The Second Dawn

Mansion in the Mist

4.1 in The Kincep Curse

Campaign Date: June 19, 168
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Harkenwold Victorious

3.7 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 12, 168
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The Iron Circle Breaks

3.6 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 9, 168

With the dawn of a new day, and Iron Circle troops possibly searching for intruders, the party expects heavy resistance as they prepare for their final assault on the Iron Keep. But the sudden and explosive arrival of Dara and the Harkenwold druids turns the tide in the heroes’ favor, with the bulk of the enemy’s forces occupied repelling the new assailants. Ironsbane moves quickly to storm the main tower, fighting their way through guards and up to the lord’s chambers.

Nazin Redthorn is already waiting for them, with a captive and battered Baron Stockmer and a slew of bodyguards. A bloody confrontation ensues, during which Redthorn both taunts Hazel by alluding to her mercenary nature, and also makes a shocking revelation: that Baron Stockmer himself is behind the staged druid attack on the Iron Circle that drew their retaliation. Hazel delivers the final blow to Redthorn herself, and in the aftermath, Stockmer reluctantly admits his guilt to Viselle. Stockmer desperately offers a reward to the heroes in exchange for restraining his daughter and allowing him to escape, but they refuse. The day ends in victory, with the remaining Iron Circle rabble surrendering, and with the Harkenwold baron himself in chains yet again.

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Dungeon Revelations

3.5 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 8, 168

Blackstar and Hazel begin a pitched battle with Rose and her undead minions: Dread marauders and a horde of corpse rats. Luckily, the rest of Ironsbane arrives shortly to turn the tide. With Rose’s minions destroyed and the assassin herself bound and helpless, the party discovers a strange tassel that is clearly magical among her effects, but they do not yet know its purpose. When the heroes revive an unconscious Viselle, she reveals that Rose subjected her to an artifact that telepathically linked her to an overpowering presence who probed her mind, trying to discover something about her. Together with the details Traevus revealed before his death, the information begins to reveal a clearer picture of the enemy’s plan.

Blackstar theorizes that the magic tassel is not safe in her hands, and a divining ritual by Valdar confirms her suspicions. Wearied by a full day of battle, the party decides to risk allowing the Iron Circle to regroup by re-sealing themselves in the hidden dungeon for a night’s rest – a rest that is cut short when Rose comes to. She is, as ever, defiant and fanatic in her loyalty to Golbez, and still shows no recognition of her brother. On a hunch, Zalbag inspects her and discovers that she is missing a known birthmark. Convinced that they have actually captured a changeling, the party intensifies their interrogation of her, leading ultimately to Nadarr cutting off her finger. The party erupts into disagreement over the act, with Valdar and Hazel condemning it, and the lawfully minded Viselle declares that she will no longer trust Ironsbane any further than she must to re-take the keep.

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Storming the Iron Keep

3.4 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 8, 168

Blackstar initiates a cunning plan to infiltrate the Iron Keep by using a potion to mimic the appearance of the now dead Kaltis while the rest of the party poses as Iron Circle guards taking Nadarr prisoner. Dara leaves to rendezvous with the druids and stage a diversion to draw out more of the guards. Things don’t go according to plan when Blackstar takes her potion and finds herself in Kaltis’s form as she is: burned almost beyond recognition. But this turns to their advantage when the tiefling captain at the keep gate is revealed to be Kaltis’s lover and more interested in tending her wounds than scrutinizing the party’s disguise.

While Sturmik takes Blackstar to the keep’s chapel, and then falls in battle with her and Hazel after the disguise wears off, the rest of the party heads for the prisoner cells, where they overcome two guards and find a beleaguered Tinya held prisoner. With Tinya reluctantly in tow, they hurriedly make their way to the chapel, being stopped and questioned by a group of guards on the way. Meanwhile, Blackstar and Hazel investigate a sound of screaming coming from beneath the chapel, discovering a secret stair with a magic sigil sealing it. They arrive in a long abandoned dungeon to find Traevus and Viselle in sorry shape. Traevus begins to reveal what he knows, including his secret master’s pursuit of someone named Lumara, but his abrupt death by poison dart reveals the arrival of Rose, who prepares to attack.

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Occupied Harken

3.3 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 8, 168

While Albridge’s resistance forces rally and prepare for a final assault by the Iron Circle, Ironsbane travels into the heart of enemy-occupied territory with two goals: To rally what citizens they can toward a flanking attack in concert with the resistance, and to infiltrate the Iron Keep itself and strike at the Circle’s leaders from within. Not least in the party’s objectives are the various prisoners now held in the keep: Viselle Stockmer, Traevus and Tinya.

In Harken city, the party makes headway toward rallying the citizens with a respected local leader, the timid halfling Omurk. But after the heroes see the Circle’s main force march from the city, a wrench is soon thrown into their plans when Nazin Redthorn himself addresses the citizenry, proclaiming the army’s march will be a retaliatory strike not against Albridge, but against the populous settlement of Marl. Hazel enlists the hawk of the party’s druid ally to speed a message to the resistance before the group must battle to prevent local citizens from execution by a rage drake. Zalbag kills the drake single-handedly in the melee, and the Circle’s high mage Kaltis ultimately incinerates herself in a final attack that leaves Badab dead as well.

Re-grouping after the battle, the party prepares their plan to sneak into the keep.

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Potions and Pixies

3.2 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date, June 6, 168

Zalbag has gone ahead to Albridge to gather the latest news, and the rest of the party follows a day behind, Assarius traveling with them to represent the elves in the resistance. As the heroes travel, they come upon the scene of a recent skirmish, with one person dead and another injured. The survivor turns out to be none other than Dara Gremath, who is much pleased to see the stalwart adventurers arrive when she needs them most.

Dara explains that the Iron Circle has been driven out of Albridge for the time being, and in scouting out the enemy she observed scouts going between the Circle and a dangerous hermit, alchemist and illusionist named Thade. Thade caught her scouting close to his home and attacked, leaving her poisoned. Without the antidote that only Thade is likely to possess, she will not survive.

The heroes patch Dara up as best they can, then head to the cottage where Thade resides, finding it currently empty. Inside, they begin a frantic search, as well as getting a surprise: When Badab triggers a chokedust cloud trap on a locked chest, a small voice from within pleads for assistance. While members of the party continue their search, others converse with the tiny prisoner, who identifies herself as a pixie named Hazel, who Thade recently captured. She claims a knowledge of poisons and agrees to help identify the antidote Dara needs. While Blackstar discovers a book with cleverly obscured rituals, the others finally succeed in freeing Hazel. A detecting ritual from Blackstar reveals the hidden location of Thade’s store of poisons and antidotes, just before Thade himself arrives.

The arcanist summons horrific zombies from the very ground to menace the heroes, firing off his own spells from a distance. However, Blackstar soon comes to the realization that their undead foes cannot be real, and one by one the party sees through the illusion. Without minions to hold his enemies back, Thade quickly falls. In short order, Hazel picks out the correct antidote, and Dara is soon on her way to recovery. The pixie joins the party’s quest, apparently possessing her own vendetta against Nazin Redthorn.

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The Secret Spirit

3.1 in Deliverance of Harkenwold

Campaign Date: June 4, 168

No sooner has Ironsbane entered the woods of the elves than they are drawn into battle aiding the elves against attacking elementals at the site of some unearthed ruin. The elves are none other than Edan’s stepfather, Atherius, and stepbrothers, Asreth and Assarius. Their surprise at Edan’s use of magic leads to pressing question and a final revelation: That Edan’s power is fueled by his pact with a mysterious primordial spirit named Sul – one who is slowly gaining influence over him.

The elves can spare little concern for the Iron Circle, as they have tracked the devastation of elementals in the woods of late to the ruins at which they stand, which house an ancient doorway to the Shadowfell. But it’s a rift between this world and the Elemental Chaos that the elves seek – the only explanation for the appearance of elementals, and a situation that could be disastrous for the world. Edan reveals that he met Sul in this very ruin, and that the primordial rift – wherever it lies – was opened by the book the party now carries. Sul covets the book to prevent the rift being re-sealed.

The heroes ally with Edan’s family to venture underground. They first face a trek across a vast chasm in an enchanted floating ship, during which they are harried by assaults from unseen elemental spirits. When they reach the other side and finally enter the chamber of the Shadowfell portal, Atherius posits that the rift to the Elemental Chaos must be on the other side. Then things go very wrong. Losing control under his stepfather’s berating insults, Edan completely succumbs to Sul’s influence and attacks with incredible power, also attracting other elemental spirits through the portal. Ironsbane finds themselves in combat with one of their own.

But the group’s friendship proves the key to victory, as Blackstar’s and Nerisora’s pleas to their comrade finally give him the strength to resist, and he collapses, Sul’s will buried deep in his psyche for now. The party’s troubles are not over, however, as they now face an unpleasant choice: To cross into the Shadowfell and start an arduous quest to find and seal the primordial rift, or to close the portal before them and perhaps allow the legions of the Elemental Chaos to enter the world through another door. Before a decision can be made, Edan takes the burden on himself. Knowing he is intertwined with this quest, he volunteers to enter the Shadowfell alone to seek out the rift. Nerisora holds fast to her friend, volunteering to accompany and support him, and also to bear the primordial book that will ever seek to influence Edan if he carries it.

After goodbyes, and words of reconciliation from Edan’s adopted family, the pair vanish through the portal before Blackstar collapses it behind them. Having performed all that can be done to counter the threat of the Elemental Chaos for now, Ironsbane turns their focus back to the besieged Harkenwold with the promise of aid from Atherius’s forces.

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New Allies, Old Enemies
No rest for weary heroes

2.7 in Reavers of Harkenwold

Campaign Date: June 1, 168

Ironsbane doggedly pursues Traevus, attempting to prevent his abduction of Viselle Stockmer. Despite Traevus’s cunning tactics and the fact that he has mentally dominated Lirr and his guards, the party prevails without any lasting harm to their allies, and they make a new one in the process.

Badab, a dwarf from the White Ash Enclave, happens upon the battle and aids the heroes. He has been tracking the very same group of Tiamat cultists that Ironsbane dealt with in Dardun, attempting to rescue Tinya, the girl they took prisoner, from the cult’s influence.

The party brings an injured Traevus and their harried allies back to the village, only to find disaster. Iron Circle troops, accompanied by Golbez’s assassin, occupy Dardun, in numbers too great for the weary heroes to overcome. They have no choice but to hand over Traevus and Viselle, after which they receive a shocking revelation: Golbez’s assassin is none other than Zalbag’s sister, Rose, her previous life apparently now forgotten. As the Iron Circle departs with their prisoners, having already taken Tinya, Ironsbane is left to save the village’s refugees from a burning building and to ponder a sobering truth: The objects of their quests, enemies and allies alike, have now converged in the fortress of Harken City. But they’ll need help to take on the Iron Circle there, and so they at last set out to find Edan’s home and its potential elven allies.

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Abduction
Facing enemies on all fronts

2.6 in Reavers of Harkenwold

Campaign Date: June 1, 168

The heroes have won Viselle’s trust with their part in the healing of her friend. And when members of the White Ash Enclave show up claiming that Traevus’s expected suppliers were in fact Tiamat cultists, Traevus’s magnanimous exterior begins to crumble. A search of his quarters turns up a letter to the cult that confirms Traevus’s guilt, as well as a mysterious book radiating with magical energy – a book that Edan seems to take a keen interest in.

Traevus is taken into custody, but things quickly unravel when the newly arrived enclave members are revealed to be Traevus’s Tiamat allies and assault the party. They nearly succeed in locking the heroes in the town watchtower while Traevus acts on the long feared plan to abduct Viselle, but Ironsbane dispatches most of them and leaves the remaining cultist – a young woman named Tinya – in the custody of the town guards. Battered and weary after a day full of fighting, they push on into the pouring rain to rescue Viselle.

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