The Lord-Castellan of a nearby keep reports rumors of an army amassing in the Great Swamp. Just south of Dundraville The army is reported to be wearing Red and Black Leather. (Skullshanks colors) Heavily-guarded caravans have been spotted leaving the halls of the Mountain King, and returning from the Great Swamp with evil weapons of great power.
Long before the shining empires of the south dared to lay claim to the Borderlands, fierce barbarians called the dark moors their home. The land still bears their mark: brooding statues that stare out over the lonely fens, and grim tombs left crumbling amid the dour granite cliffs.
Of the many tales of this dark age, the most terrifying is that of the demon Obitu-que. Ballads tell how the demon prince swept through the tribes of barbarians, sacrificing entire villages to dark powers. Finally, the demon was cut down by the last of the great Savage Kings, its five-eyed skull brought back on a spear, and the reign of terror passed.
UPDATE: An adventuring company called "The Defenders of Daybreak" had been dispatched to the Great Swamp. Only one member has returned. He brought back a jagged broken dagger that he has informed Lady Chauntessa that carries a disease called "The Blight". The sole survivor tells of a fortress that is manufacturing these weapons and transporting them to the Halls of the Mountain King to be used in some type of coming attack. The Blight was responsible for killing off all but the one elf that managed to return of the adventuring party. He will not return. Some research by Or'dimas has turned up the following information on "The Blight."
Blight, the Rotting Death
The Blight is not a natural disease, nor can a body fight it with natural means. Untreated, patients growing sicker by the day as their organs shut down and begin to decompose, resulting in a slow and painful death. For the first three days, the victim simply undergoes a great deal of pain. Every day following, they grow weaker and weaker. Then they eventually fall into a coma. Then they die. If remove disease is cast within the first week, it removes the Blight altogether. Creatures with advanced cases are already dead in everything but name. To these poor souls, remove disease will inflict more damage than good. Destroying the source of the Blight should end all cases of the magical plague. Fortunately, it is difficult to catch the disease. One must either be steeped in Blight-infused waters for two weeks or more, or be struck heavily by a creature carrying the disease. Unfortunately being produced into the weapon itself at creation, even a minor cut from a blighted weapon can cause the infection. The lone weapon brought back to Cillamar has been quarantined to avoid spreading the disease in town. But if these weapons get lose across the world it could cause a catastrophic outbreak.
A stranger came through the Inn of The Slumbering Drake and told tales of a strange wizard's tower protected by an impenetrable force field. Even though the tower sits amidst the ruins of a keep destroyed long ago, the tower itself is perfectly preserved. The force field that surrounds it has kept it from harm for generations.
Travelers who have ventured close report that the ghost of the wizard still haunts the tower, but it is trapped behind the force field. Unable to escape, it taunts those who come near, lamenting its eternal imprisonment.
The wizard's name is lost to time, but it is said he was skilled in the art of force magic, and his tower still holds the trove of wondrous magic he accumulated during his lifetime.
WHITEFANG HAS FALLEN
Base Location: Whitefang Stronghold
Closest Portal: Arvale City (Stop In Orden on the way to Whitefang)
The adventuring company has been sent a request by the leader of Orden to investigate the fearful reports he has received about the destruction of Whitefang Stronghold. He offers the company 1,000 gp each (half paid in advance) and any enemy loot found if they are able to determine the cause of the stronghold's current situation and recover the priceless Censer of Weal.
Between the towns of Lastever and Orden lies a natural gorge cut hundreds of years ago by the still-flowing Ironflow River. The narrow mountain valley, known locally as Aurora Pass, has become a vital link between the cities. The Pass contains scrub, some game, and many natural mountain trails and caves; it is the easiest path through the mountains from one town to another. Caravans wishing to cross through the Dragonspire Mountains must travel through this pass, or take the long way around the mountains and lose at least ten days travel time in the process. Caravan masters, eager to sell their wares to both towns, have long used this natural defile through the mountains.
Early on, Aurora Pass was a dangerous place. Bandits, savage humanoids, and other monsters made traversing the Pass a hazardous task. Griffons and manticores were occasionally seen, as well as other ferocious flying animals. Ogres, hobgoblins, orcs, and all manner of evil creatures raided traders at will. Sometimes entire caravans disappeared without a trace. Eventually the caravan drovers, tired of braving the risks of Aurora Pass on a regular basis, threatened to divert their routes away from the Pass entirely. Merchants and caravan masters petitioned the rulers of the two closest towns for aid and protection from the bandits and monsters, threatening to stop trade deliveries entirely unless something could be done.
Realizing the value of the caravan shipments, the rulers of the nearby cities of Lastever and Orden combined efforts and funded the construction of a small but mighty stronghold in Aurora Pass, at the midpoint between the two towns. Nearby rulers, anxious to gain influence and favor, contributed construction funds as well. The towns of Lastever and Orden agreed to mutually man the stronghold, each sending a new group of soldiers out to the stronghold on an alternating monthly basis. The first garrison of soldiers came from Lastever and immediately the banditry was dealt a sharp check. Soon the bandit and humanoid attacks dissipated altogether. The merchant caravans took note and began to travel through Aurora Pass once again.
Lastever began charging a toll to all caravans passing through the gates of the stronghold to help pay the salaries of the guard contingent stationed there and for the upkeep of the stronghold itself. The leader of Lastever kept the toll a minimal one so as not to discourage caravans from using the Pass. The caravan masters in turn felt that the expense was negligible compared to the security provided by the stronghold. Caravans carrying ingots of precious metal or other extremely valuable cargo were furnished a special warning horn that could be winded to summon the nearby stronghold garrison in case of trouble.
The stronghold was quickly nicknamed Whitefang by local merchants because of its grey-white color and two tall towers. The name stuck, and now even the soldiers stationed there refer to the stronghold as Whitefang. In the three years Whitefang has stood, the depredations of the nearby humanoids have been severely checked, and merchants may now travel safely through Aurora Pass. A relief of fresh soldiers arrives every month like clockwork, and fresh supplies are purchased from caravans passing through as needed. The initial outlay of money to build the stronghold has been nicely offset by the tolls paid by the caravans. The merchants happily continue to pay the small toll, grateful for the reassuring presence of the Whitefang garrison.
A permanent captain has since been appointed to the stronghold; a soldier selected by mutual consent of the two towns. Bandit attacks occur rarely and small bands of humanoids can occasionally be spotted, but most monster tribes appear to have moved elsewhere or turned their attention on each other rather than face the might of Whitefang.
But now the reports are coming in from traveling merchants that Whitefang has been destroyed. These reports must be confirmed.
UPDATE: The reports of destruction of the keep as been confirmed by scouts. We still need a group to go in and determine what caused the destruction.
A aristocrat in Cillamar's daughter has been kidnapped. The local thieves guild informs the adventuring company of a new slavery ring in the city of Soulgrave who are kidnapping aristocrats children from all over the world. The Thieves Guild would love nothing more than this ring to be dissolved by whatever means is necessary as it is bad for business everywhere. Also it would be a noble thing to do and might earn some more political pull in Cillamar if the aristocrats daughter was returned. As well as in other Kingdoms if other victims was recovered.
The only lead the guild is willing to provide is that you contact an innkeeper by the name of Gotlieb in Soulgrave who can supply you with more information.
The adventuring company has been offered another vault search by the Thieves' Guild. The council of guildmasters is interested in hiring a team of discrete adventurers who are daring and skilled enough to explore a dungeon discovered beneath the guildhouse in Punjar: the infamous Thief Lord's Vault. Adventuring members returning alive will have earned one third of all the treasure taken, first pick of the magic items, and the guild's gratitude.
The dungeons beneath Punjar have a history as long as the city itself. The first tunnels were dug by smugglers when Punjar was still a mere coastal town. The smugglers' tunnels were adopted and enlarged by successive bands of rogues, an evolution that culminated in the formation of the first Thieves Guild of Punjar.
When it came time for the guild to fill the growing dungeon with traps, it hired none other than the legendary dwarf Prester "Trapmaster" Ungart. Prester altered the dungeon to its present layout, and built the majority of the traps that presently inhabit the dungeon. In addition, Prester created an elaborate coded tome that explained how to bypass each of the traps.
To ensure that the dungeon's secrets were never revealed, the guild sent a team of eleven assassins to Prester's residence. In the morning, bodies belonging to ten of the assassins were found in the alley outside the guildhouse, and the hand of the last assassin was found above the sleeping guildmaster's bed, pinned to the wall with a dagger.
The Trapmaster and the tome containing the dungeon's secrets had vanished. The Thieves Guild splintered into a dozen factions soon after, and in the ensuing guild war, the trapped vault was neglected and finally forgotten. Until now.
The merchant guild from the distant city of Fair Haven wishes to hire the Talons to investigate the tragedy of the Nymph's Kiss cargo ship and the operation of the Fair Haven lighthouse. The merchant guild wishes to receive several shipments of cargo into Fair Haven, but only if the treacherous waters near there can be safely navigated. The guild offers 4,000 gp to the Talon's to investigate the matter and re-establish the lighthouse operation.
A small riverboat was ripped free of its moorings with a pair of deck hands onboard. After a dangerous voyage down the length of the wild river, the two boys washed ashore in the midst of the great southern swamp. While looking for high ground from which to scout out their position, the younger boy climbed what he thought to be a great mound of stones. They escaped the swamp with news that a great and ancient structure has erupted out of the muck.
After conferring with the sage Or'dimas from the academy who is skilled in astronomy he has predicted that a cataclysm will take place under a particular celestial alignment that weakens the lunar influence upon the planet. This potent ebb tide shall reveal what he refers to as "the sunken ziggurat." He knows not who worships at this place, only that its appearance is a baleful omen that must be investigated since it has now appeared in the Great Swamp. He however cannot figure out if he has to do with the purposed alignment forecast of the planets that has to do with Skullshank's Occulum Infernae device. He also doesn't know if this is connected to the "Blight Weapons" being manufactured elsewhere in the swamp. But multiple events in the same swamp at the same time can not be a sign of goodness.
Days ago, a shooting star streaked across the nighttime sky of Kyarovsk, transforming the darkest hours of midnight into brilliant silver light far brighter than the sun itself for a few startling moments. This strange phenomenon has piqued the interest of a close-by monastery "The Order of the Dawning Sun" and their master, a sage called Vladmyr Borune, who witnessed the "silver fire in the sky." He has managed to calculate that the falling star probably landed somewhere near the Talons. (The Talons are the oldest Druidic standing stone portal and thought to be the original.) Borune has asked Petra to see if the adventuring company will possibly find and recover any remnants of this shooting star, and to determine if there is any potential connection between it and the centuries-old Talons. Thistle the druidic leader also reports that they are unable to open the portal at that location and have lost touch with the druid that guards it since the shooting star happened.
The Talons have an offer of employment by Burkhart Ackerman (male human Wiz7/Lor4), a scholar particularly interested in aberrations of all kinds. He is compiling the Florilegium Abominabile, a catalog of particularly horrendous creatures containing a complete description of their origin, habits, powers, etc. In a long-forgotten treatise, Burkhart found a reference to the fact that the Sinuous Tunnels and their environs abound with strange monstrosities of all shapes and colors. He will provide a map that can help the adventuring company reach the more populated region of the tunnels and asks them to explore the area, reporting on any strange monsters. Burkhart can reveal some information about the nature of the creatures they might encounter and provide all equipment necessary to properly catalogue aberrations. To complete his task, the adventuring company must have encountered and cataloged (but not necessarily killed) the following monsters: shimmering slug, cloaker, advanced grick, Sirthim, fiendish otyugh, octophis, and The Slithering Overlord in person! The base payment is 250 gp per aberration properly described and cataloged; bodies (or significant portions thereof) presented to Burkhart are worth twice this amount, and captured living specimens bring an award of 1,000 gp.
The adventuring company has a job offer by the merchant partners of the Company of the Barrens to investigate the late return of traders and their furs from Fort Assinaboine. Please be advised on accepting this offer please bring your ice, snow and extreme cold weather gear. This is not a job for sun lovers!