Farra, Toby, Ssilith and Cassandra approach the town of Winterhaven along the old King’s road. It is passable, but the days of it being maintained and guarded are long gone. Oblivious to the movement in the bushes, the party is ambushed by Kobolds- 5 with spears, 2 “Dragonshields” (kobold elite soldiers) and 1 kobold with a sling. Our heroes manages to dispatch the bandits, but Toby was injured (but not terribly) and one kobold grappled with Farra and got away with the packet of spell components. Without tracking skills, our heroes continued on to Winterhaven. Reaching the town gates, the party was challenged by Cooter, the guard on duty. Convinced that they were not a threat, Cooter directs them to the tavern and returns to his solitary game of chess. Farra leads the group to the Church to deliver the package to Sister Linora, who greets them and gives Toby a bitter medicinal herb that greatly relieves the pain from her wounds. Farra discovers what it was the kobold stole and Sister Linora is extremely upset, demanding that Farra track down and retrieve the missing herbs.
Ssilith, smelling an opportunity for profit, takes them next to the Lord’s Manor, in the hopes that Lord Patrick will offer a bounty on kobolds. Once there, however, they meet two unfriendly guards, one of whom took a salacious interest in Ssilith. She was able to get them to tell her that the Lord was at the tavern. The party then proceeded to the Inn, where they met the innkeeper, a human woman named Salvana Wrafton. At a back table, they found Lord Patrick and learned that although there was no bounty on kobolds, they could earn 90 gold for killing the kobolds’ leader known as Irontooth. Elian the Old was happy to give the heroes information, but although he seemed to know a lot, he was unable to keep his mind on one topic long enough to convey useful information. Valthrun the Precient was more useful, with news of Mort Staul having hired some men and last seen headed to an ancient dragon burial site to the south. Cassandra tried to approach a tough-looking elven ranger pointed out as Ninaran. Cassandra managed to awkwardly insult the ranger who then spit on her. When Toby and Ssilith approached, however, Ninaran chose the better part of valor and disappeared out the rear entrance.
After a night spent at the inn, the party set out to find the kobold lair. Instead, they happened upon the dig site at the dragon’s grave, where a Gnome was directing several human workers in excavating. The Gnome, Agrid, yelled to the party, asking who they were, denying knowledge of Mort, and demanding that they go away. When Cassandra used Ghost Sound to generate a voice inside the site’s tent calling Mort’s name Agrid panicked, running to the tent. He ordered the men to attack. The party made short work of the workmen wielding their shovels and picks, but when Agrid reached the tent, he pulled a tarp from the ground, revealing a magic circle. The circle began to glow, and a ghostly figure appeared hovering in the circle. Farra identified it as a priest of the cult of Orcus, demon prince of the undead and indeed the figure cast a spell and raised the humans as zombies as they fell.
Toby leapt into the fray, mowing down the zombies as she went after Agrid. With one particularly powerful uppercut, Toby’s warhammer caught a zombie in the groin, causing such a shock wave that it liquefied the zombie’s torso.
Farra’s ability to call down her Goddess’ divine grace to turn undead looked like it would turn the tide until the priest’s apparition called upon his dread lord’s power to bring the ancient dragon to unlife. Still mostly buried, the dragon’s skeletal head lurched around the battlefield and breathed forth tentacles of black fog that grabbed Farra and held her immobile.
Ssilith wove her way across the battlefield, dispatching zombies with her blades and beheading one with a precise crossbow bolt.
Cassandra cast a ball of flame to chase down Agrid, who was hidden in the tent. Running out of the burning tent, Agrid was became a perfect target for Toby. Ssilith and Farra dispatched the dragon, returning the poor creature to it’s overdue rest. Cassandra and Toby were able to disrupt the magic circle, breaking the priest’s connection to the site. With his last bit of strength, Agrid tried to climb the cliff walls, but was unable to outrun Cassandra’s flames. His last words were, “Kalarel, I have failed you.” Putting out the flaming tent, the party was in time to rescue Mort, who had been tied up inside. He thanked the heroes, rewarding Cassandra with an amulet (+1 amulet of health). Mort then looked over a black dagger that had been removed from the magic circle. The dagger was warm to the touch, very well balanced, and Mort handed it to Ssilith with the instruction “Keep this safe.” It turned out to be a +1 dagger of viciousness that returns when thrown. Cassandra gave Mort the scroll that she had brought him. Reading it, Mort became alarmed, said his goodbyes, and walked off, in a non-euclidean direction, back to the Feywild.
Searching the burned tent, the group discover 65 gold, 13 silver, and an ornate hand mirror dating back to the Empire of Bael Turath. The party bound their wounds and headed back to Winterhaven.