Keep on the Shadowfell

From Highmoon to Winterfell
Our adventurers learn of Winterhaven's needs, and shocking revelations

Journal #1 – Winterhaven, a town of secrets and mystery

Our adventurers, enjoying the hospitality of the Gilded Lady in Highmoon, the capital of Deepingdale, and befriend Gevarn, an acolyte of Chanteau.
But, as soon as introductions are done, a group of ruffians looking for Gevarn approach, and Thorbad opposes their manner toward Gevarn, and our heroes are forced to defend themselves.
Once the dust settles, they learn that these thugs may not be what they appear, and Gevarn is sent to seek help, as Sister Linora of Winterhaven has suspicions that an evil cult has infested Winterhaven, but without evidence, Lord Paedrig will do nothing, so outside help is sought.

Our band agrees to assist, and before long, find themselves in Winterhaven, and learn that Linora only has suspicions based on some deaths of locals, and merchants on the Eastern Road. Without further evidence, our adventurers look for additional work to uncover any hints.
They agree with Lord Paedrig to deal with the kobold infestation, and set a trap!

The trap is sprung, and kobold villains dispatched, the band heads to their lair, and with astounding bluffing by Rudnya, come face to face with their leader, the goblin Irontooth!

Irontooth relays a letter from his master, Kalarel, revealing that there is more at play than mere kobolds, and that Winterhaven is under threat from these devotees to Shar, and the mighty dragon Shadraxil.

After consulting with Valthrun the Prescient, they learn that the grave to the south of Winterhaven is in fact a lie, and the mighty evil dragon Shadraxil still lives, caught between this world and the Shadowfell, and Kalarel seeks to unleash him!

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Into the Keep
The band ventures into the darkness of Shadowfell Keep

Overnight, Zalenea sneaks away from the inn to meet Bairwin.
Inside his shop, he reveals his role as a priest of Shar, a dark temple, and an unholy ritual. To ensure she is not discovered, Zalenea kills a sacrifice, which imbues the worshippers with the power of Shar.

Trying to sneak back, she is discovered by Calixto and Rudnya, who become suspicious of her intentions.

The next morning, after stocking up on supplies, they venture out into the wilderness, and discover the ruins of Keegan’s Keep, now known as the Keep on the Shadowfell, to find Kalarel, and thwart this plans to free Shadraxil.

They delve into the keep, fighting goblins and zombies, until they are confronted by Balgron the Fat, an oversized goblin, who reveals the passphrase to the 2nd level, “and all life fails in the dark”, but are forced to kill him as he attempts to flee and betray them over magical runes.

Shadowfell_Keep_First_Floor.jpg

They bravely continue on, but whilst the party is occupied with the undead and the treasure they guard, Zalenea slips away and back to the town of Winterhaven.

They rest and recuperate, but unbeknownst to them, Zalenea has arrived at Winterhaven, which is being attacked by a host of zombies and kobolds. Lord Paedrig pleads with Zalenea to assist in the defense of Winterhaven, and investigate the source of the walking dead, the graveyard just outside the town limits. Zalenea convinces Paedrig to allow her entry to rest and heal, and she will investigate tomorrow, but secretly she find and kills Sister Linora within the template of Chanteau.
She then goes to Bairwin, and in an unholy ceremony, is turned into a creature of the Shadow Weave.
She emerges from the temple, a beast of unholy might and terror, and proceeds to attack the militia from behind, letting the zombies and kobolds overwhelm the defenses.
Winterhaven falls.
Zalenea beheads Paedrig, using his blood to scrawl Shar’s symbol on the town gates, and deposit his head as an offering to Shar, and takes over Winterhaven.

Meanwhile, the rest of the band head into the 2nd level of the Keep, determined to find and stop Kalarel…

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The Massacre of Winterhaven
The band fractures, and faith tested

The remaining band awaken the next night, having been visited by Selune, and warned of the actions of Shar, putting their delicate stalemate in jeopardy. Niniel is told to seek out the protector of Winterhaven, and seek his help.

Her prayers to Selune guide them to the tomb of Sir Keegan, past the skeletal guardians. Once facing him, the party convince the undead knight to assist them, and he presents them with Aecris, a holy blade of the Silver Goddess.

Meanwhile, in Winterhaven, Zalenea is visited by Kalarel, the high priest of the death cult, and promises to assist Zalenea as the scion of Shar, as long as he can continue to resurrect Shadraxil and together they can bring Shar’s word to Sembia and Cormyr. To this end, Zalenea is presented with a dagger, imbued with Shar’s power, and is transformed to a dark angel of Shar.

The party return to Winterhaven, and discover half the population dead, and the others slaves. And Rudnya discovers a dagger at his side that was never there before…

Facing down Zalenea, the power of Selune in Aecris transforms Niniel into an exarch of Selune.
Rudnya then attempts to convince Zalenea that he is betraying the party, fakes the murder of an innocent child as proof, and bluffs his way to their side.
Unfortunately the ruse works too well, and no-one knows whose side he is on!

The battle commences, with Zalenea and Niniel battles on the ground and in the air for their gods, whilst Thorbad, Calixto fight Bairwin and Kalarel, whilst Rudnya pursues his own agenda with his mysterious dagger.

The melee is brutal, with Thorbad and Rudnya falling and reviving. Kalarel is destroyed, but at the cost of Calixto, whose body is sundered by Zalenea in praise of Shar. As Bairwin falls, Zalenea flees the losing battle, prepared to go to the Keep and revive Shadraxil.
Niniel pursues, and catches, with a final attack in the air. Forsaking her new god, Zalenea turns to The Eternal Void, and a hole in space and time is ripped open, and an appendage of the mindless horrors of beyond drags her into the eternity of deep time.

Exhausted, the heroes rest, mourn their fallen, and ponder their next step.

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