The New Chronicles of the Venture Company

17th Day of the Fading, 786 Nerathi Era

It has been a busy time, these last few days. No time to write of adventures. And now? I have nothing but time. So, let me tell of our journey to Winterhaven, to seek my old acquaintance Douven Stahl, and what happened there. It began with our return from Kobold Hall. We loaded most of our supplies on a ka’baeshra, making good time on the road. We came to Gardmore Abbey just as the sun was disappearing in the west. While there, we met a group of merchants, who had employed an old friend as a guard. From them, we heard more of the evil goblin Irontooth, and dark tidings of some sort of death cult among the northern kobolds.
The next morning, we continued north, meeting and slaying a few of the kobolds along the road to Winterhaven. It was nearly nightfall when we arrived. The town guards directed us to Wrafton’s Inn, where we met up with some locals both friendly and unfriendly. Conversation confirmed some of the worst of what we’d already heard. Douven had been out at the dig site for more than a week, the kobolds attacked every few days, and there were even rumors of the dead rising, and some sort of darkness centered on a local ruined keep.
While the others socialized, I talked business with the captain of the town guard. It seems that while Winterhaven had a sizable defensive militia, very few people were willing to join the professional soldiers in prying Irontooth from his lair. I offered our assistance in resolving the matter. I was sure Irontooth would have more information about Kalarel de Verdantis, who seemed to be at the center of all this trouble.
But first, we had to find Douven. It took most of the morning to reach the dragon’s grave. There was little sign of Douven. The heavy work was being done by some disreputable humans, overseen by a Spriggan. We expected the worst, so were not surprised by the Spriggan’s sudden order to attack. A simple fight, until the shade appeared at the edge of the dig. The black shape revealed no features, but was clearly the work of powerful necromantic magic. After putting down the spriggan and his minions for the second time, we were able to destroy the necromantic construct.
We found Douven stuffed in a chest…alive, fortunately. He brought our attention to the small glass-like wand Kalarel’s minions had come to steal. It is clearly magical, though we’re unable to determine what it might do to help the cult. Douven has decided to retire, after this. I wonder if this retirement will stick.
We took Douven back to town, and received information that Irontooth had been spotted. We left right away to raid the kobold encampment and slay the goblin leader. Irontooth seemed to be completely mad…it was one of the toughest fights this group has been in so far. Once he was slain, we found another note from Kalarel. I brought my axe down on the magic mouth, which exploded with magical power. This…is why I have so much time to write. My arm was grievously injured by the magic. We have arranged for the services of Ninaran, the shadar-kai scout, to lead the rest of the Venture Company to the remains of the Keep on the Shadowfell.



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