Shadowfell Rising

Through the Shadowfell, Part 3

The characters came out of the Shadowfell only to find themselves in close proximity to a battle between two black dragons. The larger of the two notices the characters and disengages, flying off into the swamp. The smaller one immediately attacks the characters. The battle goes well for the characters, with the exception of two large swamp frogs that try to drag characters off when they see an opportunity. After the battle, the larger dragon returns.

It introduces itself as Shadowmire, and demands to know why the characters are trespassing in its swamp. It disregards the characters’ explanations and tells them they must perform a deed for it if they wish to leave the swamp alive. Shadowmire is indeed fearsome, and the characters do not believe they can fight it – they agree to its demands. Shadowmire tells the characters there is an intruder in its swamp; until recently it has allowed the intruder to remain, hoping it would somehow prove itself useful, but Shadowmire has changed his mind and now wants the intruder gone. It points the characters in the right direction. When asked why it needs the characters to take care of this problem, the dragon explains that there’s no need for it to get involved when it can have someone else do the dirty work for it – and if the characters happen to fail, the will have taken care of both themselves, and weakening the intruder’s defenses for it.

The characters set off through the swamp, battling a lone band of lizardmen before reaching the intruder’s lair. The characters make their way through the building, disabling traps and solving puzzles before reaching the intruder’s main room on the second floor. There they discover the intruder is none other than Vensic, the historian who had tricked them into entering the Shadowfell. During the ensuing battle, Vensic reveals himself as something the characters had never before seen or heard of, the skin of his face and hands peeling back to show only muscle and clawed fingers.

The characters win the fight, and their freedom – Shadowmire is true to his word and allows the characters to leave the swamp.

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Through the Shadowfell, Part 2

The characters, now stuck in the Shadowfell, begin travelling in the direction they believe the city of Gloomwrought to be in. However, they stumble across a nest of dark spiders; after the battle is over, the characters find out they were being watched by a scouting party of Dark Ones. After brief introductions, the goblin-like creatures say they may be able to help the characters return to the natural world.

The characters are escorted back to a small camp, where they meet with the Dark One’s camp leader. The leader reveals that they do know of a way back to the natural world, and they even have a key for the portal. Morthadone tries to sneak off and locate the key, but is caught; the Dark Ones show respect for his bravado and skill, but sternly advise him not to try that again. During the meeting with the leader, Alkira notices wards the Dark Ones have put up around their camp, and Jesse notices a tent housing their wounded. The creatures reveal they’re at war with another tribe. In return for the use of the Dark Ones’ portal, the characters offer to assist them in the camp. Alkira strengthens the wards protecting the camp, and Jesse tends to their wounded.

The leader consents to allow the characters to use the portal and sends a single escort with them. On the way to the portal, the characters are attacked by a group from the rival clan, who also had dark drakes with them. The characters came out victorious after a rough battle, and reach the portal without further incident. Their escort activates the portal and the characters step through, finding themselves back in the natural world… but only yards away from a battle between two black dragons.

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Through the Shadowfell, Part 1

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In Fallcrest, Alkira is approached by a historian. He introduces himself as Vensic, and says that he keeps an eye out for new talent in Fallcrest. In particular, he is looking for a group of stalwart adventurers to help him recover lost documentation. The lore he is looking for can be found at a the castle of a vampire that was slain just after the Bloodspear War.

The characters fight their way through the castle to the top floor, clearing out the tar devils that had taken up residence. On the top floor, they encountered a thin point in the barrier between the natural world and the Shadowfell and the souls of the vampire’s victims were trying to push through. Using her skill in arcana and the power granted to her as a shade, Alkira strengthened the barrier enough to make it more difficult for the souls to push through. Morthadone lied to the souls, telling them if they did not leave and pass on, he would forcibly exorcise them. Jesse assisted Alkira in strengthening the barrier, though he channeled the power of the Raven Queen rather than drawing on arcane energies. In the end, the spirits left, leaving the characters free to explore the third floor and discover that the documents they were looking for were not on that floor, either.

The characters descended to the basement level of the castle, where they discovered tunnels connected to the single crypt there. They explored the tunnels, clearing out a minor infestation of cave fishers and made their way to a cavern where a wererat was living. After a fight against the wererat and its followers (with no silver weapons at their disposal), the characters finally managed to find the document they were looking for – a small piece of parchment made out of a strange material, with a single word in an unfamiliar language written on it. Alkira was able to identify the language as one thought by scholars to predate the Dawn War, making it incredibly valuable. In addition, the text seemed to be part of a name of some kind.

The characters returned to Fallcrest and Vensic led the characters back to his home. He invited the characters to his true house in Sigil to obtain their reward and perhaps a tour of the City of Doors, and opened a portal. The characters stepped through ahead of the historian, and almost immediately realized they had been tricked – the portal led to the Shadowfell, and was a one-way trip.

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Mysteries in a Small Town

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The characters finally make it to their first real town, Eadwood, only to almost immediately notice problems occurring with the town’s children. In spite of the skepticism exhibited by the town’s adults, the characters investigate the childrens’ “night terrors” and find a boggle is responsible. During the investigation, it is also discovered that the town is trouble by a goblin necromancer, though the town lacks the resources to go on the offensive against this creature.

During their initial investigation of these events, the characters are joined by Elfie, an axe-wielding elven fighter. Born and raised in Eadwood, she has become bored with simply being part of the militia and asks to join the characters.

After going on a short chase through the forest after the boggle, the characters manage to kill it.

The characters also decide to go after the necromancer and end up making short work of him after fighting their way through his goblin soldiers and undead minions.

In spite of the characters’ contributions to the town’s welfare, they are banished from the town. They are provided with no other explanation than that the townsfolk have seen the “dark side” of the characters and want nothing more to do with them.

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The Shadowed Realm

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Shortly after getting back on the road after their adventure against the deranged kobolds, the characters went to sleep and woke up in a shadowy realm. They were told they were being tested by their ancestors, though after passing all of the tests, those ancestors were short on explanations…

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Deranged Kobolds

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The characters were heading into the Nentir Vale, heading for Fallcrest with a small caravan of settlers. The caravan was attacked by deranged kobolds who managed to kidnap a child. The characters rescued the child from the kobolds, who were worshiping an oddly oversized drake as a dragon.

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