When they safely arrived, Douven thanked the PCs and left to make arrangements to return to this wife in Fallcrest.
The PCs headed towards the home of Valthrun the Prescient but were intercepted by a new stranger:
I am servant of Lord Pegason. I was instructed to approach you the moment I learned of Douven’s fate. My Master will be pleased of your progress. For now, you may continue on your own path until Lord Pegason contacts you again.
For completing this quest each PC gained 250 XP.
The PCs continue on their way to Valthrun’s tower. Inside they found Valthrun and told him about the necklace with the carving of Orcus. They suggested to him that there might be Orcus cultists active in the area. Valthrun replied:
“This does not bode well! Let me research in my library. Come back later and I’m sure to have some answers.”
The PCs also asked what he knew about a structure to the north of the village. He replied:
“The Keep was built during the height of the old empire. Some sort of watchtower. I can’t recall what for. Some think it was to guard against gnoll marauders, but I don’t think that’s right. Whatever, the Keep outlived its usefulness. It’s been a ruin since before I was born. Probably a goblin lair by this time. But you’ve whetted my curiosity. I’ll look through my library about that subject too. The next time you see me here, I will have much to say.”
The PCs next head to Wrafton’ Inn. Inside they are again warmly greeted by Salvanna Wrafton. They approach her and ask if she is aware of any cult activity. She replies:
“That’s ridiculous! Winterhaven follows the teachings of Avandra. There are no cults anywhere around here. I’m sure of that!”
The PCs decide to approach Ninaran again, despite her lack of desire for conversation. At first she is her usual disinterested self, but when they ask her about cult activity her demeanor changes instantly:
“A cult? You’ve heard about it? Thank goodness! I was afraid this whole village was in league with the monsters! I’ve been watching the cult members. They come and go from a cave behind a waterfall, high up in a cliff to the east and south of the village. You’ll need to be careful, though. I think they’re in league with the kobolds.”
Ninaran was unable to identify any of the people in the Wrafton’s Inn as cultists. As far as she was concerned, everyone could be one. She also mention that the leader of the Kobold was a large kobold named Irontooth.
Finally finding someone with suspicions similar to their own, the PCs confided in her about the mirror they discovered. Ninaran told them it was good that they acquired it if the cultists were indeed looking for it. The PCs assumed she was sent by someone to investigate the cult. They were wrong.
She explained that she was just passing through when she started to pick up on the signs. She also said that once she had enough information she would get help from her friends in Fallcrest but that they wouldn’t come until they had proof. The mirror would be proof enough to have them come to Winterhaven but the party decided to risk the lives of the village and decline to give the mirror. She was willing to buy the mirror off them for 500 gp but they still refused.
The PCs decided next to approach Lord Padraig. They headed to his manor and after proving that they were expected by him, they were permitted entrance by the guards.
The PCs relayed their experiences with the Kobolds. Lord Padraig responded:
“You’ve encountered the kobolds that have turned the old King’s Road and our outlying farms into their personal hunting grounds? Those beasts vex me sorely. Yet the villagers refuse to recognize the seriousness of the problem. Attacks along the road have grown more frequent over the last few months. Something’s stirring the kobolds up. I don’t suppose you would be interested in taking a commission from me? I promise you, I can pay well for your services.”
The PCs try to bargain but it is finally settled that they would agree to take the offer in exchange for whatever loot they find in the kobold lair, even if it
is the former property of Winterhaven’s villagers. They will also be paid 100 gp.
They asked Lord Padraig about his knowledge of cult activity. He replied:
“Do you know something that I don’t? Is it serious? Should I be concerned? No, of course not. A cult? Here? Preposterous, I say. Preposterous… but, if its true as you say I need to take the necessary precautions. Please tell me what you know.”
The PCs again decided to risk the lives of the village and refuse to reveal anything.
In anger or desperation, Lord Padraig asks the party if they will take responsibility for anything that happens to the villagers as a result of them not revealing what they know.
The PCs started to get the feeling that they should trust Lord Padraig. They agreed to tell him about Ninaran and her request to send them to the Kobold Lair. Lord Padraig agreed to have Ninaran watched by Salvanna Wrafton and report if she leaves the inn. They keep do no reveal anything about the mirror to him.
Satisfied, the PCs left the manor. There was some talk about breaking the mirror to prevent it from being used by the cultists.