Part 1: Keep on the Shadowfell
Before becoming known as the Shieldbashers, the party first met while investigating a disappearance of a young woman in the town of Fallcrest. The party consisted of Rosa, Wes, Fausto, Envy, Ninebreaker (a Warlord watch commander) and a wizard who later left for his own adventures. The investigation led within a chamber under an abandoned watch tower where the girl had been killed in a terrible ritual.
Returning to the local Fallcrest inn, the party learned of more disappearances that led them to the town of Winterhaven north east. On their way to the town, the party was ambushed by Kobolds on the road. Tracking the Kobolds and discussions with the local townsfolk of Winterhaven led the party to another murder and eventually the Keep on the Shadowfell where the murderer, a priest of Orcus named Kalarel, had taken more young women.
The party battled all manner of goblins, hobgoblins, and terrible undead creations spawned from Kalarel’s tainted wells. Eventually the party battled Kalarel in a large chamber deep under the Keep where a black portal to the Shadowfell swirled and sputtered. In his last breaths, bloated black tendrils from the portal drew him screaming, into the black world.
Lord Padriac of Winterhaven: A fair and just lord of Winterhaven who hired the party to hunt down the source of the kidnappings.
Valthroon the Prescient: Mage of Winterhaven.
Kalarel: Murdering blood priest of Orcus. Now believed to be trapped in the Shadowfell and tortured for his failures under the Keep.
Part 2: Thunderspire Labyrinth
After a well-deserved rest, the party discovered that the Hobgoblins who worked for Kalarel also kidnapped slaves for mysterious groups in the Thunderspire – an ancient minotaur labyrinth carved into the rock below the mountains to the east. The party traveled through the large caverns of the mountain to the Seven Pillared Hall – a ragtag town ruled by the mysterious Mages of Saruun, a cabal of wizards represented by their only employee, the ogre Bruug.
The party soon tracked the slaves a a hobgoblin holdout built within one of the ancient minotaur keeps dated ten thousand years old. The party killed the hobgoblins but found the slaves already sold to a clan of Duergar dwarves. The party found a small shop of these Duergar in the Seven Pillared hall and killed the occupants. Taking the store over for themselves, they then hunted the Duergar to a fortified fortress of three large structures bridged over a huge chasm. The party killed the Duergar and their commander and rescued many of the slaves but two young women who the Duergar sold to Gnoll demon worshippers who were attempting their own horrific ritual in a Minotaur testing chamber known as the Well of Demons.
The party put the slaves to work, giving them paying jobs within their new shop, taken over from the Duergar provisioning store. Then the party headed to the Well of Demons to rescue the last of the slaves.
Within the Well, the party faced the minotaur trials including trapped mirrored pillars, huge minotaur statues, and a room full of portals vomiting forth carnage demons. A final devious trap released a green dragon. Only the heroic effort of Ninebreaker kept Rosa from falling into a bottomless pit.
Facing a powerful demonic Gnoll priest, the party managed to prevent the ritual from full success but, in rescuing the two young women, Ninebreaker was lost into the Gnoll’s terrible portal. Two of the party members, Envy and Fausto(?) saw a page from the gnoll priest’s terrible tome which planted a curse within their minds, twisting them and guiding them.
Commissioning a statue to their fallen comrade, the party then discovered that a local rogue mage of Saruun, Paldemar, who broke his order and began worshipping Vecna. The party met an aspect of Vecna on the way in to the tower who tested them to see if they were worthy of testing his vessel. They passed and entered Paldemar’s tower before facing the wizard and defeating him.
Gendar: Drow proprieter of “Gendar’s Curios and Relics”. A business man with many dealings above and below the surface. Deals in strange and wonderful magical items.
Bruug: Ogre strong-arm representative of the Mages of Saruun. Hero of recent War of the Cleansing.
Cabus DiVon: Chief storemaster of the Shieldbashers venture in the Seven Pillared hall.
Oruntor: Mage of Saruun who informed the party of the betrayal of Paldemar.
Rendil Halfmoon: Innkeeper of the Halfmoon inn along with his aunt. First to welcome the Shieldbashers to the Seven Pillared Hall.
Ninebreaker: Previous companion of the Shieldbashers. Now believed to be trapped in the Shadowfell.
Paldemar: Mage worshipper of Vecna. Now dead.
Part 3: Pyramid of Shadows
Their business growing, the party had to address the pulling curse of the gnoll’s book which led them far out into the deep woods where they found a black pyramid. Outside of the pyramid the party battled some bandits who had seemed to lose their leader into the pyramid. After the battle the party entered the pyramid itself, falling through the pitch black wall and into the world within.
Inside the pyramid, the party found themselves in the carrion pits at the mercy of an Etten headsman who wanted to decorate his pikes with the party’s heads, right next to the heads of many others he had taken who became trapped by the pyramid. The party cut him down and discovered that one of the heads, a grinning black-haired skull, could speak and called herself “Vyrellis”.
With Vyrellis’s guidance the party traveled through the pyramid, finding small pocket-worlds where other beasts trapped by the pyramid made their homes. They soon found that the pyramid itself shifted and changed to fit the creatures within. For a powerful necrotic Otyugh known as the Charnal Lord, the pyramid built a devious floor-dropping trap. For plant creatures, the pyramid built an entire outdoor environment, completely sterile.
The party soon learned that the pyramid was a trap, a prison built to hold a powerful sorcerer king known as Karavakos, who used his magic to lure creatures within the pyramid in order to help him escape.
In the library of the Pyramid, the party discovered strange tomes that told stories of other worlds and even stories of themselves. Some read as though many years had passed. One of these notes seemed to describe Ninebreaker’s trek across the Shadowfell while another spoke of Kalarel’s torture under the hands of his masters for his failure in the Keep near Winterhaven.
The party traversed the pyramid and soon faced Karavakos in his upper sanctum. There they cut him down and the skull of Vyrellis, his eladrin wife once long ago, tore his soul from his body and became a demi-lich. Vyrellis, the demi-lich, released the party from the pyramid and across the planes of existence where the winds of chaos dropped them four years ahead from the time they left.
Vyrellis’s skull still sits within the black pyramid floating in the Far Realm while her astral projection explores all the worlds of gods and men.
Garish Vren: Brigand Lord trapped within the Pyramid of Shadows. Location now unknown.
Vyrellis: Eladrin bride of Karavakos. Now a demi-lich residing in the Pyramid of Shadows in the Far Realm while her mental projection explores the known worlds.
Karavakos: An old Tiefling Sorcerer King whose dealings with devils led to his imprisonment in the Pyramid of Shadows. Now dead and soul stolen by Vyrellis.
Part 4: The Trollhaunt Warrens
The party returned to an entirely new Seven Pillared Hall. Some friends died, some became married, business boomed and busted over the years. Blood had spilled and beauty had emerged. Yet not all was right. While the party learned of business opportunities in the far village of Moonstair, Wes the rogue learned of a debt owed that threatened his life and of his friends.
The party soon headed to Moonstair, the rogue Wes taking on the name Dusk and covering his face with a skull mask acquired from the dark-elf curio and relic seller, Gendar. Along the road, the party faced an Oni mage and his troll escort who rummaged through the ruins of a carriage. Routing the mage and defeating the trolls, the party learned of a message being sent from Moonstair of great desperation. A noble prince and his adventuring companions had fallen in the Trollhaunt Warrens fighting a terrible growing troll king known as Skalmad.
Reaching Moonstair, the town’s mayor, Kelana Dhoram, asked the party for help battling this troll threat and recovering the princes heirloom sword.
Fighting across the Trollhaunt swamp, the party reached the warrens, nestled between the torn crags of stone. The party battled armies of troglodytes and trolls, seeing that the creatures were far from passive. Finding a different route, the party defeated the black dragon Nightwing. Ambushing the Troll King at the doors to his inner sanctum, the party learned that Moonstair was already under attack. Armies of the Troll King already marched west to the town and would destroy her. The party killed the Troll King, Skalmad, who roared with his dying breath:
“Death is but a doorway. I will return!”
A bounty hunter named Roy confirmed the troll’s threat against Moonstair and confessed his own agenda to bring the rogue Wes back to his employer, the gang lord Barstonnem in Fallcrest. An even more dangerous bounty hunter also tracked Wes, said Roy, and would surely kill people Wes cared about if he did not return to Fallcrest. Wes agreed and left with Roy as the party rushed to save Moonstair.
On the way back to Moonstair, the party found a roadside alehouse known as the Troll’s Tooth. There the “Blood Battle of the Troll’s Tooth” as it would soon be known, took place with over a dozen people torn to pieces by wolves as the party attempted to defeat the wolves and kill the troll. There they met the traveling warlock, Sygmund who joined them to save the Moonstair.
At the gates of Moonstair, the party held back wave after wave of troglodytes and other more terrible creatures sent by the Troll King. Only after the “Battle of the Second Gate” as it would one day be remembered did the party learn that murder had found itself within the walls of the town.
Roy: A bounty hunter sent to collect Wes and bring him to Barstonnem, the gang lord of Fallcrest for a debt unpaid.
Mayor Kelana Dhoram: a half-elf mayor of the town of Moonstair.
Cham: a local gnome merchant and trade negotiator, seen as the primary business dealer of Moonstair.
Skalmad: The Troll King. A powerful troll who united the tribes of the Trollhaunt and seeks to restore the ancient Troll empire of Vardar.