By Jared Rascher
Midwinter 1372 DR
The bard of Shadowdale, Storm Silverhand, was to perform at Midwinter festivities in Shadowdale, but she has been called away by important matters elsewhere. Meriden asks around among the adventurers that are wintering in the Old Skull, and finds out that there is an altercation in the north that has mobilized a force from Waterdeep, and that a mysterious city has appeared over the desert in Anauroch.
Emen explains to Meriden who Mourn is and that he is under her protection, and Mourn, using a disguise spell he has on a scroll, alters his appearance and does card tricks for money outside of the Old Skull Inn while food is being served for Midwinter.
In the evening, as the three adventurers gather just outside of the Old Skull Inn, a strange figure pushes a young lady over and grabs a bundle, a crying bundle, from her hands, and runs for the tree line across the street. The three give chase, and as they close on the figure, everything around them seems to shift and change into a much stranger forest.
The adventurers are faced with a huge creature with curling ram's horns looks down on them and demands to know why there are here at his back road. The group explains that they are on their way to catch someone that just stole a baby.
The fey guardian demands to be paid a good story before he lets them into his back road. Meriden tells the story of Wulgar and himself traveling back in time and being locked in statis for centuries. The guardian calls Meriden a liar but also tells him that it is a good story and lets him by.
As the three follow the path, both Emen and Mourn fall into a pit in the road, and Meriden has to help them get out of the pit. Mourn wanders around the top side of the pit off the path while Emen and Meriden wander the bottom of the pit, and each side erupts in thorny twig creatures, twig blights, as the adventurers take a step of the path.
Mourn rejoins the other two and the three fight off the little plant creatures, with Meriden doing the lion's share of the damage against them.
Further down the path the three run into a group of small humanoids wearing red caps and carrying scythes. The creatures charge forth from their hiding places and quickly knock Mourn out of the fight. Emen seriously wounds one, but then goes down herself. Meriden keeps a close eye on his companions while fending off the three creatures, and manages to kill all three of them in time to revive his badly wounded friends.
After Meriden heals Mourn and Emen, the three meet up with a dryad, who asks them why they are here. After making a good impression, the dryad tells them that there is an evil half fiendish dwarf that has allied to several Unseelie fey and corrupted this back road. They are up ahead, and she can get the guardian not to let them leave and warns them of traps up ahead.
While they avoid one trap, another trap, collapsing trees fall on Mourn and Emen, and Emen and Meriden have to dig out a wounded Mourn from the trap. As they enter the clearing, they see several dead redcaps and a few dead centaurs, as well as a red skinned dwarf with claws waithing for them.
The dwarf offers to deal with them for the price of the baby, and Mourn begins to bargain with the dwarf, but Meriden charges forward to attack before he can hear another word, with Emen directly behind him.
The durzagon enlarges himself, as does Meriden, and the two attack one another, as Emen circles around to engage the durzagon as well. Mourn lobs magic missiles at the dwarf from a safe distance.
The durzagon finally falls down, and the party picks up the baby. Briefly the discuss whether to tromp back through the back road, or go forward, and eventually, they decide to go forward.
Upon exiting the gateway, the three find themselves near the gates of a city, a city that spans a body of water. Then recognize that the keep flys the pennants of Zhentil Keep, and they realize where they are.Meriden falls down and prays to Helm, and is given a vision of the rebirth of Bane, and Meriden senses that the child is wanted by the church of Bane. When the vision is over, he checks the child and it has a birthmark that looks like a clawed hand with green eyes in the palm on her shoulder.
The content of the Mistledale Camapign is the property and copyright of Jared Rascher, and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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