Monday, May 31, 2010

The Burial Site (05/30/2010)

That night back in Winterhaven after our heroes had defeated Kalarel turned out to be quite a celebration. Sylvana Wrafton’s Inn was definitely the place to be. All of the town’s leaders were there as well as many of the townspeople and farm families from the surrounding community.

Anyone making the mistake of asking Sister Linora about the graveyard received a ten minute soliloquy on the proper methods of burial, how much work she put in beautifying the place to begin with, and now how much work she will have to do to clean it up after the “unfortunate incident” with Ninaren the Spy and those nasty undead. Those that can stick through the entire conversation learn that Ninaren will never be seen again and that there have been no further disturbances. She does insist that the heirlooms bearing the names of Sir Keegan’s children be returned to his crypt, and oddly enough anyone searching for the small silver and gold dragon statuettes (Sir Keegan’s Boon) find they seem to have disappeared.

Valthrun the Prescient is of course happy about the success of the party as well, but is also distraught that the historical Keep of the Shadowfell existed all these many years right under his nose. He has prided himself on being a historian and a keeper of local lore and well, frankly he’s kind of embarrassed. He repeatedly stated would love to see the detailed map of the Keep, and would really love to own a copy. An offer of the map for 150 GP was made and Valthrun eagerly accepted, and afterward he spent most of the rest of evening familiarizing himself with the underground details of the Keep.

Bairwin Wildarson and Thair Coalstriker calculated they had over a ton of miscellaneous weapons, shields, and armor from the Keep and from the kobolds. Thair had even had to hire a couple of youngsters to help polish up the items so they can be shipped quickly. The two had located a pair of potential buyers, and estimate they would get about 1400 GP for the lot. It would likely take 3-4 weeks for the transaction to complete though, and they would be able to get the money back to you through Menos in Fallcrest. When pressed for details, they confess they know of two nobles in a country far south of Winterhaven that were apparently spoiling for a fight and as good businessmen they intended to sell to both sides.

Lord Padraig is especially thankful. It is clear he wishes he had the resources to do more, and there is no doubt the actions of the party have provided a great service to him personally and the town and community he serves. Lord Padraig was insistent that the party report everything to Menos in detail and to pass along his request for assistance on what to do with the Keep, especially now that is essentially left open and unguarded.

Lastly, he still wants you to find the two missing farm boys when you look for the missing Parle Cranewing. After all, the party did promise they would, plus one of the fathers has done the legwork of finding where they may be. The party agreed to search for the missing boys and Parle, but only after another round of drinks (or two) and a good night’s sleep.

When the morning did arrive the party found Lord Padraig, their horses, and a farmer waiting for them. The farmer explained he had seen his son at a location an hour or two southwest of town. They were definitely digging for something, there was a human in charge of the crew of diggers (the two farm boys and maybe up to four other men), and there were several large green dragon-like guards wandering around.

This last bit of news took the party by surprise. Parle had certainly hired guards in the past – Krstic and Bogar had been hired by him for example. But as far as they knew he had never hired Guard Drakes before. When pressed Lord Padraig offered that it was likely they weren’t truly evil creatures, just bought and paid for creatures.

The farmer led the party out of town and through the woods and fields to a small grove of trees. He told the party if they went ahead on foot until they saw the large pond (small lake?) the burial site would be on the south side of the pond. He also offered to stay behind and watch the horses.

The party approached the burial site from a west-to-east direction. To maximize stealth the party initially stayed well back in a stand of trees and brush to the west of the site. From there they could see there definitely was a large pit ahead of them, and a pile of bush had been piled up to the southeast corner of the pit. It looked like there was a ramp leading into the pit from the south, there was a large stand of boulders on the western lip of the pit, and two things were seen to be walking around. On the east side of the pit, farthest away from the party, was a solitary Guard Drake. On the north side of the pit a smallish humanoid was seen to talking to someone or something in the pit.

Oester decided to move forward and see if he could successfully sneak a closer view of the pit and the surrounding area. He was able to move stealthily through some trees and brush until he was next to the rocks on the western lip of the pit. All of a sudden the smallish human – a Halfling! – started moving towards Oester, bading him good wishes and encouraging him to come down into the pit with him and to see what their successful dig had found.

Oester managed to quickly hide himself in another stand of brush. Akta stepped out of the woods just a few feet from the Halfling, and while startled at first, the unarmed Halfling continued his patter, bragging about the treasure they had found and how all were welcome to come view it with him.

The rest of the party then moved forward as well, and Krstic and Eldred attempted to catch up to the Halfling and deter him with questions of their own, but to no avail. As the group came around the corner of the pit another Guard Drake came up the ramp as if to meet them. Krstic and Eldred, and eventually Jenneth and Oester, continued toward the ramp on the south side of the pit, while Bogar, Akta, and Maive moved around toward the north end of the pit.

With the pit itself now in view the party could see a crew of seven men digging in a deeper pit inside the larger pit area. Two of the diggers were definitely younger than the others, the party thinking these two were likely the two missing farm boys. Also in the larger pit area was a third Guard Drake and a different type of Guard Drake, maybe a little larger and having a nasty looking set of horns. Overlooking the men working in the pit was another humanoid type – a Gnome! – apparently driving the efforts of the work crew. And, oh by the way, the guard drake originally on the east side of the pit had moved toward the loose rock on the north side of the pit where Bogar and Akta were.

The Halfling continued to talk about the interesting relic they had come across and how they hoped to find more. He further explained this was apparently the burial site of a dragon and who knew how much more interesting treasure they might find. He moved past the Guard Drake without incident, as did Krstic and Eldred. Flustered, Krstic grabbed the Halfling in an attempt to stop him before he could reach the pit floor at the bottom of the ramp, and all of a sudden the battle was on.

The workers all stumbled out of the deeper pit and moved toward the party with their crude weapons of picks and shovels. Akta teleported down into the pit and quickly found himself surrounded by workers, a Guard Drake, and the Gnome. Bogar and a Guard Drake skittered about on the loose rock at the north end of the pit, each apparently looking for ways to avoid damaging each other. Maive was able to fling some quick arrows at the tougher characters, but no one was going down easy.

On the other side of the pit the Guard Drake, the Horned Drake, the Halfling, and a few workers fought Krstic, Eldred, Jenneth, and Oester. Eldred worked on the Halfling and some of the workers, Krstic fought the Horned one, and Jenneth and Oester fought a Guard Drake. Krstic managed to take out several of the workers with his breath weapon, including one the boys, and the other boy who had originally been standing near Akta ran over to assist his fallen comrade.

Akta managed to hit the Gnome, only to see him disappear right before his eyes. The Gnome almost instantaneously reappeared and bloodied Akta with a solid blow. Akta then executed his “close burst 1 and teleport” ability, taking out the workers and getting himself out of dodge. Maive’s arrows finished the remainder, while Bogar and his Guard Drake continued their own little kabuki dance.

The Halfling soon fell, and then the remaining Drakes, and Eldred was able to stabilize the unconscious farm boy. With no enemies remaining (Yes, Bogar’s too finally) the two boys told their story. Parle had indeed hired them and brought them here, but they had been overrun by the others and forced to work for them.

As for Parle, the party found him tied up but alive with some supplies under a tarp in a corner of the pit. He was immensely happy to be rescued, but he was also quite ready to return home. His story matched that of the two farm boys, so before departing the party made a quick sweep of the area. As they looked around they saw:

3 Guard Drakes

1 Horned Drake

5 Human Rabble, wielding shovels and picks (clubs)

1 Halfling Slinger, wielding a dagger and a sling and carrying 20 sling bullets

1 Gnome Skulk, wearing leather armor, wielding war pick and a crossbow, carrying 20 bolts, and wearing a magic amulet

Krstic claimed the +1 Amulet of Health, and the party found 90 GP. Besides the items described above the party also found an obviously old and very ornate hand mirror. Parle said it was owned by one of the wizards who had originally set the seal in the Keep all those many years ago, and while it was not strictly magical it was certainly valuable. The decision was made to give it to Valthrun in Winterhaven for his disposal. Each party member also earned 140 XP for the encounter. 

DM Note: I will post a follow-up note with a XP and GP summary in the next day or so,

1 comment:

  1. What happened to this valuable historical (but non-magic) mirror? dave.