Shadow Deeps

The Pre-season Pilot
Mmmm new rules to try out

I've always been a bit of a game system collector and as my current campaign (set in Talislanta and using the Hero system) was coming to its end, I eagerly picked up the new D&D 4e rules. I was immediately struck by there potential for fun gamming and the lessons which had obviously been learnt from MMORPG like WOW.

As we had to take a break from the end of the Talislanta campaign due to one of the players was unable to attend for a few weeks I was able to convince the players to indulge me and try out the new D&D 4e rules.

Campaigns in our group have always been in the cinematic style of a good film or TV series; e.g. heroic actions are always judged on how the visuals would look on the screen.  Think of the following adventures as a pilot show for a possible series. The network may or may not pick up the show and the characters may change between the pilot and the first season.

As we were testing the system the players started with the default characters available on the WotC D&D site.

 

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Pilot episode part 1
30 Jun 08 - To save a lady

Characters: Sk'ar Dragonborn Paladin, KramDwarf fighter and Obi a Human Wizard.

 

As this was a play test we moved very quickly into the action.

 

The adventure started when a rat ran up to Obi the wizard, sat down on it's haunches and started to speak to him. Obi immediately recognised the voice as that of Elisa DarkBane a girl he had studied magic alongside. (This was a ritual speak to animals spell.) She had been kidnapped by goblins and was going to be sacrificed. Luckily she was able to give directions to a ruined keep where she was being held. The party quickly set off in rescue.

It was a weak premise but it was a play test

The party found themselves descending down a flight of stone stairs in the dungeons beneath a ruined keep. The Dwarf was happy with the low level of light coming from behind them but the Obi the Wizard wasn't and used a minor spell to cast light on the tip of his staff.

As they entered the chamber at the foot of the stairs the party glanced around but failed to spot the two goblins armed with crossbows crouching in the shadows. The goblins sprang their ambush targeting the Dwarf who was in the front rank of the party. Immediately after firing the goblins began to maneuvre around the chamber looking to get good firing angles (and attempting to lure the party into charging into a pit trap in the centre of the room).

Unfortunately for the Goblins Obi the Wizard started to project beams of cold at them slowing down their ability to move. While at the same time the Dwarf fighter charged one of the goblins and pinned him in place with his ability to mark an opponent. Sk'ar the Paladin advanced across the chamber avoiding the pit trap presumably by divine favour. As he closed in on the goblin Sk'ar challenged the goblin to face him in melee combat.

Fighters have become an interesting class in 4e with their special techniques and ability to pin opponents in place by calling a mark. The ability of fighters and paladin to mark and challenge really prevented the goblins in this encounter from concentrating their fire on the lightly armoured wizard.

The out come of the fight was never in doubt once the Dragonborn Paladin and the Dwarf Fighter closed with the two goblin skirmishes but the Wizard's seeming inability to miss didn't hurt their chance of victory.

After finishing the goblins and skirting around another trap the party descended further into the Dungeon. On reaching the foot of another flight of stairs the party had a choice of turning left or right. Sk'ar the Paladin suddenly stiffened and stated he could feel creatures of the shadowfell down the left passageway. Advancing down the wide passageway to the left, the party first heard moaning and dragging and a small group of weak and emaciated zombies came lurching into site. With an eldritch gesture Obi called down fire onto the group and all of them collapsed to the floor burning.

This was the party's introduction to minions. I'm still making up my mind about this class of monster. The ability to face the party with hordes of foes is appealing however I'm not sure if they may confuse the party. A group of zombie minions may just ask for a heroic charge but a similar number of full monsters may end in a total party kill.

Advancing past the smouldering corpses the party advanced into a burial chamber containing a mix of zombie minions and zombie brutes. The party were initially taken aback when the brutes didn't drop like the minions they encountered before but Sk'ar was pleased to see how the glowing white light that surrounded his sword reacted with the unlife of the Zombies, inflicting addition damage. Once again Obi the Wizard couldn't seem to miss with his spells.

After a harder fight that they had faced against the goblins the party triumphed and explored the chamber. One of the sarcophagi was partially open and inside the party could see a skeleton dressed in rusty old style armour. All the contents of the sarcophagus had rotted and rusted except for an all metal dwarven throwing hammer which was in immaculate condition. The party quickly realised it was probably magical and the Dwarf fighter took the weapon knowing the previous owner would have wished it to be carried against the goblins infesting the keep.

Returning to the stairs the party took the right-hand path and followed it deeper into the dungeon. As they advanced down the corridor they discovered large eldritch symbols covering the whole width of the floor. After a little study Obi stated that the symbols were some sort of alarm. The party briefly discussed various ways of jumping over the symbols before Sk'ar strode over the symbol stating,

"Let them know we are coming and fear us!".

The party crossed another two symbols while the Dwarf muttered about how the girl they were there to rescue was probably being gutted as he spoke. Eventually the path lead the party into a small stone walled chamber. As they looked at the surrounding walls the around them party were surprise by crossbow bolts that flew through the seeming solid walls! The illusion was shattered by the bolts and a much larger chamber appeared. At the back of the chamber stood a powerful looking goblin hero flanked by two body guards. A further two goblins lurked in the shadows holding crossbows.

A hard and vicious battle ensued with the fighter and the paladin making good use of their mark and challenge abilities to control the battle. Unfortunately for Obi as they were out numbered the two warriors were unable to keep all the goblins occupied and he went down in a flurry of goblin missile fire, his blood pumping out, accross the flagstones of the dungeon floor. (He failed his saving throw and gained his first strike).

Leaving the Kram to keep the goblins busy Sk'ar (taking an action point) ran back to the Wizard and calling on his god "laid on hands" bringing Obi back to positive health. (Healing back up from 0 is a nice game mechanic. It has a heroic feel.) Turning around Sk'ar called out a challenge to the goblin leader. The goblin overcome with battle madness ignored the challenge and fired an attack at the weakened wizard. This proved to be a fatal error as the paladin's challenge kicked in and struck the goblin down dead on the spot. (It was a pure mistake by me this but it did result in a dramatic death.)

The party found the girl bound, still alive, at the back of the chamber. They untied her and escorted her back to Fallcrest.

See also Sk'ar's diary

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Kobold Hall - 06 July 08
Pre season pilot episode 2

 

Characters:Sk'ar Dragonborn PaladinRobin Halfling Rogue and Obi a Human Wizard.

The rescue of  Elisa Darkbane brought the party to the attention of Lady Allanda Markelhay and therefore of her husband, the Lord Warden. Merchants and travellers had reported growing kobold banditry on the King's road in the proximity of Kobold keep. Lord Markelhay knew that sending in a detachment of town guards under the command of an experienced sergeant would result in several fatalities as the guards although loyal and true do not have the skill levels of a band of adventures. He therefore summoned the party and offered them a quest to clear the Skull Kicker tribe kobolds out of kobold hall reasoning that if the clan leader was killed the various other kobold clans would return to their usual levels of in-fighting. His offer was 10gp per head and 100gp for the wooden mask of the kobold leader as proof of the death of his death.

The party accepted the quest and set off for the kobold's lair. Upon arrival they descended down a flight of stairs into a large chamber with a pit of green glowing slim in the centre. The glow from the slim pit lit up a loan Kobold slinger. Charging forward the heroes were attacked from a side passage by additional kobolds and the singer was reinforced by two kobold warriors. The kobold slingers kept a steady rain of glue filled globes at the party which kept Robin the Rogue stuck in place for most of the fight. The kobold spearmen mobbed sk'ar in an attempt to overwhelm him with numbers. As Obi engaged in a missile duel with the remaining kobolds. The party took a number of wounds but after a while the fight started to swing there way and the last two kobolds attempted to flee. Unfortunately for the kobolds they both had to run past Sk'ar who cut each down as they attempted to dodge past him.

The party proceeded down the corridor the kobolds had tried to flee down. The paladin taking the lead. After following the corridor for some time they came to a long chamber. Inside the chamber were an number of stone sarcophagi and at the far end of the room was a raised dais containing a shrine to Tiamat , the evil goddess of wealth, greed and revenge. Calling on his god, Sk'ar sprang forward heading for the evil shrine and unwittingly triggered a trap. With a rapid "phut phut" several darts struck him, paralysing him in place. At the same time kobolds sprang out of the darkness and took up defensive positions behind some of the sarcophagi. The highlights of the ensuing fight were Robin Triptoes the Rogue springing from sarcophagi to sarcophagi and Obi the Wizard calling down a Scorching burst on the altar and setting it on fire. Several times during the fight SK'ar was heard to bemoan the lack of a good throwing hammer, like the Kram the Dwarf Fighter had taken away from their last adventure. For the second fight in a row Robin proved incapable of hitting anyone with his "Sly Flourish" although his "deft Strikes" hit home. Rarely have i see so many 1's rolled in an evening. After taking yet more wounds the heroes once again prevailed and killed the kobolds defending the shrine.

Taking heart from their success (and an Action Point) the party pushed on. The passageway ended in a strange T-junction. The corridor branched right and left but the far wall of the passage way was only 10' high the ceiling being a further 10' above that. As the party stepped forward there was a crash and a loud rumbling sound and a large boulder came crashing into sight from the left. Robin the Rouge attempted to valult over the bolder but mistimed his jump and was lucky to roll out of it's way. Sk'ar the paladin hurled himself backwards into the tunnel they had just come down, dragging Obi with him to safety.

As the heroes collected their breath kobold slingers suddenly stood up on the top of the 10' wall in front of them and let loose. One stone went wide and the other would have hit Obi but Sk'ar bravely stepped into the way, taking the slingstone intended for his comrade. Obi and Sk'ar started exchanging missile fire with the slingers killing one while Robin the Rogue climed up the block the slingers were standing on and snuck up behind remainding one. Robin's sneak attack killed the kobold but in turn Robin was surprised by a cold ray in the back from further in the room.

The party ran around the centre block the slingers had been standing on and engaged a group of kobolds standing on a ledge. The group consisted of a shaman plus two bodyguards. Ska'r the paladin ran up the steps to the ledge and was engaged by the two bodyguards while Robin and Obi swapped missile fire with the shaman and attempted to dodge the boulder which was still circling. While they did this a small flying lizard swooped around their heads attacking and stealing small items.

Robin dodged around the boulder but Obi the wizard in a moment of madness choose to try and outrun the bolder which took him past the flying lizard which lashed out dropping him into the boulders path. Luckily for the Wizard, Robin and Sk'ar managed to overcome the three kobolds and get back to rescue him before he slipped all the way to deaths door. In the confusion the flying lizard managed to escape.

In the aftermath of the battle the party recovered the wooded mask which was the object of their quest as well as a magic staff - Staff of the white war wizard. However there remained one door they had not explored…

See also Sk'ar's view

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Kobold Hall Part 2
Pre season pilot Episode 3

Following the fight with the Kobold chieftain the heroes took a rest to bandage their wounds and discussed whether to return to Fallcrest or to delve deeper into the dungeon. Their discussion was interrupted by a figure running towards them down from the way they had come. The figure was as tall as a man but slightly more slender and somehow blending in with the walls and shadows of the corridor as if the natural environment was conspiring to conceal him from view. Recognising the newcomer Robin called out a greeting and waved him over to the party “over here Guseron”. Brief introductions followed as the stranger was introduced as Guseron a Warlock and a business associate Robin. The introductions where cut short by kobold war cries coming from the passageway Guseron had just come down.

The party were trapped! Kobolds were between them and the exit to the surface and only the unknown was before them. Advancing to the entrance to the passageway Sk’ar took a defensive stance and roared a battle cry while the magic users took up firing positions on the top of the wall behind him. Advancing down the corridor was a motley looking group of kobolds in leather armour waving javelins. Standing well to the back was a more imposing looking kobold dressed in better armour and holding twin short swords and looking competent and deadly. The ensuing fight was hard and deadly with Sk’ar the Paladin holding the passageway against the kobold horde while the Wizard and Warlock fired over his head into the battle. Luckily for our heroes a number of the kobolds chose to flee rather than face them and die. Robin skulked around the edges of the fight picking off kobolds from behind. The Kobold leader was very skilled in using his troops to take blows aimed for him and severely wounded Sk’ar before he fell. The quote from Sk’ar was,

“He ducked, he dodged, he died”.

The party quickly assessed their status and decided that rather than exploring deeper into the dungeon they should return to the surface and hunt down the kobolds who had fled earlier in the fight.

Retuning to the surface the party began to explore the woods surrounding the ruined keep. Robin the Rogue took the opportunity to leave the party feeling Guseron the Warlock could cover his skills if necessary. This was purely a fudge to allow us to play test a the new Warlock class.

As the party tracked the kobolds through the woods the remaining kobolds (who had much better stealth and nature skills) ambushed the party. It was a good ambush but the 12 kobold minions died just as quickly as their brothers in the dungeon earlier. Looking at the sun and considering their wounds and fatigue level the party chose to take a long rest and to return to the dungeon the following morning.

 The next morning, bright and early, the party retuned to the keep. As they approached the door leading down to the dungeon they were ambushed by a small number of kobolds with slings who hardly made the party break stride. As the party went to open the door it was smashed open from the inside as the terrifying sight of a white dragon, larger than a horse, powered its way up the stairs and out of the doorway.

The expressions on the players faces was a treat. I can’t recall the last time the players had to face a dragon and they were totally surprised finding themselves facing one at third level.

The dragon was met with screams of terror and cries of

 “we can’t face this”, “We are all dead!”

A cloud of freezing mist exploded over the hero’s heads luckly for them the dragon had aimed too high. The fear rolling off the great beast sapped the strength from Sk’ar as he realised that he would have to face the Dragon one to one in melee combat while the mages took cover and cast spells from range. The Dragon obviously had faced Wizards before and had a hatred of them. He concentrated his attacks on the Wizard time after time while the paladin and the Warlock unleashed their most powerful attacks at the great wyrm. The tough hide of the Dragon was able to turn most of Sk’ars attacks although it was more vulnerable to spells. No human could have withstood the fury of the Dragons attack and Obi the Wizard collapsed frozen and bleeding to the floor. His life quickly slipping away.

 Obi rolled two fails in a row on his save against dieing.

Dashing forward the Warlock grabbed the dieing Wizard and dragged him away from the Dragon and poured a healing potion down obi’s throat while Sk’ar hurled himself into distracting the dragon’s attacks, screaming battle cries and challenges. However the White Dragon had spotted that the Wizard was back on his feet and turned to hurl itself against him. The Wizard knew it was his time, the Raven Queen was calling. The Dragon screamed in rage and hurled itself towards the Wizard and with a great scream crashed to the ground, dead at his feet! Leaning on his sword behind the great beast stood Sk’ar. In it’s fury the Dragon had failed to heed the paladin’s challenge and had paid the price with it’s life!!!

 For an alternative view see Sk'ar's journal

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The Rescue Attempt
Pre season pilot Episode 4

With an almighty crash the tavern door flew of it’s hinges and smashed down onto a table spilling drinks everywhere.

An adventure was starting and our heroes, Sk’ar the Dragonborn Paladin, Tristan Feldreth an Elidarin Wizard and Akmenos a Tiefling Warlord were about to be dragged into it.

It was a pity about the door as until then it had been quite a quiet evening in the stag and horn tavern in Falconcrest. Customer had been slow but steady. There were about a half dozen regulars sitting at a number of tables. A couple of apprentices where playing brag in the corner, the barmaid was flirting with a Tiefling by the fireplace, just life as usual in the town of Fallcrest.

A small group of Hobgoblins stormed though the doorway waving swords and followed by a small agile goblin carrying a flaming torch. Most of the bar patrons recoiled screaming from their attackers. (The exception of the card players who didn’t seem to want to leave their stakes on the table.) A small number of the patrons almost seemed to welcome the intrusion and charged the Hobgoblins or unleashed magic missiles across the room.

The fight was short and the Hobgoblins, no doubt capable of attacking scared townsfolk, proved to be no match to trained heroes. The only possible risk was from the fire spreading through the bottles behind the bar however a few cold rays soon took care of the that risk.

Moving outside the heroes could see that fires were burning in other parts of the town but before they could finalise any plans to seek out further raiders a huge brute of an Ogre stormed around the corner pulling a cart by straps around his waist. The back of the cart was filled with barrels of pitch and two hobgoblin archers were lighting barrels and passing them to the Ogre to throw.

Our heroes quickly spread out across the road to reduce the chance of a single exploding barrel hitting more than one of them. The exception to this was Tristan the Wizard who ran back into the Inn, leant out of the window and bathed the Ogre, the two hobgoblins and the cart in flames. Unfortunately for the Ogre and the Hobgoblins the large pile of barrels caught in the flames started to burn.

Sk’ar piled missile fire into the enemy while they struggles to return fire and undo the straps harnessing the Ogre to the cart. Akmenos the Tiefling, trusting in his natural immunity to fire, risked rushing in to slash with his sword. The barrels exploded one after another and the successive blasts of fire combined with the heroes attacks soon took care of the Ogre and hobgoblins.

The actions of our heroes had been noticed and they where invided up to the Lord Wardens castle the following morning. A number of townsfolk had been captured and dragged off by the raiders. The Lord Warden’s offer was simple, follow the raiders into the mountains, find the Hobgoblin camp and return with enough information for a rescue mission to be mounted.

Lucky one of the Hobgoblin raiders had been captured and the heroes spend some time interrogating the prisoner and manager to obtain directions to the raider’s camp. Without wasting any time the party set off into the mountains to track the raiders. After almost a day of travel the party were advancing down the centre of a mountain pass when several Kruthik burst out of the ground and charged the party. The ensuing fight was hard and by the time it had ended Akmenos the Warlord was dead. Cut down by poison darts and razor claws.

With darkness drawing in the party realised they had lost the trail and returned to Fallcrest carrying the body of their fallen comrade.

For an alternative view see Sk'ar's journal

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Keep on the Shadowfell
Season 1 Episode 1

Spoiler – This adventure is based on H1- The Keep on the Shadowfell. If you are a player and you are going to run this with your DM you should wait until after you have finished it before reading this adventure as it may spoil your fun.

 

The wind in their faces was cool and comfortable and the road beneath their feet was level. An occasional ancient cobblestone peeked through the dirt road, indicating decades of neglect of what once must have been a major roadway of the Nerath empire.

 

After a couple of days on the road our heroes were at least getting close to their destination the town of Winterhaven. The adventuring company consisted of; Sk'ar the Dragonborn Paladin of Bahmut, An Eldarin Wizard who wished to be know as Tristran (presumably wishing to keep his true identity a secret), Curon a halfelven Warlock armed with a wicked looking hook knife and Ailon a Tiefling Warlord with highly polished horns.

 

With a shriek, small creatures hiding behind some rocks sprang into view and charged the party. The small humanoids were scaled and rust coloured with reptilian heads and tails.

 

“Kobolds!” roared Sk'ar having fought them in his earlier adventures.

 

The kobolds were a mixed bunch including a dangerous looking champion using a red dragon's scale as a shield and a slinger equipped with a variety of exotic missiles. Charging into the front flank of the party the kobolds concentrated their attacks on the lightly armoured spell casters. With a shimmering stride Tristran used his Fey step power to step through the Faywild and away from the kobolds. Following the shock of the initial attack the heroes were able to gain the upper hand and killed the kobolds. The fight bloodied the company and proved the danger of being ambushed and not being able to maneuver freely. Sk'ar was surprised the kobolds had fought to the death and wondered what could make them fight to the end rather than run when things turned against them?

 

The company pressed on and arrived at Winterhaven after a couple more hours. Once at Winterhaven they explored the small town (little more than a fortified village) and asked questions about the various quests which had brought them here.

 

Missing Man – The uncle of Elisa Darkbane had gone missing looking for a dragon's tomb somewhere in the area. Elisa asked the heroes if they could look for him?

 

Ruins of Empire – Winterhaven is within the shadow of an old Nerath keep which has fallen into decay and ruin. A scholar Parle Cranewing offered the party 250gp for a complete floor plan of the keep and a map to it's location.

 

Ominous signs – Sk'ar and Curon had been asked by Father Grundelmar a priest of Pelor in Fallcrest to investigate rumours of a death cult in the Winterhaven area. A small group of death cultists lead by a dangerous and twisted priest called Kalarel had been seen travelling in the direction of Winterhaven. The priest offered 250gp for bringing back proof the cult had been destroyed and its plan disrupted.

 

See:

People

 

 

While in conversation with Lord Padraig the company took on a minor quest to confront the kobolds who have been raiding the outlying farms and the road. Lord Padraig agreed to pay 100gp for dispatching the creatures.

 

The company decided that the quest to rescue Elisa's uncle was the most pressing and set off looking for the Dragon's tomb. A couple of hours into the journey they were, once again, ambushed by kobolds. These kobolds looked more dangerous that the last group and included two Dragonshield warriors, a Wyrmpriest and a skirmisher. The fight was harder than the previous kobold attack but only one daily power was used by the party in defeating them. Interestingly the Wyrmpriest was wearing an amulet with a secret symbol of Orcus carved into it's base.

After a short rest the company pressed on towards the tomb…

 

See also Sk'ar

 

 

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Burial Site and the Kobold Lair
Season 1 Episode 2

Spoiler – This adventure is based on H1- The Keep on the Shadowfell. If you are a player and you are going to run this with your DM you should wait until after you have finished it before reading this adventure as it may spoil your fun.

A steep sided quarry punctured the wilderness. Near the centre, several humanoid figures clustered around a collection of bones. A small dragon like creature near the rim of the quarry sat alert and watched the companies approach. 

 A halfling in the centre called out “You can't fully appreciate it up there. Come down here and see what we have discovered”

As the heroes approached the halfling pulled a crossbow out from under his cloak and fired at the party and then vanished into thin air.  The four human workers then charged the party supported by the guard drake while another halfling, this time armed with a sling opened fire from the top of the cliff.  It soon became apparent that the treasure hunters had made a mistake attacking the party as they died in just a few seconds of combat.

After a quick search the heroes discovered the missing adventurer, an ancient nerath mirror and an Amulet of health.  The amulet was Douven Staul's which he gave to the party after removing his wife's picture.

The part escorted Douven safely back to Winterhaven and spend an evening in the Inn telling everyone of their exploits.

The next morning the party headed off into the Wilderness looking for the Waterfall lair of the death cult. Around lunchtime they arrived advanced through a small glade of trees leading up to a cliffside waterfall, where there could see a number of kobolds just visible through the trees.

The party charged the kobolds  who were able to only put up a little resistance however one managed to run screaming into the caves beside the waterfall.  The heroes charged in after the kobold and into a much large group on the inside of the caves.  The fight was hard but the party was starting to gain the upper hand when a horn sounded and kobold re-enforcements arrived lead by a powerful looking goblin armed with a double handed axe.

The Warlock leaped forward starting to unleash a powerful spell on a kobold Wyrmpriest but foolishly ignoring the kobold Dragonshield he ran past.  With a flick of his blade the Dragonshield cut down the Warlock and advanced on the Warlord. Seeing the danger the Wizard blasted fire across the chamber killing a couple of kobolds but unfortunately dropping the Warlock who was just starting to get up off the floor.  Things were starting to go badly for the heroes.

Each hero was trapped in a fight with a  kobold hero and their supporting minions.  Unable to concentrate their attacks and suffering greatly from the damage inflected by the minions the heroes began to fall.  Seeing Sk'ar and Ailon fall, Tristran turned and ran out of the caves, slowing down only long enough to fire magic missiles back at the kobolds.  Curon the Warlock retreated down a side passage keeping up a sustained firefight with the kobold Wyrnpriest.  Luckly for the warlock the gobin and the remaining kobolds didn't chase him as they assumed he was running.  By the time they realised the warlock was delaying his retreat to fight the Wyrmpriest it was too late and the kobold priest was dead and the Warlock was running for the outside.  

The last words he heard before exiting the case were “Take them captive. They will make powerful sacrifices for Kalarel”

 

See also

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A Rescue. A Descent.
Season 1 Episode 3

>Spoiler – This adventure is based on H1- The Keep on the Shadowfell. If you are a player and you are going to run this with your DM you should wait until after you have finished it before reading this adventure as it may spoil your fun.

 


The though of just how much the Sk'ar and Ailon would suffer while being sacrificed to Orcus was the only thing which saved them from being gutted slowly over a hot fire by the surviving Kobolds, that and the Goblin leader's double handed axe. Instead of killing them the Kobolds roughly bound the heroes and dragged them and their equipment into an alcove.


Lesser mortals would probably have died from their wounds or at least remained unconscious but both Sk'ar and Ailon were conscious and struggling against their bonds when Curon stealthily slid around the wall into the alcove. Stealthily being a relative term as the sound of the waterfall across the cave entrance muffled most sounds apart from the Kobolds singing the death chant over the loss of their comrades.


Once Curon and Tristran had rescued and armed their comrades they charged deeper into the caves fighting and killing the remaining Kobolds and the Goblin chief. Considering how hard the previous fight had been the rematch was a lot easier. Amongst the treasure was a Dwarf forged suit of chain armour which was given to Ailon. Also in the treasure was a note confirmed the Kobolds were part of the Death cult the party were seeking and that there was a spy in Winterhaven who had reported that they were in the area.


Both of the company's spy suspects were absence on their return to Winterhaven . Some of the party thought it was Delphina Moongem and others thought Ninaran the Hunter. There did however seem to be a cold chill running through the town and all the townfolk seemed strangely subdued. There was some good news however, Valthrun the Prescient had some lore on the keep and confirmed that it had been built on top of a rift leading to a temple of Orcus in the Shadowfell. A century ago a paladin of Bahumut had lead the garrison of the keep with a duty to keep the rift closed however he's gone mad and murdered his wife, children and many of his fellow knights before fleeing deep into the dungeons of the keep, never to be seen again.



After sharing their knowledge with Lord Padraig in case they didn't return the company set off for the Keep on the Shadowfell. Despite the rumours of Goblins they reached the ruins without any encounters and headed down into the chambers beneath the keep. The entry chamber was guarded by a bang of apparently elite goblin warriors and a stuck trap door. The heroes were victorious but not before a Goblin warrior fled to the east. The company therefore header west and heading screams burst into a torture chamber filled with Goblins and a Hobgoblin Torturer whom they defeated with surprising ease and found he was wearing a suit of red tinged magical hide armour

In one of the cells they found a surprisingly charismatic, although snivling, Goblin called Splug who offered to serve them and act as their guide if only they would free him.

See also Sk'ar's diary

Company's exp at this point is:  5475exp (1368 each)

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Through the Goblin lair
Season 1 Episode 4

>Spoiler – This adventure is based on H1- The Keep on the Shadowfell. If you are a player and you are going to run this with your DM you should wait until after you have finished it before reading this adventure as it may spoil your fun.

  After some debate the Company decided to allow Splug to accompany them in return for carrying spare equipment and providing intelligence on goblin activity within the Keep.

Splug told the heroes the location of the Goblin chieftan’s lair.  Sk’ar lead the way and burst into the lair taking the goblins by surprise.  Curon hung back keeping an eye on Splug.  The fight was hard and involved running around burning curtains but in the end the goblins were defeted.

Following a secret passage the heroes stumbled into a Goblin excavation.  The dig site was difficult to get around as it consisted of pillars of earth connected by thin planks.  Several party members fell to the floor of the dig and had to fight off a ferocious guard drake.  The biggest threat however was the veteran goblin skirmishers who peppered the party with crossbow bolts. Curon was dropped with a sucking chest wound and was only saved by Tristran pulling him through the Feywild to a place of safety.  After the fight Sk’ar found a magical symbol of Bahamut which he hung around his neck.

After taking stock of their injuries and magical reserves the company decided to hold up in the old Goblin lair over night. In the morning they decided to avoid the tunnels opposite the Goblin lair and instead descended into the catacombs.  These proved to be a maze of dark damp tunnels with magical symbols of terror blocking sever passageways.  Following what appeared to be a clear path the heroes were lead to a chamber in which they were attacked by a large group of shambling zombies.  Despite being out numbered the heroes quickly defeated their undead attackers.

 

 

Read Sk'ar version in his diary

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A tomb, a sword, a shieldwall
Season 1 Episode 5

After leaving the dead (again) zombies the company entered a long chamber with sarcophagus lined walls.  The sarcophagi were inscribed with writings in runic high Dragon, much to the interest of Sk’ar.  As the advanced down the room to a lit area at the far end skeleton guardians burst out of the sarcophagi and attacked.  As soon as the heroes cut on down another sprang from a sarcophagus and joined the fight.  For a moment things seemed to be starting to swing against the company but the undead reinforcements started to appear more infrequently and soon all the skeletons had been defeated. 

Moving deeper into the room the party discovered a shrine to Bahamut and the tomb of Sir Kegan the original guardian of the Rift on the Shadowfell.   Rising as a wraith Sir Kegan challenged the party to convince him of their good intentions.  Lead by Tristran, who had discovered the tomb, the party convinced Sir Kegan they were noble heroes.  Feeling drawn to a fellow Paladin of Bahamut, Sir Kegan bequeathed his ancient sword, Aecris, to Sk’ar.

Leaving the tomb the company, known to Sk’ar at least as the Bloodbane, wandered the catacombs jumping over several evil symbols of terror which guarded parts of the passages.  After some time the party came to stairs leading down which Splug confirmed lead to the Hobgoblin levels.  The party descended the stairs trying to get Splug to trick any guards that they were a group of Hobgoblins fleeing from the first level.  Unfortunately the Hobgoblins had strict orders to attack anyone not using the correct challenge phase and the party found themselves in a battle on the stairs.

Up to now the party had only fought small poorly organised humanoids, individually brave and dangerous but not trained to fight as a unit.  The Hobgoblin guards however formed up shoulder to shoulder each using his shield and movements to aid his battle brother’s defence.  Soon the air was filled with the sounds of Sk’ar’s curses as blow after blow failed to penetrate the Hobgoblin’s defences.  Luckily the rest of the company had a range of skills not reliant in defeating the armour of their foe and the Hobgoblins reinforcement’s rushing up to reinforce their battle brothers.  Realising he could not penetrated their defences Sk’ar used his size to drive the Hobgoblins off the stairs and into their guard chamber. 

At the start of the encounter two Hobgoblins ran into a back chamber and it became why when they returned with their pet Death jump spider.  It was as big as a horse and covered in black and grey stripes.  Leaping the length of the room it smashed down on Ailon the Warlord.  However not one to go down easily he rolled from side to side avoiding the spider’s poisoned bites.  Curon seemed unphased by the presence of a giant spider and continued to curse the remaining Hobgoblins.  Telling Splug to catch hold of his robe, Tristran stepped into the Feywild and took himself and the goblin to a safer place than next to the Deathjump spider. Realising it could not kill the Warlord and that it’s escape route was clear the spider jumped up the stairs and escaped only to run into the Terror wards and return at twice the speed and be cut down.

Sk’ar shield bashed one of the remaining hobgoblin soldiers into an open well and engaged one of the two remaining Hobgoblins.  The one unengaged Hobgoblin turned and ran calling out he would get the Captain.  Curon’s bolt took him in the back of the neck and he died before he could reach the exit.

The remaining Hobgobin’s were quickly dispatched and the party had won the battle of the guard room.

 For Sk'ar's version see his diary

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