The Nerath Chronicles

A Stormy Night...
Nentir Vale

Burial mound

Another storm booms overhead and all of Fallcrest is seeking shelter from the rain. The group finds themselves at their home away from home, at the doors of the Blue Moon Alehouse. Halflings are busy cooking for guests and clearing tables. After a long day as the rain continues to pour down the eaves of the shingled roof, the group enters the tavern to escape the rain and settles around a table to discuss past adventures.

You are a group of adventurers from distant parts of the world, and obvious different backgrounds, but you have come together for one reason or another in the Nentir Vale and you’ve made a name for yourselves here as work for hire, and investigators of strange mysteries. You’ve been an aid to the people of Fallcrest, but it has been a while since your last adventure.

The brewmaster Kemara Brownbottle walks by your table and gives the group a disgusted look. She is the Halfling brewmaster of the Alehouse, and has perfected her craft, which has made her establishment a popular place for the people of the Lower city.

She wrinkles her nose and gives the group a disgusted look. From the looks of things, it seems as if each of you has been rolling in the mud. Though she wouldn’t admit it, money has been tight lately and much of your past rewards have evaporated into a large tab at the Blue Moon. It seems that you may have outstayed your welcome already. Par Winnomer the operator of the bar looks over his calculations from the day and shakes his head. He muffles something to Kemara and she looks at the group’s direction.

She approaches the table with a large tankard and fills each of your mugs.
“Consider this your last drink fellas.” She says. “Times are hard enough as it is, and I’ve got to cut you off until you can pay back your tab.” She goes back to the door leading to the backroom and turns her head. “And once you’re finished, go take a bath! You’ve got till the end of the week to pay back the debt, or I’ve got to kick you out.”
Par walks to the table and gives you your bill.

Not a large amount by any means, but it indicates that the group may have a drinking problem. Can you blame yourselves though? The brews at the Blue Moon are the best around, and you would prefer to drink among the little folk, instead of some of the other, seedier dives in Fallcrest.
As you start to brainstorm ideas, a dwarf walks though the door.

The dwarf goes to the bar and talks briefly with Par. They chat for several moments and then Par points a finger in the group’s direction. The wet dwarf turns and walks to your table, and introduces himself.

“Well met. I’m Theore Blackhammer. I hail from the Hallowed halls of Hammerfast, and I’ve come a long way to talk to you…” He stops and looks around to see if anyone is listening. No one cares.

“We have to stop them.”

“Them?”

“My arch rival Copperpot has stolen the directions to the mound. THE MOUND!!” he yells.

Kemara gives your group a look and Par tells you to shut up over there.

“I was ambushed! I was taken prisoner, and they took the map from me! But I escaped. What they didn’t know was that I had the map all in here.” Theore points to his head. He takes a napkin and begins to scribble down a strange looking map.

The dwarf looks around and whispers… “This is what they’re after. The lost Burial mound of the Esur the Red. ESUR THE RED!!” The dwarf yells.

The rest of the bar gives your group an angry stare.

“He was a dwarven hero and one of my distant relatives." The strange dwarf pauses to take a drink from one of your mugs.

“I’m looking for a lost family heirloom: the Iron Ring of Esur the Red. Esur was a powerful warrior and a noble son of one of the mightiest clans of Hammerfast. His black iron ring was clasped to his beard as he ran into battle and it is said to command the winds. I want to bring that ring back to my clan and finally find out what happened to Esur all those years ago.”

And…” he adds. “Copperpot wants to claim the treasure for his clan. He ambushed my expedition, and took my map, leaving me for days to wallow in hole at the base of Thunderspire. I managed to free myself by removing my wooden leg and climbing out with me teeth! I clubbed my captors and made haste here. Dwarven politics are very complicated…" He says. “I waited for Copperpot to return, to get my revenge, but I gave up waiting.” The strange one legged dwarf pauses to take another drink.

“Now here’s where I need your help. I’ve heard about your group going around and poking yer noses into trouble from time to time. I’ve got a map and I’ll make it worth your while, what do you say?”

The following day:

As you walk through the wet and muddy pastures, you spy a farmer out in his field. After showing him the napkin map, he says:

“I found that mound not too long ago. I was clearing the land with me son and we cam across the entrance to the mound itself. Strange though, had weird runes and writing language on it. Couldn’t make them out, so we left it be. The hill isn’t far from here though. I can take you like I took the others."

Others?

“Yeah, not a week ago I saw some of them dwarf fellas asking about that hill. You dwarves are strange folk indeed. “He shows you the direction and waves you off.

“Crazy idiots…” He mutters.

Walking toward the mound you see logs piled high from where the farmer had been clearing the forest. Towards the back of the hill you find the entrance. The door has been pried open.

Epilogue:

Theore leads the party through the Burial Mound and despite his best efforts, manages to activate all the traps and put everyone’s well being into question. After fighting a large ant swarm, hosts of undead, and a restless Dwarven spirit, the party manages to find the long lost ring of Esur the Red. The party returns to Fallcrest to pay off their incredible bar tab, and to finally be rid of the adventurous Theore.

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