The Chosen Five

The Death of Lord Markelhay
King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

Valthrun the Prescient, a man who never ventures past the gates of Winterhaven, has contacted Antilli with urgent news. “Antilli, I must speak to Lord at once! I have never met him before so, if it’s not too much trouble could you introduce me? Please bring the rest of the Guardians because this news will affect your team as well.”

Antilli obliges and quickly assembles the team. Sam’ael leads the way as the Guardians approach Moonstone Keep. The servants answer the knock at the door and grant entrance. Everyone, save Kaz, catches up with their old friend Valthrun while they await an audience with Lord Markelhay. Finally, a servant enters the foyer and states that you can meet with Faren. in his study. It is there that he meets Valthrun for the very first time.

“Sir, I have some important information pertaining to the Trollhaunt Warrens to the south.” Valthrun says. “Good, tell me about it over dinner”, Faren Markelhay replies. “Important news goes down better with food.” A beautiful banquet ensues and Allande Markelhay and Etheran join in. Toward the end of the banquet, Valthrun asks to see Faren Markelhay alone in his study.

Only a few moments go by after they enter the study when you hear a bloodcurdling scream. You enter to see Faren Markelhay dead in a pool of his own blood and Valthrun pulling a scimitar blade out of his back. Your complete sense of betrayal lasts but a moment as his visage shimmers to reveal that he was really an Oni Mage.

“You and the Nentir Vale are now enemies of King Skalmad! Prepare to be crushed beneath his glorious heal! Hahahahahahaha …” The Oni Mage then disappears in a puff of smoke. Etheran and Allande, devastated by their loss, grieve for a few days before burying their loved one. Etheran then asks for your assistance in exacting revenge for the death of her father.

You gather up your supplies and ride on conjured horses to Winterhaven. While there you check on Valthrun the Prescient. To your dismay, he was tricked into revealing information about the Guardians, assaulted, and then left for dead. Lucky for him you arrived when you did.

You finally continue on the road to Moonstair. In that time, Etheran appears to be lost in thought. You can only imagine what she’s going through during her time of loss. As you crest a small rise, a scene of horror unfolds on the road ahead. A gang of ferocious trolls is pulling apart the carcass of a horse, squabbling over the choicer parts. The monsters are some 300 feet ahead of you, and appear to have not spotted you as yet. You charge toward the trolls only to find that they are ready for their next meal. Combat ensues but you prevail. It appears that fortune was on your side this day as you find the messenger still alive.

The messenger says, “Follow me; I’ll take you to the lair of the trolls. It’s deep in the marsh.” You follow eager to dispatch the trolls and be in the town of Moonstair by lunch. About an hour goes by as the terrain changes from grasslands to marsh. The sulfurous smells of rotting vegetation assault your senses and that distraction allows the messenger to lead you straight into a trap! During combat the messenger’s visage changes to that of the Oni Mage. He stays out of combat and taunts you. He tells you that you will be destroyed by the strength of King Skalmad, crushed under his glorious heel, and befuddled by his tremendous wit. The ambush almost succeeds as the Oni successfully interfered with you again. You wonder if, after almost a year off, you have gotten rusty.

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Grimmerzhul Trading Post

You return to the Seven Pillared Hall determined to find the Duergar base. You decide that the best place for answers might be the Halfmoon Inn. Rendil, the halfling you rescued earlier, pulls up a chair when you arrive. “I just heard something strange,” he says in a low voice. “The duergar of Clan Grimmerzhul bought a lot of provisions here in the Hall. The duergar have a trading post here in the Hall, but rumor has it that they have a fortress somewhere deeper in the Labyrinth.”

Convinced that you can find some answers, you head over to the trading post. The trading post is a sturdy building of gray stone carved into the cavern’s wall. A sign above the door displays an emblem of a hammer and manacles. The front door leads to a counter, where two dwarflike creatures stand. They have skin of a sooty hue, bald heads, and stiff beards of rusty orange. “You don’t look like merchants or mages,” one says in heavily accented Common. “What’s your business here?”

A brief conversation with them makes it very apparent that you are not welcome. You choose not to be brushed off and decide that force is your only option. You turn the trading post upside down until you get the answer you seek. The Horned Hold is the duergar hideout.

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Searching the Chamber of Eyes

You spend some time speaking to the inhabitants of the Seven Pillared Hall and getting used to your new surroundings. You meet several interesting characters, including Gendar, Brugg, The Ordinator Arcanis, Charrak, and Kaz. After speaking with Kaz, you decide to help get him out of Brugg’s custody. In return, he chooses to join your cause.

With Kaz in tow, you continue looking for your companions. You meander through the labyrinth for some time until you arrive at a large antechamber. Two fearsome looking statues of winged demons squat on either side of a starway leading up to double doors. Inscribed upon the doors is an image of a great eye with multiple eye stalks, as well as a symbol of a circle with a crossbar rising out of it. Heaps of rubble are scattered across the floor, and to the north a balcony overlooks the room. This must be the Chamber of Eyes. The Chamber of Eyes

You bluff your way past the guards at the door and charge fearlessly in. You win fight after fight against the Bloodreaver Clan until you find yourself face to face with Krand, the Hobgoblin Chief of the Bloodreavers. A pitched battle ensues but you successfully beat some answers out of him. It appears that he has sold your companions to the Duergar.

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Entering the Seven-Pillared Hall

The Road of Lanterns takes you deeper and deeper into the mountain until you arrive at the Seven-Pillared Hall. Seven-Pillared Hall

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Into the Mountain

Beyond the gate itself, you find an outpost of hobgoblin bloodreavers. Showing no mercy, you bring the pain and beat crucial information out of the survivors. It appears that the Bloodreaver Clan has taken refuge in the Chamber of Eyes.

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The Minotaur Gate

Minotaur Gate You travel for nearly a week as you pass the town of Fallcrest on your way to Thunderspire Mountain. A swirling thunderhead of black clouds, rumbling thunder, and bright flashes of lightning obscure the peak of the mountain ahead of you. This is the infamous Thunderspire Mountain, the largest of the Old Hills that cover the northeast portion of the Nentir Vale.

A cobbled path leads from the Trade Road up the side of the mountain to the Minotaur Gate, the primary path inside the mountain. Inspite of the ominous signs, you enter the gate in hopes of rescuing your companions.

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Valthrun and the Legends of Thunderspire

You return to Winterhaven with the letter you obtained from Kalarel only to find that twelve other members of Winterhaven and the surrounding fields have been abducted as well. Lord Padraig beseeches your party to travel to Thunderspire Mountain and free the slaves.

Before you leave Winterhaven, however, you decide to speak to Valthrun. And, in his usual fashion, he begins to weave an intrigueing story:

“Have you ever heard the legends of Thunderspire Mountain? Tales claim that a great city built by minotaurs in the ancient days waits within the depths of the mountain. If you are in search of adventure, then exploring those ruins and bringing back word of the wonders you see would make this old man extremely happy. Think about how strange such a place must be! And imagine the treasure that might remain from such an alien time and location.”

He then gets up and asks you to wait as he searches his library for more information. He seems excited as he returns with a few books. He sits down to continue:

“According to these books, this valley was once ruled by the minotaur lords of the underground city of Saruun Khel. It disappeared from history’s stage about three hundred years ago. Two specific parts of the city appear in these texts – the Labyrinth and the Seven-Pillared Hall. And the area seems to be currently governed by a group of arcanists known as the Mages of Saruun.”

With that, he wishes you luck on your journey.

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Ominous Signs ...

Once on the surface, you note that something seems different. The insects no longer chirp, the birds have fallen silent, and even the wind seems to blow without making a sound. A strange feeling of unease fills you, as if you are witnessing the calm before a storm. Off in the distance, you see a comet. Mystics would probably say that this omen seems to herald the coming of a new age, as if the world will soon change forever, but that’s just superstition … right?

The Comet Looms

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On to Thunderspire Mountain ...

You have defeated Kalarel and ruined the plans of The Chosen Five. Victory is yours this day; but, not without a cost. Two of your members are still missing. Your spirits cannot rest until you recover Yattara, Genevieve, and her sister Jenna.

Searching the area, you find a letter:

“Greetings, Kalarel. I have recently learned of your activity in the area and have an offer for you. During your time in this region, if you should capture any humanoids, we are eager to buy them. We have duergar allies in Thunderspire in need of slave stock. If you are interested, send an envoy back to me. My messengers will show the way.” It is signed: “Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers.”

With this information, you decide to make your way to the surface and travel back to Winterhaven.

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The Rift and The Chosen Five

An eerie silence falls over the field of battle. Then… like distant thunder… a rumble comes from the rift. Each successive burst seems louder and closer. The ground begins to quake and the surface of the rift ripples like water as a result. Finally, the surface of the rift turns transparent and you catch your first glimpse of The Chosen Five. Five beings of pure, unimaginable power and evil. The air becomes thick, stifling, and oppressive. You recoil as each wave of evil washes over you. The evil permeates your skin, flesh, and bones. The Chosen Five

Finally, one of these beings steps forward. He stands nearly twice as tall as a man. Half his flesh has rotted away and maggots have replaced the missing tissue. He speaks forcefully, with a booming voice that nearly splits your skull.
“You have interfered in our affairs for far too long, mortals. You are meddling with powers that you can’t possibly understand. Since you seem to appreciate it so much; know this, we will now make it a point to meddle in your affairs. No one you care about will be safe. Soon you, and everyone around you, will kneel before us. The time has come to reclaim our rightful home. The world trembled before us once and it will do so again. This time. Noone and nothing can stop us! Muahahahahahaha!!”
Another speaks, Sam’ael, Tomarian, Tyilishor, Antilli ... your fates are now sealed. Doom awaits you! Soon we will have our revenge!”

Tentacles spring forth from the rift as the thing in the portal claims the body of Kalarel. The Five then turn to leave as the rift fades to black.

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