Shadowfell

Session 12
The Dead Walk

After leaving the labyrinth of zombies and terror runes behind, the party decided to deal with Balgron and his minions before investigating the second level. But upon returning to the main chamber with the pit trap (now called Rymar’s Folly), Rymar spotted a slender figure in the shadows. It was Delphina Moongem, the flower girl from Winterhaven. What was she doing here? Was she the spy mentioned in the note from Kalarel to Irontooth? Was she a member of the Orcus cult?

Rymar tapped Drek on the arm and pointed at her. A low growl issued from Drek and he nodded in the other direction to indicate he would slip up behind her as Rymar approached her.

She let out a sigh of relief when she spotted Rymar. “I am glad I have found you!” She explains that the town is besieged by the undead that have suddenly risen from the graveyard. She implores the heroes to return to town and deal with the threat.

They agree and follow her back to Winterhaven.

At the graveyard, Rymar cracks open the ten foot tall wrought iron gate. It creaks loudly. The wind picks up and the leaves screech and tumble across the rough path. There are big oak trees and silent squat mausoleums that dominate the burial grounds. Tall gray headstones are packed tightly throughout the yard. Some are lopsided from settling in the mud. He deftly steps onto the path and enters the graveyard. From outside the gate the others strain to see through the ivy covered bars. The sound of shifting dirt catches Rymar’s attention to the left and he sees several skeletons rising from the ground. Drek follows him in and he is hit by an arrow from Ninaran the Elf Ranger. She has just stepped out of the small crypt to the left.

Essedil charges in and confronts her. He is soon surrounded by skeletal warriors and archers, long dead soldiers buried here many years ago, now raised to do the bidding of Kalarel. The rest of the party moves in as Ninarin falls back. Four death hounds come out of the back mausoleums and attack Petra and Orim, and Tarquin.

Slowly the skeletal minions fall to dust and Rymar moves in behind Ninaran as Drek confronts her. Essedil sees the Gnome Skulk, Agrid emerge from the crypt on the right. He charges the unwitting gnome and completely skewers him, killing him. Meanwhile Rymar runs his blade into the backside of the female ranger pushing her into Drek's arms.  "I'm sorry," she tells Drek. "That night I stayed with you, I took the mirror. Agrid had told me you had it and that Kalarel needed it. Agrid took the mirror to Kalarel and returned with this ritual to raise the dead and make them walk." She gasps as Rymar pulls his blade out and a dark trickle of blood appears at the corner of her mouth. "You don't have much time left to stop him." He smiles and Drek kisses her blood away as she dies in his arms.

Finally they vanquish the undead hounds and save the town. But how much time has this distraction from Kalarel wasted? Will they be able to return to Shadowfell Keep in time to stop the Orcus worshiper from unleashing his darkness upon the world?

 


Session XP: 144
Total XP: 2444

 

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Session 11
Shadowfell Keep, Sir Keegan's Tomb

After defeating the zombies, the party continued into the Labyrinth. They again tried to jump over the Terror Runes, but failed and went running into a hall with ten crypts. Immediately a legion of skeletal warriors emerged from the sarcophagi, surrounding the party. Skeletons continued to be expelled from the crypts in an endless parade of death.

They realized they had to fight their way out of the hall and into the shrine at the end of the hall. There they found two alters dedicated to Bahaumat, the silver dragon. Splug found secret compartments in the alters that contained eight small silver statuettes of the platinum dragon.

Past the shrine was a tomb. Inside was a coffin on a raised dais. The lid exploded and a skeletal paladin stepped out and issued a challenge to the party, he introduced himself as Sir Keegan. Accusing them of being tomb raiders. The party explained they were there to stop a man named Kalarel from opening the rift to the Shadowfell.

Sir Keegan asked each of party specific questions related to their skills to see if they were worthy of the quest. Several times Sir Keegan was disappointed with their answers and was just about to attack when Araethal stepped forward and impressed the undead paladin with his final answer. Sir Keegan stated that he was unable to leave his crypt, but he offered Araethal his sword, Aecris, to aide them in the journey to stop the rift from re-opening.

Next the party finally got over the Terror Runes with Ridcully's floating disc and found the entrance to the second level. It was guarded by a room full of Zombies. After destroying them, Splug showed the party where the secret armory was hidden. Inside they answered a riddle which revealed a magical suit of scale mail. Tarquin donned the armor, and found that it afforded him protection against fire and necrotic damage.

With new weapons and armor the party can return to fight the goblin chief, Balgron the Fat.


Session XP: 308
Total XP: 2300

 

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Session 10
Shadowfell Keep, Torture Chamber

Drek lept across the room and attacked the Hobgoblin Torturer. The hobgoblin struck back with his hot iron, but Drek ignored the pain and grabbed the goblinoid, shoving him into the hot coals. Meanwhile the rest of the party fanned into the room to battle the goblin warriors and sharpshooters. Rymar cornered one of them, and Ridcully blasted them with missiles of magic and rays of frost.

Tarquin charged down a hall that contained prison cells. After killing the hobgoblin, Drek joined him and helped finish off the last of the goblins. In the cells, Drek was surprised to find his cousin, Orim a prisoner. Orim Azaer had recently led a caravan to Winterhaven. He heard about the ruins of the keep and came to explore them, when he was taken captive by the goblins.

The next cell held a curious goblin named Splug. He had been caught stealing from his comrades and was placed here as punishment. He and Orim had trade a few jokes and course stories to pass the time.

The party debated whether to kill the goblin outright or not. Splug begged for his life and claimed he had knowledge of a secret armory in the dungeon.

The party decided to see if he was telling the truth or not and after tying a rope to Splug they had him led them to the armory. As they decended into a dark cold area of the dungeon, a ghostly wail sounded down the hall. The shrieking voices forced half the party to run into a zombie filled chamber. The rest of the party quickly came to their aid and the zombies were destroyed.

Splug returned to the party wondering where they had run off to. "Armory not in here, sillies."


Session XP: 190
Total XP: 1992
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Session 9
Shadowfell Keep, Rat Trap

The party returns to Winterhaven. Drek and Rymar follow the flower girl, Delphina Moongem to her apartment and help her carry up her flowers. She invites them to dinner. Afterwards, they return to Wrafton's Inn. On the way they encounter the brooding ranger, Ninarin. Drek offers her drinks and a place to spend the night. She gets what she came for.

The party visits around town and notices that everyone is staying indoors. Is it just the rain? Or something else? Several people seem, nervous, or scared, and others report having strange unsettling and dark dreams. Drek stops by Barwin Wildarson's shop. He is a happy and jovial man undeterred by the weather.

They speak with the Lord Mayor, while Ridcully learns more about the keep to the north. They all meet back at the inn and Ridcully tells them that the keep contains a seal that covers a rift to the Shadowfell. This rift leads to a shrine of Orcus, Lord of the Undead. The keep has been abandoned for eighty years since the fall of the Nerath Empire. Valthrun warns that if there are any cultists of Orcus in the area, they are most likely trying to re-open the rift to the Shadowfell so that Lord Orcus can once again send his minions into the world.

The party decides they should investigate the keep. The path to the keep is arduous, but only a few miles from town. They arrive at the ruins and begin to search the area. They locate an entrance with stairs leading down below the surface. Rymar and Drek move down the stairs cautiously. They smell the stench of filth and unwashed bodies coming from the dungeon. Suddenly Rymar is struck in the leg with a javelin. A goblin can be seen across the room in the dim torch light. He taunts the party, "Come in and die!"

Essedil and Rymar charge across the room at the goblin. Unfortunately, there is a covered pit in the center of the chamber and they fall in as they charge the goblin. At the bottom of the pit they find a swarm of rats waiting for them. Essedil uses his fey step to escape, but Rymar is trapped. The rest of the party comes down the stairs and spreads out into the room as goblins pour out of the surrounding tunnels.

A pitched battle ensues. The goblin sharp shooters are deadly accurate and fire at will as Essedil, Tarquin, Drek, and Arathael fight the goblin warriors. Rymar manages to climb out of the pit, and Petra heals him. But he soon finds himself in the path of two goblin sharpshooters. They hit him with maximum impact and he falls to the ground unconscious. The rat swarm, freed of the pit, climbs out and attacks Petra. Ridcully uses his thunder strike spell to blast the swarm with great effect back into the pit.

Soon the goblin warriors fall, Tarquin kicks the last of the rats into the pit and they finish off the sharpshooters. They decide to return to town and recover from the exhausting battle. The next day they return and search deeper into the dungeon. After finding a few supply rooms, (filled with items from town), Drek opens a door and sees another room filled with goblins, one is particularly large and wields a hot iron poker. "Come in… we have been expecting you!" he hisses.


Session XP: 129
Total XP: 1802
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Session 8
Kobold Lair, Inside

The battle continued through the thundering waterfall and into the kobold lair. There they encountered several minions being directed by a few dragonshields. The party waded through the minions and went toe to toe with the dragonshields. Essedil and Ridcully went north in the cavern to deal with a dragonshield and the minions there. A kobold pot slinger came from the rear of the cavern and fired stink and glue pots at Essedil.

From the northeast, came a battle cry and a large goblin wielding a flaming battleaxe charged Tarquin. The paladin stepped back so Petra could heal him, while Rymar held the line.

To the south Drek and Arathael fought another dragonshield and more minions. A wrympriest appeared from the rear of the lair and breathed fire on Tarquin, Rymar, and Petra.

Ridcully turned his attention to the new threat and began to cast magic missiles at the robed kobold.

Eventually all the minions fell and Arathael finally managed to kill the last dragon shield. Everyone slowly surrounded the goblin known as Irontooth and he met his doom.

Treasure, and magic items were found as well as a message to Irontooth:

"My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I will completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven's people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding."

- Kalarel

Back in Winterhaven, the paladin had a disturbing dream. The party sought out and found a shrine of Avandra not far from the town's graveyard. At the shrine they found Sister Linora. She had been warned in a dream not to return to town, as a cult of Orcus had infiltrated the town and sought to do her harm.

Now the party will be watching the townsfolk closely to see if they can determine who are cult members and who is the spy for Kalarel. And they must find Kalarel and stop him from opening a rift to the Shadowfell, or Winterhaven and the surrounding lands will be doomed!


Session XP: 193
Total XP: 1673
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Session 7
Kobold Lair, Outside

The party took the crafty gnome, Agrid, back to Winterhaven to decide his fate. Drek took an uncanny fascination in mutilating and torturing the gnome. Many debated maiming or outright killing the fey creature, while Ridcully took the time to study and converse with Agrid, coming to appreciate his species and warned the others that it would
be doubtful to trust Agrid at his word.

Tarquin struggled with finding a suitable punishment and took him to Captain Rond Kelfem.  The captain did not want the captive for fear of stirring up greater woes for the small frontier town. He finally agreed to keep the gnome over night after the party had visited the temple of Avandra and spoke with the female acolyte about having Agrid tend the grounds.

That night, Rymar and Drek decided to meet out their own justice, the only justice they could accept for the mischievous gnome. But the guards were too wary and would not let them in the compound or bring them the gnome.

The next day Tarquin learned that Agrid had escaped. Clearly a master of thievery and stealth the cage could not hold him. Tarquin also learned that Drek and Rymar paid a visit to the guards at the gate.

The party then set out for the Kobold lair hidden behind a waterfall. The next morning, in a small clearing they heard the thundering water crashing nearby and spotted several of the small lizard-folk darting along the riverside.  

The party charged through the trees and set up on the outer guards. A slinger fired a pot hitting Essedil. The pot shattered and left a sticky putrid substance on his armor. The fumes made him nauseous. Most likely kobold scat and wretched up bile. Drek slipped from the woods and leapt upon a kobold dragonshield warrior standing guard in a magic circle of power. It did him no good. Rymar and Arathael took on several spear wielding kobolds.

Ridcully cast sleep while Petra moved to heal the wounded and crack a few kobold skulls herself. As the battle progressed in favor of the party, a slinger ran through the waterfall to warn Irontooth and the others. Essedil followed him into the water and found a torch lit cavern filled with more kobolds. He cam back out and Arathael and he set up a rope to knock any pursuing kobolds prone. Three rushed out and got “hooked” on the rope, and slipped to the ground. The rest of the party cut them down.

What awaits the party inside the falls?


Session XP:100
Total XP: 1480 

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Session 6
Ambushed...again.

The next morning after breakfast, the party sets out to explore the town. Ridcully visits Valthrun to see what books he has on the local history and to view the Rituals he has for sale.

Arathael, Essedil, and Tarquin head to the inner gates to seek an audience with the Lord Mayor. Meanwhile, Petra, Rymar, and Drek'Thanos visit the market. Petra, spotting the smithy, heads up the path and finds a sleeping Thair Coalstriker. He is pleased to meet her and offers his services to the party. He also complains of a shop keeper in town named Bairwin.

Outside, Drek and Rymar meet a beautiful elf maiden named Delphina Moongem selling wild flowers she has collected from the area. She tells them to be wary of the ruined keep to the north because she has spotted goblins lurking there.

At the inner gates, the guards are reluctant to let the Eladrin and half-elf in, before setting an appointment up with the Lord Mayor. Essedil and Arathael are incensed by the seemingly inept guards. They return to the market and meet Rymar, Drek, and Petra. Tarquin spots a large temple to Avandra down the road and decides to seek wisdom there.The temple is empty except for a bright, young acolyte. He greets Tarquin and tells him that the priestess, sister Linora would like to meet him. However she is in the country side healing the sick and tending to the town's graveyard. As Tarquin kneels to pray, a voice whispers that "a darkness is coming" he turns but no one is there.

Tarquin returns to the party as some of the town's guard approaches. The captain introduces himself as Rond Kelfem. After learning that the party is here to meet with the Lord Mayor, he offers to escort them to the Manor. While waiting in the foyer Rymar and Drek can't resist fumbling with the fresh flowers and vases sitting there in hopes of furthering their relationship with Delphina.

Rond returns with Lord Mayor Ernesto Padraig and introduces him to the party. Lord Padraig offers to pay the party 200gp to wipe out the kobolds in the area and their leaders. In addition they make keep any ill-gotten treasure they find.Upon leaving the Manor, they find Ridcully emerging from Valthrun's tower. They all return to Wrafton's Inn for lunch and decide their next course of action. Drek suggests they learn the fate of Douven Staul and visit the dragon burial site and then head east to the kobold lair.

Everyone agrees and they head out of town. Not far down the King's Road they are again ambushed by kobolds and a wyrmpriest. Although surprised, the party quickly vanquished the lizards and turn south into the forest where they camp for the night. The next day they find the burial site as well as several humanoids. A feisty gnome named Agrid appears to be the leader and invites the party to examine the site more closely. It is a trap however as he commands the guard drakes and humans to attack.  A halfling on the opposite rim rains down sling stones on Rymar. The rogue responds by bounding up the edge of the pit and cutting the halfling down. The drakes savagely attack Tarquin. The gnome vanishes briefly while Essedil hunts him down. The others finish off the drakes and human rabble, and they all surround Agrid. Arathael beats the gnome down until he is unconscious.

Searching the site, the party finds two things of interest; Douven Staul, bound and gagged under a tarp, and an expensive mirror held by two gold dragons. Ridcully thinks it may be a component used in certain rituals.

The party returns to Winterhaven with Douven.


Session XP: 198
Quest XP: 179
Total XP: 1380
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Session 5
On The Road

The party is ambushed on the road by Kobolds as they near the small town of Winterhaven. Slingers wielding fire pots, tough Dragonshields, and over half a dozen minons attack the party from both sides of the road.

The adventurers manage to turn the tide and eventually wipe out the raiders. They make their way into Winterhaven and are directed to Wrafton's Inn after stabling their remaing horses and cart. They notice that it is "Market Day" in Winterhaven as farmers bring in vegtables and hunter's sell their pelts, andthe town's craftsmen sell their finished goods.

The party is warmly greeted by Salvana Wrafton at the Inn. She finds them rooms and prepares dinner for them. Ridcully speaks with Valthrun the Prescient the town's sage. Arathael and Drek meet  Eilian the Old an old farmer that knows Douven Staul and the location of the Dragon Burial site. Arathael also tries to speak to a female elf sitting by herself. She appears to be a hunter. He learns her name is Ninaran. But she is unfriendly toward him.

The party hopes to speak to Mayor Padraig soon about the Kobolds infesting the area.

 


Session XP: 140
Total XP: 1003
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Session 4
Kobold Hall - Conclusion

The party returned to Fallcrest, towing the dragon carcass behind with Ridcully's magical disc. They told Lord Faren of their success at the Kobold Hall. He announced they would have a banquet in their honor that night. Petra returned Teldorthan's green dragonhide they recovered from the white drake's lair.

Tarquin spoke briefly with Lady Allande and then he, Arathael, and Essedil talked with Lord Faren about another job for the party. Faren told them that the Lord Mayor of Winterhaven to the north was having trouble with a tribe of kobolds as well. He gave his leave for them to travel north and help Winterhaven rid the area of the vermin. They suspect the warlord goblin, Irontooth is the one behind the attacks, based on the note they found in the dragon's cave.

Armos Kamroth, once again approached Essedil and asked if he would be willing to relinquish his title to the ruined keep outside of town and once again Essedil refused. The next day Erthandor Ironhews visited Petra at her temple and brought her a birthday present, a crimson cloak with a clasp in the shape of crossed battleaxes.

Rymar visited with Lanbar Thistleton and Kemara Brownbottle at the Bluemoon Alehouse. Drek'Thanos went home to see his family. He also paid a visit to Orest Naerumar and his cousin Amara Azaer. Ridcully discussed the kobold lair and the white dragon with his master at the green tower. Tarquin went to the Moonsong temple to pray to Avandra. There he met his sister, Lorrin Certh an acolyte of Sahanine. Lorrin told her brother that sometimes dreams can be messages from the gods.

That night everyone met to discuss the new quest and traveling to Winterhaven. They decided to buy horses and a cart. After the meeting, Tarquin, Arathael and Essedil were attacked by five brigands in the street. Their leader fired arrows at Essedil while the others engaged in melee. Essedil fey stepped and chased down the leader, capturing him. Tarquin and Arathael finished off the other thugs.

At the keep, Essedil brutally questioned the ruffian, cutting his thumb off to finally get the name of the person that sent them. The bandit leader confessed that is was Rymar that had sent them.

In the green tower, Ridcully discovers that Tobo has a secret. Tobolar has been searching the records for a password that will allow them access to the upper chamber of the tower. The chamber has been sealed for decades. Ridcully and Tobo ascend the stairs and try the password. It works and inside the chamber they find a teleportation circle. Ridcully finds a Linked Portal Ritual and the components to cast the spell once. This would allow them to teleport back to town.

The next day everyone meets at the keep. Rymar is confronted by Tarquin, Arathael, and Essedil. Rymar asks to see the man they have in the dungeon. He says that he recognizes him as a part of a press gang and he knows who he works for but wants the party to wait until he speaks with the man so he can try to find out what is going on.

Arathael is approached by an older human woman who has been seeking an audience with Lord Faren but has not been able to get in to see him. She tells Arathael that her husband, Douven Staul, is a month over due for coming home. He is an explorer and took a job from a tiefling to find a dragon burial ground to the north near Winterhaven. He left three months ago but told his wife he would only be gone two months at the most. She is worried that something has happened to him. Arathael tells the wife that they are travelling to Winterhaven and he and the others will look into Douven's situation and see if they can locate him.

So the party leaves for Winterhaven. Traveling north up the King's road, they are attacked on the fourth night by hungry Shadow Wolves. The wolves savage two horses and Petra's pony before the party can awaken and chase them off.

The next day they continue their journey and are walking down the wooded road when suddenly several javelins whistle through the air! They are ambushed!


Session XP: 148
Total XP: 863

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Session 3
Kobold Hall

Rather than take a rest as planned and recover their strength, the party boldly decided to explore the kobold complex further. Drek and Rymar scouted ahead and entered a new chamber. The party slowly brought the light source up behind them. Rymar, frustrated that he could see nothing of any detail in the room ahead, came back and took the floating sun-rod. He re-entered the chamber and went right as Drek went left. Rymar stopped when he found a set of doors immediately to his left and then spotted three kobolds on a ledge in front of him. Two of them were warriors, but the third was clearly the leader, a war priest. He wore a bone skull helmet and wielded a staff.

The war priest kobold hissed and breathed a cloud of frost and ice into the room and covered Rymar. His staff flashed and extended the deadly frost into the chamber, but fortunately Rymar was the only one caught in the blast. Meanwhile on yet another ledge to Rymar's right, a kobold slinger, released a trap. A massive bolder sitting on the platform rolled off the edge and crashed to the floor picking up momentum as it headed straight for Rymar! He only had a second to act. He leapt straight up into the air as the round rock crashed beneath him. The bolder rocked back from the wall and caught in a groove in the floor. It began to circle around the room running over anything and anyone caught in its path.

Essedil came into the room followed by the others. The war priest hurled orbs of frost at the party. The doors Rymar had found, opened and revealed two more slingers inside. Tarquin charged in and fought them in close combat. Essedil was held fast be the sticky alchemical substance the kobolds had concocted, so he fey-stepped up to the platform with the war priest and the kobold dragonshields. [DM Note: We have since learned that when you are immobilized by a physical object, creature, or substance, you can teleport away and you are no longer immobilized.]

In the back of the room Drek fought a dragonshield and flying Spiretop Drake came out of an alcove and attacked his as well <insert party groans here>.

Essedil succumbed to his wounds and fell, but Petra climbed the opposite platform and healed him. Ridcully entered the room and blasted slingers with frost rays as Arathael fired arrows and then joined Essedil on the platform. The Spiretop drake followed him and attacked him from behind. It was a long battle, but slowly the party turned the tide and killed the war priest and his underlings. Ridcully identified the priest's staff as a Staff of the War Mage

A silver key was found on the war priest and Drek found a secret keyhole in the alcove where the Spiretop Drake was nesting. Wisely however the party decided to take a six hour rest before testing the key out. Essedil surmised a treasure vault could be on the other side of the secret door.

The next day, the party awoke after taking watches through the night. Those that had brought rations shared with any of the party that did not. They talked of cooking the greasy, filthy, disease-ridden kobolds for sustenance, but decided that would be a last resort.

Now it was time to see what lay on the opposite side of the secret door. Rymar inserted the key and cracked the door open. A cold wave of air escaped, and on the other side was a set of stairs leading to a lower level. Rymar lead the way checking for traps as Drek brought up the rear. A long, winding passage from the kobold
chieftain’s room led down and down into the earth. Eventually, the finely worked stone tunnels gave way to natural
passages. Finally, they came upon a large cavern. The air was unnaturally cold in the huge chamber. In the center of the room was a large pool of frozen dark water. The cavern was quiet. The party was sudenly surprised as a large white dragon wheeled overhead from behind one of the columns in the room. Only Tarquin and Arathael were quick enough to respond. They dashed into the room and separated, so as not to get caught in it's icy breath weapon. The rest of the party followed suit as they scattered about the chamber as the dragon breathed. Then it swooped over the frozen pool of water and roared with a frightful presence. The walls shook and reverberated with its anger, stunning the rogues and Essedil. Ridcully conjured a flaming sphere of fire and he constantly chased the dragon about the room with it. Tarquin issued a divine challenge to the hovering drake which kept the dragon focused on him most of the battle. However having no ranged weapons, the paladin could only hurl rocks at the creature. After recovering, Drek darted out and hurled shurikens, while Rymar fire his sling at the beast. The dragon flitted about the room breathing, roaring and clawing at anyone that got to close to it.

Tarquin managed to daze the dragon as it attacked Petra, causing it's breath weapon to discharge reflexively! Petra fell under the onslaught, but Tarquin rushed to her side and laid his healing touch up on her. It took a concerted effort of everyone pecking away with the ranged weapons and powers they had to finally wear the wyrm down till it dropped to the floor to face the paladin one on one. But Rymar slipped in behind the dragon and landed the killing blow!

There were many gold pieces, jewelry, an art object, a pearl, and a magical lifedrinking sword found in the dragon's hoard. Also was a note written in draconic from a goblin warlord in the north named Irontooth. The proposal stated that Irontooth had many kobolds under his command and since Szartharrax the Cold also had many kobold minions, they should join forces to be unchallenged in the region.

 

 


Session XP: 270
Quest XP: 100
Total XP: 715

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