Shadows of Nerath

A Dark & Stormy Night in Ashenport

The adventurer’s set off on the old king’s road South West of Fallcrest. They travelled through Harkenwold and out of the Nentir Vale. Kerwyn, Andraste, Faelar, Arianna and Valanae the elven mage were on the road for weeks and travelling along the dragondown coast towards Sarthel when they found themselves caught in the worst storm they had ever witnessed. It was difficult to see through the rain and hail and lightning shot down from the sky every so often. Through the rain and darkness the heroes heard a cry for help and came across a caravan with a jeweler named Jandal and his two guardsmen. Jandal was travelling from Sarthel to the dwarven town of Hammerfast in the Nentir Vale when he was caught in the storm and his caravan was destroyed. He told the heroes the only town nearby was the fishing port of Ashenport and that they should try get there quickly to wait out the storm.

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The heroes freezing cold and soaking wet and in danger of dying out in the wilderness agreed to accompany Jandal to Ashenport and they helped the jeweler gather his belongings and set off to the coastal fishing town. As they got into the town, the weather immediately eased off as if it was sheltered in some way from the intense storm. The town had looked ominous indeed from a distance but now up close seemed less sinister and more warm and inviting. The band of adventurers made their way to the town’s inn, the Smooth Sailing Inn and Tavern. There they mingled with some other travelers that had come to Ashenport for a trade fair. Mathias Creel had come for the southern city of Sembar and Terza of the Goldleaf Trading Consortium had travelled from the partially ruined city of Nera. They had both come with a company of guards and were hoping to attend the trade fair which the Alderman of the town told them would occur when the weather improved.

The adventuring group got some food and ale and rested up in a room for the evening. During the night the heroes were awoken by an alien haunting high pitched keening. Kerwyn and Arianna were overcome by the urge to follow the sound towards the sea. The adventuring group followed their charmed companions out of the inn and out onto the muddy streets of Ashenport, other travellers to the town were trudging towards the ocean and some began drowning themselves. Valanae acted quickly casting a spell of domination upon Arianna, forcing the elven rogue back towards the inn. Andraste and Faelar then rushed to aid Kerwyn blasting him with magic that forced him out of the spell of enchantment. The heroes then tried their best to help the rest of the charmed travellers, but they could not save them all from drowning themselves.

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They all regrouped in the inn trying to work out what had happened and drying off as best they could. Terza and Mathias had both lost some guards to the call of the sea and approached the heroes for their aid. The adventurers could find none of the townspeople and everything seemed too quiet. When the heroes left the inn to wander the streets, the noticed that the people of Ashenport had locked their doors and seemed to be hiding away. Faelar and Kerwyn banged at the door to one of the townspeople. Reluctantly the door opened and a nervous local asked what they wanted. The heroes quizzed the man about what was going on and after some intimidation he told them that it had happened before and that the people of Ashenport were planning a ritual that night to rid the town of the horror that was plaguing them. The old man told the heroes they could speak to Alderman Ritter at the town hall if they wanted to know more.

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The heroes were at first denied entrance to the town hall due to the Alderman and Sheriff holding a meeting on how to handle the crisis the town faced. Eventually however the heroes forced their way in demanding to speak with Alderman Ritter. A big bear of a man came rushing down the stairs to meet the intrusion, the man told her heroes he was town sheriff and that he was looking after the problem and that they should just go back to their room and stay there until it was all over. The heroes would not back down until they spoke with the Alderman though and Sheriff Kaern reluctantly let them go on upstairs to the Alderman’s office. Alderman Ritter was a friendly and jovial man who assured the group that their safety of great concern to him and that the ritual tonight would end the horrors the town faced. Valanae insisted they aid with the ritual and the Alderman agreed telling the heroes to head back to the Smooth Sailing Inn and meet them at the Church of the Gleaming Dawn upon the stroke of midnight.

With that the heroes headed off back towards the inn, at it was here that they heard once again the haunting alien cry that seemed to come from the ocean. It was once again Kerwyn and Arianna that were overcome by the call and started to walk towards the ocean and their deaths. Once again some of the other outsiders to the town were also overcome by the cry, this time Jandal was one of them and as the adventurers helped those overcome with the charm of the call Jandal was one would drowned. To make matters even worse, creatures began to crawl out of the ocean with bulging eyes upon fish-like heads with humanlike bodies. The creatures had gills at the side of their heads and the clawed hands were webbed. The fishmen carried rusted spears and scimitars and charged towards the heroes.

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Kerwyn, Arianna, Faelar, Valanae and Andraste had to battle the fishmen while trying their best to save and defend the other outsiders to Ashenport. No help came from the townsfolk and the constant rain made it both hard to see and to move around the muddy streets. Andraste, Faelar and Valanae used large area magical attacks to take down the creatures while Kerwyn charged in to meet the fishmen head on. Verlathion ran in beside them while Arianna fired her bow from afar taking down a fishman with an arrow through it’s bulging eye. When the heroes defeated the creatures that had come out of the sea they went to the aid of the survivors and got them back into the inn. Mathias had stayed inside getting as many of his man to protect him as he could, Terza had commanded her guards to aid the heroes as much as they could and she scowled at Mathias before asking the heroes to help. Mathias added that he would pay the adventurers 200 gold pieces if they got him out of here safely.

After a failed attempt to escape the town which was impossible to to the unnatural weather that forced them back toward Ashenport. Terza told the heroes she had see the townsfolk setting out up the hill to the church, and so that was were the adventuring band went. They told Terza, Mathias and the remainder of their company to stay at the inn and bar the doors.

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The adventuring band climbed up the slippery steps to the Church of the Gleaming Dawn. Inside the church they found it was empty, not a soul to be found. Candles were lit though and someone had just been there. Faelar looked around and felt a draft coming up from a hidden stairwell beneath a pew. The heroes descended the rickety old staircase down into a small chamber covered in carvings of horrific monsters of the sea with giant tentacles. Arianna then unlocked the doors to another set of stairs, and two fishmen attacked. After slaying one of the fishmen, the remaining creature escaped through doors that lead into another much larger chamber with a circular pool in the centre. Some cultists from the town joined in the attack, one of whom was Alderman Ritter himself. The priestess of the church, the cultists and their horrific fishmen allies fought fiercely indeed, with the alderman warning the heroes that they knew not the powers that they faced. He warned them that Dagon would feast on their souls and that this town would be their demise. The adventurers won out though, defeating their enemies and cutting down the alderman. They then turned to face the next set of doors, but not before they quickly bandaged their wounds.

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