Portents of Doom

The Setup

The back story will be expanded on (hopefully soon) but all that is important at this point is that you all joined up to take on a dragon. After defeating said dragon, you found a map showing a treasure vault in Vraath Keep near the town of Drellin’s Ferry, located in the Elsir Vale.

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And So It Begins...

Just outside Drellin’s Ferry you are attacked by a group of Goblins. Amongst the goblins is a priest who carried a symbol showing the red hand of Tiamat, the dragon goddess.

Upon entering Drellin’s Ferry you meet the Town Speaker, Norro Wiston and Captain Soranna Anitah, Leader of the Town Guard. They tell you that goblins have been attacking the town and outlying homesteads in much greater force than usual. They believe a large tribe has moved down out of the mountains, possibly large enough to sack the town and if not then at least enough to block the road and halt trade. They hire you to take care of them. Before you leave, Soranna recommends seeking out Jorr Natherson as a guide.

While in town you discover that the Witchwood is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the ancient human druidic folk who once lived there. You also discover the history of Vraath Keep. The soldiers stationed there guarded the Dawn Way and the surrounding region. A few years before the fall of Lhesper, Amery Vraath inherited the keep. After the Lhespenar kingdom dissolved, Amery laid claim to the entire Witchwood and decided to clean it up. His main target was a tribe of forest giants known as the Twistusks. He led a battle against them and defeated them, forcing them to flee to the mountains. However, surviving Twistusks returned and attacked the keep leaving no survivors. Amery retreated into the keeps vault where he died from a poison arrow. It’s rumored his ghost still haunts the keep.

You find and hire Jorr to guide you to Vraath Keep.

Along the way you kill a hydra like a boss.

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Assaulting the Keep

You continue on to Vraath Keep.

You clear out Vraath Keep, kill Wyrmlord Koth, and get some sweet loot, including the deed to Vraath Keep. In Koth’s things you find a map as well as a series of notes giving a deal of intel on the goblin army.

You bury the giant skeletons that were around the keep then send Jorr back home after paying him with worg skins and some old furniture from the keep.

You head back to Drellin’s Ferry and tell Norro Wiston what you found. He pays you the 2000gp that he promised then employs you to further help defending the town. He promises to help fix up the Keep after things have settled down and he offers to have the town mage make you a magic headband so your wizard’s hair stays out of his eyes.

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Here There Be Dragons

You set off for Skull Gorge Bridge.

On your way you come across a giant named Old Warklegnaw. You tell him you buried the giant skeletons at Vraath Keep and he thanks you by offering to lend some aid. He promises to seek out his kin in the mountains ask them to help in slowing down the horde.

You reach skull gorge bridge and kill a green dragon and mad goblins.

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Back to the Ferry

You take out the bridge delaying the Red Hand Horde by about 3 days. You then return to Drellin’s Ferry.

On your way back to town you are ambushed by a group of bandits. You discover that the bandits were sent to you by someone by the name of Lady Dagger.

Back in town you tell Speaker Wiston that you took out the bridge and he says he needs some time to think and that he will soon meet with the town council and asks that you join.

While waiting you learn more about Lady Dagger. You discover that she is responsible for a series of murders in and around the town. She also is very influential among the bandits in the area. Nobody knows who she is but Captain Soranna believes she lives in Drellin’s Ferry. She usually kills at night but recently she has grown bolder and will sometimes kill in daylight. She always kills with a dagger and always carves a ‘D’ into her victims.

You decide to search for her at night. You come across her mid-kill. You try to sneak up on her but she gets spooked and throws down a darkness spell. You cancel the darkness to see her finish carving her victim then she vanishes through a magic doorway. The next day you post a note at the tavern saying you want to meet her.

Speaker Wiston summons you to the Town Council meeting. The council consists of Kellin (the halfling who owns the Old Bridge Inn), Captain Soranna, Delora Zann (the woman who owns the town’s livery stable), and a tall, sour-faced man named Iormel (evidently a person of some property). Before the meeting starts, Norro Wiston has Teyani Sura (Lion of Rethmar) speak.

Teyani rides in the service of the Lord of Rethmar. She was part of a patrol sweeping up the Old Lhesper Trail. Her patrol ran into a large group of hobgoblins and ogres travelling down the road. What remains of their patrol is travelling across the vale warning travellers to avoid the trail, and the Blackfens in general. She then leaves to bring news of the Horde back to Rethmar.

The meeting then begins and there is some arguing about what to do. They finally decide to send a small party to try to negotiate with the horde, but they do not have much faith that it will work so they decide to also evacuate the town and fall back to Rethmar.

As the meeting is ending, Norro Wiston pulls you aside and says he thinks he may know what the Horde is doing in the Blackfens (aka Lhespenbog). He tells you the story of Cromar, an old, but once very powerful wizard, who now lives in the Blackfens. He has a bit of history with the hobgoblins of the mountains and in the past put quite a hurting on them, something they’d be unlikely to forget. Wiston thinks the goblins might be hunting him down for revenge and/or to make sure he doesn’t join in the current fight. Wiston is very close to Cromar (says he was like a father to him) and is worried about him so he asks that you go find him and bring him to safety.

You leave the meeting to find the town under attack by a goblin raid on the far bank. You head over and help fight them off.

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The Maze

When you return to your inn, James finds a note pinned to his headboard by a cerimonial dagger which has the inscription “All Men Must Die” in draconic on the blade. The note (written in what appears to be blood) is from Lady Dagger. The note says that she wasn’t so much trying to kill you as trying to get rid of an annoying business associate. She is impressed you were able to come that close to sneaking up on her in the night and believes you are the talented tiefling thief from the east she had heard about. She sees potential in you and wants to help you achieve it but first you have to kill someone to prove yourself.

James sneaks out amidst the chaos of the still burning town and kills some hapless victim trying to salvage what he can from his burnt house. Thus James becomes an Assassin.

James receives another note telling of a Gypsy Town up the Old Lhesper Trail where he can find what he needs to help him along his way but there is a blockade along the road you will need to take care of.

You decide to go by boat and take the River Talar then head down the Witchstream to get to the Old Lhesper Trail.

Along the river, you are ambushed by three Manticores. You kill them.

Along the trail you find the blockade. You sneak in using deceit and trickery and obliterate everyone inside.

When you reach the Gypsy town the guards at the entrance make a comment about the Aasimar in your group. They mention having come across some crusading group of Aasimar to the east who were searching for a particular Aasimar.

James shows the cerimonial dagger to Aldym Zorastryl (a weapons vendor) who then “takes him into the back” and shows him a secret shop full of all kinds of assassin gear. Everyone else buys lots of cool stuff too.

Kyle leaves his horse with the gypsies and you get a boat to travel across the Blackfens.

Along the way to Cromar’s house you come across two Chuul in the marsh. James gets all paralized underwater but you still kill them.

When you get to Cromar’s house you see it has been ransacked and there are scorch marks and acid burns everywhere. Out back is the maze. The center of the maze is magically sealed.

In the maze is a Greenspawn Razorfiend. As you navigate the maze the Razorfiend wages guerilla warfare on you, jumping/swimming all over the place. James and Nick swim into the center and finish off the Razorfiend. You find the remains of Cromar as well as a giant half-eaten owl which has a band around one leg inscribed with elven letters.

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The Elves and the Ruins

After reaching the center of the maze, a group of elves led by Killiar Arrowswift flew down on giant elves and landed near the party. They are searching for a fellow elf named Laniker.

They discover that the dead owl is in fact Laniker’s owl and then after discovering Laniker’s ring in the stomach of the razorfiend they know that he fell victim to the beast. Killiar then escorts the party back to Starsong Hill.

At Starsong Hill, the party meets with Sellyria Starsinger and discusses the current state of things. They gather more information about horde’s presence in the Blackfens. The elves know that the horde has gathered in the ruins of Lhesper though they don’t know why. They have also spotted a black dragon hanging about the ruins. They believe the horde has something to do with the sudden appearance of the razorfiends in the area.

The party then rests and stays for Laniker’s funeral. Some even perform during the feast which takes place after the funeral.

Before the party leaves, they are approached by Trellara Nightshadow, brother of the late Laniker. She wishes to join the party so she can exact revenge on those responsible for her brother’s death. She is accepted.

The party then travels to the ruins.

A long battle then ensues. The party holds on the roof of the town hall defeating the forces holding the ruins. The black dragon who had made the town hall his home is forced to retreat and narrowly escapes with his life.

Searching the ruins you found the Ghostlord’s Phylactery.

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The Second Blockade

After clearing out the Ruins you spent the night and rested up.

You then returned to Starsong Hill to tell the elves of your success. Sellyria Starsinger thanked you for your help and said that she would assist you in the battle against the Red Hand. She offered to send a group of Tiri Kitor hunters to Rethmar to aid in the town’s defense. She could not offer any more help because there are still Razorfiends roaming the Blackfens and she must see to the protection of her own people. She also could not tell you much more about the Ghostlord’s whereabouts but said you may be able to find more information in Rethmar.

Trellara Nightshadow offered to lend you some additional aid as thanks for helping her exact her revenge. She, along with a small squad of owl riders, helped you clear out the second blockade and then dropped you off at the Gypsy Town.

You arrived barely after dawn so you stayed in town for a day and night to recover from the battle at the blockade.

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The Ghostlord's Lair

You left the Gypsy town and headed to Rethmar.

Along the way you stopped in Witchcross for some rest. While there you assisted the local clerics in healing some of the wounded from outlying villages attacked by the Horde. Among the wounded was Miha Serani, a female sorcerer who was attacked by a local drunken town guard. She asked to join you group so you healed her and brought her along.

You then Headed to Rethmar to gather supplies and information about the Ghostlord. You tracked down the location and headed south.

Along the way you ran into a group of Barghast and hobgoblins and took them out.

A few nights later Miha Serani disappeared while everyone was sleeping.

You finally reached the Ghostlord’s lair. In the entrance you fought and killed a half-fiend behir. From here you split up. Nick flew up and through the top level, while the others entered a passageway down low. The lower group ran into resistance in the form of ghost lions while Nick floated down a stairwell and blasted a room full of hobgoblins. An unseen being which had control over the weather then fled the lair.

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The Ghostlord

Nick tried to chase down the invisible enemy but was unable to stop them. He saw a (seemingly riderless) spectral steed ride off into the distance and disappear. Realizing you had lost your invisible assailant you returned to working your way through the lair.

You cleared out a room of bonedrinkers, and defeated a ghost dire lion in another room.

In another room you find a massive sphere of polished black stone. You left it alone and continued forward.

You eventually enter a room and are confronted by the Ghostlord who demands you explain who you are and what you are doing in his domain. You explain that you have his phylactery which you took from the Red Hand. He then demands you give it to him at once. You tell him you will give it to him only if he assists in the upcoming battle. When he asks why he shouldn’t just kill you and take it, you manage to convince him that you have it stored somewhere else and he will not find it if he kills you. He seems very annoyed and angry but agrees.

You quickly leave his lair before he decides to kill you anyway.

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