Back to Winterhaven

Posted by on October 24, 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.

Last modified on March 17, 2013

Categories: Journal, Thorn
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