Telarra Adventuring Company

The Tale Begins
start

After fleeing the recent flooding of a monastery of Bahamut, Istvara found herself in a small hamlet off of the King’s Road. The town of Cordwain, being rural and somewhat out of the way, found its’ first dragonborn visitor to be quite a wonder and an attention getter.

Simultaneously, news came to the priestess of the church of Pelor about suspicious blood cult activity. If the news is true then the northern town of winterhaven, and also the people of Cordwain are in dire peril. Confiding in her two most capable parishioners, Thom and Lucant, both of Elven heritage, the priestess asked if they could gather a group of suitable adventurers to put an end to this blood cult activity for the safety of Cordwain and the blessings of Pelor and gold for the uninitiated.

As Thom was eager to put the farm behind him and Lucant was desperate to leave the local militia and move on to greater glory they both readily agreed.

So it was that Lucant and Thom sought the company of those in Cordwain and its surrounding area who had a taste for adventure, gold, or both. The shortlist of individuals fitting either category was indeed short. However, it had the benefit of being of high quality.

Thom and Lucant found good companions in Allye, the mischievous halfling, Reeft the enigmatic mage, and Cordwain’s newest dragonborn paladin, Istvara.

After provisioning themselves for several weeks on the King’s road the team set off for Winterhaven. Unfortunately, the road was not empty. Very near to their destination the great wild of the wilderness caught up to them.

Draconian men shifted from rock croppings to ambush the group. To what end, it is unknown, the battle has just begun…

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Ambush's End

When last we saw our travelers, they waged fierce battle against an ambush of kobolds on the road to Winterhaven. 3 kobolds remained standing when Thom downed the flamethrower with a twin strike attack from his bow; the arrow drove deep into the kobold’s shoulder, and a bright spray of blood gave evidence that the wound was mortal, even as the kobold collapsed in the grass.

The melee had a bloodier time, as first Istvara, and then Lucant received slashing wounds from their kobold foes. Istvara was able to rush to Lucant’s side to staunch his gushing leg wound with a quick healing prayer. Renewed, Lucant lunged at his kobold attacker, and with a flash of his scimitar, sliced a deep gash into its chest. The kobold staggered under the onslaught, but somehow remained standing, clutching its chest.

Reeft whispered into his orb, attempting to coax its fires into burning their enemies, but the orb only flickered tentatively. Allye, meanwhile, darted in and out from behind rocky cover, lobbing stones from her sling yet seeming to vanish nearly as soon as she registered within her enemies’ vision. Thom let loose another flight of arrows, but a sudden breeze knocked them astray.

Though all was happening quickly, the group did feel as though some vague evil worked against them, granting unusual vigor to their enermies and weakening their own attacks more than was normal. Ignoring the blood seeping through her scale armor but concerned for her companions, Istvara set aside her self and instead embraced the spirit of Bahamut. Trancelike, she shifted back to the injured kobold, drew back her war hammer, and swung it forward with a mighty underhand blow that swept its jaw from its skull with a sickening spray of blood and crunching bone. The kobold’s wet scream barely sounded as its grip loosed, and its slippery guts spilled out onto the ground shortly before the rest of it.

The final kobold, recognizing its peril, kissed its blade and then slashed wildly at Lucant, managing to reopen the wound on his leg. Before Lucant could even react, the kobold turned tail and fled into the trees. Reeft quickly pursued the fleeing kobold down the forest path, and showered it with perilous liquid flame. They were shocked, however, to see the kobold unscathed after this scorching — what foul devilry here? Meanwhile, Lucant sprinted to catch up with it, while Allye leapt after, flinging stones at the kobold’s head. Thom displayed the gifts of his people, shifting so rapidly through the trees it was as though he flew. He burst from the forest within bowshot of the kobold, and let fly another volley. One arrow hit the kobold’s back with a thud; it stumbled but recovered its footing and ran out of sight, trailing blood behind and wailing.

Their battle rage called them to pursue their enemy further, but the sun was getting low in the sky, and they knew if they pressed on, they could make Winterhaven by nightfall. Reluctantly, they turned away from the forest, gathered plunder from the fallen, and trudged north.

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Welcome to Winterhaven

The king’s road had climbed steadily through the wooded Sardbury Downs without break, so that by the time the travelers topped the final rise and looked down upon the thatched roofs of Winterhaven, they were as tired from the constant vigil against further ambush as from the actual skirmish they had fought. The town of Winterhaven nestled snug within the valley at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains before them, farmland hugging its eastern walls, and forests flanking the west. Smoke rose from the chimneys below signaled warmth and food and rest, and they hurried eagerly the last few leagues to the town.

Two soldiers manned the town’s gate, and although the party raised a few eyebrows, they entered Winterhaven without resistance. Istvara approached the younger of the guards, and once introduced, found herself speaking with one Wilhelm of the guard, born citizen of Winterhaven. Upon inquiry, he explained they could seek shelter for the night at the public house, Raften’s Inn, and that if they had come to trade goods, they could do so at the weekend Market. The smithy and the curiosity shoppe held some possibility of trade, but the Market was the best option for seeking items or making sales. When Istvara asked when the chapel of Pelor was located, the guard frowned and said there was no such place in Winterhaven, and that all there worshipped Avandra. Noticing that they were drawing a crowd with their strangeness, Istvara thanked Wilhelm for the information, and turned back to the others.

The group decided to split up to seek information regarding the possible blood cult activities. Lucant, Thom, and Allye headed for the inn seeking ale and conversation. Reeft and Istvara made their way to the smithy to see if the smith would buy their steel and if he might give them any insight into recent goings on.

Raften’s Inn. Lucant, Thom, and Allye entered the inn. They were warmly welcomed by Salvanna, a human woman with curly brown hair and a broad smile. She asked if they’d be needing rooms for the night, but they deferred for the moment, though she looked amused, as though she knew it was only a matter of time before they’d need to seek her out. Then she gestured toward the common room where a dozen or so people, mainly humans, laughed and talked over frothing mugs of ale. She invited them to take any empty table and offered to bring drinks. Thom Planter ordered a pint of ale while Allye asked for a half-pint, and then settled in at a corner table while Salvanna drew the drafts.

Salvanna plunked the mugs on the table and asked from where they hailed. Lucant politely explained they had come up from Cordwin, but got no further as Salvanna interrupted to exclaim she had family there, her own great-aunty Anna Raften who had left this inn in her care. Salvanna chatted a bit about her aunt, but upon finding that none of the three knew her, asked if they were merchants arrived for the next day’s market. Rather than lie directly, Thom gave her a wink. She smiled and winked back and said she wouldn’t mind having a pretty thing or two extra. Allye hid her eye roll behind her mug of ale.

Lucant, having interest in neither ale, nor lies, nor flirting to gain information, turned the conversation back to their purpose: he asked where in town they might find the local chapel of Pelor? Her face wrinkled with puzzlement; did the serious elvish gentleman mean to ask about Avandra’s church? Had they not been to Winterhaven before or know which god watched over their town?

Thom feigned embarrassment and said in a somewhat hushed tone that they were a bit new to this region and hoped she’d forgive their ignorance (and hoped it wouldn’t hurt their business) – [here he glanced around at the “competition”, shrugged and smiled up at her] – and by the way, on that topic, had there been any new faces around besides their own? Salvanna smiled back at him, and also lowered her voice. She said that, in fact, an older man had been round for a number of weeks not long past. Had mostly kept to himself, though he had come down to the common room every evening. Elian the Old, one of her local regulars, had struck up an acquaintance, she thought.

Lucant asked if any they’d heard of anyone bothered by kobolds recently, and she nodded with concern and said yes, the kobolds had grown more and more brazen, harrying travelers on the road to and from Winterhaven, and it had gotten so bad that the militia were looking into it, under the command of Lord Padraig. She said they might see him here if they planned to stay a few nights, or if they had any information about the attacks they could go to his manor at the top of Winterhaven and report it to the Lord directly. Savanna then scolded herself for gabbing instead of pouring, and with one last check around the table to see if refills were needed, headed on to the rest of the room to serve her guests. Thom, Lucant, and Allye decided they’d wait and see if the old man she mentioned would show up and settled to wait for their fellow travelers.

Outside of the Inn. Istvara and Reeft did not linger when their companions entered Raften’s Inn, but set off down the mud and stone road toward the stables. They didn’t have to walk too far before they could hear hammering and smoke and steam billowing out of what could only be the smithy.

Smithy. The dragonborn had to duck her head to get through the doorway, but Reeft glided in gracefully, barely masking his distaste for the lowliness of his surroundings. Heat from the forge radiated against them, as they discovered the source of the hammering, a stout and filthy dwarf was banging away at what looked like the third cousin to an axe.

Wondering what her mother would have made of such an interesting approach to tool-making, Istvara shouted a greeting to the dwarf and complimented him on the fine axe. After repeating herself to be heard, the dwarf put down his hammer and tongs and introduced himself as Thale Coalstriker, Blacksmith. They asked him if he bought or sold steel, and he said he had little enough ability to do either, as kobolds had been scaring traders away from town, though Lord Padraig and his militia were seeing to that, but speaking of, he was in fact working on a special something for the Lord himself, the very fine axe they could see before them, which they could tempt away from him for their own instead, in exchange for a bit of gold… Reeft looked as though he was imagining the results of combining his lifting spell with the dwarf and adding in the forge. Istvara patiently ignored the dwarf’s delusional greed and mentioned they too had encountered the kobolds and wondered if the militia had any need for additional hands to help thin their numbers? Thale did not know about that, but they could find the Lord in his manor or perhaps at the inn and ask? And bringing the axe along as a gift might do wonders for their chances in being heard out… Reeft pointed out the “axe” was unfinished, and Thale smoothly suggested they put gold down now to ensure its completion to their liking. Calling upon memories of her mother dealing with merchants and other tradespeople, Istvara managed to convince Thale that they intended to purchase the axe without actually promising anything or parting with any coin. The dwarf smiled at his imagined success, and feeling generous, offered the tip that Lord Padraig didn’t care for adventuring types. He stared pointedly at Istvara’s mail. If perchance they were to approach him as merchants… Reeft nodded his thanks and said that since merchants was precisely what they were, all would work out well. He suggested through a series of gestures and smooth words that Istvara was merely a hired shield for the journey. After one more attempt on both sides to offload some goods (the kobold loot vs. the disgrace of an axe), they parted on friendly terms, and Reeft and Istvara retraced their steps back to the inn.

Raften’s Inn. Reeft and Istvara walked into the inn and ordered an ale and a cider from Salvanna before spotting their companions across the room. They were sharing a table with a wizened old stranger who seemed barely capable of lifting a full mug of ale using both scrawny arms, but as they watched for a minute, he demonstrated he had no problem whatsoever lifting it several times—until it was empty. When Thom waved to signal Silvanna to refill their guest’s mug, he made eye contact with them and gestured that it was fine to approach.

Bracing himself for the company of another bore (he could hear the old man’s wheezing and rambling above the din of the crowd) Reeft led the way over, seating himself as far as possible from the stranger and after the barest of polite greetings immediately investigated his drink. Istvara was forced to improvise seating on the stone hearth, as none of the free chairs or benches looked quite up to holding her. The old man was Elian, and he was chatting about how long he had lived in town, how the market had been a bit spare recently due to fewer traders, and yet there had been someone new recently, and odd one you might say though he wasn’t one to gossip… Another refill of his drink prompted Elian to comment that there was no shame in speaking of a friend, because he had become friendly with the man, name of Duvan, and they had had many fine chats about the town and its history—Duvan was very interested in history, were any of them?—then they might be interested like Duvan was about the old burial site southwest of town? Although he couldn’t imagine there was too much interest for historical types, as it was currently a trash heap, but Duvan had the crazy notion that a dragon was buried there. Who in their right mind would look for dragon bones in a trash heap outside of a respectable town like Winterhaven? Elian challenged them with a pop-eyed stare before sitting back, checking the level of ale in his mug (low), pressing his lips together as though in thought and puzzlement over the ideas people could come up with when they had too much time and too little sense, but when the pitcher of ale came round their table again, he started up with a shake of his head. Hadn’t seen Duvan since he set off to see the trash heap though, darnedest thing. Maybe he was so disappointed in finding naught but other’s unwanted leavings that he simply kept on going to the next town. Elian sighed for a minute in memory of his friend’s foolish errand, took another drink, and then when they asked what he could tell them about Lord Padraig, brightened and continued his history. The current lord had taken over rule of Winterhaven after his father passed away twenty years ago. The Padraig family had ruled the town for over two centuries now. It had remained a mostly human settlement ever since, following Avandra… The old man’s words stumbled off as the ale’s effects finally seemed apparent. He mumbled drunkenly to himself, smiling down into his mug. The companions exchanged looks indicating Elian had ceased being a useful font of information. They rose together, murmuring thanks to him for his time and stories, which roused him for a final “Walk in the Light!” before he slumped forward against the table. They sought out Salvanna to inquire about rooms.

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Dreams
Wistful while we wake

The short version

This is the summary in a series of bullets:

  • The party awoke in the inn having all experienced dreams/visions/premonitions.
  • After speaking to Salvana (the innkeeper) we decide to meet Mertrasis (a wealthy collector of goods, and friend to the mayor) at the market to extract gold and favors.
  • We leave the inn and make our way to the market in search of Mertrasis and the Mayor. We are in luck and meet him straight away. He buys our lot of spears for a handsome reward of 8gp. We also receive a note of writ from him that will ensure an audience with Lord Paedrig (city mayor).
  • We enquire as to other people in town who may things about either the church of Palour and the Avandra history, which we are referred to Delfina Moongem for further questions.
  • Delfina tells us that there is an old keep at the base of the Mt. Caringorn which used to be an outpost, and is where she collects flowers along with occasional trinkets. She says that it has grown dangerous and is full of goblins so we should be wary.
  • We leave the market to Bouldrin’s Bizzare where were discover many fine adventuring wares and a mysterious Bahumet statue that has some magical properties that are unknown to both the shopkeeper and ourselves.
  • Allye discovers some markings at the market that indicate a place to trade secret information. She goes alone to an alley way and meets Wraith the hand. Wraith is not entirely forthcoming with his knowledge but does indicate that there are several foul deeds worth doing if one were so inclined, which include; delivering dead bodies to orcs who are camped nearby. He also mentions that the Kobolds are causing a lot of problems.
  • (unclear) Delfina and Bouldrin mention that Valthrian lives in the tower, which is the tallest structure in town. He is a historian and can answer many of our questions perhaps, regarding the Avandra church and the graveyard outside of town. Valthrian’s tower is warded by an old magic but the old man does see people by appointment.
  • After Allye returns to the group, we head to the Temple of Avandra to meet Sister Leonor and ask about the chuches long standing, rummors of a cult in the town and whether there has been any recent contact with the Palour temple head Marla. We are told that there is non other than the this church of Avandra.
  • Leonor also mentions that she has a daughter and that the keep at the base of the mountain was once the property of the Narath during their control of the land. She mentions some details that resonate with Istvara’s dream.
  • We then head for Valthrian’s tower. We knock and he answers. He is disheveled and a little odd but friendly and courteous. He invites us in and we climb the stairs to the top two floors, which is where he lives. The wrest of the tower is in disrepair and is unused.
  • He begins making tea to share with all of us. We ask how long the Avandra church has been in the town and he says what everyone has said, since the town’s inception. He is a student of history and the town of Winterhaven is a topic he is very well versed. He is also very knowledgeable about the Narathy history.
  • He says that he has been having strange dreams. The groups responds and says that they also have had a recent dream. We all share the dreams we have had. Valthrian and Thom have had a similar dream about the destruction or ruin of nature.
  • Valthrian confirms that there is a Dragon burial ground in/near/around the town but it’s exact location he doesn’t know.
  • Valthrian has agreed to do some research into the town’s history regarding the keep, burial ground, and temples for evidence of the things that we are pursuing. He says he will contact the inn when he has made a discovery.
  • We return to the inn and there is a post market day celebration. All of the nobles lord Paedrig included are present, along with Eelian the drunk, Thale Colestriker, and Mertras from the market.
  • We take an audience with Paedrig and he says that he wishes to pay us to rid the town of Kobolds. We are given a 100gp note of writ and a map to the location of their camp. Which is more than convenient.
  • After this, Thom notices an elf in the corner named Nenaran whom is alone. After a few attempts to get information from her she clams up. Only indicating that she has heavy burdens and she will say no more.
  • We go to bed prepared to set out for the Kobold camp in the morning.
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Off we go
Rumble in the road!

We started out for the kobold hideout first thing in the morning. It was a peaceful, beautiful, BORING morning and everyone seemed distracted as we made our way down the road. No one was in the mood for conversation. Thankfully, not long into our journey Thom spotted a group of kobolds looking for a drubbing headed our way.

As the group got closer, guess who we saw in the party? The orange kobold who ran away from our fight on our way into town! Well, Orangey wasn’t getting away this time! He had more friends with him this time, including a kobold wearing a skull mask and red armor who turned out to be a caster of some sort.

I politely tried to ask Orangey why he was so bent on attacking us and he said something about us killing his friends off. Guess he shouldn’t have jumped us in the first place, eh? Then what little dialogue we had going was kind of put on hold when Thom helpfully tried to reunite Orangey and his dead friends with a couple of arrows to the face. Too bad Orangey blocked his shots. That Thom…where does he get his arrows? He took off a kobold arm with one of his shots!

Thank goodness Istvarra was there. Reeft insisted on holding his position in the front along with the melee and would have been more seriously injured if she hadn’t been there with her healing spells and shields. Have to admit though, it was a pretty funny sight—the fastidious and usually natty Reeft covered in green goop (courtesy of Skullface) with his robes slashed and torn. It was hard not to laugh out loud.

It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but we won in the end. I think we just need some more time to get used to fighting together. Skullface was carrying a figurine on him that Reeft recognized as the Maimed God. First the creepy town with the weird townsfolk and now this eeeeeevil deity! This just gets more and more awesome! Can’t wait for the next fight!

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Dreams of Powers
There are other worlds inside this

After resting the group we turn towards the woods. Semi-refreshed. As we start following the trail the forest undergrowth around us becomes oppressive, dense, and yet deadly still.
Before us in the trail an impression or relief in the stride length of large steps becomes visible and clear. These shapes are not human feet, they are gnarled like tree branches. As we track them, they begin to fade.
We lose site of the steps and are left instead with an impression. Like a psychic spike driving its way into all of our minds. A deep fear wells inside of us, but it is not our fear. It is someone else’s fear, pain, hurt all swirling together. Almost a voice shouting for relief.
Tom and Lucant stop in their steps. They share a vision together of the sun being squelched. Pelor is calling out to them. “Help Pelor,” the voice says to them. We feel a pull, a strong impression asking us to move forward. Tom and Lucant run ahead of the party.
In a moment they pass from our sight, and the forest around us melts into smoke. The solid ground beneath is no more. We are stuck in a tar-like mire with nothing but darkness and fog to keep us company. Lifting our vision from the darkness below we can perceive a pink energy dome in front of us that seems to be protecting a forest within. Just as we perceive this, our reality melts away. We become the separated prisoners of our own individual and personal fears.

  • Reeft is shown a vision of his family being killed by a man known to him as the Table Master. In an attempt to save his family from brutal murder he picks up a spear using magic and hurl it at the Table Master but misses. He is punished with searing pain and anguish as he watches helpless while his family is killed in front of him. After the dream started again, the Table Master readying his blade to cut and maim Reeft’s family, Reeft takes a knee and prays to Ioun for the souls of his family that they are received in the otherworld. After this his dream fades and he sinks through the black mirk finding himself with the others inside of the pink dome.
  • Lucant sees himself as a vagabond stripped, broken, and chained to a wall. No honor, nothing, a shell of a person. He hears the voice of his mother, she says to him “Free yourself, try.” He feels a sense of hope as she reaches into his body and touches his heart. Lucant is unable to convince himself to live, and remains trapped in his dream. Lucant, unable to convince himself to live, awakens from the dream to find himself trapped in the mirk, slowly sinking to his death.
  • Allye awakens in her home, learning that Baron Wilhem has chained up all the halflings in her city. After a moment of contemplation the door to her home is broken down, Wilhem’s men shackle her and her family. While following the line of other halflings, in chains, Allye unfastens her bonds on her hands and holds them steady so that the guards don’t take notice. Allye then convinces a shade guard that she is of some serious importance and that she must brought to the carriage to talk to Wilhem. Successful she awakens in the mire, sinks through it and appears again in the pink dome with the tree man.
  • Tom sees himself in the hunting grounds he knows. He is hunting the Owlbear, but it is charging towards him. Time slows down and Tom feels himself frozen in place. His swift legs unmoving as the Owlbear draws ever closer to strike. Tom reaches for his knife and stabs his unresponsive thigh. In that moment he is free of his nightmare and sinks through the sticky mire and is inside of the pink bubble.
  • Istvara see herself as a shade child about to steal her sister’s pendant and is asked by her shadow self whether or not she should be here. “We must live,” the shade says. Istvara convinces the shade self to leave the pendant. At that moment the dream disappears and she sinks through the black mire and appears in the pink dome.

Our group notices a degree of elasticity to this pink dome, or energy field, which is being generated by the green man. His tree like appearance radiates this field that he is using to protect himself and keep the lurking darkness from entering. He appears tired, and we help augment and grow the field through our various talents. Our efforts are rewarded with a widened field large enough to free Lucant from the murk and give the mysterious stranger a chance to explain things to us.
The green man’s cerulean eyes glimmered at us as he is relieved from the strain of supporting the field. His slow and soothing voice, patiently informs us that we are in the dream world, in the last Temple of Pelor lifted directly from Winterhaven. He believes Kaloral is serving Orkus the Demon King and is responsible for the attacks on these churches. He moved it here to protect it. But somehow Kaloral has found a way to invade this space also. We need to defeat him to sever this connection or the church of Pelor and this green man may be lost forever.
Before bidding us goodbye, the green man granted each of us an amulet. When we leave his presence we are behind a group of trees in full view of a Kobold camp near a river. From the trees we can see one of their stronger leaders standing in a stone circle absorbing a blue aura. This power absorption should be taken by us if we hope to break their will to fight.
Since they did not hear us approach we had an advantage. Reeft fired an acid arrow melting the flesh of the leader in the blue circle. Tom took shots with his arrows, and Alley toppled him with her sling. The party charged in crushing all kobolds in our wake, their bodies floating down river. Up river there was a waterfall, and we heard Kobold running to inform someone called Iron Tooth.
We slew him before he was able to reach the entrance and warn whomever remains inside. One kobold, after seeing so many slain friends, surrenders. We interrogate him and although the party leaned towards dispatching him, he ultimately were allowed to live. He told us that Iron Tooth was their goblin leader. He is feared among the kobolds and there is a host in a cave behind the waterfall.
We decide to take a short break and prepare to enter the cave and deal with this villain.

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Irontooth

LOOKS LIKE THEY GOT OUR INVITATION!”
These words, booming out from behind the swarm of kobolds attacking our united front was the first inkling of what was about to be unleashed upon us. Our attack on the kobold cavern had started well enough and it seemed we had taken them by complete surprise. Istvara had created a window in the waterfall through which Ally and I had sent deadly projectiles against our unwary foes, whilst the rest of the party burst through the shimmering curtain and began laying about them. Though we were immediately beset on all sides, Reeft’s continuous crash of thunderwave, Istvara’s lightning breath, Lucant’s slicing scimitar, Ally’s deadly slung pellets, and my own arrows quickly reduced the enemy’s numbers, with minimal damage taken from the kobold’s puny spears and javelins.

FIGHT LIKE I TAUGHT YOU!”
Once again, the voice boomed out from our left. Our attention diverted, a lancing beam of fire engulfed Istavara from a fearsome priest on our right. I began to fire arrows his direction, but the priests sudden attack had left me rattled, and my arrows missed their marks. Fortunately, my fellow party members fared better. Lucant called on a blessing from Bahamut to heal Istvara’s wounds, while a slightly less roasted Isvara smashed a kobold’s ribs out through it’s stomach, then brought her hammer around in a fearsome upswing to send a second enemy’s head flying over our own. Perhaps we would be able to finish off these stronger kobolds before the source of the voice made its presence known. As if reading my thoughts, the priestly newcomer began to chant dark words that surrounded his fellow kobolds in a blue light, causing them to attack with new vigor.

THATS RIGHT! THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT!”
Yelled the voice, now much closer. While my arrows continued to fly wide of their intended targets, the others continued to down the enemy. Reeft’s thunder and lightning knocked down enemies or outright disintegrated them. Istvara hammered on the priest’s underlings, Bahamuts spirit moving with her. Suddenly, the owner of the voice stepped into the chamber. Irontooth!

“___!”
Said Irontooth just as Ally exploded a lazy eyed kobold’s head into his face with a wickedly launched stone, spoiling his big entrance. “We didn’t need him anyway!” he boasted. And now we could see where he’d gotten his name. This hulking goblin had replaced all his natural ivories with teeth wrought of iron. Though momentarily blinded by flying kobold bits, he immediately set upon Lucant, slicing chunks out of his flesh. Lucant, reeling from the grievous assault, launched a furious attack of his own, his scimitar flashing back in forth in a triple slice and dice and shredding Irontooth’s fine cape. After watching Lucan nearly felled in a single attack, the rest of us joined in a massive assault again Irontooh, the other kobolds forgotten for the moment. Istvara charged Irontooth to protect Lucant. Reeft struck with magic missiles and searing beams that seemed to wilt and weaken our foe. Arrows and stones, launched from a safe distance, put several gaps in his metal dental work. Sensing that perhaps he’d bitten off more than he could chew, Irontooth then launched a last ditch all out attack on Istvara, nearly felling her while calling on his dark gods to give him strength. However, it was not enough. Our scaly friend, though nearly finished off (one might even say… bloodied), raised her hammer high and brought it down trailing blue flames into the goblins head, pancaking it into his body. Victory! With their leader gone, the remaining kobolds and their priest quickly fell.

We quickly searched the cavern for the kobold’s hoard . To my everlasting embarrassment, my supposedly sharp eyes missed the trap at the entrance to the treasure room. Fortunately, Istvara spotted the shifty tiles before I was impaled, and Ally’s nimble fingers quickly disabled the mechanism. Inside was a goodly amount of gold and an enchanted set of mail that fit Lucant well. A final inspection of Irontooth revealed a correspondence from Kalarel. Its implications are disturbing. Amongst other things, it confirms the presence of a spy in Winterhaven. No wonder Irontooth had mentioned an “invitation.” I’ve slotted Kalarel’s note into this journal for continued study.

Thom
Irontooth letter

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You Dirty Rats, You Killed My Brother (in Arms)

Winterhaven had had a rough night—
Evil nightmares had filled folks with fright.
Though our party rose early,
Young Reeft woke up surly
As he had not permitted the light.

Yet all went to Valthrian’s tower.
The town empty in spite of the hour.
They gave V the news
About Kalorel’s views —
Val warned of a wakening power.

He also told truth of their dreamings:
Of the South ripping out of its seams and
Bloodfeasters and Baron
That ruled in Abœrin
While the Council sought league with the demons.

Yet Valthrian thought that the portal

Of all was the danger most mortal.
He begged them to go
To Shadowfell low
For Kalorel they must now thwart(ol).

Though the party in essence agreed
That to Shadowfell they must now speed
They suspected a traitor
And wished now to bait ‘er
So that they would not fail in their deed.

At their request, Valthrian wrote
To Paedrig to ask for his vote
In funding this quest.
Then they bid Valthrian rest
While they would deliver the note.

They split up their party in two –
Half to keep all the manor in view
(In case men did ride
To warn Kalorel’s side)
While the other half asked for their due.

Though Paedrig was slightly suspicious
His writ brought results more delicious:
A Hammer to smite
The foes of the Light
And arrows and bullets so vicious.

To Shadowfell then they proceeded,
Though the cobblestones hadn’t been weeded
The place was a mess
And they felt some duress
As into the darkness Thom lead-ed.

A goblin called out to his roommates
Though Reeft had tried bluffing—they smelled fake
Thus missiles were cast
And struck with a blast
So Gob suddenly didn’t feel great.

Thom the same goblin harrowed
While Allye, her eyes sharp as a sparrow’s,
Hit one in the head
Though he wasn’t quite dead
And two gobs shot Lucant with arrows.

Lucant healed himself with a word
And rushed forward to strike with his sword
But he fell in a pit
Filthy rats swarmed and bit
And Istvara rolled naught but a turd.

Reeft’s missiles punched holes in his foe
And Thom wielded mighty his bow
But the rats’ nasty bites
Knocked out Lucant’s lights
So Istvara jumped down in slow-mo.

She clutched at the magical hand
But this did not help her to land.
Though it knocked out her breath,
She brought L back from death,
Though in general naught went as planned.

Reeft kept up torching the goblins
Though the party was still somewhat hobblin’
Thom tossed down a kit —
Lucant climbed from the pit
The rats meanwhile want to keep gobbling.

Fountains of green blood explode
When Thom his arrows unload
Allye bloodies one brother
And nut-shots another
While rats are by Thunder Wave mowed.

Istvara’s claws finally do catch
The ladder, and out of the hatch
She climbs to get out
Lucant heals with shout
And a gob tries to kill her then, natch.

The last gob tries vainly to run
But Reeft’s quickly after this one
He shears off its arms
With his magical charms
Then turns to his friends: “That was fun.”

The party stops for a quick rest
Though gold they found, there was no chest.
The rooms they explore
And behind iron doors
Curtained secrets! – So continues our quest.

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Deeper still
We continue to purge the dungeon of filth

As the party decides to head down the hallway of the doors, we hear the insolent babble of goblins.

Tom and Alley stealth themselves and sneak into the periphery of a room where two drunk Goblins chat idly, and play cards at a table. In the center of this table is a bell, an alarm that would summon who knows what from behind the two tapestry covers, which depict the most foul examples of Goblin debauchery.

Reeft is following behind them and readies an action as Tom and Alley attempt a few thief moves to muffle the bell.

Alley attempts to jam her bedroll into the bell’s body but the Goblin notices her actions which sadly miss their mark. Tom attempts a quick theft of the bell, but before he is able to stipe it the Goblins slam the brass bell and from the dark behind the pornographic tapestries a foul voice echos in the cramp hallway, Ballron.

Three fresh waves of filth covered goblin minions and soldiers poor out of the connecting rooms and begin to crowd in on the troupe. The stench is almost unbearable.

As the new waves approach from what seems like every corner of this cramp dungeon, Alley and Thom step out of the immediate line of fire. Reeft steps into the open and throws a thunderwave at the two guards pushing them back with a loud clap.

Uncle Touchy rushes Reeft and slashes him with his sword. Blood has been spilt and soon the Goblins will feel the retribution of the group. From down the hall Javelins fly into Reeft and Istvara.

With a flourish and a spin bolts fly from Alley’s sling and drop Uncle Touchy to the cold stone floor. Istvara slashes wildly at Bar Nuts and Tom’s Arrows fall to the floor. Lucant stages himself to support the rear of the troupe.

Alley flourishes again and her bolts connect with Bar Nuts. Another wave of goblins approach the team from the top hallway and Reeft hits them with a thunderwave, vaporizing them. Ballron takes aim with his crossbow and hits Reeft. Reeft’s newly minted clothes continue to soak up his own blood..

Incensed by the vulgar displays of Ballron and the ferociously large dragon skull codpiece, Istvara swings hard and splits the Goblin soldier in front of her in half. A volley of foul remarks from Ballron further gets the ire of Istavara and she marks him.

The goblins attempt to flank from the left but they are too slow to catch the reflexes of our party. Reeft calls another thunderwave and vaporizes another set of minions in a cloud of flesh and energy. Nutzig hits Istvara and she is badly wounded. His swing finds a home between the gaps of her armor. Thankfully Lucant is there to heal her and bring her back from the brink. Lucant then hits Nutzig with a swing of his might scimitar. Alley throws another rain of bolts at him and connects.

Tom, having found his sure footing, takes a hunter’s care to disable his quarry. A surgical shot is loosed from his fingers and pins the thigh of Ballron. Ballron screams for the fighting to stop. The goblin hoard ceases its advance as we prepare ourselves for what could be a trick.

“Lay down your arms!” – we command. Ballron orders his remaining fore to lower their weapons and begins to plead for his life.

“We are in the employ of Kaloral,” says Ballron, “he performing dark rituals in the levels below. I want to be let go. I do not want to be in this place any longer.”

“How do we reach him?” – we ask. “In the level below you will find him, but he is guarded by the Dead Knight.” – Ballron replies.

“Are their words we need to enter the chambers?” – we inquire.

Ballron looks at us solemnly and answers us with the two words, “Nuts McGee.”

We push hard for information regarding his reasons, it appears that the horrors below are more than he is willing to put up with any longer. After further interrogation and attempts to recruit them as our meat shields, we free the goblins with on a hollow promise that they will trouble us no longer. They leave their weapons and any items that may assist us in reaching Kaloral as further conditions for our letting them breath air from the surface again.

Though we may have succumb to their attacks if they had decided to continue fighting us.

After the have left we enter Ballron’s secret chambers and loot the precious money and affects that he has lying about. Inside on of the chests an Ashen wand is found that dates back to the Narathi empire.

The group bars the entrance so that non may attack them as they take what is a much needed rest.

This is not a peace filled rest. In the filth encrusted walls of the dungeon, images of the knight Sir Keegan fill our minds. We share the horrors as a party. Once again unified by fear, foreboding, and restlessness, our next challenge may be our last.

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Goblins and zombies and nut shots, oh my!

(A hastily-scribbled journal entry…)

Lesson learned—always set watch shifts when in an unfriendly place, no matter how many are in your party. After we cleared out Balron & company we decided to hole up in his old quarters to rest and ended up getting drugged and tied up for our troubles. As if waking up bound and with a horrendous case of cotton mouth wasn’t bad enough, I woke up in the wrong body! Thom’s a nice elf and all, but I don’t know how a person can track as well as he does with his noggin so high up off the ground.

Despite that we managed to fight back the crazy half human-goblin who was blathering on about his mom mixing drinks or something and made an ally of this little guy named Splug, who was being held in the dungeons. He’s small, but don’t make him mad. I could hear the crunch from that nut-punch he gave to the mommy’s boy goblin during the fight from all the way across the room!

We rescued a familiar face from one of the dungeons and now we’re headed deeper into this place with Splug’s help. We wiped out a horde of zombies and now we’re heading toward a hallway lined with sarcophagi belonging to paladins formerly in Bahamut’s service. I foresee fun times ahead!

Note to self: do not accept any refreshments from Reeft—he kept a couple of flasks of the evil-looking goo that the nutted goblin was going to feed us.

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