven cemetary, raided by orcs, and now is a city
  • Dwarfs, Orcs, and the ghosts of both live under truce within the city
  • The city has four wards: Gate Ward, Trade Ward, Lore Ward, and Craft Ward
  • The city is along a major trade route between Sembia and Cormyr
  • The city imposes a tax on all goods and treasure entering the city

Our stay in Hammerfast was brief: we first had a witch to slay (if we could find her!)before we could build a case for our innocence. We did try briefly but unsuccessfully to gain an audience with any of the city leaders to explain our case. In fact the only person even inclined to speak with us openly was an elderly conman, interested in parting us from our coin in return for torn maps and shady information.

I would consider our time with Old Gaff wasted, were it not for a vital (and costly) piece of information regarding Denoa’s whereabouts: “Follow the Gargoyles”. Truly, we did find the winged demons, travelling southward and set out through the mountains towards them.

Not accustomed (and nor will I ever be!) to mountaineering, the journey was slow and perilous. The mountain range has many dangers, and our first day alone we raced through burning geyser fields, battled ogres across a rope bridge, even managed to outsmart an orc tribe by offering ‘magic lard’ (truly a stroke of genius on the part of Jub-Jub and Mysterio! Bravo gentlemen!).

We still have at least a day’s journey; the dawn’s early rays will light the path of the winged beasts which will eventually lead us to our wretched quarry.






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Adventure 05 - Session 02
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 4

Quick Recap:
* Party tasked by Blacktongue to kill witch Denoa
* Defeated devil lair beneath false temple
* Carrying captured succubus and unknown dwarf corpse in Bag of Holding

We travelled eastward on horseback, along the Trade Road towards Hammerfast, where we believed we could get some answers regarding the whereabouts of the witch Denoa.

Although the journey is over easy ground, the distance could not be accomplished in a single day, at times we camped along the roadside, but we knew the Five League House would provide us with at least a night’s stay.

Felicity and the Five League House
I’m not sure why our elven companion is so adverse to entering this establishment by the main door. Whatever the case it’s become somewhat standard for her to make a delayed entrance through our room window… What will she ever do if we obtain a windowless one?


All I can say is that for his sake I hope the Innkeep never sets foot within Tymanther. The man, Barton, refused to even look in my direction as thrice I asked for services!

While Karrock took care of arrangements, Mysterio managed to roust a conversation up with a the leader of party of dwarfs, Galwik Goldspinner. We learned they were guarding a caravan from Hammerfast to Fallcrest. Versed in their tongue, he managed to overcome racial boundaries and soon we were all seated enjoying drinks and waging our earnings on friendly games of chance.

And then… trouble entered…

Skull and Bones
Although the fates have never blessed me as a successful gambler, I do enjoy testing my luck from time to time, especially when the game offers cultural insight.

Enter Skull and Bones…

The game is simple; a pair of dice and a wager against the outcome. Dwarfs however, seem to enjoy adding verbal insults, and even physical accosting, to the winner of each round. I assume this comes from their their aversion to losing money, their standards of physical endurance, and a basic love to punch things…


Lothar, with his entourage of thugs, entered the Five League. Wasn’t that mongrel supposed to be in Winterhaven? Apparently some of his associates were already in the establishment, and once eyes met he made his way towards us, barging into our game.

Apparently none of his pack knew dwarven customs for after the first Roost member received his ‘winnings’ a wild bar fight ensued. Taking sides, we joined the fray, allying with the dwarfs and against our employer. I take a modicum of comfort in knowing Barton’s misfortune as tables, chairs, mugs, and other furnishings were destroyed in the ensuing melee.

Although we won and forced the curs from the establishment, the dwarfs suffered many injuries, and it required quite a bit of coaxing (and gold) from Galwik to get us to replace their injured as caravan guards, who had to head back to Hammerfast for recovery.

The Corpse of the Dwarven Magistrate
The corpse we carry belongs to Tock Seekingstone, a young magistrate for Hammerfast’s Trade Guild. The dwarf apparently left his caravan early to secure trade agreements with Fallcrest and fell to the devils’ trap.

This would be fine if our eladrin did not speak falsely and comment that we saw this very dwarf alive in Fallcrest. Thinking quickly (and rashly) we stealthily redeposited the corpse back at the temple in the evening while on guard duty.


Now acting as caravan guard, we moved back towards Fallcrest, away from our original goal. Their cargo must have indeed been precious, for we were ambushed by a mixture of bandits, kobolds, and goblins, working for an eye-patched halfling. It seemed their prime target was to retrieve certain cargo items, and sacrificed many of their kind in their attempt. Only their leader escaped, barely, and without a single prize.

The One-eyed Halfling
We now have a name to match this villain: Serlek. Why he was ambushing the caravan, or how he even know if its cargo, is another unsolved mystery.


The day was ours, and we headed into Fallcrest triumphantly. For some of us, it was another mission accomplished; more coin for the purse. For others, it brought guilt which must be attoned…






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Adventure 05 - Session 01
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 3

Quick Recap:
* Winterhaven taken by Blacktongue
* Party tasked by Blacktongue to kill witch Denoa

Leaving Winterhaven, our journey continued eastward, back through Fallcrest on our way to find and destroy the Shadar-kai witch Denoa. “Somewhere in the mountains” were our directions – blast those rocks stretch for hundreds of miles! And only given less than two ten-day to complete our task…

It would take a divine miracle to save us.

Along the trade road, we spotted an outdoor temple. The Platinum Lord! I rubbed my eyes, had they deceived me on my prior travels down this road? Damn to my day-dreaming fancies, they may one day be the end of me!

My self-admonishing would have to wait, for we then we heard the unmistakable sounds of battle…

Hurrying, we found a lone dwarf, surrounded. From his attire one would guess a merchant or scholar; he did not even possess a weapon. His enemies, a pair of fiends, black-winged and wielding greatswords. Creatures of the Hells. With them were several cultist lackeys, loyal to the false power and certain madness such devils promise.

Fiends! In Bahamut’s Garden! The Sacrilege! The Arrogance!

Mustering our morale we charged in, attempting to save the helpless dwarf. The devils and their minions fought back, and who emerged victorious is still unclear. For while we managed to send them back to the Hells, they took the life of our nameless dwarf.

A trapdoor led down, beneath which showed the temple for the facade it was. A nest of devils, led by a beguiling succubus, was using this lair to summon more of their foul kind for reasons unknown. A statue of the Lord of the 7th, whom I shall scribe, overlooked an icy pool of death.

About The Pool
No mere pool, this deadly trap encases those foolish enough to venture near it in an icy tomb. It was our unfortunate mispleasure to find no only the bounty-hunter Pip within, but also the elven pair from Harkenwold. Why or how they arrived here is still a mystery.


I would say in all our battle this one was the most perilous, for these villians were well versed in coordinated tactics, and my over-zealousness at the mockery to my Lord may have caused me to act less than rational.

The trickster attempted to barter with us for her escape, promising valuable items for her unconditional release. Enraged, I forbade any parlay with the creature and together we subdued her, bound her, and forced her into our Bag of Holding. May her fiendish soul experience a thousand torturous deaths.

With the fiend caged, we recovered the fallen dwarf from above. A badge identified him of someone of importance, however we still lacked information. A quick burial was all we could provide the others, along with a vow to uncover the mystery of their deaths.

About The Temple
When time permits, it will be my duty to return and perform proper consecration services to restore balance to this tainted spot.


We head East, towards the mountains, with an unknown corpse and a bound fiend in our possession. Although victorious, I cannot help but ponder if our situation is now worse off than before…






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Adventure 04 - Session 04
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 2


There we stood staring at him… The rot of Harkenwold, a blight on all that is good and humane.

Lord Blacktongue,the vampire, the reason for all the suffering we’ve recently been through.

Our lovelorn tiefling could barely restrain his contempt for this creature and the pain he had caused. I could hear knuckles crack and brows furrow; although in our battle-weary state we were in no condition to battle such a vicious foe.

And this foe was not alone.

From a darkened corner, the beast emerged. He was man-like, although far larger – at least 7 feet if not taller.

One might mistake this ‘thing’ for an ogre or mishappen troll, were it not for the distinct human features and an array of patchwork stitching across every angle of his body. No – a Golem, perhaps… foul abominations fused with magical life.

Without word, the beast lumbered over to recover the dead sorcerer’s body, and retrieving his prize moved to his master’s side.

About The Creature
This thing was able to bring a fully healed warrior to the brink of death with a single blow!


Footsteps heralded the arrival of others. First, a man: large, bare-chested, with a bestial quality to him. We recognized him immediately as the lycanthrope we encountered inside Shadowfell Keep.

Behind him – a woman: young, delicate, graceful. This was Kat Kip, whom I’d only briefly once before but heard several tales.

Battered, surrounded, and outmatched, we knew our only chances of survival was parlay.

Our Demands: That Blacktongue stop their attacks on Harkenwold and leave.
Their Demands: That we assist in establishing their new base to the west in Winterhaven.

It is with heavy heart that I write of the unfortunate events after, and of the victims of the small town of Winterhaven. Though intentionally we bore no ill-will, our party has nonetheless been involved with either the sale, displacement, or murder of just about every resident in the town and its borders.
The Great Lord will be displeased indeed unless I can attone for our party’s sins! Mercy on my soul!


If only we had stopped in Fallcrest to learn of current events!

I wish I could write that we were unsuccessful in our mission to assist Blacktongue, but alas the fates were set against us. Try as we might, the devilish powder made its way into the town’s food, and within moments the effects had begun. Shorty after, they arrived, to reap their reward and dispose of those villagers who showed signs of resistance.

About our Relationship with Blacktongue
It appears lines are divided within the party regarding our current situation.
Some, such as our goliath and elf, are clouded by promises of riches and fame. Others, like as our tiefling and eladrin, are consumed with bitter hatred. As for myself, I know my faith as well as my limits. I must learn the devil’s dance before I can foil his step. May his Lord guide us.


Our sins committed, we were free to leave. The promises of riches however was too alluring for some of our resource-minded team. The request to slay an evil witch, well some measure of redemption was better than none! Slaying evil at the behest of evil – oh if fat Friar Feargus was here to debate that topic!

Once again we had to leave the residents of Winterhaven with hope Avandra would shine fortune their way. If we were ever to free them, we would need to find the right opportunity – we may need some of that fortune ourselves!

About the Mysterious Powder
As one of faith, I am horrified as the effects of this unknown drug.
As a man of science, I am amazed.
Just what is this substance?







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Adventure 04 - Session 03
Heroes to Henchmen - Part 1

Honor, Justice, Righteousness, Nobility. Those are the precepts of my faith. And I have failed them all.

I last penned of druids and turtles and disgusting swamps, and that tale is weeks in the past. We left the swamp, bearing gifts from Ranme to help us cleanse the Raven Roost. We arrived back in Harkenwold, to see once again the town had been attacked. The Inn of the Slumbering Serpent had been targeted, and hideous creatures had dragged poor Ollwyn into the night!

We vowed to his wife Belba that she would not be a widow this eve, and mounting phantom steeds chased after the creatures and their captive vintner.

Our magical mounts covered ground quickly, and soon we were upon our quarry – a pack of ravenous ghouls… lead by Priest Abramo! Steel, spell, and arrow challenged venomous claw and tooth, while the priests tested skills of divine grace. More than once paralyzing toxins ravaged our bodies, most noticibly poor Jub-Jub, who seemed to get the worst of it.

In the end however, Abramo and his beast pack were felled and by good Bahamut’s grace Ollwyn brought home to recover.

A Belated Prayer for Priests Abramo and Misha
Unfortunate souls!
May you be judged fairly and with even hand
As you meet eternal rest beyond


We spent the shortest time possible in Harkenwold, first to ensure that Abramo was safe (there was a rather nasty mob of villagers wanting possession of him – some rather suspicious if you ask me), and then to update the Baron on our situation. Finally our group was in dire need of rest, which we took at the Slumbering Serpent.

In the morning it was noticiable that something had unnerved Jub-Jub over the course of the evening. He informed us that his missing love Kat, the reason we came to this dreary locale, visited him in the evening. She warned him to leave, then attacked bearing fangs. He believes she is now a vampire – things did not look promising.

They still do not.

In the morning we rode North, on normal mounts, to the base of the Raven Roost. A squarish complex, obvious of military origin; I’ve seen plenty similar in D’jed Thymar and the surrounding lands. What was new and peculiar though, was the thorny briar-like growth which surrounded the complex, including the front doors.

Ranme had warned us of this – ‘Daggerthorn’ I believe he called it, and not native to the realm. Luckily we had in our possession a concoction from the ‘mad’ druid which would weaken and wither the plant, at least temporarily. We decided on a direct attack, through the front doors in the light of day. If vampires were to blame this could be our best chance.

We were wrong.

Inside, we suprised a sorcerous man behind a desk, who had apparently expected someone – just not us. He was not alone however, a pair of wicked zombies came from shadowed corners to assist in delaying our intrusion. As we battled, we noticed corpses crawling out from drainage grates within the complex. A slow steady stream of shambling undead made way towards us as we fought against mage and his fearsome bodyguards.

The sorcerer moved to higher ground, transforming into a misty cloud and floating to the balcony above. We had seen this trick before, while investigating the whereabouts of the local Tanner, whom we also believe to be a vampire. Scales might how many vampires are there in this infested area?!

I may never know the answer – for then… HE appeared…

The wizard fell; by arrow or blade I cannot remember. But shortly after our tiefling screamed, an arrow launched, and then – bats… Countless bats, screaching flapping wings everywhere!

Bats around us, around the zombies (who had unanimously and mysteriously stopped their assault), around the whole room, all combining to form a figure!

It was a man, of average height and weight, neatly dressed, with short blond hair. He was clean-shaven, except for a small patch between lip and chin. His eyes, one blue one brown, and blackened tongue were the only noticable physical flaws. Until we saw the fangs…

THIS was the leader of the nest. Lord Blacktongue, as he introduced himself. He spoke in a style and manner of a lord, or someone accustomed to the rules of nobility. From where, none of us could guess.

Behind his genial facade however, was an aura of death, and power, and misery. He radiated it, and now I know firsthand what my teacher-priests could only reference in tomes and texts.

THIS WAS VAMPIRE!






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Adventure 04 - Session 02
When Harriet Met Jub-Jub...
If there is one thing I have learned in my short time with our company, it is that Adventuring is a Dirty Business…

About Mysterio
Our warlock’s business is as much a mystery as his name, whatever that may be. I admit I know little about his kind and far less of profession, and has he his way I never will. I suspect he has dealings with infernal creatures; now a homunculus-like imp perches atop his shoulder like some mocking gargoyle… dragon’s beard what have I gotten myself into?!

We continued South, through Harken Wood. Over soiling mud through thrashing brush we went, in search of this ‘Ranme the Hermit’ (or ‘Ranme the Mad’ – depending on whom you are speaking with).

To say that ‘we’ found ‘him’ might be a bit stretching, although certainly we were aware of the beasts of the wood which tailed and flanked us through our search. Even now I’m unsure what my final assessment is of the man, although I will say in his favor that he was able to cure our goliath of his diminutive situation in addition to providing us assistance.

In fact if it wasn’t for Harriet, I would say I was quite fond of the fellow…

Ah Harriet… The one item Ranme ‘forgot’ to mention. One would think a monstrous turtle with a temper for trespassers would be an important fact to include when sending one on a mission.

Perhaps in the long run it is a lesson for us to learn about reconnaissance and preparation. I must say I would very much to have liked to see Jub-Jub successfully calm that reptilian beast!

“In the end the old man did not even need the reagents he sent us for; they were just part of his evening meal…”

Heading back, we once again found tragedy in Harkenwold; several building were ablaze – including the good Inn of the Slumbering Serpent! While we found Belba alive, Ollwyn was apparently taken in the night by several fiendish creatures… ghouls by the description. A hag’s beard, more ghouls?!

Deciding to pursue, we headed North – riding nightmarish steeds produced by our warlock. North, in the direction of the Raven Roost, the location indicated by Ranme as the source of the taint which has cursed the barony. Sehanine was with us that evening, and by moonlight we caught up to the creatures, galloping ahead of us on all fours. At the head of the pack was a mysterious robed figure, whom we found to be Priest Abramo!


The creatures halted as our party bore towards them, and Jub-Jub launched the first volley whilst standing atop his steed. Fearless, the creatures advanced, raking claws grasping at both horse and man. It would be a lie to say that each of us did not feel the numbing sting of ghoulish claw.

About Ghouls
Woe to anyone who must stand unarmed before a ghoul. Both strong and fast, they are excellent climbers and fearless. But it is their touch which is most deadly; a single scrape from a ghoul’s finger can leave you immobilized…

How we survived that ordeal is a mixture of Avandra’s grace and Bahamut’s wing! (And if I might add, a bit of draconic healing…) Even I felt a moment of despair when Abramo banished our warlock, effectively removing him from the latter half of combat. Justice was meted however, as one-by-one Abramo and his fiendish minions were felled low. All praise Bahamut!

Tattered but alive, we now face a decision: do we forge ahead, battered and bruised, to the Raven Roost? Or do we turn back to replenish, knowing full well our actions may create dire repercussions for the residents of Harkenwold…






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Adventure 04 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 2
By skin and scale the six of us barely escaped that foulborn swamp!

A solemn song and prayer to those we had to leave behind, bound in servitude within that marshy bog:

“O’ Platinum Scales
Rest your shielding wing
Round those your humble servant could not save
And offer strength to be brave
Against unknown pain and suffering-”


We had all made a promise to our tiefling friend, and it was my our duty to see it done. Something to do with arrows and werewolves or something… he didn’t elaborate quite clearly but I’m pretty sure this was not to be a compensatory assignment.

“The inability to save those poor souls has plauged me with no small amount grief. Once our current business is concluded, I may in fact pay the libraries of Fallcrest University a visit to find out what denizens lurk within that cursed glade”

Anyway the six of us set out, making headway Southeast from Fallcrest to Harkenwold, travelling along a rather unused road. In two day’s time we reached the tiefling’s Barony; by far the most queer and unsettling village I’ve yet to visit in my tenure…

I will not delve into the unlimited reasoning as to why I found this place so queer and so unsettling, however I will share just some tidbits and events to properly catalog our journey while advancing our story:

Ten Reasons Not to Visit Harkenwold
  1. There’s a slight but perpetual fog surrounding the area
  2. Except for frogs, worms and ravens, there’s little if any natural wildlife
  3. A vicious collection of wolves, dogs, and a giant centipede attacked us
  4. The local blacksmith is quite insane, and attacked without provocation
  5. A house burned in the middle of town and no one can offer answers
  6. Residents who frequent the local Inn just sit and stare in silence
  7. A pair of unknown elves are seen wandering around, unapproachable
  8. Bodies are mysteriously exhumed from the local graveyard
  9. Villagers are said to disappear for weeks at a time
  10. There’s no temple to Bahamut (the worst offense of all!)

Working for the village regent, Baron Stockmer, we investigated the local oddities on his (and our non-compensatory tiefling’s) behalf. Our trail finally became heated with the dragon’s fire, as we discovered the local priests were involved in the kidnapping of at least one lass! Unfortunately before we could interrogate the pair properly, one was killed while in jail while the other presumably escaped!

Both myself and our eladrin friend were most dissatisfied with the level of security offered by the town officials, and his words to them, although base, echoed my silent sentiments and ire.

We now head South, at the behest of the mysterious elves who only recently unveiled themselves as allies of Stockmer. We head deep into the woods, to find a lone hermit named Ranme, who may be able to shine light on this ever-twisting puzzle…

About Jub-Jub
I’m uncertain what bonds Harkenwold to our tiefling friend; surely a man of his talents could find better places to put his services to use. From the few stories he’s shared I’ve conjectured that he may find some solace in being close to the mountain caves from which he first emerged after years of orphaned solitude within the Thunderspire Mountains… Or that there’s something within those endless caves which he still desires…






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Adventure 03 - Session 01
A Summary of Things Which Were, Part 1

It appears the task of chronicling our journey has fallen unto me, Mushi Stormscale, Initiate of the Bronze Flame. As these papers are in such shoddy disarray, I feel it best to recap some major points and advance our story quickly to the current state of affairs:

Although paper and quill were unceremoniously thrust into my lap (by those who shall remain nameless…), in hindsight I find myself the most qualified among my colleagues to adequately (and with a level of literacy) account for our brave and adventurous tales.

Summary to Date

Our adventuring party, whom to this point have been undecided on a name, had just disrupted an evil ritual aimed to release an ancient Wyrm (curse their lot!). With Bahamut’s protecting grace we dispatched the forces of evil, however I fear that dreaded Keep will forever be a damned place.

If only the party would accept my offers to name our adventuring team. I’m positive they would be most appreciative of the prestigious titles I could conjure. Just the other day I came up with, “The Stormscale Protectors”, and “Mushi and his the Fearless Five”.

Our team now measures six, after rescuing a shifter who until recent was associated with a less-skilled and more-unfortunate party. The whereabouts of our eladrin friend remain in question, although I we suspect his body may be still within the overtaken town of Winterhaven. The residents of said town have fled South, where they seek refuge within the city of Fallcrest.

About Karok~
This shifter fellow… no one seems to know much about him. It’s evident he has a measure of skill in combat. Unfortunately he seems prisoner to some cursed artifact, a stoppered bottle which randomly traps and releases him.

We spent only the shortest time in Fallcrest refueling supplies. My years involved as an ambassador immediately sensed growing tensions between Lords Markelhay and Padraig. In addition to our desire to infiltrate Winterhaven, our tiefling has some sort of engagement or appointment, and is marking daily the passing of days. I’d be more interested had I not other pressing matters which required my attention…

Before leaving, I we managed to uncover information regarding a shipment headed to the warband controlling Winterhaven. We acquired a wagon and attempted to disguise ourselves to infiltrate the humanoid town.

Unfortunately, our plans did not go as expected, and we were forced to fight through hordes of hobgoblin guards. By sword and spell and Bahamut’s grace we pushed them back, and made our way to where we believed our mysterious warlock was to be found.

There we found him, his corpse still in suspended state save for being without clothes. My hunch was correct, and thankfully I had the insight to bring a ressurection scroll, acquired at no small cost from my good friend Highpriest Grundlemar.

Midway through the ritual, we encountered some of the elite warriors within the encampment, including their leader the masked hobgoblin Grimm. Our party intercepted them while I completed the restorative ritual, but Grimm’s forces were overpowering. We were captured!

Instead of keeping us prisoners (or worse) Grimm decided to have us escort other captured Dalesfolk south to an undisclosed location. It grieved me terribly to be helpless to save these poor souls, although I we managed to allow a few to escape. The rest we handed to an army of goblins dwelling in a swamp two days south of Winterhaven.

Quick (albeit foolish) actions on our eladrin’s part saved us; causing a diversion between the two parties and allowing us escape. You would think a race with such prolonged lifespan would appreciate the value of living – however his interest in his fiendish art is proof enough (to me) of his instability.

Racing quickly, we escaped capture by both the hobgoblin slavers and the swamp goblin army. Eventually we made it back to Fallcrest, the six of us, alive and well… Bahamut be praised!






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Adventure 02 - Session 15
Showdown with Kalarel

The party, bloodied and weary from combat, still had one final task ahead of them. They must descend down the blood-slicked chains to face the ritual in progress, and stop the restoration of the dragon Shadraxil to the mortal realm.

One by one they began their descent, moving as quietly as possible. The floor beneath the chains were thick with pooled blood, unfortunate victims from the proceeding above. The room was spacious; against the western wall was another raised altar prefaced by a wide staircase. To the north, a small humanoid army watched a robed human, drenched in sweat. The man possessed an aura of foul power, and his voice droned the deafening words of the ritual heard throughout the keep. To the west, unseen voices lent their support and strength to the drenched priest.

Behind the army and behind the priest and over the blood-stained floor hovered a sickening sight: a stone-wreathed portal, spinning and twisting, its center as black as ink. Within the blackness, tentacles and clawed hands pushed inward, attempting to spill out from the other side.

Without haste, the party launched into combat. Mushi calculated that the ritual’s completion was close at hand, and no effort should be spared!

The evil priest was not without preperation, for within the shadows lurked many minions. Several hobgoblins guarded Kalarel, ready to intercept any who came close. A shadowy wraith-like figure appeared from the shadows. Most disturbing however, was the discovery of a half-score of goblin shamans, working feverishly with Kalarel to complete the portal!

Killjoy charged the hobgoblins standing one against many while Jub-Jub and Mushi unleashed wave after wave of spell and arrow. Felicity moved to confront the shadowy wraith, uncertain of it’s power. Meanwhile the priest and shamans continued to chant…

Blow by blow, the forces of guards began to thin, allowing opportunities at the priest behind. Felicity managed a killing strike which left open ground between her and the goblins. Sprinting, she climbed the short stairs to the altar where they practiced their wicked ceremony. One by one she stabbed and sliced, killing each one in turn. But not before each managed to bring the ritual closer to completion…

Kalarel was now engaged, inter-mixing spell and chant in an attempt to keep the ritual alive. His involvement helped balance the scales, and soon the party was on the defensive, using spells and potions to remain alive!

In a brief moment of desperation, someone remembered the Hand of Torm statues and tossed theirs into the portal. At once the portal flared, almost angrily as the statue passed through it’s boundary. Reacting, the party members each began to throw theirs into the portal. Realizing the ritual was being undone, Kalarel reacted fiercely, pushing forward to keep the party on the defensive while continuing to mend his work.

Using the last of his reserves, Mushi cast down and blessed the unholy ground, causing both relief to his friends and pain to his foes. The scales once again tipped, and this time Kalarel was pressed on defense! As he backed away from the painful earth, he stepped too closely to the domain of the portal. Black tentacles reached out, en-wrapping the priest head to toe as they dragged him screaming into the inky portal. When the last of his body was through, the tentacles retreated back into their portal, which fell over with a thunderous crash!

Kalarel was defeated, the party victorious! Solemnly, the party said soft prayer for their fallen mysterious eladrin, who was not there to share in their joy. Suddenly, Felicity remembered the strange map left by Splug…. could there be something to this?



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Adventure 02 - Session 14
A Surprise Guest

The party returns to Sir Keegan to seek respite within the Keep. The chanting sounds of the ritual below continue to echo throughout the ruins, and both Mushi and Sir Keegan are worried about how much time the party has left. Sir Keegan bestows his final gift, a divine boon which grants the party an accelerated rest. When the party leaves Keegan’s chamber, the door seals for its final time.

Fully armed, the party once again decends to the lower depths of the Keep, to the door next to where Karok was chained. Listening against the door, they barely discern some sort of ceremony taking place in the room beyond. They enter, and across a large room they see a priestly figure behind a stone altar, knife in hand. The altar is smeared with blood, atop which lays a chained helpless figure. Between the party and the ceremony, a large pit opens into blackness. Four chains descend from the ceiling into the pit; blood from prior sacrifices have made their way to coat the chain with a wet, sticky coating.

Felicity peers past the ceremonial altar, and picks up additional figures huddled in the darkness. Shadowy creatures, goblin sized, stand silently on either side of the priest. To the side, two men and a female stand by, apparent guests to the horrid spectacle. Jub-Jub sees them as well, and locks eyes with the blonde female. ‘Kat Kip from Harkenwold?’ ‘What’s she doing here?!’

Before questions can be answered one of the men, a fur-chested human, spots the party. He snarls and advances, transforming into a bestial creature. His counterparts, including Kat Kip, disperse into misty forms and leave the scene immediately. As the beast and the shadows move in, yips and barks announce additional guests in the chamber – a kobold shaman with a contingent of soldiers!

The two teams advanced, both wary of the central pit. Mushi confronted the priest in a battle of divine mettle, while Killjoy intercepts the beastman and several kobolds. Jub-Jub and Karock move into open range, to better loose their volleys. Felicity positions herself around a corner for a stealthy maneuver, only to find that the shadowy creatures can in-fact traverse through solid wall!

Karock was downed early, imprisoned within a small magical vessel hurled by the priest. Meanwhile Killjoy was backed into a corner by the advancing beastman and his kobold allies. Felicity was faring only a tad better; luckily she had remembered a small vial of oil she purchased in Fallcrest which assisted in attacking insubstantial creatures. Daggers coated, she nimbly danced between the shadows scoring hits where possible.

Mushi issued a command word, backed by the power of his god, and helplessly the priest was forced to comply. Running, the priest hurled himself into the pit, descending into darkness. Mushi himself met a similar fate however, as later in the combat a force spell from the kobold shaman knocked the dragonborn over the edge.

With the enemy priest removed from combat, the party found renewed vigor. Jub-Jub launched arrow after arrow, dispatching the kobold shaman and many of his soldiers. Felicity’s oil-enchanted daggers found their target more often than not, and dispatched the shadowy figures back to the netherworld. Even the beastman’s ferocity began to wane under the constant press of Killjoy’s war axe. Seeing there was no victory to be had, the beastman managed a hasty escape through the entranceway. Only the chanting, which was coming directly from the pit below, prevented the party from pursuing.

As the party was dispatching the remaining enemies, a blood-soaked chain within the pit twitched. Peering below, they saw Mushi climbing his way out of the darkness! With a helping hand the party assists the cleric, who is ashen-faced and distraught.

‘Gentlemen, and Lady’ he said, in his deep barotone voice. ‘The unspeakable happens below as I speak!’

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Adventure 02 - Session 13
A New Friend

After defeating the traps within the Statuary, the party took a short rest to prepare for the upcoming dangers. The chanting is ever present, and the party is acutely aware they must continue forward if they are to stop Kalarel.

The party continued South, through double doors in the Statuary alcove. Opening these doors presented a rotting smell, which brought on alert. The only light available was still the sun-rod the party possessed.

Entering cautiously, the party found this room to be sectioned off into corral-like corridors. From ahead, shambling figures were seen moving slowly towards the party. Zombies! Taking a defensive approach, the party moved towards a corner of the room and prepared for engagement. Suddenly two new combatants emerged; flapping amidst the zombies was a small, bat-like creature which looked surprisingly like a statuette. More sinister but equally concerning were the gaunt humanoids which came climbing across the walls; long claws digging deeply into the stone surface. Ghouls!

While Killjoy moved to intercept the zombie horde, Felicity and Jub-Jub battled the ghouls. Occasionally arrows would harrass the bat-like creature, which assaulted the party with it’s numbing gaze. Mushi offered healing prayers in between the grasping hands of the hungry zombies.

The ghoul’s infectious toxins began to take their toll, and the party suffered many wounds. Just as the ghouls were being destroyed, the party noticed more zombies filtering in, a mass of ravenous mouths and hands. The flapping statue was also active, fluttering in and out of sight to make its devious attacks. The party’s only option it seemed was to fall back to safety.

Moving North, the party re-entered the Statuary, with zombies still chasing them. Here in the open, the standing party members used speed to their advantage, and fired round after round into their undead bodies. Apparently sensing defeat, the statuette flapped off piping, ‘Kalarel Kalarel!’. Eventually brains defeated brawn, and the party quickly tended to the fallen.

Back on their feet, the party re-entered the rotting chamber. Besides the multitude of destroyed corpses, they found two things of interest. One was a burrow, about 2 feet wide. The other was a pair of shackled captives, unconscious but safe behind gated bars. The locks on the bars and shackles were simple to pick, however inspection of the bodies by Mushi determined that they were both on the brink of death, and only one could be saved in time.

Jub-Jub inspected the pair, attempting to quickly find a reason to save one over the other. Both captives were stripped naked, and neither appeared to be older than forty Summers. One captive, a male gnome, has many tattoos across his body. Some of them were symbols to dark lords and devils, particularly Asmodeous. The other, a furred shifter, had no such markings. The decision was made, and as Mushi applied his healing skills, the unknown gnome passed away.

The Shifter, surprised at his rescue, informed the party he is Karok, hired as part of a team by Amara Azaer to recover the stolen caravan. This second party also managed to find the caravan tracks, but went straight to the Keep instead of stopping in Winterhaven. There, they were captured and shackled. Most of Karok’s party were taken into the next room; Karok feared they have all been killed. His last ally was the dead gnome captive.

Down one member, the party offered Karok a temporary alliance, which he accepted. Desperately needing rest, the party heads back to the safest place they can think of, the chamber of Sir Keegan.

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Adventure 02 - Session 12
It's a Trap!

Still in the bowels of the Keep, the party heads South, past the mess hall and once again into the darkness…

The pass a wall, one which Felicity Fingers believed to have a secret door, although no one could determine how to open it. The party made note of the observance and moved on.

Further South, the party entered an immense room, bare of any furnishings except several statues. The central and most imposing one was of a giant, sword brandished and an wicked smile on his face. In two far corners sat statues of some sort of dragon, their mouths agape in a frozen hiss. A double door was visible in a southern alcove, where four cherub statues stood on pedestals facing each other.

The party quickly learned the cruel design of this room; Killjoy became trapped inside the alcove by a magic barrier, while a watery substance began pouring from the cherubs’ mouth and eyes!

Noticing the danger their pint size friend was in, the party moved towards the alcove, only to be intercepted by the giant; the entire statue spun round, its stone sword swooping through most of the room. The dragon statues also activated, and blasted fiery death upon any who came near. Faced with three dangers, the party had to act quickly if they were going to save their goliath ally!

The cherubs continued filling the alcove, and soon the levels were so high Killjoy was forced to swim for life! Meanwhile, the rest of the team was attempting to disarm the attacking statues to no avail; more than one of them wished for Mysterio’s knowledge of the arts Arcana to help solve this puzzle.

Finally in desperation, Mushi scales atop the giant statue, avoiding his sweeping strikes. He begins to attack the statue from above, hammering with spell and spear. Following suit, Felicity joins him and the two begin to chip away. Jub-Jub decides to attack the dragon statues, and unleashed arrow after arrown into their stone forms.

Chip by chip, the statues begin to crumble; eventually toppling into heaps of rubble. When the last statue falls, the barrier to the alcove drops, spilling out Killjoy.

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Adventure 02 - Session 11
A Missing Mystery

After several encounters, the party finally gets a chance to rest. Mysterio offers to take guard while the other sleep.

Midway through their slumber, the party is awakening to a rustling within the camp. They find Splug, naked, inside the camp lurking around. To add to the confusion, Mysterio is no where to be found!

Splug was acting extremely vague and elusive, and before the party could get answers he bounded down the hall! A chase ensued, unfortunately the party could not catch up to the escaping goblin.

The party even with the absence of Mysterio, the party decided to press on. Killjoy led the party deeper into the corridor with the symbols of Helm. There they encountered Sir Keegan, the original lord and guardian of the Keep. Keegan’s skeletal apparition bade the party to stop Shadraxil from returning, and offered his assistance if they could return to Keegan the corpses of his slain children.

With directions to the children, the four party members descended to the barracks level. Sneaking ahead, Felicity crept towards the kitchen, where he spotted an ogre preparing the evening’s meal. A coordinated surprise attack felled the giant quickly, and the party was able to loot the stores for supplies.

Moving on, the party went through the mess hall, then down through an unlit corridor. Good luck led them to a children’s play area, just outside the children’s room. From behind the door leaped the children, their long-dead corpses rotted and vile. Killjoy blocked the door’s entrance, absorbing the necrotic globs the children disgorged on him. Just as the party felt they were in control, an unseen force stuck Jub-Jub from behind!

The cube of gel moved in, looking to absorb a meal, while from the side the children attacked with glee. The party divided their attacks, dropping first the Cube and then the children. Their remains were brought back to Keegan, who awarded the party with Aecris, his holy sword.

Returning to the mess hall, the party found an ominous door. Nailed to the door were several skulls, underneath which was written, ‘No Peeking!’. Inside, they found valuable paperwork, with details of the plot within the Keep. The party found that the ritual is expected to complete this very day, should all be on schedule.

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Adventure 02 - Session 10
One Step Forward, One Step Back

Still exhausted, the party attempted to press forward. Searching for respite, they entered a domed chamber, whose ceiling was covered in cobwebs. Rows of oaken coffins were propped standing against the chamber walls, ten in all. A closer inspection of the ceiling revealed symbols belonging to Helm, a god who perished during the Time of Troubles. These symbols were also found on religious items uncovered at Shadraxil’s burial site. Unfortunately, these items were sold back in Winterhaven to Bairwin Wildarson

The Hall of Helm had many mysteries, one of which was to summon an army of soldiers to defend the chamber. The sound of marching was heard through the hall, and once-empty coffins swung open, revealing skeletons clad in Helm’s armor, ready to battle. Mighty Killjoy took on half the horde single-handed, while Felicity Fingers, Jub-Jub, and Mysterio kept the offense hard and heavy.

Victory was short-lived however, and even a short rest denied when the party heard voices from nearby. A search party of goblins, accompanied by a human priest, had found the slain zombies. Although in desperate need of rest, the party knew to allow the search party to report their findings would be fatal to their mission.

Felicity Fingers led the haggard team in a brutal surprise attack, which was responded by a hail of goblin arrows and a temporary standoff. Elven ears picked up the priest saying, “Get Krug, now!”. There was little time to act.

Invoking the shielding powers of his magic armor, Jub-Jub lead the party in a second assault against the bunkered enemy. With stone-like skin, he was able to take the frontal assault of the entire firing squad of goblin archers. Resolved to win, the party pushed on!

Spells, arrows, and steel flashed through the dimly lit corridors, while the party attempted to deny reinforcements from finding arriving in time.

Just as the party gained the upper hand, a thunderous roar heralded the arrival of Krug! With thick knotted arms, the ogre charged the allies flank, swinging his greatclub with monstrous reach. Killjoy moved to intercept the giant, while the rest of the party attempted to take on the still-alive priest and his ranged goblin team.

Two well placed hits took Felicity Fingers and Killjoy out of action, and with no healing powers left, all Mushi could do was stabilize them until the battle ended.

Thinking quickly, Mysterio] used his last healing vial on Felicity, and took a gamble by administering unidentified potions on Killjoy. One of the potions had adverse effects, shrinking the goliath to half his size! Alive though, the two joined their team and together the party managed another victory!

Finally, the party was able to achieve a small but well desired rest. To provide a level of safety, all corpses were stashed into an alcove area, where hopefully they’d never be discovered…

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Adventure 02 - Session 09
Hobgoblin Vengeance

The party left Winterhaven with plans to return to the Keep. On the way they are ambushed by a hobgoblin warparty. Their leader, a horridly scarred glaive-wielding hobgoblin, screams vengeance at the party. At his command arrows fly, spells cast, and wolves released towards the suprised party.

The party, pinned on all sides, was in dire straights. Several allies including Mushi, Felicity, and Killjoy require healing measures to be brought back into the battle. The glaive-wielding hobgoblin was ferocious, intent on cutting down all in his path. He was the last enemy standing, and manages to dispatch Mysterio before falling.

The bodies of the dead were searched for clues about the attack, while Mushi peforms a Gentle Repose ritual to preserve Mysterio’s body. Jub-Jub found a hand drawn map, and determines that it detailed an attack directly on Winterhaven. A few words accompany the map, of which Splug can only decipher one, ‘Ninaran’.

Again the party went back to Winterhaven, to Lord Padraig with news of the potential threat. Padraig was concerned about the absence of Valthrun, who is his trusted advisor. Padraig does recall hearing the word Ninaran before but cannot recall what it means. The party asked for assistance in reviving Mysterio, so Sister Linora was summoned. Linora inspected the corpse, and said she will revive Mysterio, and he will meet the party at Wrafton’s later in the eve. Lord Padraig and the party headed to Wrafton’s to discuss what to do about the news.

At Wrafton’s, the discussion is heated about what to do next. Felicity and Jub-Jub offered options to stay and defend the town from attack, while Mushi offered evasive measures to protect the citizens. Mysterio returns, and is updated on the news of the attack. Eventually, Padraig decided to evacuate Winterhaven to the safety of Fallcrest. Mushi convinces the party to escort the villagers half-way, then return to finish business at the Keep.

By nightfall, the surrounding villagers were rounded and begin their trek South to Fallcrest. Linora was missing from the crowd, which drew suspicion from Felicity. Padraig however was more concerned about the villagers he has beside him than those he does not. The party accompanies the villagers as far as possible before heading back North to finish their business. On the way to the Keep, smoke and flames are seen rising in the direction of Winterhaven.

Back inside the Keep, the entry level appeared defenseless. A chanting sound can be heard within the complex, Mushi determines the noise to be a ritual of some sort in progress. The party explored the goblin quarters, including where Splug expected the goblin boss Balrog to reside. Splug had repeated several times that Balrog had stolen his wand, and the fat goblin’s absence did not settle well. Shortly after, Splug disappeared from the party.

The party determined the source of the ritual to be louder near a section of stairs leading down. Crossing the stairs however cancelled out all external noise. Past the stairs, the party found a series of dark corridors, with strange symbols on the floor. Neither Mushi nor Mysterio could determine the nature of the symbol. The party avoided crossing over any symbols, but stumbled upon a pack of zombies. The battle appeared to be going well for the party, until additional zombies began shuffling in from behind. With danger from all sides, the party exhausted most of their resources staying alive.

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Adventure 02 - Session 08
Keeping Promises

Exiting the tower, the party found a lone figure rummaging among the Keep ruins. The party determined the figure to be Valthrun, and approached cautiously. Valthrun had vital information related to the Keep, but would only disclose the information in a more secure area. Killjoy, Jub-Jub, and Felicity successfully managed to find a safe location for the party to rest.

Valthrun reveals who he is, a Watcher charged for the past century to protect the secrets of the Keep. He had left his tower to accompany the party, much at the risk of his own life force, which requires him to be near his tower. Valthrun tells the tale of the dragon Shadraxil, who was imprisoned a millennium ago by Jerold Keegan, a knight of Cormyr’s Purple Dragons. Valthrun informed the party the portal which sealed Shadraxil was hidden underneath the Keep, and he believed this to be the answer to the clues the party has provided.

Valthrun was adamant about attempting to stop Kalarel with or without the party, so reluctantly he was allowed to travel with the party. Early in the exploration however, Valthrun was killed during an encounter with a goblinoid party in the jail cells of the Keep. The party decided to bring Valthrun back to Winterhaven to seek Sister Linora’s healing assistance.

Before leaving the Keep, the party acquired a new companion, a somewhat friendly goblin named Splug. Killjoy seemed to enjoy Splug’s company, and even let the goblin ride on his shoulder when permissible. In return, Splug provided bits of information about the Keep’s denizens, and even sang when the mood fit him.

Back at Winterhaven, Splug and Killjoy were forced to stay outside the gate while the rest of the party entered.

Jub-Jub and Mushi went to see Sister Linora, with Valthrun’s corpse stashed inside their Bag of Holding. Linora was upset at the expectation that she would continually revive the fallen, but promised to do what she could. In return, she gave Jub-Jub a special coin; when the coin became hot to the touch Jub-Jub was to return to Linora within three days. Jub-Jub took the coin in agreement.

Felicity and Mysterio had searched Valthrun’s body prior, and found a key which they used at his tower. Inside they found a three level complex, mundane except for two items of interest.

One item was a large volume tome, most of which was written in a language neither could decipher. Mysterio was able to determine several words within the tome to be names of infernal creatures, and decided the book was too dangerous to read, but too interesting to leave.

The other item was a door on the second floor of the complex. Felicity sensed the door was trapped, and Mysterio was able to detect a magical aura. However neither could successfully determine the nature of the trap or disable it. Finally Mysterio, curious about the contents behind the door, threw fate fate to the wind and placed one of Valthrun’s keys in the lock and his hand on the handle.

The trap was triggered, and the pair found themselves caught in its machination. Electricity shot through the key, and the handle began to shrink in size, trapping Mysterio’s hand. At the same time, a mouth appeared on the door and began a hideous laughter. The enchanted laughter had a hidden command, which began to wear down the pair’s willpower to resist. Although the two managed to escape, Mysterio vowed to return shortly to attempt another round.

Before leaving town, Mysterio returned to the tower with Jub-Jub for a final attempt. The pair were successful, and once opened, the laughing door fell silent. Inside, the duo laid eyes on an extremely disturbing room. In the center of the circular room was a large portal, beneath which lay a protective circle. Encircling the portal were eight glowing orbs, which Jub-Jub identified as Will-O-Wisps, mythical creatures of Feywild origin. The Wisps were apparently in a suspended state. The pair were able to determine the portal was active, but neither were willing to attempt crossing the circle to travel through it. The pair left, leaving the mystery of the portal for another time.

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Adventure 02 - Session 07
To the Keep...

Back in Winterhaven, the party presented Lord Padraig with the kobold wardrums. Lord Padraig is pleased, and rewards the party as promised. In addition the party’s exploits are recorded by Valthrun for the Winterhaven Annuls.

The party also presented the note found in the lair to Valthrun, who appeared reluctant to relay the information without party insistence. The general consensus is that a local abandoned Keep, called ‘The Keep on the Shadowfell’ by locals, is the location referenced both by Agrid and by Irontooth’s note.

Padraig found the news disturbing, but refused to pay the party’s price for clearing the dungeon. The party finally negotiated for Padraig to provide the party with a Cormyrian Adventuring Charter if they are successful.

Heading Northeast, the party come upon the ruins of the keep. Exploration around the keep uncover several unusual areas, specifically a hidden trapdoor and a single intact tower.

The party decided to investigate the tower first. Felicity and Killjoy scale the tower; once atop, they found structural damage allowing them to descend the interior via rope. Killjoy drops to the lowest level, where he encounters a pair of ravenous undead dogs. The rest of the party quickly scrambled to assist Killjoy, who alone was outmatched by the pair. The battle was intense, requiring the party’s full repertoire, but eventually the creatures were defeated. Exhausted, the party decided to camp within the tower’s bowels.

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Adventure 02 - Session 06
Oh Irontooth Where Art Thou?

The party arrived on the outskirts of the kobold lair, which is a cave complex hidden behind a small waterfall. Felicity scouted ahead and spotted a kobold guard, almost completely submerged in the water. The guard however spotted the party, and a both sides prepare for battle. Several kobolds rode upon crocodiles, allowing them to travel downstream rapidly. However even with this advantage, the party still is victorious.

Approaching the waterfall, the noise of the river is deafening. Inside the cave is also deafening but for different reasons. Wardrums and chanting echo through the caverns, and in the central chamber kobolds congregated from all directions, piling atop each other in a bizarre ritual. The swarm of kobolds moved as one, and after several rounds of increasing its mass it begins a coordinated attack against the party. Additional kobolds filter in from various corners, providing assistance to the kobold swarm. The party responds, attacking from several angles, whittling the mass down one kobold at a time.

Unable to rest, the party moves forward to combat the source of the drums. There the party encountered not only the kobold chief but also the enraged goblin Irontooth, wielding a two-handed axe. Irontooth is formidable, but the party emerged victorious yet again. Searching the caves, the party found a note implicating a larger operation has been coordinating local tribes for something sinister. An unknown person named Kalarel is attempting to open a portal to do Shar’s bidding. The party decided that none of this bodes well and heads back to report their finding. They also recover the chieftain’s wardrums, proof of their victory in the caves.

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Adventure 02 - Session 05
The Trial of Agrid

At dawn, Sister Linora began the process of resurrecting Agrid for the purpose of interrogation.

The party headed East toward the kobold cave, but are ambushed on the way by kobold war party. No prisoners are taken but the party decided to return to town for rest and supplies.

Mushi and Mysterio went and performed the Bloom ritual on the farmlands to the North as Linora had requested. They noticed that several farms in the area were barren, and at least one farm had been vacated in a hurry.

Felicity went to Thoar Coalstriker to negotiate better pricing for silvered daggers. Thoar offered a discount if the Felicity could directly improve Thoar’s profits.

Jub-Jub went to train with the town militia. Killjoy signed up to be part of the town militia, but attempted to forcibly terminate his contract, resulting in his arrest. When the party learned of Killjoy’s fate, they implored Lord Padraig to release their companion. For a hefty sum paid by Mushi, Killjoy was released under the promise never to return to Winterhaven. Until repaid, Killjoy is indentured to Mushi. While the party is in town, Killjoy stays outside the town gates in a nearby clearing.

Finally, the traitor is revived, and the interrogation begins. Lord Padraig and the party are able to extract enough information from Agrid which lead to his conviction, as well implicating Bairwin as Agrid’s employer. Bairwin had already left town, possibly towards the Dragon Coast if the story he told the party can be trusted. Agrid is sentenced to life imprisonment in the Salt Mines of Cormyr; he will be transported there next Spring. Until then he will remain in the Winterhaven jail.

The party convinces Lord Padraig to search Bairwin’s home for more clues. Padraig, his guards, and the party find a small temple dedicated to Shar underneath Bairwin’s shoppe. Several cultists and their undead servants put up a fight; Mysterio manages to steal a pair of magical boots from the shoppe upstairs before joining the commotion below.

The party and Professor Oz got into an altercation over a magical locket the party found on Agrid; the locket contains a picture of Agrid’s family. With some careful diplomacy the issue was resolved, and the professor headed back to Fallcrest for the upcoming semester.

Finally with the issue of the missing professor behind them, the party rejoins Killjoy and heads East again, towards the kobold lair.

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Adventure 02 - Session 04
Of Dragons and Gnomes

At full strength, the party headed back South to ambush what they believe is an imposter Professor Oz. The ambush is successful, and carries the momentum needed to quickly overpower the enemies. No fatalities occur on either side. The real Professor Oz was found alive, bound and gagged underneath a pile of tarps in the corner of the site.

Oz informed the party of recent event up to and including his capture: while inspecting the historic site Oz uncovered that dragon remains are indeed buried here, but far too small to be the terrible Shadraxyll, who was supposedly slain a century past.

While continuing his discoveries, Oz was overtaken by the gnome Agrid, and his dwarven allies. Tressed and bound, the gnome was kept alive for information while the dwarves began digging around the site. A party of Hobgoblins appeared daily asking Agrid for updates on discoveries. On at least one occurrence the dwarves appeared to have unearthed something of importance, which was delivered to “The Keep”. When questioned, Agrid and the dwarves remained tight-lipped.

The imposters are bound and escorted back to Winterhaven. On the way the party is ambushed at night by unseen archers. The assailants demand the excavation team be released. The party refuses, and the enemy looses arrows directed at Agrid and his comrades, killing all of them. The attack ends as quickly as it started, with the assailants disappearing into the woods.

The party continued to Winterhaven carrying only the corpse of Agrid, which they hoped could be resurrected to provide more clues.

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Adventure 02 - Session 03
To Winterhaven!

The party arrived at Winterhaven, which they notice is substantially smaller than Fallcrest. They establish residency at Wrafton’s Inn, and questioned locals about the caravan and the missing professor. They learn two important facts:

  • Professor Oz recently stayed at Wrafton’s Inn. Oz was asking about a local area rumored to be a dragon burial site. A local farmer named Elian provided Oz some information about the location of the site to the South; Oz has not been seen since.
  • Bairwin Wildarson, a local merchant, is responsible for the Winterhaven shipment for the Fall Caravan. Bairwin has not seen the caravan and is concerned about it’s absence.

The party met most of the prominent citizens of Winterhaven. Lord Padraig offered the party a small sum to clear out a local cave of kobolds Southeast of town, and Sister Linora offered to teach Mushi and Mysterio the Bloom ritual in return for performing the ritual at some local farmlands to the North.

While Mushi and Mysterio stayed with Linora to learn the ritual, Felicity, Jub-Jub, and Killjoy headed South to investigate the last suspected location of Professor Oz. On the way Killjoy was waylayed to assist a family who’s wagon was stuck in the mud. Felicity and Jub-Jub scouted ahead to the burial site. There they found a dwarven excavation team led by a spectacled gnome.

The gnome’s appearance and mannerisms were only a partial match to Dean Belford’s description of Oz; and after a small parlay between Felicity, Jub-Jub, and the excavators the two left the miners to their work. Recovering Killjoy, they heading back to report their suspicions to Mushi and Mysterio.

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Adventure 02 - Session 02
Back in Fallcrest

In Fallcrest, the party decided to continue to stay at the Nentir Inn. Mushi stayed at the House of the Sun. The next morning the party received a note from Mushi in the morning stating their business has concluded; he must report his findings to his superiors. He will meet them for supper to discuss whether they have any new business.

Dean Belford informed the party of the malevolent nature of the Onyx Skull. The party handed the skull over to the dean on the promise of its destruction.

The party head to Lady Azaer, whom they update on the caravan’s status. The party negotiated an extremely profitable deal to recover the caravan, which is believed to be hijacked by hobgoblins.

Mushi does not show for dinner, which causes some concern to the party. A trip to the temple uncovers that Mushi has not left his room all day. The party is advised to check back daily on his status.

The party woke one morning to hear loud noises coming from the Lowtown section of Fallcrest. Porters were making large deliveries of timber, stone, and other construction materials next to a building which was in the middle of being torn down. The destruction crew consisted of a several ogres, who under the guidance of a pair of female elves were busy ripping an old building down by hand. Guards, commanded by Sergeant Nereth, kept close eye over the entire operation. A nearby sign read, “Future site of Darkboulder Acquisition Bounty Hunters”.

Mushi reappears, with instruction from his superiors which allow him to rejoin the party as an associate. The party retrieve their horses from the stables, and head forth to Winterhaven.

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Adventure 02 - Session 01
The Banquet of Heroes

A banquet was held in the party’s honor. Afterwards, Lord Markelhay invited the party for evening drinks and to discuss the letter found on the kobold cheiftain. Markelhay suspected the attack will be directed at the Fall Caravan, which had recently left Fallcrest in route to Winterhaven. He suggested the party speak with Lady Azaer, who oversees the Fallcrest shipment, and offer their services. The party did so, and negotiated a deal to catch up to and escort the caravan to Winterhaven.

Dean Belford privately asked the the party for assistance to track down one of his teachers, Professor Oz. The last communication between the dean and professor occurred several days ago when Oz was to arrive in Winterhaven.

Leaving Fallcrest, the party picked up the trail of the caravan, but blood and crossbow bolts found in the grass indicate a combat to which the outcome was unknown.

The trail is picked up again, which led to a graveyard midway betwen Fallcrest and Winterhaven. The bodies of caravan guards are found outside, and screams echoing from within one of the masoleums brought the party to action. Entering the crypt, they find a macabre scene: several undead dragging the remaining caravan guards towards an altar, on which sits a glowing crystal skull. The party does not manage to save any of the guards, who are slain by some power released from the skull.

Alive, the party claimed the crystal skull as a treasure. Mysterio examined the skull and determined it has a powerful evil aura to it. The party decided to bring the guard back to Lady Azaer, and question Dean Belford about the mysterious skull. Killjoy offered to hold the skull, fashioning it into a crude buckle on his belt.

The party is ambushed on the way back to Fallcrest by a kobolds. After the encounter, the party decides to set camp for the evening and hit Fallcrest in the morning. That evening the party is attacked by the corpses of the recently slain kobolds, which have risen as zombies. Afterwards, the party hastened to Fallcrest to report their findings.

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Adventure 01 - Session 01
So You All Meet In a Bar...

The party met for the first time at the House of the Sun in the city of Fallcrest. The date is 30 Eleint, DR 1479 (The Year of the Ageless One). Each member carried a letter from Mushi Stormscale, requesting assistance for a secret mission.

The party is hired to infiltrate an abandoned mansion infested with several kobold tribes, and return a stolen shipment of green dragonscale armor.

While investigating the mansion the party discovers that only one tribe remains within the complex; either absorbing or decimating their former allies. Lord Markelhay negotiates a deal with the party to slay the kobold leader and rid the mansion of it’s current inhabitants.

The party accomplishes its tasks, earning favor with several prominent cityfolk, including Lord Markelhay, Teldorthan Ironhews, and Dean Belford of Fallcrest University. A banquet is held in the party’s honor; the proprietor of Nentir Inn offers the party free board for the winter.

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