Enri, Kriv, Smoke, Thohand and Vashta travel east from the Fey Forest. They see smoke rising from the direction of the town of Winterhaven and decide to investigate.
As they approach the main gate, they see pyres of bodies, burning brightly. The guard explains that the town is attacked at night by the walking dead. Anyone they kill is in turn reanimated the next night. The town believes the source of the attacks is the Keep on the Shadowfell. The guard suggests the group see the Master-at-Arms, Ninaran, if they wish to help the town defend itself. Other points of interest include the Temple to Avandra, Valthrun’s Tower and Wrafton’s Inn.
The group enters the town and visits the Temple to Avandra to see Sister Linora, the priestess. Linora is busy making vial after vial of Holy Water for the town to use in its defense. Linora gives each member of the group a single vial of Holy Water.
The group leaves the Temple and stops by the stall of a florist, Delphina Moongem. Kriv buys a flower for Enri and asks the florist if she has any information about what is going on in the town. The group learns that Valthrun the Prescient is not the same man anymore, and that the town does not like to talk about what happened to him. He is currently held captive at the top of his own tower and forbidden from practicing the arcane arts. The florist tells of strange symbols found throughout the town and suspicion of sabotage by Cultists of Orcus who remain hidden. The florist also tells the group that Lord Padraig and Ninaran may be found in the Inn run by Salvana Wrafton. Kriv tips the florist a gold piece and the group heads to the Inn.
Upon entering the Inn, Vashta buys a round of drinks for everyone inside, to Salvana’s delight. The group purchases rooms for the night, then asks Salvana questions about the town and the mysterious attacks. Salvana confirms what the group has already learned, and when asked details of the enemy suggests the group speak with Elian the Old, the sole survivor of the “dark night” – his wife was killed by a Wight and he survived Ghoul paralysis.
The group also learns about the enemy from the soldiers at the inn. Certain undead are in command – “Wights” they are afraid to touch. Ghouls that can paralyze a man. Skeletons that explode with dark energy.
Vashta sits down at Eilian’s table while the rest of the group continues to chat with Salvana. He is not successful in engaging Eilian in conversation – he is waiting for the Inn to serve the nightly stew.
Meanwhile, Salvana informs Enri and Kriv that Lord Padraig and Ninaran usually show up at the Inn for stew, and suggest they have a few drinks and wait.
Lord Padraig and Ninaran enter the Inn to much fanfare as stew is served.
Vashta serves Eilian two servings of stew and is able to get some information about the enemy. He speaks of dreams of a stone room with a portal to darkness, where he can hear a whispering voice say “Come to me. Serve ”/campaigns/highadventure/characters/kalarel-1" class=“wiki-content-link”>Kalarel. Come to the keep to taste the flesh of men. Kill yourself. Rise again to eat the flesh of your family."
Meanwhile, the group tries to talk to Ninaran but are put off by her hostile attitude. Lord Padraig reins in Ninaran and greets the group. He appears exhausted. The group asks Lord Padraig for permission to visit Valthrun. He suggests the group explore the graveyard for signs of arcane magicks that may uncover some clue as to the nature and source of the mysterious attacks, and orders Ninaran to allow the group to visit Valthrun.
The group leaves the Inn and goes to the graveyard. Enri and Vashta are able to determine that the graveyard has lingering traces of demonic power connected to the Cult of Orcus. They see a couple of acolytes of Avandra searching the graveyard as well.
Suddenly, a giant Carrion Crawler erupts from the earth and gobbles up one of the acolytes. The group engages in battle with two Bonewretches and the Carrion Crawler.
The remaining two acolytes try to flee but are caught by the Crawler and eaten. After the battle, Vashta searches the corpse of the Crawler and gets nothing but Filth Fever.
The group returns to the Temple to Avandra so that Vashta may be cleansed. After cleansing, the group heads to Valthrun’s Tower.
Valthrun is unresponsive and appears dazed. Enri successfully determines that the source of the condition is a hex, and how to dispel it. The group asks the guard to send for Linora immediately.
Linora arrives and exclaims that she has tried everything. Enri assures her of the cure. Linora says she requires the assistance of both Enri and Vashta to perform the ritual. After several successful steps through a lengthy ritual, Valthrun returns to normal and thanks the group for curing him.
Valthrun sizes up the group and decides he can trust them. He tells them of Orcus, the Demon Prince, who is behind the mysterious attacks. He also discloses that Ninaran is the leader of the secret group of Cultists who are sabotaging the town’s defenses.
The group escorts Valthrun directly to the Inner Gate and asks to see Lord Padraig immediately, that they have important information for him. They are told he has already left with Ninaran who has decided to attack the Keep this night. Suspicious, the group asks if they may deliver the information to a senior member of the Lord’s staff. The guard agrees.
They meet Talon Padraig, sole remaining son of Lord Padraig, and tell them all they know. Talon is upset and immediately prepares to pursue Ninaran, fearing for his father’s life. The group follows reluctantly, knowing that the enemy is strongest at night.
They travel out of the town and through the wilderness, coming to the scene of a recent battle. Talon discovers the dead body of his father and swears vengeance. Enri is able to calm him down and convince him to return to town, to protect his rule. If he and his father were to die, surely rule would fall to Ninaran. Talon agrees but makes Kriv promise to pursue Ninaran and avenge his father. Kriv swears by his clan and honor.
After Talon and his guard depart, the group becomes suspicious. Enri detects enemies sneaking along the edge of the forest, Ninaran among them. She casts light directly over the enemy, surprising them.
Ninaran, two Bugbears and two Wights move into view but the group is able to advance quickly due to surprising them. A difficult battle ensues.
After they are victorious against Ninaran, she slits her throat and promises herself to the Demon Prince. Vashta pours Holy Water on her body to prevent reanimation and she explodes into dust. Among her remains the group finds a healing potion, gold, and a Heavy Shield of the Barrier Sentinels.
Exhausted, the group agrees to return to town.