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Things to Come

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Just after Keep on the Shadowfell...

You bid farewell to Sir Keegan and make your way to the keep's exit. Walking out into fresh air, you take a deep breath trying to rid yourselves of the smell of death and decay. The sun has not yet passed into the Cairgorn Peaks as you begin walking down the mountain path. About a half-hour later you come to a break in the mountainside, facing east into the Nentir Vale. You stand there for several minutes, admiring the simple beauty of nature as the sun crests the Dawnforge Mountains far distant, spilling it's light westward towards you.

User posted image

You continue walking and reach Winterhaven within a few hours. Some of you immediately sense that something is wrong. Harkin in particular is disturbed by the eerie lack of surrounding wildlife sounds as you near the gates. It's already late morning and typically the farmers would be out about, the marketplace busy, and the smith Thair Coalstriker hard at work, the sounds of his banging on anvil filling the air. As you reach the gate, you notice that the welcome sign has changed.

User posted image
click here for Winterhaven maps

It reads: Welcome to Winterhaven - Population 977 842

Looking at each other in concern after noticing the reduced population number, you pass into Winterhaven unchallenged and enter the market square. Smoke is coming out of various house chimneys and you now hear the bustle and movement of many people in one place.

As you pass Bairwin's shop and the smithy, going towards Valthrun's tower, you see what looks like the entire population of Winterhaven congregated in front of the temple and Lord Padraig's manor. Everyone is silent, eyes closed, save for a few children who fidget or cry openly. You notice Lord Padraig at the top of the steps by the temple doors, along with a priest of Avandra, both also with eyes closed as if in prayer or perhaps mourning. Rond Kelfem, captain of the Winterhaven Regulars stands off to his side.

OOC: RP time.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:56 pm. »
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Edeya scans the crowd and tries to figure out what the mood is. She nudges Azad and whispers "You're the eloquent one. Say something."

Insight, Perception (1d20+11+1=19, 1d20+11+1=13)
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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"Where is little Anna?! Is she ok?!"
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Demuriath tries to fade into the background. Crowds of living people make him a little uncomfortable, or whatever the dead version of uncomfortable is. He looks around, hand on his sword, trying to find a place with dark shadows.
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Dungeon Master - The Dark Campaign
Sir Muurak - Mul Cavalier 14, Scales of War
Demuriath - Revenant Assassin 5, Points of Light
Kurvilis - Gnome Mage 4, Eberron
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Edeya senses the mood of the crowd of hundreds quite easily. There is a strong feeling of sadness, tinged with fear, permeating the area. Looking more closely, she sees dozens of people crying and stoically trying to keep silent during this moment of prayer. Thinking about it, Edeya feels it is more a moment of mourning. She also notices that several townsfolk and also Captain Rond Kelfem are wearing recent bandages in places.

Corydimbiddle looks around urgently and several people turn around to look when he speaks up. He isn't able to see Anna anywhere in the throng of people, nor can can see her grandfather Eilian, but then it's easily possible for them to be concealed in the mass of people.

Demuriath easily and silently slips into a shadowy area, concerned at the sight of this many people amassed. He casts his eyes around and also notices the signs of people recently injured as if after a battle. Several of the townsfolk begin turning around after hearing Corydimbiddle and a few of them begin whispering quietly, pointing at the gnome, Azad, Edeya, and Harkin.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Looking at the somber crowd, Azad steps forward. "What happened here? How can we help?"

Diplomacy (1d20+11=24)
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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The townsfolk of Winterhaven make way for Azad as he steps forward. You hear several of them whisper things like "It's them!", "They're back!" and "Where were they!", "They must have failed or last night wouldn't have happened.", some said in hope, some in anger, some in despair.

Captian Rond Kelfem comes quickly through the crowd and stops in front of Azad. "You are back. That is good. Just follow me into the manor and you can report to us." he says and looks like he's about to escort the group away.

"That won't be necessary, Captain." says Lord Padraig as he walks over from the temple entrance. Looking keenly at Azad and his three companions, for Demuriath is nowhere to be seen, he smiles grimly.

User posted image

"I hope you bring good tidings, for we are in need of some. Last night was one of the darkest in Winterhaven's history. Soon after sundown, the evening became eerily silent, completely devoid of the usual cricket and other nighttime sounds. One of the Winterhaven Regulars noticed a blue-green glow above the cemetary outside the walls and went to investigate. Not long after, he came back running, screaming and howling as if death itself was behind him. And indeed it was. An army of risen corpses attacked the city. Fortunately, with the able coordination of Captain Kelfem and our smith, Thair, we eventually were able to set up some defenses. Not soon enough though, for we lost dozens of dearly beloved family and friends during the night. Shortly before sunrise, the undead all stopped attacking in unison and then wandered off in all directions. Now tell us, what news have you?"

As he speaks, more and more people press in to listen eagerly. Everyone is anticipating what will be said next, while Captain Kelfem and his men tries to keep some space free for the four of you and Lord Padraig.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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"We crushed a cult of Orcus at the keep," Azad states, "and defeated the cult's leader. I would venture to guess that our defeat of the cult and its leader occurred at the same time as your undead foes gave up."
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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At Azad's words, several nearby people being saying things urgently like, "They defeated a cult!", "They stopped the undead!", and "Orcus? Wasn't Bairwin involved with something like that?" The mood of the crowd of hundreds begins shifting away from sadness and fear, although hesitantly.

Lord Padraig says, a little more loudly so many can hear him, "So the undead cult is defeated. You say their leader is no more. Does this mean Winterhaven is safe and we have you to thank? Tell us more." he asks with a piercing gaze as if expecting you to somehow know what he is intending at this moment. He pointedly looks at Edeya, Corydimbiddle, and Harkin.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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"Where is little Anna! Tell me! NOW!" Corydimbiddle's uncharacteristic outburst seems to cause him to grow three times his normal size.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Harkin stares at the floor.

"Kalarel...

Blood sacrifice...

Black shadows of the portal..."


Harkin shudders as he mentions the portal, for nothing he had seen out in the forest had prepared him to face such an evil force. He continues on with no cheer in his voice.

"Kalarel dead...

Ritual broken...

Think we safe for now..."
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Edeya defends herself to Captain Kelfem, "How fast your memory fades sir. We chased and fought against that corrupted elf, Ninaran. I believe we brushed paths with you in the tavern? Lord Padraig charged us with the task of stopping her and Bairwin's dark plans."

She listens to Padraig "An army of risen dead ..." She pauses and glances at Demuriath, glad that her brother is still hidden. Who knows what this raw and grieving crowd would think of him "Yes, a mob of undead and blue-green glow, that sounds like Orcus' work. I regret we could not stop them sooner. I am sorry for your losses, but Grief is itself a medicine." She lowers her eyes in respect for the dead then says, "Also, we cannot say if Winterhaven is safe."

Then she joins in Corydimbiddle concern "How are Eilian and Anna? They are still well?"
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Lord Padraig looks at Corydimbiddle, raising his eyebrows at the outburst as if wondering who Anna might be. He then turns to Harkin, frowning slightly as he tries to glean the meaning from the druid's broken sentences.

Captain Kelfem grunts as Edeya addresses him and follows her gaze to where she suspects Demuriath might be, but he doesn't see anything amiss. Padraig listens carefully to her, nodding at her words.

"I see. It seems the threat to Winterhaven is stopped for the time being and no more undead will attack us." he says loudly, so all around him can hear. A cheer goes out among the crowd, almost an explosion of relief expressed as joy. "We have these brave strangers to thank for stopping the threat before it grew too large and completely overran us!" he continues and the crowd cheers even louder. "Let us all grieve our lost loves and rejoice in those that yet live! These....Heroes of Winterhaven shall be our honored guests and henceforth be welcome citizens!" he concludes to repeating cheers of "Heroes of Winterhaven!" He cleverly used the news the party brought to boost the morale of his people.

More quietly, so only the four of you and Captain Kelfem can hear amidst all the shouting. "I see that you too have suffered the loss of one of your group and thank you for your sacrifice. I ask that you stay in Winterhaven a while and maybe help us bolster our defenses in case the threat is not entirely gone. Your presence and expertise would greatly help the people as well as the Winterhaven Regulars."

Turning to Corydimbiddle, "As I recall, Anna is the orphaned little girl whose parents were murdered in the woods. Eilian is her grandfather I believe. Unfortunataly, both of them count among the missing. Since daybreak, we've been counting the dead, but a couple dozen of people have not been found yet, dead or alive. When the undead entered our city, many people fled in all directions. I am hopeful that the survivors outside will return to us. In the meantime, we will send news of your success at the keep to the surrounding farmsteads. Please come now and stay at the manor and I'll provide food, drink, and your promised reward. I will write a report to Lord Markelhay in Fallcrest and the Council, telling of the events here. I will make sure your deeds are known, so if there is some mercenary group or other name you go by, I will make sure to mention it."

OOC: The party gets another 250 gp from Padraig as promised, for a total of 2355 during the whole adventure (I added a bit to make it divisible by 5), which is 471 per PC. The group will be staying in Winterhaven for a few weeks, recovering and helping Winterhaven recover. If you want to specifically do things, like help with the search parties for missing people, or help with training new Winterhaven Regular recruits, or help with building defenses, or do some research on specific topics in Valthrun's Tower, then please describe what exactly. You can buy any items that are not too rare, either as group pool, or individually. To see what items the group found during the adventure, look the PoL Archivist link in our wiki.

Also, you have to finalize a party name before the story continues.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:17 pm. »
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Corydimbiddle ignores everything after Anna being missing and pulls out a device from his pack. The gnome starts fiddling with dials in a panic trying to set it so that it can find his friend.

Perception check (+10 skill, +1 24hr) (1d20+11=14)
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Perhaps because he is too anxious or perhaps because of the tumult of people around, Corydimbiddle's scanning device isn't able to initialize properly right now, the needle spinning around erratically.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Edeya wonders outloud, "If I was a little girl and and old grandfather, where would I flee to?" but nothing comes to mind.
Insight (1d20+11=13)
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Edeya thinks Anna might seek out a haystack or something like it, but that doesn't seem likely in the middle of the night, with her grandfather in tow, running from undead.

OOC: Please decide on a party name within the next three days. Until then, feel free to keep on posting, although nothing major will happen.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:33 pm. »
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Edeya greets her friend warmly "Daria, so good to see you! What have you brought? This town can certainly use all the aid it can get."
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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"Edeya! I'm so happy to see you too and relieved that you're unhurt! We brought food and herbal supplies, as well as some tools for rebuilding. A bunch of traders also tagged along who used to come this way before it was too dangerous." she hugs Edeya, greeting her warmly.

Stepping back and looking more earnest, she says quietly. "I've come for a different reason though. I was sent by the Fallcrest Council to discuss something with Lord Padraig and the members of Light's Shadow if they were still here. I'm glad to see that you are and by the looks of it, you've followed some of Erathis' way quite well in helping out here. Somehow you look...changed though." she finishes, eyeing her friend uncertainly, letting Edeya decide how much she wants to share.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Corydimbiddle runs up, shaking. "Did you happen to see a little girl out there?" He looks like he hasn't gotten any sleep and is about to pass out.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Daria looks down at Corydimbiddle, smiling warmly but with apology in her eyes. "I'm sorry, but we didn't. In fact we didn't see anyone on the roads at all, although I hope that will change once we bring back word about the safety in the region again."

Her face clouds as a she thinks about something. "In fact, safety is what I was sent here for. I need to find out if your mission was successful and also to ask a favor. It may be best if we do so less publicly though. I should head to Lord Padraig's manor now and let him know we arrived. Why don't you and the rest of Light's Shadow meet me there." she suggests before turning and heading off to the manor.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Corydimbiddle collapses at the answer, seeming to be at the end of his rope.
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Edeya answers Daria "We've been through quite a bit since I've seen you last. I'll explain everything."

Seeing Corydimbiddle agonize, she turns to the gnome "If Anna is anywhere, anywhere alive, she must be with that band of hobgoblins Harkin found traces of. It is the only thing that makes sense."

She returns her attention to Daria"Let us all go to Lord Padraig and hear what Daria has to say."
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Not long after the caravan's arrival, the members of Light's Shadow, Lord Padraig, and Daria are sitting in one of the manor's rooms. A few minutes later, Valthrun enters, nodding at Lord Padraig and Demuriath. After some introductions, Daria hands Lord Padraig a sealed letter from the Council of Fallcrest which he reads it quickly, his face looking concerned.

He looks up and explains, "This missive is a report from Lord Markelhay of Fallcrest. In brief, it congratulates you for helping Winterhaven in a time of need and goes on to say that the kidnappings in the Nentir Vale have increased even more." Edeya looks at Daria at mention of kidnappings and recalls how she saved the young priestess from being kidnapped when they first met in the forest glade. "Several witnesses have reported that people were kidnapped by hobgoblins, kobolds, and goblins working together." Thinking more on it, Edeya recalls that the leader of the group attacking Daria was a large goblin, maybe even a hobgoblin, working with some kobolds. Not unlike how Irontooth of the Bloodreavers was working with the kobolds near Winterhaven.

"The Fallcrest Council is requesting the aid of Light's Shadow to investigate the kidnappings and given what Harkin discovered in the woods, it may be that our missing Winterhaven people were also kidnapped. Lastly, this missive asks that you give to Daria Mornbrow an item that you were sent to retrieve, although it doesn't mention what that item is." he finishes, looking at Daria.

Daria looks at Edeya and then the others of Light's Shadow. "Were you able to find the item taken from Gardmore Abbey?"

For a moment, each of you wonders if you might have come across the so-called desideratum, but don't think you found it. In fact, if anyone would have had it then surely Kalarel would have. But what special items you found in the chamber of the rift seemed typical magical items and gold. You recall that the mysterious, dark woman named Lightshade was observing you and then snuck off after the battle. Perhaps she took the desideratum back after having brought it to Kalarel in the first place, for it was she that attacked Gardmore Abbey and stole the desideratum from there.

Daria looks at you waiting for a reply to her question while Lord Padraig also looks at you wondering if you will help find the lost Winterhavians and help the Fallcrest Council.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)

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