Amon Kareth: The Vault of Death

Grimhilde Tower, Part 1: The Liberation of Ashenshire

A shadow falls over the party...

The Adventurers:

The evening of the wedding arrived, and with it the funeral of Lord Eric Netheridge. His apparent wife, Lady Katerina Netheridge (nee Victorson), lit the pyre, but Lucan emerged from the forest, confused and disoriented. He recounted a dream where he broke into a house, killed a rat-like creature and stole a gleaming pearl, but when the others noticed blood on his sword, they realized it was not a dream. Vexol admitted that when he vanished on the road to Crystalshore, he had a similar dream of fighting demons, and based on his description the group realized that Vexol had been the one to kill Adam Greylock. The group realizes that they had each been taken over by something, and used for evil. They remember stories of “shadows,” mysterious evil creatures who can control one’s actions. The group found the house that Lucan broke into, and the halfling he killed in his trance-like state. They discover that the halfling, Harreth Pipo, was an Avenger of the Order of Jasari, just like Lucan. They discover that Pipo was investigating the Harkin family, and tracing the timeline. They also discover a reference to a name – “Perek Alathon” – and a mythical location called the Valley of Summer.

The group resumes their quest to find Baroness Grimhilde and determine the mystery of Katerina’s apparent agelessness. They travel to the town of Ashenshire, a dwarven city built around a mine. They discover that Grimhilde has forced the citizens to cast out the gods, and appoint herself as the new deity. Enraged, the adventurers bang on the gate, but a guard, Praxana, directs them to a secret passage through the wall. They enter the city and she begins to tell them of the Baroness’ atrocities: closing the walls of Ashenshire, abducting the humans and experimenting on them, declaring herself as the only deity to be worshipped within the walls, and hiring wild men and cannibals and duergar to serve as her “Honor Guard”. The city is starving, as the dwarves struggle to work the mines and the farms and orchards, while the crops are poisoned by the magic leeching out of the Baroness’ tower in the Midnight Forest.

Vonin noticed a dwarf hanging in a cage in the town square, and freed him, drawing the guards out of the barracks. The group fought the guards in the town square and killed them, and the dwarf, Orobok, thanked them. He said he was imprisoned for trying to start a revolution. He and Praxana will fortify the city against further incursion from the guards, but he can offer help to the adventurers’ plan to attack the Baroness. He tells them who in the town they can trust… and who would sell them out.

Krakow visits the blacksmith, Morek, who gives him a rough map of the layout of the tower. Vexol and Lucan visit the priest, Arbos, who has been forced to serve the Baroness’ new religion. Arbos gives them the safest directions to the tower, and they speak with him about their dark experiences being controlled. Vonin and Ollennia approach an old miner, Glint, who has long ago given up on a revolution, but are able to convince him to give them a ritual, Passwall, which will allow them to sneak into the tower while avoiding the door.

The group visits the bartender, Fargrim, and threaten him and boast of their prowess, and their plan to attack the Baroness. They threaten to kill him if he tells anyone, but he sends a bird warning the tower to the coming attack… which the group was counting on. They follow the safe pass through the forest, and use the ritual to pass through the back wall of the tower and avoid the guards. They traveled up the stairs, and found a room where prisoners were tortured, and an incinerator to dispose of the bodies.

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