Summary

Matt’s First Recap:
Almost a hundred years ago the mighty Nerath empire fell in a grand
civil war, splintering into innumerable city states and fiefdoms. The
wilds reclaimed once cultivated lands and whole cities were burnt by
rampaging monsters. But now a relative peace has returned as the
border wars have either been completed or burnt out, and the remaining
pockets of civilization have hardened themselves against opportunistic
raids. Its a time of hardy folk and hard work, but the land is
bountiful and readily available to those willing to tame and defend
it.

Deep Cross is the last good sized town as you head west down the Kings
Highway out of the Mickel Hills and the cities of the plain beyond. It
guards a little used crossroads and lies on cliffs on either side of
the swift flowing Grindwern river. Torin a young Cleric recently
arrived in Deep Cross was asked to follow up on reports of cult
activity around the nearby town of Winterhaven. Enlisting Ewan and
picking up Perri, Storm, and Kaelimar along the way they didn’t even
make it to the end of the road before being attacked by not
(particularly cultish) kobolds. The kobolds didn’t cause much problem
and the party made it to Winterhaven where they were enlisted by Lord
Padraig to put a stop to the kobold raids.

The PC’s first glorious mission ended up with Perri and Storm captured
by a host of Goblins led by a ridiculous Goblin with an iron fang. Due
to Perri’s insane hatred of Goblins she didn’t last long enough to be
rescued by the remnants of the party backed up by a newly recruited
Talmyne.

Having wiped out the kobold nuisance the PC’s accepted a request from
the local priest to go check on an overdue friend of hers who was
performing an archaeological dig near by. The archaeologist had been
captured by miscreants and after freeing him returned to Winterhaven
with an ancient mirror he had dug up.

Valthrun the sage was rather disturbed by the appearance of the mirror
along with information he had dug from his histories that the nearby
keep, thought to just be a home to some non-troublesome goblins, had
in fact been built by the Neraths to seal a rift through to a
particularly nasty part of the Shadowfell belonging to Orcus.

The party decided to explore the ruins of the keep and see what was
going on. After dispatching several groups of goblins, skeletons, and
zombies they
A) gained a goblin retainer called Splug
B) had a brief chat with the shade of Sir Keegan, the last commander
of the keep. He admitted to being corrupted by the malign influence of
the rift and charged the PCs with putting a stop to the rift opening
shenanigans going on below.
C) avoided lots of monster and loot

At some point everyone returned to Winterhaven to restock, and heal
only to discover that the town had been raided by Hobgoblins during
the night and though the walls hadn’t been breached, several guards
had been killed and the mirror stolen.

Back at the keep the party ploughed through Hobgoblins, a giant
spider, more undead, and some actual evil cultists (and avoided even
more encounters) before sliding down into the depths where a Cleric of
Orcus named Kalarel was busily opening a huge rift into the Shadowfell
which had some very large black tentacles protruding from it. Carnage
ensued, Talmyne died and Splug saved the day with an axe twice his
size and then went back to being derided and ignored by the mean old
big folk.

Returning to Winterfell as valiant heroes our merry band discovered
that while they were away the town had been attacked by even more
Hobgoblins and 13 people had disappeared (assumed enslaved). And that
the town was even then arming up to despatch the reanimated bones of
their immediate ancestors which had recently arisen from the town
graveyard.

So off into the hills our valiant heroes went, guided by a two eyed
hunter called one eye they tracked the Hobgoblins back to Splugs old
village where Splug showed everyone the tricky way in via a nasty blue
slime and more Hobgoblins were slaughtered. No slaves were found
however and the trail led into the tunnels below Thunderspire
mountain, and to the Seven Pillared Hall a village ruled over by Seven
Mage Lords built into a cavern several kilometres underground. There
was some shopping for magic weaponry and some sniffing around which
led the party to raid the base of the Blood Reavers (nasty Hobgoblin
slavers) and slaughter the lot of them (and their little dire wolf
too).

Sarah’s recap:

Well, I’ve been through my Shadowfell book and reminded myself of the amusing antics we got up too. Here are some notable moments/comments which are for the period covered by the summary on the wiki.

1. Cleric vs Undead = bad for the undead.
When we faced off against Zombies, Skeletons or Ghouls, Torin tended to cleaned up in the dmg stakes.

2. We got into the room where Kalarel was trying to open the rift by dropping down 30 ft into a pool of blood. There was a chain/rope you could climb down, but Ewan decided to start the fight by doing a dive-bomb down the hole and landed on an enemy, doing 18 dmg to it, which was highly amusing.

3. The killing blow to Kalarel was made by Ewan missing him with his hammer when doing a Reaping Strike, which meant he dealt 2 miss dmg and killed him. Talk about anti-climatic!

Btw, it turns out Tal did die in the combat with Kalarel, but we paid to have her resurrected when we got back to town. Anyway, taking up from where the Shadowfell summary on the wiki left off, here’s a summary of my notes on our adventures…

After defeating the Blood Reavers, we found 12 slaves including 3 that were from Winterfell. We freed them and while exploring ran into some dark dwarves who were looking to buy slaves. After trying to get information out of them, but they didn’t seem to know anything, we killed them for being involved in slaving. Further exploration found the office with a note recording the recent sale of 8 slaves for 900g to Paldemar. We also found Mog, a shape-shifter, in a cell and released him. Lastly, we found another small goblin who turned out to be Splug’s wife. Not sure if Splug left us at that point or not, but I couldn’t find any mention of him after that.

We escorted the freed slaves back to the Hall and asked around about Paldemar. Eventually determined that we need to go to a place called Horned Hold, and in exchange for a map to the Hold from one of the people in the Hall (stop owner I think) we agreed to try to find and return a stolen sceptre.

Arriving at the Hold combat ensured with some Orc and Goblins. Tal did some very nasty thing to them with Freezing Cloud (note: bad guys should not stand in clumps) and they were quickly dispatched, with 1 Orc that surrendered but didn’t have anything interesting to say for himself. Entering the first building, we slaughtered some dark dwarves working in a forge room and found the sceptre we were looking for.

We then headed across the bridge to the main building, and were attacked on the bridge by crossbow dwarves on the battlements and other coming out to meet us. Tal got style points for picking one up and dropping him down the chasm. Ewan also pushed one off the bridge. Tough fight and Storm got knocked out, but was stabilized before dying, and Mog fell off the bridge but shifted to a spider and managed to climb back up.

We then attempted to rest in the Barracks, which didn’t work out very well as we were interrupted by a bunch of dwarves and an Orge. We fought them off and headed out into the caverns to rest, which did work. Returning to the Hold we found it deserted though we did find some more slave sale documents for Paldemar.

We returned to the Hall, returned the sceptre and through asking more questions determined that either Paldemar was a Gnoll or had dealings with Gnolls. We also received a note commending us and offering help, as well as a meeting place and time. We weren’t convinced by the offer, but lacking other options we went to the meeting anyway. Surprise, surprise, it was a trap! Fun fight in a small cavern with a Bronze Golem and 3 teleporting teiflings. Looting everyone after winning, we determined that Paldemar had sent the original note and arranged the ambush. Also determined that we needed to go find the Blackfang Gnolls at the Well of Demons.

Returned to the Hall again, brought healing potions, rested for the night and headed out. Had combat in a large cavern with some tentacled monsters and a ghoul. Mog spent most of the combat grabbed, immobilized, stunned or a combination of these. Torin on the other hand, had great fun beating up the Ghoul (see above on Cleric vs Undead).

Continuing on, we showed our usual lack of subtlety and kicked in the door to a bunch of Gnolls and hyenas. Tal got to have fun with Stinking Cloud while the rest of them chased the bad guys round the 2 connecting rooms. Continue on through the complex, had some more fights with Gnolls before finding 3 spectres who were willing to speak to us and told us that the Well of Demons was a testing ground to the God of Minotaurs and the Gnolls were trying to subvert it to their God. They suspected that the slaves were to be sacrificed in the ritual and that we needed to pass the test to reach the Gnolls and stop them.

In the first test room, Kaelimar got teleported into a closed off room with a hungry Gnoll and after much running around finally managed to beat him solo. The rest of the party explored a bit, beat up some skeletons, and then Ewan managed to figure out how to follow Kaelimar. Unfortunately, everyone followed and we all got stuck in that room for 3 days. We were eventually released by another Gnoll who came back to rescue the original Gnoll that was put in there as a joke.

We then went through different rooms retrieving items needed to complete the test, and had some tricky fights with interesting situations, often involving traps. Eventually we managed to grab all the items and then escape from the rooms and their traps. We used the items to gain access to the next area, and had a fun combat with a Green Dragon and a bunch of yet more traps. The dragon was finally killed by Mog pulling it in front of the Force Ball trap which crushed it (more bonus style points!).

Continuing on, we interrupted a winged Gnoll with some skeletons and demons who was sacrificing 2 human slaves. We beat them up, rescued the slaves and found a silver key which ‘directed’ us to go up and to the North.

We returned to the Hall to rest and restock (yes, this was a common occurance), and then followed the pull of the key which lead us up tunnels through the mountain. We fought off some Feral Yetis, grabbed their loot (oooh, shinny!) and then continued on our way managing to find a secret door which the silver key opened.

Entering the complex we passed some strange statues of blindfolded faces and gagged faces. A reference to God or Gods we think. Engaged in some fights along the way with Norkers (whatever they are) and worked our way up through the complex. Eventually we found about 36 slaves, including the 8 missing slaves from Winterfell. We questioned the slaves and found out that a wizard lives in a tower he built on the top of the mountain we are inside, with a quarry down below the tower. The slaves left to return to the Hall through the passages, while we continued on to the Tower.

The Wizard, Paldemar, was at the top of the tower working on a ritual. He was not happy to see us and cursed us as being “Filthy Lolth Spawn”. Combat ensued in the middle of the tower, which had a spiral staircase/ramp running around the outer wall, with Paldemar, a Golem (who protected Paldemar) and some Norkers. Once again Tal had fun with Stinking Cloud, putting it in the middle of the tower and using it to block line of sight from the ranged Norkers and Paldemar as well as hurting them. Late in the combat, Storm managed to do a Critical on Paldemar and used an item daily to teleport him into the centre of the tower, above the Stinking Cloud so he fell through it. Unfortunately, he had Feather Fall so didn’t die from the fall.

I’m not sure what the final outcome of the battle was, because I don’t have any post-remarks written, so I’m not sure if we actually killed Paldemar or not. I certainly hope we did…

Summary

Shadowfall mattthebig mattthebig