Once in Shadowdale the PCs are able to enjoy some rest at good hospitality at the famed Old Skull Inn as a parting gift from Khevar Copperbottom. They learn quickly the owner of the inn, Jhaele Silvermane is a great hostess, and boasts an amazing cook in her kitchen.
Khevar paid them their wages, wished them the best of luck on their future endeavors, and caught a ride to Sembia on the next caravan heading out.
Natham Tithim discovered there was a reward of 500gp for the demise of Ghellis “The Clever” and his bandit group and worked to get the reward for himself. In the end he decided to share it with the others to avoid any anger toward him as he saw the opportunity for greater profit in sticking with them on future jobs.
They all mourned their fallen companion, and Maribell left to see about finding a way to get Corrick raised from the dead through the church of Lathander in Sembia (much to the relief of Kahlsala who didn’t like her anyway).
They spent a full day doing a search through Shadowdale of any future work, and came up with some interesting prospects to consider.
A dwarf by the name of Morikas Bladebright joined their group looking for adventure and work as well. He seemed the typical type of dwarf, loved to drink, was usually loud, and seemed delighted at the thought of battle.
They were gathered in the common room of the Old Skull when the scribe Lhaeo approached them with an offer of an important mission.
The objective was to rescue the current and only known heir to the Daggerdale throne, Randal Morn; who had apparently went after a powerful weapon called the Sword of the Dales. According to the single man who made it back from Randal’s expedition group, the sword was located in the hidden tomb of a long dead mage-lord named Shraevyn.
Randal and his men retrieved the sword after a deadly fight with undead, and were then jumped by a Zhentarim mage patrol. The dalesmen beat defeated the Zhentarim, but something else happened. Randal was struck and paralyzed by some strange green ray, and more undead attacked the group.
The survivor fled and came to Shadowdale for help. He is positive Randal was still alive when he left the tomb. However, the Zhentarim that attacked them knew of their mission to recover the sword. More may follow, and Randal must be rescued before he can fall into Zhentarim hands.
A dangerous but noble job, the group accepted right away (Solon had his own motives besides money as he suspected Randal Morn might be his true father).
Gathering their supplies the group headed out the next day.
They soon discovered that Shadowdale is both a land of beauty and danger. Their first stop on the road was at a magical shrine to Torm and several nature deities. They were able to befriend the Treant that guarded the place by taking care of an annoying ant problem. In return, they were allowed to shelter at the shrine under the Treant’s protection and were given the blessing of Silvanus in the form of goodberries the Treant created for them.
Moving away from the road and cutting cross-country to save them some time they ran into a paladin of Torm named Mestine Durmark. Her band of eight ‘Freedom Riders’ had been attacked by two slicer beetles, and casualties were pretty high.
Bravely charging in to help, the group was able to put the last beetle down and save Mestine and the remainder of her men.
They learned she and her men worked for Randal Morn, and were on their way to Shadowdale to get volunteers in fighting the Zhentarim when they were attacked. Thanks to the timely arrival of the PCs, she will be able to complete her mission. She was not aware that anything bad had happened to Randal, but did promise to aid the PCs if she could when her group returned to Daggerdale.
On the rugged Tethyamar Trail heading north into Daggerdale they ran afoul of a clever kobold ambush. Normally kobolds are cowardly creatures that pose little threat unless they are in large numbers or an unwary traveler stumbles into one of their traps.
However this kobold tribe is led by a clever and advanced kobold named Togg.
Togg offered the party a chance to surrender and simply pay the toll to continue on, but an insult to his beloved dog caused Solon to attack, resulting in a bitter combat that caused the deaths of both Iram Kalim and Vic’Ira Autumn Ender (ironically Solon’s dog was also brutally killed by the kobolds in the fight).
Togg suffered the loss of most of his kobold troops, but was able to get away with Vic’Ira’s magical sword and gold (which was way more than the cost of the toll to begin with).
Now the party is faced with some tough decisions. As darkness is starting to fall around them, and daylight is fleeing from the adancing shadows of dusk, they must either make camp on the trail or press on and risk further dangers in the dark.
And what of the mission to rescue Randal Morn?
With two of their own slain, their chances for success are greatly decreased. But they cannot turn back, further delay might mean the Zhentarim getting their hands on Randal, and once that happens the resistance against the evil Black Network will crumble in Daggerdale and the Zhentarim will finally obtain complete control of the region, allowing them to set their sights on both Shadowdale and Tilverton.