The session started out six years in the past. Satoris had just gotten home from a day at the creation forge that he worked in for House Cannith. Things were just a little off, like someone had been inside and tried to put things back, but did not get it quite right. Looking around, Satoris found a package hidden under his bed. Inside was an odd device and a note which read:
“I had hoped that you would learn of this through other means, but my death wasn’t as it appeared, nor was my career. As of this day I release you from your apprenticeship, with only one final order: Learn this device, inside and out. I am currently a fugitive from Cannith, condemned for selling my services independently and withholding technology I have developed. They have recently discovered that I survived the Incident at Cyre, and they’ll be looking for you. This isn’t how I wanted your internship to end; you had such potential as an Artificer, but now you will have to finish your education on your own. I’ve taught you enough that you should be able to figure out the rest. If you can, meet me in the capital of Cyre. I can tell you more.
Satoris did not have much time to take it all in. Just as Cedric predicted, bounty hunters were already looking for Satoris. They kicked in the door. Without knowing exactly what it was, Satoris pulled the device out of the box, pointed it at one of the hunters, and fired it. It was deafening, and when they all looked up, one of the three bounty hunters was on the ground, dying. The other two rushed Satoris, trying to stop him before he could shoot again.
They were able to injure him a little, but not enough to stop him from shooting both of them as well. After all three were down, Satoris grabbed his tools, some clothes, the note from Cedric, and the strange device and he left. He needed to find his mentor.
When the group got back to Winterhaven after defeating Irontooth, Alvana Wrafton offered them a free room in the inn. Dom and Gabriel got Satoris and Kolgarth into the room, unpacked the findings of Irontooth’s lair, and went to sleep.
Gabriel woke up first the next morning, having sustained fewer injuries than the others. After leaving Wrafton’s Inn, he felt called to the remains of Delphina Moongem’s house. He decided that the best that could be done with the now mostly vacant land would be to build a shrine to the Silver Flame. After a few hours of work, he fully sanctified the ground with rituals, and erected a small altar to focus one’s attention towards the Silver Flame. Once the area was finished, the clouds parted and shined down onto Gabriel’s staff, imbuing it with the power of the Silver Flame.
Dominaro woke up second, and, noticing that Gabriel was already awake and gone, he decided to search for him. He found him in the completed shrine. As Dominaro approached, he could feel the radiant energy of the Silver Flame pouring from the site. When he crossed the threshold, light surrounded him, much as it had surrounded Gabriel’s staff. His armor was also imbued with the power of the Silver Flame.
Kolgarth woke up third, unsure of where he was. In the box that Gabriel and Dominaro had brought back from Irontooth’s cave, Kolgarth found some residuum that he could use to enchant his maul. He decided to visit Thair Coalstriker’s smith again. Coalstriker was pleased to see him, and was more than happy to not only let Kolgarth use his smith, but to watch him as he worked. Kolgarth worked magic into his maul, emulating the magic that Satoris had imbued it with, focusing on heat, so he could use it more effectively both in combat and in weapon forging. When he was done, Thair was dumbfounded by his skill and by the results of his work.
Satoris woke up last, also unfamiliar with his surroundings. As Kolgarth did, he too found some residuum and a couple other odd metal pieces in Irontooth’s box. It was just what he needed to permanently harness some magical energy into his rifle. After an hour of tinkering and carefully enchanting his weapon, he had locked in the power of thunder, which seemed appropriate since it already sounded as if thunder was escaping whenever he fired it.
After they had finished working on their weapons, Kolgarth and Satoris both began looking for the rest of the party. They found Gabriel and Dominaro praying in the new shrine to the Silver Flame. Kolgarth resumed his questions from the previous night about what caused the fire in Delphina Moongem’s house. Gabriel produced the notes they had found, one in Delphina’s house before the fire, and one on Irontooth after they had defeated him. They were in the same handwriting, one signed “K”, the other signed “Kalarel”. They then discussed whether the fire was necessary and justified.
Their discussion was interrupted, though, by Lord Padraig. News had spread throughout the town about what the group had accomplished the night before. Lord Padraig thanked them for dealing with the kobold problem, and for making sure to root it out at the source. He offered them the stated reward of 100 gp, which they reluctantly agreed to take. The party wanted information more than gold though, and asked him if he knew of Kalarel. Padraig had not heard of him, but suggested that if anyone in town would know someone, it would be Valthrun the Prescient or Eilian the Old.
Satoris, having already met Valthrun and experienced his knowledge, decided to ask him about Kalarel. Valthrun said that he had heard of the name, and when he went back through some of his old correspondences, he found a letter from him. The letter was about two years old, asking about the ruins to the north of town. Beyond that letter, and his response, Valthrun had not heard from him again. While Valthrun was not able to produce any information about the history of the ruins, he said he could try to uncover the history given a little time.
Despite the intrigue of what might be happening at the keep that Valthrun had mentioned, the group decided to go to the dragon burial site that Douven had been interested in before his disappearance. They were able to find their way there in a couple hours without any trouble. When they got there, Delphina Moongem was directing four humans and two guard drakes, all under the watch of a projection of someone.
The group wasted no time and moved to attack. Seeing the adventurers, Delphina ordered her underlings to attack. Kolgarth and Gabriel quickly dispatched the human rabble and guard drakes. Seeing that she was soon to be alone, Delphina shouted, “I have failed you Kalarel” and fled. The apparition of Kalarel was able to cause more trouble for the group though as he was able to summon shadowy tendrils that grabbed Kolgarth and Dominaro, making it impossible for them to attack. However, it only delayed its destruction by a few moments.
After defeating them, the party searched the bodies and the burial site. On one of the human bodies, they found a large bone, shaped like the end of a rib. They guessed that this was probably the artifact that Douven had been after. They also found, in a shallow grave, a dead body. Although the group could not identify it, it had a letter in its pocket addressed to Douven Staul. Gabriel, worried that Kalarel may have used necromantic magic to turn him into an undead minion, performed a ritual to preserve the body in its current state. The party then took the body and the artifact and headed back towards Winterhaven.
When they got to town, they decided to see if Valthrun had discovered anything about the keep. He found a tome in his collection that detailed the origins of the Shadowfell Keep. It had been created to contain an exarch of the demon prince Orcus, named Doresain, trapped inside his prison in the Shadowfell, a parallel plane of existence. However, there was some tragedy that caused the keep to be abandoned, but Valthrun had not discovered what it was, yet.
Hearing that the group had brought a body back to town with them, he offered to try and identify it. The group agreed, and brought him to the shrine to the Silver Flame, where they had laid the body to rest when they got back to town. Valthrun recognized him immediately as Douven Staul. He asked if they had discovered what drew Douven to the burial site. The group showed Valthrun the bone. Valthrun offered to do some magical tests to try to discover what purposes the bone could serve. The group decided to trust him with it.
After Valthrun left to get his tests started, the party went to tell Eilian of what had happened to Douven. They found him at Wrafton’s Inn. Hearing the news, Eilian was upset and frustrated. When the group told him that Delphina was involved, he swore to get vengeance on her. Eilian then asked if any of the group would join him for a flagon of ale in memory of Douven. Kolgarth and Satoris agreed, but Gabriel and Dominaro left to warn Lord Padraig about the possible threat to the town from the Shadowfell Keep.
The two headed straight for his manor. When they met with him, they told him about what they had learned about Kalarel’s interest in the keep, and the original purpose for the keep. Lord Padraig asked them to look into what was happening there as soon as possible, as he would need everyone in town to work towards fortifying against any attack that may be coming. Gabriel and Dominaro offered Satoris’ help in repairing the siege weapons that were stored in Winterhaven from the Last War, which Padraig gladly accepted. Dominaro and Gabriel then went to get rest before heading to the Shadowfell Keep the next day. Satoris, with the help of Kolgarth and some of Padraig’s engineers, was able to repair the weaponry in under an hour. After, Satoris and Kolgarth also went to Wrafton’s Inn to rest up for the next day.
On their way out of town the next morning, Valthrun stopped them. He had discovered what tragedy had caused the keep to be abandoned. Doresain had been able to subtly take control of the head paladin’s mind, Sir Keegan. After some months, he was able to drive him into a frenzy. Sir Keegan awoke in the middle of the night and slayed his wife and child. Then he proceeded to attack the guards of the keep. They were able to final push him back into the lower levels of the keep. Sir Keegan finally came to his senses and locked himself somewhere deep within the keep. After that, people believed that the place was cursed, and avoided it. Valthrun did not know what had become of Sir Keegan, but asked the group to be on their guard, as it was clear that powerful forces were involved in the keep’s history.
When they got to the bottom of the stairs, they found a goblin on guard. The goblin attacked them by throwing a javelin. Kolgarth rushed at him first, but fell into a pit trap in the middle of the room. However, with his superior athleticism, Kolgarth was able to get out the opposite side and continue to the goblin, almost as though the pit was not there. Dominaro, decided to follow suit, attempting to jump across the pit. He misjudged how far he could jump in all his armor, though, and fell into the pit. He was quickly covered by a rat swarm that searched the area for food. Gabriel and Satoris worked to kill the rats and get Dominaro out of the pit. Kolgarth continued his assault on the goblin, chasing him down a corridor. Around a bend, though, he found that the goblin had gone for the help of two of his allies. All three focused on attacking Kolgarth. Dominaro came down the corridor shortly after being pulled out of the pit, and distracted the goblins from attacking Kolgarth. Kolgarth was able to focus, and he killed two of them in one swing. With the group back together and the goblins’ numbers dropping fast, the group had little trouble with the last of the three goblins, or with the goblin that overheard the racket and attacked from a side room.