Adventuring Party (Level 4)
Nuriel: Deva Invoker of Bahamut
Galanthal: Elven Ranger/Cleric of Pelor
Amarth: Human Paladin/Fey-Pact Warlock
Sten: Gnome Bard
Gertrude: Goliath Battlemind
- Galanthal disappears while the rest of the group are deciding what to do next.
- Amarth, Sten and Nexis choose to visit the manor-house in their attempt to find an artisan who can craft a holy symbol of Sehanine for Amarth.
- Nuriel begins his investigation of life in Winterhaven by attempting to visit further with Sister Linora. While she is passionate about her charity work, she has no useful information to share about recent events.
- Nuriel and Gertrude return to the Valthrun’s tower to talk with him regarding any rumors that have been circulating recently.
- Valthrun tells them about the Wainwright kids, Jeanie and Joplin, who came running into town in the early morning hours recently. They had been scared half to death by something they had seen in the night near the ruins of the old keep. No one has yet been able to get the details out of them.
- Nuriel and Gertrude learn that Jeanie and Joplin’s father, Buford Wainwright, has been a drunk since his wife passed away some time ago.
- Galanthal rides out through the gates of the village and wanders amongst the farms east of Winterhaven.
- He comes upon a farmer who is striving mightily to cut down a dead tree in his farmyard using a dull and rusty axe.
- Galanthal promises the farmer that he will procure a new axe from the village, and then return to give it to the farmer, so he can more easily fell the tree.
- Galanthal rides back to Winterhaven and purchases an axe from the blacksmith, after first waiting for him to emerge from a rather noisy interlude in the privy.
- Returning to the gate, Galanthal encounters Nuriel and Gertrude, who have just finished their conversation with Valthrun.
- The goliath and the deva agree to accompany Galanthal back to the farmstead with the new axe.
- Upon arrival they see the farmer out in the pasture attempting to rope a calf.
- Nuriel and Galanthal secure the calf for the farmer, while Gertrude cuts down the dead tree with two strokes of the new axe.
- Overjoyed by such unexpected assistance, the farmer begins preparing lunch for the adventurers while Gertrude moves the dead tree over near the firewood pile.
- After lunch, the trio returns to the village.
- As they are approaching Winterhaven, they meet up with Sten, Amarth and Nexis, who have just finished investigating the graveyard.
- The two groups bring each other up-to-date on their recent experiences and then proceed toward the gate.
- They are met by members of the city guard, who have an urgent summons for Nexis from Prince Etheran.
- Nexis takes leave of his companions and heads into the village with the guards.
- The rest of the group confers about what should be their next course of action.
- Nuriel studies the “Ritualia Draconis Chryonica” for clues as to the location of the tomb of the Drax Arcanus.
- He learns that the Drax was once the consort of Bitterstrike, an old white dragon who holds sway over the Winterbole Forest to the north.
- At some point, the Drax and Bitterstrike had a falling out, which is how he received the scar across one eye.
- They group decides to go in search of Douven Stahl and the tomb of the Drax Arcanus.
- Since the most recent information they have points to a location somewhere southwest of the village, they elect to circle around the east edge of the village, and then strike off to the southwest.
- Upon reaching the west side, they encounter a toothless old man with one leg, sitting outside a hovel, who remembers a small group of men heading southwest away from the village a few days before. One of the men matches the description of Douven Stahl.
- The party heads into the wilderness in pursuit of the missing scholar.
- Galanthal quickly picks up the trail of three or four men. The trail is a couple of days old.
- Following the trail through the woods, Galanthal suddenly loses it as a much more recent trail cuts across the track.
- This new trail has been made by many feet moving from the southeast to the northwest.
- Galanthal searches on the other side of the new trail, and is eventually able to pick up the original track, continuing southwest into the wooded hills.
- At length, the party arrives at the edge of a bowl-shaped meadow where three hills come together.
- Moving cautiously to where they can see down into the center of the meadow, the adventurers look upon the site of a fresh excavation.
- A few men-at-arms loiter near the center of the dig. Not far from them, one robed figure is handing something to a second robed figure. The object they are exchanging glints gold in the afternoon sun. The first robed figure is flanked by a pair of dogs whose skins seems to be rotting off their bones.
- The second robed figure vanishes as soon as he or she has taken the mysterious item into his or her possession.
- A wary halfling stands watch at the edge of the excavation site, and the party can see two rage drakes on patrol.
- A hulking creature with decaying flesh stands near the robed figure. At its feet huddles Douven Stahl.
- The adventurers attempt to approach in two separate groups without being noticed, but Sten and Amarth step on a branches in the undergrowth.
- The halfling watchman is immediately alert. The men-at-arms and the rage drakes begin shifting their positions.
- The adventurers prepare for battle.