Noble House: A D&D 4E Essentials Campaign

Episode 7: "Bandits of the Forest"

Valathrax the black was dead. It’s dark blood scorching the earth and corrupting everything it touched. A dragon’s heart is a powerful source of that refined elixir known by various names, but most commonly Residuum. A golden remnant of power handed down by the gods…

Location: Dal Nystiere / Cave outside Yisarn’s lair.
Time: Early Morning

As the party dealt with the loss of Quinn Casara to the foul eladrin soul inhabiting the cursed gold armor, they were approached by a group of armed people. Their leader, named Krow, befriended them and thanked them for saving his village of Bullshadow from the predations of the evil black dragon Valathrax. The party was invited back to the village to celebrate the death of the dragon.

The thief, sent back to the circle of stones to find Cutter who’d remained behind when the party entered the workshop of the undead sorcerer, saw Cutter talking to an owl. The owl then flew away, exploding in a shower of falling leaves. Suspecting evil intent, the thief returned to the party without alerting Khufu the druid. After a brief conversation, the druid elected to go talk to Cutter. The guide said he’d been speaking to a druid by the name of Reithann and that the Iron Circle has begun to close their fist on the Harkenwold.

Eventually the party arrived in Bullshadow, a tiny village surrounding a giant, ancient, minotaur statue. Its inhabitants human with a tiny kobold contingent. The group entered the town confident of their abilities. Plied with wine, beer and mead at the village’s tiny cramped in, the party fell easily to the drug mixed within their libations…

They awakened in cramped cells, their weapons missing and to the sounds of a distressed woman. The thief quickly picked his cell door lock and freed the rest of his companions. While attempting to assist the woman, a fellow prisoner, the druid put his foot in the wrong place, the dreaded creaking floorboard…alerting a winged Naga, hidden behind a curtain in the room!

The fight was fast and furious as the knight and Khufu attempted to wrangle the Naga with rope from their packs and snap her neck! Unfortunately this plan did not work and to make matters worse the cacophony of battle brought Krow and Weila to the Naga’s aid! Eventually the Naga and Krow lay dead at the adventurers feet – but Weila had escaped up a flight of stairs – the party was later to learn that Weila, a group of her men and the kobolds had escaped from the village.

Got rope

Investigating their surroundings, the party surmised that the Naga, Krow, Weila and others were members of a cult of Tiamat. They found a tunnel leading to a clearing outside the village, which was obviously the drop-off/pick-up point for someone – possibly slavers as the woman freed from the cells with them indicated she was from another village.

The party returned to Bullshadow looking for blood, but discovered that the inhabitants (other than Weila, etc.) appeared to have been innocent(??) and submitted to the villagers desire to have a defender appointed to the town, now that Krow was dead and Weila fled. Margo, the local tavern owner, accompanied the party to the elf enclave, where the chief of the Woodsinger elves, Eriyel, appointed Israfen, her best scout, to return to the village and see to its defense.

Eriyel gave her word that she would assist the humans against the Iron Circle (IC) – as they had completed her request – the slaying of her former husband, the undead wizard Yisarn. With that the group left for the Druid Grove, were Cutter said they were needed in defense of the Harkenwold from the Iron Circle.

Sneaking around the Harkenwold, avoiding IC scouting parties, the group avoided conflict until they ran into a small farmstead being accosted by IC troops. A short battle later and the Iron Circle soldiers lay dead…

Next Session: Druids, Toads and other unsavory matters…

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