'Rift on the Shadowfell'

Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Session 6

As I investigated the mirror I was pulled through, Knowing the rest of my group they charged right in after me. When I emerged from the portal I was in a room with only Min. My close dear friend Nergul was there inviting us to sit. Not knowing what he had done to the rest of the party I stayed calm and diplomatic. Nurgal was kind enough to explain the two mirrors behind him lead to the rest of the party. The mirror on the Left lead to Bjorn, Hilde, Shiv, and Clobba, who were about to engage in a very deadly battle. The mirror on the left lead to Elvira and Zathras who was about to fall into a trap. I have not had the time with all our heroics lately to get to know Min very well but what ever her motivation she charge to the left mirror and was gone. This gave Nurgal and I the chance to exchange pleasantries such as my god would do this for you and all we want is to take over your world a little trust us we are demons. I smiled sarcastic and offered instead of having them go through the trouble of moving into a new place the followers of Bahamut would go there and bring justice and Honor. He politely scoffed at the idea. Since time was short I decided I would have to leave Nurgal alive for now and help save my friends. So I walked to the right mirror in hopes of warning Zathras and Elvira of the trap.

When I arrived the first thing I heard was Bjorn yelling he could not hold this all day. I realized my friend Nurgal had lied big surprise, I only hope that Min did not loose focus in her blood lust and remembered the trap. As I was thinking this a large group of those darker dwarves poured out of another mirror. Knowing I needed to get to Bjorn as quickly as possible I called on Bahamut to fill the room with his radiant light and smite these dwarves. All but 1 died so I walked to the mirror and shut it off so no more would enter. As I did that I saw Clobba standing at the end of the hall and called out to Bjorn that I was here. He yelled something about my slim elvish physic and told me to get down the hall as fast as I could. Clobba then killed the last Dwarf and ran down the hall, so I followed behind. When I got down the hall there was Bjorn holding up a very large and I could only assume portcullis. The rest of the party was already on the other side and I was about to get go under when Bjorn asked Shiv to push the lever on the wall to hold the portcullis up. Once the door clicked into place Bjorn smashed the hobgoblin in front of him in the face with his hammer. Behind the hobgoblin, who I guessed was Chief Krand, Hilde came down with her ax and hurting him badly. Clobba and Shiv were concentration on an orc and they looked injured. I once again called on my faith and healed the two half orcs. Now with Bahamut’s power healing their wounds Shiv and Clobba continued there assault. The combination of the two was so great that if forced the orc who I know now was Juko to run through yet another mirror. Shiv didn’t hesitate and dove through after his brother and Clobba right after them. Chef Krand tried to show nerve but it was obvious with his partner gone and his life seeping away he saw his death very close. The husband and wife duo made short work of him and Hilde not accepting Juko getting away chased after the others. I searched Chef Krand and Bjorn the room. I gave what I found to Bjorn seeing the group safe I headed back to my task.

I went to the mirror I came out of and stepped in to see Nurgal. I thanked him for his helping me get to right group, since they were in need of my healing. I then Called down all the power I had to hit Nurgal. It caught him a little surprised and he tried to do the same but he found that I had weakened him and all he could do was to push me through the mirror and shut it down. Now he knows the games are over and I am coming for him and he is now running scarred. I headed to to mirror the party went through and saw them walking off in the distance. I passed a bloody corpse of Juko and caught up to party. As I caught up Elvira came to me with Min saying she needed healing. I was pleased to see Zathras, Elvira and Min made it through the trap, so I healed Min and we all caught up to Bjorn who looked very determined. He walked all the way to the dark dwarf shop kicked two doors in and grabbed the dwarf at the desk. We got in the room in time to see him drag the dwarf to the back room while two other dwarves we were not paying attention to attacked us. We dispatched them quickly and while bjorn was making threats he said I had the ability to speak with dead. This is the second time he has said that, so seeing no real danger I ran off to acquire this skill he required of me. As I was about a block away I realized the grave error we have just made. This is a neutral city and any fighting is punished. As I turn to warn party it was already to late. The ornater and a Minator statue already had them cornered at the door. Lucky for us he wanted them dead for their crime of stealing towns folk. He told them to not let it happen again then offered a deal. He would help us get to Haldis for a favor to be collected later. We all agreed and headed to the tavern.

I explained to Bjorn I did not have the skill to speak with the dead yet but got something else that might help. Before that I decided to preserve Chief Krands head that was rotting on his belt. He looked at me a few times as I preformed the ritual but passed it off as strange elf. We then went to our common room and I began a ritual that should have just produced a hand to guide us instead Bahamut himself came Bjorn tried to defend us and was knocked to ground and I in my awe fell to my knees. After a minute I realized Bjorn was still struggling and told him he was in the presence of Bahamut. Hearing that Bjorn put down his hammer and pick back up his ale. Bahamut was kind enough to give us the answers to our question and a warning on the 9 hells. Clobber popped his head in said hi to Bahamut and told us he was going shopping with Zathras. After we had all our information we determined we had to save Haldis before claiming Bodahn’s body. We received a note with our information from the Orater and prepared to head out in the morning.

From the pages of Lucian’s Journal in regards to Session 6

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Waking Nightmares
Session 5
Waking nightmares…

I woke to a shriek of panic. I groggily looked around and realized I had awoken to a nightmare. Elvira was gone, Zathras had his back to the wall, his sword in his hand looking on in horror at a seven and a half foot tall beast with a wolf like head. I jumped to my feet and rushed the beast because I had realized that it was standing over where Haldis had gone to sleep. I connected with a heavy blow to the beast’s head. It howled in pain, but came at me claws and teeth flashing in the torch light. I took a nasty gash to my shoulder as it flailed wildly at me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see that Haldis was not breathing and in fact her chest had been ripped open and most of her entrails were spilled all over the place…. We had just rescued her only to lose her to this beast. Brunhilde charged in next her axe swinging, she carved a chunk out of the beasts hide and it howled in pain again. The next thing I knew Shiv was there and was driving his blades into the beasts back. I tried my best to keep the beast’s attention, calling upon the fury of the earth the beast’s movement became slow, my hammer came down again and again by Kord this beast was tough. Under our combined assault the beast started to stagger then in a brief flash of light Elvira appeared next to me and drove her sword into the beasts heart, blood fountained out all over her and it staggered and fell off the cliff. Apparently the scream I had heard was Elvira being thrown off the cliff. Terrlen had been the werewolf… Terrlen was the enemy? I reasoned Rendil had set us up to die. Lucian ran to Haldis and looked up at me with sadness in his eyes. He just shook his head telling me all that I needed to know. I wrapped her body in her sleeping bag cradled her in my arms and began the walk back to Seven Pillar Hall. Zathras offered to summon a magical disk to bear the burden of Haldis’ body. I simply told him she is my kin, my responsibility and that I would bear her. Brunhilde was quiet the entire time we walked.

The group was exhausted; so exhausted in fact that Lucian swooned and needed the assistance of Zathras’ disk so as not to be left behind. I had no intention of stopping. I would not leave Haldis in this god forsaken cave. We caught a glimmer up ahead, it was the same door we had seen in the forest on our trek to Fellcrest. I think it was a doorway to the city of Sigil. I opened the door and went in, perhaps someone there would be able to help us. The first thing I noticed upon entering the door was Elvira, she looked like hell; apparently while coming through the door demons had attacked her. Seeing she was mostly alright, I marched towards the large temple I saw, Clobba and Brunhilde silently accompanying me. The temple was dedicated to Kord. A priest, Zavros, I would learn his name to be, asked what had happened. I explained that Haldis had been murdered by a monster and that she was a child of Kord and one of his priests. I asked if there was a way she could be returned to us. Zavros explained there was a ritual that could bring the dead back, if the Lord of Storms permitted it. I agreed to pay any price and offered my magical shield as payment. The priest politely declined and Clobba and Brunhilde both emptied their coin purses to help cover the cost. I must admit the generosity of Clobba surprised me. I had been cold and distant and down- right insulting at times to this half breed. I thanked him and he said he knew how important family was and if his gold could help bring back my family, it was gold well spent. He then left the temple to see if anyone else in the group wanted to donate, Lucian, Zathras and Elvira all offered up most of their money. Eventually the group arrived at the temple, apparently there is only one temple in Sigil and it appears as a temple of whichever god you worship and you have to

acknowledge or accept or something that the other gods exist in order to travel to a different temple. Zavros led us to a door and said we all had to reveal a secret in order to pass through it, apparently the Lady of Pain somehow prevents the servants of other gods from invoking their divine powers and through this doorway we would be able to raise Haldis. I explained why my family was adventuring. On the eve of a great victory a huge party had been thrown in our honor (Brunhilde, Bodahn, Haldis and myself) a young dwarf maid by the name of Valeria professed her love for me. I turned her down as gently as I could, but Brunhilde… Brunhilde grew so angry that she lost herself in a battle frenzy. Valeria being a simple maid would not have stood a chance against Brunhilde anyway, but in the throws of a battle frenzy… It took me and my father, Ulf, to finally pull Brunhilde off of Valeria. The poor girl was near death, if not for the quick actions of Haldis and Bodahn the girl surely would have died. The following morning it was suggested that Brunhilde seek adventure outside of the clan’s territories until she learned how to control her rage. I left with her without question or hesitation as did Bodahn and Haldis. With that Brunhilde and I were allowed to pass through the door way. The others followed; I don’t know what they said nor did I pry. On the other side of the door was a large field, perfect for a large battle, overhead the sky was dark with storm clouds, truly Kord’s paradise on earth. The ritual took 8 hours of preparation; in that time Brunhilde and I stayed near Haldis’ body and prayed to the father of battle that he would allow our sister to come home. The time for the ritual arrived, Zavros invoked Kord’s name, he told us all to say something to entice Haldis’ spirit back to her body. Brunhilde simply said “you are my sister and you brought honor to our family.” I reflected that without Haldis’ teaching most of the clan would not know kord, I also said we would need her in order to get Bodahn back. I don’t remember what everyone else said, but I could feel the power building with each passing moment until….nothing. Nothing happened. Confused I looked to Zavros, who also stared around in confusion. He quickly told us that he would refund our gold and would cure Clobba for free (apparently he had contracted lycanthropy from the werewolf we fought). He also told us he would find out why Haldis did not return. He prayed silently for a few minutes and said that Haldis was already returned to her body, but he did not know by who, where, or what purpose. I asked how that could be and he simply shrugged and said, “You only need a small part of the body. Someone could have a single strand of hair and bring her back and the soul does not know who is resurrecting them. They only hear the words spoken about them, but not the voice speaking them.” Furious we all passed through the doorway back to Sigil. We took our leave shortly after.

We found ourselves back in the tunnels. I resumed my determined march to Seven Pillar Hall. I marched straight for the Halfmoon tavern; I had a Halfling to kill. I marched right in and asked where Rendil was, his parents eagerly pointed out that he was in the backroom doing dishes. I marched back there, Brunhilde and Clobba standing guard at the door. Rendil smiled when he saw me, his smile changed into a stifled gurgle as my hand grab his throat and lifted him off the ground. I squeezed, slowly increasing the pressure so he would die slowly, as Haldis had died. I brought his face close to mine and whispered “You set us up Halfling, after we saved you. We trusted you and you sent us off with a werewolf and my sister died for it as you will die now…” I felt the bones in his neck begin to break and simply kept increasing the pressure, his struggles became weaker and weaker although he never had the strength to fight me anyway. He managed to choke out a few blood filled words about how he did not know and he never would have sent us with Terrlen had he known. I loosened my grip and he gasped, painfully, more

blood flowing from his lips. He apologized profusely and offered to do anything to repay us for the death of my sister. He simply said he had wanted to repay us for saving him and that Terrlen was the best tracker in Seven Pillar Hall and that’s why he hired him and if he had been a werewolf no one knew. Lucian had managed to sneak in and I don’t know if by magic or elven intuition said that Rendil spoke the truth. I dropped the Halfling to the floor he looked up at me and said he would show us to the bloodreaver’s lair himself and that I had his permission to kill him if he led us astray. I grudgingly agreed that we would leave in the morning, the group was exhausted and a night’s rest would do everyone some good. Brunhilde confided in me that night; that she did not hold me responsible for Haldis’ death. She said she knew that I was doing everything within my power to protect everyone and that Haldis’ was a priestess of the father of battle and accepted the risks of adventuring with us. The words surprised me, how had she known I was holding myself responsible that I felt weak for not being able to protect my family. Either way relief flooded through me at those words and I drifted off to sleep secure that we would get everyone back or kill every hobgoblin and dark dwarf in the world trying.

-Bjorn Eisenhammer

Excerpt from the Journal of Bjorn Eisenhammer

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The only good hobgoblin is a dead hobgoblin…

Session 4

The only good hobgoblin is a dead hobgoblin…

With Kalarel dead, we decided it would be best to make our way out of the keep. We were all bone weary and decided to camp in the court yard for the night and head for Winterhaven first thing in the morning. Luckily the night was very uneventful. Haldis told us what had happened to her and Bodahn. She told us that the bloodreavers broke into their room without a sound. She told us that they had tried to call for help, but there was some type of magical silence preventing them. They were taken to the keep where her and Bodahn were separated. Apparently she overheard that, females are not held in high regard in the slave markets in Fallcrest where Bodahn was going to be taken. She was left in the keep and beaten and tortured repeatedly. I vowed to her that we would get Bodahn back and kill every bloodreaver we came across.

We made the Journey to Winterhaven easily enough. However when we arrived we found the gate shut and locked and the “militia” manning the walls. Lord Padraig told us from the top of the wall that Ninaren was raising and undead army and that several town folk had been kidnapped. Notably among the missing were Delphina, the elven girl who picked flowers, Ellian the old and Salvanna the innkeeper. They had been taken in a daring bloodreaver raid while we were gone. These bastard hobgoblins will pay with every drop of their blood for the what they’ve done. Lord Padraig told us that Ninaren was last seen in the graveyard. We made haste to the graveyard vengeance on our minds, when along the road we encountered another bastard half-breed orc. This one was known to Shiv as he hollered and cheered. This new one’s name is “Clobba”. Shiv told us that Clobba was a great warrior and that Clobba would stand in front of things and bash them in the head while Shiv stabbed them in the back. Clobba quickly corrected his old friend said he wielded magic now…. It’s times like this that I really question Shiv’s mental capacity. How do you not realize your “best mate” is a wizard? Clobba’s announcement seemed to upset Zathras, I don’t know why. Reluctantly I agreed to let Shiv join us on Shiv’s word that this was his friend even though he had gotten his abilities wrong… I hope I don’t have to kill both of them.

We arrived at the graveyard and immediately saw Ninaren in the middle marshalling her undead forces. We quickly rushed in to end her wretched life as quickly as possible. I will say this, Ninaren was quick, she loosed two arrows one which struck me in the shoulder before I could get my shield up in time to deflect the other. I called upon the frigid powers of the north and started fighting my way through the undead to get to her. Zathras and Clobba were quick to start chanting the words to various spells, I saw a small magical dart streak from Zathras’ hand and strike Ninaren in the chest. At the completion of Clobb’s chanting Ninaren suddenly burst into flames, which seemed to upset Zathras more than Ninaren. Ninaren fired a few more arrows at me, but was unable to get past my shield. The rest of the group started to fan out to engage the undead that were all over the graveyard. Brunhilde charged straight for Ninaren but was intercepted by some type of undead dog…wolf…thing. She made short work of the best, but it bought Ninaren more time to fire on the group with her bow. I quickly smashed two skeletons to the ground and was finally face to face with Ninaren. I swung my hammer in a vicious horizontal arc and grin as I felt the bone shattering impact. Ninaren howled in pain and tried to get away from me, but the cold that surrounded me slowed her down or perhaps she just backed away slowly in the hopes of bringing her bow to bear. I struck her again with my hammer, it had grown long wicked thorns at this point, and pulled her closer to me, the thorns had tangled in her clothes and flesh. Summoning all my might I struck the ground and in response it started to shake violently, with this attack Ninaren fell battered and broken. I surveyed the graveyard and was happy to note that the group was unharmed and all the undead had been defeated. We took Ninaren’s body back to Winterhaven with us to proved to Lord Padraig that the threat was over. The town threw a celebration in our honor. We feasted and drank into the wee hours of the morning.

The rays of dawn painfully burned my eyes the following morning; I slowly dragged myself out of bed. There was work to do still. We needed to leave Winterhaven and make haste to Fallcrest. The longer we delayed the more dangerous Bodahn’s situation became. Surprisingly Hilde did not give me grief when I woke her to get ready. We gathered the rest of the group and immediately set out for Fallcrest. We were cheered as we walked through Winterhaven on our way to the gate. I noticed several small children playing “the heroes of Winterhaven” I’m not sure who more was pleased ourselves or the children. Hilde even smiled and nodded approvingly at a small girl, no older than 6 winters, with pigtails pretending to be her and threatening boys much older than she.

The days on the road to Fallcrest blended together all of them were very uneventful, with the Kobolds gone, the roads were safe. I hope this will help revive the trade in Winterhaven. Eventually we arrived in Fallcrest. We resupplied and immediately set out for Thunderspire Mountain where we had found out the bloodreavers had a presence in the seven pillar hall. The entrance to Seven Pillar hall was grand and well lit with torches spaced every ten feet or so. We entered the cave and after a short while heard voices coming from a doorway in the wall. We heard a guttural voice state matter of factly that he could easily get ten gold for him. We heard a squeaky high pitched voice fire back, I’ll pay you twenty gold to let me go…Slavers, not even in the hall yet and we had found bloodreavers. I kicked the door in, much to the surprised looks of the hobgoblins in the room, and charged immediately into a group of 4 and unleashed a barrage of insults about them, their parentage, their parent’s parentage. They were not amused to say the least. The monk Min took a running jump and easily cleared 30 or so feat, to engage another group. Off in the back were two bloodreavers in robes, who immediately started calling upon their vulgar gods. I took a nasty cut to my side from one of the hobgoblin’s swords, I dug deep and refocused my efforts and they were unable to strike me after that. I struck the ground and smiled as the earth answered my call once more, it began to buck and heave and the hobgoblins footing became precarious. I then struck another one and the earth responded to me again and the dirt itself began to grab at his feet. Brunhilde was there her axe swinging she hued two of the hobgoblins who were focused on me in half and sprinted off to engage another one by a stack of barrels. Even though I’ve been with her for years and have seen her in many battles, her combat prowess never ceases to amaze me sometimes. Min, Shiv, Zathras, and Clobba were all engaging another group of 4 or 5 hobgoblins off to my left and Ausric had engaged the two shaman that were standing by a Halfling, the squeaky voice must have come from him. These hobgoblins were obviously well trained, but they ultimately stood not chance against us. We learned that the Halfling’s name was Rendil Halfmoon and that for saving him he would give us free lodging in his inn. He also offered to pay for a guide for us to lead us to the bloodreaver’s lair.
After the battle we journeyed further into the cave and eventually arrived at the hall itself. There were several shops and the halfmoon’s inn. A large ogre approached us and demanded Tribute. The smelly swine stuck his hand in my face and demanded ten gold. I told him if he liked his knees in tact he’d get his hand out of my face. He then told me that he wanted 20 gold. I pulled my hammer from my shoulder ready to pulverize this beast when Shiv stepped in between us and handed the ogre ten gold for himself and twenty gold on my behalf. I don’t know why he did it, but it seemed to satisfy the ogre who walked off. I guess I owe Shiv some gold. Rendil seemed relieved that the confrontation didn’t come to blows and said that while we as a group could probably handle the ogre we probably wouldn’t be able to handle the rest of the town’s guards. He said we only paid the tribute once so we wouldn’t have to worry about it again. Rendil showed us to his parent’s tavern, they were all very grateful that we had saved their son. They told us we could stay in the tavern for a week at no charge and that all our meals and drink would be free for the week as well. We ate a quick meal and explored the town some, sadly none of the shops held anything of interest for us. We met back at the inn and Rendil introduced us to Terrlen the best guide in The Seven Pillar Hall. He offered to show us the way to the bloodreavers lair and Rendil noted that he had paid the guide for a week on our behalf. We all agreed that we would start out first thing in the morning and that Terrlen would meet us at the Inn.

That night I overheard heard Zathras and Lucian speaking. They were both questioning the intelligence of Shiv for not realizing Clobba was indeed a mage, like Zathras. Zathras was also mightily upset that Clobba could wield magic. He mentioned something about him being an abomination and something that shouldn’t exist. It unnerved Lucian who decided it would be his duty to watch Shiv because he did not trust him, he figured either he’s completely inept and shouldn’t be trusted for his stupidity or that he was playing stupid and was leading us into danger. We went to bed and I woke up to a commotion in the room Lucian was furiously demanding to know where Shiv had gone. Apparently in the middle of the night while the rest of us slept Shiv had snuck away on “business” which put Lucian on edge. Shiv couldn’t or wouldn’t answer where he had been, whom he had spoken with. He did hand me a note that confirmed that Bodahn and the townsfolk were indeed here and had been sold to duergar, whatever the hell they are, I later found out that they’re some type of cursed dwarves… I can’t believe it. Cursed dwarves and they had bought one of my kin. They would die by my hand as well. The argument continued for some time. Eventually cooler heads prevailed and we all agreed to go back to sleep and talk about this more in the morning

Hold on Bodahn, we’re coming for you. I swear by my ancestors I’ll find you and get you home safe. I swear every stinking bloodreaver will pay for what they’ve done to my kin.

-Bjorn Eisenhammer
Excerpt from the journal of Bjorn Eisenhammer

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Stinking mud apes

Session 3

So ‘ere we are in the keep. Balgron is dead and I know Juko is looking for me. Clobba is out there too. Probably a prizoner of the Blood Reavers but he can handle himself. Don’t worry buddy I’m coming. Gotta take care of business first. And we always take care of business. The first room we hit had goblins and a human prizoner. One of the Goblins turned on the others and helped kill a few. The human got out and with just a stick managed to hit a few of them each time she struck. Kind of impressive for just using a stick. I felt kind of bad for Splug the goblin that turned on the others ‘cause I was sure one the Dwarves was gonna kill ’em. But he told us he was so thankful we saved his life he would show us around the keep and Bjorn spared him. He seemed to have a good reason for helping us. He freed the human, help kill the others so as far as I was concerned I was going to watch him but didn’t have a problem with him especially since he knew most of the keep.

As the day progressed the Dwarf Bjorn kepts saying how much he liked Splug and seemed really happy with him like he was his new best friend that he had no problems with and trusted completely, that he happen to find in a keep, where everything including goblins are trying to kill us, has a fountain of blood overflowing into a pool of blood, and is helping to open a portal so a god can come through and cause mayhem and destruction. I on the other hand was walking on a road when somthing attacked. They weren’t half orcs or even full blood orks. I defended myself and others and get accused of not only being in on the attack but planning the whole thing and if it wasn’t for some fast talking would have had my head removed right there on the spot and even then they still disarmed me and brought me to the local authorities. This Dwarf is not right in the head.

We we went down to a room with magical runes that Splug said tripped undead to appear and attack and around the corner there was a corridor with a bunch of stone caskets. We went down the coridor and undead rushed out of the caskets and attacked us. We beat them back and Lucien the cleric of the Dragon god (I think he said it was Butamut or somthing like that) prayed at an alter and a door opened to Sir Keegan’s crypt. Keegan was the last keeper of this place before he went crazy and killed everyone. Anyway he asked us a bunch a questions and seemed happy that we were legit and gave up his sword to Lucien to help kill Kalorel. Lucien passed it to Elvira because she could use a sword and we moved on to the next door with Zathras’s help moving over the traps. I spotted a secret door and went in and heard moaning. There was a magical wall and I popped my hand through. Nothing happend so I popped my head through. Kind of suprprised to see a room filled with undead and they grabbed me and pulled me in. Gotta say the Dwarf jumped right into the fight bashing stuff with that hammer of his. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was trying to help me. He probably did ‘cause he just likes to fight. It didn’t take long for us all to kill them off and we moved on to the next door.

We decended into a room with six small statues and one really big one. Splug was the last one in and he tripped traps in the room. The Dwarf also tripped a trap when a magical wall came up behind him and the small area he was in filled with water and it wasn’t long before a whirldpool developed and started bashing the dwarf against each of the statues. Two statues in the corner were shooting out magic and the big status was swinging a huge friggin sword knockin us around like we were children. I tried to mess with the levers of the statue but the Zathras and Ausric managed to stop it. One of the statues concentrated it’s magic on the Dwarf and left itself open. With a couple of quick strikes I destroyed the statue. Everyone concentrated on freeing the Dwarf and as the statues inside the smaller trapped area were destroyed the wall dissappeared and we continued on.

We knew we were close. Before us was a fountain of blood that erupted and poured onto the ground draining down a hole.There was a head priest or mage of some sort, and people with weapons chanting over and over. We were attacked by the chanting people and I saw my chance to get to the spell slinger. Had it been a well armored warrior or a creatue I felt I could not handle I wouldn’t have gone after it myself but I felt leaving him unharmed as we attacked his minions would be a bad idea I held my own until help arrived and was suprised to see Elvira tossing the priest down the hole. A very useful ability, gonna have to remember that. With a bit of difficulty we decended the hole using the bloody chains or the magical disk that Zathras had created and at last found ourselves in a large room with a pool of blood, statues or Orcus an Vecna (glad to see the latter), the rift with something trying to come through, and finally Kalorel.

For some reason I expected him to be bigger for all the trouble he caused us. He was just a mage of some sort so while his minions were caught up with others I went for him. There was a lot of splashing around in the pool of blood behind me, Not really sure what that was about. But I figured the Dwarf would be right behind me, But no Dwarf. He was kneeling beside the Dwarven woman that the Blood Reavers took and stupidly trying to mend her wounds but he may have been doing more harm than good. And still no sign of the other one that was taken. Anyway Kalorel proved to be more difficult than I thought and I couldn’t take him alone. Eventually everyone working together managedd to defeat Kalorel. It seemed that we got there just in time to ‘cause it seemed that the something that was trying to get through the rift was almost through. It was big and mean and if it was Orcus or not I don’t know but I’m glad I didn’t have to find out. But Kalorel did as it grabbed him and pulled him in.

As written in the journal of ‘Shiv’ in regards to session 3

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We came, we saw, we… wait did Bodahn just heal Shiv?!

Session 2

Irontooth’s body fell heavily to the floor. I quickly glanced around the room, Brunhilde was fine, Haldis and Bodahn were equally ok. Shiv was down, good bastard halfbreed. My eyes wandered to the rest of the group, Ausric was also down, but everyone else was ok. Wait did Bodahn just heal Shiv? Eh, I guess the orc did help. The fight had been intense. Kobolds had poured out of every corner of the cave, dozens of them in a wave of stinking reptilian bodies. The group had fought well together. The group hurriedly packed up the loot that was scattered about the cave; it would be counted and divided later, for now we needed to get back to Winterhaven.

We made our way back to Winterhaven. Our first stop would be the guard house to speak with Rond about the note we had found further incriminating the elven wench Ninaren. The two guards left in the guard house were not entirely pleased with the severed head of Irontooth being in their presence. In fact the guards seemed downright nervous to be in the presence of our group. When Rond finally came back after his patrol he listened to what we had to say. He did not seem entirely convinced but he did agree to have Ninaren arrested and held until we could settle this matter. Hopefully his men find her before Brunhilde does….

Our Next stop was Lord Padraig’s. His servant, Sloan I think his name was, also didn’t seem to like the idea of having Irontooth’s head around, but a deal is a deal. We offered to get proof of Irontooth’s death in exchange for 250 gold and I intended to honor that bargain. Lord Padraig seemed genuinely pleased with how quickly we had cleared out the Kobold cave and he seemed rather pleased that we also were able to get rid of the Vecna follower at the excavation site. He also agreed that for now the best thing he could do was arrest and hold Ninaren and funny enough Brunhilde mentioned that the guards better find her before she did or the world would be short one elf… I love that woman. We told him our suspicions about the Keep and Lord Padraig offered us another 250 gold if we would clear that out as well. Two birds with one stone that one is, because me and the rest of Clan Firebeard needed to map that place anyway. Easy money if you ask me. I mentioned to Lord Padraig that it might be good for morale to throw a parade or something for the citizenry of Winterhaven.

After our meeting we decided that some time in the tavern would be a good idea. The locals cheered as we entered. Was interesting to say the least; feeling slightly embarrassed at the attention I just slam 10 gold down on the table and told the barkeep to keep the ale flowing for everyone in the tavern. The locals seemed to like that. Eventually the amount of fighting we had done caught up with us and we all decided to retire to our individual rooms.

The next morning came around way too quickly. I woke Brunhilde, surprisingly she didn’t give me much trouble. We went down for breakfast and noticed that Haldis and Bodahn weren’t there, which is unusual for them. They’re usually the first to rise and greet the dawn. Brunhilde and I went to their room and immediately noticed something was wrong. I readied my weapons and kicked the door in. There were claw marks on the floor and small piles of ash. Obvious signs of combat. Brunhilde stormed from the room and I heard her pacing the tavern demanding of anyone and everyone where her sister was. I’m glad she didn’t kill anyone. I stayed and searched the room and discovered a severed green arm, it looked almost like an orc or goblins arm. It had a small blood red tear tattooed on the hand. Zathras and Shiv came in the room next, they could tell that I was obviously angry. Shiv seemed nervous, I suspected he was in on it, and shoved the severed arm under his nose and demanded to know what he knew. Zathras quietly stood between us and spoke very eloquently on Shiv’s behalf. That bastard half breed is lucky the elfling likes him. Zathras pointed out that Shiv is no magic wielder and is definitely not skilled enough to have cleaned and quietly both severed the lock on the door in two, from the outside and have killed or helped capture my kinsmen without making a sound. That made sense to me as I’ve been in many battles with my family and both Bodahn and Haldis can call upon the power of Kord to smite their foes and it is anything but quiet. Shiv explained that the tattoo reminded him of a Hobgoblin clan that are slavers. He told me their name, but it escapes me as I write this now. I was too ready to storm out of the inn and start the killing of as many hobgoblins as I could. Zathras and Shiv both tried to talk me out of it saying we had a job to do for Winterhaven and I explained by way of slamming my hammer into the floor that I would let this town burn before I abandoned my kin to their fate.

I left the room after a few more tense seconds. Hilde was ready and we were about to leave when I was stopped by an old human man who I would learn was Valthrun the Prescient. He mentioned that he couldn’t help but over hear my problem and told me that a large amount of goblins and hobgoblins had been seen at Shadowfell Keep….looks like the bastards may have my kin there, which means we solve everyone’s problems by destroying that keep. It was during this conversation that we were approached by an Elf and a Human. The human I found out was a warrior named Elvira, an extra blade is always handy, she mentioned she had business in the keep as well. The elf was named Lord Lucian, pompous arrogant ass. I think he honestly though his title would impress us, I also think that notion was immediately knocked from his mind when my lovely wife laughed and called him “Lucy”. He quickly settled on going by Lucian and told us that he was a priest of the platinum dragon. Introductions completed we all agreed that we should head out as soon as possible. I’m glad for the extra bodies, I feel we’ll need all the help we can get in that keep, especially with the mention of a ritual, needing sacrifices of blood and something about opening a rift… That can’t be good.

We made haste to the keep and met up with some of the town militia who were fleeing from the keep. They told us that one of their number was captured and one was assuredly dead. I asked them what they were doing out here and they told us that this is where Ninaren was last seen. Further proof that the elven wench was the spy for Kalarel… I told them to get back to town and that we’d take care of it. No sense in seeing these young kids get themselves killed, they’re not soldiers, they’re not adventurers, they’re town guard who have only had to battle irate drunks at the tavern.

We eventually reached the keep and upon entering the courtyard thunder rumbled and rain started to fall an obvious blessing from the Lord of Storms. Brunhilde and I took it as a good omen, everyone else seemed to grow weary. We descended into the dungeon and were immediately set upon by 4 Hobgoblins. I took several arrows to the chest and Lucian proved his worth by healing quickly. Maybe I had judged him a bit harshly at first. Shiv shouted to not enter the middle of the room, apparently his keen eyes had noticed that there was a pit trap in the center of the room. After a few short minutes the hobgoblins lay dead and we noted that they bore the same tattoo as the arm we found in Bodahn and Haldis’ room, at least I knew where the takers of my kin were and I would be sure they paid in blood for what they did. The door in the back of the entry way had some type of magical lock which foiled all of Shiv’s attempts at opening it, this half breed bastard was proving useful, maybe Zathras was right, maybe he wasn’t so bad. Only time will tell, if I find out he was in on the kidnapping his head will roll like the rest. We then went down a passage on the left and entered a room with heavy tapestries. We were beset by more goblins and one large fat goblin in the back of them. Shiv seemed to know this one as he shouted something in a guttural language that I didn’t understand and the fat one responded. Shiv then asked that we take that one alive… I pointed out that the weapons Brunhilde and I were wielding weren’t really meant for taking prisoners, but we’d try… The fight was over quickly and the fat one surprised us all by running away, equally as quickly. We followed his trail and found him cowering in an alcove in a room that was half filled with water. I noticed something moving in the water and told the group. We offered to let the fat one live if he came over here. He told us we’d have to come and get him. Being happy to oblige I stormed over there ready to bring him back kicking and screaming or feeding him to whatever was in the water, I really didn’t care either way. The thing in the water turned out to be a giant glob of… I don’t know what. It was tough, but Elvira, I found out, was actually a Swordmage, whatever that is, and was using her magic to blunt this beasts attacks. I have to say, I’m rather impressed with her skills. We eventually bested the blob of goo and Shiv exchanged a few words with the fat goblin and then said he was done and had what he needed, so Brunhilde and I promptly ended the fat goblins life.

We back tracked a bit through the dungeon and Shiv overheard part of a goblin conversation, something about excavating and not finding any treasure. Curious, we made our way down the hall. The room we entered was obviously being dug, there were piles of debris and planks running from platform to platform and ladders to climb up out of the pit to the platform. There were more goblins and more of those drakes we saw at the excavation site outside. I tried jumping across to one of the other platforms, I didn’t gauge the distance right and ended up in the pit swarmed by a goblin and the two drakes. I quickly called upon the powers of the north wind and encased my body in ice and the small snow storm that surrounded me hindered my enemy’s movements. Next thing I know my wife is at my side burying her axe into the skull of one of the Drakes. She gently chided me that she always has to clean up after me. Even surrounded by enemies she’s giving me grief. I know she was worried though, I could see it in her face and her humor was her way of trying to hide it. Just like after the fight with the ogre all those years ago. Elvira, Shiv, Lucian, and Zathras finished off the goblins up top while Hilde and I finished up what was in the pit. It was at this point that we decided that this room, with its one entrance, would be the best place to set up camp and rest for the evening. We’ll continue deeper into this dungeon tomorrow.
-Bjorn Eisenhammer

Excerpt from the journal of Bjorn Eisenhammer

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Down to Business
Session 1

What Kobold problem?

Converging on Old Kings Road, the party found themselves in the midst of a Kobold ambush. Considering that most of the 8 strangers met on a road for the first time, the battle was handled in an elite manner….except for one detail.

A group of 4 dwarves Bodahn Thunderforge,Brunhilde Eisenhammer, Bjorn Eisenhammer,Haldis Thunderforge within the party mistook Brutus ‘Shiv’ Garrok for a full orc in cahoots with the Kobolds, even to the point of attacking him! Though no blow was landed, though only narrowly as Shiv’s reflexes helped him dodge a blow from Bjorn Eisenhammer. ‘Shiv’ was upset to realize that Content Not Found: madelyn-pipsqueak had followed him here, but had more pressing matters to attend to. Even though ‘Pipsqueak’ informed the 4 irate dwarves that Brutus had no connection with the Kobolds, she was accused of being a slave under Brutus’ control. He was taken into they’re custody, in which he co-operated. Upon reaching the gates of WinterHaven, he was turned into authorities who then took him in for questioning.

Walking by Wrafton’s Inn, the guards walking ‘Shiv’ to the barracks stopped to hear the tale of Sir Keegan told by a singing bard from within the tavern. He used to run the ruined keep to the north ( Shadowfell Keep) before being driven to madness and killing many residents of the keep. Including his wife and children, in their sleep.

‘Shiv’ was asked a few questions, and (having previous received a good amount of intel prior to him being accused of working with the kobolds) Rond Kethal escorted ‘Shiv’ back to Wrafton’s Inn. He then explained that the village guard is well aware of the key players involving the Kobolds, and ‘Shiv’ is not one of them.

This put tensions at ease slightly, as a lively discussion then built up between the party and everyone’s purpose for being there. As this conversation became lengthy, Zathras Laurenthal then began questioning the locals within the bar starting with Salvanna Wrafton for the whereabouts of Douven Staul. Zathras was pointed in the direction of Ellian the Old within the tavern. Ellian explained that he had drawn Douven a map, and gave him a basic layout of the Ancient Dragon Burial Ground. He in turn did the same for Zathras.

After a small discussion with Lord Ernest Padraig (who was hoping the party were merchants), the party decided to solve the kobold problem at the Kobold Stronghold. Hearing that Ninaren scouted the area, they asked her (and asked her…and asked her) to mark it on their map. After being badgered and followed by a few party members, she reluctantly marked the spot on their map. The next morning Rond Kethal quickly pointed out that she marked the Ancient Dragon Burial Ground. He noted on the map where the nearby keep was located.

Having found a hefty number of javelins and spears from the kobolds, Bodahn Thunderforge headed to the smithy. Here he rented the forge for the day from Thair Coalstriker, the local owner and operator of the smithy. After melting down the metal from them, he then dressed the spear shafts in leather and sold them as walking sticks to the local general shop keep Bairwin Wildarson.

The party quickly left town and within 7 hours, both Douven Staul was found alive, and the kobold ruin was decimated. Douven revealed to Ausric Krell that his brother is an established priest in the Vecna and that he resides at the Seven Pillar Hall. Also, within the Seven Pillar Hall, is a gateway to the Thunderspire Labyrinth. This is where Zatharas’ grandfather had last adventured quite some time ago.

Whoever these adventurer’s are, IronTooth and Agrid are now dead. Actions have been set in motion that Kalarel has not foreseen. The arrival of these heroes near Winterhaven must be fate. I refuse to believe such a powerful force has arrived just in time to stop this madman just by mere coincidence. Now, as the party licks their wounds and gets ready to head into the ruined keep, Kalarel is putting together an even more sinister plot. Hopefully these battle weary heroes and heroines can muster the strength needed to put an end to this threat once and for all.

-From the recovered journals of Valthrun the Prescient

I dont like this bitch
-Brunhilde Eisenhammer referring to Ninaren

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Opening Credits - Old Kings Road

Old Kings Road, the main road leading to the small farming village of WinterHaven, has seen little traveler use in recent time. This quaint village stands next to what used to be a mighty fortress belonging to a long-forgotten kingdom. All has been peaceful in the area, until recently.

Small brown monsters have began systematically attacking Winterhaven, while a dark and cold aura has filled the entire area. Larger monsters lurk in the shadows, and there has been at least one report of a man recently deceased returning to life and trying to assume his past identity.

Things look grim for this peaceful hamlet. The petty force of 10 so-called warriors in this town can’t even fathom the idea of holding off any type of invasion. Though the ‘WinterHaven Regulars’ as they like to be called, can police the community, their lack of experience and skill leaves the city to fall victim to even the smallest attacking force.

The only hope that shines like a lighthouse beacon to weary sea-bound vessels are a group of mismatched, but highly skilled, heroes and heroines. Unbeknownst to them, WinterHaven is but a stepping stone in the adventure and peril that awaits. This seemingly unimportant city can decide the fate of thousands. If handled improperly, the very world they live in will be permanently altered.

These 7 strangers all collided on this Old Kings Road. As 3 of them exchanged first time glances, an apparent ambush has engulfed one of them in flames. The remaining 4 can see there is distress further up the road and immediately fear rises in everyone’s gullets.

In the organized chaos that is battle, anything can happen. All the arrogant and egotistical thoughts on the travels up here make this sudden attack all the worse. This very moment is when all 7 of these travelers share the same eye-opening thoughts. The first, that this may not be as easy as previously expected. The second, that each one is very mortal.

What will become of these heroes and heroines? Can they purge this area of the darkness that surrounds it, in the meanwhile piling up treasure and coin? Or will they land face first a pile consisting of their own blood, carved and scorched innards, and the final regrets of a dying humanoid?

The answers to these questions will become apparent with time. As for now, they have roughly 10 seconds to save this burning man in flowing purple robes, prepare to battle unseen forces in the treeline and rocks, and learn to fight as an entire team rather than an individual. It’s all in a days work for an adventurer.

*Roll Initiative

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