Archive for October, 2012

A Day in Winterhaven

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

After meeting up at the inn, we decide to search for Captain Rond to tell him what we learned at the burial site. The guards suggest that we may find him at the warrior’s guild, so we all make our way there. At the guild, we find Captain Rond training with his men. He gestures for us to approach, and asks if we would like to train with them. We all feel that a bit of combat training would be a good idea.

Orsik gathered a group of recruits interested in hammer techniques, and showed them a few tricks.

Leshanna practiced knife fighting with a short human. She had difficulty at first, but was soon able to best him.

Larksong took up a bow and practiced at the range, doing fairly well.

I grappled with Captain Rond, and was able to pin him several times. He was impressed with my technique and asked if I would train with him more often.

After the training, we headed to to the inn with Captain Rond to unwind and talk about our findings. We told Rond  about the burial site, Douven Staul, the Dark Keep, and our suspicions of Valthrun. He thanked us for the information and assured us that Lord Padraig would be grateful as well.

We all wanted to pay Douven Staul a visit and check on his recovery. To our surprise, we found him awake and eager to talk. He had heard there was a dragon horde near Winterhaven, and went searching for it. While he was searching, he encountered Agrid, and was captured and tortured. While he was imprisoned, he heard his captors speaking about their master, Kalarel. He believes Kalarel is a male priest, but does not know any more. Finally, he removed the picture of his wife, Nensi, from the locket and gave it to Orsik. The locket is actually an amulet of healing, and quite valuable.

Sister Lenora, the priestess of the temple, insisted that we let Douven rest. I asked if there was an extra room in the temple where I could meditate and spend the night, while the others went back to the inn.

At dawn, we gathered at the inn and prepared to go to the Keep. When we left the village, the guards at the gate passed us a note from Captain Rond, who urged us to be cautious.

As we approached the Keep, Leshanna sensed old magicks in the area. The path widened to a clearing, with no life whatsoever. The ground was bare earth, without even weeds among the ruins. The complete absence of wildlife lent the area an eerie silence. Someone however had cleared away enough rubble to reveal a stairway leading down.

We reconnoiter the area and are unable to detect any traps, neither magical nor mundane, but we do hear chittering sounds from the stairs. Larksong searches the woods nearby and doesn’t find anything threatening, but does find two very valuable flowers. I crept up to the stairs, again finding no traps, and saw flickering torchlight at the bottom. The others joined me at the top of the stairs, and Leshanna told us she sensed magic down the stairs, in the distance.

We carefully proceed down the stairs, but unfortunately are not very quiet. At the bottom, we emerge into a large square room, with a large Goblin warrior. He sees us, and grins.

Back to Winterhaven

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

After the battle at the burial site, we made a litter for Douven Staul and started back to Winterhaven. We had only traveled about half the distance, however, when we began to smell smoke. Rounding a bend in the road, we came upon a group of Kobolds gathered around the charred remains of a caravan. The Kobolds were chittering excitedly and angrily, throwing whatever they could find at the overturned wagons. Magical flames appeared between the wagons and the Kobolds, and I sensed movement among the wagons.

Fortunately for us, surprise was on our side, and we were able to make short work of the Kobolds. As soon as the Kobolds were dispatched, the flames disappeared. The movement I had seen earlier turned out to be Valthrun and Ninaran, both of whom were not as fortunate as we had been. Ninaran was white faced and cradling a bloody arm, so Niva set to work with her healing arts.

Valthrun was eager to learn what we found out at the burial site. Upon seeing the mirror, he became badly shaken, and insisted that we go back to his tower immediately.

Back in Winterhaven, we followed Valthrun to his tower, while Ninaran went to the inn. Larksong and Leshanna felt that Valthrun was acting suspiciously, and privately expressed doubts as to Valthrun’s prowess as a wizard. Inside the tower, we noticed rows and rows of books and scrolls, and I was able to discern a religious significance in many of them. Looking closer, I noticed that some of the books had symbols matching those on the mirror. The connection triggered a memory, and I pulled out the obsidian figurine we had taken from our first encounter with the Kobolds. There were more matching symbols there.

Valthrun told us about the Keep northeast of the village. Long ago, the Nerath Wizards sealed a rift to the Shadowfell and built a Keep over it. A garrison was left to guard the Keep, with a knight named Sir Keegan in charge. One day, Sir Keegan began slaughtering everyone in the Keep, without reason. The garrison was eventually able to drive Sir Keegan away, but at great cost.

Now, the Keep lies in ruins, and is infested with Goblins. To this day the people of Winterhaven avoid the Keep and any mention of it. Delphina Moongem is the only person known to visit the ruins.

Valthrun believes that the rift in the Keep leads to the domain of Orcus, the demon lord of undeath. He also believes that the mirror belonged to the Nerath Wizards, and may contain a way to unseal the rift. He identified the figurine  as a symbol of Orcus, and then expressed dismay, proclaiming that there had been no evil cults in Winterhaven for more than one hundred years. He believes now that there may be a death cult in the area.

Larksong asked about Kalarel. Valthrun did not know the name, but said that death cults are typically led by high priests and acolytes, and supposed that Karalel must be one of these.

Leshanna, believing Valthrun to be hiding something, tried to intimidate him into revealing his secrets. Valthrun became offended and asked us to leave. As we made our way out, Larksong hid in the tower, to spy on Valthrun. I lurked about outside the tower to keep an eye on Valthrun while the others went to check on Douven Staul.

Soon, Valthrun came out of the tower and headed towards the barracks. I followed, but once he entered the gate there was no way for me to slip through without being seen. I waited outside the barracks until Valthrun came back out with Rond Kelfem. As they walked to the tower, I let out a bird-cry whistle to alert Larksong. Larksong was able to squeeze through a window and fly down unnoticed. Soon Captain Rond exited the tower and went back to the barracks. Larksong and I, learning all that we could, returned to the inn to meet up with the others.

The Burial Site

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Leshanna, continuing her ruse, got close enough to Agrid to threaten him. She grabbed him and touched his neck with her wrist blade, drawing a tiny bit of blood. She then told Agrid a fearsome tale about the Drow ritual of Mylthar, which she would perform on him if he did not tell us where to find Douven Staul. Agrid was obviously frightened, but claimed not to know any Douven Staul, or where he might be. Leshanna released Agrid and he stumbled away, clearly cowed.

The dragon-like guards at the entrance, however, were unfortunately not frightened at all, and proceeded to attack Leshanna. Once out of her reach, Agrid yelled “Kill them all, Kalarel will reward us well!” Orsik and Larksong moved in to help Lashanna, while I charged at Agrid, swearing my Oath of Enmity. It was a very close fight, but we were once again victorious.

Agrid was wearing a locket, which upon opening revealed a picture of Douven Staul’s wife. Leshanna also sensed magic in the locket, and believed it to be an amulet of protection.

The crate which so excited the workers contained an unremarkable, dirty mirror. It appears to be very ancient, but not magical.

A sack in one corner of the burial site proved to contain the unconscious and badly wounded Douven Staul. There was little that we could do for him at the burial site, so we stabilized him and are now proceeding back to Winterhaven.

Back to Winterhaven

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

After defeating Irontooth in the Kobold lair, we thoroughly explored the caverns and discovered a treasure room. Inside, we found a small iron cage with a Pixie inside. The Pixie introduced herself as Larksong, and begged us to release her. Fearing a trap, we were hesitant at first, but then the Pixie began to sing and all of our worries melted away. We freed Larksong from the cage, and she has even agreed to join our party.

Tired and battle worn, we decided to make camp rather than risk to long trip back to Winterhaven in the dark. Orsik fortified the treasure room door and set wards, then we all bedded down for a much needed rest.

In the morning, we carefully made our way out of the cave and headed back to the road without incident. On the way to Winterhaven, we encountered a caravan. They were well armed and battle weary, but more than willing to trade with us.

Back in Winterhaven, we immediately set out for an audience with Lord Patraig. We were told to wait at the inn, where we overheard that Valthran and Ninaran had gone to investigate the burial site, where Douven Staul is believed to have vanished. Presently we were joined by Lord Patraig and Captain Kelfem. They were as disturbed as we about the possibility of spies in Winterhaven, but could give us no clues about the identity of either Orcus or Kalarel.

After collecting our reward, we set out for Valthran’s tower. No one answered our hails, and the door was locked. Leshanna tried to discern whether any magic had been used recently, and was thrown to the ground by a powerful ward on the tower. It seems that Valthran is more than a simple scholar.

On to the burial site, where we hoped to find some clues to Doven Staul’s whereabouts. We endeavored to approach quietly, wary of ambush. Orsik however, being a Dwarf, is as at home in the forest as, well, a Dwarf in the forest. I felt the tip of a spear in my back, and a low voice came over the wind: “Who goes there? What are you searching for?”

“We are looking for you,” I replied, and turned to face Ninaran. She hissed in surprise, but seemed agreeable to see us. Valthran came out from concealment and greeted us as well. They told us they had seen four or more humans at the burial site, and wishing to avoid a confrontation were on their way back to Winterhaven. Valthran also told us he has important information about the keep  Northeast of Winterhaven, and we should come to his tower tonight. And with that, he and Ninaran left us.

We continued on to the burial site, more quietly this time, and found a clearing with a crater in the center. Inside the crater were the humans Valthran had described, as well as two man-sized dragon-like creatures standing guard. Four of the humans appeared to be digging, in search of who knows what, while a fifth walked among them, overseeing their labors, clearly in charge. I leaned over to whisper with Orsik, when Leshanna suddenly stood up and said, “Hey big boy, whatcha got there?”

Startled, the leader replied that it was none of her concern. Leshanna and Larksong continued the ruse and sashayed closer, while Orsik and I crept around under concealment to a better tactical position. The leader, called Agrid, became increasingly agitated as he tried to shoo Leshanna and Larksong away. Suddenly, one of the diggers shouted ,”I’ve found it!”  The leader, forgetting the intruders for the moment, ran to see. “Yes!” he exclaimed, practically bouncing. Then, as if remembering the unwanted guests, he turned to face Leshanna and Larksong with a malicious grin. “You there! Come and see what I’ve found!”


Saturday, October 6th, 2012

We set off in the morn for the long voyage to Winterhaven! We made sure that we would have everything we needed (food, water, light, ale, etc…) and made haste.  Around midday when the sun was at its highest, these wee little vermin bandits ambushed us for our ale!  We made quick work of them, but the last one managed to hit me head with a sling then I went down.  I wasn’t down for very long, for that big dwarf shaman, Niva, healed me right up when we killed those vermin.  After the battle we looked through the bandits things and I took the sling that knocked me out to use against future foes. All in all it was a good fight, I was a little sad I missed the end. I hear that that emotionally unstable eladrin took care of them while we were taking a wee nap.

The Note

Monday, October 1st, 2012

While me and my companions were having a nice mug of ale a messenger comes in and yells, “Message for Orsik!”  Now Never getting a message before in my life I start jumping up and down yelling, “I’m Orsik over here!”  When the messenger came over he gave me the letter in a state of shock and said, “Here is your letter…” Then he walked off.  My companions looked at me and the wee kitty asked, “Haven’t you ever gotten a letter before?” Naturally I reply, “Besides this, not a single one in my life.” I opened the letter and what I read I couldn’t believe what it said. My companions must have noticed my face go pale and asked what the letter said, so I handed it to them and Niva, The tall Dwarf, read it aloud:

Dear Orsik,

I hope your travels have treated you well. I come with ill news.  My husband and your master, Douvenstaul, went off on one of his quests some time ago and I am truly worried for his well-being.  He said that he was going to a dragon burial site near Winterhaven.  I don’t wish to trouble you, but if you could be so kind as to bring him home to me I would be forever grateful.

My companions immediately  agreed that we shall make our way to Winterhaven in the morning.