Official Game Recap for the May 24th session.
This session we ran the 4th Edition D&D Preview module H1: Keep on the Shadowfell. The following players (and their characters) were in attendance:
• Brian playing Paranox (Dragonborn Paladin)
• Tony playing Jane Cobb (Dwarven Fighter)
• Chad playing Beren Carnicesir (Half-Elven Cleric)
• Tim playing Sohzen Son of Iroh (Tiefling Warlord)
• John playing Vicros Silvershaper (Halfling Rogue)
• Todd playing Asher (Human Wizard)
For sake of time the session started with the assumption that the characters already knew each other and had been on a few minor adventures together. The group was traveling on the road from the town of Fallcrest to the town of Winterhaven. The group was hoping to find answers in the small town to two separate problems bedeviling the group.
Jane, Sohzen, and Vicros had learned that their old friend and mentor Douven Staul had gone missing three months ago after heading in the vicinity of Winterhaven, where he believed a dragon’s tomb, and it’s treasure, was located. His long-suffering wife June asked them to travel to Winterhaven, locate her husband, and get him to come home.
Paranox, Beren, and Asher had been contacted by Marla of the Great church, an earnest young priest of Pelor. She had been studying the history of various demon and death cults and had found something disturbing. A dangerous and twisted priest named Kalarel was last heard of traveling in the direction of Winterhaven about a little over a year ago. No information had been heard about them since then so she feared they might still be active. She asked the three of them to travel to Winterhaven and stamp out any cult activity they found there.
Finding themselves with two tasks pointing them in the direction of this sleepy town, the group headed down the King’s Road. Not that far from Winterhaven, they were attacked by a group of eight kobolds. The two most battle hardened of the kobolds attempted to block their path down the road, allowing the kobold slinger to pick his targets freely while the rest attempted to swarm the party. Asher opened up with a scorching burst, which failed to put down the group. He quickly found himself lit on fire and glued to the spot by the kobold slinger using some form of “firepot” and “gluepot” ammunition.
While this was going on, the rest of the group engaged the kobolds , trying their best to keep the shifty little buggers from moving around and flanking the group. Luckily, they group was quickly able to take control of the battlefield. Jane Cobb and Paranox made sure to engage the kobolds who looked most battle-hardened. Sohzen made sure to make the buggers pay any time they tried to “shift” around the area. Beren dispensed healing as necessary while dealing out punishment to the stragglers while Vicros made sure to position himself to get the best advantage in combat. The kobolds were quickly dispatched, although they did do some damage to the group.
After the battle, the group recovered 34 SP and 5 javelins (which were claimed by Paranox).
Continuing to Winterhaven, the group found it to be a quiet village of just under a thousand people. The main hub of activity in the town was Wrafton’s Inn, named after Salvana Wrafton, the owner and proprietor.
Seeking information on the cult, Beren questioned several townsfolk, including Salvana (the innkeeper), Ellian the Old (a local farmer), Valthrun the Precient (local sage), and even Lord Padraig (the local lord). All of them seemed dismissive of the concept of a death cult, so dismissive that Beren became quite suspicious of them. Beren did learn that there was an ancient keep to the northeast.
While Lord Padraig was dismissive of the threat of a “death cult”, he did express his concern about kobold brigands menacing travelers on the roads. Beren offered to help with that issue, and after Jane reminded Beren that not everyone works for free, Lord Padraig agreed to pay them 100 gp for services rendered once the kobold lair was cleaned out. He let Beren and Paranox know that he trusted them to be men of their word and not attempt to claim the reward without cleaning out the lair.
Meanwhile, Sohzen sought information about his mentor Douven Staul. He first approached Ninaran, an elf hunter. While Ninaran claimed to have no information on Douven, he did point Sohzen to Ellian, who had dealings with Douven. Sohzen learned from Ellian that Douven had taken an extreme interest in a local “trash heap” believing it to be a dragon burial mound. Ellian hadn’t heard from Douven in some time, and offered to draw a map to the heap leading southwest of the city.
While all of this was going on, Vicros Silvershaper went around town looking for drunken nobles, rich merchants, and other people looking to be separated from their coin. Although pickings were slim, Vicros had a good eye and managed to walk away 20 GP richer.
Later that evening, after everyone had retired, Beren received a knock on his door. It was Ninaran the elven hunter, who had overheard him in the common room talking about death cults. Ninaran told him there was a death cult in the area, and he feared most of the town was involved. He also told him that the death cult was involved with the kobolds lair to the southeast. Ninaran drew Beren a more detailed map to the lair and let him know the entrance lay behind a waterfall. He also told Beren that he had seen many villagers travel there, for what could only be nefarious purposes.
The next morning, the group gathered to determine what to do. After some discussion, it was decided to investigate the “Dragon Burial Mound” first, since hopefully Douven had merely lost track of time and needed to be reminded that his wife missed him. The group took the road to the southeast out of town.
While on the road the group was ambushed, this time by a slightly smaller, but more experienced group of kobolds, including a Wyrmpriest. They took the group by surprise, surrounding them, with the priest screaming for revenge and lobbing a mystically conjured ball of acid at Asher.
Combat began in earnest, with Paranox making his way towards the Wyrmpriest while the rest of the party was attacked on all sides. Asher quickly went down, but was just as quickly brought back to consciousness by Beren’s clerical powers. Jane and Sohzen took control of the battlefield, allowing the diminutive rogue Vicros to inflict wicked wounds with his daggers. Paranox took out the Wyrmpriest, and the rest of the kobold ambush was dispatched without mercy.
After the battle, the group recovered 5 GP, 23 SP, and a necklace shaped like a dragon with the symbol of Orcus crudely scratched on the bottom.
The group continued on to the burial site. They came upon a massive excavation, with several humans performing the dig , being overseen by a gnome with a halfling standing watch above the pit. There were also two guard drakes (powerful man- reptiles) on the path between the party and the excavators. Upon the arrival of the group, the gnome (named Agrid) called out to the party in a friendly manner, asking them to come on down so they could see what they had found.
The party complied, although they did not fully trust the gnome. Jane slipped on the dragon amulet recovered from the kobold Wyrmpriest, just in case it was some form of sign. When the group reached the second tier of the excavation, they were able to see Douven Staul tied up and gagged at the bottom of the pit. At this point Agrid the gnome ordered the attack.
The human rabble ran up to attack the party, while the Agrid and the halfling both attacked from a distance. The drakes also pressed the attack with snapping at the party members with their powerful jaws.
Paranox and Beren engaged the drakes, seeing them as a credible threat. Jane, Sohzen, and Vicros began to fight their way through the humans. As Jane and Vicros surrounded the gnome, they were surprised to see the fey creature fade from sight when struck. This did not help Agrid escape though, as he was quickly cut down, despite his invisibility. The humans and drakes soon followed their master, leaving only the halfling. When he was struck by a crossbow from afar, the halfling quickly surrendered, screaming out that he would tell them everything.
The halfling’s story was a grim one. He was a mercenary, hired by Agrid to keep the human rabble in line. Agrid worked with a death priest named Kalarel. He claimed that Agrid was the one who handled all the deals with the priest, but he believed him to be working out of the ancient keep to the northeast. They had taken over the excavation site three days ago and were searching for an artifact. After deciding that the Halflings story was substantively true, he was allowed to leave with no weapons. Beren told him that this was the only mercy he would get, and that he would be killed on sight if he didn’t leave the area.
Douven was ok, with only some bumps and bruises to tell the tale. He admitted he had lost track of time excavating the site and had been surprised by the gnome and his men. Douven agreed he had spent enough time here, and that he should go back to his wife as soon as he could. As a reward for saving him, Douven offered up his locket, which was a +1 Amulet of Health. Jane grabbed the locket as soon as it was offered, and placed it around his neck.
After the battle, the group gathered 65 GP, 15 SP, and an ancient Nerath Mirror (worth 680 GP ). The halfling believed that the mirror was the artifact that Agrid was looking for, although Agrid had not halted the excavation when the mirror was found.
Returning to Winterhaven, the group found things much as they had left them, if a little more tense. The main difference seemed to be that Valthrun the Prescient seemed much more nervous and made a point to speak with Beren. He had done further research on the keep to the northeast and had learned it was built by the old empire of Nerath to guard a rift to the Shadowfell itself. Valthrun feared that if someone were to open the rift, an army of the dead would pour out bringing death and destruction in their wake. Beren told him to stay calm, but not to trust anyone.
Beren then setup a meeting for later in the night with Ninaran the elf hunter. Beren told Ninaran what the group had found. Ninaran expressed his gratitude for what the group had done so far and again suggested Beren go to the kobold lair to the southeast, as he believed that was a major hotspot of cult activity.
The game ended with the group deciding to go to the kobold lair the next day.
Hope you enjoyed this recap. If you have anything to add, or any questions about it, just post in the comments.
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