Chapter 1 - Journey to Winterhaven

The party makes their way north, searching for missing family or comrades, and looking for a book, to be returned to Cade's contacts.


Part One - Cordel

The campaign started in Cordel with Reece and Morgran. Having returned to human lands following his rescue from imprisonment, Reece was on a mission to find out what had happened to his family. While enjoying a quiet drink in a tavern, they watched as a group of Azentian guards started to harass a priest of Ro-Eash, Harga. They kill a number of guards, and before reinforcements arrive flee out a back door. While fleeing from the guards, they are all in turn then rescued by a delegation of the thieves guild under the leadership of Cade.

This was an intentionally very short scene, designed to introduce the characters to each other, and so that we could start the game off with a bit of a bang!


Part Two - The Wizard's Tower

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Reece, Harga and Morgran agree to escort the wizard Victor to his uncle's old tower for the thieves' guild, in return for an agreement for the guild to assist Reece with locating his family. The thief Cade is sent back with them, in order to carry the book that they retrieve from the tower, to his contact in Darachmar. In addition, the guildmaster gives Victor an amulet that was brought to Cordel by Cade.

Enroute to the tower, they spend the night in an old cave, and survive a late night attack from a large cave spider. Discretion proves the better part of valour for the heroes though, and they opt not to explore the depths of the cave, preferring instead to stay near the entrance.

Following the crude map provided to them by the thieves guild, the heroes leave the main road between Cordel and Darachmar to head to the tower. They easily dispose of a group of crude undead, zombies and skeletons, and then follow that up by engaging an orc raiding party.


Entering the tower, they systematically slay the remainder of the orcs that have set up their base there. On the second floor of the tower, after defeating the orc shaman and his servants, they discover the door they were told about. The door is magically locked, and doesn't open, until Victor approaches it, wearing the amulet given to him by the thieves.

A Magic Mouth appears on the door, uttering the following:

“Welcome home, my son. I don’t know which one of you found your mother’s necklace, but you should know that you are both in danger should the inquisitors find you. I am with the Cadre now, so don’t bother looking for me. Find and warn your brother, be wary of the inquisitors, and make sure you keep yourselves safe. I will be in contact with you when the time is right.”

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The heroes decided to spend the night in the tower, enjoying the comfort of walls and a roof for the night. Their plans to set off for Darachmar the next morning though didn't quite go as planned. A squad of Azentian soldiers, commanded by a member of the Knights Inquisitors, appeared outside the tower while they were still inside. They appeared to be chasing the orcs, however the heroes, having no love of the invaders, chose to lock themselves inside the wizards study, trying to protect what magic there was.

When it appeared that the Azentians were going to burn through the door to get at them, Victor came up with the idea of using of of his uncle's ritual scrolls, to create a portal by which they could escape. Knowing that they had to go to Darachmar, Victor set that as the target of the portal, and before the soldiers could gain entry, the heroes were gone.


Part Three - Darachmar

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The heroes arrived in Darachmar, at a teleport room in the Temple of Gaiar. They are informed by the ranking priest that the teleport circle there is maintained in secret by the priesthood, in order to help with the resistance, and the works of the church. Seeing Harga in the group, they are content that the characters can be trusted, but are quick to remind them of the importance of secrecy. Waiting until nightfall, they lead the characters out of the temple and direct them into the city so that they can meet with Cade's contact.

In the city itself, they discover that Cade's contact has been forced to flee the city to a small mining town to the north, in the foothills of the Ayre Peaks. The party rests for the night in a thieves' hideout, an abandoned theatre. They are forced into action in the early hours of the morning though, when some unusual contraband, by way of a displacer beast cub, owlbear cub and a young rust monster, escape from their cages.

Following their night in the theatre, the heroes are smuggled out of the city by the thieves, who arrange for their trip north to the village to meet with Cade's contact, "The Neck" Gallagher.

He asks Maelgwyn to escort the party through the dwarven mines, and up to the city of Winterhaven to deliver the journal to Victor's uncle.

(CNote: I lost a bit here??? WHO asked Maelgwyn to escort use? What happened to the little village at the foot of the mountains? Is 'The Neck' there still or has he gone to Winterhaven? Did we meet 'The Neck'?)


Part Four - The Dwarven Halls (Upper Levels)

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After hiking up through the foothills of the mountains, Maelgwyn finally led them to the entrance of the abandoned dwarven mines. However they weren't abandoned any more, instead they were home to a tribe or orcs, and more.

Spying a couple of orc sentries, the party quickly rushed the entrance to kill them, unfortunately alerting the guardsmen inside the lair. Barely managing to get to the door before the orcs could close it, the party burst in and dispatched them just as reinforcements arrived. Taking the secret door that the reinforcements used, the characters then confronted the orc chief in his own quarters, before inadvertently walking in on the ogre that ruled the tribe. Morgran barely survived the fight against the ogre after finding himself trapped in the same room as the monster after it slammed the door on the rest of the party.

With the orcs and their ogre master defeated, the heroes made their way down to the next level of the dwarven mines.

Not knowing what the expect in the deeper levels, the heroes soon found themselves ambushed by a savage bear. Kept hungry by troglodyte lords, the bear was quick to attack, and with two of the troglodytes joining in the ambush, it was yet another close call for the heroes.

Scouting around the remainder of the troglodyte tribe, the heroes found themselves in a small section of the halls, with several flooded storage rooms and a small tunnel with a fast flowing stream. Crossing the stream thanks to the old stone footbridges built by the dwarves, the heroes encountered yet another dangerous denizen of the caverns, this time a vile roper. Another dangerous battle ensued, with Victor barely surviving being washed away by an underground river.

The final confrontation they had in the upper levels was in the High Hall of the former dwarven lord, battling against a small number of duergar that had taken over and restarted the dwarven forges. The fight sprawled out across the throne room, and even into the adjoining chambers, before the last surviving duergar escaped into the tunnels leading into the depths of the mountains. Following his tracks down the tunnel, they soon came to an ancient dock, with several wide barges. The heroes settled down for a rest in the forges to gather their strength before continuing on.


Part Five - The Dwarven Halls (Lower Levels)

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After a long slow voyage through the darkness on a raft, the party finally landed on a large stone dwarven dock, still under the heart of the mountains.

They continued on down the main hallway, when a swarm of red scorpions came upon them. They were not as scary as their giant mother - but she was defeated before the heroes took an casualties.

Journeying for an unknown time along through the tunnels, the heroes finally came out at the northern end of the Ayre Peaks.

Travelling down through the peaks wasn't quite so arduous, and the party eventually came to a river, which they quickly surmised was the Black River.

Knowing that the river would take them towards their final goal, Winterhaven, the party determined to follow it north.


Part Six - Brandol Keep

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The party was stopped when they ran into a group of peasants at the water's edge being attacked by a group of orcs. Coming to the peasant's aid, they discovered that they used to live at Brandol Keep before the war.

Lord Brandol had given up with no resistance to the Azentian forces during the war and they started using the keep as their base in the area. Once the war finished though, the Azentian troops left, and Lord Brandol was once again in charge. Now though, the people had no faith in their lord, and only a handful of soldiers to defend the keep and surrounding area.

The keep's weakness became apparent shortly afterwards, with an ogre and his orc minions attacking the keep, taking it almost without loss. Only a few peasants managed to escape, making a hard living for themselves upriver.

Hearing this story, the party took it upon themselves to venture to Brandol Keep to drive out the creatures and restore the peasants to their former homes. Determined to overcome the extra problem of the orcs taking some humans captive, the party quickly set about their plan, to quickly raid the keep, securing the safety of the peasants, and slaying the orcs before they even knew what hit them.

The first part of the plan worked fine, the party quickly killed the guards at the gate, and made their way to the upper floor of the keep. With the peasants safety secured, they struck into the main audience chamber, being used by the orcs as their feast hall. During the combat, Morgran fell victim to a floor trap, finding himself isolated on the lower level, and facing two of the orcs guard drakes.

The two battles raged on at the same time, with the main group battling the orc warriors upstairs, and Morgran slaying the drakes and finding himself going toe-to-toe with the ogre leader, the second time he had found himself in such a predicament.

With the orcs and their ogre leader slain and the humans restored to Brandol Keep under the leadership of a new ruler, the party restocked their supplies and continued on to the north.


Part Seven - Iskail

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Following the river to the north, the party inadvertently stumbled upon a group of orcs setting up an ambush at an old broken bridge. The orcs were setting up behind the bridge with a rope that would be drawn across the river. While the trap would prove highly effective at knocking any river travelers off a barge/raft, it proved totally ineffective against the party on foot. The few orc ambushers were quickly overwhelmed by the party, as they slew all but a few that managed to escape into the foothills inland.

Buoyed by their success, the party pushed on towards Woodfall, traveling well into the night before stopping in the first grove of trees they came upon, and hoping to press on to Woodfall the next day.

However, they were not to know that they had wandered into the home of the young black dragon, Iskail. While the party set their camp and bedded down, the dragon was secretly observing them, trying to judge their intent, and their worth. Waiting until the night was at its darkest, Iskail struck, blanketing the camp in a field of darkness and blasting the sentries with its acidic breath.

The party quickly rallied, with Maelgwyn, Morgran and Reece (with nothing but his loincloth and shield for protection) moving to strike quickly. Retreating quickly to the safety of the lake, the dragon engaged in a series of flanking moves, hoping to slay the weaker members of the party, however whichever way it turned it was met with sword, arrow or spell.

Knowing that he was not well matched against the party, and badly wounded, Iskail was determined not to go through such suffering needlessly, and in a last act of desperation he blanketed the camp in a field of darkness before dashing forward and grasping the chest that the humans seemed to value so highly. With a few powerful strokes of his wings, he was up into the night sky and away. Badly wounded, he at least had a chest full of coins as reward.

The party was left to count the toll of the battle. Many of the group badly wounded from the dragon's acid, and Cade at death's door. One of the few consolations they could draw from the battle was the infusion of the dragon's blood into Maelgwyn's sword, combining with Ro-Esh's holy might to turn the sword into a weapon of power against all dragonkind.


Part Eight - Woodfall

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After the trials of the wilderness, Woodfall came as a great relief to the party. For most of them it was the first place that had felt like home for a long time. Harga, Maelgwyn and Reece took some time to visit an old barn that had been adapted to a temple for the Divine Host, since the new temple had been reconsecrated to the Church of Seven.

Harga, Cane and Victor meanwhile, found the local markets and traded some of the gold and gems that they had been collecting for some much needed supplies, namely food and drink.

They found accommodation in the tavern at the north end of the town, and settled in for their first night of decent sleep in a month. Or so they thought.

Woken by the stable boy at dawn, the party were startled to learn that a patrol of Inquisitors had only just ridden into town. Making a quick escape, they were handed a bag of food and told that a horse and wagon would be waiting for them outside town. Riding slowly north towards the sanctuary of Winterhaven, the party felt the ever increasing threat of the Inquisitors following behind them, and decided that they would be better served laying in a false trail using the wagon, and striking out at a tangent on foot.

Remembering the tales that they had heard the night before in the tavern, they considered the possibility of heading to the abandoned temple in the woods. They had heard tales of priests of Ro-Esh heading to the temple to use as a haven for followers of the Divine Host.

Running into a group of orcs, they slew those and realized that they might very well have set up a base at the temple itself.


Part Nine - The Temple of Ro-Esh

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After finding the temple in among the trees of the Black Wood, the party crept in quickly, before springing a surprise attack on a group of humans guarding the front door, as well as their half-orc leaders. Fighting their way inside, they were soon fighting with a second group, this one comprised solely of savage orcs, as well as two of their wolf pets.

Having overcome the orcs, Harga made it a point to bless the altar of the church, in an effort to reconsecrate the building. While the long-term effects of the effort may never be known, in the short term he was rewarded for his efforts by a blessing from Ro-Esh, in the form of empowering Harga's holy symbol.

It didn't take long for the party to finish exploring the ground floor of the temple, and then the middle level, before heading up to the top floor.

A strong stench greeted them as they climbed the final staircase, as well as the growl of animals.

Reaching the top floor, they didn't take more than a single step before the wolf pack living there leaped to the attack. Not stopping to ask themselves why a wolf-pack would be living on the top floor, with orcs and humans as guards, the party took up the fight and quickly gained the upper hand. They were soon undone though by what they initially thought of as a particularly fearsome wolf, but by this stage of the fight greater numbers proved the deciding factor, and the wolf fled back into the old high priest's quarters. As the party followed, they were shocked to see a half-man-half-wolf hybrid leap out a smashed window. Now realizing that they had fought a werewolf, the party grew concerned over the wounds that some of them had received, however they didn't have many options other than to bandage themselves up and continue on to Winterhaven.


Part Ten - Winterhaven

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At last, after weeks of travel, the party reached their goal.

Before they even entered the city, the heroes noticed a large encampment on the west side, between the city walls and a ridge several miles away. Entering the city, the heroes found themselves accommodation, and then set about finding someone to deliver the Journal to. Not having a lot of initial luck, the party opted to return to their inn, and continue the search the next day.

The next morning a messenger came to meet them, giving them a message to go to a particular shop, who then directed them to another contact, who turned out to be the man they were seeking, Victor's cousin, Geldun. Rude and secretive, he thanked them for the book without a word of explanation why he wanted it. He then ushered them out, giving them only a vague promise that they would be contacted again when the time was right and they were needed.

Without a quest, the party were left to their own devices. Reece, with the help of Morgran, continued the search for his missing family members. Heading out to the refugee encampment outside the city, it didn't take long for him to find his youngest brother and sister, Darian and Marieka, and to find out that the his other brother and sister, Weldun and Karris, were working as caravan guards between Winterhaven and Mine Town.

Maelgwyn and Harga chose this time to visit the temple of the Divine Host in the city, to pray to Ro-Esh, and in the case of Maelgwyn, to find out whether his former travelling companions had passed through the city. He was able to determine that Tara had joined on with a group of the Cadre elite and left on a mission to the ruins of Morgane, while Brockwell left to escort a group to the city of Port Redal on a mission to help gain the support of the Halfling fleet.

Cade spent his time practicing his craft, listening for any information he could pick up.

Finally, Victor spent the time keeping as low a profile as he could, knowing that the Inquisitors must be in the city by now, and not wanting to draw any attention upon himself.


Continues with Chapter 2...


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