Scene One: In Service to Lord Vhennyk
For two years, the party has been in the service of Lord Vhennyk. In that time, they helped to secure peace in the Harkenwold, convincing the residents to acquiesce to the rule of the Iron Circle.
In this time, they have many adventures, generally pursuing leads regarding the cult of Orcus, slavers, or even rumors regarding Scalpel’s origins. They are able to gather from Vhennyk that he believes Scalpel was created long ago, that Agramel merely found a way to erase his memory in order to bring him into servitude.
Rumors arise about the return of Dar Gremath, that he’s gathered an army from around the Nentir Vale to take the Harkenwold. Fearing the re-appearance of his cult and the slavers, the party agrees to take him out.
The party then follows the course of action outlined in the first session – working their way behind enemy lines.
Scene Two: Confronting Gremath
When the party enters Gremath’s tent, they find him sitting at a table, cloaked, smoking a pipe. He welcomes them to enter, and asks them to sit. They refuse, and demand to know who he is.
“Gremath” takes down his cloak to reveal the face of Jarek, one of the sons of Ilyana. He explains that the Iron Circle has come down even harder on the Harkenwold after the Battle of Albridge, and without the heroes to defend them, all hell has broken loose. A year ago, Ilyana was raped and murdered while the boys watched. Jarek and Jarl then set out into the Nentir Vale, seeking help from others in the region in order to put down the Iron Circle.
They returned weeks ago with a full-fledged army, including priests of Pelor, wizards, and siege weaponry, liberating villages as they came. Jarek and Jarl have alternated masquerading as Dar Gremath in order to help inspire the people of the Harkenwold.
The party asks to meet with a priest of Pelor. One comes, and answers questions for the party. The party becomes convinced that, whatever Dar Gremath may have been up to, Jarek and Jarl have pure intentions.
Scene Three: Decisions and Consequences
After some deliberation alone, the party decides to side with Jarek. Lord Vhennyk has been watching their pursuits from afar, and he isn’t pleased. The party hears his voice boom, angry at their betrayal. A flash of light and an earth-shaking boom later, and the party finds themselves surrounded by a number of shadow trolls.
After a hard-fought battle, the last of the trolls falls. As it does, Vhennyk appears. “You fools,” he says. “You had the chance to sit by my side and rule the world. Now, you must learn the lessons that only the shadow can teach.” With a wave of his hand, the party is transported into the Shadowfell.
Scene Four: Mother Grivelda
A much-shocked party finds themselves in a shadow-crossing, with some remnants of the real world seemingly still present, but darker. One of them is a tent, inside of which they find a kindly old woman.
The woman uses the Tarot to read their fates (see below for more on this). She then offers a draw from what she calls the “Deck of Fate.”
The first to draw is Sovelis. He draws the Tower, and is immediately whisked away. Mother Grivelda explains that he’s imprisoned – somewhere – and that the party will find the answers they seek in Gloomwrought.
The rest of the party – save Varis – draws from the deck, with varying impacts.
Here was the reading, without color commentary:
Party is The Hermit.
Past is the Knight of Pentacles.
Future is The Moon.
Ally is The Page of Swords.
Obstacle is the King of Pentacles.
Failure leads to The Devil.
Success brings the High Priestess.