Freeday, Reaping 14, 552 CY (50 AN)
Before meeting with Gloomblight Spellweaver on Freeday, Reaping 14, Bezaldooz, Bosabrieln, Peren, Torinn, and Valna have a few more pieces of business. First, they go to the stables to see if they can repurchase the Clawfoot they sold some weeks ago. Torinn purchases the creature, which he has been calling “Happy.” Valna similarly purchases a horse which she names “Penelope.”
On Earthday, Reaping 13, the Shields of the Sorrowfell Shields of the Sorrowfell bear witness to the executions of Tikulti and Demise. They are sentenced to be hanged by the neck until dead, and the sentence is carried out without complications.
On Freeday, Reaping 14, the Shields go to meet Adeptus Gloomblight Spellweaver of the University for the Study of the Arcane Arts and Sciences. They find him in his room at the White Nymph Lodge, and they indicate they are ready to go. He leads the group to a squat keep near the Citadel, which houses Sorgforge’s teleportation circle. He pays the clerk and the group gets teleported to the Duchy Jepson.
They arrive in a similar building, albeit one open to the air and secured with porticullises if necessary. Once they step out into Jepson proper, they can see the ornate palace Jepson sitting atop a hill. The Wizard’s Tower sits closer to the middle of the city, an incredibly tall tower with a clock on one of the faces. What appears to be a sailing ship is docked atop it, dangling above the town.
Adeptus Spellweaver asks if the Shields wish to settle in a room first or meet with the Duchess, as the Duchess Jepson has requested their presence. The group decides to go to the palace first.
After a short walk, the group arrives, and is led through the palace and into the throne room to find that the Duchess Jepson is human girl in the eight to ten range. She excitedly calls, “Gloomy!” and then thanks the Shields of the Sorrowfell for their assistance, giving what appears to be a prepared speech. Valna goes to hug her, is stopped by the guards, but Duchess Jepson calls off the guards.
Once the Shields leave the throne room, Adeptus Spellweaver explains a few more things about the job, namely that the strange creatures from the Black Moor do have one complication — a group has gone before the Shields of the Sorrowfell. A group known as the Platinum Claws — whom most of the Shields, save Bezaldooz, have previously met — traveled to the Black Moor a few weeks ago and has not yet returned. As previously mentioned, once the Shields have taken care of Vilustuminen, they will be sent to the Black Moor to aid the Platinum Claws.
As the Shields determine they need nothing further, they decide to set out immediately. Adeptus Spellweaver makes certain they know where to go and says he will be at the Wizard’s Tower when they return. He also agrees to stable their animals at the Addled Alchemist, so that they will not have to worry about the kobolds doing anything to their mounts during the short journey.
As the Shields are about to leave, they are met by a peasant who asks for a moment of their time. He asks if they are going to slay the dragon, and he explains that he and his wife are herbalists and they live in part of the evacuated zone. Well, when the evacuation order came, his wife accidentally left her wedding ring behind, and would the group be able to retrieve it? He has little, but says he will pay what he can. The group accepts the task and goes about their way.
As the Shields of the Sorrowfell leave Jepson, clouds gather. The clouds grow thick and black, presaging a summer storm, as the group approaches the last of the homesteads. As they approach the house in which they are to seek the ring, they notice two kobolds standing watch outside, attempting to hide behind trees. Seeing they’re spotted, the kobolds shout. Three more emerge from the house and form a perimeter. As the Shields approach, battle is joined. A swift little kobold in leather armor armed with a dagger emerges from the house, as do two kobolds in scale mail, armed with swords. Last, a dragonborn with scale, shield, and broadsword rushes from the house, crying “HERETIC!” and charging at Torinn. The five kobolds forming a perimeter fall quickly. The heavily armed kobolds keep on Torinn until he falls, then going for the rest of the party. When Torinn is revived, however, combat swiftly goes against the dragonkin. Torinn initiates by hefting his axe, and as he holds it aloft, lightning strikes it. It glows as he cuts a kobold in half. As the rain begins, the other two remaining kobolds are swiftly defeated, and the dragonborn is finally chased down and defeated.
The group searches the bodies, and finds the dragonborn holds what looks like an ornate wedding ring. They take it, and proceed to take away his weapons and tie him up. As the rain starts to fall heavily, the group goes indoors. They interrogate the dragonborn, finding that he and the kobolds are Tiamat-worshippers and servitors of Vilustuminen the White. He says that they number at least a dozen in the mountain tunnels, not counting their allied pets.
Before being executed, he requests that he be untied and the Shields agree. They take him outside and he kneels, saying that Torinn fought well before he beheads him with the axe.
The group spends the night in the cottage, resting before entering the dragon’s lair tomorrow.
The next day, the group sets out for the Ebon Maw. They find the cavern nestled among the rocks. As noted, a large dragon’s skull marks the spot, its mouth forming the entrance to the cavern. In a moment of giddy excitement, Valna runs for the cave, climbs up the face, and slides into the cavern through the eye. The rest of the group enters normally.
As the Shields travel through twisty passageways, they eventually come to an open spot. The open cavern shows signs of habitation; the center is dominated by a large mat of furs likely used as a communal bed. The furs contain gnawed bones, greasy hunks of meat, and a few scattered gold coins and gems. As the group enters the room, they hear tittering behind a pile of rocks. Peren and Torinn step forward to find three kobolds huddled behind the rocks; one charges him and it dies with a single blow. The others run, shouting for help.
The group starts investigating the room. Bosabrieln and Valna stay in central locations, while Torinn looks down the passageway where the kobolds ran. As he rounds the corner, they are waiting and they rush at him. He effortlessly cuts them down. Peren walks across the room — and is surprised as the stone falls away, revealing a pit trap filled with spikes. He is injured, but alive. Torinn helps him escape, and as they are about to examine another passage, Bezaldooz goes over to the mat of furs, which gives way to reveal another pit trap. Torinn helps him out of the pit and the group quietly investigates the other hallway. Finding only a dead-end which is apparently being used as a toilet and refuse pile, the group decides to rest in the main room before continuing deeper into the caves.