Keep on the Shadowfell

What's that coming over the hill?
It's a massive baboon called Roy!

Meanwhile in town Nathaniel Vog Asbjorn of Nafni suspects that undead raising in the graveyard must be the work of some kind of arcane ritual and he suggests speaking to Valthrun the Prescient to see if he might be able to offer more information. Fenn had heard that a Cleric, a specialist in the undead, had come into town so he proceeds to the temple to attempt to gain his assistance in this investigation.

In the temple, Sister Linora is speaking to an armor clad figure, the cleric Kaylin. Fenn approaches and explains the situation, asking the cleric for his help. The request is readily accepted, Kaylin having come to Winterhaven after hearing reports of a death cult in the area.

The pair head off to see Valthrun hoping to garner more information of the recent undead incursion. Valthrun says he has heard of such rituals and he turns to dig through a chest full of scrolls before producing one that details such a thing. It apparently would require some setup using some kind of magic circle, but would also need around 10 viles of blood taken from the local populace. This makes Valthrun remember that Sister Linora had complained recently of a number of outlying farmers visiting her for healing for strange wounds.

Fenn and Kaylin quickly return to the temple, where Sister Linora explains that a number of farmers had indeed visited her with strange wounds. One of those farmers was Eilian the Old. Moving onto the tavern our heroes find Eilian sat in the corner drinking, muttering softly to himself. After a frustrating conversation with the insane farmer, the pair finally get him to allow them to investigate his wound. Pulling back his collar shows a small incision on his neck which Kaylin identifies as an area where some kind of hypodermic device could have been used. Eilian eventually imparts that he doesn’t know where the wound came from, but he does remember waking up in a back alley on the west side of town a few days ago. He assumed he had just been drunk and stumbled there before falling unconscious.

The party quickly head to the place identified by Eilian. Fenn hides across the street while Kaylin acts like a drunk and stumbles into the alley hoping to lure out the perpetrator. Some time passes uneventfully and Kaylin deduces that if the ritual has already been activated, those responsible for it may no longer be in town, let alone still gathering components. He calls Fenn over and the two search the alley. They find a scuffed area behind some discarded crates and a closer inspection reveals that someone was sat here and there are some blood spots on the wall and floor nearby. Reasonably fresh tracks lead away from the scene and are swiftly followed by Fenn’s trained eye.

The tracks lead to a residential building that 4 separate accommodations. The duo cautiously enter but the only person is an older woman leaving for the market. Quickly interrogating the woman they find out that the door the muddy footprints lead to is owned by none other than the elf, Ninaran. Listening at the door indicates that no one is home, so the pair break the door down and go inside. A search of the room reveals many ritual components and a hypodermic device as well as some empty containers and a bloody rag. It is clear that Ninaran is not who he said he was. A note signed by Kalarel is found that contains instructions to Ninaran to be wary of adventurers and what to do should he encounter trouble.

Suddenly Fenn and Kaylin realise that their friends may be in trouble at the graveyard, so immediately set out to help them. Outside of town on the road the pair are suddenly stopped by a couple of rough looking characters. It is clear that they have been hired to stop the meddling duo who after a short conversation prepare for a fight. The ruffians fall quickly to the skilled heroes and Fenn is delighted to find that one of them was carrying a magic sword, specifically a paired longsword which as he picks it up splits into two identical weapons. Being a wielder of duel blades, Fenn immediately discards his old mundane weapons. A note on the bodies confirms that the two were indeed hired mercenaries. Fearing for their friends, Fenn and Kaylin hurry onwards towards the graveyard….

Meanwhile Louis Soullier throws three strange objects at Jaxx Bundleroy Prosser, Farfalle Agnolotti and Rudiger Thunderhat. Both Farfalle and Rudiger are immediately engulfed and restrained by magical vines that sprout in an instant from the fallen seed. The third merely drops harmlessly to Jaxx’s feet. Louis exclaims in disgust how he will ‘Kill that merchant’ before ordering his guards to subdue Jaxx. The three brigands approach and start to overwhelm the lone Jaxx. Luckily, just at that time, Fenn and Kaylin, closely followed by a hurriedly catching up Nathaniel arrive on the scene. This new development upsets Louis who calls forth deadly lighting to strike the new arrivals. Shrugging off the damage the three charge into the frey, Fenn immediately closing in on Louis and cutting a deep wound into him. Kaylin and Nathaniel keep their distance, healing the wounded Jaxx and attempting to barrage the ruffians surrounding him.

Now wounded an enraged Louis screams ‘What are you waiting for? Get out here NOW!’. From behind a nearby rock a large figure appears. It is a large ape like creature that has a huge scar down its face and a patch covering its left eye. It is Roy the Massive Baboon! He screams angrily at the sight of Jaxx and jumps into the fray, clawing and biting at Fenn. He arrives too late to save Louis however who is swiftly cut down. Jaxx begins to gain the upper hand over his assailants who fall one by one. Finally Roy is the last enemy to fall and the party breath a sigh of relief after the tough fight.

They release Rudiger and Farfalle from their viney casings and relieve their ambushers of their belongings…

Kills

Loot

  • +1 Paired Longsword
  • 500 Gold

Experience per Member

  • Encounter 1 – XP
  • Encounter 2 – XP
  • Total – XP
  • Running Total – XP
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Goblins, Jellies and Prossers Past

Just then, Rudiger Thunderhat arrives behind the party. He informs Nathaniel Vog Asbjorn of Nafni that there is some important business for him to take care of in Winterhaven and that he must leave immediatly to meet Fenn. Rudiger remains to assist in the dungeon.

The party then spy 2 goblins on a bridge, apparently arguing with each other about something unintelligible. Jaxx Bundleroy Prosser moves stealthily up to try and suprise them, however Farfalle Agnolotti and Rudiger trip over each other, clattering their equipment into the walls. The goblins now alerted, scream at the party and charge.

The two goblins fall quickly however further into the room an as til now unseen goblin starts peppering the party with crossbow bolts. As the party attempt to move up on them some large lizard like creatures, Guard Drakes, run up the ramps from the lower levels. They start to bite and tear at the party, their pack mentatlity making them more vicious while fighting together.

The party were eventually victorious and once the enemies were dead, they took stock of the situation. They were stood in what appeared to be an excavation site. It was unknown what the goblins were trying to uncover, but the only thing of value was a worn old holy symbol buried in some rock.

The party rested and moved on, heading south. The stairs gave way to hewn rock and the room became pitch black. A sunrod was cracked and its brilliant light revealed a cave, evidently part of a natural cavern system under the keep. Large shadows flitted between the stalagmites and stalagtites and much of the ground looked uneven and difficult. The party entered the room cauciously, Jaxx taking the lead. Suddenly a number of giant rats jumped on the party from the ceiling, ambushing all members. Surrounded the party fought and quickly overwhelmed the weaker rats. Unfortunatley an odd creature, an Ochre Jelly, had sensed the party in combat and oozed out of its lair believing the occupied adventures to be an easy meal. It was wrong! A tough fight followed, the last of the rats falling leaving the party able to concentrate on the yellow blob. Jaxx landed a mightly blow which cut it in half…. unfortunatley for the party, this just seemed to create 2 of the creatures that they had to fight. Confused but unable to escape, the party continued their bitter fight until finally they were the victors. Bloodied and bruised, they decided that retreating to the town to recuperate would be the best course of action.

Approaching the town, everything seemed earily quiet and the gates were locked tight. Hailing the guards, the party soon gained entry, only to be met by a frantic Lord Padraig.

“You must help us. The dead! They have risen from their graves!”

The party, currently in no condition to fight, insisted that they must rest, but that their services were available for hire. Lord Padraig agreeed to pay the party 100gp a head for dealing with the problem, and posted extra guard while our heroes rested and recovered from their wounds.

On the way to the tavern, there was suddenly a shout

“Prosser? PROSSER! It’s you. I finally found you my old friend!”

Turning his head, Jaxx recognised, with shock, his old ringmaster Louis Soullier. The tall wirey man approached confidently, slapping Jaxx on the shoulder and laughing heartily.

“It’s good to see you again!” he beamed.

Jaxx, understandadly sceptical, immediatly asked Louis what he wanted.

“Ahh, same old Jaxx, always straight to the point! Well I was thinking, would it be great if my old star attraction returned for another tour! It would be just like the good old days! What do you say?”

Jaxx refused, bluntly and without hesitation. Just then some thuggish looking men approached from behind Louis. The party then realised that Louis wasn’t really asking. They stood their ground, intimidating the group evidently causing Louis to reconsider his tact.

“500 gold pieces up front and much more where that came from! How about it Jaxx?” he queried.

Again Jaxx refused and just as a fight almost broke out, a militiaman approached asking if there was any problem. Louis and his gang replied that there was none and took their leave. The party entered the tavern to retreat to their rooms and rest (wenches in tow).

Once rested they headed straight for the graveyard, an area about an hours travel from the town. Entering the graveyard, everything seemed quiet. The party began to wonder if they had been sent on a wild goose chase, but then Rudiger noticed something. A strange glowing circle of power deeper in the graveyard. They approached cauciously and as they got near suddenly the ground shook and burst all around them. Many skeletons pulled themselves from their graves, worn swords and bows in their grasp. A low growling from behind a mausoleum revealed a zombie gravehound, an abomination made from someones once beloved pet.

Rudiger quickly deduced that the magic circle was responsible for binding magic to these foes and began to use his knowledge of the arcane to undo it. The rest of the party faught valiantly to defend him while he worked. When Rudiger was almost done dispelling the magic, suddenly from inside one of the mausoleums appeared Ninaran his bow raised and ready for combat. The party seemed grateful that help had arrived and the first arrow was loosed, squarly hitting…. Farfalle?

“What is the meaning of this?” the party shouted.

“You just couldn’t die like you were supposed to could you? Lord Kalarel will reward me greatly for disposing of you” replied the elf.

Barely managing to survive the onslaught, suddenly Rudiger exclaimed his success. The magic circle dissapated and immediatly the undead crumbled to dust. The tide had turned. A now shocked Ninaran tried to make his escape, however he could not outrun the magic missiles of Rudiger. The elf fell. Taking stock, the party searched the area. On Ninaran’s body were instructions for creating a ritual to raise the dead, signed again by Kalarel. Another note read

“Password: From the ground, some magic was found”.

The party stored the notes and left the graveyard, heading back to town to collect their reward.

On the Kings Highway the party were suddenly stopped by a familiar face. From behind some large rocks stepped Louis Soullier and his thugs.

“Sorry Prosser, but i’m not leaving here without you! You couldn’t do it the easy way could you?”

Kills

  • 2 Goblin Cutters
  • 1 Goblin Sharpshooter
  • 2 Guard Drakes
  • 7 Giant Rats
  • 1 Ochre Jelly
  • 7 Decrepit Skeletons
  • 1 Gravehound Zombie
  • Ninaran

Loot

  • +1 Holy Symbol of Battle
  • 40 gold

Experience per Member

  • Encounter 1 – XP
  • Encounter 2 – XP
  • Encounter 3 – XP
  • Total – XP
  • Running Total – 1081 XP
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The adventure continues

Synopsis

Arriving at a clearing surrounded by trees, Jaxx could hear the sound of cascading water to the east. He proceeded stealthly through the woods and as he approached the edge of the trees, could see a number of Kobolds near a waterfall. There was also a strange magic circle enscribed on the ground near a stream.

Jaxx observed for a moment, outmatched by the number of kobolds present. However, at that moment friends of the party, the bard Farfalle Agnolotti and the sorcerer Nathaniel Vog Asbjorn of Nafni arrived, having met Fenn and Rudiger who pointed them in the direction of Jaxx.

Nathaniel and Farfalle had been travelling around a day behind the rest of the party, having business to take care of in the nearby town of Fallcrest.

Jaxx welcomed the arrival off his friends, signaling to them of the impending threat. With his half elven eyes Farfalle noticed more kobolds through the thick trees. Preparing for battle, Jaxx charged out of the trees to attack the nearest enemy, a Kobold Dragonshield standing in the center of the magical circle.

The advantage of suprise tipped the battle in favor of our adventurers, many of the kobolds falling to Axe and Fire before even getting a chance to move. Farfalle viciously mocked many enemies, before a deafening shout of triumph forced his enemies back and his allies forward, pressing even more of an advantage.

All the while, Jaxx forced the enemies into melee combat, giving space to his compatriots and destroying his enemies with his trusty battle axe. Nathaniel launched spells of fire and lightning which singed and struck multiple enemies at once, felling many.

A kobold slinger, heavily damaged by fire, attempted to run, screaming something in an uniltelligable language. Before he could reach the saftey of the cave, he was struck down by a bolt of lightning from Nathaniel.

Taking a break, our party prepared themselves to breach the waterfall. Jaxx was the first through, and was met by a gathering of, this time, prepared kobolds. He charged the nearest one, bringing his axe to bear and cutting a mighty wound into the creature. Nathaniel and Farfalle followed closly and together they quickly began to overwhelm the weaker opponents. ‘This lair is easier than we thought’ they said to themselves.

That comment was met with the harsh bleating of a horn which heralded the approach of a tough looking battle scarred goblin acompanied by a Kobold Dragonshield and a Kobold Wyrmpriest. They charged into battle causing the party significant damage. Now the fight was on!

Seeing the approach of an exceptionally tough enemy, our heroes decided to unleash their greatest powers. Nathaniel started with a Chromatic Orb, which struck the goblin with devastating effect. This was followed by a Stirring Shout from Farfalle which landed with critical effect, again damaging the goblin with a wall of force and causing his allies to feel bolstered by attacking the targetted enemy.

As the fight wore on, Jaxx took a beating, the healing from Farfalle not enough to stop him becoming battered and bloodied. Jaxx drew on his reserves increasing his strength and regenerating his health like only a Longtooth Shifter can, then landing a mighty strike on the goblin which served to enhance his constitution greatly.

One by one their foes dropped, until only the goblin remained. Bloodied, he entered a rage, his attacks becoming even more ferocious as Jaxx found out only too well. Heroically Jaxx fought toe to toe with the goblin, until finally Nathaniel was able to use an opening to blast a bolt of electricity into it. The goblin convulsed and in his fury went to swing his weapon at Jaxx, however before it could connect, the surging energy overcame him and he collapsed to the floor dead.

Taking time to recover from the hard fight, our party began a thorough search of the lair. On the goblins corpse they found a note which read

INSERT NOTE HERE

and a pouch containing some gold and a small silver key. There was also a small collection of treasures, evidently taken by the kobolds during their raids against merchants. Of note was a chest which was locked. Jaxx used the key they found and the chest clicked open, revealing a large pile of gold and a suit of magical chainmail armor. The party decided to give the armor to Jaxx and upon wearing it, he could feel that he could draw on the power of the armor to bolster his health.

Exhausted, our heroes returned to town. When they arrived the populace were quiet and wary. The streets were deserted and only the warm light of the inn looked welcoming. The usual suspects were in the inn drinking. Lord Padraig thanked the party and gave them their reward, while Farfalle had a nice chat with Eilian the Old about cabbages, finally deducing that the old farmer was mental!

Ninaran seemed pleased to see that the party had return unharmed, but was confused that they found no evidence of cult activity at the cave. He was adamant he had seen them!

Valthrun the Prescient had the most interesting information. Having scoured his books he had found that the Keep in the area was built by the old empire of Nereth, however it wasn’t built as a watchtower to protect the area, it was built to guard a rift to the Shadowfell, a place of darkness and shadows. While not all areas of the Shadowfell are evil, it is said that the rift below the Keep leads to a dark fortress of Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead, allowing passage for all kinds of ghouls and undead horrors. There was another story of the keep. It is said that even though it was sealed, the power of the rift was great, destroying the minds of men. One such man was the captain of the guard, a powerful knight known as Sir Keegan. The legend goes that one fateful night, his mind left him and he began to systematically slaughter the residents of the keep. His wife and child were the first to fall at his blade, followed by his most trusted advisors and finally, the many men under his command. Keegan was too skilled for any one soldier to defeat, however eventually the garrison managed to mount an organised defense. They drove Sir Keegan into the dungeons below the keep where he was dispatched.

Lord Padraig offered the party 200gp to clear the keep of goblins as they may pose a threat to the town. Feeling the task was worth more, they bartered their way up to 100gp a head.

It was getting late, so the party decided to retire for the night. Jaxx however, feeling flush with cash after the days trials, decided he wanted some more action. He tracked down the wench from the previous night who, to his suprise, offered him a ‘freebie’. It seems Jaxx puts in a good performance! He also enslited the services of another 2 wenches at 2GP each and led them away for a night of sordid debauchary.

The morning saw our adventurers set out to the keep. As they approached, the previously strong wind died to a deathly stillness. All sounds of wildlife in the area had gone and all that remained of the delapadated keep was tumbled rock and ruined walls. A path seemed to be cleared through the rubble leading to a dark staircase that lead into the bowels of the earth.

At the bottom of the stairs was a dimly lit room with four stone pillars. Jaxx was the first to progress across the room and as he did so Nathaniel and Farfalle could only watch with suprise as he disappeared through the floor in a cloud of dust.

Coming to his senses at the bottom of a pit covered in a stone coloured canvas, Jaxx could feel hundereds of tiny clawed squeeking creatures crawling all over him. He immediatly stood up, the rats gnawing and biting at him. Luckily his armor stood up to the task and his swift reactions and deft physical ability enabled him to scramble up the side of the pit to saftey before the swarm could overwhelm him. Unfortunatly, at that moment an arrow flew out of the darkness and a number of goblins charged from the surrounding corridors.

A short fight later and the goblins lay slain, evidently a small guard patrol stationed at the entrance to ambush any foolish enough to enter. A quick rest later and the party were ready to survey their surroundings. The nearby rooms had little of interest, containing only filthy beds and stacked, rancid supplies. Progressing down a corridor, Farfalle lit a sunrod which bathed the dank corridors in welcome bright light.

The group opened a door at the end of a corridor and descended some stairs revealing a dimly lit room that had been mostly dug out, leaving only small islands connected by rickety planks of wood. A dark staircase was nearby that lead deeper into the earth.

Kills

  • 1 Kobold Wyrmpriest
  • 2 Kobold Dragonshield
  • 1 Kobold Skirmisher
  • 1 Kobold Slinger
  • 10 Kobold Minions
  • 1 Irontooth
  • 2 Goblin Cutter
  • 1 Goblin Warrior
  • 1 Goblin Sharpshooter

Loot

  • Suit of +1 Dwarven Chainmail

Experience per Member

  • Encounter 1 – 125 XP
  • Encounter 2 – 258 XP
  • Encounter 3 – 133 XP
  • Total – 516 XP
  • Running Total – 732 XP
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And so it begins

Synopsis

Our adventurers, Fenn (Dan – Human Ranger), Jaxx Bundleroy Prosser (Neal – Longtooth Shifter (wolfman) Fighter) and Rudiger Thunderhat (Dara – In this instance, a Human Cleric, but will be some kind of wizard) were travelling west along the Kings Road towards the small town of Winterhaven. Fenn was investigating rumours that there was some kind of organisation/cult that had some link to the murder of his family and the sacking of his family estate (Elaborated on in the backstory of Fenn). Fenn had met Jaxx and Rudiger on the way to Winterhaven (INSERT REASON YOU ALL MET HERE). Rudiger, being a wizard (although, temporarily a cleric for a day) was interested in the rumours that an ancient dragon was buried near Winterhaven, and wanted to investigate. Having recently escaped from the monkey fighting circus, Jaxx wanted to see the world and empathised with Fenn’s plight, deciding to tag along and put his fighting skills to the use of good.

When nearing Winterhaven, our party was set upon by a small band of rust coloured lizard humanoids known as Kobolds. Easily dispatching their foes, the fight included such highlights as Fenn ‘running through’ a Kobold Minion, leaving its dripping lifeless corpse hanging from his blade, Rudiger burning the shoulder off a Kobold Dragonshield and Jaxx decapitating one Kobold Minion before charging down a recently wounded (by Fenn) Kobold Slinger and detaching its torso from its legs. After that he then put the flames out. Oh, did I mention? Jaxx was on fire.

Upon arriving in Winterhaven, our trio were pointed towards Wraftons Inn by the guards at the gate. Being early evening, many of the townsfoke were in attendance getting pissed up. Our heroes sparked up a conversation with Sylvana Wrafton, proprietor of the inn and she pointed them in the direction of the towns Lord, Lord Padrig. Fenn approached brandishing the recently severed head of a Kobold Minion, which he later hid in his jacket because Rudiger was ashamed of him. Lord Padrig was dismissive of the idea of a cult in winterhaven, but did offer the adventurers 100 gold pieces a head if they could take care of the Kobolds that have been menacing the town. The party left to consider the offer. They then spoke to a crazy old farmer called Elian, who was no help at all and smelt a bit… off. Ditching him, they approached Valthurun, the town Sage, who knew little of current affairs, but was well versed in local history. He told the party about a ruined Keep in the area, that he believed to be an old watchtower of the old empire. He promised to spend some time scouring his books for additional information and told the party to come back in a couple of days where he would let them know what he found.

Finally our party approached an introverted, grumpy ass elf named Ninaran. The elf did nothing but tell the party to ‘fuck off’ until Fenn mentions the Cult. At this point Ninaran perks up, explaining to the party that he thought he was the only one who had noticed it and thought that most of the townspeople were involved. He told the party that he saw people coming and going from a cave near a waterfall, and that he thought the cult were in league with the Kobolds.

Our party then accepted the offer from Lord Padrig (as they were going to slaughter some Kobolds anyway) and proceeded to get rooms for the night. Fenn, feeling the need for entertainment but abhorring the thought of touching a ‘common’ girl, employed 2 local wenches for 2 gold pieces each to come to his room and put on a ‘show’ for him. Jaxx, liking this idea, also approached a wench, but simply queried

‘How much for a good hard shag?’

The wench, looking the wolfman up and down, replied ‘For your type? 5 gold pieces’. Jaxx readily accepted this offer, and lead his wench away for a night of hairy loving.

Rudiger went to bed alone, possibly disgusted by the thought of Jaxx’s hairy phallus.

In the morning, our adventurers set out to investigate the waterfall cave.

On the way, they were once again set upon by a band of Kobolds. This time, the creatures were tougher and better prepared, obviously seeking vengeance for the loss of their comrades. After a tough fight, in which Jaxx required quite a substantial amount of emergency medical attention from Rudiger, their foes lay slain. On the body of a the Kobold Wrympriest was an amulet, inscribed with a skull that the party identified as the mark of Orcus, the demon prince of the Undead.

Relieving the Kobolds of their valuables the party Rudiger was forced to return to town through injury, needing assistance from Fenn to make it. This left Jaxx to press on alone to the cave, where he arrives in a clearing, currently undetected.

Bonuses

Backstories

Characters

  • Fenn – 200 GP
  • Jaxx – 100 GP
  • Rudiger – 50GP

Party

Kills

  • 1 Kobold Wyrmpriest
  • 2 Kobold Dragonshield
  • 1 Kobold Skirmisher
  • 1 Kobold Slinger
  • 2 Kobold Minions

Loot

  • 5 GP 45 SP
  • Amulet of Orcus, Deamon prince of the Undead – 80GP

Experience per Member

  • Encounter 1 – 91 XP
  • Encounter 2 – 125 XP
  • Total – 216 XP
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