“I’m glad that’s over. Those k-k-kobolds aren’t your average orc,” said Jihad, stumbling over the unfamiliar name. Stepping out from the cave entrance, into the dimming light of dusk, he sheathed his bloodstained axe.
“The one with the pale green skin was no easier. I fear things have changed for the worse since our kin left Kaeral.”
Cah stowed his sword as well and stepped over the carcass of his kills.
“Goblins,” replied Mutu, their new elven friend, pointing to the body of the pale green creature. “They are unpredictable creatures. No god guides them. No laws rule them.” Mutu glanced over at Shava who was standing at the forest’s edge. Without another word he beckoned her.
“I don’t envy him,” Tahlavain mumbled to Jihad, nodding in the elf’s direction. “Imagine having to tell your only surviving relative that the rest of your clan was wiped out… and by Kaelol no less.”
Now that Jihad’s eyes had adjusted to the grays of the coming night, he noticed a strange cloud formation to the North. Thick black clouds were swirling in an unnatural circular pattern. Violet lightning burst from the clouds. The ground-shaking boom of thunder followed less than a minute later.
“Something is amiss!” yelled Mutu turning towards his companions, pointing at the cloud formation. “There are evil spirits around us.”
Tahlavain spit on the ground and wiped his mouth with the back of his sleeve. “I’m glad we’re not with the round-ears. They must be shitting their pants.”
Jihad scoffed at his insensitivity. “Tahlavain, this is no time for jokes. There could be people in danger.”
“Mutu. Shava. Are those clouds over Winterhaven?” asked Cah.
The elf maiden looked to the clouds, and then turned back to the group. “No. It’s north of the settlement. Valthrun, the round-ear scholar, told me there is a ruin a few miles from Winterhaven. He told me it was from an ancient people that suddenly disappeared thousands of years ago.” She reached into her pack and pulled out the eladrin mirror, the one found at the burial site. “The gnome Agrid…. the one who kidnapped me, mentioned taking this to the ruin for someone or something named Kalarel. He said it was needed for some kind of ritual.”
“Looks like whoever this Kalarel is has found another mirror,” sighed Tahlavain as he tightened a leather thong around his falchion.
“Something tells me Lord Padraig and the round-ears are going to need our help again,” said Cah, a look of purpose returning to his eye.
“Indeed they are Cah.” Jihad turned to face the group. “Mutu is right. Something is amiss, and this has the stink of Kaelol all over it. “We best hurry back to the round-ear camp if we want to make it before nightfall. Let’s move out.”
The intrepid heroes made their way back to Winterhaven to inquire about the strange, brooding weather. In Wraftons Inn they spoke with Lord Padraig and received their payment for disabling the kobolds. Next they asked Valthrun about the dragon burial and Shadowfell Keep. Finally, they spoke with Ninaran and learned that hopes were high in Winterhaven that trade would increase and life would be back to normal soon with the raiders taken care of.
On their way to the Keep, our pointy-eared friends ran into the flower girl of Winterhaven, Delphina Moongem, who was picking wild flowers near the ruin. She told them that she had seen goblins in the area. They then prepared themselves for battle, and Jihad donned his newly acquired Razor Armor.
The heroes were quickly spotted inside the keep, as Cah tripped over one of the sharp ridges on Jihad’s razor armor. The lookout sounded the alarm. Tahlavain charged and promptly crashed headlong into a well-placed pit trap, only to be swarmed by a mass of hungry rats. Mutu, Cah, and Jihad fanned out and attacked. After rooting out the goblin sentries, the heroes boxed them in and made short work of them.
They chose to avoid the door to the southwest from which an icy breeze poured into the room. The northwest passage seemed to open. Thus they chose the eastern route and came upon some goblin treasure hunters fighting over a suit of chainmail. Once they were spotted, they attacked. The battle seemed to be heavily pitched until the goblins called for reinforcements. Two fearsome reptilian hounds rushed the heroes. The fight was long and hard, and Tahlavain was knocked unconscious when one of the hounds slammed him into the cavern wall. After the battle, Cah demanded a rest so that everyone could get their bearings. It seemed that this was not going to be as easy as they thought.
From the excavation site the heroes moved south into a maze unlit, natural tunnels. There they were swarmed by giant, stalactite climbing rats and a massive crimson colored acidic blob. The rats were easily dealt with, but the ooze was almost their ruin. Jihad could not muster the will to hit the monster as his companions fell all around him. He finally revived Tahlavain who had fallen yet again, just as Mutu made a devastating shot. Reinvigorated, Tahlavain finished it off. The heroes then tended their downed comrade Cah.