The dwarven core of the original group of adventurers, Segnar the tactician and Arras the Archer, along with the recent magical addition to their group, searched for replacements for John Dalton and the Holy Ninja. After a short time, they found a human cleric, carrying a tower shield, and a shadowy emissary of the fetchlings.
Agreeing readily, the group geared up for travel, and left Riddleport behind them. Following the winding dirt road north alongside the Velashu River for the first two days of travel, the group eventually arrived at a small hunter’s trail, branching off to the west, around the Calphiak mountains. A short way along the trail, the group discovered a waystation with an inn, and decided to stay for the night.
The next morning, just as the group were preparing to leave, a man stumbled into the village with a tale of an attack on a lumber camp in the foothills of the mountains. The innkeeper asked the group to look into the attack, and with some reluctance, they agreed to do so.
The group followed a trail north into the mountains. Along the trail, they encountered a strange sight – in the middle of the road was a wriggling arm, green-skinned and covered in warts, apparently severed at the shoulder. The knowledgable members of the group immediately suspected trolls, and had their suspicions confirmed when a large troll stepped out of the woods, carrying the corpse of a dwarf. Reacting quickly, the group dispatched the troll with little effort.
A short while later, a sound of booming footsteps echoed through the air, and an angry-looking female Hill Giant strode into view. She asked the group if they had seen her husband – he has not been home for several days, and she has found his wedding ring, discarded in the undergrowth. The group had not seen him, and could not help, but promised to keep an eye out for him.
(Yes, for those keeping score at home, I do believe this is the first social encounter the group has had that did NOT inadvertently end up in a combat…)
Arriving at the lumber camp, the group found that it was covered in a pall of smoke and mist. Outside the nearest building were several corpses, a mix of humans and kobolds. The cleric approached to examine the bodies, despite some of his companions warning of possible undeath. The cleric scoffed, saying that nobody would ever bother reanimating a kobold. At which point, the zombie kobolds promptly attacked.
After easily dispatching the zombies, and their support, the group continued to explore the lumber camp. Moving through several buildings, they blundered through a number of kobold traps, dispatching all resistance before them. Even the mighty kobold druid, Depnaakra, and his Scorpion companion were no match for the group.
The group next followed the simple trail left by the kobolds away from the lumber camp, and further into the wooded foothills. They shortly arrived at an ancient Azlanti burial mound. Fighting Shadow guardians at the entrance to the mound, and Water elementals, a belker, and Wights inside the tomb, they finally found their way to the architect of this plot – Merlokrep, the Wight Kobold King, and his undead scale-shields (hey, look – more undead Kobolds!).
Despite the horror of energy draining, Merlokrep and his guardians were quickly laid to rest by the group. Searching the tomb, they discovered the sarcophagus of the tomb’s actual owner, sealed with an arcane lock. Opening the coffin, they discovered the prince’s scepter (a magical rod of empowerment), and a stone tablet, carved with the words ‘Zelfin Cova’.
Their work done, the group returned to the inn, and were given the waystation’s thanks, and a free night of accomodation, before they returned to the road.