Keep on the Shadowfell

Day 1: Once Upon A Time
The adventure begins.

Common bond

Though you have only a passing familiarity with each other, you share a common bond. All of you were mentored and trained by Douven Staul, who has gone missing. The man who trained you for a life of adventure bade you farewell three months ago and headed for Winterhaven. Douven, a rabid explorer of old ruins, had found a map that revealed the location of a dragon’s tomb not far from the village. He figured if a dragon was buried there, why not also its hoard?

He should have returned some time ago, and his continuing absence bodes ill. You fear the worst and are determined to find out what happened to him. As such, you have joined together and set out for Winterhaven. The four of you—Ander the halfling rogue, Kelthar the human wizard, Korinn the dragonborn paladin and Lucan the half-elf cleric—have been on the King’s Road for many days, and are only now nearing Winterhaven.

Kobolds on the road

On the outskirts of the town, you encounter a small band of kobolds. They are quickly dispatched. You salvage the following items.

  • 70gp
  • 34sp
  • dagger (claimed by Ander)
  • spear x5
  • javelin x5 (claimed by Korinn)
  • short sword x2

Sold for gold.

+118xp each for defeating the kobolds

Arrival in Winterhaven

The rutted King’s Road leads to the foot of a broad hill that holds the walled village of Winterhaven. The village is nestled in the southern foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks. The walls are weathered stone topped by defensive palisades. Small thatched homes stand around Winterhaven, each fronting a small piece of farmland or pasture. Beyond the farms to the west and south lie dark woods, and to the north, tall mountain peaks.

Ernest Padraig, the Lord of Winterhaven, is descended from the noble family that ruled the area under edict of the old empire. Folks around Winterhaven were happy with Lord Padraig’s father’s authority, and they have found answering to the rules of the new lord no more arduous. On the other hand, Padraig doesn’t have absolute power. For instance, he has been unable to raise a force from among the villagers to deal with the kobold problem on the road.

Padraig commands the Winterhaven Regulars, a core group of ten soldiers who perform guard and police functions in and around the walled portion of the village. The Regulars patrol in pairs. To augment this force, Padraig can muster a group of about fifty civilians, given a day’s notice. However, he can only do this if the village itself is threatened—the villagers have no desire to patrol the road beyond the farms.

The population of Winterhaven is predominantly human, with a scattering of dwarf families, and a handful of individuals of other common races, including a couple of elves. Winterhaven is primarly an agricultural village based on barter and trade, though Lord Padraig keeps a monetary system afloat with his own coin. Adventurers should have no trouble purchasing appropriate items for which they have sufficient coin.

Wrafton’s Inn

This spacious inn and tavern serves as the public house for the region. Like alehouses everywhere, Wrafton’s Inn offers beer, wine, and, on occasion, spirits. Meals are served for those with the coin, and beds for travelers are available. A crowd of villagers gathers each night to drink, gossip, sing, and play games of chance. In addition to village residents, any travelers passing through Winterhaven are found here.

Your first destination is Wrafton’s Inn, where you are greeted by the owner and proprietor, [[:salvana-wrafton | Salvana Wrafton]]. She is friendly and open, quick with a smile and a warm welcome. She employs several waiters, waitresses, and cooks. You ask about Douven, and she replies

“I do remember a fellow by that name. He had a room here for a time. He had some business with Eilian. Funny thing is, he disappeared one day and never returned. I never did find out what happened to him.”

Eilian the Old is an old farmer, and a regular at the Inn. He has a farm down in the valley along the Old King’s Road, but is here, at his usual table in the corner, every night. He loves to talk, and welcomes your questions.

“You knew Douven? I always wondered what happened to him! He had questions about the old burial site southwest of the village. Thought a dragon might be buried there! I told him it was probably just an old trash heap, but he wouldn’t hear of it, no sir! Well, of course I gave him directions to the place. I am something of a historian of the area, you know! Oh yes, Douven! Well, he took my directions, and we haven’t seen him since. I do hope the poor man is all right!”

On a worn piece of parchment, Eilian draws the same map for you that he drew for Douven.

received: map to dragon burial ground

With enough information to continue your search tomorrow, you ask about the kobolds that attacked you. Other than an old man, who watched you in silence from a corner table, and a female elf, who did not want to be disturbed, you found the patrons friendly and willing to share tales. Most individuals questioned consider the kobolds only a nuisance. You pay for rooms at the Inn, and retire.

-4sp each, for meal and room

+25xp to Rodney for excellent role-playing

After the tavern closes, Ander returns to try his hand at picking the lock on the safe. He successfully opens it, but finds it mostly empty. Because Salvana had been so kind to you, he leaves 2gp in there for her.

-2gp from Ander

+25xp to Ander for the lockpick and gratuity

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