Our first adventure begins in allied city-state land of Luruar, the Silver Marches, northwestern Faerun. The party was celebrating the spring planting festival of Chauntea on Greengrass Holiday in the village of Lhuvenhead when a group of thugs belonging to the Jackals, a gang of growing influence in the region, crashed the party.
At first they approached the only man in the bar not enjoying himself, a large human warrior deep in his cups. Though the leader’s sneers and insults we learned that the warrior’s name was Halaskar, a member of the Fellowship of the Shining Spear. Dreaming of adventure his group had explored ruins and fought humanoids in the area, and when the Jackals tried to recruit them, they refused. A week ago they were wiped out, and only Halaskar survived.
The Jackals then tried to recruit the party, tossing Garvenmov II a dagger to prove his worth by cutting Halaskar’s liver out. With some witty remarks the party refused, and the leader drove his recruits into battle, calling it their “warm up exercise”. Realizing that most of the gang were young recruits from the surrounding countryside, Eradon the wizard put most of the gang (and part of the bar) asleep, and Garvenmov II drew the attention of the leader, while freaking out the remaining two recruits (that head is pretty weird). The first crit of the campaign went to Shamash the Dragonborn warlord, who nearly caved in the leader’s temple with his fist.
With the Jackals neutralized, the pub breathed a sigh of relief. The recruits had been seduced by the leader, Pell, and his talk of power and wealth in the great cities of the Silver Marches, and had gone against the wishes of their families in joining him. The militia carted Pell away and fathers reclaimed their sons.
After that Halaskar came to recount his tale of woe: his group was exploring old ruins in a partnership with a local wizard, Yatagan, who gave them directions to possible treasure troves. While exploring the High Forest in search of the ancient Elven kingdom of Earlann they were set upon by a huge band of orcs. They slew many, but were forced to flee. In their flight they stumbled across an old tomb called “Tarnuth’s Rest” and they hoped to reinforce the entrance to make a stand, but were wiped out. Halaskar was cut off from his friends and barely escaped with his life. He believed his friends dead, and offered the party 30gp to recover their bodies so that they could at least receive a decent burial. He also mentioned that Tarnuth’s Rest may hold treasures and that Yatagan would be the guy to ask in order to figure out how to get back there.
Yatagan, the village’s only wizard, is a little bit of a laughing stock, as his interest in old, broken or even cursed magical items leads to frequent explosions in his home. His home was full of potion-making equipment and a lot of strange things you wouldn’t want to touch. He was remorseful that the information he gave to the Fellowship led to their deaths and wanted to help Halaskar retrieve their bodies. He offers the group two scrolls of Tenser’s Disk to bear them home and marks the map Halaskar gave them to the most likely location of Tarnuth’s Rest.
The party left Lhuvenhead on Mirtuk (the melting) 1, and struggled through the towering trees and mossy roots of the High Forests. Four days later (Mirtuk 50, worn out a little lost, they stumbled into a grassing clearing cut by a deep creek, at the center of which lay a stone staircase descending into the earth. They were immediately set upon by a band of Orcs, part of those that destroyed the Fellowship. A couple of nasty Eldritch blasts from Never the Tiefling Warlock and some well-placed arrows from Terinn the Ranger cut their group in half, and the party eventually mopped the floor with them. Never attempted to wash out the fur cloth worn by the shaman leader, with little success.
Descending the stairs, the discovered the mangled bodies of the Fellowship in a room smeared with the foul living habits of Orcs. The room was decorated with a tree motif and they soon discovered that “Tarnuth’s Rest” was written over a large doorway. They also discovered that the dwarf in the party was still alive, and they managed to revive him. His name is Joyin Bladebite and his story jives with what Halaskar told you. He’s overjoyed to hear Halaskar is alive and that they’ve been sent to help. He’s in no condition to explore Tarnuth’s Rest, but will wait with the bodies of his friends for your return.
The party deciphers the means of unlocking the door and stands on the precipice of an ancient tomb, lit by glowing motes of light and lined with stone walls carved with tree and nature motifs.