Sterling Adventure Company

Fete in Winterhaven

Hundreds of people were in attendance as we sat at the table of honor with Lord Padraig and the rest of the tables were set about his castle grounds. Flags and banners were wafting in the breeze and everyone was wearing their finest.

There were several tables of Dwarves, we hadn’t realized until we got back how put out the dwarves had been by Kalarel’s activities in the area, Bairwin’s Grande Shoppe was only a small part of the damage he had done to the dwarves. The goblin depredations had been particularly damaging to Dwarven trade and even dwarven persons. Over the past few days they had not been shy about telling us how thankful they were and whenever any of us tried to talk about provisions or purchasing magic items they would just laugh and say certainly and give a nod and a wink.

And not only the Dwarves were acting strange in that way. Lord Padraig was also full of secrets and I even noticed some young maidens looking at me and merrily whispering amongst themselves, as young ladies are oft want to do, when we would walk by. So by the time of the great feast we were as excited as the rest of the town.

The event started with Lord Padraig making a toast to Lord Sterling of Arabel and saying what a benefit it is to have such a good friend to have sent folks of our caliber to rescue the town. No one seemed to recall that it wasn’t really in the plan, but why spoil a good toast?

The toasting carried on for some time and then the meal was brought out and we dined heartily on a wide selection of foods and a particularly good roast beast. As the night wore on the food was mostly eaten and the real drinking and heroic tier toasting began.

It was started by the Dwarves. Their local cleric, Brymm Stoneheart, led a great toast that waxed and eulogized on many points, finally aliting on Thunefir and Bearn. He said he hoped they would except these small tokens of the great esteem in which the Sterling Silver dwarves were held by all the dwarves in the area. That is what they had come to call Lord Sterling’s dwarven host, Sterling Silver Dwarves.

First he truned to Bearn and said that any dwarf who was held in such high regard by Thunefir was certainly a clan-wothy dwarf indeed and that they made him an honorary member of Thunderheart clan. To symbolize this they gave him a magic axe inlaid with the Sterling Silver coat of arms and all over filagreed beautifully, as only dwarves can do, that could seperate into two axes with a flick of the wrist and join together just as quickly, and to insure that they were always extra sharp they gave him a fancy leather belt with ten pouches and in each pouch was a magical whetstone. There was much ooing and awing as Bearn recieved his gift.

Next he faced Thunefir and said that they were all very concerned about the great divne eminence’s well being and they presented him with a suit of mithral scale armor, also beautifully fillagreed and embossed with the name Sterling Silver Dwarves. The Dwarves were weeping in their ales at this magnificent gift.

Then a most amazing thing happened, he turned to Aponym and said that he had rendered invaluable service to the dwarven cause and as he was known as a personal friend of Lord Sterling and from now on he would be known to them as “Dwarf Friend.” With this he did cause to be brought forward a most beautiful suit or Leather Armor that had brilliant true-silver plates embossed on it with the name of a clan dwarf who had contributed to its creation.

This was all that Lord Padraig could take and he finally stood up laughing and said that this was his feast and he wouldn’t be left out of his turn at munificence. He started by recounting the qualities of Nemanock, and he counted many. Chief among these were his appreciation for the wealth and well being of all those who depend upon Winterhaven. He said he could never repay him the full boon he owed, but he would symbolize it by giving him the cape off his back and as he said this he flourished the cape and appeared right next to the warlock and handed him the cape.

What I beheld next did truly confound me because walking up through the rows of tables was none other than Valthrun with a gaggle of pretty little goslings, I call them goslings for the way they followed the eccentric old man, but they were a collection of the finest young maidens of Winterhaven, the very ones I had seen looking and giggling all week. He called out to Lord Padraig and said there was one more left who had not been properly thanked and at this all the girls burst out into peels of laughter and I detected a confused look on Lord Padraig’s face, but a knowing smile on the Lady Padraig. He said that first he had a gift for me and he handed me a wonderfully smelling basket and said “may you never be hungry in all your travels.”

Then at the impatient assistance of the young ladies, he was obviously enjoying teasing them with his delays, he said the young ladies of the town, and especially Lord Padraig’d daughter Opheliatta, made a beautifully embroidered quilt for you and brought it to me asking if I could make it magical. I said they already had, but I would do what I could. With this he planted a most beautiful standard in the ground and we could all feel its salubrious effect. At this we felt we should return the toast and toasts were made. A most strange thing happened later still. A beautiful woman in a black dress walked up to Bearn and with a knowing look said “I believe this matches your ring.” Bearn looked at this circular disk with a strange, I would say pleased look, and then looked up, I assume to thank her, but she was gone. Nobody had seen her leave, nobody could remember her walking in, she was just suddenly there, and nobody had ever seen her before.

The party continued but a little longer and we retired back to Wrafton’s Inn.

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Back to Winterhaven session 11

Darius’ Log

We left the keep and decided to make it back to town rather than spend a night in or near the keep. It was just after dark when we saw the gates of Winterhaven and what a greeting we got! Hordes of Zombies were milling about the walls of the town and the guards above the gate immediately hailed us. This eliminated any chance of surprise as the zombies turnd and made for us. We didn’t want to get to close as we were certain the evil things would overwhelm us. Fortunately, Aponym had just the medicine they needed and did do some grevious damge to them with his shockwaves. Of course, Thunefir also had a descent dose of medicine for the ghouls. Just as we began to finish them off, as if a horde of zombies wasn’t enough, the elf Ninarel showed her true colors as she came out of the darkness with three shadow wolves and jumped poor Thunefir. Fortunately, Aponym was able to clean up the rest of the zombies as we made quick work of our new antagonists.

In the aftermath we learned that Ninarel was an agent for Kalarel by the sheet of Vellum with his correspondence on it. A huge cheer rose up from the guards on the walls and soon the whole town was out greeting us and shaking our hands and preparing a fete for us.

We now have to decide what to do next. As I have gathered, these our are choices: 1. We need to talk to Lord Padraig about setting up a Sterling Silver trading post in Bairwin’s old shoppe. 2. We have still to decide whether or not we want to go back to Arabel, as per our original intention. 3. Maybe we could get a teleportation circle set up between our new trading post and Lord Sterling’s place in Arabel. 4. We are concerned about outfitting ourselves proper and everytime we try to suggest anything in Winterhaven we are just given smiles and nods and a warm “of course you are.” We shall have to push Lord Padraig on this more frimly, perhaps after the fete. 5. Lord Padraig said some messages came from Lord Sterling for us, the day after we left for the keep. We need to see what they contain. There is one for Aponym and one for Thunefir.

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Quests

This is where you will find information on quests the party has completed or undertaken or has been offered. Starting from the point where the party has exited the Keep on the Shadowfell.

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Cleansing the Keep

We rested briefly and then made our way back out of the keep. We took and rested for a few hours in the hidden armory and then feeling much refreshed we proceeded to cleanse the rest of the keep. I wanted to return to where we had been assaulted by the exploding sarcophagi and see what lay in the beautiful room beyond. Upon returning the sarcophagi were intert and we passed into the next room which was a shrine to Bahamut. Opposite the entrance were a pair of doors and we passed those and entered a Tomb and standing before a large and ornate sarcophagus was a skeleton in Plate, it did not attack us but asked what we were about. After some tense negotiations it was convinced we were of good hearts and was glad to hear that we had defeated Kalarel. This was the ghost of Sir Keegan and he told us his sad tale. He told us how the evil spirit of Shadraxil had taunted his waking mind driving him insane until he finall slew his loved ones and attacked his cohort. Eventually they drove him down below and here he locked himself in this vault and when he regained his sanity he wept and remained here until he died as his just fate, guarding the gate to the shadowfell as best he could until one day he could no longer leave this tomb. He was very thankful and since he could not leave but his sword could,he gave me his sword “Aecris” in hopes I would use it to carry on the battle against evil. I made him a solemn promise that I would.

Leaving the tomb we went back to the first level and into the caverns that were opposite the excavated area on the first level. There we went along through some a rough area with stalagmites and stalagtites and were swarmed by giant rats which we nevertheless dispatched of quite easily. We then encountered a lair of Kruthiks which are human sized four legged creatures with a chitinous hide that burrow through rock and shoot toxic spikes, at least when full grown. We encounteres one adult and several yound and dispatched with them rather easily. In their lair we found 59 gold and 216 silver and 2 potions of healing.

In another part of the cavern we came upon the old cistern and here a blue slime attacked us from the small pond, we also dispatched of that and went to a small island in the center and investigated a pile of clothes and other detritus. Amidst all that we uncovered a potion of healing, a shield of protection, a safewing amulet, and a bag of holding within which was a message cylinder that contained three sheets of vellum. Sheet #1 contained a map that showed the location of the keep. #2 was a note that said Remember, “don’t wet the nodule-unless Kalarel is unreceptive to our offer. The wet it from a distance and run, the water will bring the creature out of its dormancy and it will consume anything it can reach.” #3 Greetings, Kalarel. I have heard recently of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have Duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way. signed Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers.

Having satisfied ourselves with having cleared out the Keep we had a lite dinner and set our sights on Wrafton’s Inn. It would now very likely be dark when we reached the Winterhaven, but not wishing to spend any longer here we pushed on, well rested and somewhat fed.

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Kalarel down! Session 10

After peering through the hole in the floor and seeing all the hazaeds involved with climbing down into combat, the party decided to engage Kalrels and his minions at range. It soon became apparent that this would be a losing exchange as Kalarel and his minions had defenses that were just too hign for most and the amount of damage that could be dealt by the wizard could not be kept up before he would be wiped out from below.

So down they descended with Nemanock and Aponym providing covering fire as Thunefir, Darius, and Bearn descended the chains. Darius technically reached the ground first since he blew his athletics check and fell, but Thunefir and Bearn reached their objectives and attacked. The battle was long and drawn out and it seemed like a TPK situation until at the critical instant Bearn got a critical hit on Kalarel and brought him within a hairsbreadth of death, finally finishing him off on the following round. The party immediately took a short rest as everyone had used up all their powers and most of their healing surges. They found 981 gold laying in a pile behind the altar, but if Kalarel had any magical possessions they were sucked into the shadowfell by the thing behind the rift, Shar does not take kindly to those that fail her.

Darius and Bearn did not escape unafected. They had both been struck by the THING begind the rift and are now spell scarred. The party is going to rest and explore the rest of the dungeon.

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Penultimatum Session 9

The party made their final bid to stop the ritual. As they left the relative safety of their secret room Thundefir, after a noight of restive sleeping, decided there was some unjustice that must be righted off in the western part of the dungeon that they had not yet explored. So striong was his feelings in this matter that they put their intentions in abeyance and followed Thunefir.

They entered the area and were beset by zombies which they quickly dispatched. Pressing on into the next area they encountered a long hllway lined with 8 sarcophagi. Upon passing the first set their was a loud bang and the lids flew open and emitted a skeleton each and then the doors closed. They battled these and when they were done and about to press on the bang happened again and the skeletons reemerged. The party felt it was a waste of time, a diversion, and went back to their original plan.

Descending the stairs they continued on untill thwey came to the room with the titan statue. As they approached it began swinging at them in a mechanical fashion. They skirted the edges avoiding the statue and reached the opposite doors. As they got to the doors a magical cube sprang up and engulfed them and began filling with water from four statues. The room was filling quickly and the water began swirling about in a whirlpool like fashion. They began making arcana checks to disable the statuews and just as they disabled the third statue and the water was becoming dangerously fast, the trap had been disabled.

Moving into the final area they saw the little homonculus disappear down the stairway and they gave chase. They burst into the cathedral of shadow and saw a priest and four vampires and two berserkers and a dark creeper. The battle was pretty hot but they eventually wiped out the host and they thought they might have stopped the ritual when they noticed the homonculus and the dark creeper darting down a hole in the center of the room. On closer inspection they could see the real ritual was taking place below them and they coud see Kalarel reading incantations from a book and a wight on one side of the room and two warrior skeletons guarding Kalarel. They could see a large opening with a thin black film that was holding back some horror that seemed about to press through.

So this was to be the final showdown. Bearn and Darius still had their daily powers and action points, but some of the other characters had used theirs and Thunefir only had two healing surges left. They needed to rest, but they had to press on. Maybe if they could stop the ritual that would be enough and they could run and rest up. The only acess to the room below was to descend forty feet down blood soaked chains and that made the possibility of an early exit unlikely.

They had a few encounter effects that were still going and Nemanock had a bucket of temporary hit points that made him feel nearly invulnerable. Do they take a short rest or do they press on. The beast behind the black barrier seemed to be almost ready to break through…..

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Ambush! Session 8

The Sterling Silver Adventure Company opened up with an attack on the main guard room at the bottom of the stairs. The Death Jump Spider turned into a deaht slide spider as it was slid across the floor and nearly dumped in the well. The party took a short rest while looting the bodies and scoring some minor gold.

Pressing on in their continuing quest to stop Kalarel’s ritual they surged ahead and took a few random arrow shots from an eastrn hallway. Deciding they didn’t want to press ahead and leave known enemies behiind them, they followed the corridor from whence the arrows.

They turned down another corridor that led into a room with two door ways. They prepared to assault one door way and as they opened the door the other door also opened amidst a great hurrah and hobgoblins came pouring out. A command was yelled and a porticullis in the main corridor dropped trapping everyone but Nemanoch in the room. When the Warchief emerged he yelled “Take ‘em alive, we can sell them to the bloodreavers!” The battle was hot and heavy, but the hobgoblins were overcome.

Deciding they needed to take an extended rest they holed up with the portcullis down. They searched the rooms and found a 1 magic vicious dagger and 300 gold. laying on the Warchief’s bed was a folded up parchment with a map of the area surrounding Winterhaven and the plan of atack. Disturbingly, the attack seemed to indicate a large force that was different from the Hobgoblins. Apparently they were planning an attack that included an allied force of some sort.

They are pretty sure the next phase of their attack will be the final blow out, and even though they have just earned a milestone they are quite sure they want to rest and get their daily powers back. Even though the encounters seemed not too difficult, they realized it was at the expense of their daily powers and that they were quite spent and would not be able to continue as effectively as they were.

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Almost got it! Session 7

The Sterling Adventure company started their foray by descending a ten foot wide stairway down into a large room with a well in the center and an opening into a far room that housed a large caged Death jump spider. The room had several hobgoblin guards who shouted a challenge which Aponym new the reply to, they asked incredulously what business Kalarel had with them and they said they were there to aid with the ritual, and the hobgoblins escorted the mto see the warchief. The warchief told two guards to escort them to Kalarel. They went through a couple of rooms and the last was a room that had some statuary in it, most notably was a huge titan statue with a two handed sword. Bearn noticed that the dust around the statues was disturbed. They crossed into a far room and this was heavy with the stench of decay and filled with zombies and a ghoul and a homonculus scout. A large battle ensued, as though the hobgoblins had been fooled by the ruse, the undead were not. THey attacked the party and the hobgoblins realized the jig was up and attacked also. They eventually defeated the occupants but the scout got away and alerted the next room and as the party was finishing up and preparing to depart a priest of Shar and five vampires appeared closely followed by some sort of screaming assailants. They bolted from the room and raced whence they came. They slowed just as they entered the first guard room and carried on as though nothing was amiss. Nemanock used his bluff skill to convince the guards that all was fine. As they got to the top of the stairs the alarm was sounded and they dove into the secret room they had discovered earlier. There they hid out and took an extended rest while the commotion they could hear outside settled down. Not wanting to delay too long and allow Kalarel to finish the ritual they pressed on immediately to the final showdown. they snuck out of the secret room and rounded the corner where two guards had been newly posted. The guards sounded the alarm and ran down the stairs hotly pesued by the party. When they got to the bottom of the stairs they were met by the spider and twwo guards on their left nd five other guards on their right. They had also accumulated enough XP during their extended rest to reach third level. Which is good, because they are going to need it.

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Down below session 6

The party pressed on and having reached a milestone explored the excavated area. This involved killing two drakes and one goblin. One more goblin got away and one was captured and pleaded mercy and told the party how to get to the Hobgoblin level and the password needed to get by them.

They locked up the goblin with his two other cohorts and said if the password wasn’t right they’d come back and kill him.

They went down some stairs and kept to the right as the goblin had suggested. they encountered some sigils on the floor and were careful not to disturb them. They found the stairs going down but they were guarded by a bunch of zombies and the claric got to show his stuff as he took them out with a little help from his friends.

At this point they had anther milestone and turned to investigate a secret door which ultimately lead to an armory where they solved a riddle and got a set of Black iron scale mail which Darius donned.

Undaunted they elected to push on straight for Kalarel and stop him before he could finish his ritual.

Next, they expect to run into some hobgoblins, I wonder if that’ll seem tougher?

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At the Keep

The Sterling Adventure Company set out the next morning to foil Kalarel’s plans for releasing Shadraxil from his entrapment in the Shadowfell.

Upon entering the Kepp they were beset by the goblins occupying the top most prtion of the keep. In a pitched battle they defeated said goblins and imprisoned their leader Balgron.

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