Session 5—March 19, 2010:
Day 5: Upon waking in the hidden armory beneath Shadowfell Keep, the heroes are ambushed by a well-organized band of hobgoblin soldiers as well as the deathpriest of Orcus, Kalarel himself! The fight rages through the corridors of the crypt, and Kalarel takes note of the party’s tactics as the hobgoblins fight on the front lines. Before the companions can close with Kalarel, he activates his amulet and teleports away to safety. As he leaves, he taunts them: “It matters not, for my servant even now lays siege to the pathetic town of Winterhaven! Soon all its people will serve Orcus as the walking dead!”
As they have been tracking the elf Ninaran’s movements since they became aware of her presence in Winterhaven, the group decides to temporarily abandon Shadowfell Keep and return to the town to see if she is, as Kalarel claims, up to no good there. When they arrive, the town gate is bolted shut and they are directed towards the graveyard by Lord Padraig. There, Ninaran awaits with a horde of skeletons and two gravehound zombies. A quick battle ensues, and Elithien deals her elven foe a grievous wound with her vicious greatbow. Grandfather finishes the job for Flargrim, ending Ninaran’s life. Upon her body they find yet another note from Kalarel:
“I received your report on the adventurers. Next time you see them, put an end to their meddling. Mix the blood of ten people with the elixir my messenger brings. Then trace this glyph pattern on the ground of a graveyard and pour the liquid into the lines. This ritual of Orcus should supply you with a force to thwart them. I’m very close to completion, so you must see that I’m not interrupted. Return to me when this task is done, to the second level of the keep’s dungeons. As before, use the pass phrase ‘From the ground, some magic was found’.
Returning to Winterhaven, the party briefly stops in Thair Coalstriker’s shop to purchase a suit of chainmail for Flargrim, who had recently trained in its use. They continue on to Shadowfell Keep without a long rest, eager to stop Kalarel’s plot. Penetrating the second level of the Keep, they come upon a group of hobgoblin mercenaries in the cult’s service. The military precision and toughness of the hobgobs gives the heroes some trouble, but they fight through to a barracks and large meeting room which must be the lair of the Hobgoblin Warchief himself.
Enemies Slain (total monster XP 3,432): Hobgoblin Warcasters (2), Hobgoblin Archers (3), Hobgoblin Soldiers (8), Deathjump Spider, Hobgoblin Grunt minions (14), Ninaran the Elf Archer, Gravehound Zombies (2), Decrepit Skeleton minions (12)
Treasures Acquired: 115 gp, amber gem (50 gp), garnet (50 gp), Ninaran’s message from Kalarel
Quests Completed: N/A
Total XP per hero: 686—grand total 3124 XP each (3rd level)