After meeting with his contacts from the Gatekeeper Druids, Fugara headed east. He knew of a monastery along his route that held in residence a strong Dragonborn Paladin of Balinor. He hoped that he would be able to enlist his help, and find other worthy adventurers along the way. He was pleased when a traveler named Augur headed in the same direction took interest in his quest and joined him. Upon reaching the monastery, his good fortune continued. The monastery had two new arrivals from some dimensional rift mishap. Harren-Kai who was an actual elemental being, and Karu who had been unsuccessfully acting as a Knight Hospitaler for the past year. Balasar’s order was also able to point Fugara in the direction of a hunter who had recently arrived in the area: Tramiel.
With his party formed, Fugara outlined the task at hand: A gatekeeper named Douven Stahl had been sent to perform routine upkeep on a great seal located near the small town of Winterhaven. He was several days overdue and Fugara was sent to find him. The gatekeepers warned that the alignment of the planets would strengthen evil, and that the seal would be at its weakest soon. Caution was advised.
As the party headed to Winterhave, they were ambushed by Kobolds. This proved a successful test of the new groups mettle.
Upon entry into Winterhaven they headed to Salvana Wrafton’s Inn/Tavern. They made it clear that we were looking for Douven Stahl. Despite the group’s attempts to be cautious, Karu mentioned seals several times.
Some Notable People:
• Ellian the Old: Old crazy guy, mentioned playing in ruins as a kid.
• Valthrun: Old Wizard. Owner of the magic shoppe. Secretive for no reason. Gave the team maps to ruins of some ancient keep and dragon burial grounds (where Douven Stahl was last headed). Also told them that the mayor wanted the Kobolds cleared out.
• Ninarrin: Elven female. . . secretive. . . resistant to Tramiel’s advances.
• Delphina Moonbeam: Flower Gatherer
• Mayor Lord Padraig : Mayor.
The group visited the mayor and was hired us to clear out the Kobolds. They were ambushed again on the way out of town and the Kobolds oddly fought to the last man. They tracked the little vermin back to a river pre-armed with defensive runes, despite this home field advantage, the group cleared out several minions and a few tougher kobolds. Passing through a waterfall into a cave, the group cleared out a cave of tougher Kobolds, and one grotesque aberrant goblinoid. A note was found on the Goblin’s body:
“The seal is weakening as was foretold. Sil is at work trying to uncover the sinister rib. We need time. My spy in Winterhaven has reported new adventurers in town looking for the Gatekeeper. Delay them at any cost. Once I have the rib, the ritual can be completed. Do not fail me.”
The party next headed to the graveyard. Sil (a changing disguised as Delfina Moonbeam) tricked most of them down into the digging area. A battle ensued, and our heros quickly got the upper hand. Sil ran, but Augur threw her off a cliff and into Karu’s fire zone where she died before she could be interrogated.
She had the rib on her. Another note was on her body, it gave specifics of the Rib and identified that some or all of it would be needed to perform the ritual. The group wisely took a fake rib to use as a prop. A quick search yielded the shallow graves of Dovenstal and Delfina. (They were later given a proper burial)
They went back to town and gave the fake rib to Valthrun. Karu told everyone in the bar that they had the rib and then the team gave the fake to Valthrun. A stakeout of Valthrun’s tower indicated no foul play. Valthrun correctly noted that there was nothing special about the rib he was given (the party never let him see the real sinister rib).
The keep was last. The first major area explored was a prison/torture chamber. The party dispatched the forces there and found a little impish goblin in a cell. He claims that he was put there for cheating at dice (a skill our Paladin would probably benefit from). He offered to help the party. After he told the party of a secret door that let them ambush the goblin leader, the party gave him a few gold and sent him away with clear instructions to live a good life. (His name was Splug)
Oh. . . and rats kept coming out from the walls. . . Balasar got filth fever.
After this, the party fought down through several levels and eventually made it to the seal. On their way, they identified that the keep has a history. A brave Sir Keegan was once charged with defending this seal, and was lord of this keep. . . however during the same astrological alignment that is occurring now (several hundred years ago), he was possessed by Doresain and was induced into killing his family and many close to himself. In defense of the keep he managed to lock himself in a room where he slowly starved. His death prevented the emergence of Doresain into this realm, and (although his legacy is mixed), the room he perished in was made into his tomb. An alter to Dol Dorn was erected to watch over the fallen knight.
After a short rest, someone from town came to the keep to tell the party that there was an issue in town. The team ran back to the Winterhaven cemetery only to find the dead rising in mass numbers. This threat was neutralized, and party returned to the keep. Clearly the power of Doresain in this realm was rising.
After more battles than the weary team could count, they arrived at the seal. Kalarel sneered at them while tentacle aberrant beasts grabbed for the rib. All were quickly dispatched and in a fit of anger, Doresain pulled a fallen Kalarel into the portal. Doresain then appeared as a projection and taunted the team, but Karu saw him for what he was. . . a defeated evil tyrant whose plan to enter this realm by sundering the great seal had failed.