Shards of Crystal

The Story thus far...
Long ago in days of old, heroes sometimes were found in the most unexpected places.

The town of Fallcrest, once the shining jewel of the kingdom of Nerath’s northern defenses now struggling to survive in the aftermath of the Bloodspear War. However the orc raiders have left the Nentir Vale and Fallcrest begins to rebuild.

The vale is a dangerous place and is the home of bandits and worse, but despite this several beacons of light still remain in Fallcrest, Hammerfast, and Winterhaven. The Lord Warden of Fallcrest has been receiving news of increased bandit activity around Fallcrest. More troubling still is that the bandits seem to be made up of kobolds. Kobolds are known for two things, trap building and cowardice. As bandits they usually would stick to attacking during the night, and then only solitary travelers or small groups. However recently the reports indicate that the kobolds have grown bolder, including attacking a trade caravan from Winterhaven during the day.

Nimozaran the Green has visited the Lord Warden’s chambers several times with signs and portents that a great evil has invaded the vale and imploring that the town’s coffers be opened to fund more magical defenses. While the Lord Warden values Nimozaran’s council he knows that he cannot spare any more gold for such defenses without proof.

Of equal concern was reports that dwarves from Hammerfast had started excavating a mine nearby, and while his reports indicate that the dwarves were heavily armed there has been no new trade with the miners in some days. Fallcrest had welcomed the influx of money that the miners had brought with them and the leader of the expedition had pledged that the new dwarven hold would help defend Fallcrest in times of need. The lack of news from the miners has worried the Lord Warden and he has sent two of his best scouts out to the mine to see what has befallen it. They have not returned, and now it seems that the Lord Warden must turn to others to investigate what has happened to the dwarves.

Cold Death in the Coppernight Hold (part 1)
Kobolds, kobolds everywhere and not a dwarf in sight...

After some preparations the party left Fallcrest and headed d out into the wilderness determined to find out what had happened to the missing dwarves and the two militia members from Fallcrest. Seeley, acting as the group’s tracker was able to lead Kamal, Del, Slate, and Shale to where the caravan was attacked and there they located evidence that the kobolds were involved in the attack. Although it looked like the kobolds were working with some larger reptiles as well.

Following the tracks led the group to what must have been the dwarven miner’s campsite. The beginnings of a palisade surrounded an excavation. However instead of the dwarves that should be there the group found more kobolds. After scouting the camp Seeley returned to the party to let the know what was ahead. A plan was quickly formed to trick the kobolds into think the party was attacking from one side while they came from another. Kamal used his Ghost Sounds cantrip to create a noise while the party approached by stealth. However Slate tripped into Seeley making about as much noise as Kamal’s cantrip so a pair of kobolds came to investigate. So while the party didn’t fool all of the Kobolds, their forces were split. After a quick melee the kobolds lay dead and Slate made quick work of gathering their tails for the bounty set by the Lord Warden.

The excavation had a pit that led to an underground complex that was far older than the palisade. Del reasoned that the complex may belong to an old Nerath keep that the dwarves had discovered while looking for a new mine. As the party investigated the complex they encountered another group of kobolds, including a wyrmpriest and several heavily armored dragonshields. The fighting was intense, and at the end it was a showdown between the wyrmpriest and Seeley, Kamal, and Shale. The three soon made quick work of the priest and tended to their fallen.

Del and Slate soon recovered from their injuries, although the party was concerned that there was a new threat in the form of someone named “Grah”, whom the wyrmpriest had been calling for. The party decided to turn the tables on the kobolds and set an ambush for them using their own traps. Several kobolds were lured into the trap and the party made short work of them, even crushing one of the hapless creatures under a statue. Then Grah’Mchp, the kobold champion, entered the fray swinging his pike wildly. After an intense battle Del ended Grah’s life with a fiery blow from her morningstar and Grah slumped to the floor, his head ablaze. In a small horde kept by the champion they found a collar which Kamal identified as a +1 Collar of Recovery, which the party gave to Slate to help in keeping the goliath fighter on his feet. They also found a bearskin rug that had been enchanted to aid in the defense of those who stood on it (+2 to defenses for dwarves, +1 to defenses to non-evil, non-dwarves).

At the end of the hall are a set of double doors that the party has not opened yet, however there must be more kobolds lurking as the number of kobolds they have defeated so far do not account for the large number of kobolds that attacked the caravan. Perhaps there are more kobolds behind the doors…

Cold Death in the Coppernight Hold (part 2)
Kobolds, Drakes, and Tieflings....oh my.

The party opened the doors and found a tiefling (Rozca) bound and gagged at the top of a set of stairs leading down. She was untied and she explained that she had been hired on as a guard for the caravan that had been attacked. Rozca joined the party looking for a little payback on the kobolds (and some loot!).

As the party pushed forward they found more kobolds, but still no sign of the missing dwarves. They found that the kobolds had set several traps in the hall to help deal with intruders. Finally the party discovered an area where the kobolds were playing a game where they used a spiked ball attached to a chain to try and score “points” by hitting skulls that were placed on several of the tombs. Del led the charge to smite the kobolds for desecrating the remains of the dead. During the battle a pair of guard drakes attacked the party, their claws and teeth tearing into Rozca and Slate viciously. The drakes were finally dispatched, but not before the party had decided that they needed to fall back and regroup. As the party retreated to up to the trapped tomb, they noticed that several of the kobolds had escaped and fled farther into the hall.

Cold Death in the Coppernight Hold (part 3)
Beyond the kobolds, Cold Death awaits...

The party, concerned that greater dangers might await them, left the kobold’s lair and made camp nearby the excavation. As the light faded from the sky, no signs of the kobolds could be seen. After resting the party re-entered the underground complex looking to root out the source of the kobold’s leadership.

They met with fierce resistance as the last of the kobolds had gathered to make their stand against the intruders. The party battled with the kobolds all the while dodging a larger boulder, that the kobolds had set as a trap, as it rolled around the room. Soon the kobolds, and their spiredrake were slain and all seemed well except for a secret passage the party found that led to a deeper part of the complex where an unnatural chill had settled.

In this cavern the party found Szartharrax, a young white dragon who was the true source of the kobold’s strength. Brief words were traded between dragon and wizard before Szartharrax was goaded into attacking. The party fought bravely against the toughest foe they had faced, and each was tested in turn by the dragon’s might. In the end Szartharrax’s evil was brought to an end and the secrets of the Coppernight mine were revealed.

The remaining dwarves, Kavalar Coppernight and his kinsman Harbek, thanked the party and offered a them the bear rug as a gift. The dwarves accompanied the party back to Fallcrest where they were going to take on provisions and head back to Hammerfast.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 1)
A evil hidden for centuries begins to stir.

The party has returned to Fallcrest from the Coppernight mine for some well earned rest. Del informed the party that their rest would be a short one as they would be heading out a first light for Winterhaven, as she had received a vision from The Raven Queen that the undead had begun to stir there. The party agreed to head out to Winterhaven, after they had secured some provisions and completed their buisness in Fallcrest.

Seeley and Rozca talked with Teldorthan Ironhews and returned the green dragonhide that had been stolen (Sacked and Skinned). While there they found out that the dwarven armorer had planned to make a suit of armor with the dragonscale. Seeley asked that he send word to them when the armor was completed as they would be interested in buying the armor.

Kamal (Mirza Kalaq) had a brief meeting with Nimozaran, the High Septarch of Fallcrest, to discuss his findings in the Coppernight mine. Nimozaran was concerned about the letter that was found in Szartharrax’s lair. Kamal thought that the letter may be from another dragon near Winterhaven, however Nimozaran mentioned that Kalarel is not a draconic name and is spelled phonetically.

The party set out for Winterhaven and on the second day of their travels they were attacked by a group of kobold bandits. The bandits were dispatched quickly and the party continued on towards Winterhaven.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 2 & 3)
Sometimes the hunter, becomes the prey.

The party arrived in Winterhaven and the villagers had no knowledge of any evil lurking in the woods nearby. The townsfolk seemed pleasant enough with the possible exception of the elven huntress Ninaran. Kamal met with Lord Padraig the ruler of the village who was happy to see the adventurers come to the village but was unaware of anything more sinister than kobold bandits in area surrounding the village. However Padraig did note that the kobolds had become more aggressive lately and offered a reward of 100gp to eliminate the kobolds from the area.

Lacking any better leads the party set out to track the kobolds based on the information given to them by Lord Padraig. They soon met another kobold ambush, which was dispatched quickly. Seeley was able to follow the kobold’s tracks to a waterfall where they discovered the kobolds had laired in a small cave behind the waterfall.

Forest Cliff Lair

During the fight with the kobolds guarding the waterfall the party discovered a stone circle that seemed to be connected with primal forces. Del and Kamal consulted briefly and determined that the kobolds had been using the circle, but had not created it. Whatever its origin the circle did not seem connected to the evil that Del had been warned about.

The party used the cover of the waterfall to quietly enter the cave, catching the remaining kobolds by surprise. The party eliminated many of the kobolds before they had a chance to react. However the party was then surprised to learn that the kobolds were being led by a goblin named Irontooth. Irontooth’s axes flashed in the dim light of the cave but his arrogance proved to be his undoing as he was no match for the party without the aid of his kobolds. In addition to the coins that the kobolds had been gambling for (12gp 48sp) the party found a small chest that contained a sizeable amount of gold coins (420gp) and a suit of magical Dwarven Chainmail.

Also in Irontooth’s belt pouch the party found a note addressed to the goblin:

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

- Kalarel
Keep on the Shadowfell (part 4)

After discussing the aftermath of their battle with Irontooth the party returned to Winterhaven to stock up on supplies and find out more about the ruined keep in the distance. Kamal, Rozca, and Seeley went to go speak with the town’s resident wizard. Valthrun the Prescient the gave them a polite, if formal welcome and Kamal was invited back to Valthrun’s tower after the wizard had finished his studies for the day.

During that meeting Valthrun mentioned that his master Tavaglinni had come to Winterhaven because he had heard of a portal in the depths of the Keep that led to the Shadowfell. Tavaglinni had surmised that it was this portal which held the Keep’s true purpose and that the garrison stationed there by the Nerath Empire was done so to guard against the portal being used by fell powers to bring undead and other things through from the Shadowfell. Valthrun confessed that his master had not died, as local rumor tells it, but that he had disappeared one day taking his research with him. Valthrun does not know if his master was Tavaglinni of legend or if he was just a wizard who used the same name. In either case Valthrun has not heard from his former master in more than 20 years.

The party left Winterhaven at first light and made their way to the Keep. When they arrived the unnatural cold that has been creeping into the area seemed to worsen and the sky seemed a dull gray despite the the sun shining on the keep. The forest had not reclaimed the keep although it has been abandoned for nearly a century, and the party made their way to an area that had been cleared out and a staircase leading down.

Once entering the basement of the keep they ambushed some goblins and made short work of them, however one goblin managed to escape and ran off, presumably to bring back reinforcements…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 5 )
" name is Splug. I can help you!"

The party headed north in pursuit of the wounded goblin warrior. They came to a small room with three doors; one that led to a storeroom, one that led to the sounds of raised voices, and the last that led to the quiet sounds of dice being rolled and the clink of coins. The group chose to follow the sounds of coins, and came upon a pair of goblins quietly gambling with a small pile of silver.

Slate charged around the corner and upended the table sending it crashing into the two goblins and knocking to them to the floor. Soon the rest of the party had joined them but quickly found the room filling with goblins. The party held their ground as goblins continued to fill the room and a larger goblin with a crossbow entered and started barking orders to the rest of his fellows. However the goblins were no match for the party and were rapidly cut down. The leader goblin shrieked for help and started to run when a hobgoblin (the source of the raised voices) entered the room with a flaming hot poker. He led a small band of goblins who rushed the party from behind, where Kamal took the brunt of their attacks. The party met the new fight although it took their remaining strength to do so. Thunder rolled, arrows flew, blades sliced and cut and heads cracked under the morningstar’s might until all the goblins including the leader and hobgoblin were dead. Searching the goblins the party found that the hobgoblin wore magical hide armor and the goblin leader had a large stash of gold coins and a magic wand.

They party investigated the room where the hobgoblin came from and found a goblin prisoner named Splug. After some debate it was decided to keep the goblin along (as long as he remained useful) and that it would be Kamal’s job to watch him. Splug told the party that there were more hobgoblins to the west, a room where the goblins were digging for treasure to the East and dark places to the south where something lurked that “eats everything, goblins, hobgoblins, rats….everything.”

They went to the room where the goblins where digging and found some goblins and guard drakes. The goblins threw vials that exploded in fire while the guard drakes tried to chew on Shale and Slate. The party was hard pressed but finally cleared the room and found an old holy symbol dedicated to Bahamut. They rested and then headed down a set of rough stairs that led downward.

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 6 )
The Restless Dead stir...

After a brief discussion on the stairs the party decided to head towards the area where Splug said that “Dead things walk”. So the party headed west into the dusty ruins. Seeley found that the area had a mix of goblin and hobgoblin tracks, with hobgoblins being in the majority. The party came to an area with some corridors and found evil ruins carved into the floor. Warding rune Del and Kamal determined that the ruins were some kind ward designed to prevent intruders from passing by them without suffering damage and creating a terrifying wailing sound. Before the party could investigate further they were attacked by shambling zombies who worked to surround the party. After a pitched battle the zombies were no more and an unsettling silence settled on the passageways. During the battle Splug fled back into the keep leaving the party to fight the undead horde.

After the first failed attempt to bypass the runes on the floor, the party chooses to follow the southern corridor where they found a crypt. Ten massive stone sarcophagi, five on each wall, lined this crypt. The sarcophagi were made from granite, with carved images of human warriors in plate armor. Sensing that another trap lay in wait for them, Seeley and Rozca moved cautiously forward to scout the area ahead. After the pair had reached the middle of the hallway skeleton warriors sprang from their resting place and attacked the party. The skeletons, animated by some power seemed to return again even after being struck down. With some effort the party silenced the skeletons and once more pressed further into the crypt. They entered a small shrine, dedicated to Bahamut, and found several small dragon statuettes made of platinum. Beyond the shrine stood a pair of massive stone doors leading to the main part of the crypt and the tomb of a fallen warrior…

Keep on the Shadowfell (part 7)
Even in death, dishonor is a heavy burden.

Seeley entered the room first and could see that the tomb may have once been splendid now lay in a state of abnormal decay. The walls of the tomb were covered in murals depicting knights in ancient livery fighting against orcish hordes. Traces of platinum leaf could still be seen, however most of it had flaked and been corrupted by whatever dark force was tainting the tomb.

As the party searched the room, they inspected the coffin at its heart. As Rozca touched the stone lid it slid open and an armored skeleton rose from inside and placing its bony hand on the hilt of a magnificent sword declared, “The rift must never be reopened!” it croaks. “State your intentions, or prepare to die!”

The party parleyed with Sir Keegan, Knight of the Dragon and discovered the truth behind the stories told about the Keep and the fell deeds that happened a century ago. The party convinced the fallen knight that they had the skills and resolve to see the rift to the Shadowfell closed. To aid them he let them know that the small statues of Bahamut that they found carried the Platinum Dragon’s blessing and may help them defeat the darkness, and he asked that they take his sword Aecris with them so that it might be redeemed. He also let them know that the rift, and the evil that was trying to open it was still some distance below the keep and with that the knight disappeared.

The party collected the sword and went to explore a series of rough hewn stone steps that led from where the goblins here excavating down to a natural cavern. Here they found only rats and an ochre jelly. Seeley noted that there were fewer goblin tracks in the caves than she had seen elsewhere. After destroying the jelly the part found a door that had been barricaded and a sign scratched into the door that read “Stay Out. Really.”, and a tunnel that led to to the south. The party decided to leave the door (for now) and explore the tunnel…


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