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."
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.
420 gp (plus an additional 100gp from Lord Padraig upon the party's return to Winterhaven)
+1 dwarven chain mail