Broken Chains

The Adventure Begins...

The story begins, as such stories often do, in a tavern in the town of Westhove, on the eastern shore of the island of Westhove. As night falls, various people — mainly townsfolk, but a few adventurers — have gathered in The Wind and the Waves for good food, good drink, and good company.

The bonhomie was rudely interrupted, when the walls of the inn erupted in magenta flames. As the burning timbers of the inn started to collapse, the player characters attempted to leave, although only Torrok made it out unaided.

As they emerged from the inn, the characters found the town square in chaos. Around them, as many buildings in the town burned, the townsfolk were fighting desperate battles with kobolds. Facing the characters was a group of seven of the dog-lizards: a slinger perched on top of the fountain, with two skirmishers and four minions arrayed before him. Spotting the new threats, the slinger pointed a wand at the paladin as she sprang to the attack, and called out “Ignite!” Unfortunately for the kobold, the wand had been totally expended, and the party was able to press their attacks without fear of combustion, which they did, eliminating the kobolds without sustaining too much damage.

As the tumult died, the party noticed that the rest of the kobolds had also left, leaving the townsfolk to put out the fires, tend to the wounded, and mourn the dying. Maul searched the kobolds’ bodies, finding a scrap of parchment with the portrait of a young human girl. A’Leela helped with the funerary rites, Torrok helped with the fire-fighting, Maul healed the critically wounded, and Vistra mourned the loss of beer.

As dawn broke, the characters started trying to find out who the girl on the parchment was. Maul and Torrok located the mayor of Westhove, who identified the girl as Diana, the daughter of the innkeeper. The innkeeper confirmed this, begging the party to find his daughter. He told them that she was with her betrothed, Erik the blacksmith’s son. At the forge, they found the blacksmith mourning over the body of his son. Spending most of the day canvassing the town, A’Leela found a townsmen who had seen kobolds dragging Diana away towards the East Gate.

Having found a lead, the party decided against visiting an old ranger outside the South Gate, and follow the kobold’s trail north. Thanks to Torrok’s tracking skills (aided in no small part by the rest of the party), they followed the tracks (that appeared to be following game trails) into the Shatanti Hills that lay north of the town.

The Flutemaker

The trail eventually stopped dead at the edge of a clearing. In the clearing stood a hut, and sitting outside the hut was a wizened old man carving wood. Approaching the old man, the party discovered he was carving flutes; indeed, hundreds of flutes were hanging from the verandah and walls.

The party talked to the old man for a while, and he presented a gift of a flute in the shape of a panther-like creature, before showing them where the kobold’s trail continued.

The Watchtower

Following the tracks, the party eventually came across an old road, at a bend which curved from west to north. The kobold tracks headed north, and the party followed.

By mid-afternoon, the party arrived at a T-junction, with the road going east and west. At the head of the junction stood the ruins of an old watchtower, which only had three levels above ground remaining. Atop the watchtower were goblin sharpshooters, who promptly opened fire on the party. One was dispatched when the barbarian and the invoker knocked it off the top of the tower, and the other was captured by the paladin.

Making the prisoner an offer it couldn’t refuse, the party tried to use the goblin to get the rest of the goblin garrison to open the door, but the doorkeeper spotted the barbarian, slamming the door shut. Busting down the door, the party entered into the underground barracks and storage areas, fighting off the goblins until they eventually defeated them all (taking another one prisoner), and found that the kobolds had passed only a little earlier, taking the east road. A’Leela let the two goblins go with a warning, promising the wrath of the Raven Queen if they ever returned.

In the cells in the tower, the party also found a goblin locked up. Unlike most goblins, this one was dressed in fine clothes, looked (and smelled) like he’d had a bath recently, and very politely asked the party to set him free. He introduced himself as Match, and explained that he’d helped himself to various items from his chieftain’s treasure horde. Unfortunately, the combination of some of the magical items he’d tried on meant he couldn’t take any of them off — and one of those items caused him to behave in a very ungoblinlike way! With nowhere else to go, Match tagged along with the party as they left the tower and headed up the east road.

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