Our story begins in the Year 1492 by the common reckoning on the north-western reaches of Faerun.
The summer had brought with it higher temperatures than normal, and even the coastal cities and towns have suffered as a result.
We find our heroes heading north from Waterdeep on the Long Road, a caravan route for years beyond memory. Their origin remains a story for another time, but this is known of them. For their varied skills, races and histories, they stood united in purpose when set to a task, and it has become well known that the Long Road is no longer safe for those travelling it along. Caravans have seen hostilities rising and farmsteads have fallen to raiders from the hills.
After days of following the well worn tradeway, they met with a group of acolytes – young holy men bound for the small town of Red Larch. A bristling band, they employed several guards for protection, though they had seen little action. Introductions and invitations were offered and a campfire was shared.
The night was lively with music and dance, with dwarf and tiefling alike keeping the spirits bright amid the encroaching darkness. Stories were told by the dying embers, but the guards had little to share but rumors of a tribe of barbarians who had recently been razing farms and killing innocents.
As watches were set, little did they know, the deep night hid creatures of ancient evil and magic.
After an ambush which left one acolyte dead and others shaken, the winged creatures whose very skin seemed to move like living stone fell to dust. All that remained was shards of some strange crystal, which was retained for further study.
The rest of the trip to Red Larch passed without incident, though the Bard composed an epic song to commemorate their struggles. Full of eloquent verse, he playfully implied that the Paladin, a woman whose wit was nearly as quick as her pole-ax, slept through the encounter.
In the town of Red Larch, the group investigated several locations.
The Swinging Sword
This lively inn and tavern owned by one Kaelissa was settled as a temporary base of operations after the Bard secured a nightly contract for entertainment. The 3 storey structure with a stately slate roof seemed like a regular haunt for locals.
Kaelissa spoke of a persistent fog in the Sombre Hills, a possible area for later investigation.
The Helm of the High Son
This tavern proved to be more of a working persons refuge, and was visited later in the second day to rendezvous with a worker from Wulevar’s Wagon Works.
Wulevars Wagon Works
This busy but poorly kept operation was suspicious to the heroes, as many workers were intoxicated in the early morning, and the owner seemed outright dismissive of offers of help, despite his obvious need.
After a lively performance at the Swinging Sword, our heroes met with a worker from the Wagon Works, who lead them to a secret entrance beneath the shop.
Ancient Dwafern Tunnels
After waiting for the Red Larch folk to fall into a deep slumber, the party eventually found a hidden entrance to caves underneath Wulevars Wagon Works through an old cellar door. Through the cellar door, in the pitch black the party ventured forth into the unknown. After about 100 ft. of travel they came into this huge dome shaped cavern where they found a couple black cloaks and a pile of unlit torches.
Only other path was through a slideable 10ft wide slab of stone that slid very easily on the rough, uneven cavern floor. When the stone slab was slid to the side, about 60 ft. down the corridor they found two Dwafern statues each with a dark passage behind them. One went into a dead end and the other continued on with a sharp turn that was not explored. These caves were of anicent Dwarfern construction.
The rouge decided to continue on through another stone slab in front of them. She was about halfway down the hallway as the party was discussing where they should venture next as they did not notice her make her way, silently down the dark corridor. When all of a sudden they here this rough voice, "You NO make sign! Now you DIE!"
With this said, a latch was heard, and a big metal cage fell on the rouge, but she was able to get out of the way, trapped on the side of the cage where the voice from the dark came. While the rest of her adventures comrades could only look in surprise!
To be continued…