Half the session was taken with the players rolling up characters. Bryan is playing an eladrin wizard named Dayereth Dawnfire, Sam a dwarf knight named Harlok Shieldbearer, Brian a dwarf stormpriest named Falin Thrall, and Scott a human rogue named Mr. Grimes.
The story begins as they so often do at the Sturdy Mug Tavern, a famed dwarf ale-house in the town of Threshold, along the Northern border of the Kingdom of Karameikos. Harlok, Thalen, and Mr. Grimes are seated at a table drinking fine brew, eyeing the Dwarf wench Clover Peaches, and ignoring the “Weezer and Ned Experience,” two local watchmen who moonlight as troubadours at the tavern.
While relaxing, they are approached to take on two seemingly separate missions. Thalen Thrall’s immediate superior in the church, the High Priest Throngil Cloudgatherer, asks Thalen and his friends to stop bandit attacks along the King’s Road between Threshold and Whartston Hall, a walled village 25 miles to the north. He also asks Thalen to investigate possible Shadowfell activity in the area. He mentions that the heroes should talk to Baron Padraig in Whartston Hall, who may have more to offer as to information concerning the bandits. The eladrin Dayereth offers to join the party as they are heading north. He states that his teacher, the archmage Andarriel, is working on a spell to close gates to the shadowfell, but he needs certain components to accomplish this. The first component is the heart of a white dragon. He shows the others a magic compass that points to the heart of the nearest white dragon. Substantial rewards are offered and money changes hands. Mr. Grimes purchases a horse at Muleskinner Joe’s Mystical Mules! (and horses), and the heroes leave town.
After an uneventful afternoon and evening on the King’s Road, the heroes stop at the Three-legged Unicorn, a fortified inn, where they hear more stories of attacks on merchants to the north. Especially talkative is a Halfling cloth merchant named Julius Winterbottom, who was not attacked but knew several merchants who were. He and Mr. Grimes spent much of the evening discussing cloth, and Julius sold a bolt of red velvet to Dayereth, who immediately changed it to green velvet.
The next morning, the heroes continue on their way to Whartston Hall. A couple hours into their journey, they hear the sounds of battle on the road ahead. Mr. Grimes spurs his horse to investigate. Reaching the crest of the hill, he sees two carts on the road, with several people laying face down by them. Off to the right he hears several whistles and badly imitated animal noises. Leaving the road, he gets off his horse and sneaks through the woods to discover where the noise is coming from.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group, seeing the scene below, rush down the hill to investigate, weapons drawn. One person by a cart begins to slowly rise. Harlok asks, “What’s going on here?”
The man slowly rises. “Only,” he says, drawing a longsword, “your deaths! Attack!” The man hits Harlok with a savage blow, but Harlok returns the favor and wounds the man with his great axe. The man’s visage changes into a creature none of the characters recognize.
Suddenly, several kobolds rush out behind boulders along the road and attack the heroes. One hits Harlok from behind and another engages Thalen in combat. A kobold slinger hits Dayereth with a bullet. The eladrin retaliates with a freezing blast that obliterates two kobolds.
Meanwhile, a larger kobold emerges from the wood near Mr. Grimes hiding place. He barks an order at the kobolds.
What will happen next? . . .