A call to glory

A new threat rising
back into the northern wastes

  Karath the barbarian ran south, It was a dangerous time for the tribe of the eagle. The herds were not coming back and the ground itself had been souring. They were concerned with the rumors of the "Trowking" was rising in the eastern boglands. He knew that there were heroes in the Ten Towns that could help him and his tribe. The rangers there had a good reputation amongst some of the tribes.

        Karath arrived at dark in the town of Lonelywood. It was a harrowing experience to be so encased by trees. He wandered the wooded lane following his nose until he discovered the "Lucky Liar" tavern.  The smell of warm food and cold ale was enough to bring him in. He looked about to see if any of the rangers would be around but did not see anything. He was shocked by the small girl with reddish hair regaling fishermen with tall tales.

   Cora saw the barbarian enter almost immediately and decided it was better to head off trouble before it started, after all any furniture broken would be hers now. She sauntered over to take the man's measure. Karath was somewhat surprised when the small child walked right up to him, not a bit of fear in her eyes. More mirth than anything. She wasted no time, "make sure you behave in here." it was just a blunt statement, but enough to shock him.

       Karath was convinced this small woman (she had corrected his misconception of her age and race) was who he was seeking, so he told her his tale. Cora listened with growing concern to his descriptions of places and events. She knew without a doubt that this was a result of the events that occurred five years before. She ordered him another ale and headed out into the night, she would find Jerimia easily enough, the poor man was now married with children and living a mere 300 yards from her tavern in a nice secluded spot.

A dragon slain
Journey's ending

It was near the end of summer when the heroes decided it was the right time to re-enter the Durncrag mines in pursuit of Caulderung. The dragon was now without allies with the hags slain or driven off. It would be a hard decision to beard a dragon in its own lair, but it needed doing. The dwarves had returned to the north and in force. It was time to settle accounts.

         The rangers had concurred with the idea to remove the dragon before it became too great a threat. Jerimia was well trusted and he would represent the Ten Towns in the endeavor. Arifal the dwarf would lead the expedition with Cora, Jerimia, and Lord Frerin of Hundlestone.

     Cora was in it for the sheer thrill of it, it didn't hurt that she had been there before.  She spent the next few hours trying to console Bryce who was terrified that something would happen to them. It was hard for her to be left behind but Arifal was adamant, a woman in her condition should not be stalking a dragon in its lair.

      They set out at dawn after gathering supplies. The trek to Silverstream pass was without incident. The rangers had patrolled the area more heavily since the goblins where driven from the area. Jerimia led them skillfully through the pass and into the mouth of the mines. Arifal and Frerin took the lead and prepared the path as best as they could.

    The place looked about as Cora remembered it, a mess. The goblins had not been tidy or kind to the place. The waters still ran, though in some places had spilt into the corridors. They made good progress along the way. Cora was certain they had been followed but as she crept back, it was merely a curious myconid watching their progress. Cora was certain it was no threat, but it did bother her that it was in the upper chambers.

        They crossed into the grand cavern some hours later. The old rail structures were in good shape, so They managed to conceive a trap. Arifal would collapse a side corridor (an old trap was there to prevent invaders) and use the noise to draw the dragon out.  Once it entered the cavern, Arifal would blind it with a burst of light and then they would attack it with everything they had.

       The corridor crashed with the sound of thunder and the dragon did not disappoint, it rushed in full of rage. Jerimia sent a shaft into the beast that hit nothing but armored scale and it was of no use. He quickly drew and sent another that found its mark. The dragon was now full of wrath and prepared to punish the ranger when Arifal drew its attention with a proud challenge.

  Caulderung could not believe his luck, the vermin he had hunted were all here and ready (he thought even eager) to die. He lowered his head to breathe death at the dwarf when all of a sudden the world was all light and pain.  The next thing it felt was stinging pain in its back. Cora had leapt down and landed on the beasts back and was stabbing into it repeatedly. The dragon swiftly found itself overmatched as the heroes kept up the pressure and the attack.

         Cora ended the fight by driving her magic dagger into the beasts eye. The dragon slumped to the ground finally slain by the party's relentless assault. As the beast expired, the heroes took a rest. It would be a long trek home, but the deed was done. Lord Frerin took the beast's head with him back to Hundlestone.



Cora took her share of the treasure and went back to Easthaven where she opened a tavern called "The Dragon's Eye" and enjoyed a quiet retirement

Arifal returned to Kelvin's Cairn and took up his duties as the high priest of Moradin amongst Dane Stokely's realm

Jerimia and Bryce settled down and raised their children in a quiet corner of Lonelywood. Jerimia continued to patrol the wilds.

A house destroyed and a hag's lair uncovered
The heroes find the second of three

   After the beast was slain they decided to enter the tombs while the dragon was away southwards. It fell to Arifal to decide which one and he decided on the southern barrow. The dragon's exertions on the north had not dented the ancient dwarven wards and he had no intention of breaking them himself. The southern barrow came open after Cora managed to find the blocks and pop them out, rendering the wards on the south barrow defeated.

            The heroes went into the dark and stepped down into the barrow itself.  Seeking for some sign of what the enemy sought here, they managed to light a torch and illuminate the sconces in the hallways. Cora pressed forward sniffing out the various traps and tricks that were laid to ensure this dead king remained forever at rest.  Arifal and Jerimia walked slowly behind her providing cover, as they started to notice the difference between cobwebs and what Jerimia was convinced were spiders webs.

          They had found evidence of ghouls in the tunnels and Jerimia was concerned on exactly what that spider had been feeding on. Cora had discovered the actual burial chamber and they confirmed that the dead king was undisturbed. Arifal had seen a glimps of movement and Jerimia was convinced it was the spider, a great bloated thing grown fat on the cold blood of ghouls.

       In the dark of the tombs the ghouls had been hunted by her, she had become both tormentor and goddess. Now she knew that intruders with warm blood had entered her lair she moved to trap them. Arifal pressed on with Jerimia providing cover. He and Cora pushed down the hall and began burning the webs. They would smoke her out.

          The spider called to her servants to come to her aid, and a few of the ghouls, what few remained answered. Jerimia was quick to answer them, with Cora's aid they quickly slew the ghouls while Arifal battled the great bloated spider. He drove her back with hammer and fire until at last she could retreat no more and his divinely summoned fire burned the abomination to death. Cora was quick to render him assistance as they found the chamber that housed the magical hammer that the hags so desperately wanted to keep hidden from their enemies.

      Jerimia watched over the ghoul tunnels while Cora and Arifal seized the hammer from its mount in the wall. They also saw the most cunning of traps, a mimic lay in ambush.  Arifal called down fire upon it and Cora poisoned the beast and battle was joined. They quickly dispatched it and Jerimia had feathered a couple of ghouls who were foolish enough to approach.

      With hammer in hand they travelled through the ghoul tunnels and looked for a hidden way to avoid the returned dragon (they heard his thundering breath attacks and draconic rage from even under ground)  The hag Ruzzel's lair was then discovered in the heart of the ghoul warrens.  There they defeated a carrion crawler that had infested the place after the hag's death. They looted the place thoroughly finding more evidence of the hag's plans and discovering that Vaelish Gant was slain by the dragon and was now being impersonated by one of the hag sisters. they discovered that the hags wished to create a new third sister and now their plans were in disarray.

          The heroes were now eager to return southward and managed to sneak by the dragon as it impotently raged against the north barrow. It would only be a matter of time before the beast gave up and returned to its lair in defeat. Bryce would be in danger without their aid, the hags had vile plans for her unborn and they would not leave her in such danger.

    They had returned southward through Bremen's Run.  They were eager to get back to warm fires and cold ale. Bryce had paced almost the entire time they were away. She was overly concerned with what could possibly happen to her friends, especially Jerimia. She was quite relieved when they walked into the tavern and she ran to Jerimia's arms. Arifal again teased that he would have to marry her eventually.

  They spent a nice warm night in Caer Konig before going to Bryn Shander. They had talked with some of Gant's now former henchman. There had been marked changes in Gant of late that had Big Billiam concerned enough that he and his gang decided to cut ties. He was more than eager to talk to Arifal. He explained that Gant had sold his house and was having his things moved. A new wizard had moved in and she may be another apprentice. They figured it would be a time to make another move, knowing that the hag would be in a hurry.

             They moved towards the address that Billiam gave them. It was a stroke of luck that they had arrived before the movers. Many of Billiam's men were more than eager to turn on Gant after the latest incidents. The house was a mess and most of it was boxed up. Bryce and Jerimia set themselves on the top floor while Arifal and Cora planned the attack from the ground floor. When the moving crews came they noted a pair of ghouls and a satyr amongst them. This was the same satyr that had been hunting the rangers in the north and Jerimia was eager to settle scores.

          The movers entered in and Arifal cast a spell of silence that made the battle a macabre dance of death in absolute quiet. The servants of the hag fell swiftly and again the heroes showed mercy to those few who deserved it, those that did not were swiftly slain. The ghouls had fled with the satyr before entering the house. The heroes quickly found out that the new owner was not only NOT in the service of Gant but was also completely unaware of what was going on. It was a bit of a mess, but they had managed to clear it up, the young wizard was able to assist in letting them know where some of the goods were to be taken.

        Arifal felt that the hag would be more desperate and fearful so he pressed to carry the attack to her lair that night. Jerimia and Cora agreed even with Bryce being somewhat apprehensive. Jerimia knew those woods well and was certain he could guide them to the spot. It was called the "Kingsglade" and Jerimia was able to lead his friends with stealth up to the area. What they saw confirmed the fears of Arifal, the hag's minions gathered about the glade chanting some spell. Arifal let out a massive dwarven war song and marched forward to challenge. The satyr and his goblin allies went into the attack as Bryce stepped out and hurled her eldritch blasts at them, Jerimia began shooting while Cora snuck up behind the goblin cheiftain and perforated his kidneys and lungs. The battle turned into a wild melee.

            The fight was never really in doubt as the heroes rapidly overwhelmed their foes. Only Arifal and Bryce took any hits and they were more minor cuts and bruises. Arifal healed them up while Cora checked the corpses.  She found weapons ensorcelled against men and found 3 blue gems in the hands of the satyr's corpse.  Jerimia tried to figure what was going on with the pond in the clearings center and managed to get himself dazzled by its spell. Bryce considered what the spell was while Arifal decided to destroy the bane items. Cora collected coins and loose whatnots from the goblins. Jerimia was jolted from his enchantment when he heard Bryce scream. Arifal had yanked an arrow she took out of her hip. That was enough to shake the spell.

    They had embraced, and Arifal had made it clear that noone was any worse for the wear. Cora had scouted the area around the pond and had discovered a hidden back entrance to the hag's lair. She then scouted the immediate inside. A large chamber hidden under a large rock with a large pool of water in the center. The pool was very deep and the edges around it small, Cora searched the chamber and found that there was another door on the opposite side. She went outside and brought the rest of her companions inside. As they moved to the opposite side of the room, a water weird appeared in the pool and attacked them. It appeared to be some manner of guardian.

         Arifal managed to hurl fire at it while Jerimia sent shafts into the water weird while Bryce and Cora went around and managed to pass through the door. Arifal and Jerimia provided the rear gaurd but managed to bypass the water weird and let them into a corridor beyond. Cora went forward as she always does to scour the corridor for traps and other dangers, she encountered a long stairway and was hesitant to advance too far. Arifal came forward and cast a light spell upon Bryce,  "she brightened the room" after all. Arifal and Cora went forward down into the corridor. It felt almost as walking through water, though the air was clear. The corridor had strange translucent fish swimming through the air, there were underwater plants swaying with a current that was not there.

        It was a surreal environment, but it was necessary. Bryce became sure that the hag in front of them was obviously a sea hag, and it was far from home. As Cora pressed forward, she heard the rush of waves and felt a sudden sound as a water elemental threatened to roll over her. She attacked it with her daggers and rolled off to the side. As the elemental rolled past Cora it rushed right into Arifal and attacked with all its might. Powerful bludgeoning attacks hammered into the stout dwarf but he would not give ground. Bryce and Jerimia shot into it with spell and enchanted arrows trying to support Arifal. Cora found a pocket dimension room that was full of dry airy space. It contained the hag's collection of scrolls and tomes.

          Cora tried to call to her friends to hide in the room with her, but they could not hear her. Bryce cast what spells she could while Jerimia did not hesitate to keep attacking. Arifal still stood like a barrier against the enemy until at last, as the heroes were in fear of being overwhelmed he cast his most devastating spell, he cast to destroy water and the elemental came apart. The heroes then looked at the rooms that Cora had found. Jerimia provided overwatch while Arifal and Bryce examined the scrolls, it took them little time to realize that these were all cursed items of the hag's power. Arifal ordered them all out and then used his holy flame to destroy the chamber and all the works.

         They pressed at last to the final door to the hag's lair. Above them they could see the pond's surface and were aware that they were in some magical space. Carefully they had Cora pick the lock on the lair's door. Cora crept inside quietly while Arifal, Bryce, and Jerimia burst in looking for the hag. She was nowhere to be seen, but they heard her cackling fill the room.  The heroes spread out to find her when the hag dropped the spell holding the water out. The chamber flooded completely in a matter of moments. The hag attacked Arifal but found herself overpowered as the dwarf and his friends fought back. Seeing that she was outmatched the hag tried for a different approach, basically waiting for her enemies to drown.

         The plan went awry when Bryce discovered that the fireplace Arifal found was a pocket of air, from an elemental plane. Her eldritch blasts opened a hole and the room began to lose water fast. Cora and Jerimia stalked the hag relentlessly and Arifal cast his light spells all around to reveal the now invisible hag. They had grown accustomed to fighting such creatures and knew to look for shadows and other signs.  They finally found the beast attempting to ambush Bryce, Arifal was quick enough and close enough to recover fastest. Bryce ducked the hags claws as Arifal stepped forward and bellowing a dwarven war cry caved in the hag's skull.

       The heroes were victorious and they managed to find out the source of the bane weapons, the hag had been using her coldfire forge and spells to make them. Arifal managed to bring the coldfire to prevent its use and the heroes headed to Good Mead for a hot bath, hot meal, cold ale, and warm bed. They were wet and injured but they were also victorious.  Cora went for a cold ale and sat by the fire to dry off and warm up, Arifal took out his pipe and sat in a nice chair drinking his ale. Bryce took Jerimia up to bed to warm up and sleep the night away.

         Arifal was able to sit and think of the next move against the enemy and reflect on their fortune……..


To the Barrowlands
A run in with a dragon and a trip to the dwarven vale

 The companions woke up early that morning, they had a prisoner to question and a trip to plan. The captive was still somewhat "out of it" so Arifal decided to wake her up a bit and get the companions on the move towards the dwarven valley where he was certain he could find the answers they sought about what was so important in the barrowlands to the north. The companions took a boat from Easthaven to Caer Konig, marking a quicker path, Cora guided them with her experience with ships and the sea.

           Arifal spent the bulk of the trip interrogating the prisoner who was only somewhat compliant. As they approached the town Bryce grew more anxious about the whole trip, Jerimia saw her predicament and gallantly suggested she stay behind to provide "support". It made her visibly relax as she was getting to a point physically where she would be a hindrance more than a help.  She appreciated his concern and let him know. They set ashore around noon and set the path towards the tavern. Cora and Arifal went in for a drink, bringing their captive in tow. Jerimia set Bryce comfortably in a room and made sure the barkeep looked out for her.

            They pressed on, wanting to reach the dwarven vale before nightfall. Arifal grew eager to get home. As night fell they managed to finish the trek. Arifal led them down through the passes and switchbacks. They arrived at the main hall and Arifal took his captive to face dwarven justice, Cora went for a drink and to sell the knucklehead skull she managed to catch during the boat ride over. Jerimia went to the tavern where he met up with a fellow ranger, the dwarf who had set him on his first quest with Arifal.

                While Jerimia was catching up with old times and Arifal was witnessing a trial, Cora found a scrimshander who was willing to purchase her knucklehead skull, he was also keen to help her identify the daggers she had acquired.  It was an eventful evening more or less. Arifal discovered his captive had a major case of claustrophobia, which did not go well with her sentenced to the mines. Jerimia had met him back in the tavern and Cora arrived shortly after. The companions and the dwarven ranger discussed the upcoming trip and of course that had to lead to a drunken brawl between the dwarves.

             When the guard came to get Arifal about his prisoner, Jerimia took matters into his own hands and went with him. He took the woman from the mines and walked her to the gates. A short one sided conversation later and she was headed as far away as fast as she could. Jerimia considered the matter closed and went back in to gather his companions. They had discovered enough in their time to know what it was the hag sought in those barrows.  An ancient king of the Bear Tribe had been cursed as a werewolf and had been buried alive in those tombs. The hag sought to retrieve it and use it as another weapon. The race became more serious now.

         Jerimia pressed them hard and they kept the pace as well, the northern tundra had a way of sapping strength even in the summer months. He led them to a hidden refuge that the rangers use to patrol the northern reaches (often to preempt barbarian raids). The site before the refuge was one of concern. The rangers had made an island in the middle of the river as their hidden refuge but it looked as though some manner of battle had happened on the far shore. Cora found poisoned arrows and recognized the poison as something not made in the wild. It would have had to have been made in Bryn Shander. She shared this with an increasingly concerned Jerimia.

          He and Arifal scouted about while Cora set them to get across the river (even in summer the water was blood chillingly cold) and they went cautiously across. The refuge itself seemed unharmed but the tracks showed that at least one ranger had survived and he had made his path obvious to intentionally be followed. The companions searched a bit to find the hidden refuge in the rocks and followed the path down to a small cavern the rangers used as their base. There was a wounded half elf (her name was Malgannis and Jerimia knew her only casually) laying there dying of the venom. Fortunately Arifal was able to purge the poison and heal her wounds. She explained what had happened and about the strange creature that had hunted the rangers in the north. They camped for the night, at least here was safe and warm.

           Armed with this information the companions went north to find the barrows. They first came across a ruined village of the Bear tribe. The place had been ransacked by goblins but more chillingly there were indications of the dragon's presence. Caulderung had brought himself this far north. It was worth noting with concern. The companions checked the place over and discovered more information about a previous party exploring the area and of the nature of the barrows. Cora had discovered another of the hag's small wood and vine spies. She crept up on it and destroyed it quickly but that let her know that the enemy must be aware of their presence. She quickly gathered her companions and made her concerns known.  They fired the place and pressed on, hoping to at least lure the dragon here as opposed to their destination.

            Feeling that time was more pressing, they pushed hard for the barrows a mere two miles north of their location. They managed to make it by midday. Coming down from higher ground they stopped suddenly, they had seen the dragon Caulderung raging impotently at the warded barrow door containing the trapped werewolf. It was frustrated with its inability to break the wards.  Cora crept up slowly and Jerimia with Arifal to back him prepared a shot. If they were going to have to fight, best to do so from surprise. Much to their relief the dragon had finally noticed the fire behind him and he flew off in a rage to investigate. This allowed them to quickly slay the goblin minions and investigate the area. As Cora had discovered the remains of the other party they quickly realized there was more to this place than initially thought. They began  a more comprehensive investigation to discover the hag and her "sons" laired nearby.

          The ruined tower that was the other party's goal had become a lair for ghouls and they decided against entering that place. While they discussed what to do, one of the sons came up out from a tree ( a hidden illusionary doorway into the hag's lair) and revealed itself. Some adventurers would have fled. These heroes realized an opportunity to further erode the enemy's power and went on the attack. Jerimia pelted it with arrows while Cora snuck up for a killing blow. Arifal taunted the hideous and stupid creature mercilessly to the point it lost its patience and charged. Right into Cora's trap. The creature was swiftly dispatched and the party paused to collect their breath and figure out their next move….


A hag's challenge and a dragon revealed
Two enemies slain and one revealed

       Cora sat calmly at the small wooden table that seemed to be becoming the "base of operations" for her and her companions. Arifal was well into his cups, but his dwarven tolerance for booze was in full effect. Bryce and Jerimia were making eyes at each other. Arifal could not resist taunting them about it. But then he did "get them together" more or less. The whole thing seemed dull to Cora and she cast about looking for someone's purse to lighten.

              Her mark practically screamed to be robbed. Rich, arrogant, and not overly attractive, the young man strutted and swaggered like a peacock about the place bragging his exploits. He was clearly an archer and more to Cora's interests, he was obviously rich.  A southern lord of some breeding come up to the dale to find hunting or adventure no doubt. Somewhere like as not his companions were already deep in debauchery. Of course he was creepy enough to make passes at Cora (she was only moderately amused and took the time to simply take his coins without him knowing). So it was no surprise that the strutting lord would begin to brag about his skills and make himself seem heroic.

              The lordling began to really get on Jerimia's nerves. Bryce was not having any of the trouble but could not seem to calm him down. Then of course the fool went and insulted her in front of Jerimia. Adding insult to injury he boldly proclaimed himself a superior archer to the ranger. Cora realizing a wager was coming, merely replaced his coin pouch, light a great many coins.  The lordling proudly declared himself the finest archer and openly challenged Jerimia. Coins hit the table as Arifal accepted the challenge on Jerimia's behalf.  The challenge was to shoot an apple off of Arifal's head from across the room.

                 Jerimia shot first and he was flawless. He pinned the first apple to the wall. The lordling was not so good, but he did remove the apple. A draw was in the making, but a second round was coming. Arifal went to get himself more ale while the lordling (who proudly and loudly declared himself to be Lord Fenton Louten Faucenberg of the Neverwinter Faucenbergs, a proud scion of a (self declared) great house decided that if Jerimia can get a "good luck kiss" from his lady, so too could he. Cora was not interested so Arifal decided to simply end the situation by smacking the fool upside the head with his shield.

           Having resolved the issue to his satisfaction, Arifal sat back with his companions to enjoy a night of drinking and relaxation.  The companions were finally having their well deserved break when the bard they had been seeing about town finally came to their end of the bar to play her music. It was a calming instrumental but it was enough for Arifal (whom was already a tad in his cups) to be just curious enough to confront her. Arifal was sure the bard was "keeping an eye on them" and figured now was time to find out why. Bryce and Jerimia were too busy with each other and Cora was looking for another mark, or something she could do, anything really to not have to sit listening to Bryce moon over her ranger.

              That was when Cora saw something that did catch her interest. The bard's shadow was "off", in fact it was literally doing its own thing. She tried to get Jerimia's attention without making too much fuss. Arifal had struck up a conversation with the young lady, but she was not overly talkative, pleading a throat issue preventing her from speaking. Cora took the opportunity to disappear and get a closer look. Jerimia was able to notice what she had been trying to draw his attention. Bryce of course was uninterested.  Jerimia saw the shadow moving near independently from the bard and doing so in menacing manner. Cora of course was nowhere to be seen.

          Cora crept up behind the bard and managed to get herself near under the small stage where the bard was sitting and playing her lute. Arifal continued to pester her with questions and insisted in making small talk. His suspicions now up he casually loosened the strap on his faithful warhammer. The bard continued to make her case with shrugs and hand gestures. Arifal was not surprised when the supposedly inebriated and smitten Jerimia (now stone cold sober and deadly serious) placed an arrow into the shadow. The bard yelped but the sound was…not right. As the bard made to protest, Cora struck, driving her enchanted blade into the woman's kidney.

              The horror revealed itself finally as Cora stood with her blade sunk into the hideous flesh of a Green Hag. Arifal swung into action (and swung his hammer with all his might) and smashed the hag in the mouth. His blow was hard enough to knock teeth out. Jerimia had already drawn and loosed yet another shaft into the creature.  The hag was startled, she could not comprehend the sheer force being brought against her. She knew from observation that these folk could be dangerous, but she grossly underestimated them. She would pay for it dreadfully. She looked around in panic for a way out. Taking a powerful blast of eldritch energy, the hag finally recovered her wits enough to disappear.

             She was in a panic when another arrow narrowly missed her head and shattered the window behind her. A cask of ale had been smashed and it went over the floor (enraging Arifal even further) and had revealed her to the ranger by her wet footprints. Another swift blade struck her again from behind. She was certain it was that vicious little halfling, but she could not lay eyes on it. The red haired woman (a former useful servant, even if unwittingly) had joined the fight in force beside the ranger and the relentless dwarf.  Her courage failed her and she fled out the window as fast as her powerful stride could take her.

             Cora was first to jump outside while Jerimia and Bryce followed from the door.  Arifal was concerned that the hag had either escaped or managed to leave town. Jerimia was unsure and unwilling to let the creature escape unchallenged. Cora was in agreement but when he looked back he could see the fear in Bryce's eyes.  Unwilling to risk her needlessly he sent her back in to "help" Arifal (he would spare her feelings and still protect her with the notion that Arifal "needed" help) but she was grateful for the "out" and went back inside.

          Cora was gone again, but he could feel she was out there and waiting, He knelt down and felt for the hag's presence. She was still close so he and Cora gave chase through the streets. The halfling was smaller and with less stride, but somehow she managed to keep pace. The trail led them closer and closer to the edge of town and to a high hill at the end. Cora was following the small bits of blood when she came to the base of the hill. She knew Jerimia had her back, so she proceeded up with caution. Jerimia could not see her, but he knew Cora was there.

        He guessed that she would follow the steps carved into the hill so he took the grassy slope, he had an arrow knocked and was ready. Cora crept up silently, searching for heavy prints of the invisible hag on the ground, she found a steady pool of blood and heard her breathing, she was trying to desperately speak one last curse. Cora did not wait and sprung forward, again her magic dagger guaging a great rend in the hag's hide. The hag shrieked and with a powerful swing, knocked Cora from her feet. The hag spun as an arrow struck her hard in the chest. She was invisible before she hit the ground.

              Cora sprung to her feet and looked around warily for the injured hag, she was sure the creature was near death. She heard the shout and felt the wind of the arrow that Jerimia loosed. It struck the hag between her yellow catlike eyes and pierced her brain. The hag was dead before she fell. Cora let out a breath of relief and then the pain really hit. The hag's claws had rent her flesh and she was fealing the burning wounds. Jerimia spoke a swift spell of healing and proceeded to remove the hag's head. Cora went to where the hag had knelt and found that she had hid her "hag's eye" orb and had buried a curse. She took both, Arifal would know what to do.

            they headed back to the "Wet Trout" tired but victorious.  When they walked into the tavern, Arifal was relieved and Bryce ran to embrace Jerimia. Cora just shook her head at them and delivered what she found to Arifal, muttering for them to "get a room". Arifal was certain the hag had left behind a blood curse and her note confirmed his suspicions, though he was surprised as it was directed at her "sons" not her sisters. He pondered what it meant. He took the orb though. Cora was tired and sore and in no mood, so she took a drink and went for a bath and bed.

           Jerimia took Bryce in his arms and took her upstairs, to a light chuckle from Arifal. He did not anticipate seeing them again that night. All the better as he was about to confirm his suspicions on the orb. He ordered a fine ale, took out his pipe and found the most comfortable chair in the tavern. Sitting by the fire while waiting for the innkeep to close up for the night, he pondered what the hag could mean by her "sons".  After the tavern was closed and the innkeep went off to bed, he unveiled the orb and willed it to life.

               The voice he heard was not Gant. He was sure it would be the like the last time, but he was surprised somewhat by the tone and malice in the voice. It called for "Ruzzel" (at least now he knew the hag's name) Arifal answered and the voice grew amused. It was a battle of wits for a moment, but at last the mysterious voice identified itself, again Arifal was the more clever opponent and the young dragon revealed its presence. Arifal took in all he could see and committed it to memory. He taunted and baited the vain dragon (he knew the legendary arrogance of red dragons well) and it revealed more than it wanted, but not as much as Arifal had hoped.

           With the contact broke, Arifal was convinced that this particular orb would not be used again so he drifted off to sleep. The morning would lead to new opportunities. Cora was first to awaken and went downstairs hungry. She lightly stepped over the bag with the hag's head in it. Jerimia could not resist one last jab at the fool lordling. Of course he was not intending for poor Leanne to find it first. Adding to the prank, the fool thought that Cora had single handedly slain the creature.

              Jerimia went downstairs for breakfast and joined his companions. They began discussing the next move. It was clear that Gant was more dangerous than previously thought. They discussed several options but came to the conclusion that it would be best to remove another pillar of Gant's power. The wererat "Slim" was the decision, as such a creature should not be left to its own devices in any case. Arifal asked where Bryce was in a taunting manner, more to tease Jerimia than out of any real doubt as to where she was. She did come down for breakfast not too long after.

                She was as open as she could be on Slim's plans and resources. She was able to confirm that Slim would not leave a challenge unanswered as the wererat was arrogant and aggressive. They decided that his warehouse in Easthaven would be a great place to start. They could burn it down and set an ambush when Slim came calling. Since Slim was in Bryn Shander and they were in Easthaven they had time to prepare the ground. Cora would keep watch while the rest prepared to fight. They chose the "Wet Trout" as their battleground and Arifal decided to pay the owner in advance for any potential damages.

                With that out of the way, they headed to the warehouse. Arifal had bought himself a nice cask of whiskey and had every intention of abusing it by using it to start a fire. They were nonchalant about their walk as they wanted to be seen. It took only a short trip to arrive at the warehouse. Thankfully the building was mostly brick and not appreciably close to any other. Arifal had Jerimia and Bryce watch the other door as he went in and was confronted by two very inept (but quite wise) guards.

           The guards were more concerned with the well being of the cask of whiskey and their own survival. Arifal was quite magnanimous with them and allowed them to walk away with that part of the whiskey not used. Making sure they knew who did it and where they could be found, Arifal left them to their own fool devices. Bryn Shander was nearly 8 hours away and they would have plenty of time to get ready.  They used that time well.

           Cora waited in the night several streets down from where the expected retaliation would come from. She was not disappointed with the numbers, they were well armed and armored. They were led by a great brute of a barbarian from the north. He was clearly a renegade and outcast. She had seen enough and returned to the tavern to await the fight. Cora took up a hidden position behind the stage near the broken window. Arifal had placed some rubbish to block it, but Cora felt it better safe than sorry. Arifal himself sat in the center of the room, armed and armored. Jerimia put Bryce near the top of the stairs and set himself at their base.

                A mere 10 minutes later the door was kicked in savagely by the brute who demanded "which of you arseholes is Arifal??!" Of course Arifal could not resist the challenge and promptly attacked. Jerimia loosed a rapid volley into the men who rushed into the room. The fight started in earnest. Arifal was a rock that the enemy broke themselves on, while Jerimia and Bryce hurled arrows and bolts of magic into the mess of struggling men. Cora was suddenly jolted to awareness when a large rat crawled right past her hiding place.

             It seemed that Slim had in fact showed up. She wasted no time and drove her dagger into him. Slim let out a hideous shriek as he felt the dagger enter his soft organs. He usually felt himself safe from weapons wielded by simple folk. He was utterly shocked that this blade hurt him, deeply. He rushed from his hiding place into the fight, to get away from that lethal blade. Jerimia was shocked to hear Bryce scream out from the landing. She had been taken by surprise by a mean looking brunette who wore an ugly scowl on her otherwise plain face. The woman was trying to drive a dagger into her, so to save his love Jerimia loosed a shot at the woman. It did not connect, but it did get Arifal's attention to her plight.

                   Arifal broke into a song of Moradin,  a dwarven war song that chilled the blood of his foes. Here he was in his element. Swinging left then right he felt shields shiver and bones break with each strike. He also heard Bryce in trouble and with no thought to his own saftey broke away and cast a spell of sanctuary upon her. The foul woman then tried to shove Bryce down the stairs. She was caught and placed back on her feet. For her troubles, the woman took an arrow from Jerimia. Arifal turned back to the battle at hand and Cora moved to finish Slim who had forgotten about her (due to Jerimia putting a shaft into the barbarians throat and drilling the brunette into the stair with an arrow as well) Quite certain that Jerimia was the anchor (despite the horrific toll Arifal had taken on his men) he desperately told his men to bring the ranger down. The wounded woman was concerned with killing the traitor (Bryce did not recognize her, but she certainly recognized Bryce).

               Cora caught up and slammed her dagger into Slim's ribs. He turned around in a wild swing, yet Cora had already moved. She slammed her dagger right up under Slim's chin and into his brain. The wererat just stood there stunned. The brunette and her ally tried pressing Jerimia, but with them both being wounded, they were getting held off. Then Jerimia threw down his bow and swiftly drew his blades. Within moments the thug was on the ground with his throat cut (nearly severing his head) and the short woman lay dying, peirced through her chest and guts.

           Arifal wanted prisoners, though none still stood. Acting quickly he cast a spell to spare the dying on both the barbarian and the brunette (as they were in the best shape comparatively). The barbarian was the first to recover and he went immediately to return the attack, in a rage. Cora was swift to put him down. The companions were all injured and exhausted, ready for the fight to be over. The woman barely budged so Arifal prepared a nice chair for their upcoming discussion. …………

A shadow in Easthaven
a night in the "White Lady" tavern

     This night started as so many others had for Arifal. He had recently returned from his mission to Dain Stokeley. There were matters in these lands that needed looking after and the Dain had sent him back. After all, Arifal had proven quite adept at solving problems and he was close to some of the other elements in the dale that could prove useful.

       It was a night such as this that he would meet them. Walking in from the chill rainy night, Arifal went up to the bar and ordered his usual. Most patrons waited to be served. Arifal had other ideas and being as he was a regular since the place opened he went around behind the bar and helped himself. The barkeep Bartaban had no problems with this arrangement as it made him good coin. Addie the barmaid was kept quite busy this night, though there were far fewer patrons.

           The famed halfling bard Rinaldo was nowhere to be seen and a taller white haired lady was playing her instrument instead. Her lute was not bad but it was clear she banked on her looks. Still it was strange that Rinaldo was not present. Cora quipped as much to Arifal, somewhat startling the stalwart dwarf. She had entered almost unnoticed and promptly helped herself to the bar. She placed 4 coppers for her drink and entertained herself by moving the coins around (and pocketing a few) when Bartaban was not looking.

           The final member of their trio arrived a bit later. Shaking the rain from his cloak, Jerimia strode into the warm, dimly lit tavern. The "White Lady" was not his favorite watering hole (despite the welcoming arms of Leanne, the tavern's "hostess") but this night he had business with companions. Leanne gave him her sweetest smile, but he was in no mood for this night. Dark things had been testing the bounds of the ranger's patrols.

             Arifal saw his old companion enter and watched as he took a table off on his own. He wondered what was on the man's mind. Then he saw two rough looking barbarians enter the tavern and take up a corner table (which Arifal knew meant they must be looking for trouble). Jerimia had seen them down the street, he watched them follow him to the bar.

          The place was on edge though the usual patrons were not aware of it.  A third barbarian had entered after a bit and made himself comfortable in another part of the tavern floor. The three of them were looking around and leering at the various members of the party. It was clear they were up to no good, but this made it seem more targeted than random. Arifal started pretending to be far more drunk than he really was. He intended to get closer to the newcomers. All was starting to come together when the bard got up and she left.

          The next interruption was a Ffolk barbarian that wandered in already two sheets to the wind. He was a talkative sort, full of bluster and booze. Poor Leanne took one look at him and the other ruffians and began silently trying to get Jerimia's attention. Cora was amused to the point of considering if any of them were worth stealing anything from. She moved closer to the large Ffolk and he was shocked to see that she was a "wee little gal".

           The barbarians, save the drunken Ffolk began looking over the heroes for one final assessment, Arifal had drawn their attention with his faux drunken tomfoolery. Then a cruel looking woman with ratty blonde hair walked in. She had a perpetual sneer and looked over the party with contempt. Cora disliked her at first sight. Thinking that meant time to prepare for violence, Cora went towards the woman. The newcomer made some petty snipes at Cora before letting out a signal for her men to attack.

           The barbarians launched into a sudden ambush, the attack was unfortunately for them, well prepared for. Arifal took to the violence with gusto, no longer appearing drunk in the slightest. Cora took out her blades and went knife to knife with the cruel woman. Jerimia took to shooting at the attackers. Arifal had some "assistance" from the Ffolk which involved the drunken lout falling over a table and landing on his face. They fell into a rough scrum in that corner of the tavern, while Jerimia calmly shot arrows at the foe. Cora was in a one sided knife fight with her foe, quickly wearing her enemy down with shallow cuts.

           As the battle turned more against the attackers, they had three more men rush in to assist. These were not barbarians, but local toughs.  Cora recognized the tall bald man that rushed in to attack Arifal, and the fellow who thought an archery duel with Jerimia was a good idea.  Thinking this was getting out of hand (and grateful that Arifal convinced the tavern staff to get out of the room earlier) Cora decided to end her duel with the blonde. She moved fast and jammed her dagger into the woman's gut, doubling her over then drove her other blade through her torso. Just in time as the third thug came in snapping his whip at Cora. He hit her right in the chest and knocked the breath out of her, but only briefly. Quick as a snake (and professional tavern brawler) Cora ducked inside and gutted the bastard. She first cut his trousers down around his ankles, knocked him over, then a swift slice across the throat stilled him.

         She looked back to see Jerimia drive an arrow through the other archers eye with such force that it took him back out the door into the street. Arifal finished his battle with a massive hammer blow to the skull of the man known as Billiam Cowhurd. Billiam hit the ground with the stamp of Mithral Hall embedded in his forehead. The last barbarian looked frightened. In mere moments his entire ambush came apart and he found himself all alone. Arifal being the merciful dwarf he is told him simply "surrender". This would prove to be the luckiest day in his life (save the day he got his moniker of "wyrmpiss") the barbarian Uric of the wolf tribe readily surrendered.

        Arifal then checked for survivors.  His mercy was rewarded with two unconscious and one concious captive. The blonde woman had been wearing a wig, now that it was off, her red hair gave her away to Cora. She recognized now both Billiam and Bryce (no relation to each other), both were well known lowlifes about Bryn Shander, though Bryce was new to town and less of a known quantity.  Billiam, now he was a funny chap. Full on idiot. But he had "Slim's" ear and that meant something on the streets. Cora kept note in her head about this little alliance she had helped dispatch.

         A quick search of the captives had shown the hand of yet another player in the mix. They found a wizards sigil on two scroll cases. It was apparent from Bryce's admonitions to kill the whole party and find the "key" that this new player had vested interest in the party's demise. Jerimia had little enough concern and decided to take Leanne upstairs to "comfort" her, leaving the interrogation all to Arifal and Cora. Arifal was the more patient (and merciful) of the pair and entered into a bantering tone with Billiam. Cora could only laugh as the damned fool essentially spilled the beans about everything. Including his task to remove Bryce as a rival by his "Master".

       Arifal had finally heard enough from the fool, tied him up and took him out to sit in the rain. After all a nice cool rainy night in Easthaven is just what a fractured skull could use to heal. After that he turned Uric loose. He had decided the poor tribesman had suffered enough. Told him to take his money (what he and his fellows were paid to help assassinate the party) and go. Uric swore then and there that he would always remember the mercy of Arifal and would repay the debt!

            After those two he finally decided it was time for Bryce to wake up and answer for her part. Arifal was always too much a gentleman and the conversation took longer than Cora would have liked. But as usual, he coaxed out all he wanted to hear. She admitted her lover the apprentice necromancer Eyrdak Falcurst had sent her and Billiam to eliminate the party and recover the key to the tomb of the mage Hobart Folstrom. Arifal vaguely remembered the name (an old foe long ago slain) She was shocked when Arifal showed her the letter instructing Billiam to eliminate her, after that, the answers flowed freely.  Arifal decided that in the morning, they would be paying master Falcurst a little visit. He was hiding out in an old abandoned temple to Umberlee.

         The heroes took the rest of the night off, but Arifal kept Bryce close at hand, he could not fully trust her and she had agreed to lead them to the necromancers lair and assist where she could. The night went far too fast for the drunken and the tired. Yet in the morning Arifal was briskly rushing down for bacon and ale!  Slowly Jerimia woke and gently slid out of the bed, careful to leave Leanne asleep. He headed down to find Arifal eating like he had not had a drop to drink! Cora came down next and the three all sat for a hearty breakfast. They were not surprised to hear The Ffolk (his name was finn by the way) cursing and falling down the stairs. Bryce was last down, far too tired and hurt to just jump up.

        Breakfast was soon done and Arifal was eager to get this done with,  a wizard is not a foe to leave unchallenged for long. They can come up with all manner of mischief. Rallying the party away from the breakfast table, they set off towards a small part of town  near the edge, an abandoned dock area. Cora faded into the background and moved to the side streets, her eyes scanning the shadows for any sign of movement. It was eerily still throughout and Bryce made clear that the abandoned houses could harbor the undead.  This brought some consternation but they pressed on valiantly.

         The place was a bit eerie by the old chapel and some of the statues seemed almost alive, staring out into the wild from the edge. Cora kept a steady pace checking for any watcher. Jerimia kept looking at those creepy statues staring in towards the party….That was when they all suddenly realized that something was wrong. Arifal dropped a pillar of holy fire on the lead gargoyle. That caused them to assault the party suddenly.  Cora engaged quickly but was unsure of the danger of the beasts stone skin. She was told by Bryce that the dagger she took from her was capable of harming the beasts. Arifal and jerimia rained destruction from afar, Bryce threw eldritch blasts to assist while Cora went into close combat. Jerimia saw that she was outnumbered so drew his swords and engaged.  Again the fight was swift and terrible, but after some fierce injuries to the heroes, the gargoyles were destroyed and the party approached the temple.

          The front door was locked and Cora sprung into action, unlocking it with her usual skill. Entering in slowly she checked the area and thought it safe. Of course the Ffolk barbarian did his usual careless strut and promptly got himself shocked to death by a lightning bolt trap in the main chamber. Cora was a bit shocked but quickly managed to disable the trap (pocketing it for later use) Bryce then directed them to the hidden door to the crypts below.

      The corridors were dark and damp but the heroes pressed on with Cora checking for traps and other unpleasant surprises. The going was slow but cautious and they managed to at last arrive at the inner sanctum. The necromancer was waiting for them, a sneer on his face. Arifal boldly entered the chamber to greet him, not pausing for his two zombie guards, but instead routing them with a burst of divine energy. The necromancer tried to negotiate, seeing as he was outnumbered and likely outclassed. He was surprised to see his former associate with his enemies, but was far more surprised when Jerimia put an arrow in his heart.

          It was a harsh surprise! as he sunk into death he was unaware of his pet rust monster making nice with his foes. The heroes then searched the place over for clues and treasure. It was then that the necromancers master tried to contact him. Fortunately Arifal was quick thinking and had Bryce respond instead. She was certain that the voice on the other end was none other than Vaelish Gant. A new arrival in the Ten Towns and potential threat. He was supposedly plotting to take over.

                    The heroes had heard enough and left the crypts, sealing them behind. They recovered the body of the poor Ffolk and then returned to the tavern to consider the night. Jerimia was unfortunate as Leanne's attentions were elsewhere. Seeing his friends "distress" he instead tried to set him up with Bryce. While all this was occurring Cora felt an eerie presence. thinking not much of it she continued to listen to the bard who was back and playing music. Jerimia excused himself, while Bryce mistook a quip from him as more than it was. He stepped out into the night. Something had been watching, and it was of some concern.

            Jerimia tracked it down the street, but then was assaulted by two animated corpses. They had strange yellow lights glowing in their eyes and he realized their was more to them than mere zombies. The first was cut down with arrows and the second, surprisingly withdrew. Much to Jerimia's surprise. The first to fall had two yellow glowing fireflies leap from his eye sockets then fly away. Considering this he went back to the tavern and brought out his companions. They returned to the area and began searching. Finally they did discover the source of the watching. A small wood and vine construct! They chased it until if fled into a house. Arifal, concerned for the inhabitants, kicked in the door and blasted it with divine fire.  The creature was instantly destroyed to the shrieking of the family inside. Arifal was quick to calm them down before excusing himself back to the tavern. It was going to be one of those evenings he was sure of it!……………………..

A chieftains fall
The Durncrag mines

  Cora entered the "Wet Trout" after a disturbing conversation with a man who claimed to be the master of the druids circle in the dale. The evening was starting to turn sour for her. The idea of going off to battle goblins in a mine did not appeal to her nature. She was considering her situation when her companions to be entered the tavern.

         Regilaraen was a druid of no small stature among her circle. She was quiet and competent.  It sat well with her that the Arch Druid sent her on this task. Destroy the goblins of Durncrag before they ruined the rivers and fouled the lakes with their rough craft. She was not familiar with her companions but the Ranger would be well trusted. After all, they were allies.

        Jerimia entered the bar last. He was sent by the ranger Hornfell to assist the Arch Druid in clearing the goblin chieftain from the Durncrag mine. He was the ranger who discovered the incident along with the dwarf cleric Arifal. It made him the logical choice to lead this mission, though he was surprised to find the young druid had been placed in command. He would do his duty.

              The three companions met and introduced themselves. It was awkward at first but they soon warmed up to each other, knowing the peril they were walking into. The quest would be brutal though mercifully short. They had but to get to the pass and up into the Durncrag mine, find the chieftain and slay him. What could possibly go wrong?


       The journey to Silverstreams pass was swift , Jerimia led the way down the same river valley that he and Arifal had been earlier. The old abandoned homes still sat quiet and empty, the heroes used them for shelter. Pressing on they came towards the pass itself, at the very threshold of the Spine of the World mountains. The pass was quiet, only the sound of the river pouring down the pass was heard.

     It was enough for the druid to send Jerimia out to scout. Cora was concerned as well. There concerns were well founded as a goblin ambush was sprung. It would be a short and sharp fight. The Druid Regilaeran cast an entangle that put several of the little beasts out of action. Cora and Jerimia were swift and ruthless in their attacks and the goblins were soon all slain.

       Walking through the ruins of goblinkind, the heroes checked them for tribe markings and discovered that these goblins were far from home. It would seem that someone or something had brought them so far for a purpose. It had to be something more sinister than simply pouring mine runoff into a stream. Jerimia was concerned with this. Cora looked bored with the lack of excitement.

          Walking through the narrow paths in the foothills, they finally came upon the gates to the Durncrag mines. The entrance was near a cold and fast waterfall with merely a narrow stone bridge leading to its yawning gate. Cautiously they entered. Moving like flitting wraiths they passed down carved corridors.  Looking to the right of their path they saw the ice cold river pass by. Somewhere in the heart of this mountain the source of the stream bursts from rock.

         They came at last upon a junction with Cora deciding that it was best to turn off from the main corridor. The ground seemed higher and drier the course she chose and Jerimia could not fault her thinking. They pressed on until they came to a large cavern. The cavern seemed only part natural, the rest being cut and carved by miners picks.  The room had a great set of double doors on the other end.

           They moved cautiously through the chamber and approached the heavy doors.  Cora checked for traps and picked the lock, displaying the skills that made her so valuable to Regilaraen to begin with. The druid then took the lead, making a gentle light glow from her hand. The tunnel beyond was more natural than worked save for the rails for mine carts on the ground. She pressed on with her companions following shortly behind.

          The corridor seemed to go on forever until they came to a great crevasse where only the rails formed a bridge of wood and iron across the gulf. Quietly they pressed yet again. Hoping that they had still gone quite unnoticed. It was not to be, at halfway across a great cloud of bats erupted from the depths and tried to swarm them off the span. Regilaraen quickly raised her hand to the sky and barked out a simple spell, but it was enough! A mighty shockwave shattered the fragile vermin's ears and caused them to fall back into the abyss. The druid's quick thinking and near as quick actions had saved them from disaster.

    They continued across the span until hard ground returned under their feet. The next chamber opened before them to reveal a great delving. Many mine carts and several shacks lay scattered about the cavern. There was indications that a great vein of silver still rested here in the dark. They had little time to marvel at it as need propelled them forward. Driving a grueling pace Jerimia knew it merely a matter of time before the goblins became suspicious of the silence of their sentries.

              The corridor they trod at last came to an end in a wide chamber that overlooked yet another abyss. below them they could hear fast moving water and could feel the chill coming up. Looking around they thought at first a dead end, until Cora noticed a ladder going down into the darkness. It appeared that goblins had used this even recently as Jerimia found tracks. The druid considered their options before she decided that they would go down into the abyss.

         The climb went on for over 200 feet. until they hit the cold shallow water below. The chill went right to the bone. they followed the current in the dark. Allowing the natural phosphorescence to light their path. It would seem their intuition was correct as up ahead the water though a bit deeper was losing a lot of its force. They entered a large water filled cavern with a massive wooden platform in the center.

          On the platform they saw a roaring fire and goblins from the tribe about it.  And there in the center the goblin chieftain stood amongst his minions. Their target was now within reach and most of his tribe was away. The heroes slowly crept forward to attack. Jerimia knocked an arrow and prepared to loose as Regilaraen slowly began casting her spell of entanglement. Cora had seemingly disappeared but her companions knew she was merely looking for way to attack from some hidden way.

           Taking a deep breath, Jerimia drew and fired. the lead goblin was slain instantly, while the others let out surprised howls as vines and creepers came from nowhere to entangle them.  Cora leapt from the shadows and quickly dispatched a goblin archer as her companions rushed to the attack. To his credit the great goblin did not flee, he instead rushed into the fight with his man-bane scimitar. He tried to take Jerimia face to face and for a moment seemed as though he would be a match for the ranger. A swift dagger to the back ended his pretensions and he slumped quietly into death.

          Looking around at the now silent cavern Regilaraen realized that now with their quarry slain, the remaining goblins would soon depart.  That would do them no good if caught down here in the depths.  They fled swiftly back the way they came. Cora's uncanny dungeoneering skills kept them from any harm in the dark corridors and caves of the mine. Once outside it was for Jerimia and Regilaraen to guide them safely back to Easthaven.

         All the way back Cora thought of a nice hot spiced rum and warm fire, the trip had been somewhat profitable after all. Regilaraen split off first, headed to the ancient grove where the Arch Druid Bromstead waited for her report. Jerimia went to find the dwarf Arifal to let him know what had occurred. The surly old priest would then carry the word to Dain Stokeley.  Things were now in motion that could not be stopped. It was only a matter of time now before the enemy revealed itself. …………..

Far nights in Easthaven

   We sat in the "Wet Trout Tavern" in Easthaven on a chill spring evening. Arifal had delivered to Dain Silverstream all the news of the previous days. There was some consternation among the dwarves and they had now reason to consider an expedition to the Durncrag mines. If some fell creature had reopened them, then the silver flowing could be a cause for concern amongst the Ten Towns.

         We shared drinks and tales around the fire, letting the wood smoke mingle with the smell of cooking knucklehead. Bold oaths were sworn and boasts made by men and women who had too many pints.  The word had spread amongst various folk that the mines could be a place of both risk and reward for the daring. Around the tavern were some of the riskiest folk I knew.  There were warriors of renown and others less noble but just as capable in the shadows.

           Rurden's Armory was conducting brisk business of late, and so too were the local shopkeeps. All selling the essentials to a trip into the mountains. The local druids were concerned that somehow a balance had been upset in the Spine of the World and this could foretell a greater danger than the current silver rush would seem to let on.  There was  a sense of eagerness and foreboding in equal measure, the upcoming spring could prove decisive one way or the other. . . .  .

Icewind Dale
The spring of wolves

The heroes met at the "Wet Trout" in Easthaven. It was a hard morning, the spring had come late and the chill was still in the air. The dwarven cleric Arifal had been dispatched by Dain Stokely Silverstream to answer an old debt. The man known as Orlin Sandheaver and his family were in peril at their homestead east of the Redrun. Old debts are paid by dwarves, they are paid in full and so the mighty war priest of Moradin was sent forth.

          Jerimia of Icewind Dale was a ranger and guardian of these lands and had heard the call as well. Settlers east of the Redrun had come into a strange peril and they had lost communication. The Arch Druid Bromstead Talcaster had dispatched his ranger to go to the aid of the dwarf, Arifal to meet this new threat head on before it became too great.

        So it was that at 9 O'clock in the morning, on a cold and drizzly Wednesday morning they set out from the "Trout" to find a canoe to take across Lac Dinneshere. They searched a bit as most of the fisherfolk were out looking for knuckleheads on the lake, but after a while had finally come across a man willing to rent them one and not for exorbitant prices.

     They rowed carefully across the lake as in even spring it was fraught with potential mishaps. Arifal made attempts to draw Jerimia into conversation by telling the young man of the history of the dwarves in the dale. Jerimia for his part kept silent and gave a casual nod to paying attention. Arifal had reputation as a fell handed warrior after all. The trip took nearly an hour, but at last they arrived on the other shore and pulled their canoe out of the water. They knew they may need to get it waterborne swiftly.

    Passing down the vale they felt the bite of chill air and watched about with care. They had no idea what had caused this state of affairs, but the quiet and cold left a eerie feel in the air. The fog rolled in shortly after. The stream still ran quickly and clear. But it was far too shallow in points and swift to try to canoe up. They first came to a smaller cabin with impeccable thatching. This place had been ransacked and Jerimia explored the outside while Arifal went in. They found that the owners, who were ironically enough the Thatcher family had been slain. Carefully following the tracks, they discovered that Worgs had attacked the family some 3 days ago.

          This did not bode well, but they still took the time for a cursory look, they also had to wait out a sudden spring storm. Further investigation showed that the old couple (as they were in their 60's) were fast assaulted but the worgs took their time with deliberate malice before slaying them. Jerimia discovered a dagger forged near a century ago in the forges of the Battlehammer clan and passed to the Thatchers for some old dead of valor in those past days when Akar Kessel troubled the lands. 

       It became a more troubling thought that the Thatchers had been slain for days. This boded poorly for the Sandheaver family. With a harsh and sudden spring storm upon them, Jerimia and Arifal decided to wait it out in the cabin. They took to watch and rested. It was a perfect time for a hot meal and so they indulged. But the storm was soon ended and they felt the pull of necessity to push on.  While it was cold and getting darker, They pressed forward towards the next homestead.

          When they arrived in the area again they found carnage. Jerimia and Arifal split up after seeing the bodies of the wife and her daughter torn to shreds, but not devoured. That was a difference from the last and it made them question.  Arifal found the father and his son dead not far from it. It was somewhat baffling until Jerimia discovered the youngest son hiding near the top of a great pine.  The Homestead had been mostly ransacked but it appeared they tried to run for it instead of holding up. 

        Jerimia discovered that the child was traumatized (and rightly so) but that there was in fact yet a worg nearby (the creature had a name, but none could speak its vile tongue) and it had eagerly awaited the opportunity to slay the child or his would be rescuers. The boy's name was Lithstan and he was 7 years old. He was brave and wise enough to run up the tree. He would not come down easily. The worg stalked forward, but Jerimia was well hidden. Arifal then broke into a mighty dwarven war song, his spirit soared with the hope of battle and Jerimia had alerted him to the beast's awful presence.

     Waiting until the beast had committed itself to violence, Jerimia shot his great ash wood bow at the beast. His arrow sunk deep, the worg was unaware of the ranger's presence and was shocked by the sudden assault. It was completely unprepared for Arifal's attack. It was swift and complete. Arifal's hammer smashed its skull and the beast fell dead at his feat. Arifal then was able to coax the boy down in his gruff, yet friendly manner. The boy was familiar with dwarves and complied readily.

    It became an issue of now what to do with young Lithstan. After a bold debate they decided to secure him in his house and return with the Sandheavers. They carefully set the house to be a safe place to escape to. They pressed on in the morning to the Sandheaver homestead.  When they arrived they saw the Sandheaver's out and gathering supplies in a furtive manner.

        Arifal hailed the father, Orlin and told him the situation, it was confirmed by Mr. Sandheaver who swiftly gathered his family to escape. This was exactly what the worgs had been waiting for. They had set an ambush and now pressed in for the kill. Arifal rushed the family inside and then set himself to guard the door. Jerimia swiftly went up to the roof and drew his mighty bow and again set himself to shoot. The battle was short and sharp.

         The worgs were swiftly slain by hammer and arrow. As the second worg tried to flee it was struck down by fire from the heavens. Arifal had called upon his holy powers to strike the beast. With the death of the worgs, our heroes left the field with the family in tow. The surviving worg in the area kept track of the party as it split. Arifal went on with the family to recover young Lithstan, while Jerimia went further east to check on the last settlement. 

       Of Arifals journey there is not much to be said. He pressed on firmly but at pace the family could keep, they made good time, yet even so, Jerimia quickly caught up. He had pressed on and found yet another slaughtered homestead. He had also discovered what appeared to be mine detritus in the high part of the river. There was more at work then they realized. Arifal had recalled one Durncrag in the tavern of Good Mead who had mined these parts in decades past.  There was more mystery here than they had figured. The Heroes led the family to the safety of Easthaven while the remaining worg kept pace with them, it thought better of challenging them.

          The heroes arrived in Easthaven and prepared the night, Orlin Sandheaver was grateful and made sure that the heroes had a warm bed and warm meal for the night. In the morning things would be sorted out, but for now all was well.

                    The next chapter: Into caverns darkly will be in 2 weeks. It will see the fulfillment of the first part of the tale of Icewind Dale.

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


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