The First Work

The End of an Era

On returning to Fallcrest, Irisil walks off without a word. The companions…what name?...go off in search of Markelhay—they get their reward, but Markelhay does not believe the story of the dragon. He seems defensive. He is still holding something back.

The companions go to Nimozaran. He thanks them for the knowledge that the dragon’s greed for gold was driving the ever bolder kobolds to attack larger targets in a more systematic way…He tells you that the Kalarel is an ancient title, given to Orcus’ chief priest…the right hand of shadow. With this hand, Orcus touches the world. With this hand, Orcus seeks to undo the bonds that hold him beyond the rift in the Shadowfell. The Kalarel is not as powerful as an Exarch, but he is entrusted with the most delicate of the arcane rites. He says that killing the Kalarel might buy enough time for the Immaterial Council to put into place the safeguards necessary to seal the rift once and for all. Maya stays after the others leave and asks why she had been sent to Markelhay…Nimozaran says that he was unsure of Markelhay’s motivations…the source of his hesitation in the face of a clearly organized threat to Fallcrest. Now, he thinks it was certain knowledge of a dragon, and fear that stayed his hand, but he is not sure.

The companions find their way to the Blue Moon Alehouse, where they encounter Teldorthan Ironhews, a dwarven armorer who tells them that the dragon hide was his, and rewards them handsomely for it. He also suggests that they might seek out the dwarves in the hills if they really seek to know what happened at the battle that ended the Bloodspear war, or they could talk to Sergeant Murgeddin, the old battle-scarred dwarf who fought in it and who now commands the Wizard’s gate. He also promises to give them a fair price for any other piece of dragon hide they come across.

Murgeddin warms to them quickly after a few rounds, and his story of the Battle is equal measure boast and lamentation. He claims he saw the Lord Warden’s grandfather turn and run in the final battle-the battle that broke the power of the nothern Orc horde, but also the spine of Fallcrest…the town has been some ninety years in dying. He claims he saw the Lord Warden run into the mouth of the limestone caves that riddle the bluff that cuts through the town. The caves closest to the light have served as the burial place of Fallcrest’s human citizens for time out of mind-the other races having other burial practices. When Richard asks if the Lord Warden had his sword at the time, Murgeddin says yes. The two handed greatsword Moonbane was made in the manner of the weapons of the First Men, older even than the Nerathian Empire. It is bronze and incised with strange symbols. Murgeddin says the Markelhays have not been the same since it was lost.

The companions retire to the Silver Unicorn to rest. They are decided on obtaining a cart and the tools required to return and harvest their dragon hide on the morrow.

Meanwhile Irisil learns: Orcus is known as the Demon Lord of Undeath, the Demon Prince of the Undead, or the Blood Lord. He is worshipped by the undead and the living that do not fear undeath. Orcus desires destruction, like all demons, but he has set his sights higher, aiming at the gods themselves. In particular, Orcus hungers for the death of the Raven Queen. he wishes to usurp her control over death and the souls of the dead. Orcus rules one of the many layers of the Abyss. His realm, the presumptuously named Thanatos, is a dark landscape of death shrouded by grey clouds and often obscured by fog. Light filters weakly through the clouds and mists, illuminating the realm like a moonlit night. Dead forests filled with twisted black weirwood and ironbark trees and stony, windswept moors dominate the landscape. Bleak mountains struggle to rise into the black sky, and dead cities and meager villages crouch here and there as though in fear. It is a landscape of crypts and ashes. The tombs stand even on rooftops, and headstones jut from the eaves of buildings like gargoyles. The undead roam freely here, and no living thing survives long away from the holdfasts. “Everlost…”

Saffron of Terror, Nutmeg of Woe

Letter written in Draconic:

“The Kalarel’s horde, outside Winterhaven:

Terrible One,

Lord of the Under-reach,

Pitiless Flower of the First Work’s Dreaming,

Saffron of Terror, Nutmeg of Woe, Root Vegetable of Bitter Gall, etc.

My apologies for the abruptness of style. My Lord the Kalarel’s compliments, and his most respectful duty. The Kalarel has decided that Winterhaven must be put to the sword. It is his desire that he not cross your k’vatch (untranslatable) for the wrath of your clan has reached even the borders of Shadow. In short, he asks me to extend a hand in partnership; with your aid, we could lay waste to the West of the Nentir before the winter comes, and there could be no better way to prepare the way of our Lord, may his light consume the darkness. If you do not accept our alliance, then know that we will consider you neutral. If you come west of the Winter River in the North or the Witchlight Fens in the South, however, know that Irontooth will consider you his enemy, and the enemy of the Kalarel, and the enemy of our Lord, may his light consume the darkness, and he will slay you where you lie.

Yours equally in peace or in war,

Reginald “Irontooth” Kavethlar, right arm of Darkness, leader of the Kick Skull Platoon of the Southron Horde, slayer of Ben’tomash, and sixth harbinger of the Second Work, etc.

An Interlude

While the group rested after disposing of the guard drakes, something about the altar to Tiamat and its hidden markings honoring Orcus nagged at the corner of Irisil’s consciousness. He turned the discovery over and over in his mind, but no satisfying response to the persistence of the half-thought came. When the adventurers rose in the morning, he took his leave of them, explaining that something, indeed, was afoot, but that he lacked the resources to specify the nature of the threat. “In any case, none but a fool would wander through rooms dedicated to Orcus without knowing his enemy.” “We get nothing for the blood we’ve already spilled here if we turn back now,” said Richard. “Case in point,” responded Irisil. Richard moved away, studying the nearest array of skulls. Gudrun spoke up, “He has a point. If we leave now, the kobolds will just regroup and dig in. I’ve heard stories of their building fortifications in generational nests. We’ll have to fight our way through more of them to arrive at the same point.” Maya’s voice drifted from the shadows on the far side of the pit. “We could always force them to give us the information you need,” she offered. “You would trust our lives—sorry. Forget I said that. You would trust my life to information gathered from a creature that lives in a hole? Ridiculous. Do what you like.” With that, Irisil disappeared. The remaining adventurers looked at each other in the dim light. Their expressions were impossible to read.

Irisil pulled his robe closer to him. Only three days since the Lord Warden’s council chamber, and the weather had already turned cold. It seemed as though Pelor’s own hand had pulled autumn from the cycle this year. The night air seemed to pulse with the cold. A dim shape resolved itself out of the night at a hundred and fifty paces. Irisil, weighing the possible irritation of a prolonged conversation against the unpleasantness of dispatching a kobold raiding party on his own, swiftly prepared a ball of light and, when the figure was close enough that Irisil could make out the tattered sigil of the Raven Queen picked out against a grey tunic, he sent it arcing through the night. Irisil narrowed his eyes at the strange cleric’s lack of reaction. The man just raised a hand to shield his eyes and continued toward him. When he was within polite hailing distance, the cleric said, “Traveler. The Raven Queen’s blessing on you.” Irisil did not reply. “I seek Kobold Hall.” “You and everyone else in this Ioun-forsaken backwater.” “Is it far?” “Follow the road until the ridge. You’ll see a ruined keep east of the road. There’s a hole in the ground with the shrieks of dying adventurers escaping from it. You can’t miss it.” “My thanks.” “Wait…” “The cleric turned.” “Could you sign this statement?” “I see no statement.” “Well, this blank parchment. It’s a record of the helpful things I do. Thanks. Just initial there. I’ll fill in the rest. Good night to you.” “And you.” The harsh call of a raven sounded as the cleric disappeared around the bend. A few hours’ steady walking found Irisil pounding on the portcullis of the Knight’s Gate in Fallcrest’s northern wall just before sunrise. A sleepy guard challenged him. “Open up.” “Can’t. Regulations.” “This is more important than your regulations. Besides, I’m hungry.” “Tell you what, if I open it, you get caught by the city watch, you tell ‘em Sergeant Nereth let you in.” Then, under his breath, “Been looking for a way to do him brown.” Ignoring this, Irisil asked “Why would the city watch stop me?” “Well, you’re an odd looking bugger, ain’t you? Which its not common to see an eladrin around here anyways.” The guard disappeared and there was a rattle of chains. The portcullis opened, and Irisil hurried by, the gate already forgotten. “Remember, Nereth sent you, called the man after him,” but Irisil was already around the corner. A half hour later, he was knocking on the wooden door of the Septarch’s tower. The halfling apprentice opened the door, and Irisil pushed his way in. “Is the Septarch in?” “He’s sleeping…can I help you?” “I suppose it would not be exceeding your abilities to show me the library?” Irisil said, looking around. The halfling made a face, but Irisil did not notice. Irisil was led up the stairs. The sound of their feet was soon muffled by the immensity of the stone walls twisting around them.

Across the Nentir to the north and west, Athanasius found his way to the trapdoor beneath the ruined guard tower as the sun was rising. Inside, he smiled in satisfaction as he saw the broken remains of kobolds filling the sludge pit. He made his way between the coffins, spitting in the direction of Tiamat’s altar. Hearing human voices in the next room, he stepped out into the middle of the floor.

Maya and Gudrun were discussing their plan for exploring the rest of Kobold Hall when Richard’s warning brought them around. Richard called out, “Friend or foe?”

Soon, conversation ended, and with the zealous but inexperienced cleric in tow, the group unbarred the door and proceeded to the next encounter…

"The Rope Has HP?/ooc"

This chamber looks like it was once a tomb, but the kobolds have transformed it into what you might almost call a playground. Four stone coffins lie here, with a sludge-filled pit between them. On the opposite end of the room is a pair of wooden double doors. Flanking the double doors on either side are two raised platforms, both ten feet above the floor. Two kobolds stand on each platform. Arrayed on the coffins are several animal skulls, all of them arranged in small piles. One kobold holds a sludge-drenched stone tied to a long rope that is secured to the ceiling. It grins at you.

A Tomb, Round about Midnight

The room ahead has four stone coffins in the center of the floor, all of which show signs of vandalism and abuse. To the left is a series of six niches adorning opposite walls in two groups of three. Another two niches along the walls contain suits of armor that look strangely out of place…

On the opposite end of the room is a raised section of floor with a makeshift altar to Tiamat set atop it. Three kobolds carrying spears stand in front of the altar. They shift their stances. One whirls its spear into the palm of one hand with a dull thwack. “Come tasste my sssspear, Scalesssss!” he jeers. What do you do?

The Sludge Pit

After a little arguing in the anteroom of the Lord Warden’s council room, the likeminded adventurers Maya, Gudrun, and Richard went to discuss strategy and the best way to approach Kobold Hall while Irisil went to seek a task from the High Septarch in order to fulfill the requirements of his Walk in the World. There, he learned that Nimozaran fears a greater threat than a kobold infestation. Kobold raids seem to full of purpose and menace to be entirely natural. In exchange for the use of the High Septarch’s teleportation circle and one of the eight letters of recommendation required by the Immaterial Council of the Cruxian Library of Naught for advancement to Primarch, the lowest rank of freewizardry. The irritated Irisil was forced to rejoin the party a short way outside of town. Everyone traveled together the fifteen miles to Kobold Hall in near silence. Having located a trapdoor beneath an old guard tower, Gudrun was first into the Kobold’s lair. The rest of the party followed her in after a Kobold seemed to be sounding the alarm from beyond the sludge pit. As they moved further into the room, one kobold became five kobolds, and the adventurer’s were in a fight for their lives. The underground chamber seemed to flicker like the primordial chaos itself as wizard and warlock let spells and hexes blaze forth, their witchlight creating a strobe as the fighter and the ranger went to work. When it was done, the bloody work complete, the adventurers were exhausted. Gudrun stalked from corpse to corpse, peeling the scaly scalps from reptilian skulls and stringing them on her belt. Richard and Maya rolled the bodies into the sludge pit. Soon, they were sleeping where they fell, fighting off sleep only long enough to make sure that a watch was organized. It is now eight hours later, and their strength is replenished. Gudrun, having activated the lever of the portcullis at the east side of the room, the party pauses on the stairs, Gudrun in the lead, Richard and then Irisil following, and Maya bringing up the rear. A dim light shines from around the corner to the north. Faint rustling comes from the room beyond, and Gudrun seems confident that the passage opening up before them will open up to the east. What do you do?

Dominating the room ahead is a long trench filled with a glowing, green substance. Beyond the trench, a small, reptilian humanoid stands in a shadowy chamber, gaping at you. It carries a sling, and quickly reaches into its pouch for a stone. It hisses: “Intrudersss! Intrudersss!”

The Story So Far?

You find yourselves staring at each other across the well-lit anteroom of Lord Warden Faren Markelhay’s council chamber as night comes on. It is late summer; the heat lingers long after true sun down, but the smell of the air through the open window hints that the night will be cold. The furniture is late Nerathian, and it has seen better days. Suddenly, voices are raised on the other side of the chamber door. The door bursts open, only to be pulled closed again by an anxious page. A brawny, but aging dwarf stands there fuming. After a moment, he glances around. His head comes up and his brow comes down. “What is this supposed to be, a joke? A halfling, an eladrin, two humans, and a tiefling walk into a tavern…” He shakes his head and barrels on: “Time was the Markelhays were men of action.” He spits. He begins to take his leave, then stops. “If any of you can swing a sword without cuttin’ yourselves, catch me down at Teldorthan’s arms. I’ve got a job of work needs doin’.” The dwarf’s steps can still be heard as the council door swings open once again. A care-worn man in his middle years stands before you in the blue robe of a High Bailiff. A Nerathian amulet depicting Pelor’s scales hangs around his neck. This is the Lord Warden. He takes all of you in with a smile. “What can I do for you, gentles?” he asks with a voice full of fatigue. What do you do?

You travel 15 miles from Fallcrest into the wilderness to find the once-sprawling, fortified manor now known as Kobold Hall. Inside the keep, you find a trapdoor at the base of an old guard tower. It must lead beneath the ruins. What do you do?

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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