Echoes of Mourning

Echoes of Mourning Session Two

The party began by talking to Bren ir’Gadden at the Gilded Lady in Lakeside. They asked him about many things, the Stonehammer clan, Cedric of House Cannith, and what became of his aide, Aric Blacktree. While he did not have much information about the Stonehammers or Cedric, he replied that Aric manifested an aberrant dragonmark after their time in the tower. He fled to avoid investigation by any of the dragonmarked houses. Bren, not having heard from him in four years, believes he is dead. This, however, is not why Bren asked them all to join him. He needed to request their help. His friend Douven Staul has gone missing. They have worked together many times, especially in connection to House Cannith, although Bren is not exactly sure what his connection is to the house. Bren is concerned that he has not heard from him in many weeks, especially as he was supposed to have a simple excavation to look into in a small town called Winterhaven, in northeastern Karrnath. He asks the party to go look into what has become of him. The characters reluctantly agree. Before leaving, Bren orders them another round of drinks to enjoy. After he left, the waitress brought over another round for the adventurers. Before leaving though, she asked if they are headed towards Winterhaven, as she thought she had heard. Assuming an affirmative from their silence, she instructed them to search out an old man in Wrafton’s Inn when they arrived, and gave them a pass phrase in order to gain his confidence. Again, the party reluctantly took note of what she was saying to them. Part of the group drank their free ale, while some scorned it. Shortly after, they all left towards Winterhaven. The trip was uneventful until they got within a few miles of the town. They were attacked by a band of kobold brigands. Despite some frustrations in dealing with the elusive dragonshields, the party came out of the conflict mostly unscathed. From the woods just off of the road, they heard some crying. When they went a few yards beyond the tree line, they found an elven woman, Delphina Moongem, tied up. Next to her lay a basket, and the flowers it used to hold. The group loosed her from her bindings, and asked her what happened. Delphina said she was out picking violets when she was grabbed by the kobolds. Kolgarth, Satoris, and Gabriel all noticed that she referred to the flowers as violets, when the flowers near her basket were irises. When they asked her about this mistake, she became flustered and blamed the stress she was in, having been captured by the kobolds. When Satoris looked her over, he could find no evidence of violence, or even chafing where she had been tied. He became suspicious, despite her claim that it was because the kobolds were interrupted by the arrival of the adventurers. Both Dominaro and Gabriel believed she was being dishonest about something. While Gabriel believed they should end her life and her deceit right then, the rest of the group agreed that if she was from Winterhaven as she claimed, someone should be able to vouch for her. As the five of them entered the village of Winterhaven, Valthrun the Prescient and Lord Padraig were leaving Wrafton’s Inn. They asked about who Delphina’s friends were. She politely informed them that they had rescued her from kobolds that had grabbed her, uncertain what was going to happen as the group was still keeping a close eye on her. Both Valthrun and Padraig did in fact vouch for her, and they thanked the group for helping Delphina. The group asked if they knew anything about Douven Staul. They said they knew him, but not as well as Eilian the Old. While they could not tell them where to find Eilian then, they figured he would be at Wrafton’s Inn later that evening. Dominaro passed the time meditating, listening for direction from the Sacred Flame. Gabriel went to the temple dedicated to the Sovereign Host to pray. Satoris went to the store house of the village, where siege weaponry was kept from the Last War. He was able to convince the guard to let him pass and look over the equipment inside. He found much machinery, and much need for repair. There was nothing useful to him, though, so he thanked the guard and headed to meet up with the others. Kolgarth went to meet the blacksmith in town. He was a friendly dwarf named Thair Coalstriker. Kolgarth asked if he had heard of the Stonehammers, explaining that he had been taken in by them and raised in their forge. Thair had heard of them, and was impressed. He said he had heard that they were the best unmarked smiths that House Cannith had. While Thair did not know anything about them personally, he overheard Douven Staul talking about them. At this Kolgarth decided to check Wrafton’s Inn for Eilian, to see if he could find the next step towards finding his family. The group met up outside the Inn and then headed inside. Kolgarth did not waste any time, immediately getting everyone’s attention and asking if any had seen Douven Staul recently. Nobody seemed to give Kolgarth a second thought, although the group noticed that one old man seemed to have a spark of interest at the mention of the name. When they approached him, they found out that he was Eilian. After stumbling through the pass phrase they had been given, he berated them for their lack of tact. He told them that Douven was a contact of his, but that he had missed their last meeting. Douven had mentioned that he was going to try to find the “third sinister rib” from a dragon burial site to the south. Eilian also warned them to be wary of Delphina. He had known her for a long time, but she had been acting bizarre as of late. Nobody else seemed to notice or care, but she had been forgetful… distracted. Gabriel decided he would try to glean some information from Delphina by going through her possessions while she was away. Satoris decided to see if Valthrun knew where the dragon burial site was. While Satoris visited Valthrun, Gabriel watched Delphina’s home, waiting for her to leave. Valthrun did in fact have an idea of where the dragon burial site was, and he mentioned that Douven had asked for the same information the last time he had seen him. He also mentioned that Douven had been looking for some rib artifact. Valthrun told Satoris, that if they did go to the site of the burial and find the rib, that he should be able to identify what it is used for. As Satoris left Valthrun’s tower, Delphina left her home. Satoris decided to try to follow her, and keep tabs on where she went and who she talked to. After they were out of sight, Gabriel made an attempt to break into her home. He went in through the window, knocking over a table kept near there. Despite the noise, he worked quickly to try to find anything of value. He found a note to Delphina: “Be very careful to extract the third rib from the sinister side. I want the entire thing; I don’t know how much I’ll need to perform the ritual. -K” Once Gabriel found this, he decided to straighten up and leave. His attempt to leave things as he found them was an utter failure, and he knew it, so he started a fire and left through the window, this time as nimbly as a cat. He went towards the blacksmith where Kolgarth and Dominaro were passing the time, until the house erupted in flames behind him. He tried to act surprised, and as the local townsmen formed a bucket line to put the fire out, he tried to tell someone what he saw – a kobold with a sling, that launched a flaming jar at him that missed and hit that house instead. Believing the town was under assault from kobolds, the man talking to Gabriel sounded the alarm, calling the militia to their stations around the outer wall. Gabriel slipped away, saying he would try to get his adventuring party to help with the kobolds. By this time, Delphina had spotted Satoris, and knew that he was watching her from the other side of the Inn. Hearing the commotion outside, and seeing that he was not getting any information from following her, Satoris slipped out while she was facing another way. The party convened at the blacksmith. They asked Gabriel what happened. Not believing his story the way the townspeople had, they pressed him for more details. He skirted the topic showing them the note he found in Delphina’s house. As they were looking at it, two of them noticed that Delphina was leaving the village. Gabriel mentioned to the person he had talked with earlier that they were off to attack the kobolds’ main assault force before it reached the town. Then the group left, in pursuit of Delphina. Just outside the village, the group was ambushed by a group of kobolds. These were tougher kobolds than earlier, and they were led by a wyrm priest. They drove Kolgarth to lose the patience he had learned working as a blacksmith, sending him into a rage. He began killing anything he could reach with his maul. The party suffered some wounds, but nothing that would slow them down. Grabbing a ceremonial necklace the wyrmpriest was wearing, they headed after Delphina’s trail again. The trail ended near a cliff, with a waterfall flowing down it. Beyond the small glade of trees between them and the base of the waterfall, the party was able to hear and see a couple kobolds. They attacked them and were able to kill them all before any could run inside the cave behind the waterfall to warn Irontooth. After resting for a few minutes, the party headed in through the wall of water to find a large kobold force. They began dispatching them as they had done with all the other kobolds they had run into. A short time after the combat began though, the battle was joined by tougher denwardens, a wyrmpriest, and Irontooth himself, the large, two axe wielding, goblin leader of these kobolds. The party quickly turned its focus onto Irontooth, and bloodied him almost immediately. However, this only sent him into a blood frenzy, and the long day of fighting started to take its toll on the adventurers. Dominaro was knocked unconscious by repeated fire balls from the wyrmpriest. Gabriel stepped over his down body to protect him, and unleashed the Silver Flame’s terrible fury. While his mind was clouded by the power he channeled, he stunned Irontooth and two of his underlings. The group took this chance to further whittle down Irontooth, but he did not stay stunned long. As he moved around the cave, he set upon both Kolgarth and Satoris, knocking them both unconscious, and nearly to death’s door. At the same time though, the power of the Sacred Flame coursed through Dominaro, waking to fight onward. While Gabriel continued harassing the underlings, Dominaro went after Irontooth, and was able to kill him when he went to finish off Satoris and Kolgarth. The rest of the kobolds were killed quickly after that, except for one that managed to flee in cowardice. Kolgarth and Satoris were stabilized, and they got them back to Winterhaven to sleep off the ill effects of the battle. They also brought back Irontooth’s treasure and a note to him from Kalarel, whose handwriting matched that of K in Delphina’s note: “My spy in Winterhaven suggests we keep an eye out for visitors to the area. It probably does not matter. In a few more days, I’ll completely open the rift. Then Winterhaven’s people will serve as food for those Lord Orcus sends to do my bidding.”

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