Our heroes arrive in Balastad, a small farming and trading town, near the end of winter:
Rolf, the human fighter that more or less keeps to himself;
Adriene, the elf druid with a knack for finding the best in people;
Sindri, the gnome bard who has traveled his entire life;
Asteron, the minotaur warpriest trying to find his place in the world;
and Gris, the drow assassin with everything to hide.
As they walked through the town, they saw that this was a trading hub gone commercial. The mayor and his family were friendly, townsfolk greeted them as they passed, and the guards were few and far between. Peace in a small town,…
Something must be wrong.
After some exploration, they met some of the big players in Balastad. The mayor Garfin Husslebran, was a kind man and was more of a manager than a diplomat. The local inn, called The Blind Rat was kept by Grathis Farr and his family. The town had a horse breeder named Marvin, who’s business also housed the only bar in town. A temple to Avandra, Kord, and Pelor resides on the eastern side of town. The local blacksmith was run by John Smith with help from his two sons.
As the day went by, they ran into two big landmarks; A wealthy merchant named Montfique Vallence keeps his summer home here, and there is a very large crater in the northern part of town. Upon investigating the smoldering crater, the party found out that this town was forced to pay tribute to a mysterious attacker that came down chimneys every month and blew up homes from the inside.
Further investigation showed that party that there was a band of kobolds aiding this attacker, and that a small group of them would come out a week before the tribute was due to give up their demands. The party saw this as an opportunity and jumped for it.
After dispatching the kobolds, the party was warned that the attacker would becoming to get rid of them. The party was able to gather the town together as a militia, and dispatch Kiris, Who Crinkles. Upon defeating the attacker, a large blue dragon came down from the sky and demanded the party die for killing its only son. They began combat, and were joined by a dwarven paladin names Enmessara. The blue dragon met a fate similar to its child, and the town was saved.
During this fight, Rolf was forced to shift into his werewolf form, after being put into a cloud of darkness by Gris. After the cloud dissipated, they party saw a large werewolf in the place of Rolf, and Gris began invoking shrouds. Sindri was able to stall the rest of the party from attacking (and almost killing) Rolf, while Rolf tried his hardest to shift back into his human form.
After the victory, an elderly woman called Grandma Lota confronted the party and told them that they were to be punished for making such a ruckus in her town. Their punishment was to have a feast the next night.
And so they partied.
And so they set out to Arradar.
Along the way through the Whipwood, the party stopped to clear out some goblins that had attacked and taken an old mage’s home. The party dispatched the goblins in the front door, and came to a room full of rune. Rolf saw the floor and identified all of the traps that lay before them, mentioning that he had “read it in a magazine once.”
They removed all threat from the room, and came across three doors: one light red, one blood red, and one black. Asteron, opening the light red door, found a massive ball of fire erupting on the other side. The fire was fed by the new air, and attempted to suck the party in until Gris walked over and casually shut the door.
Enmessara and Gris then opened the blood red door and found a lake of blood and an alter. Enmessara, being his usual investigative self, pricked his finger and bled on the alter. He was consumed by the power of Therazdun, and called upon his new god for power and guidance. Gris decided not to tell the party.
The party opened the black door to find a massive pit. After a few slips and missteps, Gris falls down the hole but is able to shadow jump onto the ledge above. He then begins combat with the goblin leaders. Enmessara falls down the pit and was unable to get up.
They dispatched the goblins and allowed the owner of the home to come back (he had been cursed by one of the goblins to not come anywhere near the home), where he revealed the the group that the pit was acutally an illusion, and allowed the dwarf to come back. The man then revealed to the group that not only was the dwarf now following Therazdun, the man himself was a demon following this god.
The demon then proceeded to have his head blown off by his own trap.
The party moved back to the caravan and set off again. Surprising everyone, Asteron and Gris came together and got the party to leave the caravan behind (or at least go ahead of them) and head to Arradar with due haste.
When they arrived in the town, Asteron and Gris lead the group to the temple of Arradar, where they both told Enmessara he had a choice:
Give up Therazdun or die.