The Chosen Five

Marrowmaw Warrens
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

Soon after Norgg’s defeat you come to a passageway that ends at a large door of poorly fitted planks. The ruddy glow of firelight spills from underneath it, and a faint hint of wood smoke is obscured by an unpleasant animal musk. The moment you enter the room, you are besieged by several denizens of the Marrowmaw Warrens. The troglodytes and nothic stalkers definitely put up a good fight but Kasszt, a Marrowmaw curse chanter nearly devastates your party. You fight to a draw and both parties retreat. You are certain that the next time your paths cross, you will be ready for her.

You leave the interior of the cave to get some rest only to find that they’ve restocked the front room with more guards. The guards stood about as much of a chance as the first set did and you reenter the Trollmaw.

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Mound of Skulls
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

You travel deeper into the Trollmaw looking for your companions and soon come across a vast cavern. A high ledge divides this cavern in two, with rough-cut stairs leading up to a huge mound of skulls. Dozens more skulls are set into niches and nooks that climb the wall to the ceiling high overhead. An old troll with tangled white hair and a great crooked staff paces around the mound, muttering loudly. Immediately in front of the ledge, a huge bear lies on the ground, gnawing bones to splinters in its massive jaws.

Mound of Skulls

You approach with the intentions of talking to him only to find that he’s gone mad. He and the great bear viciously attack you for disturbing the mound of skulls while they were sleeping. A battle ensues and three flameskulls leap to Norgg’s defense. It’s not long before yet one more troll falls to the might of the Guardians.

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Assaulting the Maw
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

Like skilled assassins, you and your teammates execute a flawless plan to assault the Trollmaw. The trolls and troglodytes manning the guard room were taken completely by surprise. Within seconds, of breaching the gate, trolls were hitting the floor. In less than a minute, the guardroom was yours. If that’s the best that King Skalmad can do then perhaps you will be home for dinner.

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In to the Maw
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

The next day, you gather up your belongings and continue your search for Etheran and Bax.  The mist that perpetually blankets this swamp seems to get thicker as you progress.  The wretched smell of death and decay is pervasive but you are determined to continue.  Toward the end of the day, swamp gives way to bog which then surrenders to dry land.

Within a few minutes, you stumble upon the ruins of an ancient town.  A large stone marker identifies this site as Bravak of the empire of Vardar.  You take this opportunity to take a much needed break.  It’s not long before you find a note and signs of a recent battle.  From the looks of it, you believe that a large force of trolls met up with Etheran and Bax.  Combat ensued and Etheran and Bax prevailed before continuing there journey to the southeast.

You gather the note and the rest of your belongings and follow their tracks.  Soon, you arrive at a dank mass of thickets set among steep hills.  You come across a half-sunken road of stone blocks.  The road leads to a 20 foot tall standing stone carved with poorly chiseled runes.        

The runes say, “This stone I raise to mark my kingdom.  All that lies within 50 leagues of this spot belongs to me and those kings who come after me.  You stand now in the land of Vard, first King of Vardar.”

The road continues for another two hundred paces, following a sluggish stream.  It ends at a large, heavily overgrown cave.  The stream flows into the cave through jagged pillars of stone that resemble great fangs in a gigantic maw.  A path on it’s left bank ends in darkness.   

The Trollmaw

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Stoned
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

You quickly determine that your current spot isn’t safe. The will-o-wisps withdrew from combat but they could still be lurking near-by. You remember finding a high-point a few miles back and choose to return to it to get your bearings in this dank and musty swamp. Unfortunately, after hours of travel, you are once again lost in this god-forsaken hellhole.

Finally, the swamp gives way to some lost, ancient ruins. “This looks like a good spot to cam …” before you can even finish your thought, the twang from a longbow pierces the air. Like skilled champions, you quickly prep for battle and advance on your assailants.

As you approach, one of the assailants removes her hood to revel serpents instead of hair. You attempt to avert your gaze but not quite soon enough as you feel your skin turning to stone. The medusae prove to be formidable but you ultimately succeed at a cost. Two of your teammates are turned to stone.

Thankfully, you have enough time to make a camp and enough resources to restore your teammates.

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Arrival in Moonstair
The King of the Trollhaunt Warrens

You have arrived in the beautiful town of Moonstair. This riverside town reminds you very much of your Fallcrest home. Moonstair Kelana Dhoram It’s not long before you are directed to see the town’s mayor. Kelana and an eladrin emissary, Rualiss greet you. After the pleasantries, Kelana tells you about her town’s plight. She seems relieved to hear that you will assist and quickly offers to pay for your lodging while you are in town. She also offers work while you are in town.

After talking to the locals about the town, you finally retire to your room in the Cloudwatch Inn. There, you get some rest before you are rudely awakened by a commotion outside. “The town is under attack! It’s the trolls again!” You gather your gear and head to the main gate to defend the town. Etheran and Bax are with you as you launch an assault on the marauding trolls. In the midst of the battle, the Oni attacks again giving the trolls the edge. Etheran and Bax engage him allowing you to concentrate on the trolls.

Toward the end of the fray, the Oni withdraws from combat unable to go head-to-head with the two proven warriors. “He’s getting away! Sam, stay put and protect the town … we are going after him,” Etheran yells as she pursues her father’s killer. Her voice was almost frantic. Clearly she has been affected by her father’s death.

Rualiss By the time you finish off the trolls, Etheran and Bax are gone. You return to the town and convince Rualiss to contact you if the town gets attacked again. You then set off in an attempt to assist your companions.

An ancient stone road leads east from Moonstair through dense, damp woodlands that soon give way to stretches of fog-shrouded marsh. This is the Trollhaunt, a region of bogs, thickets, and low forested ridges that runs for miles. An hour’s march east of Moonstair, the old road gives out, disappearing into a great bog. Faint footpaths lead off to either side, but you soon find yourself in a maze of sluggish streams, meandering trails, and impenetrable brush.

You travel for hours and, as dusk approaches, you find that the footpath here meanders through bogs and thickets until it eventually draws close to deeper bodies of dark, still water. Lights bounce in the darkness ahead, as though three torches or lanterns are being carried through the bog.

Mesmerized by the lights, the group loses cohesion and gets drawn in toward hungry Chuuls. The Will-O’-Wisps take advantage of the fray and attack. Lesser travellers would’ve been consumed for sure but your skill allows you to succeed.

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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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