Shadows over Daggerdale

Dragon's Peak

Returning to Edgecomb the PCs meet with White-Eye and explain what they have seen from the side of the mountain. White-Eye sends Speaks-with-Trees and a contingent of guards with the PCs through Bronden’s Halls and he is able to confirm that a Netherse army is marching on the Dalelands. When they return to Edgecomb once more he explains to White-Eye that the PCs speak the truth. Adnan White-Eye knows that even if he defeats the army of the Dales, that the Netherese have no love for his kind so sends the PCs to speak with Morn and try and broker a peace-deal.
The PCs swiftly return to the war camp of the Dalelanders and meet with Ariton Morn. After some persuasion, he agrees to meet with White-Eye and they begin peace talks. When the talks conlude it has been agreed that the shifters will leave Edgecomb but that they will be recognised as legal citizens of Daggerdale. The shifters agree to fight alongside the Dalelanders against the Netherse. However, it is painfully obvious that the armies of the shifters and the Dalelanders is no match of the Netherese.
The PCs spend some time deciding the best course of action, they could investigate why the watchtowers sent no word of the approaching army or they could speed their way to any number of potential allies and seek help. In the end they decide that their best hope is to speak to the elves of Myth Drannor and try to raise support from them.
They ride for Myth Drannor on horses supplied by Ariton Morn. Their first night sees them investigating a deserted farmhouse where things seem to have gone very wrong. On further investigation they find a long-abandoned village though the graveyard seems to have seen more recent visitors. Further investigation into the tombs leads to an encounter with zombies and a wight who severely wound the party but are dispatched before any permanent damage can be done.
Back on the road the party arrive in the outskirts of Myth Drannor. They are met by a group of eladrin guards, led by Thilarion, who takes them to the city. Inside the palace they meet with Ekariel, Thilarion’s sister and cousin to Coronal Ilsevele Miritar. She sits on the Coronal’s Council and listens to their news. She lets them refresh themselves and re-equip in the city bazaars before they are taken before the Coronal’s Council. The Coronal listens to their story and decides to help, sending a contingent of mounted troops back to the Dalelanders’ war camp.
When they arrive at the camp they find that the numbers of troops has swelled and men have arrived from the other Dales. Shortly after they arrive they see a swarm of what looks like birds on the horizon. Soon they see that it is not birds but Griffons, a squadron of female eladrin shock-troops led by Ekariel.
News that a large scouting party has split from the main Netherese army and has headed south concerns the PCs who seem to think that they are heading towards the floating city above Bronden’s Halls. This helps the PCs to decide that an army is no place for them and they must try to gain access to the Dragon’s Peak.

An extremely lucky shot with an arrow allows them to get a rope on to the side of the earth mote and Lagazi is the first to climb up. When they all climb to the top of the earth mote they fund a zone of grass that quickly rises into jungle. As they enter the jungle they are enveloped by the hot stickiness of a tropical jungle. They make their way through the jungle and encounter some of the less friendly denizens of Dragon’s Peak.
When they arrive at a small village they find all of the villagers run and hide as soon as they break the cover of the jungle. There are two farmers tilling an empty field, seemingly oblivious to them. When they investigate they find that the two villagers are in fact skeletons, mindlessly tilling the fields. The vllage is in good repair but the PCs have little luck in trying to get the villagers to come out. The discover that all of the villagers are undead, presumably by the magic that was unleashed on the city. They only want to die or be left alone, so the PCs promise to release them from their unlife and follow their directions to get into the volcano that rises in the centre of the earth mote.

They find a tunnel that leads under the river and into a cave. Inside they encounter a dead crocodile that spews a swarm of Tomb Spiders before attacking the PCs itself. They then encounter the mother Tomb Spider which nearly kills all of the party members. Both sides retreat for rest and recuperation. After some time the PCs comtinue exploring the tunnel complex only to encounter the Tomb spider again, this time they kill it, though only after it inflicts some grievous injuries on the PCs. Exploring further they find the Tomb Spiders’ nest but see some spiderlings inside. As they contemplate their attack they find a mummy has come up behind them and attacks. As they fight it a swarm of Tomb Spiders erupts from its mouth and also attacks. The PCs magae to defeat both, but several of the party are infected with Mummy Rot.

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The Dragon's Claw Goblins

The party almost walked into a group of goblins who seemed to be scavenging these halls for wood and any useable materials. The short fight was over quickly as they dispatched a magic wielding goblin who promised that “Draggik will get you and kill you slowly”.
Exploring the halls they found three huge concentric circles, each with areas for shops and living, but mostly well ransacked by the goblins. Grint recognised the insignia of the goblins as Dragon’s Claw goblins, a strange bunch even by goblin standards.
The party soon came across a very heavily defended door. Spotting the trap was the easy part. The rest of the party stood back as Balthazar tried to disarm the trap but he wasn’t nimble enough. Lightning crackled and blasted him off his feet. The other members of the pary were also caught, not having been far enough away from the blast. Dazed and deafened they were unprepared for an attack from a shadow-walking bugbear who snuck up on them and attacked while they recovered. Though strong and fast they were able to kill the bugbear before it was able to get any help.
They continued their exploration of this level and found a cache of magical items and a spellbook behind the trapped door (though not before Balthazar had managed to singe himself again). The party kept moving though the empty corridors until they started to hear a noise behind them. Thinking it was another bugbear they split the party and tried to chase after it. Too late they realised that they had been caught in a trap. From in front of them another bugbear shadow-walker was able to attack Balthazar and Lagazi, while goblins with bats attacked Grint and Lucan. Another group of goblins joined the bugbear and the fight soon escalated. The PCs were lucky to escape the encounter all alive and decided to take a rest.

The party scoured this level of Bronden’s Halls, eventually finding the stairway that led led to an upper level. Moving slowly they encountered a small group of goblins who were quickly despatched. Moving further in they met another group of goblins and bugbears who again fell to the swords, fists and spells of the party. Moving past a trapped room the party eventually came upon a locked room. Ever eager to find their way inside they opened the door only to find a Scytheclaw drake. Deciding that they didn’t want to kill a creature that seemed to already have suffered some abuse they tried to calm it down. They didn’t manage to tame the savage beast, but at least they escaped it unharmed and let the drake run away.
Moving through the corridors they came upon a room with cauldrons and various body parts of drakes being dissected. Venturing further they found rooms that seemed to belong to a shaman with small animals and divining tools. Accidentally they nearly collided with a small goblin carrying a platter of food. Subduing the goblin was easy and Grint was able to take its place, carrying the platter through to a room of goblins. At the table they recognised that he wasn’t one of them and tried to fight. Despite there being a pair of hobgoblin spell slingers and some archers, the party managed to defeat them without too much trouble.
The party kept moving and found a corridor that was heavily trapped. Again Balthazar was the unfortunate who narrowly escaped being burnt to a cinder, only just. The flame aroused the suspicion of a hobgoblin guard who came to investigate. Unsure of what it saw it returned for a sunrod and threw it down the corridor. The sunrod lit up the corridor and he saw the party trying to disarm the succession of traps. He started firing while his fellow guard ran for help.
Emerging from the trapped corridor the PCs quickly despatched the lone guard but shortly after the doors to the main room burst open and Draggik appeared mounted on a Rage Drake, followed by his hobgoblin soldiers and Dirge Singer.
Feeling themselves outnumbered and low on resources the PCs felt it would be best to retreat. While trying to organise a fighting rearguard they managed to kill Draggik while he rode the Drake which went on a rampage. They quickly defeated the soldiers and were about to engage the Dirge Singer when Grint recognised him as Drulyut, a Shadow Goblin of Grint’s own tribe.
Drulyut had fled the massacre of the Shadow Goblins when Grint had and had come to live with the Dragon’s Claw goblins as a way to survive. While he helped the PCS he was not comfortable with the company that Grint now kept. He showed them Draggik’s hoard (while keeping a few pieces for himself) and persuaded the party to let him talk to the goblins. Lagazi wanted Drulyut to let them ransack the Halls but while the party rested Drulyut took the remaining Dragon’s Claw goblins and left the Halls, taking any more valuables with them.
When they emerged from their secure room the party found the halls deserted. They found that the great opening from the room where they fought Draggik led out behind a waterfall which fell from a hug earth mote flying above the mountain. Surely this must be the Dragon’s Peak where the Crown of Tears is located?
While they tried to work out how to get up to the Dragon’s Peak Balthazar saw far in the distance the unmistakeable smoke of an army, a huge Netherese army. It seemed to be moving towards Daggerdale, where an internal war was brewing. The PCs seemed to think that Sable was an agent of Netheril and was sowing the seeds of war. They need to decide how they will approach this conundrum.

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Bronden's Halls

Heaving the huge wooden wheels that lifted the portcullis and the stone door, the parties were able to look beyond the palace and found the rest of Bronden’s Halls. The first thing they noticed was a smear of goblin blood coming from the level above and continuing across the hall. Following the trail of blood they found a room with swarms of rats consuming some fresh goblin bodies. Having dealth with the rats they continued, only to be attacked by some giant centipedes which were living in the dwarven latrines. Following the bllod further they come across a communal bath which leads beyond the dwarven part into natural caverns.
The caversna are partially flooded and the PCs spent some time following watery paths through caverns before they were attacked by a pair of dire stirges. Though they dealth with the dire stroges easily enough, they are intrigued when they find piles of stones upon which rest the dead bodies of goblins. Something had built these platforms to keep their food out of the water. It wasn’t long before the party stumbled into a Kruthik brood nest. They quickly dispatched the mother and hatchlings, but the Kruthik Hive Lord and his males were soon on the scene. The party were surprised by the speed at which the Kruthik would dig through solid stone but a lucky sleep spell managed to soothe the savage Hive Lord and the rest were quickly killed.
Returning to the dwarven stronghold they find the stairs to the next level and ascend. Above they find a shuge statue of the dwarven god and a secret room housing an ancient dart gun that was to be used by the dwarven defenders. Leaving this room they found a large circular corridor that had open spaces, presumably for shops. Rounding a corner they found that there are at least two concentric rings and from just outside of their line of sight they headr voices, goblin voices.

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Dagger Falls

Travelling with the refugees from Edgcomb and surrounds, the party arrives at Dagger Falls. The arrival of several hundred refugees brings out the guards to find out what has happened. The PCs enter the town and meet with Eremon, the helf-elf proprietor or Eremon’s Emporium. They manage to poersuade him to sell them some items which may be useful later in their travels.
When they emerge they find Uther Flint being taken to the Contable’s Keep to meet Ariton Morn, Constable of Dagger Falls and Lord of Daggerdale. They walk up the stone steps to the keep and meet Ariton Morn, his younger brother Malack Morn and the Constable’s advisor, Haesten. They tell him of the shifter army, the werewolf elite, White-eye and Sable. Ariton Morn seems keen to meet aggression with aggression. He is counseled by Haesten and his brother for war. Riders are sent across the dale to raise the militia and the townspeople ready themselves for war.
The next day, the party seek an audience with Ariton Morn. They have a proposal for him. They offer to kill Sable, for a price. They believe that if Sable is killed her troops will be less likely to fight and that the shifters will either be weakened or will press for peace. Morn agrees and offers 2000gp if they can bring him her head in 10 days’ time.
Fully provisioned the party heads back to Edgecomb and manages to slip past any shifter patrols in the area. They enter the dwarven ruins via the fissure outside of town and activate the portal.

Upon uttering the activation word the mirror shimmers with blue eldritch light. The first to step through is Balthazar, then Grint. When neither return Lucan and Lagazi follow. As soon as they emerge from the portal they find themselves submerged in water. The portal room is flooded. They manage to swim to the surface and find a way out of the room up some stairs. They find themselves in a system of dwarven rooms, evidently some sort of royal palace. There are fissures and cracks in the roof and walls and there is evidence of the dwarves fleeing, but the place seems to have been deserted since the fall of the city oveer 1500 years ago. They find some valuable items from a statue to a 4-armed dwarven god.
When searching the throne room they are attacked by a hiding Roper who nearly kills Lagazi, though they all manage to escape. Exploring further they are attacked when the open a pantry door and find a large swarm of rot beetles feasting on a basket of Everlasting Provisions. They nearly kill the whole party and Lucan is knocked unconscious, though they manage to defeat the swarm. After resting and recuperating they finish surveying the palace area and head towards the huge door and portcullis that presumably leads somewhere…

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Haraman
Meet the shifters

Interlude

The circle was complete. The fire in the centre burned brightly in the dark night. She reached into the small black bag and lifted out a handful of herbs. She dropped them into a silver cup and placed it at the edge of the circle. Behind her was a cage with a weasel. It tried to bite her as she opened the cage and grabbed it behind the head. A blade flashed in the light of the fire and a gout of red blood sprayed into the cup. She mixed the herbs and the blood then threw it in the fire.
The flames at once became bright yellow, then green, then pale blue. Smoke began to billow above the fire, blues and blacks, coalescing into a shape, a face.
The face in the smoke shimmered. “Who are they?” The voice was like an escape of gas from a sarcophagus, a breathy hiss of dust.
“I do not know, my lord. Adventurers, treasure seekers maybe.” Her voice was, in contrast, like silk.
“They could threaten our plans. They are the blind spot in my vision.”
“I will kill them, my lord. Do not worry.” She smiled. It was her job, but she would obviously take pleasure in it.
“No. They are part of the vision. It is not clear, but they need not be killed. Yet. Observe them, report to me what they do and what they want. They could be useful, for the moment.”

The flames died down and the face faded. Her master was wise. She had only seen them as obstacles to be removed. Perhaps he was right and they could be put to use. She would not kill them yet, that could wait, and she would enjoy it all the more. They would meet the shifters soon and then she would get a closer look at them.

End Interlude

Coming out of the forest into the clearing, the adventurers find the farm that had been attacked. They sneak up and hear voices within.
“Have you found it?”
“Is this it?”
“No, you fool. Keep looking, these stupid farmers must have it. If not, it has to be in the village.”
They hear the bandits about to come out and decide to attack. When the rush inside they find four bandits. But when the steel begins to fly the bandits suddenly transform to wolves and the party knows that something is not quite right. After some frantic fighting they manage to kill the three weaker ones and subdue the larger one. He is tied up while they try and find a way to transport him back to the village. Unfortunately the wereolf has the ability to heal and breaks his bonds. After a short fight he turns into a wolf and flees, although he is severely wounded.
Back at the village, the party finds that the shifters have been and left a demand for the village, leave within 2 days or they will attack. After discussing the situation with Uther Flynt they discover what the werewolves were searching for. Flynt’s antecedent, Sul Flynn, left his notes and mentioned his search for the Crown of Tears, a powerful artefact from ancient Netheril, kept in a floating fortress called Murann-Dorn. When the Netherese magic failed, the fortress crashed into the dwarven city of Bronden’s Halls. Apparently the portal below Edgecomb leads to Bronden’s Halls.
Before they can decide what to do, the adventurers find that the shifters are just outside the village. Approaching them, they are taken to see Adnan White-eye, the leader of the Haraman, the weretouched.
He seems sincere but seeks to protect his people from human attacks. To do this he is creating a weretouched nation within Daggerdale, called Haraman. about a year ago they started to come under attack from human soldiers with several villages wiped out with no survivors.
The party also encounters Sable, the leader of the elite fighters of the Haraman. She is no shifter but a werewolf and challenges the PCs story. The surviving werewolf from the morning’s attack gives his version but the truth is soon discovered by Andan White-eye’s scouts. Arrack, the werewolf is taken away by Sable for questioning.
The adventurers secure food for the villagers for the evacuation and in the morning they leave with the villagers of Edgecomb and the other human refugees, bound for Dagger Falls.

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Edgecomb
It begins

Summer is coming to a close in Daggerdale and the leaves are slowly turning from birght green. Four adventurers have so far been unable to find the adventure and fame they sought in Daggerdale. Even the fabled ruins of the Tethyamar dwarves aren’t showing themselves. On their way to Dagger Falls, they think they have been out of luck in finding adventure until…

Outside the village of Edgecomb they are waylaid by a group of bandits. They turn out to be shifters, the weretouched, who seem intent on robbing them rather than killing them.
Undeterred, they arrive at the town of Edgecomb. This is not the village that they have been told about. It is considerably larger that the 100 souls it should be and is now bursting at the seams with refugees.
After speaking with the headman, Uther Flynt, they discover that over the past 6-12 months, outlying farms and villages have been raided by bandits and the farmers have fled, seeking refuge here. Now they are short on food and having to turn away any more refugess who turn up at the gate. Then a few weeks ago food started to go missing. First a hen, then a goat. Fighting broke out between villagers and refugees, older refugees and newer ones. Until the night a child disappeared. Worse still, last night another went missing. Uther is beside himself, his village is failing and they have just days of food left.

Eager to help, the adventurers keep watch over the town and find Rat-Men coming out of the town well, intent on abducting a third child. They manage to capture one and he reveals he is a servant of Shar and that they will “all burn”. The adventurers decide to seek out the Rat-men’s lair and put an end to their wickedness.

Down the well, they discover that the Rat-Men have taken over an abandoned Tethyamar site. They find a nest of the creatures who have been conducting rituals with the bodies of the children to summon Demons. Perhaps the most interesting find, though, is a portal, undiscovered by the Rat-Men. A shimmering wall of polished metal, it is clearly a portal, but without a way of opening it they will need to find more information.

On returning to the surface they find that Edgecomb has continued as before. In the morning a new group of refugees arrives at the village. This time though, the attack is closer. The bandits are only half an hour away…

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