Thorvarian Tales

Keep on the Shadowfell Pt. 3: Forces of Death
In which new heroes appear, others depart, a mentor is saved, and a conspiracy is revealed.

Karred, a dwarven priest of Mor’ug (known by many names throughout the world, Mor’ug is the dwarven aspect of the deity of death) was tasked by his church to seek out a cult of Orcus which presumably was operating in the area of Winterhaven. Recognizing that he would need assistance in his task, he hired the services of a talented Eladrin spearman named Aldreth and set out immediately. In the village, he was directed to follow a group of adventurers investigating a group of Kobolds operating in the area. He did so, arriving at the creatures’ cave lair just as Gimble burst from the waterfall concealing the entrance. Shouting that he was done with risking his life for Amnon’s stupid adventures. The tiefling tried to convince the gnome to stick around, but eventually gave up, deciding that at least now he didn’t have to sleep while holding his money pouch. It was at this point he noticed Karred and Aldreth. The two small groups decided to work together, determining that the Cult of Orcus represented a common goal (kill the undead, thwart a demon god, and get some money.) The dragonborn and the tiefling both needed to rest and tend their wounds, so the group slept in the Kobolds’ now abandoned lair, while Karred performed gentle repose and buried Enis.

In the morning, the group elected to investigate the nearby dragon burial site to try and find Douven. Upon arriving, they were surprised to see a group of humans, a gnome, and a halfling excavating the site, guarded by a pair of guard drakes. The gnome convinced the group to come down and see what they had uncovered, but the group suspected a trap and thus were not surprised as the gnome ducked into cover and the humans advanced. The battle was vicious, with the stealthy gnome and the halfling pelting the group with ranged attacks while the vicious guard drakes savagely attacked the party, but the group eventually won out, defeating the enemies and capturing the halfling. A brief interrogation uncovered the fact that the halfling and his companions were a group of mercenaries hired to search the burial ground for a non-magical mirror, presumably involved in the ritual to seal a rift to the Shadowfell. Karren grimly informed the group that Thorvar is typically a place demons can not enter directly from the Abyss, rather having to travel through one of the adjacent planes like the Shadowfell to do so. This angers the death god greatly, since the two are direct rivals. The news that such a rift was in danger of opening could mean grim consequences. Thankfully, Douven was found still alive, if a bit shaken. The group decided to travel back to Winterhaven to find out more about the keep the halfling indicated was the home to the Orcus cultists.

The group received payment from Lord Padraig for dealing with the Kobolds, and was instructed to speak to Varoun, the town sage, about the keep. Varoun informed them that it had been built to guard a sealed rift to the Shadowfell, as they suspected, and had been protected by a paladin who eventually went mad and killed his family, advisers, and many of the guard before being driven into the crypts and slain. The keep fell into disrepair and was eventually destroyed during the invasion of devils and undead during the Burning War. The people of Winterhaven, upon reestablishing their town, had elected to leave the keep alone, suspecting that it was inhabited by goblins and considering it an ill omen to even mention it.

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Keep on the Shadowfell Pt.2: The Kobold Lair
As well as a flashback

The characters flashed back to their early days (after being replaced with new, non-pregen iterations) to the day they met and became an adventuring party. Amnon, the tiefling Warlord, had entered the Delver Guild Hall to try and recruit some able bodied adventurers to form a delving party to work in Thorvar’s sewer system and labyrinthine catacombs to clear out dangerous creatures and perhaps pick up a little treasure along the way. Unfortunately, the only person present who was available was a Dragonborn Paladin of Bahamut. The devil blooded Tiefling thought it may not have been wise to try and get his help, and so settled for a drink. He thus didn’t notice the gnome rogue, Gimble, dash in through the bar door carrying a stolen golden mask, his victims in hot pursuit. He attempted to hide from the party, which consisted of a dwarven Fighter, Enis, a human wizard, a halfling rogue, and a loud-mouthed paladin of Eristra who threatened to cut the thief’s hands off. Amnon, seeing potential in the gnome, attempted to interdict on his behalf at the same time Kayless, the dragonborn paladin, attempted to calm down everyone involved. A brawl broke out, especially when the paladin of Eristra was knocked cold, inciting the tavern patrons (who were all fond of the deity of civilization) to attack. The impromptu group, including the dwarf who had determined that he was tired of his former employers’ treatment, prevailed, leaving the human mage to flee and call for the authorities. However, the tavern owner, Douven Stahl, ushered them out the back, offering them employment and some training in the future.

Fast forwarding about a year, the group was back on Douven’s trail, trying to find the whereabouts of their mentor, and had just foiled an ambush attempt by the kobolds they suspected of being involved. Additionally, they had discovered signs that one of the kobolds was a follower of Orcus. They carried on to the creatures’ lair, battling and defeating a pack of the beasts outside the waterfall concealing their cave. One, however, escaped, fleeing inside to warn the others. The group warily proceeded inside, facing stiff resistance from the little vermin along with their leader, a vicious goblin named Irontooth. One by one the party members fell before the creatures’ attacks, until eventually only Kayless remained standing against a pack of enemies. Undaunted, however, the paladin stayed cool and fought his way clear of his foes, moving back to the rest of the group and using his lay-on-hands to bring his friends back to consciousness. He saved Amnon and Gimble, but unfortunately was too late to save Enis. The dwarf was avenged, however, as Irontooth and his kobold minions eventually fell to the party’s might, cursing and screaming as victory was snatched away from them.

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Keep on the Shadowfell, Pt.1
Beginning...again.

A quartet of delvers from Thorvar city, Enis the dwarven fighter, Oren the halfling rogue, Willhelm the Cleric of Bahamut, and Kaeless the Dragonborn Paladin, were traveling to the small farming village of Winterhaven. A few weeks previous, their group’s mentor, Douven Stall, had journeyed there to investigate rumors of a dragon’s burial site, thinking that perhaps the dragon’s horde may have been buried with them. However, as time went by and no one heard anything from Douven, the group decided to make their way out to check on their friend. They were beset on the road by a group of kobold raiders. The group dispatched them and continued on to the town, seeking lodging at the inn. There they were introduced to Eilidan, an aging historian, and the town sage, who informed them that Douven had indeed been to Winterhaven and that they had given him directions to the burial site. Additionally, the group was hired by the local Lord to investigate the recent increase in activity from the Kobolds. When the group set out from Winterhaven the next morning, however, they were beset on the road by a better armed and equipped group of Kobolds including a priest, intent on avenging their fellows from the day before. The group was more tightly tested, but prevailed in the end. During examination of the bodies, they discovered that the Kobold Priest’s holy symbol had an engraved symbol of Orcus on the bottom.

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