Tales of the Nentir Vale

Keep on the Shadowfell Part I: Stronghold of the Kobolds
Lysh Strayheart Joins the Team

kobolds 

 

The Rovers extended their roving as far as the westernmost reaches of the Nentir Vale, traveling to the remote town of Winterhaven.  Having heard that Lord Padraig was in need of strong sword arms, they were eager to reach the small fortified town and put their skills to use.  Veesha, newly healed from her wounds, informed her companions that she had business of her own to attend to, but that she would rejoin them at Winterhaven after she had attended to her own affairs.

On the journey, the Rovers were joined by Lysh Strayheart, a wandering dragoborn sworn to the service of Bahamut, dragon god of justice and valor.  Witnessing his prowess in battle, and learning of his lifelong mission to root out evil wherever it lurked, the Rovers invited Lysh to join them in their journeys.  Lysh, an oprhan who had long traveled the world alone, eagerly accepted, and soon became fast friends with the irrepressible Knives Smugbottom.

Arriving in Winterhaven, the group quickly sought out Lord Padraig, and accepted a commission to eliminate a band of kobolds that had been wreaking havoc along the trade routes recently.  That same evening at Wrafton's Inn, the party acquired a few choice rumors.  Shalzar Hellwhisper, sitting at the bar, overheard a crusty old farmer named Eilian talking about a missing man named Douven Staul, who had disappeared after going in search of an old burial site.  Lysh struck up a conversation with a scholarly man named Valrthun, who was quite interested in hearing about the dragonborn's life and travels.  As the evening wore on, Valthrun offered to assist the party by showing them some of the local maps of the area that he possesed, if they would visit him in the morning.

And so it was that Lysh and Knives found themselves knocking on Valthrun's tower.  Valthrun raised an eyebrow at the sight of the halfling, but wisely kept Knives occupied with a tasty apple.  He was as good as his word, and his geographic knowledge and helpful maps Lysh and Knives to better plot their route to the site of kobold activity.

The morning passed uneventfully, the Rovers traveling with alert eyes at first, but slowly letting down their guard as the monotony of the day wore on them.  Suddenly, ferocious battle cries were heard, and a pack of kobolds rushed from hiding!

Lysh quickly found himself swarmed by "distant relations," but his many years of wandering alone had allowed him to train heavily in techniques of fighting multiple opponents.  His axe cut a wide swathe through the kobolds, as Jerronand Shalzar staunchly held the line, longsword and scythe sweeping this way and that.

Knives, ever bold and nearly impossible to catch, launched himself straight for the wyrmpriest directing the battle.  His tiny blades drove the shaman back, robbing the other kobolds of his bolstering presence.  The halfling's momentum was checked, however, when a kobold skirmisher rushed from behind, his spear tearing a gash across his shoulder.  Now trapped between two foes, Knives appeared to have bitten off more than he could chew.

Without warning, a roar interrupted the halfling's certain demise.  Lysh had broken through the press of kobolds, and now crashed against the spear-wielding skirmisher, his greataxe making deadly arcs through the air.  Jerron and Shalzar held the other kobolds at bay, Jerron's longsword slashing out with blinding speed, cutting down any foe who dared take his attention from the deadly swordsman.

With the skirmisher now fully distracted by Lysh, Knives struck with ruthless efficiency, grabbing the kobold's head from behind and yanking his dagger across the creature's throat.  In short order, the party annihilated the remaining kobolds, leaving only one badly wounded ambusher alive.

"I have questions for you," Shalzar whispered, hoisting the kobold with one hand.  "If you do not answer, I will give you to him."

Shalzar nodded at Lysh, whose axe still dripped with the blood of the kobold's friends.  Lysh growled a few threatening phrases in the Draconic language, and the kobold began to weep with terror.

The kobold informed the party that the main force of  his kin were encamped not far away, and that, although there was a guard posted, they had not entrenched themselves with their usual traps.  After a little more intimidation, Shalzar released the prisoner, who quickly scampered away.

Cautiously approaching the kobold stronghold, situated in a cave behind a waterfall, the party was able to easily spot the guards, thanks to Knives' keen skill at detection.  Unfortunately, few of them were as stealthy in their approach as Knives, and the alarm was quickly sounded.  A fierce battle ensued, during which the Rovers came face-to-face with the infamous Irontooth, a large goblin with a hideously large fang protuding from his lower jaw.

The party was hard-pressed in the battle; it took all of the healing powers of Shalzar and Lysh to keep the Rovers standing.  In the end, however, the Rovers emerged victorious, striking down Irontooth as he called out for aid from "Orcus and Kalarel."

Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead, was well known to Shalzar, whose goddess was the fiend's implacable foe.  The name of Kalarel remained a mystery, however, and as the party gathered up the plunder, including a set of superb dwarven chainmail and a chest full of gold, they could not help but wonder who this Kalarel was, and why he was employing a goblin to lead kobolds.

Party Treasure:

420 gp (plus an additional 100gp from Lord Padraig upon the party's return to Winterhaven)

+1 dwarven chain mail 

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Into the Goblin Lair
First Dungeon Crawl

Goblins

When Shalzar Hellwhisper's winter supplies began to run low, the party agreed that they would need to mount an expedition to the Hammerfast Holds to restock the larder.  Veesha, still too injured to travel, was left to continue her recovery in Shalzar's secluded cabin.  The others traveled to the dwarven stronghold as quickly as possible, hoping to return before the heavy snows began to fall.

Upon arrival, the Rovers were disappointed to discover that provisions were tight at the Hammerfast Holds, and none could be spared for outsiders.  Fortunately, they were given the option of performing a service for the dwarven community in exchange for supplies and a small reward.  The task was to clear out a small dwarven holdfast that had not been heard from in months.  Originally established to help protect the trade route down to Harkenwold, the dwarves suspected that the holdfast had been overrun by the monsters that inhabited the foothills around it.  Ghesh, proud warrior that he was, felt it was a dishonor to run errands to be permitted to purchase food and declined to accompany the others.  In his place, the Rovers recruited a talented swordsman named Jerron Caulder, whose skill with a blade Ghesh personally vouched for.

Knowing that time was against them, Shalzar, Jerron, and Knives set out immediately.  After a few hurried days of travel, they discovered the holdfast, and were met with a grisly scene: the decayed and desecrated bodies of dwarves hung from the few scraggly trees outside the entrance.  Steeling themselves for fierce opposition, the three heroes entered the holdfast.

Thanks to the careful scouting of Knives, the trio was able to get the drop on the gate guards, slaying several goblin cutters with a devastating barrage of magic and steel.  Unfortunately, reinforcements were quick to arrive, and Shalzar was knocked senseless by a bugbear's mighty blow.  The deadly sword work of Jerron and the quick blades of Knives were soon able to lay the brute low, and after a brief rest to bind their wounds and catch their breath, they were off again.

Careful exploration of the barracks (inhabited by the malignant spirit of one of the dead dwarves) revealed a secret passage that allowed the band to get the drop on two hobgoblin archers at target pratice.  After dispatching them with ease, the Rovers boldly burst into the complex's throne room to challenge the goblin hexer and his guards.

The combat was fierce, but with Jerron holding the chokepoint against the goblin berserkers, the numbers of the enemy were rendered useless.  As the goblin hexer fell, Shalzar kicked the dented bronze crown from his head.

"You have been punished for your pride, goblin.  Praise the Raven Queen."

Further exploration resulted in a few brief skirmishes ending in the annihilation of the goblin infestation.  After solving a few riddles, the Rovers uncovered magical artifacts of great value, and were able to return to the Hammerfast Holds with trophies of their victory.  Pleased with the group's success, the dwarves paid them an additional bounty of gold and gave them a wagonload of supplies to last them through the winter.

And so it was with heavy purses that the trio returned to the now nearly-recovered Veesha, who eagerly listened to their tale of derring-do.

Party Treasure:

200gp paid by the dwarves

Winter supplies donated by the dwarves

Symbol of Life +1 (Raven Queen)

Duelist's Weapon +1 (dagger)

Black Iron Armor +1 (Scale) 

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The First Adventures of the Rovers of the Vale
Graveyards and Zombies

Monster Mash 

Three enterprising adventurers wandered into an abandoned graveyard, following a hunch that there was treasure to be found.  Unfortunately, they found a horde of recently unearthed corpses instead.  Even more unfortunate was the the fact that it soon became evident that the corpses had unearthed THEMSELVES, and they seemed… hungry.

 

A fierce battle ensued, during which the three sellswords later known as the Rovers of the Vale proved their valor and their cohesion as a team.  Now Ghesh Whitescale, "Knives" Smugbottom, and the mysterious mage known only as Veesha struggled through the dangerous wilderness, hindered by their wounds and the strange, unfamiliar terrain.  As the darkness of another cold night fell, wolves began to howl in the distance.  A faint glimmer of hope remained- if they were swift, the small band of mercenaries might just find refuge with the enigmatic cleric rumored to live somewhere within the nearby woods.

 

After being set upon by a pack of ferocious wolves, the party managed to escape to the relative safety of Shalzar Hellwhisper's hut.  The reclusive cleric of the Raven Queen offered them aid, and none too soon, for Veesha had been grievously wounded.  As the cold of winter settled in, Shalzar offered them lodging in his spartan but secure home.

 

Success and safety were theirs- but for how long? 

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