Our adventure started, as so many do, in a small dockside tavern named the Broken Bow where our heroes were sitting down to lunch, and enjoying the company of their friend “Sparkles” whose father owned the tavern and was working the bar. As they were enjoying their meal a rather flamboyantly dressed drow walked in and introduced himself to the room at large as Eldaryn Mel`Faus, then proceeded to leap onto an unoccupied table, pull out a lute, and begin performing. After giving an exceptional performance that included song, dance, tumbling, and sleight of hand tricks Eldaryn found himself interrupted as the table he stood upon was heaved upward. The dirt floor of the tavern rippling in a most unnatural fashion, Eldaryn then leaped aside as the table toppled, the dirt vanishing to reveal a mysterious tunnel into the earth. Most of the bar patrons fled, but the heroes stood their ground, as did Eldaryn, and a quiet black scaled dragonborn named Namgum Jinhadur that had been eating alone in the corner. Jinhadur backed up onto the stairs to the upper floor while Ciani, and Eldaryn stood shoulder to shoulder in front of the bar. Sparkles and her father took positions behind the bar as Kuyutha drew his greatsword and stood his ground near the hole itself. As the heroes positioned themselves a group of five kobolds came scrambling out of the hole. Kuyutha ordered them to surrender, and was met with hostility and expletives from the largest of the group. As a melee ensued the kobold’s leader, a winged kobold made itself known. Eventually the leader stood alone against the party, and yet chose to fight rather than flee, dying bravely on his enemies swords.
During the confusion of the melee Eldaryn had used a poisoned crossbow bolt to put one of the kobolds to sleep. Having a live prisoner, our heroes chose to question the attacker. Kuyutha tricked the kobold into revealing that it worshipped Tiamat, and that it served a black scaled, winged being named Drakosh. Before they could learn more Jinhadur slew the kobold in a fit of rage, revealing a deep-seated loathing for servants of Tiamat. Shortly afterwards the party crossed paths with the captain of the guard, Aragoth Fullic, who informed them that the assault had been city wide, and asked them to join him in meeting with the town council to share the information they had learned.
At the council meeting they learned that this had not been the first incident involving assault by worshipers of Tiamat citing service to someone, or something named Drakosh. The council, lead by Clan-Master Dosashi, wisely advised Aragoth to begin fortifying the town against future assaults. The party (Ciani, Kuyutha, Sparkles, and Eldaryn), was then asked if they would attempt to gather more information about the nature of the town’s new-found enemy. Before they left they also learned that Aragoth’s son had been assassinated during the assault.
They were advised to seek the wisdom of Sorchia, a seer that lived on the outskirts of town. They arrived at the seers hut to find themselves confronted by quite possibly the oldest, most hideous half-orc woman they had ever seen. She invited them into her hut, offering to tell them of their deaths, which was rejected by all, except the over curious Sparkles, who was told by her allies that it was best she not know. Sorchia then advised the party that a mage had assisted the assault on the town from afar, and gave them the location of this mages lair, in the foothills of the Spine of the World mountains a weeks travel to the north. Sparkles suddenly remarked that Sorchia was covered with an illusion, Sorchia dropped her cover with a chuckle, revealing herself to be an attractive young half-orc woman. Suddenly she seemed to have some sort of attack, stiffening in her seat she began speaking in an unusual voice speaking the following prophecy.
Scales of night lead the way
The shadow of five heads
marked by the shadow of five servants
all bend to the will of one
fear the son of the dragon
fear the wings of night.
Baffled by her mysterious words the party asked Sorchia for an interpretation, however she was only able to tell them that she had spouted this particular prophecy once before, in the company of the black scaled dragonborn Namgum Jinhadur. The party found this information intriguing, beginning to suspect the dark scaled warrior-monk of being a spy for Drakosh.
The party took the time to gather information around town about their suspect before approaching him. Learning from Kevi Underfoot, a local information broker, that Jinhadur seemed to be a devout follower of Bahamut who had avoided trouble of any kind and kept to himself since his arrival in town a few years back. Having doubts about their suspicions they decided to approach Jinhadur directly, arriving at his small and rather spartan shack they confronted the monk only to learn that he was indeed above suspicion. His reclusiveness being due to his order’s preference for silence. Speaking as little as he had to he explained that his purpose for visiting Sorchia was to look in on family that he had left behind.
Leaving Jinhadur to his meditations the party prepared to depart, seeking to confront this mysterious mage in the mountains as soon as possible. The council provided the companions with horses, a cart, and all the supplies they might need before they departed. Their journey was relatively uneventful, they spoke briefly with a moon elf patrol on the edge of the Moon Wood, learning that a group of goblinoids had diverted the moon elves attention while the kobold force had passed by them. They then passed through a small orc village on the edge of the kingdom of Many-Arrows before arriving at their destination. There Sparkles activated a wand given to her by a local mage, Alistair, to reveal hidden things. Alistair apparently had a twisted sense of humor, for the wand indeed revealed the entrance to the kobold’s tunnel complex, but it did so by destroying the side of a nearby hill with an explosion.
As the party was recovering from the shock of the explosion they found themselves confronted with a must unusual creature. Appearing out of nowhere, an ancient, shriveled goblin dressed in a tattered robe and bearing a twisted staff appeared atop their cart. He introduced himself as Wahooka the Great, or if they prefer, the Great Wahooka. He claimed to be the former master of the mage they sought, and offered to expedite their assault on his student by teleporting them directly to the enemies sanctum. Deciding that this was preferable to fighting their way through an alerted tribe of kobolds in their own tunnels they accepted Wahooka’s offer despite their suspicions of the strange little creature.
Finding themselves standing in a small room filled with various articles of magic, the party was surprised to find themselves confronted by a rather small albino winged kobold. As soon as he sighted them the kobold, introducing himself as Keerak in rather good common, surrendered. Uncertain at first they began questioning their rather cooperative prisoner, who was found to be a font of information, revealing much about their enemy. They learned that Drakosh was a black half-dragon, and that he was served by five lieutenants. Keerak was the least of the lieutenants, above him was an orc warchief with a goblinoid army named Kullamon the Black, then their was the mysterious Shifter of which Keerak knew little, followed by the fallen dragonborn paladin Croi`Tsolais Ulfain who was a traitor to Kuyutha’s clan, and god, and finally their was the cambion priestess of Tiamat known only as Tiamat’s Pyre.
Escorting their prisoner the companions made their way safely out of the kobold tunnels only to find themselves entertained when Wahooka assaulted Keerak with his staff, beating him about the head and shoulders before vanishing in a huff. The party then made their way home, hoping to present both their prisoner, and his information, to the council as soon as possible. A day or so short of arriving home their rest was interrupted by a massive fireball crashing to earth about a quarter mile from camp. Rushing to investigate they found a downed gnome airship with a small clan of rock gnomes scampering around it, attempting to extinguish the flames. The leader of the clan, Sauli “Dinglehop” Vixic, turned down their offer of aid. The party then moved on, returning home a day later.
Introducing their prisoner to the council, they allowed him to speak for himself, giving him the opportunity to broker a deal in exchange for further information, including the location of one of Drakosh’s lieutenants, as well as the meeting place where Drakosh discussed his strategies with his underlings. Keerak was then remanded into the custody of the captain of the guard. The party left the council meeting with new purpose, to learn more of this mysterious Shifter if they could.
Once again the party sought the aid of Sorchia, hoping that she could reveal more about their mysterious enemy now that they had information to work with. Using a magical scrying bowl that the party had procured from Keerak, Sorchia sought out Drakosh and his underlings. In the process they learned that Drakosh was a monk, a renegade from the same order that their friend Jinhadur had been trained by. They also learned that Kullamon the Black was marching on the town with a small army of goblinoids, about a weeks march away. Most importantly though, they learned that the Shifter was hiding somewhere in the docks district of town. Thanking Sorchia for her aid the party departed for the docks, hoping to learn more of their enemy.
Stopping to visit Jinhadur, they learned from him that Drakosh was not only a deadly warrior, and renegade from his order, but that he had turned his back on Bahamut to worship Tiamat. In a murderous frenzy Drakosh had slaughtered two of the order’s grand masters before fleeing into the desert, until this moment he had been presumed to have died in the sandy wastes. Jinhadur then offered his aid, joining with the party in order to help them defeat this traitor to his order.
Gathering information from a number of sources the party learned that there was an unusual number of new dock-hands in recent history, as well as a strange rise in the rat population. Becoming suspicious of an assassin that worked for the leader of the smugglers on the dock, they delved into her activities only to find that her caginess had been caused by an affair with a lieutenant from the thieve’s guild. Having followed this red-herring as far as they desired they returned to the Broken Bow to re-assess their options.
During their discussion they noticed a group of the new dock-hands rise and leave together, intrigued by the unusually flighty attitude of this group they decided it was worth-while to follow them. So it was that they split the group, Ciani, and Eldaryn following the mysterious dock-hands, while Kuyutha and Sparkles went to speak with the harbormaster, Daloth Kent, in the hopes of learning more. As Ciani pursued the strangers, Kuyutha learned that among the new-comers their was one that stood out, an uthgardt barbarian woman named Sithis who worked as a foreman. Meanwhile Ciani, and Eldaryn observed a clandestine meeting between a six foot, red haired barbarian woman and a handful of dock-hands, who quickly revealed themselves to be were-rats. After speaking with the were-rats, the barbarian woman offered them a meal, a beggar pulled off the streets. Unable to stand by and do nothing Eldaryn brought his magic to bear, putting the were-rats to sleep. As the were-rats drooped to the floor the tall barbarian woman slipped into the shadows, seeming to simply disappear.
After rescuing the beggar Ciani, and Eldaryn returned to the Broken Bow to find their friends waiting for them. Comparing notes they determined that the mysterious barbarian woman in the warehouse had been Sithis. They then sought out Kevi Underfoot once more, hoping to learn more about Sithis and her were-rat underlings. Kevi was able to inform them that Sithis had three lieutenants that shared a small houseboat, sleeping in shifts. After imparting this information Kevi left to call a meeting between the leader of the smugglers, an orc named Kulroth, and the master of the thieve’s guild, a dwarf named Daggit Ironbreaker. His intent being to call on the two underworld groups to band together in dealing with the were-rat threat, which residing mostly in the sewers would be difficult for the town guard to confront.
The party proceeded down to the docks to the houseboat where Sithis’ lieutenants supposedly resided. Approaching stealthily they infiltrated the houseboat to find themselves confronted by a sun elf quickly rising out of his trance. As they moved to confront him he began to shift, revealing himself to be a were-wolf. After a nasty brawl, during which the were-wolf was badly wounded, the creature surrendered, reverting to his elf form. The party questioned him, learning that Sithis was in truth the Shifter, and that her other two lieutenants were were-boars. His loyalty going only as far as he had been paid their captive willingly revealed where Sithis could be found, and that they had four hours before his capture would be discovered. His final revelation was the worst, as he revealed that Sithis was the one who had murdered Aragoth’s son in an attempt to take his place.
Taking their captive to Aragoth to face justice, they also filled him in on current developments. They then proceeded back to the docks to confront Sithis before she could learn of their actions. Approaching carefully they managed to surprise Sithis, who found herself nearly surrounded by foes. A brawl ensued as several of Sithis’ were-rat servants joined the fight alongside one of her were-boars. Sithis dove into the crowd only to be confronted by the poisoned blade of Eldaryn. The crowd scattered as her true form was revealed. A gray skinned doppelganger stood in the middle of the street, all avenues of escape cut off. Her were-rats were slain, and her were-boar lieutenant, badly wounded, fled the only way he could, by dropping into the river. Sithis, seeing no other choice, surrendered to her foes, claiming that they could neither kill her nor draw information from her.
The party turned the Shifter over to Aragoth for questioning, informing him that this creature was the one responsible for his sons murder. They then learned that their presence was desired by Clan-Master Dosashi.