The bells atop the Temple of Erastil toll their midday song, echoing throughout the quiet town of Kassen. As the peals begin to fade, the first of the townsfolk make their way into the
square, dressed in black, as if attending a funeral. They slowly fill the square, moving quietly across the cold, hard ground, their eyes downcast and mournful. A!er a few moments,
a murmur passes through the crowd as it slowly parts to let Mayor Uptal through. He leads the way with a tarnished silver lantern. Behind him, an old pony drags a cart laden with backpacks and supplies. Once he reaches the center of the crowd, Mayor Uptal stops and calls out to the assembled townsfolk.
“Once again the winter winds blow through the Fangwood, marking the end of another harvest. There are wolves in the woods, howling at our walls, and serpents in our shadows, waiting to strike. Just as it was one hundred and seventy-four years ago, when Kassen himself left these walls to protect us, so it is today. Where are the heroes? Where are the brave folk that will venture out to Kassen’s tomb and retrieve the flame to keep this community safe for another winter?”
Forward stepped six heroes three of which were Passing adventurers that had been asked to help the ones coming from the village. They were given the backpacks and they ventured out of Kessen’s Hold toward the tomb. On the narrow path that winds through the raking claws of the trees, now bereft of their leaves, which crunch loudly underfoot. Up ahead, a fallen tree trunk blocks the path. Suddenly a trio of snarling humanoids leaps up from behind the log, all greenish skin and fearsome tusks, bellowing vulgar challenges toward the party of new adventurers. This fight was quite hard for the party before Bard, the bard of the group, noticed they were fighting Illusions and with Torinn’s Intuitive perception they spotted Holgast, the towns resident wizard, who flew away when he was spotted.
Afterwards they kept traveling for the remainder of the day and found a very suitable spot to rest for the night. Torinn took the first watch and kept the other members awake with his humming songs, all that is besides Zorin his traveling companion who was used to it, noticing a lone wolf staring at him, he intimidated the beast away. Next to hold watch was Tessara and despite her tired state she looked around for threats only to discover that Torinn was gone, Waking Nisha, her childhood sister, the two went to see where he had gone only to see two wolves dragging him off. Both attacked the wolves but only one attacked them, the other seeming to prefer to drag Torinn to a suitable place to eat him, The wolf pounced and held Nisha down and mauled her. Sufficed to say the battle was hard but ended relatively quickly once the rest of the party joined the fray though Zoren seemed content with saving Torinn only letting the girls handle the wolf on their own. A third wolf joined in but in the end all three ran away leaving the party badly wounded and exhausted.
The next morning they kept going mostly in silence due to the events of the previous night.
The trees began to thin, revealing a field of short, green grass that led to the shores of a wide, calm lake reflecting the overcast sky above. A dense fog hung over the center of the
lake, obscuring the far side. Near the shore of the lake however, a dark form lay next to the water which was later revealed to be the corpse of a human male that hailed from a city judging by his weathered clothes. After a quick rest to eat they kept going and after three hours they came upon a trail that lead even deeper into the Fangwood, through a twisting maze of trees and confusing ravines. As it tops a small rise, a broad valley spreads out before it, the opposite side of which looks like a writhing serpent. Yet between the two lies a steep hill sloping down into the valley. A cold rain starts to fall, making the ground slick and treacherous. The cold rain turned the soil of the hill to slippery mud and only the two Members of the party that could fly came out unscathed, Zorin and Nisha, the others weren’t so lucky and two were severely injured with twisted ankles which slowed them down quite a bit.
As they kept going they came upon an archway of stone set into the side of a small hill at the bottom of the valley. Moss had overgrown many of the details, but one was still quite clear. The keystone of the arch was carved with a flame symbol with a stylized rune in the middle. Beyond the archway was a darkened tunnel that lead to a pair of massive wooden doors, one of which was slightly ajar. A pair of horses and a trio of ponies lay slaughtered next to the archway, each corpse still tied to a post set into the ground nearby. A swarm of flies hung lazily in the air above them and a good look showed they had been killed by crude blades or perhaps claws, such as the ones from the wolves the night before. With a quick search and slight elbow grease they raised one of the horses to reveal that a broken but very old skeleton lay under the horse. With weary hearts and watchful eyes the party moved into the crypt pushing the doors out of the way however as the heavy doors swung open, the faint light from outside revealed a long chamber with risen platforms on either side. A faded painting of Kassen was on the far wall. The room appeared to be the site of a gruesome battle, with two bodies piled in the center and a number of skeletons scattered around. An echoing wail could be heard somewhere in the distance, beyond this foul chamber. Bard noticed one of the bodies was Gerol, one of the Mayors friends from Kessen’s hold but the party didn’t have time to mourn or even figure out the situation before the heavy doors swung closed leaving only the light coming from the torch that Zoren held as their only source of light but at the doors stood a figure that looked like it had flinched when the doors closed.