Logo courtesy Wizards of the Coast

The Nentir Vale is a campaign setting provided to new players of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. It’s present in the Red Box and most of the starting materials. For a party almost all completely new to D&D and a DM re-familiarizing himself with the latest edition, it’s a great place to start a campaign. This will be an ongoing recollection of what happens to the party as they make their way through the Nentir Vale. Enjoy.

Previously: Your cultist is in another castle

Ben: *makes Wayne’s World flashback noises*

On the road to the druid’s grove, Krillorien recalled a conversation he’d had with Bensun Stonecarver, the dwarven majordomo of the house his father had given him. Despite having won the manse in a game of Three Dragon Ante with a compatriot, Krillorien’s father had never lived there, opting instead to remain with his people in Meloravia. Now that the manse was repaired and the threat of kobold or goblin invasion ended, Krillorien asked Bensun if he’d be willing to shut up the house and take his dwarves north past Winterhaven, to work on restoring the Keep on the Shadowfell. Bensun agreed, then told Krillorien to think up a new name for the place while he and his friends were out adventuring.

Krillorien and his friends were soon in the grove of the druid. The Iron Circle had, so far, left the grove of ancient trees untouched. A small cottage sat near the grove’s central menhir, tended to by a halfling woman and a young male human. Emerging from the cottage was Reithann, spry and bright-eyed despite her advanced human years. She told the adventurers that many potential warriors could come from Tor’s Hold to uproot the Iron Circle from the Harkenwold, if they could be freed from protecting their hamlet from bullywug attacks. Frog-like humanoids, the druid called them unnatural and said that by harassing the people of western Harkenwold, they were preventing Tor’s Hold from joining Albridge in open resistance. The party elected to deal with them first.

“Go, but be careful,” Reithann advised them. “On a cloudy day, the mouse does not see the hawk’s shadow.”

The party went to head west down the road, but Lyria stopped. “Wait… what?”

“Is it going to be an indoor or outdoor encounter?” – Mike
“Both.” – me
“I’m so excited I rolled!” – Mike

They moved down the road at speed. Without mounts, they kept to a brisk jog.

“She’s going to end up with two black eyes if we jog at 10 miles an hour.” – Ben, referring to Eric’s character

The elder of Tor’s Hold, Bran Torsson, was happy to see help arrive in dealing with the “damn croakers.” His wife, however, was feeling less than hospitable, especially when Krillorien offered to help with the wounded. A few jabs and insults later, Bran explained that she had run afoul of a priest peddling the blessings of Pelor for coin. He apologized for her behavior and for the fact that he could not send help with them to deal with the bullywugs.

The hideout known as the Toadwallow Caverns was a thoroughly unpleasant hole in a hillside overlooking the White River. A small waterfall spilled from the cavern entrance, feeding a stream that flowed south to the river. Lyria climbed up the 10-foot ledge first, on the lookout for patrols or traps.

“So if there are any traps there, you want to do them?” – Eric
“Maybe I like traps.” – Danielle

There was a small guard posted just within the cavern, but once the party was up on the rocks they took the bullywugs by surprise. Amongst the colorful mushrooms they did battle with the humanoid toads. As they fought, stirges swept in from above a nearby pool to assault the intruders. Even with the large insects seeking blood, the party managed to make short work of the guard.

Walking deeper into the cavern, they found a large central chamber dominated by a dragon skull. Beady eyes watched their approach and a croak carried a command. Minions emerged from the shadows to fall upon the party… …and were quickly dispatched. Oozes slid towards the newcomers, and Andrasian occupied them for the most part as the others tried to draw the bullywug chieftain out of his hiding place. Out of the protection of the ancient skull, he did not last long.

The party checked over their loot, took a moment to rest, and then gathered their belongings to leave the cavern…

Next: The Resistance Grows

All locations, NPCs, spells and equipment copyright Wizards of the Coast unless otherwise noted.