Platinum Empire

The Second Foray
Squad 7 uncovers the real story behind the Keep, and makes ready to descend toward the rift

Squad 7, having recovered from their first expedition into Shadowfell Keep, set out to push farther into the ruins to put an end to Kalarel’s plans and investigate the Rift.

The group passed through gloomy corridors filled with undead and magical trap-glyphs; they found a small safe-room (after the zombies within were cleared out, anyway) behind an illusory wall concealing a small armory. They passed a gauntlet of sarcophagi spewing forth decrepit skeletons, finding a shrine to Bahamut suffused with a pearly ethereal light on the other end; when Soren prayed at the shrine, a bolt of light passed through the corridor, sealing the sarcophagi and incinerating the remaining skeletons in divine fire. They discovered three stylized statues of Bahamut under the shrine; holding them seems to keep the chill and corrupt feeling of the air at bay.

Proceeding onwards, they reached a dead end; a room beyond the shrine, with a single sarcophagus on a raised bier. When they approached, the ghost of Sir Keegan emerged, and asked Squad 7 a battery of questions to ascertain their motives and loyalties. Upon satisfying himself of their honor, he told them the true story of the Fall and entrusted them with Aecris, his magical longsword.

We leave our brave heroes as they prepare to venture down the staircase to the second level of the ruins…

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The First Foray
Squad 7 descends into Shadowfell Keep, not for the last time

After depositing Captain Eddard Douvren at the local barracks to recover and sending a report to the Imperial listening station, Douvren promised to back up Squad 7 if the resistance they encountered was too heavy. Ava decided to begin by asking the inhabitants of Winterhaven about Shadowfell Keep. The most coherent explanation of events came from a local old-timer, Elian the Old, who was around at the time of the Fall. The most disturbing part of his tale was his talk of a rift beneath the keep, with corrupting powers over the mind.

Squad 7 voyaged to the Keep, where they descended inside the shell of the building, which appeared to Ava’s expert eye to be ancient beyond its years. Contending with the guards inside – and discovering an excavation within, digging southward, towards the site of the Dragon Excavation – they also freed a goblin prisoner, Splug, who they released after he told them about a secret entrance into the hobgoblin chief’s quarters. The group eventually managed to capture the hobgoblin leader of the first level – Balgron the Fat – who under duress told Ava that the proper password to enter the second level is, “and life fails in the dark.” The party returned with him to Winterhaven, where they deposited him in the jail.

However, all was not right in Winterhaven; there had been several disappearances during the night the PCs had been gone, and strange chanting coming from the graveyard. Fearing the worst, Squad 7 went to the graveyard, where Ava did some scouting and discovered disturbed coffins in a crypt. They cautiously entered, and were closing in on the source of the chant when the dead crawled forth from the ground to attack. The group dispatched the undead, though unfortunately a stray shot slew Ninaran, Kalarel’s spy in Winterhaven. The group deactivated the mystical glyph responsible for the necromantic magicks, and found a missive from Kalarel on Ninaran’s body, in elegant Common:

Ninaran, It appears you underestimated the interlopers you spoke of; Irontooth’s clan seems to be dead or scattered, and your reports that they were poking around for information about our headquarters are disturbing. Initiate the backup plan; I was hoping that Winterhaven could serve as food for the Dragonqueen when she emerges from the rift, but due to your… misappraisal of the situation, we must act fast to distract the mindless Imperials. Remember, your death is nothing compared to the furtherance of our goals – if your death manages to stop the meddlers, rest assured that Tiamat will reward you in the next world. If you must report back to me, do not forget that the password to the second level is “From the ground, some magic was found.”

For the resurgence of the Dark Mother. Kalarel

Squad 7 returned to town and recuperated to get ready for another foray into the Keep.

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Winterhaven's Mysteries
Squad 7 is tested, and a small mountain town is the center of odd happenings...

The adventure began with Ava and the rest of Squad 7 receiving a message from Hand Anabran Cane. The orders: to voyage to Winterhaven, to the east and north of the Dragonspire, and investigate the reports of increased kobold activity. While normally such a task would fall to a squadron of the Scale, in light of the events at Kayarn, Cane felt that an investigative presence might be called for. Squad 7’s orders were to canvass the area, then eventually meet up with Squad 4 to combine findings.

Squad 7 made their way to town easily enough, though they did have to contend with an ambush consisting of a black-tinged kobold wyrmpriest and several untinged kobold skirmishers. After poking around in Winterhaven, they got leads from a peculiar elf, Ninaran, and the local priestess of Avandra, Sister Linora, sending them to a waterfall from which the kobold raids seemed to be coming. Tracking them down, Squad 7 eradicated the variously-tinged kobolds, led by another wyrmpriest and a large goblin named Irontooth. Upon killing him, he was heard to cry, “Kalarel... Tiamat... prepare my way!” A message found on him revealed that the apparent leader of the cult, Kalarel, has a spy in Winterhaven, and mentions that the opening of the rift under Shadowfell Keep will be complete in a matter of a week or so. The party returned to Winterhaven by way of the Dragon Excavation, where they found a gnome and several shady-looking humans at work.

After taking an interest in the operations at the site, the gnome attempted to lure them down into the dig, and launched an ambush. After defeating the attackers, Squad 7 investigated and found the corpses of Squad 4, as well as the very much alive leader, Captain Eddard Douvren, stuffed into sacks scattered around the site. Poking around, the group noticed that, while the bones were fairly clearly draconic in nature, there did not appear to be any dragon skulls remaining at the site. Among the excavated goods, they found a small mirror with odd engravings on the back; Ava, instantly curious, took it back to Winterhaven with her, where Sister Linora told her that it was probably an artifact of Bael Turath. The squad made inquiries about the Keep and prepared to set forth.

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Ava and the White Dragon
The journey begins, and an ancient evil begins to stir

Ava‘s first voyage under the auspices of the Dragon’s Eye.

It all began with a dispatch notice from Anabran Cane, the Hand of the Eye’s Archon:

Dispatch Notice

Private First Class Ava Stone

Dragon’s Eye Special Task Forces, 7th Squad

7th Squad has been assigned to travel east, to the Karhold mountain range, and meet with the dwarven elder, Krint, in the village of Kayarn. There appears to be some problem with a group of kobolds taking up residence in some ruins out there – their leader apparently has some strange powers that we don’t often see in kobolds. If the source of the powers is an item, retrieve it. Talk to Krint for more information – your squad leader has also been supplied with additional details. Best of luck, and may the glory of the Platinum Father see you through safely.

In the name of Archon Therin Fassit of the Dragon’s Eye, it is so ordered.

Anabran Cane

Having shortened the trip east through use of the Imperially-maintained teleporters, Ava and Soren made their way to Kayarn, where they joined with Aron Thaneholt, a representative of the Thaneholt Clan. The elder, Krint, filled the group in on the details of the disturbance; namely, increased kobold activity in the area, disrupting the dwarven ore mining operations. Squad 7 tracked the oddly white-tinged kobolds to their lair, where they contended with all manner of traps and kobold hordes.

Ava, from her long experience with delves, noticed that the cave complex was significantly colder than she would expect for a cave of its latitude and depth, and the chill increased rapidly as the party progressed, resulting in a showdown with a kobold wyrmpriest with peculiar powers over ice. A thorough search resulted in the discovery of a secret passage, on the other side of which they found a frozen lake – and a hatchling white dragon intent on devouring them. After dispatching the unhealthy-looking beast, Ava noticed that the tunnel through which they had entered was significantly smaller than the dragon itself, and surmised that the kobolds had hatched the dragon in the chamber and had been taking care of it.

The party returned to the Dragonspire with the dragon’s head as evidence, and Anabran Cane, after expressing concern as to the public panic that might result from a long-thought extinct servant of the Empire’s most ancestral foe, Tiamat having emerged, decided to issue an evacuation order to Kayarn until the incident could be more fully investigated.

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