Help with Chapter 1 recap

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I am taking over DM duties starting this week and I know of at least 2 new players who will be participating, possibly more. I am working a recap of the first chapter to try to get everyone up to speed on events thus far without it taking up half the night. Here is my bullet point list, though I tend to be verbose so I hope it is not too long and only hits the important bits. Spoilers of previous encounters follow:

spoilerey stuff

Previously, in March of the Phantom Brigade…


  • A call went out from the Temple of Moradin, the God of Creation, in the mountain stronghold of Hammerfast; seeking able-bodied settlers to establish a new town to the southwest. Desiring to aid in the protection and establishment of this new town, you have answered the call to guard the caravan of supplies and settlers during the arduous 3-day journey through the mountain passes and untamed wilderness to the ruins of the once-great Castle Inverness, where the new town will be located.


  • During the journey, you become acquainted with Brother Aldus Splintershield, the Dwarven cleric of Moradin who will establish the new town of Inverness. He is enthusiastic and optimistic about this endeavor and the prosperity it will bring to the Nentir Vale. You also meet Malgram, a half-orc Ranger who will lead the Caravan on its trek through the wilderness to the ruins, and will be Captain of the Guard in Inverness. Despite their common goals, Brother Splintershield’s optimism clashes with Malgram’s pragmatism early and often during the journey, and you have had to step in to keep the peace more than once.


  • The journey is long and perilous. While fording a mountain stream, the settlers are attacked by giant flying insects known as Stirges. Two horses and a settler are killed before the stirges are all destroyed by the party and Malgram’s scouts.


  • During the journey, the party also meets Faldyra Alaniel, an Elven Wizard who will be the arcane scholar for the new town. She has done extensive research into the history of Castle Inverness in preparation for this new role she has agreed to take on. She makes a short side trip to search for rare herbs and the party accompanies her for protection. A wise precaution, as it turns out, when the party is ambushed by a band of goblins. They manage to overpower the goblins and return the caravan, and Faldyra now starts to realize just how dangerous the wilderness can be.


  • After 3 days, the caravan reaches the ruins of Castle Inverness. Brother Splintershield asks the party to investigate the ruins and make sure they are safe, while Malgram and his rangers stay back to guard the settlers. During their scouting mission, the party finds a small cemetery in the ruins that is remarkably and strangely well-tended. Among the 13 headstones in the cemetery, only one is still legible. It reads “Oldivya Vladistone, Wife and Friend.” Faldyra’s research indicates that Oldiya was a member of the bold adventurers known as the Silver Company, she apparently perished some sixty years ago. The party also encounters a dangerous pair of hungry oozes known as Ochre Jellies, which spray corrosive acids while digesting any living thing they come across. They party takes some acid damage but manages to defeat the Jellies. With no more apparent threats in the ruins, the settlers bring up the wagons and begin to unload their supplies.


  • Brother Splintershield and his fellow clerics begin to prepare a cleansing ritual. Faldyra explains that the ruins are thought to be haunted, the people of the Nentir Vale refer to the ruins of Castle Inverness as a Ghost Tower, a focal point for spirit activity. As night falls, the broken central tower begins to shimmer and a translucent but plainly visible intact tower starts to rise from the crumbled base. It reaches its full height and solidifies. In a matter of seconds, the massive central tower of Castle Inverness has come to rest in its original place, solid as the day it was constructed. This unnerves the settlers and Brother Splintershield, who orders the cleansing ritual to begin immediately. However, shuffling zombie corpses and skeletons begin to rise from the ground outside the castle walls and move towards the ruins, intent on stopping the ritual. Malgram and his scouts begin to fire on the zombies outside the walls, the party heads to the main gate to protect the clerics. They hold off the ever-growing army of undead long enough for the ritual to complete, the radiant energy from the Blessing dissipates the remaining undead and sets up a zone of protection from any more intrusions inside the safety of the castle walls.


  • The ghost tower remains even with the completion of the ritual, Brother Splintershield explains that if the tower were an immediate threat the ritual would have dissipated it. A short time later that same night, the spectral figure of a knight with noble bearing is seen walking towards the castle. He is unable to penetrate the barrier of radiant energy put in place by the cleansing ritual. He demands to speak to whomever keeps him from entering the castle. Brother Splintershield and the party go forth to meet with him.


  • He explains his name is Salazar Vladistone, he was once the leader of the Silver Company though he too died many decades ago. His wife Oldivya was also a member, she perished when the Silver Company attempted to delve into the Ghost Tower and he lied her remains in the cemetery within the castle ruins. His own resting place is far away, yet he makes the long journey to visit his wife’s grave often and tends the cemetery. Now he cannot enter due to the barrier of the ritual. He demands that Brother Splintershield take down the ritual and forever depart, but the cleric refuses, saying that it is Moradin’s will that a new town be founded here. Vladistone becomes very angry, and he warns that if he does not get his way he will find a way to enter anyway and the cost for his delay will be the lives of the entire caravan. He also warns that the Ghost Tower houses a terrible arcane relic that has the potential to destroy everyone within the castle walls. He refers to the relic as a soul gem and claims that it can strip the soul from the body of a living creature, transforming it into a ghost like him.

  • With neither side willing to back down and no other solutions possible, the ghost of Salazar Vladistone is forced to depart. As he leaves, he offer one last cryptic warning: “You have denied but a single tortured spirit this night. We shall see how well you fare against the Phantom Brigade.” 

Thoughts? Too long, or not detailed enough? Too confusing for new players, or intersting enough to draw them in from the start?
If you want to compare it to the official recaps on the DND site, here's the link to that:

Scroll down and click "The Story So Far" link to expand their abbreviated recaps.  I find their helpful for my weekly email updates I send out.

But to get everyone caught up yours is very thorough.  Looks good. 
I actually had not spotted those yet, so thanks for pointing them out to me.

I plan to try and point new players to the website so I will mention that there are session recaps included in the Encounters section.
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