Tasked with delibering a letter to Lord Marklehay, Belgos, Keira, Ty, and Vei had settled into the Old Owl Inn, a cozy place in Duponde on the Nentir River. Duponde was a city on the decline, large swathes of the town having been abandoned years before thanks to a newer, more direct road. Even now, rising waters in the river had risen up, flooding part of the town and damaging the bridges, making passage across hazardous at best.
In the tavern’s common room, various townsfolk were also taking their repasts. Belgos approached Tilda Greenfield, the chatty proprietress, to ask about the town’s history and rumors. She told him of Von Tarin, a wizard who disappeared during an arcane duel with Evard, over 50 years ago. Evard had been slain in the duel, and was now buried in the town cemetary.
“I can hardly believe Evard’s tomb is in such a dinky, backwater place,” Nethaire, the black-haired scholar said. Youthful Ty leaned on her hands, elbows propped on the table, listening intently. “And yet, there it is! Amazing— the author of such spells as Black Tentacles could be right here!”
“Truly,” Ty fawned. “Hey, have you ever heard of an Academy Blaster?” She grinned at him, but he seemed somewhat oblivious to her innuendo.
Vei, her one-time instructor at the university, had settled in next to an elderly man, Harold, who insisted that “Ghosts… they be hauntin’ this town, for certain!” The ghosts appear only to those who can see them, and immobilize but do not injure their victims.
The three rambunctious dwarves, Chrisdide, Catha, and Kildrak regaled Keira the Elf with tales of their masonry conquests.
As the evening grew later and later, the tavern patrons slipped away into the night, beginning with Grimbold the guard, heading for their beds and rest. Nethaire had secured the upstairs suite at the inn for himself and Remy, his halfling servant. This left the downstairs accommodations to the party. Tilda called for last call, and the adventurers took themselves off to bed. Only Old Man Harold was left in the common room, slowly smoking his pipe and reminiscing of days long past.
As they prepared for bed, the adventurers felt the shadows creeping up around them, growing darker and darker. Taking just a moment to secure their gear, they dashed into the common room to find Old Man Harold sprawled on the floor, unconscious, and creeping gargoyles closing in for an attack!
The gargoyles fought visciously with the party, slashing at them and taking almost uncanny glee when one of them was knocked to the floor. Belgos felt the icy fingers of fear down his back as his own shadow began to attack him! Ty, too, was affected by her own shadow betraying her, though both of them were able to shake off its effects and fight back.
Finally, driven almost to their last bits of strength, they fought off the beasts. Belgos roused Old Man Harold, who had been knocked unconscious. Belgos and Keira identified the gargoyles as having once been decorative fixtures on the outside of the Inn, but no one could identify where the shadow beasts had come from.
No one, that is, until Ty’s star-bound took on a distant gleam and a weird smile crossed her lips. “Ah, I see it now— we’ve come under the curse of a Shadowfall!”
“A Shadowfall? What the heck is that?”
“We— the Old Owl Inn and probably the immediate neighborhood— have all slipped unnoticed into the realm of shadow and nightmare. We’re plane-shifted, my friends. In the Raven Queen’s domain. We’ve slid into the Shadowfell itself!”
Rewards: 250 XP.