The Shadow on Fallcrest

Session 20: Outnumbered but never outgunned

PCs present: Jonn Redgar , Joreb Innitu , Glorien Ethalron , Merry Merric , Mikal Hanre
Writeup: lolvenom

The snapping shut of the sarcophagi doors brought the adventurers to the startling reality that they’d walked into yet another trap. Sweaty palms and racing hearts lasted barely a moment as bows, spears and swords sprang to hand in a series of well practiced motions. This was what each and every one of them lived for. Sharp ears picked up a scurrying noise from back the way they had come, but thankfully for everyone it was only the Gnome Halfling, Merry.
Session19 1

What followed was nothing short of heroic. Joreb, exhorted to new feats by Jonn’s encouragement, cut a swathe through papery flesh and brittle bones. Glorian’s bow sung out loud and clear, piercing the magic that held the restless dead together. Splug’s spear and Merry’s dagger both drove deep into what had once been living flesh, shattering the animation that kept these corpses moving. Despite this, time and again they came. More shambling apparitions appeared around the far corners, animated in the glowing starlight. The lids of numerous sarcophagi re-opened for a second and third time, disgorging more abominations into the fray. One by one they all met the same fate.
Session19 2

With the final cleaving blow of Joreb’s sword, silence descended. Across the floor lay nothing but rags and bone, the ancient magic that animated them gone. With little more than a nod weapons were sheathed and soft footfalls took the band of adventurers towards the light at the end of the corridor. As the walls widened out into a chamber the party spied waist high stone alters at either end, adorned with burnt out candles. The walls behind each altar were festooned with inscriptions which described it as a holy place, a tomb of Bahumut. A brief search gave rise to a secret chamber containing five silver dragons, which Joreb recognised as being idols of the very same God. The only area left to explore was a set of double doors waiting tantalisingly between the altars.

With a shove the doors banged open. Joreb and Jonn stood poised, expecting the worst. Inside the scene was serene, a small room with a raised dasis at the far end. Surmounting that lay what appeared to be the tomb of a mighty warrior, the relief adoring the lid that of a Knight with arms crossed over his chest. The intrepid adventurers advanced warily, flanking the sarcophagi and investigating every nook and cranny.
Session19 3

Finally the decision was made to open the stone coffin by pushing the lid off. Just as Joreb’s hands reached out to shunt it off, a lound noise rang around the room and the beautifully engraved top exploded in a cloud. Through dust clogged eyes the party spied a humanoid form clad in arcane armour. This turned out to be none other than Sir (Kevin) Keegan, a long dead Knight of Bahumut who was sworn to protect against the coming of evil. As the dust settled he started quizing the party to ascertain their intentions, trying to find out if they were working for the forces of good or not. At first it went well for the party, their words greeted with nods of agreement. However as the conversation progressed the outlook became progressively gloomier, Sir Keegan gesticulating angrily at some of the groups words. Finally with a defiant cry he drew his sword and the adventurers were cast into a pitched battle they’d not anticipated.
Session19 4

Blows were exchanged between Joreb, Jonn and Sir Keegan before a bolt of sizzling energy lept past, engulfing the long dead Knight. In the fever of pitched battle no one had noticed the Warlock, Mikal, enter the room. The battle raged on for a while longer, Sir Keegan nearly felling several of the party before he was eventually overpowered by the combined arms of the party.
Session19 6

Exhausted, shoulders slumped and weapons were sheathed. A search of the tomb revealed nothing of value and the team were left facing the decision of how to proceed, should they heed Sir Keegans words and continue their quest with haste, or should they return to the town to rest?

XP = 1350/4 = 337.5XP each
XP part b = 875/5 = 175XP each

Session 19: Blinded by the Light
Another runner in the night

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Jonn Redgar
Writeup: Faulcon

Only one path from the original stairs remained uninvestigated, it was time to move down the southern corridor. The first few rooms were still devoid of life, the goblins who had originally been there having been previously killed when the ruins were first entered. The corridor twisted onwards when around the corner shambled some denizens of the night, bits of rotted flesh barely clinging to yellowed bones.

Session18 2

Joreb charged forward blocking up the passageway and obliterating a lumbering corpse with a quick swing of his blade. With Jonn encouraging him, Joreb swung again light flashing from his blade as the zombie ignited in holy fire. Glorien stood behind peppering the undead with arrows while Splug threw his javelins and stabbed the occasional zombie with his spear. Before you could blink the corpses were all down and behaving like properly dead creatures, stationary on the ground.

Session18 3

Moving north the sharp eyed Glorien spotted some strange rune like markings on the ground. It was quickly apparent these were some kind of trap but there was no way around them so Glorien used an arrow in an attempt to trigger the marking from a distance. His attempt was successful, the trap making a terrifying screech that sent all bar Joreb fleeing for their lives and sanity and waking the shuffling hordes that had been dozing beyond the trap.

Session18 6

A host of zombies began advancing towards the valiant crew and once again Joreb led the charge, blocking off a large part of the corridor. The undead simply could not bear to touch his dazzling armour while his blazing sword scythed through their ranks.

Session18 7

Glorien was almost caught out as the zombies split and sought to find a way around the paladin, Splug and Jonn moved to intercept the new threat while GLorian rained his shafts in both directions. Despite their vast numbers and weight of mass the zombies simply could not find any gap in the defences presented and when the last zombie fell there was hardly a scratch left to show they had even attacked.

Session18 9

Glorien suggested using the zombie corpses to build a path over the trapping runes as they had passed without any difficulties so several of the bodies were dragged over and laid on the passage forming a crude cadaver crossing. With this method the traps were successfully circumvented and the area thoroughly explored. No more zombies were found so they returned south to where some skeletons had been previously detected.

Session18 10

Upon reaching the area where the skeletons had been there was no movement, only the presence of several standing crypts. Moving into position to open one of the stone sarcophagi Joreb set off a new trap that awoke the residents of all 10 tombs leaving the group surrounded but ready to leap into action…

Session18 13

Session 18: To sink or swim?
... with plate armour!

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric, Jonn Redgar
Writeup: Barre

With the room cleared the party decided to secure the area before moving on. To the south Merry and Glorien found a corridor of sorts which they decided to check out. Moving forward they discovered an exposed pit trap, at the bottom of qhich lay a strange insectoid type creature which had fallen on a goblin. Not wanted to risk anything of value they sent Splug down to check it out. The creature appeared lifeless and some minor treasure was found.
Encounter21 2
Before they got far though they were alarmed by some scurrying activity ahead, with torches ablaze it was revealed that this creature was not a loner, and his mates did not want us there. Wary for more traps the party took up positions and pressed into battle. With the experience of previous adventures forging them into an efficient machine they were quickly able to lethally subdue the creatures, whom appeared to be from some kind of nest, a nest perhaps containing treasure, on that thought Merry quickly dissappeared and as the rest caught up they found he had indeed found some coins.
Encounter21 3
Otherwise, this proved to be a dead end so the group ventured back to the rat room, where a foreboding set of double doors were waiting to be opened, in fact the sign reading, “Do not enter.. REALLY!”, just could not be resisted, by anyone!

Having taken all challenges in their stride thus far the party were sure this would be another jaunt with high reward, so opened the doors were cast and with the swagger of confidence they strode… to an empty room with a dark pool.
Encounter21 7
Not detered the group took to arms preparing for any number of ghastly foe to spring forth, but when none came it was only head louse that need fear as the group collectively scratched their heads. Glorien with his years of training fell back to his comfort zone buy attempting to shoot the pool.. no result. Merry also searching for a confort zone pulled off a spinning leap onto a tiny island in the center of the pool, skillful it was, but still nothing. The ever practical Jonn simply walked to the waters edge to take a closer look, at this point the water began to move and a mass of slime emerged spitting noxious fumes into the room, causing Jonn and Merry to gag.
Encounter21 9
Joreb, inspired by Merry’s classical leap, attemped the same in an effort to close with the slime, however he found it much harder to perform the full pirouette in his armour, and went splashing into the water. Glorien stepped forth and peppered the slime with arrows, causing some damage, as were Jon and Merry in their state if disgust, Jonn recovered first however only in time to see the slime lashing out with appendages which also caught Glorien, the strike left behind a corrosive goo which Glorien managaed to avoid.

Merry continued to strike away in between wretching, however he was unable to dislodge the smell from his system. The slime struck out again, this time both appendages landed on Jonn who took the full brunt and fell, more goo splashed about his body and began eating into his skin, he was in dire condition.
Encounter21 10
Joreb, after failing to swim to the island, started to sink into the strangely deep pool, he struggled just to keep his head above water, and after an axious moment began to climb out of the pool again, in time to see Jonn fall, he rushed immediately to his aid. The slime was growing weaker now as damage from Glorien, Splug, and Merry began to pile on, however it did manage one last lash which took Joreb and Jonn again, although this time they were able to meet the blow and remained standing.
Encounter21 12
Splug, sensing his time to shine had arrived, stepped forth and buryied his spear into the side of the slime, which quivered sharply and remained still. After a short recovery, which may take a while longer for Jonn judging by the burn scars, the party searched the area and found a parchment case, containing a map to the hold and a note from a mysterious third party pledging assistance to Karalell.

Session 17: Slam Dunk
You'd think they were big if you were a hobbit!

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric
Writeup: Barre

With the goblin leader journal awaiting peer review it was time to move on. Doubling back the group cleared the guard rooms and a storage room before reaching the entrance, heading in a different direction this time it was not long before they came apon some squabbling golbins.

Encounter20 1
It seems they have been digging up a room in the search for treasure which they believe is not there at all. Taking the advantage of distraction the group pounced, however not everyone in the room where surprised to see us. A pair of guard drakes picked up their scent straight away and attacked.

Encounter20 2With 3 goblin bombadieres scrambling around the drakes were the only threat. Glorien and Splug went to work on the goblins while Merry and Joreb took on the drakes. After a few bites out of Joreb and a classic plank walk from splug the party prevailed. (Treasure?)

The room was otherwise a dead-end and so again the group doubled back to a stairwell they had passed earlier. At the bottom of the stairs the group was set apon by giant rats, Merry quickly overcame his initial fear to run into the fray, much to the rats’ delight. They swarmed Merry and began nibbling away at his furry feet, just as thoughts of rescue hit the other party members a new threat emerged from the darkness.

An oozing mass slide forth and began throwing it’s weight around, launching itself at joreb slamming him into the ground. As the rat numbers where reduced the ooze took a beating, as things looked to be easing up another shock as the ooze split into two. In it’s beaten up state however it was no match for the party and the battle was quickly won.
Encounter20 4

There was no treasure to be found in the cavern, however a small hidden room was found with some supplies.

Treasure: to come

XP = 1250/3 = 416XP each

Session 16: Inch by Inch
The Demise of the Baggy Green... Belly

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric, Jonn Redgar, Mikal Hanre
Writeup: Barre

Encounter19 2With the torturer disposed of the crew continued to explore the keep, after a few moments it became apparent it was infested with goblins. They doubled back through a door which they had past earlier, with Merry and Glorien scouting ahead they discovered a guard post with 2 goblins, alarm bell within easy reach, not easy enough though and the masters of shadow, Merry and Glorien, struck with venom and fury, before their eyes had time to widen they were destroyed, one by dagger the other by arrow.

Having avoided the alarm the party congregated and inspected the room and what lay beyond. A curtain seperated the guards from a divided corridor with doors on either side, eager to push on they ignored the side doors to approach the more promising double doors at the end of the corridor.

Encounter19 3
As any budding adventurer knows, there is always trouble behind double doors, this lesson proved correct again as when the doors were opened they were faced with goblin warriors who were guarding the fattest goblin they’d seen, clearly this was a globin of value, perhaps he needs to be studied for scientific purposes only, and we all know scientists can only study things via disection.

The battle was joined with the party pressing the small room for a quick finale. However, passing the doors in the corridor proved a costly oversight, as Mikal at the rear of the party, soon found out. Warriors and minions streamed from the rooms and very quickly went to work on Mikal unprepared he was unable to use his elusiveness effectively and was in dire trouble.
Encounter19 4

With the party’s attentions split the battle was turning to be more problematic, however as with prior encounters all problems have solutions, and Joreb with his shiny plate armour proved the difference, holding most of the goblins at the double doorway he allowed Mikal the chance to flee into the room to safety and gave Glorien the cover to pepper them with arrows, between them they held the door long enough for the others to deal with the primary targets.

With Splug valiently at the fore, supported by Jonn, Merry, and later a beaten up Mikal the guards were systematically dispatched, after which the Green Minke was hard pressed, this situation was unfamiliar for him and he was quickly overwhelmed.
Encounter19 5
With the golbins defeated the party searched the room and found a chest and 2 keys, along with an assortment of treasure.

Treasure: to come

XP = 1475/5 = 295XP each

Session 15: Into the Keep

After defeating the kobolds on the road the brave adventurers ventured into the Keep down a dark staircase. At the bottom of the stairs was Mikal Hanre, a warlock venturing into the keep of his own accord for unknown reasons. After realising that we would be best served as a team Merry, Gloria and Joreb joined Mikal and ventured forth to find the cultists and stop the ritual.

Merry and Gloria were the first into the keep and noticed a goblin warrior unaware of their presence. When Merry tried to sneak forward and launch a surprise attack he was surprised himself by a trap that opened to a pit containing a pack of rats. Then the fighting began. Gloria was able to lay out some damage to the warrior and Merry managed to climb out of the pit and finish off the first of the goblins. However, it became clear immediately there were more to deal with. In total 4 more warriors and 2 bowmen emerged to begin shooting at Merry Merric as Joreb and Mikal began handing out some damage themselves. The goblins struggled in their attempt to bullrush the adventurers into the pit containing the rats and finally managed it when there were only 2 bowmen left, sending Joreb into the pit. Luckily he managed to just climb out before the rats could do too much damage. Meanwhile, the other adventurers dispatched of the final two goblin archers.

The adventurers then explored the northwest of the dungeon discovering a corridoor that lead to three seperate rooms. After hearing noises coming from the northernmost room, the adventurers opened the door and attempted to barge in (with little success thanks to Joreb’s lack of stealth). Inside it was obvious that the room was intended as a torture chamber with a Goblin Torturer, 3 bowmen, 1 warrior, a prisoner inside a cell and various devices. Joreb and Merry managed to quickly dispatch the goblin torturer after he had a few unsuccessful swings with a burning rod. After opening a hole, Mikal and Glorien burst into the room and dealt significant damage to the goblins. Then it was just a matter of finishing them off as they took the odd shot at the adventurers.

After dispatching of the goblin scum, the adventurers were called over to the prisoners cell where they met Splug a goblin who had been captured because apparently the others did not like him. Splug offered to help the adventurers with his knowledge of the keep in return for freedom from the cell. After some debate the adventurers cautiously set Splug free and armed him with a spear. Whether or not he can be trusted will surely be seen in the next adventure. The heroes must be careful to dispatch of the goblins at a steady rate without taking too much damage in order to conserve their surges for the innevitable confrontation with the goblin’s leader.

Session 14: Someone Oughta Do Something!
The roads just aren't safe...

Party members present: Glorien Ethlaron, Jonn Redgar, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric
Writeup: Faulcon

One could be forgiven having the feeling that Winterhaven has a small kobold bandit problem. Setting out on their usual mission to smite evil and bring goodness and light to all the world, our intrepid trio was joined by a greenhorn would be war leader. He had been so taken with Merry’s tales of derring do, Joreb’s dedication and purity, and Glorien’s… uh Glorien’s… fluttering eyelashes maybe? that he leapt at the chance to accompany them on their day’s venture.

The freshly formed fearsome foursome however was interrupted short of their destination with destiny at the keep of shadowfell by kobold bandits! Of all things to meet on a winterhaven road, kobold bandits were certainly, well number 1 on the list actually. A winterhaven road without its kobold bandit group just wasn’t deserving of the title ‘Road’.

Encounter16 1

Rushing out from cover the kobolds managed to catch Joreb and Jonn Redgar off guard but Merry and Glorien were awake to the danger. Skirmishers and Dragonshields raced in to harry the hardy adventurers who were pressed back before suddenly a wyrmpriest ducked out of cover to bless all of his pitspawn comrades.

Encounter16 3

It was apparent that this was no ordinary group of mere bandits. A wyrmpriest where minions usually appeared? Surely there had to be a reason for such a well equipped squad of the scaled vermin to be defending the road to Shadowfell Keep when even their own lair was not so well covered. A future concern that. In more immediate matters Glorien darted out of the general melee to start feathering the wyrmpriest while Jonn swung his warhammer wildly, as often as not nearly connecting with Joreb as a kobold. First combat jitters hopefully and not an indication of some long term deficiency. Still his shouting remained inspiring to the others even if his attacking prowess was somewhat lacking on the day.

Encounter16 4

Assistance from Merry dropped the wyrmpriest with a dagger through the belly followed by a crippling slash to his legs, a skirmisher who had tried to rescue the kobold cleric quickly following as he was cut off from his other scaled kin. Joreb and Jonn were still holding strong against the remaining kobolds trading blow for blow (or in Jonn’s case, blow for wild airswing) allowing the other two the freedom to choose their targets.

Encounter16 5

Eventually all the evil creatures had been delivered back to their vile creator and the group took the chance for a closer look at their departed foes before setting up camp to recuperate. Suspicions were somewhat confirmed by the amulet the wyrmpriest carried. A thing of evil, it linked him quite closely with the dastardly forces at work ahead in the keep.

Rested and recovered, journey was resumed towards the keep with the adventurers arriving just as dusk was falling.

Encounter16 8

A truly ominous appearing structure of crumbling ruins and some recent repairs, the stairway down into the bowels of this ancient fort beckoned…

danielcollins: 950XP
danielcollins: 238 each
faulcon: 5 gp, 23 sp (hardly seems worth recording…)

Session 13: Elementary my dear Padraig
The Paladin who cried wolf!

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric
Writeup: Barre

Glorien and Joreb were enjoying the benefits of their decision to spend the night in town by sleeping soundly in their cots when they were awoken by Merry, he had news of evil doings at the Grand Shoppe and presented the letter he’d discovered to the pair. All thoughts of Merry’s transgressions were forgotten, this was a red hot lead on the cultists.

Quickly the group gathered their gear and proceeded to shop for a polite discussion with Bairwin, or so that what Joreb thought. Allowing Merry and Glorien to sneak into the shop while he stood watch out front served more purposes than he knew. Merry and Glorien moved silently into the shop and skillfully bound Barwain without him so much as stirring. After waking him, the pair “urged” him to speak silently as he answered their questions, after failing to cooperate the captors applied some persuasion but with little effect.

To their surprise Barwain let off a fell attack blinding both, a melee ensued, with Glorien quick to recover firing blindly yet unerringly, Jorreb hearing the attack quickly joined the fray and with Barwain still restrained the scuffle was quickly resolved with a blow to head head knocking him unconscious.

The group restrained him further before reviving him. This time Barwain was more forthcoming having been bested so easily, he informed the party that the ruined keep mentioned by Valthuran, was an fact the fort which he was supplying and the fort was built above a rift to the Shadowfell.

The cultists are in fact followers of Orcus, and are led by a man or creature named Karellel. They have been working on a ritual of an unknown purpose which is due to complete in the next few days.

We have also found out that Irontooth is in fact a Goblin who also follows Orcus and is based in the Lair we ventured to the previous day, another visit is in order.

Having found out as much as they could the group sent for Lord Padraig to inform him of the threat in his town. Joreb sped away to fetch him, after a considerable delay he returned mumbling something about wolves and a slain boy. Lord Padraig followed and seemed oblivious to the accusations until it was eventually spelt out for him, Barwain was a cultist of Orcus! After showing him the proof below the shoppe he had no choice but to hold Barwain for a suitable punishment.

Having ensured the cultist arrived to the keep the party set about making plans for the road ahead, things seem to be moving faster than they’d like and they are seemingly forced to deal with the threat at the keep.

The first port of call was to visit Valthrun with the information they’d recieved on the keep and the visit turned out most beneficial.

Valthrun when questioned further revealed the following information:
“The Keep was built as an outpost of the Empire of Nerath, most likely to guard against the giant tribes living in the northern reaches of the Stonemarch. Many such outpost survived the fall of the empire, but not the Keep: Only two short decades after the empire withdrew its influence from this part of the world, the commander of the garrison – a man by the name of Sir Keegan – began to systematically slaughter every resident of the keep, starting with his own wife and daughter. Some versions of the tale say that Sir Keegan succeeded – that everyone in the keep was slaughtered. Many such tales claim that this was a sacrifice to a dark god, and that Sir Keegan now lives in a sickly paradise within another world – a reward for his bloody gift of tribute.
But since there is, in fact, a story to be told, I suspect the other version of the tale is probably true: Sir Keegan was too skilled for any single soldier to defeat, but eventually the remaining garrison rallied an organized defense. Although many brave soldiers died, Sir Keegan was slain before his dark work could be completed. Following Sir Keegan’s death, the keep became notorious and the tales grew in the telling. The surviving guards scattered, and with the empire gone there was no one to put the keep back into service. So it was abandoned, feared for a time, and – eventually – more or less forgotten. At some point during the last century, an earthquake reportedly collapsed the upper towers and walls.
Rumors persist of great treasures buried beneath the keep, yet there are few tales of anyone daring to explore the ruins. A popular tale in the area was that old Sir Keegan’s ghost still roamed the corridors beneath the keep, wailing his grief and rage. But even this tale has faded with time, and the story of the wailing ghost is used to frighten children. Although the keep is still considered bad luck by most people in these parts, it has largely been forgotten.”

150 GP
200 SP

Potions: Clear, Reddish, Urine
2 Diamonds
+1 Leather Armour

XP = 300/3 = 100XP each

Session 12: Merry Merric: Big Things Come in Small Packages
The Only Brave Party Member

PCs present: Merry Merric
Writeup: Tomay

Picture 15

Merry Merric decided that he would be pro-active and do some late night investigating of the Grande Shoppe to see what was going on. After waiting for a quiet time during the evening he scouted out the shop to find the back entrance and ensure no one was watching.

Merry managed to pick the lock to the shop with ease. Inside it became clear that the shop had been mostly packed up compared to the other day when the adventurers had visited. The owner of the shop (forgot his name and theres no links from this page) was asleep in his bed, which meant Merric had to be especially quiet.

After finding nothing, Merry stumbled upon a trapdoor and picked the lock to enter down a staircase, shutting the door behind him quietly.

Picture 22

Downstairs it didn’t take long for the real hero of the group to discover a dungeon of horrors. Within the basement were many torturing devices and cages. Most shockingly was a large number of human skeletal remains piled up in two different rooms. Unlike the more morally correct (and therefore stupid) members of the group, Merry realised that this was certainly linked to the rumours of the cultists. Trying to find some suitable evidence to convince his useless team members, Merry grabbed a letter that highlighted a business deal between the shop owner and a local cultist dealing in the dead and wares.

Picture 20

Upon sneaking upstairs Merry was faced with three choices: to kill the shopkeeper in his sleep, to hogtie him and capture him as prisoner or to consult his weakling team members for help should they run into trouble.

It just goes to show that fortune favors the brave, and no one should listen to faulcon.

XP = 200XP

Session 11: To the Lair
It's a Freaking Lair!

PCs present: Glorien Ethlaron, Joreb Innitu, Merry Merric
Writeup: Faulcon

After a night spent in Winterhaven, Joreb, Gloria, and Merry decided to make their way towards the kobold lair marked by Lord Padraig. A brisk morning stroll and a little light exercise dispatching justice to some vile minor dragon kin sounded like just the treat and possibly a picnic for lunch afterwards.

Reaching the edge of their destination the adventurers started moving more stealthily, at least the halfling and elf did. Joreb didn’t bother trying and just stood waiting for the action to start. Glorien flitted through some trees and then backed out carefully to report nearly a dozen kobolds in sight and probably more besides.

Encounter14 2

Having scouted the terrain, the group decided that a flanking maneouver might be on and swung up above the vermin, intending to drive in on them and hammer them only to surprise two slyblades.

Encounter14 3

Merry and Glorien swiftly dispatched the first of the two slyblades but reinforcements arrived to assist the second and the 3 brave warriors were forced back by sheer weight of numbers. Kobolds dropped like… kobolds… yet there was seemingly always another 2 running forwards with javelin or shortsword poised to stab. Matters were looking somewhat dire when Merry finally dropped the second slyblade with support from Joreb. Glorien was keeping the eastern flank as clear as he could manage but matters were still touch and go.

Encounter14 5

Minions however numerous were in the end no match for the trio and after Joreb finished the Dragonshield with a radiant blast Merry closed in on the slinger and drove his dagger into the final kobold over and over until it dropped. A near run matter but not enough to bring an end to the gallant adventurers.

Still, this was just the welcoming committee, who could say what danger lurked beyond the waterfall? Joreb at least was not keen to find out so soon after barely surviving the ragged group waiting outside and after the others started suggesting a quick look inside was heard to exclaim in disbelief, “It’s a freaking lair!”. After which he murmured a quick repentance for approaching vulgarity like that.

Convincing the others it was not wise and that if they took the rest they needed they wouldn’t be entering the caves until dark they made their way back towards Winterhaven, one victory enough for the day.

Ensconced once again in the barroom Merry began regaling the patrons with tales of his personal prowess until Thair Coalstriker was impressed enough to pull him aside and see if he was interested in a minor commission. With all three gathered he told a tail of woe about how Bairwin was making a fortune without buying any of his produce to sell, without having any custom at all really. The dwarf believed there had to be something suspicious happening here and despite his obvious bias the adventurers were inclined to agree. Especially with the disappearance of old Sara added to the mix.

Some discreet enquiries to Bairwin who had closed his shop early to come for a drink left them with the opportunity to visit the shop first thing the next morning. He was doing well enough that not even the possibility of a sizeable sale could tempt him to reopen the store.

Valruthrun the Prescient wandered over to speak as well, the gregarious old fellow happy to chat about all manner of happenings, also talking about a nearby keep that had shown recent signs of reoccupation. This was of a lot of interest to the group as it finally looked like a lead towards the cultists they had come to Winterhaven seeking.

Valthrun the Prescient: “The keep was built during the height of the old empire. Some sort of watchtower. I can’t recall what for. Some think it was to guard against gnoll marauders, but I don’t think that’s right. Whatever, the keep outlived its usefulness. It’s been a ruin since before I was born. Probably a goblin lair by this time. But you’ve whetted my curiosity. When I return to my tower, I’ll look through my library. The next time you see me here, I will know more.”

XP = 800/3 = 267 each
4 gold, 17 silver.