1. We meet the party:
- Waldrick: The idealistic black-sheep son of a powerful merchant family who left the comfort and riches of upper-class life to find his way in a world of arcane knowledge. Will he learn enough to survive the hostile world and make a name for himself in his own right or will he gain a new appreciation for the finer things in life?
- Ashvact: The mysterious drifter whose half-elf origins make him unwelcome company in many places and force him to carve out a meager living any way he can manage. Will he find a way to use his shadowy skills to benefit the world and bring praise to his Elven side or will he descend into the dark recesses of oppressed rage and use his skills for selfish gain?
- Ralpheo Vi Straben: The over-zealous follower of Straben, young and idealistic, venturing out on his own to find out what happened to his father and brother. Will he discover what befell the devout followers of Straben who disappeared under murky circumstances? Was it just a simple band of brigands or something more sinister that brought down the respected missionaries?
- Barick Grimhammer: The dour heir-apparent to an influential dwarven clan whose powerful patriarch was killed in the very shipwreck that brought Barick to Trastenfen. The Grimhammers were travelling here for a Dwarven High-Hall Assembly, yet the other dwarven clan leaders are no-where to be found. Was it a pre-planned conspiracy to get rid of the clan or a cruel twist of the fates that leaves Barick needing to prove himself? Will he become a renowned dwarven leader or be forced to relinquish his clan’s status to competing families?
2. The party discusses their backgrounds, goals, and current situation. The first order of business? Find out the reason that supply ships seem to be having trouble completing their trips into and out of the region. The ships get close to the small port city of Trastenfen and then something terrible befalls them. Barick and Ralpheo arrived on the island due to one such incident. Is it bad luck, something in the water, the displeasure of Straben, a political power-grab, or a more sinister plot to control the flow of goods into and out of Trastenfen?
3. The group hears rumors about several things in their first weeks in Trastenfen. Two things that stand out as possibly important:
- A little girl was bitten by a large rat near a guard station at the edge of Fishtown. Fishtown is the neighborhood in Trastenfen where most fishermen and their families live.
- A half-orc (Grimvock) supposedly killed a man, and then the man was seen walking around down by a burned out guard station a few hours later.
4. Waldrick meets a local mage apprentice, Fliban, who, despite his arrogance and condescending demeanor, provides a good deal of information to the young merchant wizard. Among the info, these things are deemed important:
- Captain Kisto is a locally based captain who has never had a ship sink while coming into port at Trastenfen.
- The guardhouse was burnt to the ground recently due to the rat infestation. To Fliban, it seemed an extreme and lazy resolution to a simple rat problem. Waldrick got the idea there was something more there, but Fliban could not be enticed to say more about the matter.
5. Investigating the Guardhouse:
- Barick overhears a little girl tell a man (presumably her father) about ‘walking bones’ by the now-abandoned guard station.
- Just outside the guard station, in a stand of trees and thick bushes, Waldrick and Ashvact encounter a couple of walking skeletons.
- Inside the guardhouse is a burned out prison cell, an administrative office, and a small armory filled with mostly useless/ruined weapons.
- The group notices the recent tracks of rodents in the ashes and dust of the guard station. The rodents look to range from small to very large.
- In one of the rooms of the guard station, the party finds a trapdoor to a cavern below.
6. In the cavern below the guardhouse:
- The initial entry point is a large meeting room. The old and decrepit furniture that adorns the room consists of several large hexagonal tables, an old broken bed, several chairs, and a chest (which Ashvact attempted to open). Also in the room are more skeletons and a ghoul.
- Ralpheo uses his divine power to cause the undead abominations to flee. This first use is impressive and gives him confidence while also gaining him some respect among the group.
- The next room they enter is a pantry of sorts. Several shelves full of rotten food, old rotted wooden tools, and grimy and tarnished pots and pans line the walls.
- Some zombies and ghouls are in this large pantry and they attack immediately. After the ghouls almost paralyze and kill Waldrick, the party leaves the cavern and heads back to Falco’s Tavern to lick their wounds.
(this session took place on Sept 15, 2012)