Pelors Band

The Missing Brother

A few weeks after the success and the Keep on the Shadowfell the party has become split up as various members of the group persue personal objectives and smaller quests for Marla.  Preth and Doran fall in with a Tiefling named Tal. It is during a quite evening discussing previous exploits and other generally bragging how great they all are when they are approached by a couple battered looking Dwarves.

The Dwarves explain that while on a recent expedition to a deserted, and long lost Dwarven temple, they where attacked and became separated from the third brother as they fled. They will let the party keep all they can find within the ruined temple if they can recover their brothers body.

A map to the ruined temple is provided and Preth, Doran and Tal set off.  The journey to the ruined temple is uneventful. The temple itself is in a hidden valley in the hills high above Winter Haven. The entrance is soon discovered, and the party approach. It is clear that while the entrance way is Dwarven stonework, the door way has been replaced by a rough hewn wooden doorway.

1. The Goblin Hive – What appears to be a complex of old barracks and common rooms have been taken over by a band of Goblins. Battle is soon joined and while brutal and bloody the party are victorious. They capture a Goblin and question him regarding the missing dwarf. He claims to know nothing.

2 – The Chapel – Having cleared the goblins out of the deserted barracks the only doorway that appears to lead further into the complex is boarded shut (although it appears to be the Dwarven original) and a rough warning is scrawled in wood.

The door opens to reveal a Chapel. It is long deserted and and appears not to have been desecrated in any way. Approaching the alter the party are attacked by the mummified remains of the Dwarven high priest. A battle ensues and the mummified priest is dispatched. Searching for treasure they find a small very delicate key, 2 statues of Moradin and 40 gp.

Two doors leave the Chapel. One leads to bare room with two inanimate Warforged constructs guarding the exit. Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour the party retreat.

The other exit is a concealed door that leads to the old priests quarters.

The Priests Quarters – The party surprise a group of three rough looking Dwarves. After a brief stand of a short battle ensues and the two of the Dwarven warriors a felled. The third lays down his crossbow and surrenders.  He explains that they are mercenaries from the Blackened Hand. They are commissioned by a mad looking priest called Karalell. They have been sent to find a 'key'. He claims to no nothing of another group of Dwarves, and explains that they entered thought a cave-in in one of the adjoining rooms.

Searching for treasures they find 300sp, 40gp and a potion of healing.

The Armoury- Leaving the Priests Quarters through an unexplored door the party come to a crossroads of passages. Turning north they come to a long passage way with a number of rooms leading off both left, right, and straight ahead. They surprise a Gnoll hunter with 4  hyena's. After some fiddling about a bit with secret room the Gnoll is overcome. They find little on him apart from a strange compess type object. He is also clearly marked with the brandings of Yoggoth, one of the evil demonic gods of the Gnolls. They also notice that wet foot prints lead through one of the doors.

 At this point the party decide to rest up in the secret room.

 After a pleasant sleep, apart from Preth's snoring, the gang wake up and reoriented themselves.

 First off, they agreed to check out the room that the Gnoll’s footprints led from, and checking carefully with ears pressed up to the door, they heard the sounds of frantic searching .

 Bursting in, they caught a quick glimpse of something running away and several mouldering crates and boxes. Chucking caution to the winds, the party ran after the fleeing creature and just caught a glimpse of a young human girl fleeing up a tunnel towards daylight. They let her go, and went back to a systematic search of the room.

Here they found two Potions of Healing and 420gp, 2xRuby (100gp each) and a Ring (100gp)

Consulting the strange compass they’d taken from the Gnoll, they set out to explore the final unexplored door at this level, before going downstairs. 

Storage Room:

Behind they found a storage room, with mouldering stacks of dwarven crates containing religious supplies, numerous gnawed skeletons and occasional stringy globs of mucus on floor and ceiling.

 Preth and Doran cautiously sneaked in among the stacks, finding nothing. Doran decided to climb one of the stacks to gain the high ground. Tal chanced to look up and saw a Carrion Crawler about to attack the unsuspecting Doran, and unleashed an eldritch blast. A short one sided battle erupted in which the carrion crawler quickly became just carrion.

 Just before heading downstairs, the girl child was seen again, but then quickly ran away. This mysterious figure wasn’t seen again, and the party left gifts, (Preth’s in particular might have not been very welcome though). Tal pondered later, after events, that she might have been an illusionary façade for one of the adversaries they faced later on.

 Crypt

The stairs led into a gloomy crypt, lined with niches for the dwarven dead of the temple. Preth and Doran quickly spotted new footprints in the dust, leading to the exit, and recognized them as made by vampire spawn, servants of Orcus. Tal brazenly stepped into the middle of the catacomb and was promptly attacked by two hulking undead fighters and a sorcerer (need exact names?). Things looked bleak for a second or two, but Tal’s Deathcut armour protected him, and once again the party quickly dispatched their foes.

 Trap Hall.

The exit led through into a cunningly designed hall, where rows of narrow plinths jutted from dark water, guarded over by two giant dwarven statues, hunkered down behind their shields, Between these defenders, a giant door, surrounded by dwarven script waited. Though it was clear this script gave instructions, noone could understand them…

 Doran spied out the tracks of the vampire spawn who had leaped easily across the stepping stones, and Tal found a crossbow bolt embedded in the wall, which had obviously just been fired from the vicinity of one of the statues.

 Tal and Preth bravely let Doran head over the stepping pillars first, whispering encouragement. As expected, once he stepped on the pillar that had the footprint, the dwarven sentries dropped their shields revealing crossbows that shot at the nimble Doran, missing. He made it safely across, and started to work at the inspection hatches of  the statues, finally opening one and began tinkering with the mechanics inside.

 Meanwhile, the less nimble Tal and Preth began their comedic crossing of the pillars, Preth choose poorly, and triggered the crossbows again. Tal didn’t have time to smirk before promptly falling off a pillar into the black water below where he was attacked by an Ooze.

 In the chaos that followed, Tal got clear using teleport, Preth fell in himself, and Doran left off tinkering to pull him from the oozes clutches using quickly remembered rope. The statues took angry rebuke at their tormentor and targeted Doran unmercifully, until gasping and sodden, all three retreated to the safety of the doors alcove.

 Main Chamber?

Pushing open the weighty door, the party saw a large chamber, obviously once the crowning glory of the Dwarven temple, but now open to the sky above due to a partial celing collapse. Sunlight, water and plants roots tumbled in from this hole, into a large dark pool, surrounded by fallen rubble.

 Doran sneaked into the chamber, keeping away from the pool and heading towards a smaller ajar door on the far wall, from which he heard  munching sounds. He discovered the bodies of the vampire spawn, crushed and dripping with caustic acid. Preth and Tal ventured into the room, everyone on guard for another attacker, ready to ambush from behind the ajar door.

 No one expected a young black dragon to spring from the pool and promptly attack Doran and Preth. Though hard, the fight seemed to be going the party’s way as each unleashed their mightiest attacks on their scaly attacker in the next few minutes.

 Then  Preth, seeking advantage by heading for the ajar door, was promptly surprised by a demonic attacker (a demonic tracker) who unleashed a number of deadly attacks on him.  The Demonic figure, (a servant of Yoggoth?) dashed for the exit, carrying a package as he did so.

  Fending off the dragon, Doran noticed the magic compass pointing towards the demon, and shouted out this fact. Tal dragged the figure into the pond using Demonic grasp, but then found himself between it and it’s goal, the exit to the chamber.

 Depsite Tal’s best efforts, the demon used it awesome spinning blades attack, wounding him as it vaulted over him. Then, jumping easily over the last room’s pillar, it avoided his eldritch blasts.

  Just then, the still potent dragon overwhelmed Doran’s heroic defence, laying him low. Chuckling in draconian, he then attacked Preth and Tal, gloating over it’s victory over brave Doran.

 The fate of the adventure lay in Preth’s hands, as he coolly ignored the dragon at his back, shooting two arrows at the fleeing demon, one striking the strange disc embedded in the back of it’s neck and slaying it instantly.

 Tal rushed to Doran’s side, firing wildly at the dragon and forced healing potion down the throat of  the comatose, acid covered body of Doran.  Preth shot again (or was it swords?) and skewered the young worm through the eye, ending it’s young life and bringing the epic struggle to a close.

 In the aftermath, the joyous party found the body of the Lost Brother in the antechamber, along with the dragon’s hoard, including two magical items; Frostbrand Longsword +1 (Preth), and Gloves of the Shadowfell (Tal). The body of the brother was found to bear the Mark of the mercenaries from the Blackened Hand.

 Inspecting the demonic foe, a sword hilt was discovered, rich with magical energy. The furious tugging in Preth’s pants turned out not to be some sort of social disorder, but the frantic attempts of the swords crosspiece (?) he carried to reunite with the hilt. On its death, the disc on the back of the Demon was released by the claws holding it and appeared to be, in conjunction with the compass, a magical tracking device.

 Flying through the air, the sword pieces fused, and the party left the dungeon to return home, Tal hopefully riding home on Blackie…

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Keep on the Shadowfell

The Party are contacted by Marla of the Great Church of Pelor. She has been studying historical documents following a repeating nightmare. The nightmare involves Orcas tearing an opening into the world and leading an army of the dead, destroying all in their path. Her studies have uncovered evidence of a cult of the dead in the north of the region around the town of Winterhaven. Further research has uncovered rumours of  a small group of cultists heading for Winterhaven about a year ago. This group was led by a young twisted priest by the name of Kalarel. Marla fears that her dreams are a premonition of this group opening unholy ceremonies in Orcus's name. She has asked the group to travel north to investigate and if need be destroy the cult. 

 

Travelling to Winterhaven:

 

The party arrive at the small border town of Winterhaven and start to make enquiries about the Death Cult in Marla's dreams. No-one is particularly forth coming, and even evasive, until they talk to an Elven tracker named Ninaran. She is relieved that she has found an someone else who does believes that a Death Cult has set up in the area. She knows the where their hide out is and shows the party the location on a map.

 

Battle at the Kobold Lair:

 

Following the lead provided by Ninaran the party tracked down what they had been led to believe was the lair of the cultists. A brief skirmish with a small group of Kobolds led to the discovery of the entrance to the lair hidden behind a waterfall. Unfortunately a Kobold slinger had escaped the battle and was run to warn those inside.

 

Having discovered a side entrance the party slipped in hoping to be undetected. This was not to be and they where soon assaulted from two sides with no route to retreat!

 

After a climatic battle with a large group of Kobolds including a powerful shaman the party where finally victorious. The kobolds leader, a giant Goblin called Irontooth was dead, cut down by a critical strike from Doran. However the Paladin [name] had fallen and the rest of the party was battered and bloodied and it was clear that there was no Orcus cult there.

In the Kobold Lair the party discover 420gp, and a suit of +1 dwarven chainmail, and around the neck of the shamen a carved black pendent in the shape of a dragons head; the symbol of Orcus.

 

 

On Irontooths body a note was found from Kalarel, 'My spy in Winterhaven suggests that we keep an eye out for visitors in the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I'll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven's people will serve as food for those Orcus sends to do my bidding'

 

Once the party returned to town they are spotted by Ninaran, who seems very surprised to see them and then quickly leaves town.

 

 

 

The party rested in the town and recovering from the loss of Kraathor. Whilst in the local inn they noticed a large human fighter, Sven, who agreed to join them.

 

 

 

An interlude:

 

Further questioning around Winterhaven reveals the following information:  

 

Once the party show the local sage the pendent, and explains the nightmares of their patron Marla, the sage of Winterhaven, Valthrun, finally becomes more forthcoming with information. He explains that there is a small ruined keep to the north that most assume formed part of the defences of the old Empire. He explains that in fact it was built not to keep things out, but to keep something in. The Keep was built over a rift to the Shadow Fell!. 80 years ago the keep was entrusted to a knight of the empire named Sir Keegan (no really!). Sir Keegan was a mighty warrior and was instrumental in defeating the hordes of the undead and finally sealing the rift. However one night Sir Keegan was overcome with strange dreams. These dreams appear to have taken his mind as Sir Keegan went mad and quickly went on the rampage, killing his family and most of the inhabitants of the keep. A group of Sir Keegans former brother knights attacked the keep and after a mighty battle finally drove Sir Keegan down into the dungeons below the keep and slew him. They then sealed the dungeon and left the keep to fall into ruins. The town of Winterhaven still consider the exploits of Sir Keegan as a local shame and have tried very hard to forget about the keep and the legend.

 

The lord of the town Paidraig is troubled by the evidence that a death cult has been set up in the area and are attempting to reopen the rift in the Shadow Fell. He asks the party to go to the ruined keep and destroy any evidence of the cult and thwart the plans of the insane Kalarel. He will reward the party with as much as Winterhaven can afford if they are successful.

 

Into the Keep

The four companions descended a staircase from the remains of the Keep.  They were immediately attacked by a group of goblins, and the fighter fell into a trap. Having repelled the goblins, the group started to explore the first level of the Keep. They found a prison block guarded by a group of goblins with a hobgoblin leader. Having killed them the group found Preth Langolis the Ranger in one of the cells, and he joined the party. Making their way out of the prison block the band was attacked by another band of goblins. Having dispatched yet another group of goblins the band found their way into the barracks and faced an epic battle with a group of goblins and their chief.

 

2 – The abandoned corridors. Down stairs into the 'damp' area. Fight with the rats and then the …. (you know the one that split into two parts when it was bloodied?). Ignored the door marked 'DO NOT ENTERREALLY!' 3 – Then back up the stairs, across the entry hall and down some stairs into the labyrinth area. Set off the symbol trap and where attacked by a bunch of Zombies. Then into the anti chamber of sir keegan's tomb. Load of other zombies appearing from sarcophagus. Stopped them appearing by the Cleric praying at the alter to berhamut. Then counter attacked by ninaren with some skeletons in tow. Killed all these dudes also. When into sir keegans tomb, passed the skill challenge.

4 – Back in to the labyrinth, set off another trap… more zombies.

5 – Down into lvl 2….

6 – Hobgoblin entry chamber. Big battle around the well (which the fighter got pushed into and then couldn't get out!). Stopped the guards from freeing the HUGE spider. One hobgoblin gets away and brings some friends back with him.. including a particularly nasty shaman. BIG battle that was a bit touch and go for a while.

7 – The Hobgoblin boss. After setting off a trap the blocked the entrance was brought down the party where attacked by a coordinated group of hobgoblins led by the Hobbo big cheese. Another brutal battle. Rested.

8 – The 'closed' corridor. Broke through the nailed up door and entered the abandoned family crypt for sir keegans family. Spotted the gletinitous cube just before it attacked, uuuugghghhh. Started to run away but got cut off… then attacked by nasty gooey zombies (who exploded when they died!) 

9 – The trap room… Once in the room the doors locked!! Nasty sword swinging statue, with fire breathing dragon statues made crossing the room a challenge. Things went from bad to worse when the exit of the room turned out to be another trap. A force field trapped Doran in a lobby type area. Water then started filling the 'room' from four more statues carry water pitchers!! The rest of the party desperately tried to open the force field before Doran was trapped. Balorin started to unravel the magic that held the force field, but it would take a few minutes. In the mean time Doran had managed to stop one of the statues decanting water, but by now the water had reached his neck and a whirl pool had appeared in centre of the room and span Doran around, crashing in walls and statues causing damage. Balorin finally managed to unravel the magic holding the force field and released a deluge of water out of the flooded room. After recovering from being swept into the path of the sword swinging statue the adventures moved on!

10 – The 'larder'… The next series of rooms was the home of a ghoul, a lot of zombies and a nasty little Clay Scout. Graimorn came good with a blinding use of turn undead. The rest of the zombies proved to weak for the party, and even the ghoul went without too much bother. A couple of excellent shots from the bow of Preth brought down the clay scout before he could fly off and tell his master.

11 – The shrine to Orcus (nearly there!!). The party pushed further into the dungeon, spurred on by the ever more frequent pulses of blue light that could only meant that the rift was nearly opened! As they approached the alter to Orcus, and the priest standing before it they noticed that rivers of blood where running across the floor and running into a large hole in the floor. They also notices that they where being attacked by a large group of nastiness!! Vampire spawn, religious berserkers and a dark creeper ( all servants of Orcus) charged from the ruinous shadows and attacked. The battle was short and brutal! The mage nearly bit the big one, and the cleric also got a bit of a spanking but when the dust settled all five of the party where still standing.

12 – The rift…….. Descending into the room below by blood soaked chains the party finally came face to face with Kalarel (well after those who feel off the chains got back up again anyway). The room was dominated by a huge statue of Orcus, and an arch way through which they could see the rift itself. Something was trying to claw its way through the inky black membrane that separated the shadowfell from the adventurers world, all the while Kalarel read a load incantations that would finally open the rift and let the creature through!! Guarding Kalarel where a couple of doogy looking skeletons and a Wight!!! The battle was hard fought and several of the party we're well down on hit points and Doran was nearly dragged into the rift and consumed by the nasty in the other side. Finally the fatal blow was struck and Kalarel fell!!!!

 

A huge are reached out form the rift and a booming voice said,

 

"FEAR NOT KARALELL, YOU HAVE FAILED ME THIS TIME BUT YOU SERVITUDE WILL CONTINUE FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE…. THE SEARCH WILL CONTINUE!!!!!!!!"

 

Epiloge

 

Having successfully thwarted Karalell's attempt to open the rift to the shadow fell beneath the keep the party returns to Winterhaven. They are recieved as hero's! Marla is very pleased and have arranged for Lord Paidraig to provide accomodation for the party while they spend time in the area.

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