On the second day in the desert after leaving Dunesend the party encoutners an old lady in the desert who warns them to turn back. The party senses something isn’t quite right about the situation. And a fight ensues and the lady turns out to be a howling hag. Three shifters were also hidden in the sand.
On the third day in the desert the party arrives at a dwarven keep set into the side of a basalt cliff. If your information form Bram Ironfell is correct, this is probably Fortress Ironfell, and the Karak Lode is probably somewhere inside.
The gatehouse of the fortress was guarded by Troglodytes, which the party defeated.
With many different directions available to explore, the party chose to explore the eastern part of the first level.
The party quickly encountered a some humans and shifters guarding a set of stairs leading down. After the guards were defeated the party went downward into a deeper level.
After some additional exploring, the party found a dungeon area with 4 cells. In one of the cells sat an old man dressed as a simple peasant with 7 yellow canaries. The old man didn’t respond when spoken to, but did accept food and water when it was given. The party released the man and continued exploring.
After more exploration of the lower level the party discovered a crypt and was attacked by a berbalang. The party destroyed the berbalag fairly quickly.
Each character has 9,649 exp at the end of the session.
Bram explains that he has recently obtained directions that he believes lead to the Karak Lode, and he offers to pay the party in advance to search for the lost mine. The party is also allowed to keep any treasure they find.
The party agrees to undertake the journey.
After an uneventful trip on well-travelled roads, the party spends 4 days crossing the Thornwaste.
During the first day in the Thornwaste the party meets Mag Blackthorn, a ranger who protects the Thornwaste. Mag agrees to accompany the party to the far side of the Thornwaste.
On the second day in the Thornwaste the party is ambushed by a group of dwarves with a trained hell hound. The dwarves appear to be from the Hammerfist clan, rivals of the Ironfell clan.
At the end of the fourth day in the Thornwaste, the party reaches the village of Dunesend, and Mag leaves the party.
When the party arrives in Dunesend, a villager is being beaten by a large gnoll with a pet behir and some satyr henchmen. The party thrashes them mightily.
Most of the villagers of Dunesend are unhappy with the party, because they fear reprisals from the Queen for the death of the Warden.
However, one of the villagers is willing to give the party a place to say for the night.
The next morning the party heads south into the desert in search of the lost mine, and possibly Queen Sephatiah as well.
On the second day in the desert the party finds an old lady in the desert who warns them to turn back. The party senses something isn’t quite right about the situation. (This encounter won’t be resolved until next session.)
3 Dwarf Hammerers (Level 5 Soldier)
2 Dwarf Bolters (Level 4 Artillery)
Hell Hound (Level 7 Brute)
The Warden, Gnoll Demonic Scourge (Level 8 Brute/Leader) – New NPC
Juvenile Behir Thunderlance (Level 10 Artillery) – New creature
The tunnel opens into the tower library, where a battle ensues. One of the defenders activates a shadow dart trap. The defenders are defeated and Callie disarms the trap, but the party takes a good bit of damage in the process.
The party manages to capture one of Sarhan’s sages in his laboratory. The sage provides valuable intelligence about the tower in exchange for his life.
Using the information from the sage, the party bypasses an encounter with some of Sarshan’s giant insect pets.
The party ends up battling some more Shadar-kai guards and eventually gets to Sarshan’s room at the top of the tower. However, Sarshan isn’t there and the party finds no incriminating documents.
A short time later the party is faced with an overwhelming force of Shadar-kai guards. With no hope of defeating the guards, the party agrees to go down to the 2nd floor and wait for Sarshan to return to the tower.
Sarshan returns through a teleportation portal, and it turns out he was the strange farmer that the party talked to in The Happy Beggar.
Much dialog ensues. Sarshan is pleased by Modra’s death and tries to convince the party to work for him.
Most of the party was very reluctant to accept Sarshan’s offer, but they were also reluctant to be stabbed by pointy things the guards carried. So the party stalled for time.
While negotiations are going on the Umbraforge Foundry explodes. It seems that part of Modra’s plan worked after all.
Sarshan orders various squads of guards to various damage control tasks. Before Sarshan leaves with the last squad he orders his guard captain, Thannu, to kill the party.
A battle ensues between Thannu, Thannu’s trained shadow panthers, and the party. The party wins, but several people go unconscious. Everyone is low or out of healing surges.
After the battle there is a skill challenge to reconfigure the teleporter Sarshan just used.
The party teleports to the Black Shrine, but before they can activate the portal back to the prime world, another tremor draws shadows out of the portal. Yet another fight ensues. After it is over the party is very, very battered.
The party goes through the portal back to the tunnels under the Hungry Beggar. Some more shadows try to follow the party through the portal but the shadows end up destroying the shadowfell portal in the process.
The party leaves the tunnels and goes to get a well deserved rest. (And they’re level 6 when they wake up.)
Shadar-kai Witch (Level 7 Controller)
Shadar-kai Gloomblade (Level 6 Lurker)
2 Shadar-kai Warriors (Level 8 Soldier)
Shadow Dart Wall (Trap, Level 6 Blaster) – New trap
2 Shadar-kai Chainfighters (Level 6 Skirmisher)
Dark Haunter (Level 6 Lurker) (New creature. Really just a Dark Creeper with some extra abilities.)
The party continues questioning the Umbraforge inhabitants for information about Modra and Sarshan. They meet Leena, a Shadar-kai witch who used to work with Modra. She tells them that Modra is planning to destroy the Umbraforge Foundry and Tower. In return for the information she only asks that they kill Modra quickly, and don’t let him suffer.
The party decides to ambush Modra while he is at the Foundry. After a tough fight they proceed through the secret tunnel into the Ubraforge Tower.
Kill Recap: (All of these except the Tangler Beetle were new monsters created for this module.)
The party finds a smuggling operation using teleporters under The Happy Beggar. They encounter a dark creeper that steals one of the brass keys and escapes through a portal. Later the party is pulled through the portal as well.
The party arrives in the Shadowfell. Before they can explore far a Dark Creeper patrol finds them. Mistaking the party for mercenaries, the patrol orders the party to return to the mercenary camp. There they rent some overpriced tent space from a troll and rest for the night. The party is level 5 when they wake up the next morning.
The party then begins exploring the camp and searching for information. They learn that the camp is called Umbraforge, and is the domain of Sarshan, a Shadar-kai. Sarshan is apparently supplying weapons and mercenaries to groups all over the world. They also learn that Modra used to work for Sarshan, but now they are enemies.
Note: A Dark Creeper, possibly Modra, was encountered but not killed.
5 Wraiths (Level 5 Lurker)
1 Seething Wraith (Level 7 Controller)
2 Fire Bats (Level 5 Skirmisher)
1 Hell Hound (Level 7 Brute)
1 Magma Hurler (Level 4 Artillery)
Sarshan’s Secrets (Level 6, Complexity 4) – Started but not completed
The party searches for clues about Modra and why he might want the brass key. They uncover information that Modra might have been supplying weapons to the Orcs. The party also discovers that the group that attacked them was part of an organization known as the Lost Ones.
Along the way they meet Reniss, a half-elf ranger. Reniss is seeking to avenge the death of her sister Jen, who was a member of the Farstriders.
The party and Reniss wind up in hidden tunnels below a poorhouse called The Happy Beggar.
4 Shadowhuner Bats (Level 3 Lurker)
Doomspores – Hazard (Level 3 Obstacle)
3 Dark Creepers (Level 4 Skirmisher)
2 Shadow Hounds (Level 6 Skirmisher)
1 Shadar-kai Witch (Level 7 Controller) – The witch had a brass key identical to the previous one.
Finding that the Farstriders are dead, the party heads deeper into the Dwarven tunnels. If the party can seal The Nexus, the Orcs will be unable to use the tunnels to attack Elsir Vale.
3 Fire Beetles (Level 1 Brute)
3 Orc Scouts (Level 3 Skirmisher) – New monster created for this module
5 Orc Drudges (Level 4 Minion)
Iranda, Dark One Emissary (Level 5 Lurker) – Iranda had the brass key. He’s actually a Dark Creeper, and he’s not “The Emissary”, so his name is a little misleading. Iranda was created for this module.
1 Cave Troll (Level 7 Brute) – Due to daily powers used and critical hits, the Cave Troll died in less than 2 rounds. The Cave Troll was created for this module.
2 Orc Bombardier (Level 1 Artillery) – New monster created for this module
2 Orc Freaks (Level 2 Skirmisher) – New monster created for this module
The party discovers the secret tunnels under the monastery that allowed the Orcs to attack from below.
The last surviving Dwarven monk, Kalad, has managed to collapse the tunnels and block off Orc reinforcements.
The party manages to rescue Kalad from the clutches of the remaining Orcs.
The party then returns to Overlook with Kalad and rests for the night.
The party heads to The Vents with Kalad to make sure that the Farstriders were successful in blocking off the rest of the tunnels under the Stonehome Mountains. The party finds the Farstrider’s horses outside The Vents, but no sign that they ever came back out.
1 Orog Scarred Champion (Level 4 Brute) – New monster created for this module
1 Spiretop Drake (Level 1 Skirmisher)
3 Orc Bolt Throwers (Level 1 Artillery) – New monster created for this module