See the Calendar for a day-by-day description.
They spoke to Councilmember Joren, one of the leaders of the town while there were no heirs to the seat of the Duke of Kyrim. Joren tasked the heroes with retrieving a talisman from the Hobgoblin warlord Sinruth. They were asked to visit the Cleric Barnus, and they did so. The Cleric was suspicious of Joren.
After interrogating the captured Hobgoblin Morrik, the party left for the Rivenroar Crypt. Unable to find it, they journeyed to the nearby Rivenroar Tower within the Wyrmwood. At the Tower, they discovered the book Rivenroars: Masters of Magick, which led them to the Crypt.
Outside the Crypt, they met the Dwarf Thaeus, who lent his Axe and Shield to their cause. However, they lost one of their number when, after battling their way through the rooms of the Crypt, Heirmus became afflicted with madness. He attacked the party and disappeared, leaving the rest of the party with black tattoos symbolizing the Raven Queen.
The heroes met the descendants of the Rivenroar family in the bowels of the crypt, and managed to uncover a series of age-old crimes. The group correctly accused the criminals and received a bounty of magical items.
They proceeded onwards, where they fought and killed the Hobgoblin Sinruth, retrieving the Token of Ruin. As they left the Crypt, however, they were waylaid by Divyani, a Tiefling, and her two Barbarian cohorts. The heroes slew their enemies and retained the Token of Ruin.
After returning to Brindol, where they were treated like heroes, they met with Joren and Barnus and discovered many unsettling things: The Carrion Riders, a dark sect of the Raven Queen, seemed to be active. In addition, the Duke’s heir had surfaced. The heroes were told to make their way to Barr and find Barnus’ friend Aleutius in the Great Library. The Dwarf Thaeus, distraught by the group’s grave-robbing and unwilling to make the long journey, parted ways with little fanfare.
After buying horses, the party rode down the Riverway towards Barr, but were asked for help by the people of Berendia. They were treated to a banquet and asked to slay some ghosts in the cemetery. A meeting with a Dwarf named Drego, who felt that the people of Berendia should take care of their own problems, revealed a minor schism among the populace.
After a series of tactical mistakes, in which Akatha was surrounded and nearly slain, the group regrouped outside the cemetery, came up with a new plan, and finally slew the ghosts. The final ghost told an unusual story about being visited by a “figment.”
The PCs rode to Nipala, where they discovered that the town was being ruled by a Troll and a band of Hobgoblins. After finding that a bartender in the town actually preferred the rule of the creature, the heroes fled the city. On their way out, an old man watching the gate was slain.
After resting in Barr, Lorandrin was called away to defend his home in the Feywild. A new hero, the Goliath Warlord Moravi, joined the group. He claimed to have seen a true vision of the god Kord who led him to the group, and not knowing quite what he was tasked with, Moravi decided to accompany them on their journey.
The heroes explored Barr and made their way to the Great Temple, where they met with Aleutius. He spoke of a Set of Ruin, of which the Token of Ruin was simply one part. He claimed that three other parts existed, and that reports mentioned that destructive magic was being used in the North. It seemed that their best bet was to travel there.
Ilam, Feint, Akatha and Moravi set out to the port city of Aquus to catch a boat to the North. On their way, they were chased and attacked by humans bearing the mark of the Raven Queen, but defeated their foes.
After arriving in Aquus and boarding the Icebreaker, the heroes traveled to the town of Morgmir and met Gornerm, the leader of the Morgen clan, a group of Vikings of the North. The heroes discovered that the Vikings were being raided constantly by bands of Orcs. Although Gornerm disapproved, the group decided to set up an ambush for the Orcs.
The assaulting Orcs were slain, except for Blegdar, who took the group to his base of operations, the Ice Caverns. The heroes fought their way inside, through Human Berserkers and an avalanche, and set about exploring the Ice Caverns.
After battling a motley crew of monsters and human Berserkers, the heroes had to rest and lick their wounds. While Feint stood watch, three more human Berserkers came through a door and passed by the heroes. The group laid a quick ambush and easily dispatched the three humans.
After waking from their rest, the heroes went into the next room, where they encountered zombies clawing crystals from the mountain and an Ice Mage overseeing the project. The Ice Mage fled after raising two of the dead zombies with one of the crystals, and the heroes gave chase, running into a large sleeping area where more mages, zombies, and human Berserkers awaited them.
It was an epic battle. Moravi and Ilam were separated from Feint and Akatha, and Akatha fell under the onslaught. Feint left her and ran from the pursuing hordes. He and the other two warriors gathered in a narrow corridor, hoping to force their enemies to come at them one at a time. Though this plan would ultimately be successful, Moravi was slain.
As Feint and Ilam returned to explore the caves, they discovered that Akatha’s body was missing. They proceeded onwards, encountering traps that they mostly managed to bypass. They laid an ambush for their enemies after hearing voices, but the enemies did not come through the door. They pushed onwards, battling the escaped Mages as well as a pair of Dragonborn soldiers, and tried their best to stay alive in the face of tough foes.
As they passed through the caverns, they finally had a stroke of good luck — Moravi rejoined the group, though he was changed, and Akatha was found! Accompanying her were four Viking women, later introduced as Arren, Mira, Hugarn, and Orlegen.
The four heroes and the four Vikings retreated back to a yellow portal, which teleported them to a hill outside the Morgmir. After a night of heavy celebration, the heroes slept.
The next morning, the heroes restocked and prepared for their return to the Ice Caverns. An old “magic man” reopened the portal, and the group stepped through it. They met a Dwarven Ghost, who led them to a room where two other ghosts were apparently unable to go to their final rest. The adventurers released one with fire, and one with gold. After that, the original ghost revealed a pile of gold to them and disappeared himself.
The adventurers discovered that many traps had been moved or reset. They made their way to the Orc Shaman, and defeated him and his allies. They found an oar in a side room, and brought it to a small boat on the edge of the river. They climbed in the boat and made their way down the winding river.
They soon found themselves face-to-face with a white dragon, the beast known as Kerraxxis. Battle was soon joined, and Moravi acquired the Sword of Ruin from the dragon’s hoard, using it to slay the beast. The heroes stuffed their pockets with gold, as much as they could carry, but a death spasm and final twitch of the dragon’s tail caused the caverns to collapse. The group rode their small boat down the face of the mountain, on the crest of an avalanche, and managed to make it to safety with minimal losses… although some of their newfound gold was spilt.
They made their way to a settlement, a town with Viking huts that appeared similar to Morgmir but turned out to be different. The Vikings there were agitated at the arrival of the PCs, but after Moravi showed them the head of the beast Kerraxxis, the Vikings were pleased. These Vikings, known as the Ignoril clan, led the PCs back to Morgmir.
The heroes persuaded Arren to accept the wayward Vikings into the Morgen clan, and awaited the arrival of the Icebreaker. When the Captain arrived, he took the travelers back at a higher rate and brought many Vikings along. The moment they left their homeland, these wandering Vikings were known as Celtar.
The heroes fought a group of Fishmen at sea and vanquished them, though they destroyed the mast of the Icebreaker. At the end of their journey, they returned to the Settled Lands. Returning to Aquus, they saw two factions patrolling the streets. The Elite Guards of the Count of Arnod were apparently in Aquus to keep an eye on the Carrion Riders. Tensions were high, and the citizens seemed to be caught in the middle. The heroes decided to head towards Kyrim City to meet the Duke of Kyrim.
In Barr, they met Aleutius again and discovered the locations of the last two items comprising the Set of Ruin: The Shield of Ruin could be found in a volcano in the tropics, reachable via a boat in Aquus. The Helm of Ruin lay in a desert to the East of Hammerstone. Long ago, a warrior named Madrinus razed the Dwarven lands, leaving only barren wastes.
The heroes set off towards the desert to acquire the Helm. On their way, they passed Nipala, Berendia, and Brindol. At Brindol rumors held that Pelor, the god of the sun, had disappeared. In order to quell the mounting hysteria, Akatha proved that her powers remained and the heroes went to visit Barnus in the Free Temple. Barnus claimed that Pelor had indeed disappeared, and that the “Tyrant Rising” poem he had told them earlier seemed to be coming to pass. He uttered another rhyme, this one even more confusing than the last.
The heroes traveled to Hammerstone to the East, and slept. The next day they bought extra supplies for their trip through the Blasted Sea and also purchased a map to the Desert Fortress. After a long, hard march and a brief stop at an oasis, they rode into a village known as Argolus, a small farming community on the edge of a forest.
They entered the fortress and fought the legions of undead within. After killing many monsters, they still could not discover how to enter the dungeon and retrieve the Helm of Ruin. After much deliberation, and the discovery of small mechanical creatures, the heroes took the staff from a Skull Lord and opened the dungeon’s door.
They met three strange individuals, Gurion, Hazel and Hecate. After the Sphinx warned the group of an invading army, the heroes set traps to hold them off. During the invasion, the three Carrion Riders fought valiantly,, but Gurion and Hecate were slain. The heroes acquired the Helm of Ruin from an altar that was dedicated to the chaos god Tharizdun and left the fortress. On their way out, however, an angry Hazel informed them that the Duke of Kyrim held the Shield of Ruin, the final piece of the Set.
The heroes returned to Brindol, where they discovered a mob ready to lynch a group of Pelor’s priests. The heroes did their best to intervene, but the mob was unmoved. Feint was caught pickpocketing and would have been hanged along with the priests, but the Knights of the Rose arrived and broke up the scene.
The leader of these knights turned out to be Bilger, Feint’s “uncle” and a friend of his father Khaft. Bilger was tasked with taking the priests to Uraz City and told Feint that his parents were alive and well in rural Griere. The heroes, wanting to delay their meeting with the Duke, decided to make the ride to Griere.
On the way to Griere, the heroes stopped at an old ruined tower. Inside they found a few defenders who asked them to leave. Unwilling to abandon the possibility of treasure, the heroes slew the defenders. Shortly thereafter they met The Hag, who offered each of them an unusual bargain. Suspecting the worst, Akatha and Moravi rejected her offer, while Feint and Ilam were spirited away individually.
The heroes left the tower and rode on to Griere, where they met Feint’s father Khaft and mother Leera. After an unusual homecoming, the group left for Griere City. At the gates of the city, they were asked for a “toll” by a pair of guards. Refusing to pay, tensions mounted until Ilam drew his pact blade and the guards attacked.
The heroes easily dispatched the two guards, but more guards, mages and elite guards swarmed out of the gates of the city. The heroes barely managed to escape after two of their horses were killed.
On the road leading away from Griere City, the heroes stopped to rest, but some dangerous characters gave chase and spotted the group. A battle ensued against Tieflings, and although the PCs killed many of their attackers, two Tieflings escaped.
The heroes rode on towards the border of Uraz, where they encountered a group of guards. After being questioned about their destination and about the stolen horses they were now riding, the heroes couldn’t convince the guards to let them pass. After agreeing to go quietly, they made a break for the border and escaped without casualties on either side.
They traveled through Uraz and found a decrepit farmhouse and a stream leading to a massive cave. Resting by the cave, they were awakened in the middle of the night by a large dark shape, revealed to be a dragon. Four humanoids emerged from the cave, and after a tense initial meeting introduced themselves as Elvarel, Taalah, Myst, and Orest. The group claimed to be hunting the dragon and, after some conversation, left to go follow it. They claimed that the Baron of Uraz would pay them for the job.
The heroes entered the Water Cave, where they found a campfire and some bedrolls, presumably left behind by the others. They approached and descended tiers of rock on which a river flowed upwards, out of the ground beneath them. Following this strange current led them to an open cavern, where a burrowing plated creature attacked them from beneath the floor of the cavern. They managed to kill a few snakes that came up to prey on them, and chased away the plated monster.
They explored the cavern and discovered a large pedestal, inscribed with a giant sumbol of Tharizdun. As the heroes climbed the pedestal to examine the marking, they fell into a slumber…
In their slumber, they see a group of four lieutenants, apparently in the past, wheeling and dealing over the details of a relic, a cavern of ice in the North, and an alliance against the Tyrant. The representatives were Gruumsh’s lieutenant Rawsk, Lolth’s lieutenant Sharai, Zehir’s lieutenant Dhampyr, and Tiamat’s lieutenant Ressanati.
After awakening from the dream, the heroes found some new magical items to help them on their quest. They left the cave and headed towards the Adjin Inn, nearby. After getting a good night’s rest and hearing some interesting gossip from a friendly Bard, the heroes set out to find a new horse for Ilam.
Further along the road the heroes entered a curious town called Adjin. It had no walls, no apparent defenses against the monsters that usually roam the countryside, and no clear borders on where the town began or ended. They found a group of merchants standing outside an ornate building, buying crops and other goods from local farmers. It seemed the merchants were being tight-fisted.
After the merchants quoted an exorbitant price for a single horse, the heroes planned to leave but were interrupted by five Mages who accused Feint of treachery. A battle ensued, with the additional complication of a band of Ogres racing in from the nearby hills. The heroes slew the mages and escaped, riding towards Kyrim.
As they led their horses through a dense forest, Akatha recognized the area and asked to take a brief detour. The group agreed, and they found themselves in Willowbrook, where Akatha once lived. When they arrived they found an Eladrin named Choranis and her group of Eladrin archers. Though the standoff was tense, the two groups eventually exchanged information.
Choranis claimed that Willowbrook sat on a ley line that made it very close to the Feywild. When asked about monsters in the area, she told the group about a group called the Destroyers, an evil army of Tieflings and demons.
The heroes left and arrived in Kyrim City in time for bed at an inn. After a strange encounter with a drunk who thought he knew Ilam, the heroes went to bed.
In the morning they went to finally meet the Duke of Kyrim, whom they discovered was actually Ilam’s lost companion Heirmus. He told them a story about Tharizdun and the Raven Queen, and explained why he had gone mad in the Rivenroar Crypt. He told them he had the Shield of Ruin and offered it freely, but he insisted on telling them the history of the Set, as well as telling them the location of the Pyramid of Shadows, the place where Tharizdun was kept.
Heirmus offered to come along, and also offered to bring the entire Kyrim army to bear in a war with Arnod. Heirmus wanted the group to listen to his story, ask him questions, and then sleep on their response.
The heroes left satisfied, then spent the rest of the day collecting supplies they might need. They regrouped and discussed their options before going to bed once again.
They returned to see the Duke of Kyrim again. They accepted the Shield of Ruin and completed the four parts of the Set of Ruin.
The heroes asked Heirmus to mobilize an army to the North so that they could sneak over the Southern border into Arnod to the Hills of Spite and into the Pyramid of Shadows. They asked for a handful of Carrion Riders to accompany them, and were given Hazel, Revere, Animaeus, and Poe.
They left Kyrim City heading for the border. They managed to sneak past some guards that were patrolling the Arnod border, but racing through the thick forest took its toll. They arrived at the Pyramid of Shadows and found the same Sphinx that they had encountered in front of the Desert Fortress. The Sphinx required them to solve two riddles, which they did after much deliberation and consideration.
They entered the Pyramid of Shadows and discovered that they needed to acquire eighteen keys: one for each of the gods. The keys would fit into an enormous stone slab and required a unique ritual in order to reach the prison of Tharizdun.
Kord‘s key required them to use a sword in a lightning storm. Tiamat’s key required them to take a handful of gold and fight off two drakes. Moradin‘s key required them to make a carving into a large statue of the hammer-god. Corellon’s key required them to swim to the bottom of a deep pool. Bahamut‘s key required them to defend against four statues which attacked those nearby. Lolth’s key required them to defeat a half-woman, half-spider and her spiderling servants. Zehir‘s key required them to block poisoned darts. Avandra’s key required them to gamble and win at a dice game. Vecna‘s key required them to climb a hill of bones and slay a monstrosity made of flesh and teeth. Sehanine’s key required them to discover a secret door. Ioun‘s key simply required them to enter the library. Melora’s key required them to melt blocks of ice with pure water. Pelor‘s key required them to befriend a mad angel. Bane’s key required them to slay two of the war-god’s paladins. Erathis’ key required them to beautify and civilize the wilderness around her. The Raven Queen‘s key required them to take a leap of faith into an apparently deadly pit. Torog’s key was found on a masochistic masked devil. Gruumsh’s key was retrieved from a staff-wielding man when the heroes used the Token of Ruin to break through a wall.
With all the keys, the heroes found a ritual book in Ioun’s domain that allowed them to start a ritual to open the seal. As the ritual was being performed, a large group of the ape-demons from the Desert Fortress came bursting through the Daggerthorn Briar and the Carrion Riders leapt to block them from the seal. Their fate is unknown.
The heroes passed through the portal into a strange area in the Astral Sea. Three pillars created a wall of force that kept out blue crackling energy, and the symbols of all the gods were inscribed on the ground around an altar. Akatha also noticed the symbol of Asmodeus on the ground, and deduced that a powerful spell had caused her and the others to forget about his existence. Tharizdun lashed out at the heroes with tendrils of psychic energy, commanding them to scratch out the runes on the ground in an attempt to free himself. Moravi, having completed the Set of Ruin, was immune to Tharizdun’s attacks and was able to prevent the tendrils from his allies.
Most of the runes were scratched out and Tharizdun’s escape seemed imminent. Moravi desperately smashed the altar, freeing the mad god. Tharizdun shattered the pillars, the Astral Sea rushed in, and the heroes blacked out.
The heroes met once again in the now-rebuilt Frosty Mug Tavern in Brindol. They planned to visit Heirmus in Kyrim City, but were sidetracked by an Alchemist selling Redroot, a root that was supposed to prevent the “Madness Plague” that is causing people to become insane. After a cursory investigation, they do not discover enough evidence to press the issue.
In Kyrim City, Heirmus was accompanied by a new ‘advisor,’ a Shadar-kai named Dust. Heirmus and Dust gave the heroes some information about how to travel to other planes, and granted them powerful new magic items. The heroes decided to head to the cemetery in Berendia in order to find a place where the wall between the mortal world and the Shadowfell was thin.
They found what the locals were calling the Gap in the cemetery, and also reunited with Mira of the North. They traveled through the Gap and ended up in the Shadowfell, near the Black Lake. Akatha and Ilam were dragged down into its depths, while Moravi and Feint went to a tall tower and spoke to Grimhilde, leader of the Shadar-Kai. She arranged a raid on a temple of Vecna to rescue Akatha and Ilam, but the temple was instead occupied by Yuan-Ti in the service of Zehir.
The heroes informed Zehir’s champion of Tharizdun and asked for peace and a united force against the Chained God. Sulvaugren agreed and took one of the Shadar-Kai with her. The heroes returned to Grimhilde, together again, and asked for her help.