Ekria Unearthed

Chapter 6: The Festival

That night, following a sober toast to honour the fallen citizens of Maelstraen, and Kel Mar’s family, the group proceeds to the festival in celebration to them. Much to Kazuki’s delight, Bamelias decides to join them in the festivities, which gives the old friends a chance to talk and catch up.

The festival encompasses the entire town, with great fireworks shooting into the sky and practically all the villagers celebrating their new found safety.

The first game the party plays is called Monster Mash. The players draw cards from a deck, and hope to draw a powerful monster card. If their card beats what the dealer draws, they win. Kazuki managed to win it on his first turn, and won 10 festival tokens.

The party next visit a stall being run by Salvana Rafton, the inn owner that Kazuki, Standard and Kel Mar had met before. She runs a game called the ‘Dice Roll Game’. A dwarf nearby calls it ‘Blackjack’, but Salvana insists that’s a stupid name. The players roll dice with the objective of getting the number ‘21’ cumulatively. Ryn, Standard, and Kazuki all manage a win, while Kel Mar wins twice before the group moves on.

Next up, the group visits a strength-tester game run by a burly dwarf. They must hit a target with a mallet hard enough to hit the target strong enough to ring a bell. Kazuki and Ryn make attempts but unfortunately fail to succeed. Standard trips and falls onto the target, inadvertently winning the game for himself.

The group is then faced with a dance contest. Knowing that they are not the most graceful group of adventurers, they first hope to somehow disguise themselves as judges. Realizing this is unlikely to work, they decide to give dancing a shot regardless.

The dance contest is run by a large lady called Dosie O’Ronnel. She’s extremely large.

Kazuki takes the first shot, and tries to do what he calls a ‘Standard’ dance. It’s completely rubbish, and he is gains only three of a possible forty points.

Showing uncharacteristic grace and strength, the group manages to not only form a pyramid, but then have Standard dancing on top of the pyramid. The decimate the scoring system, winning the dance contest outright.

As they leave the dance contest, a young man covered in ash and gunpowder runs to the group. “Please, heroes of Shadowfell, we have run out of fireworks! Can you help us make some sort of display while my sister runs to get more fireworks!?”. After deciding it would be dishonerable to mug the child, Kel Mar and Ryn cast some magic into the sky. Ryn also convinces the young man to give him schematics for fireworks. The young man gives Ryn some prize tokens for his help, and they move on.

They next manage to sneak Ryn Turwinkle into a childrens footrace. Rather than win the race through Ryn’s natural speed, they decide to use Kel Mar’s magic to cheat their way to win the race. Luckily for them, nobody notices their trickery, and Ryn manages to gain another 15 tokens.

A farmer approaches Mai’yr and asks him if he’d be interested in entering Bael into a Boar contest. Mai’yr agrees, and wins the Boar contest easily. Although the farmer offers a large sum of money for Bael, Mai’yr strongly declines his offer.

Next up, Kazuki and Kel Mar enter themselves in a Bachelor sale. Unfortunately, Kazuki’s complete lack of any charisma, and lack of depth…perception…means he was unable to succeed. Mai’yr and Kel Mar have better luck however, winning tokens due to their Elven looks.

Standard uses his immense wait and lack of bouyancy to win the diving contest in record time. Following that, Ryn shows her skills with pressure points after quickly dispatching ‘The Grappling Goliath’ in a wrestling contest.

Finally the group takes part in a rock hurling contest. The heroes are tasked with throwing a giant boulder further than the host himself. Standard manages to win the competition.

Shortly after the rock throwing competition, an announcement is made from the center stage that the heroes must enter an elimination tournament against each other to fight for the title of ‘Champion of Winterhaven’.

The tournament progresses quickly, and Kazuki manages to win, earning himself the title “Champion of Winterhaven”.

As champion, Kazuki is given a small mansion inside Winterhaven, which he naturally shares with the group. He is also having a suit of armour crafted by the town blacksmith, either for himself or whoever he chooses to gift it to.

The group returns to the Inn to rest for the night, as the mansion is not yet prepared. Inside his room, Kazuki finds a letter. It is unsigned by anyone and reads “Maelstraen was just the beginning.”

End of Act 1

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Chapter 5: Kalarel, disciple of Orcus

As the playeres prepare to face Kalarel, he screams at them: “You fools! You will never slay me! Lord Orcus guides my hand! I shall destroy you!”.

A great battle takes place. Kazuki moves quickly, wasting no time on diplomacy. His reaping strike strikes Kalarel, quickly bringing the battle to a start. Mid battle, Standard manages a critical strike against the dark mage. With his new found wound, Kalarel fights with new determination and desperation, and a great portal opens in a far corner of the room. From this portal comes dark, arcane tentacles. They sweep and strike at the party, but despite the efforts of both the portal and Kalarel, the dark spellcaster is eventually brought swift justice thanks to a devestating bow shot from Mai’yr. As the evil sorcerer falls, he screams at the party in defeat: “This is not over, fools! Lord Orcus will take this plane, regardless of your victory here this day!”.

As Kel Mar is about to deal the final blow to Kalarel, a great tentacle shoots our from the portal, taking Kalarel in it’s grasp and whipping him into the portal. Quickly after the great portal closes, and the party is left in an empty chamber with only the corpses of those they had previously slain. Kel Mar is furious at not being able to deliver death to the murderer of his family, and has somewhat of a breakdown in the large chamber. He hacks at one of the large stone statues with his sword, until he is finally calmed by the party.

With Kalarel defeated and his demise apparent, they return to Winterhaven. The party comes out primarily unscathed, with the exception of Standard, who was dealt a heavy blow during the battle. While the party had managed to stabilize him during the battle, his body would require serious repairs later.

Valthrun welcomes the group back to Winterhaven, and is quickly introduced to Mai’yr and Ryn. The group is also quickly met by Lord Padraig at the gate. Padraig quickly and publicly announces how he heroically sent his best mercenaries to save the day. Despite Padraig’s pagentry, the townspeople are in no way confused as to who are the heroes. The townspeople start preparing for a great festival that night, whilst the party decides to get some rest at the Inn.

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Chapter 4: Depths of Shadowfell

It didn’t take long for the adventurers to discover a massive chamber deep within the keep. In the center of the massive hall, a large square funnel sits, being fed a deep red liquid from large funnels around the room.

At the far end of the chamber was a man dressed in the robes of an Orcus Cultist. Kel Mar presumed the man to be Kalarel. Enraged by grief of his family’s murder, he rushed to attack, springing an ambush set by Kalarel’s men.

The party managed to defeat most of the ambush. One of the half-orc ambushers was pushed down the funnel in the center of the room. After dispatching the ambushers and the priest, the group realized the liquid going down the funnel was in fact blood.

Having explored the remainder of the second floor, they knew that down was the only way. Kazuki took the first jump, dropping down the hole into a large pool of blood. To his suprise, Kazuki found that the blood almost instantly healed the wounds he had recieved in combat.

As soon as Kazuki landed in the blood pool, many torches lit up around the chamber he was now in. It was roughly the same size and layout of the first, with a similar altar at one end of the chamber. A few more of the party lept down into the lower chamber and fought off the various guards. After dispatching their enemies (Including the warrior they had previously knocked down the into the room), they turned to fight the last remaining man in the room – a robed man with an Orcus staff…

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Chapter 3: Into the Keep

Kazuki, Kel Mar, and "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standard descend into the Keep on the Shadowfell.

Quickly they come across an interrogation room. After quelling the interrogator and his guards, they find an Elf trapped inside a prison cell. Kel Mar greets the elf and learns that he was captured at the Dragon Burial Site that the group had ventured to earlier.

They free the elf, who introduces himself as Mai’yr. Mai’yr agrees to join the party and help them track down Kalarel.

They also meet a Goblin merchant who had been trapped. While the Goblin was interested in little else than escaping, he was happy (After some intimidation) to give the group some information on the layout of the Keep.

As they are about to leave, they hear rumbling from one of the wooden crates in the interrogation room. Upon opening the crate, a Gnome leaps from the crate, very apparently happy to be freed. Despite a shaky greeting, the Gnome finally identifies himself as Ryn Turwinkle, a treasure hunter looking for goods inside the keep. He was captured, and with the promise of additional treasure, agrees to join the party. He also seems to think that "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standard ‘Looks friendly’, despite the fact that "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standard is rarely such. The two quickly become unlikely friends, and Ryn adopts "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standard as a makeshift mount.

Upon smelling bacon, they open up yet another crate in the room, and discover Mai’yr’s pet Boar, Bael, trapped inside the wooden box. The two are reunited, and the group finally continues through the keep.

They come upon a maze of corridors on their way deeper into the keep. Amongst the corridors are runes, which Kel Mar recognizes as magical. "Ryn “:”Ryn":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/ryn and Kel Mar attempt to deactivate the runes, but quickly realize the magic is far too powerful.

Kazuki, taking the initiative, leaps the first of the runes. Realizing it’s safe to jump over, the group makes it across successfully. Half the group makes it across the second rune, but while throwing the boar across the rune, "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standard stumbles and falls onto the floor. Luckily, Kel Mar deduces that the runes are only set off by living beings, and the group manages to get across without incident.

They enter the room at the end of the corridors, and are met with pitch black. The room is unnaturally dark, and the party quickly realizes they are unable to use magic or even light their sunrods. Kel Mar, Mai’yr, and Ryn all are adept at seeing in the dark, and they are able to help their party get through the room. They quickly discover there are zombies in the room that are approaching the group. Using some quick thinking, and some excellent shooting by Mai’yr
, they dispatch the zombies.

Escaping the dark room, they descend to the second floor of the Keep. After dispatching the guards in the entrance, they stop briefly to discuss what to do next…

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Chapter 2: Return to Winterhaven
The party uncovers more of the devious plot surrounding the Keep on the Shadowfell

The party, after clearing out the Kobold Lair, return to Winterhaven. They look for clues on who the spy mentioned in "Irontooth’s ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/irontoothletter might be. After questioning many people in the Inn, they begin to suspect Ninaran, an elf staying at the Wrafton’s Inn.

They also meet Kel Mar Geran, an Eladrin Swordmage who is hunting Kalarel, the man mentioned in Irontooth’s letter. Kel Mar Geran agrees to help the group hunt down Kalarel.

At first they go to the "Winterhaven ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/ekria_unearthed/wikis/winterhavenmanor to find help from Lord Padraig. His Guard Captain tells the party that "Padraig ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/padraigis too busy to speak to them right now, and the group decides they are better off trying to find help elsewhere.

They convince the Innkeeper, who’s name they learn to be Salvana Rafton, to allow them to investigate the Elf’s room. Not only do they not find any evidence, they find very little of anything. The room is empty of any belongings, and the only sign of anyone having stayed there is the unmade bed.

After finding little evidence at the Inn, they look to the local temple. They can tell that the temple is to the Goddess Avandra, the Goddess of luck and change. They meet Sister Linora, who while very friendly, has no helpful information.

Coming to the conclusion that there’s no more information at Winterhaven, they head off to Shadowfell Keep.

On the road to the keep they find Ninaran, the Elf they had met back in Winterhaven. "Ninaran ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/ninaranis on the side of the road, seemingly bleeding to death. It is revealed that she is the spy in Winterhaven, and as punishment for letting the group kill Irontooth, her master has betrayed her and had her killed. "Ninaran ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/ninaraneventually bleeds out and dies, and "Kazuki ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/kazuki buries her body by the road. With nothing left to do, they head to the Burial site to investigate.

At the burial site, they are met by a group of archaeologists with a pair of tamed Drakes standing guard. At first the archaeologists seem welcoming of the group, but Kel Mar quickly deduces that it is in fact a trap.

A quick battle ensues, and the leader of the ‘Archaeologists’ is captured. Through some handy work by Kel Mar, they discover that the men are actually "Kalarel’s ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/kalareltroops, and they were sent to capture Douvan Staul, the Dwarf who discovered the site. They release Douvan, who shows them a mirror that he had discovered in the site. While the mirror doesn’t seem to be of any coincidence, Douvan is convinced it has something to do with the Wizard who originally closed the rift at Shadowfell.

With the mirror in hand and "Douvan ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/douvan rescued, they continue on to Shadowfell Keep.

The enter the keep through a small staircase leading into the bowels of the structure. As they enter they alert a small number of goblins, who are dispatched easily. As the fighting finishes, Bamelias; who had been guarding the entrance outside, meets them with Valthrun.

“Valthrun ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/valthruntheprescient gives the adventurers each a runestone that allows them to instantly teleport back to his tower. He says the stones will only work once per day, as they need to build the magical energy inside them. Furthermore, they draw off each other, so the entire party must go together. From Valthrun’s tower, they are able to return to where they left.

“Bamelias ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/bameliasalso informs the group that he has decided to study with Valthrun. After the destruction of Maelstraen, "Bamelias ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/bameliasbelieves he needs to learn both the ways of the sword and of magic if he is to encounter those who killed Master Brael.

The adventurers thank Valthrun, and the Sage departs with Bamelias. The group sets off deeper inside the keep…

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Chapter 1: Solving Winterhaven's Problems
The group searches for information on the Maelstraen attack...

Kazuki, Standard, and "Bamelias ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/bamelias arrive at the town of Winterhaven. It’s a large town, about 1,000 people. It’s well known in the area as a trading hub. It is also quite safe, as the town is nestled in the foothills of the Cairngorm peaks.

They visit the local inn searching for information and possible help in looking for the perpetrators of the "Maelstraen ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/ekria_unearthed/wikis/maelstraenattack.

At first, they speak to Lord Padraig. He’s the Lord of the town, a large man who demands respect, while still being seemingly friendly to the townsfolk. He greets the visitors warmly. They question him about the attack, asking if Winterhaven might have militia to spare to help retaliate against the attack. While "Padraig ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/padraigseemed at first open to cooperation, he takes "Standard’s ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standardlack of respect personally, and tells the group that he is unable to assist them. Despite this small disagreement, "Padraig ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/padraigoffers to pay for their stay at the Inn, and the fee of a hot meal.

They also question the local sage, Valthrun the Prescient. After "Standard ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/standardagrees to let the "Valthrun ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/valthruntheprescientinspect him, the Sage provides them information on the keep that should help them in their quest to find the attackers. He gives them a small letter, written on parchment and addressed to no one, that reads as follows:

Chapter 1   valthrun
bq). The keep was built during the height of the old empire. Some sort of watchtower. I can’t recall what for. Some think it was to guard against gnoll marauders, but I don’t think that’s right. Whatever, the keep outlived it’s usefulness. It’s been a ruin since before I was born. Probably a golbin lair by this time. But you’ve whetted my curiosity. When I return to my tower, I’ll look through my library. The next time you see me here, I will know more.

Along with Lord Padraig and Valthrun the Precient, they notice a few more people in the Inn. Tired, and having gathered all the information they think they’ll find, they take rest in the Inn for the night.

Upon awakening, they question the "Innkeeper ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/79807to see if she might have any information, but she holds no answers.

They leave the Inn ready to visit the Keep they’ve been given information about, hoping that will be the source of attacks. However, before they can leave, Lord Padraig comes to them and asks their aid in clearing out a nearby Kobold Lair. He says that, with the Lair clear, it would give him more room to possibly send the local soldiers to "Maelstraen ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/ekria_unearthed/wikis/maelstraento assist your investigation.

The group clears the lair, and kills the Goblin behind the Kobold attacks, Irontooth. From "Irontooth’s ":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/irontoothcorpse, they discover a letter, written to "Irontooth “:http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/irontoothand signed by a ’”Karalel":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/ekria_unearthed/characters/kalarel’. It reads as follows:

Chapter 1   irontooth
bq). My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter; in just a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for all those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.

With the letter in hand, and the lair being cleared, they head back to Winterhaven

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