Westmarch

In the Ruined Manor
Of Teleportation and Heart Attacks

A full write-up to follow.

The very stones of wall themselves groaned, split into a jagged mouth and spoke:
“Daloren, Elwinnia, Valeria, Rohan. These are the names of the fallen children of Markelvay. Speak their names in the order that they died and do justice to their memory.”

Depicted on the sarcophagi, all elves:

  • Cloaked female with two scimitars
  • Thin male with a staff
  • Female with long straight hair and a longsword
  • Muscled male with an axe

The elvish inscriptions:
Elwinnia of the fair hair was the first to fall
The first-born was third to perish
Only one died in the order born, not of the axe
Rohan died before the wizard, he was not the second-born
Valeria died before the third-born
She of the blades was second-born

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On the Trail
Of Half-Eaten Cows and Missing Children

When the party returned to Winterhaven, the entire town was abuzz with both the news of their success against Ninaran’s treachery in the graveyard, as well as that children have gone missing from some of the outlying farmsteads. Clustered around the main table at Wrafton’s Inn, Lord Padraig’s eyes narrowed when shown the note that was found on Nimozaran’s gnomish abductor. He recognized the draconic characters that translate as “40 Gold a head and no more.” In hushed voices, the group relays to Padraig that they believe this information, the recent attacks and the work of the cultists may all be somehow connected.

Given the urgency of the rumored abductions at the nearby farmsteads, the party sets out once again. As they traveled along the dirt road the group several families headed toward the refuge of the walls of Winterhaven. Some clever detective work around a half-eaten frozen cow and the parents of the missing children, had the group on the trail of the missing children.

The claw tracks of the small humanoids led to the team southeast through the Guardbury downs to the Cloak Wood. As the dappled sunbeams filtered down through the larger conifers, the party discovered the ruins of a keep built into a rocky outcropping.

Descending down the stairs of the entrance, the groups eyes adjusted to the dim greenish glow coming from the entrance room. The party was again attack by goop-slinging kobold grenadiers and spear-wielding skirmishers around the edges of a 10 foot deep pit with a layer of glowing green goop at the bottom.

One of their shifty little reptilian assailants almost escaped through a portcullis; however, some quick moves by Shalimar dragged the would-be alarm-raiser back toward the pit. Meanwhile, Piddles had clanged his enormous sword into the wall above the head of the last combatant in the main room, and then growled in draconic at the petrified kobold half his size “I don’t have to miss”. Just as the team was preparing to set about interrogating their two new captives… a dog-sized spider dropped from the ceiling and attacked.

Will our heroes be able to hold onto their captives and survive this new threat?

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Escort to Winterhaven
Of Old Friends and New Enemies

As the party traveled back toward Winterhaven, with the recently rescued Nimozaran in tow, the group was overjoyed to see a battered, but cheerful Piddles walking toward them along the road. He had come to, bound and on the back of the escaping drake. However, its kobold rider had done a poor job of securing the paladin and he was able to free himself and best the lot of them.

Ninaran, the elven scout continued to take point, as was her habit; when the party saw her take a surprise detour into the cemetery off to the side of the path on the outskirts of town. Nimozaran dashed back to town to raise the alarm, while the group watched in horror as the elven traitor, dashed a potion to the ground atop a grave and a pale blue eldritch flame erupted as the earth itself began to tremble. The party was suddenly surrounded, as the graves around them disgorged the restless and foul, deceased former residents of Winterhaven.

The battle that raged all around the mausoleums, saw Ishan teleport a crypt to gain the high ground, while Shalimar was bitten by half-rotten zombie hounds. The tarlike necrotic taint that seeped from the wound brought her perilously close to defeat; however, some quick intercessory prayers to Moradin allowed Balin to free her of the miasma. Piddles and the Huntress mowed down much of the surrounding horde, which allowed the recovered Shalimar to let fly a devastating crossbow attack that pierced Ninaran’s skull right between the eyes and sent the evil elf sailing over the nearest tombstone. Without Ninaran and her undead minions attacking, Ishan was able to disrupt the unholy spell she set in motion.

A search of the elf’s now lifeless body, revealed that she had the same tattoo as well as scrap of parchment with some elvish writing.

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Rescuing Nimozaran
Of Drakes and Disappearances

Following the leads that they had picked up in town, the party set out toward the Dragon’s Tomb to find and save the wizard Nimozaran. En route they were again ambushed, with uncharacteristically aggressive kobolds using a drake to abduct Pshadliss (aka Piddles) under the cover of a noxious smoke-screen.

Just when the group thought that they would have to continue their journey short-handed, the laconic elf Ninaran revealed that she had been following the party, thinking that she might travel with the group as they were both headed to the site of the Dragon’s Tomb.

Ninaran proved to be a valuable asset, when the seemingly friendly halfling and human workers scouring the desolate crater surrounding the unearthed draconic remains suddenly attacked. The dragon bones erupted with an unholy purple light during the battle. Their enemies guard drakes, proved to be challenging combatants; however, the biggest surprise came when the it turned out that Agrid, the halfling foreman, was in fact a gnome illusionist in disguise. After searching their dispatched enemies, they were all found to have the same tattoo of Orcus’ symbol that they the group recovered a portion of the legendary mirror of Anthros, which seemed to be what the diggers at the site had been searching for. Nimozaran was finally found, trussed and gagged, in a large trunk located nearby. So greatful was he to his saviors that he presented them with his mystic amulet.

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In Pursuit of the Dragon's Tomb
Of Scimitars and Kobolds

After their meeting with Lord Padraig, the party spent some time trying to glean some more information from the locals while drinking at Wrafton’s Inn. The group learned more about the nature of the undead siege of Winterhaven those many years ago, as well as the crucial roles Padraig and his wife played to stave off the attack. Perhaps, the tensest negotiation off the evening involved an overamorous Pshadliss aka “Piddles” extricating himself from the business-end of scimitar wielded by a striking yet taciturn elven maiden.

A conversation with Delphina Moongem, a softer-framed and certainly friendlier young elf from winterhaven proved far more productive. She was able to fashion a crude map of the site of the Dragon’s Tomb, the location to which Nimozaran was headed when he disappeared.

After an pleasantly uneventful evening resting in their rooms at Wrafton’s Inn, the party awoke refreshed. Having decided that the goblin incursions arising from the northeast and the mysterious attacks on the farms to the south would have to wait, the group briefly stopped in at Thair Coalstriker’s smithy to resupply.

The team headed out in search of Nimozaran and were only just out of visual range of the town when they were attacked by vicious kobolds. Shalimar’s alertness caught on to the lurking reptilian creatures and a clever auditory illusion of a descending dragon by Ishan flushed some of the would be ambushers from their hiding spots. The Lioness and Shalimar proved their lethal melee prowess dispatching the two initial spear-wielding ambushers; however, not without taking some serious wounds. Piddles charged a goop-grenade lobbing kobold that had doused Balin, who was able to disentangle himself and provide some much needed healing. Undaunted by the deaths of his spear-wielding cohorts, the larger armored kobold with the gleaming white shield has charged right into the center of the party. Will our heroes be able to prevail over the remaining kobolds?

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West to Winterhaven
Of Rats and Necklaces

Hired to escort a caravan west to Winterhaven the party was attacked by several goblins, including some riding atop giant rats. After several divine blasts, a fair amount of fire and lot of flashing steel the mercenary band emerged victorious. A necklace with an obsidian statue emblazoned with the symbol of Orcus was found around the neck of a crossbow wielding goblin. The statue initially provided more questions than answers as to what might have caused the normally timorous goblins to become so aggressive.

Bairwin Wildarson met the caravan at the gate and paid the party for their services. After several encounters ferreting out information from townspeople, Lord Padraig graced the team with an audience at Wrafton’s Inn. It came to light that the cause for the recent attacks may be the resurrection of a death cult that nearly destroyed the town over a decade ago. He eventually revealed how thinly stretched his forces are and that the party would be richly rewarded if they could provide him proof that this threat had been eliminated.

Armed with this revelation, the party set about revisiting some of the townsfolk for further information, gathering equipment and supplies, and trying to decide which of several leads that they would investigate first.

  • The goblins that seem to be attacking from the northeast
  • The mysterious attack on a farm to the south
  • The disappearance of Nimozaran the local sage (last seen headed off to a dig-site to the northwest)
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