On The Road
Tahk, Seluku, Fiona and Tharzin all met on their journey to Winterhaven in an effort to help their friend in common Douven Stahl. On their way to the small city they were attacked by kobolds. After defeating the kobolds and reaching Winterhaven they met with Mierada Stahl, Douven’s wife, at Wrafton’s Inn and discovered that he had gone missing.
The Burial Site
After asking around, the four adventurers decided to rest the night and then trek to a dragon burial ground Douven Stahl had been excavating. On their way down the king’s road they were once again attacked by kobolds. After looting the bodies they discovered an obsidian dragon figurine on the wizard Kobold.
When they reached the excavation site they were greeted by two guard drakes, some humans a halfling, a small slight gnome named Agrid and their beloved mentor Douven Stahl all tied up. The adventurers were able to defeat the kidnappers and rescue Douven.
Back To Winterhaven
They returned to Winterhaven and while Douven rested the adventurers did some snooping around Wrafton’s Inn. They met Sylvana Wrafton, the owner of the pub, Eilian the Old a farmer, Valthrun the Prescient a semi-wizardly sage and Ninaran a mysterious elf lady. First Seluku and Tharzin went to speak with the Valthrun and Eilian at their table about any information they had about the brigands who took Douven Stahl hostage. As they did this, Tahk, accompanied by Fiona, attempted to speak with Ninaran but was rebuffed. Tahk proceeded to buy a drink. Fiona, being the wiley shadow person she is, poisoned Tahk’s drink as he sat in the booth next Ninaran trying to find out more about the elf. Being poisoned, Tahk than began to vomit profusely. He vomited all over the sage and the farmer. To show his displeasure with Tahk, Valthrun displayed an embarrassing scene from Tahk’s childhood in a hologram sort of vision.
After he had gathered himself a bit, Tahk sat back down. However, Fiona still had some plans of her own. She pick pocketed Ninaran, finding an obsidian dragon figurine, almost exactly like the one they picked up off of the kobold. However, she didn’t get very far before she was caught by Ninaran. Tahk interceded for her claiming he also has one of these figurines. Tahk said he was also part of this cult.
Once again stirring the pot, Fiona snatched the dragon figurine back from Ninaran and was able to escape the pub, only to wait just outside it’s door. Tahk and Ninaran followed Fiona out but to no avail. At this point Ninaran mentioned that there would be a meeting on the next day. She then convinced Tahk to “blow off” some steam with her that night. She agreed to allow Seluku and Tharzin to join her and Tahk to blow off some steam, just not to the meeting the next day.
Blowing Off Steam
So, Tahk, Tharzin, Seluku and Ninaran took off with Fiona secretly following. Upon reaching a small village just outside of town, Ninaran immediately shot and killed a man guarding the village with an arrow from her longbow. She then approached a defenseless woman but was interrupted by Seluku and Tharzin. As soon as Fiona saw what was happening she decided she wanted in on some havoc and grabbed a log the fire intending to burn a hut down, however Tahk was able to keep her at bay while Seluku and Tharzin delayed the elf huntress’ evil intentions. Eventually Ninaran feared for her life and despite Tharzin and Seluku’s best efforts, she swiftly retreated into the near by woods. Tahk eventually bribed Fiona with some coins who in turn tried to launch the flaming log onto a nearby hut and grab the money at the same time. She was able to grab the money but the log flew into the center of town and was extinguished.
Looking For Answers
After this whole fiasco, the adventurers decided to return to Winterhaven, rest and talk with Douven Stahl in the morning. The next morning Tahk, Seluku, Tharzin and Fiona shared breakfast with Douven Stahl and Valthrun. After talking with the two old men they found out that there is an unseemly legend regarding the keep. The keep was originally built years ago during the Nareth Empire to stand guard over a rift to the Shadowfell. The villagers say that 80 some years ago, while the keep was still occupied and under the command of a warrior name Sir Keegan a horrible thing happened. One night at the stroke of midnight, Sir Keegan went insane, murdered his wife and children and then continued on to slay his most trusted advisors and many of his own men. It took some time, but after the soldiers organized themselves against their own commander they drove him into the passages beneath the keep and bested him there. Soon after, the keep was deserted and some say that Sir Keegan’s ghost still roams the keeps underground passages.
Also, Valthrun imparted knowledge of a sorcery name Kalarel who leads a cult of Orcus. He suspects that Kalarel has taken up residence in the keep in order to perform a ritual that will reopen the rift to the Shadowfell. He thinks that the thugs at Douven’s excavation site who sent their to find elements for Kalarel’s ritual.
After hearing all this the crew decided that they needed to get ready to depart and explore the keep. At this moment a young messenger boy ran into the city and straight to Valthrun and the adventurers overheard him saying that a guard named Roland Irigard had been killed last night in the little hamlet outside of the city.
Though everyone was ready to head to the keep, Seluku had some reservations, regarding Fiona’s actions the night before. He felt they should have more of a guarantee of her loyalty. So, the group decided to meet with Lord of the city, Ernest Padraig, and perhaps find some other guest that assured money at the end of it.
A Meeting with Lord Padraig
Lord Padraig greeted them to his stone manor with joviality, handshakes that seemed more like your hand was being crushed between two boulders and back pats that rattled your brains in your skulls. After talking for a bit, Padraig became somewhat off put by Fiona’s attitude. However, she garnered his respect after proving her expertise with her strange axe-like-chained weapon by slicing an apple balanced on a servants head in two, without harming the servant.
Lord Padraig offered the adventurers 100 gp to take of the increasing Kobold problem and pointed out the lair on a map. The adventurers took this offer and went on their way.
They remembered that Douven wanted to talk with them once more before they left for the keep, so they stopped back at Wrafton’s and told him and Valthrun of their new plans. He and Valthrun seemed to disapprove claiming that the kobolds were just a symptom of the real problem of the cult and Kalarel. Why trim away the thorns and bramble when you could just pull the weed up by the root?
With this advice in mind the adventurers left the safety of the city walls. After discussing amongst themselves, the crew decided to try to appease Fiona as best threy could andtravel to the keep first.
After an uneventful journey to the keep Tahk, Seluku, Tharzin and Fiona stood at the base of a hill. They could see the top of the keep poking through the fog that settled around the base of it. They made their way up the unkept path and though it was only noon it felt more like 4:00 or 4:15 in the summertime but without the summerness…you know what it looks like just before the sun goes down or comes up? It was like that.
Reaching the ruins of the old keep the crew felt a strange quiet and stillness. There was evidence that someone had been moving rubble around and then they saw the cold dark steps down into the keeps depths. They questioned whether or not they wanted to continue, but Tahk braved ahead and lead the group down.
Down They Go
Though Tahk was the first to enter the keep, Fiona quickly and stealthily took the front. When she reached the bottom of the stone stairway she spied a distracted goblin holding a spear, who was obviously not taking his guard duty very seriously. Not one second later did Tahk continue down the steps and alert the goblin to their presence. The goblin peered at Tahk and began making lewd gestures. Tharzin suddenly jumped over Tahk’s head, trying to get into the fray, however he landed on what seemed to be a tarp made to look like the stone floor and fell into a pit full of rats. At this time Seluku rushed down the steps and unleashed a ray of light at the goblin straight ahead. The goblin shrieked in pain and called out for help. Two other goblins weilding cross-bows rushed into the room. Tharzin was able to quickly jump back out of the rat pit and attack the watch goblin, while Fiona and Seluku did their best with the cross-bow goblins. A second spear wielding goblin rushed into the room from a hallways and Tahk faced him alone. Seluku and Tharzin were knocked unconscious but the part was able to slay all four goblins in the end. The adventurers collected themselves and began discussing where to go next.