Rise of the Fallen

Chapter 4: Home Again, Home Again
Tiptoeing back to Stormgarde City to reconnect with the outside world

As the party exits the Gloomvale, Doval Tyrrenus brings to them a human man, middle-aged, and clearly a ranger. Tieran instantly recognizes him as Beren, a ranger with the group of mercenaries that raised him, and as such a close personal friend.

Beren is burdened by news he must deliver, and has much to tell the party. It seems that while the party was isolated and off adventuring in the Kyuri Marshlands and the Gloomvale, a new organization became active in Braeden Prairie (and Stormgarde City especially) calling itself the Cult of the Damned. They have been kidnapping people at random throughout the Braeden region, and authorities have been stymied as to what pattern the kidnappings might follow. The Helion Knights were clearly expected to enter the scene and take quick, decisive action. However, while they’re making a big show of defending the bigger cities such as Stormgarde City and Crestholme, the smaller towns and villages are left relatively unprotected. Supposedly the Mithril Aegis is deploying troops, but they won’t arrive en masse for some time, and the townships between Stormgarde City and Crestholme are especially in need of protection.

Adventurers, especially humans, are flocking to Braeden Prairie in order to protect it, but people are generally terrified, and local militias and town guards are searching many people for any signs they might be affiliated with the Cult. Another problem perhaps even bigger for the party in particular is that Kalden Thentral, whom the party has had a run-in with before, is stationed at Crestholme at the eastern end of the Braeden region, meaning the party would be able to simply travel west towards Braeden Prairie. Beren suggests the party travels to the Kyuri delta and the halfling port town of Kyrith, and then traveling to Stormgarde City by ship, thus avoiding Kalden Thentral altogether for now.

Beren cautiously adds that he came to his nephew to seek his help as well, but

Chapter 3: Whispers of Death
Wading into the hordes of undead to destroy five obelisks in the Gloomvale!

Immediately upon entering the Gloomvale, the party is greeted by one Doval Tyrrenus who informs the party he is a priest of the Raven Queen, and specifically, a member of the sub-order of that religion, the Hands of the Ashen Shroud. As a dedicated undead hunter, he was sent to determine why there was increased activity in the Gloomvale, and to track the actions and movements of the mysterious Eladrin. Tyrrenus explains that he is unlike other Hands of the Ashen Shroud, and indeed, humans; he encountered the Leper Oracle, who gave him a gift: Unless the moon is full, he is completely invisible to and unable to hurt any but the most powerful of undead.

Tyrrenus has discovered that someone has been expanding the cursed wood that is the Gloomvale, and his order tasked him to investigate; Tyrrenus has located five obsidian obelisks emitting necrotic energy and awakening more of the long dead humans, elves, and orcs that were killed in the Gloomvale before it was cursed, and even expanding the borders of the cursed wood itself. Because he cannot harm the obelisks, being so strongly tied to necrotic energy, he requests that the party investigate and destroy each obelisk and the undead around them, but warns that the party should not venture into the center of the Gloomvale.

While the party is exploring the Gloomvale, they encounter Kochak and Merideth, who identify themselves as members of the Sunrock Clan, an outcast group of orcs and other races that lives far away on the continent of Kerguhl. They explain that they were sent by their warchief, who has counseled with the Leper Oracle himself, to watch over the group of adventurers and the destiny they would play. During this time, both Aerok and Almayce left the party—Aerok received a prophetic dream about his mentor, and old dragonborn woman and a long-time member of the Helion Knights, and Almayce met with a curious ranger (see next chapter) who quietly visited the him while he was on watch one night.

The party newly reformed, they battled their way to each of the five obelisks, straining to survive each deadly encounter, but eventually arose victorious, and upon destroying the last of the obelisks, the effects of the Gloomvale seemed to lessen, even just a little bit, and the outer edges of the wood seemed to return to normal.

Chapter 2: Cleansing the Waters
Helping the Halflings help the Lizardfolk by destroying the Sahuagin

The party enters the Kyuri Marshlands, having gained Almayce the cleric of Pelor while still adventuring in Algeth Valley. Just as they cross into the Marshlands, they are accosted by a group of Helion Knights, led by Kalden Thentral. He abruptly demands that the party be searched, and only after the party is ready to attack to defend their right to privacy does Marshal Brannoch Dugan (who had been hidden along with his Outrider forces in the nearby marsh grass anticipating Thentral’s demands) step in and rescue the party (recognizing them as the help Brann Delgas has sent) remind Thentral that he has no jurisdiction in the Kyuri Marshlands, and that it is his right to question or search suspected criminals. Thentral is furious, but knows he has no legal ground to stand on, and storms off. The party is sure they have not seen the last of Kalden Thentral.

Marshal Dugan brings the party to Greenwater, the main halfling village in the Kyuri Marshlands. There, he informs the party that the lizardfolk in the area—who had previously been tenuous allies and trading partners, had suddenly turned violent and attacked the halflings on site, even restricting their travel through the marsh.

The party is ambushed by a party of lizardfolk, but they don’t immediately attack; instead, the party is recognized as allies of the halflings, and the group’s marsh mystic, Iztehuacan, asks for the party’s help. He asks them to free his companion Marsh Mystics from some strange mind control being exerted over them, and to identify the source. Iztehuacan suggests they gather berries and herbs in the swamp in order to brew a liquid called Neralac, a vision-inducing compound, as well as a Sporecloud Mushroom; combining the two and letting the liquid ferment in the mushroom should create a grenade-like weapon with which to incapacitate affected Marsh Mystics.

After capturing the first Marsh Mystic, the party discovers an obsidian crystal with glowing green flecks in it embedded within the Marsh Mystic’s chest in an angry wound. They bring the subdued Marsh Mystic back to Iztehuacan, who identifies the crystal as a Felshard, a form of demonic control. He asks the party to bring him two more of his fellow Marsh Mystics, as well as three Atlec pearls so he can perform a cleansing ritual and free his people. The Atlec pearls are found in giant Atlec clams off the coast of hte Kyuri delta, fairly close to The Gloomvale.

The party does so, and in their absence Iztehuacan has scryed for the source of the Felshards—they were implanted in his brothers by sahuagin who serve Sekolah, a powerful devil and the primary deity worshiped by the sahuagin race. After recovering the remaining Felshards and Atlec pearls, Iztehuacan at last asks the party to carry out revenge on behalf of his people.

The party is to locate a small sahuagin scouting party, slay them, and steal their Qalta horn, which can be blown under water and heard by the sahuagin. The party is then to blow the horn to summon Na’ek’agin, the local high priestess of Sekolah in the area, and slay her as revenge for her sleight against the lizardfolk. The party does so, lures Na’ek’agin onto shore, and attacks her, eventually defeating her and her raiding party. As she dies, she tries to warn her remaining brood to return to and protect… something. Unable to finish her thought, she dies at last.

The party investigates a shipwreck the sahuagin had been using as a base, sunk perhaps a decade or two ago, and find a strange treasure chest completely covered with barnacles and limpet. With their arcane knowledge, they discover the chest is opened by blowing bubbles over the spot for the lock, and inside the chest they discover a curious sandstone amulet, perhaps 4 inches across. To most of the party, that is all it appears to be. To Tieran, there is a faint, indistinct marking on it he can’t quite make out. To Isidro, there is a clear iconic eye, and it appears to be made of sapphires embedded within the stone itself. When he shields the stone from the sun with his hand, the iconic eye disappears leaving only the sandstone. The party has not yet found anyone able to identify what the stone is, or why Isidro and Tieran can make out what they can about it.

Sekolah makes an appearance, and though uses no words, is clearly angry with the party, and vows revenge for the death of his priestess.

In the meantime, the undead haunting The Gloomvale have increased, and moan and scream even louder than before—and far off in the distance, a cloaked figure wearing a black cloak passes into the forest as though the undead don’t mind it doing so.

The party returns to Iztehuacan, who is joined now by Marshal Brannoch Dugan, and are asked by both to investigate the Gloomvale. Ri picks up her crockskin clothing custom tailored after fending off the crocs in the swamp while gathering the berries—one skirt, one pair thigh-high boots with stillettos, one pair without.

Interlude: The Statue Spoke to Me
A meeting of elemental proportions...

On the road north, the party encounters a curious monolith; a single, large boulder somewhat out of place in the rolling grassy hills. Above the monolith, the image of some element of earth appears, and speaks:

“Behold, travelers, I come before you to see those spoken of in time long past. Your destinies are intertwined with the fate of this world, and many parts have you yet to play. Seek me and my brethren out at the appointed time; you will know when you must come. Then shall we give you guidance on your quest, and what aid we can. I await that day; farewell…..”

Chapter 1: What Lies Beneath
Adventure and death in the Dun Harrow Mines!

After returning from the crypt, Brann Delgas asks the party to investigate the Dun Harrow mining camp, in western Algeth Valley at the foothills of the surrounding Frostpeak Mountains. After arriving at the Refugee Camp outside the mine, the party learns that the mine was overrun with a sudden flood of goblins. Asked to help the dwarves push the tide of goblins back (as well as locate 9 missing miners and a lucky miner’s pick), the party slowly takes back the mine, only to learn that not only is it flooded with goblins, but with kobolds as well; in fact, the kobolds suddenly infringed on the goblin territory deep below the mine, which displaced the goblins upwards into the mines. At the base of the second level of the mine, the party was met with the full brunt of the battling goblin and kobold forces, and battled both at once! Though it was a brutal battle that truly tested the party, it arose victorious and defeated both invading forces! They cleared the remaining invaders from the mine and the goblin and kobold caverns beneath, and also found a newly formed lavatube. Investigating, they found two trapped Evistros—Carnage Demons! How did the evistros come to be trapped in the strange lava tube that seemed to have no beginning but just appeared abruptly in the rock? What had the demons been doing there in the first place?

The arose from the mines as heroes, and a great feast was held in their honor—the Heroes of Dun Harrow, they mighty armyslayers! At the celebratory feast in their honor, Brann Delgas requests the party travels to the Kyuri Marshlands to the north to aid the halflings living there from an increase in monster attacks.

On their way out of Algeth Valley, the party is accosted by bandits wearing red armbands and calling themselves the Blood Raptors. Led by a Shadar-Kai Gloomblade named Khoth-na, the Blood Raptors wore red armbands with the image of a black talon on them, and seemed focused on attacking Ri specifically; it was revealed that they were the bandits who murdered the entire performing troupe Ri was traveling with, and that Ri only survived because she was away from the main group. After defeating the bandits, the party found a letter to Khoth-na signed “SD”, stating that Ri must never find out the truth about “the one she was traveling with”, referring to someone in her former troupe.


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