The well rested party walked into Winterhaven around breakfast time with a wagon full of slightly dented kobold armor and weapons. After a brief conversation with the guard on duty, they decided to escort Gevarn back to his chapel.
Sister Lenora gave thanks for protecting her acolyte and asked if perhaps the group would be so kind as to provide some proof of evil cult actions in and around Winterhaven. The local lord will not take her seriously until she provides some proof. She also gave the news that recently the kobolds have not been content with attacking travellers but have actually been raiding livestock on outlying farms.
On the way to the local tavern, a pretty female elf approached Aelar and asked him to buy a flower. She had a basket of fresh wild flowers from the countryside and one black iris that she claimed only grows in the evening shadows of Shadowfell Keep. Aelar paid her the 1 sp she was asking for it. During the conversation and haggle, she claimed that she must charge this much because collecting the flower is dangerous. There are goblins lairing in the old ruins of the keep.
While the elves were chatting each other up, the local smithy came out of his shop and welcomed a brother Dwarf and asked for news of home from Thoradin. Thair Coalstriker, the smithy, offered to make any armor repairs the group needed at a fair price after he and Thoradin found some common ground. He pruchased all the kobold armor and weapons and sold the group a few odds and ends besides. After the deals were done, he shared some concerns he’d been having over his neighbor, Bairwin. It seems that Bairwin showed up a couple of years ago with a wagon full of junk, purchased shovels, spades and wheelbarrows from Thair, then by all appearances became an overnight success. Thair can see the shop from his smithy while he works and claims that Bairwin does not have enough customers to account for his apparent success and wealth.
During the unloading, the following information was gathered by the other members of the party as they wandered around the market square and talked to the residents:
- There aren’t any underground caverns or hidden places in town
- The newest person in town is Bairwin, and he’s been in Winterhaven for two years
- The gates are shut at night, and the only people who leave through them are the folks who live outside the walls (the farmers and trappers)
- Most people are more concerned about the kobolds than about the possibility of an evil cult
- If there was a cult, most people believe it wouldn’t be in the town, but rather outside in the countryside
The following information came from the memories of various members of the party:
- Thunder Peaks stand between Cormyr and the Dalelands, with Sembia to the southeast. Since Sembia’s expansion, the road has become more dangerous
- A dracolich known as the Sibilant Shade prowls the peaks. Although dormant in recent years, the dracolich stirs sometimes to prey on particularly treasure-laden caravans that pass through the Thunder Gap along the East Way
- When Cormyr absorbed the nations of Esparin and Orva at its founding, it created a series of fortresses in the Thunder Peaks to guard its eastern border. For reasons now lost to time, these keeps failed and Cormyr withdrew its military might to instead guard the lower lands
- Shar is a greater goddess who, with her sister Selune, created the world. She longs to see a desolate world filled only with evil and despair.
- Following the Spellplague, Shar found it within her power to reshape the Plane of Shadow, which she transformed into the Shadowfell. The Shadowfell is a dark reflection of the world, where undead and shadowy humanoids stalk the land.
- Valthrun’s tower is enchanted, allowing it to remail untouched by the elements
- Valthrun’s tower is at least 1000 years old and dates back to the birth of Cormyr
Briik is intrigued by Valthrun’s tower and goes and knocks on the door. There is no answer, but a helpful citizen assures him that Valthrun the Prescient can be found at the tavern having his lunch.
The group finally makes it to the tavern and split up for several different conversations.
Briik finds Valthrun eating his lunch and ingratiates himself by sending Bargin to fetch cold well water for the old wizard. They talk about many things, and it turns out Valthrun had no contact with Douven and only knows of the dragon burial ground by repuation and legend. He was able to provide Briik a little bit more information on the Shadowfell Keep. He claimed it had been a watchtower built during the old empire and has been a ruin for more than 100 years. Recently he believes the ruins are being used as a lair by a band of goblins. He confirmed that the black iris only grows near the keep and that it may be the result of some old sorcery that “leaked” out of the keep back when it was active. He warned Briik not to touch a plant that grows there that has broad leaves that are blood red. He held his own hands out, palms up and claimed that he was good and hadn’t touched them himself.
Meanwhile, others in the party had spoken to Sylvana Wrafton, the owner of the Inn and had discovered that Douven had rented a room above. Sylvana said that Douven had spent some time with Elian the Old, a farmer who fancies himself an historian, but that one day, he left and never came back. She waited four days, then when someone else wanted to rent the room, she took his pack and personal belongings and stored them in her back room. After Thoradin proved to her that he was kin, she gave him the pack. She also indicated that the Shadowfell Keep is NE of the village and that Valthrun or Delphina Moongem could tell you more. When Lord Padraig walked in, she suggested that someone should tell him about the kobold attack.
Lord Padraig was very interested in the story of the kobold attack and offered the group 100 gp if they could get rid of them, every last one of them. He offered to let the party keep anything they found while cleaning out the kobolds.
Elian the Old confirmed that he had been talking to Douven and gave him directions to the dragon burial site. When pressed, he gave the group the same directions. He claimed that he could tell it was a burial site because it was an unnaturally perfect little hill, but as for the dragon part, that came from stories passed down from his grandfather. He claimed that the Thunder Peaks got their name from the dragons that lived in these mountains but that he had never seen an actual dragon.
Aelar approached a half-elf girl sitting alone and was told to “Go away”.
Agrippa decided to rent all four rooms and go take a nap. Briik, Barjin and Thoradin went to see what Bairwin’s shop was like and to feel out the man himself. While they were there, Aelar and Oko decided to do their own version of investigating and broke into Bairwins house. On his bedside table they found an amulet that matched the design of a wall hanging elsewhere in the house. Aelar took the amulet to show to Agrippa. When Agrippa saw what Aelar had stolen he urged him to take it back so the owner would not know that his secret was out.
That night, the party set up a watch schedule and determine to leave to find the suposed dragon burial ground in the morning.
When they left the city the next morning, they detected another kobold ambush and leapt into battle. This time there were only six kobolds, but each of them fought hard and none of them went down easily. They found another amulet of Shar on the spellcasting kobold, thereby confirming their suspicions that Bairwin is somehow involved in the kobold attacks.
The group did eventually find the dragon burial ground, but it is no longer an unnaturally even hill; it has been excavated.