Friday Night Mayhem: The 4th Age of the World

Session 5 -- March 19, 2010
The Hunt for Ninaran, and Hobgoblins on the 2nd Level

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’.

Kalarel”

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)

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Session 4 -- March 12, 2010
Delving deeper into the Keep

Session 4—March 12, 2010:

Day 4: Awakening from their rest, the heroes continue to explore Shadowfell Keep. They discover an excavation site wherein, after slaying the goblins digging there, Flargrim unearths an ancient winter’s grasp totem +1 from the rubble with the help of his spirit companion, Grandfather. They turn to explore towards the crypt beyond the central goblin guard room. The crypt is full of the walking dead, and many skeletons and zombies are put to rest by the heroes’ mettle. At last they discover the tomb of the last lord of Shadowfell Keep, a tragic figure called Sir Keegan. Cursed and reanimated in undeath due to his insane slaughter of his family and guardsmen, the skeletal knight retells his tale to the heroes. Corrupted by the whispers of Orcus from the secret Shadow Rift deep below the keep, Keegan was driven to insanity and despair in the final days of the fall of Nerath. He challenges the heroes to defeat Kalarel, the deathpriest of Orcus who has taken up residence in the Keep’s deepest dungeons, and to close the Shadow Rift once and for all. To aid in this task, Keegan gifts his bloodstained +1 vengeful greataxe, “Aecris,” to Torthen, recognizing the goliath as a champion of good.

Delving back into the eastern reaches of the Keep’s first level, they come upon a maze of caves filled with rats, oozes, and ravenous kruthiks, including a dangerously acidic Blue Slime within a sealed watery cave. The kruthik lair holds a cache of Nerathian relics for the sage Parle Cranewing of Fallcrest. Of perhaps more interest, within a waterproof scroll tube in the watery cave are two messages:

1st message: “Remember, don’t wet the nodule – unless Kalarel was not receptive to the offer. Then, wet it only from a distance, and then, turn and run. Water will bring the creature out of its dormancy, and it will consume anything it can reach. Glory to the Bloodreavers!”

2nd message:

“Greetings, Kalarel:

I have recently learned of your activity in the area, and I have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.

Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers”

At last the five heroes discover a hidden armory, where they win a riddle game against a magically animated “guardian,” a talking helm. Their prizes are a beautifully crafted set of +1 black iron plate, which Torthen equips, and an illuminated Nerathian prayer tome for Parle Cranewing of Fallcrest. The heroes take an extended rest in the safety of the hidden armory, knowing their true task of defeating Orcus’ servant Kalarel has only just begun.

Enemies Slain (total monster XP 5,066): Goblin Sharpshooters (3), Guard Drakes (2), Zombies (8), Zombie Rotter minions (10), Skeleton Warriors (2), Decrepit Skeleton Minions (14), Ochre Jelly, Giant Rat minions (13), Blue Slime, Kruthik Adult, Kruthik Young (3), Kruthik Hatchling minions (6)

Skill Challenge Completed: Sir Keegan (875 XP)

Treasures Acquired: 160 gp, 200 sp, +1 winter’s grasp totem (Flargrim), +1 black iron plate (Torthen), pearl (80 gp), Nerathian prayer tome (quest item), cache of Nerathian relics (quest item), 4 silver & platinum Bahamut statues (50 gp each), +1 vengeful greataxe “Aecris” (Torthen), 4 garnets (50 gp each), potion of healing, +1 vicious greatbow (Elithien), message cylinder

Quests Completed: Ominous Signs (Discover Sir Keegan’s Tomb): 100 XP Ruins of Empire, Part 1 (Discover a cache of Nerathian relics, discover Nerathian prayer tome): 100 XP

Total XP per hero: 1228—grand total 2438 XP each (Level Up to 3rd level)

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Session 3 -- March 5, 2010
Into Shadowfell Keep...

Session 3—March 5, 2010:

Day 3: Before they leave for Shadowfell Keep that morning, the four surviving heroes make the acquaintance of an odd wizard known only as “the Sorcelator.” Brandishing his twin wands Hurt and Burn, the competent but overenthusiastic wizard seems a trustworthy sort, and is quickly invited along to join in the mayhem. Shadowfell Keep is a dark a gloomy place, haunted by tragedies of times long past. A brief search outside reveals signs of recent travel, and the party suspects the elf Ninaran may be moving back and forth between Winterhaven and Shadowfell Keep on secret errands.

The heroes find the place to be infested by goblins, encountering organized resistance immediately upon entering the Keep. Yet they fight through the goblin guards and discover a secret back entrance into the lair of their chieftain—a bloated goblin with an odd accent known as Balgron the Fat. Launching a surprise attack, they quickly slay Balgron and numerous other goblin foes. Continuing their exploration, they happen upon a hobgoblin torturer who is swiftly slain by Elithien’s twin strike. The elf ranger claims the torturer’s +1 barkskin hide armor for herself. One of the cells holds a pathetic goblin prisoner called Splug, who begs to be released, and Torthen grants his wish with a lethal bear-hug. After dealing with the pathetic Splug, the heroes take an extended rest in the secure, now-abandoned jail cells of the torturer.

Enemies Slain (total monster XP 2175): Goblin Sharpshooters (5), Goblin Warriors (8), Rat Swarm, Goblin Cutter minions (8), Prisoner Splug, Hobgoblin Torturer, Balgron the Fat

Treasures Acquired: small amethyst (50 gp), potion of healing (2), 222 gp, +1 barkskin hide (Elithien)

Quests Completed: Ominous Signs (Slay Balgron the Fat): 50 XP

Total XP per hero: 445—grand total 1210 XP each (Level Up to 2nd level)

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Session 2 -- February 26, 2010
Journey to the forest cliff lair -- beware of Irontooth!

Session 2—February 26, 2010:

Day 2: After returning to Winterhaven for an extended rest, the next morning the five heroes set out for the forest cliff lair where they believe the kobold bandits threatening Winterhaven are hiding out. On the way to the kobold lair they fight off another ambush, pressing ahead. Arriving at the lair, they fight two waves of kobold bandits and finally face off against their leader, an Orcus-worshipping goblin warrior called Irontooth. The raging goblin cultist slays (Jason’s wizard) but the others survive the tense battle against him, with Mickey landing the final blow with a deft strike. A note found in Irontooth’s treasure chest reads as follows:

“Irontooth,

My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I will completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.

Kalarel”

All signs point to a cult infestation within the nearby Shadowfell Keep, which fell into ruin nearly 100 years ago during the fall of the human empire of Nerath. The heroes return to Winterhaven that evening for an extended rest, preparing to investigate the Keep in the morning.

Enemies Slain (total monster XP 2450): Kobold Skirmishers (5), Kobold Dragonshields (6), Kobold Wyrmpriests (2), Kobold Slinger, Kobold Minions (20), Irontooth

Treasures Acquired: Orcus necklace (80 gp), 220 gp, potion of healing, +1 duelist’s dagger (Mickey)

Quests Completed: Ominous Signs (Slay Irontooth): 50 XP

Total XP per hero: 500—grand total 765 XP each (1st level)

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1st Session -- February 19, 2010
Meeting of the heroes & first battles together

1st Session—February 19, 2010:

Day 0: After an initial meeting at the Nentir Inn in the town of Fallcrest, five heroes (Elithien, Flargrim, Mickey Longleaf, Torthen Oath-Taker, and (Jason’s wizard)) set out towards Winterhaven to investigate the rumors of a growing darkness at Shadowfell Keep. On the way to Winterhaven, they fought a group of kobold bandits had been threatening the roads of late. Arriving in town and meeting Winterhaven’s inhabitants, including Lord Ernest Padraig, they learned that that Douven Stahl, the mentor of Torthen was last seen heading for an ancient dragon burial site. Elithien also makes the acquaintance of a quiet, suspicious newcomer elf called Ninaran, who seems to be the only person in town who knows of the cult. Ninaran directs the heroes to nearby forest cliff lair, where she believes the bandits are hiding.

Day 1: The party set out for the burial site and defeated a group of thugs there who had taken Douven as a prisoner. In the end, the dwarf was freed and offered his magical locket to Torthen as a reward for his rescue.

Enemies Slain (total monster XP 1074): Kobold Slinger, Kobold Dragonshields (2), Kobold Minions (5), Agrid, gnome skulk, Guard Drakes (2), Halfling Slinger, Human Rabble minions (4)

Treasures Acquired: 300 sp, Amulet of health +1 (Torthen), Ancient mirror (quest item, Missing Mentor), Sm. turquoise gem (50 gp)

Quests Completed: Missing Mentor (250 XP)

Total XP per hero: 265 (1st level)

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