Your typical day in Fallcrest; a small group of adventurers were relaxing at the Blue Moon Alehouse when a comotion arose at the southern gate. A band of goblins, led by a goblin spellcaster, were assaulting the town. The PCs mobilized and dealt with the goblin threat after a tough battle.
After the battle, nursing their wounds at the Blue Moon, they were approached with an invitation for work from the captain of the Fallcrest Guard. They were to meet him the next day in the field west of town.
They met with the man on the following, rain-soaked morning. Captain Faringray introduced himself and the dour bandaged dwarf, Sorik Orvash, that was with him. He told the PCs about an outpost that the Lord Warden of Fallcrest was trying to reclaim. He had sent some of the town guard with stonemasons hired from Hammerfast to try and rebuil it. Two days ago Sorik, one of the masons, was found badly wounded stumbling into town.
According to him, the tower was attacked by bandits and a necromancer. Sorik barely escaped with his life. Faringray needed the PCs to travel to the tower and reclaim it from the bandits and rescue any surviving dwarven masons. He couldn't send any more town guards, since they were in short supply. Faringray paid the PCs half of the agreed upon fee up front and the group set-off with Sorik as their guide.
Shortly after arriving at the tower the next day, they spotted the bandit camp through the rain and fog. They approached but the bandits held one of the dwarf masons hostage. The PCs noticed, however, that something was off about the dwarf and it turned out to be a changeling. The group managed to dispatch the bandits and some zombies that appeared, but the changeling escaped.
Inside the ruined tower they found a hole leading to the dungeons below. On the side of the tower they found a faded emblem of a golden, two-headed falcon on a purple and black field. As they went to inspect the hole lightning struck the uppermost point of the ruined tower wall and a scroll fell to the ground. The PCs retrieved the scroll, of the ritual Hand of Fate, and proceeded to climb down the hole.
Traps and more bandits awaited them, and the battle was hard fought. Eventually the tide turned in their favor and the dwarven mason that had been hiding rushed out to aid in the battle. They took one prisoner, whom they recognized as being wanted for murder in Winterhaven. After maiming him (some would say unnecessarily) they tied him up near the horses and someone remained nearby to guard him. The dwarves were grateful and left with Sorik to head back to Fallcrest.
The hallway leading from the first room was full of fiery traps, but the PCs found a secret passage leading around them. They found more bandits, but easily dispatched them. Another secret room was found, containing shrines to Corellon and Kord, as well as a bookshelf with some well-preserved books. Upon inspection they found yet another secret door, this time in the floor in front of the bookshelf. This led to an alchemy lab below. Search of the lab revealed some potable elixirs and a magic whistle.
Heading back into and down the hallway that snaked through the dungeon, they came to a room with a large cauldron and many piles of different colored skulls. There was also a large set of double doors on the left-hand wall that would not seem to open. After tossing the body of one of the bandits into the cauldron, two foul undead creatures emerged and attacked the PCs. After another tough battle the group decided to rest in the secret room they had found.
After their rest, and returning to the cauldron room, they found another one of those foul undead (actually the bandit they had tossed in the cauldron
) and some skeletons. Another battle ensued and they managed a victory. They decided to inspect the skull piles and eventually figured out the right color combination (black, purple and gold) of skulls to throw in the cauldron that would open the large double-doors.
In the large chamber beyond the found a wide hall with stairways leading up on the left and right. Beyond that were two furnaces, one on either side of the hall. It then opened up into a larger area with galleries on either side and stairs and a raised section with two sarcophogi ahead. Zombies milled about in this area and on the raised section stood a frail-looking man wearing robes and a golden skull mask. On the stairs stood two skeletal wolves. The frail necromancer taunted the group and battle ensued. It was a very difficult battle, made worse by the door closing on its own and splitting up the party. as the zombies and skeletal wolves attacked, skeletal archers assaulted the group from the galleries. The necromancer kept blasting the group with necrotic damage and raising the fallen zombies and skeleton. Eventually the group made their way through the undead and managed to assault the mage, knocking the mask from his face. The necromancer, whom bhind the mask was severely deformed, turned incorporeal and fled though the wall.
The PCs claimed the skull mask and the treasure the necromancer was after, a gold-plated skull. As well as some other magic items and a fancy holy symbol of Kord. Now that the tower had been reclaimed they returned outside where it was no longer raining. They secured their prisoner and headed back to Fallcrest for the rest of their reward.
They had set-up camp halfway to Fallcrest, just outside the Witchlight Fens, when their bounty escaped. They tracked him into the swamp and they were attacked by a group of lizardfolk. The lizardfolk proved too powerful and they were forced to surrender. They explained that they were only chasing their prisoner into the swamp. After the lizardfolk scouts spotted the rogue and subdued him they contemplated on what to do with the PCs. The lizardfolk scouting group's leader, a shaman, told the adventurers to return there with a tribute or "Lord Shadowmire" would attack Fallcrest. Not knowing who Lord Shadowmire was, and not wanting to find out, the PCs agreed and sped toward Fallcrest.
After some creative accounting and some help from the local expert on curios and collectables, Orest Naerumar, they scrounged together enough for the tribute. They decided to split-up; Half of the group would take the prisoner to Winterhaven for the bounty and the other half would return to the Witchlight Fens to pay the tribute.
They rested and then headed out. Half of the PCs arrived at the Witchlight Fens and waited for the shaman to reappear. After waiting for many hours they decided to head into the swamp a little to search for her. Eventually they came upon a secret stairway that led to a underground ruin. Investigating the ruin revealed it to be a former temple of Zehir. After finding many insidious traps they decided to be exeedingly cautious.
They discovered more lizardfolk and their drake "pets" holding kobolds prisoner. After defeating th lizardfolk they graciously released the kobolds. One of which, named Meepo, decided to stay with the PCs and help them. More searching revealed more lizardfolk, including the shaman they had fought before. She recognized them halfway through the very tough fight that followed. The PCs succeeded, barely, and killed the shaman and her allies.
Further exploration of the temple revealed more traps, horrific drakes, traps, giant spiders, traps, slimes, and traps. They've found some fine treasure and some perplexing mechanisms. Who knows what they'll find next?...