Keep on the Peninsula

First sight

The party gets together after various resurections and shopping, and decides to finally investigate the keep they originally came out for. They travel down the road, and up the overgrown path to the keep. There, they discover some of the ruins have been cleared away and a stairway leading down revealed.

Once heading down the stairs, they find a goblin. Falkrunn charges forward to attack, but falls into a pit trap. Everyone else maneuvers around the trap, trying to take out four goblins that dodge around for quite some time. The party eventually manages to kill all four – only barely keeping one from escaping out a previously-unopened door. The party then closes that door and goes down another corridor, finding a blood trail leading through another door with voices coming through it. Everyone lines up and prepares attacks as Graden opens the door.

When the door opens, the party confronts several goblins and a hobgoblin torturer in a torture chamber. After a couple of bullrushes, the hobgoblin manages to get Gresh into the iron maden, and one of the goblin closes the door. The rest of the party concentrates on the hobgoblin and takes him down, and Gresh manages to break out and help clean up the rest of the goblins. Cenedra and Gresh find a goblin in a cell, and release it. He says his name is Splug. After a lot of intimidation (including threatened torture) and some diplomacy, he tells the party he can lead them to his ‘boss’, Balgrun the Fat. He also leads them to an amulet of Healing.

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Entering the danger zone

Everyone races after the last Kobold. The warlock teleports into the cavern and starts trying to area effect from behind, but gets dogpiled. Everyone else is met just after exiting the waterfall by a host of Kobolds. After several frantic seconds, the warlock is taken out – but Falkrunn manages to revive him. The somewhat thinned-out kobolds are reinforced by several tougher ones, plus a goblin. At this point, most of the party is injured (except Graden). The party proceeds to take out the rest of the kobolds – Cenedra goes around back to concentrate on the goblin leader until she is almost killed, while Gresh finally wades through the minions, only to be tag-teamed by the goblin and the tougher kobolds. The warlock is taken down yet again, and finally bleeds to death since Falkrunn is out of healing. Gresh takes down the goblin, who cries out ‘Kalarel and Lord Orcus, prepare my way!’ Gresh goes down after helping to take out all but two of the kobolds – a wizard and a bruiser. The bruiser goes down fairly quickly – but during a wizardly duel, Graden is taken out just before the kobold wizard is finished off by Falkrunn and Cenedra. Falkrunn manages to revive everyone besides the warlock.

The rest of the party loots the kobold’s lair, and Falkrunn preserves the warlock’s corpse. The party travels back to Winterhaven uneventfully.

In Winterhaven, the villagers have become very nervous. The party goes to Lord Padraig and bargains for a resurection for the warlock, in return for all the kobold’s weapons. Back at the inn, Cenedra and Falkrunn talk to Valthrun about the Keep of the Shadowfells, finding out more information about the history (including a portal to a evil area of the Shadowfells dimension that the keep was protecting.)

Gresh goes out shopping with the treasure from the Kobold’s lair. After not finding any magical items that could help him, he finds a protective amulet that he gives to Graden.

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On the road

The party gets up the next day. Loudarin has had a dream where Asmodeus lets him know that, as Orcus and himself has a pact, souls gathered add instead of subtract from his remaining soul count. Loudarin decides to leave the party.

Everyone else decides that the watch from the Fallcrest is no longer looking for them, so they decide to make for the main road to Winterhaven instead of staying in the countryside. Not long after they reach the road, a dwarf catches up with them. She introduces himself as Falkrunn, and has been sent by the church and Parle Cranewing. She has a letter informing the party that the Fallcrest watch have determined that the people they killed were not actual guards. The party continues on, and comes to an old abandoned village that still has one building standing. There they meet Graden, who seems to have several imaginary friends. They allow him to come along.

Traveling down the road, Cenedra and several others notice scratches in the ground. As they try to figure out what caused them, kobolds leap out from the bushes and charge the party. Combat rages, and once again Gresh goes down – this time Falkrunn is able to heal him. The party dispatches the rest of the kobolds, and continues on to Winterhaven.

In Winterhaven the party go to the inn, and talk to several of the people there. Valthrun tells them he will research the keep that Parle asked them to investigate. Eilian tells several stories, none of which are of interest to the party. Just after everyone finishes eating, Lord Padraig comes in and buys drinks in honor of the newcomers. Gresh and several others talk to Padraig, finding out that kobolds have been attacking more often lately, and asks the adventurers to clear out their lair. The party agrees, and decides to set out the next morning.

After setting out the next day, the party is ambushed by more kobolds – this time no-one notices them soon enough. This time, several people take damage (although once again Gresh is the only one to get bloodied.) The party continues on to the kobold’s lair, and notices many of them gathered near a waterfall. This time the party is able to surprise the kobolds – using several daily powers to good effect. Almost all the kobolds are dispatched – but one dodges back through the waterfall after several last-ditch attacks miss.

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First steps

July 17th game session

Gresh has been asked by the leadership of his church to investigate rumors of a cult of death worshipers operating near the town of Winterhaven. They can’t offer any monetary reward, but they suggest also getting in touch with Parle Cranewing. The rest of the characters have been contacted by Parle and asked to get a complete rendering of the old keep near Winterhaven. Everyone is asked to meet each other at an inn in Fallcrest and wait a messenger who will have a general map with directions to Winterhaven and the keep. Gresh and Loudarin meet and start drinking ale right away – Cenedra jumps right in. A dragonborn warlock sits in a corner – from their rarity in town, it is obvious he is the fourth member of the party. After some introductions, the time arrives to meet the me ssenger. Everyone but the dragonborn warlock head outside when they see the messenger coming down the road – however, the messenger is intercepted by a small group of guards led by a large sergeant and a slighter guard.

The slight guard attacks and kills the messenger before anyone can stop him, and then the rest of the guards attack Gresh and Cenedra (while bellowing ‘Bandits!’). Gresh and others notice that the “guards” armor doesn’t really fit well, so they wade right in. Gresh and the sergeant go toe-to-toe, while the others spread out. The party manages to take out all of the guards, but not before Gresh is first knocked down and then taken out! Luckily, Gresh recovers almost instantly. (Very lucky critical success on a saving throw!)

Just as the party takes out the sergeant, a whole phalanx of guards come charging towards the just-finished melee. Being surrounded by bodies of supposed guards, the party decides that discretion is the better part of valor and runs down an alleyway – but not before Loudarin searches the messenger to find the map and Cenedra recovers everything she threw. Gresh’s luck continues, and he leads everyone out of the city (with some assistance from others).

The party travels cross-country to confuse anyone following, and ends up in the Cloak Wood in a clearing. Just as they are setting up camp, a young white dragon flies down. Everyone besides Gresh scatters to the sides of the clearing, so the youngster hesitates (he doesn’t want to attack a half-dragon in armor, with unknown allies in the woods!) Gresh and the dragonborn warlock are exceptionally intimidating, especially after Cenedra and Loudarin notice he is being rather cautious.

Out of game notes

This was the first game I have run in many years, and only the second time I’ve played 4th edition. So, there are several learning points for me:

1. I forgot that everyone has the choice, when taking down an opponent, to declare their attack either kills or just knocks them out.
2. It was very interesting throwing together what I remembered from the demo D&D adventure I was in before as an 'impromptu' introduction.
3. The skill challenges are definitely interesting to throw into adventures.
4. If the party stays in it's current configuration, dragonbreath may need to be depended upon and extra healing procured.  (The first combat was a level 1 encounter - which should have been moderately easy for the party.  If Gresh hadn't been very lucky on his recovery roll, he may have easily died.)
5. When the party gets better at it's tactics, I will need to as well.  For example, the grunts in the first combat should have swarmed Gresh, instead of doing smaller attacks against whomever was close.
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