Having successfully rescued the old wizard, Douven Staul, from the hands of a band of Orcus followers, the party returned to the small village of Winterhaven for rest. The following day, the party bid the old wizard farewell and sent him back to Fallcrest aided by two burly guards. With new information from Douven, the party decided to speak to Valthrun the Prescient to find out more of the mysterious keep, and to the Lord of Winterhaven, Lord Pedraig, to offer assistance against the Kobold threat.
Valthrun could not remember much about the keep, except that it had been deserted before he was born. However, his curiosity was piqued and he offered to consult his ancient texts and would return with what information he could find. When asked if he knew of anyone that had visited the keep recently, he suggested speaking to Delphina Moongem, who often collects flowers nearby and can be found selling them on market days. Lord Pedraig spoke vehemently of the Kobolds and offered to pay 100 gold pieces and any loot they found to the party if they would help fight against the Kobold attacks. Verro, ever the capitalist, was not pleased with this paltry offer and said as much. The dwarf paladin, Gotrek, being goodly and wholly ignorant to the usefulness of gold, offered his services for free. The Lord, however, would hear nothing of Verro’s protests, seeming immune to his persuasiveness, and stuck to his original offer.
After much deliberation, the party decided to first attempt to deal with the Kobolds and hold off on Myst and Blaze’s quest of mapping out the ruins, until they had more information about the ominous Keep. With their business in Winterhaven finished, the party set out in the direction marked out by Lord Pedraig. It was not long down the road when the Fighter spotted a track, which diverged off the well-beaten path and into the woods. The Ranger moved ahead to cautiously scout the area while the rest of the party kept their distance. Behind a line of trees, Myst could see a dozen or so Kobolds beside a waterfall and signalled this back to the party. The Ranger’s mastery of hand signals created such a great image on the mind of Durgan that, without being able to actually see the waterfall, he could clearly picture stairs behind it. Signalling the rest of the party forward, the Ranger took the opportunity and fired two arrows through the trees. The trees, however, proved too substantial and the arrows fell short of their target, alerting the Kobolds to his presence. The battle commenced.
Gotrek charged ahead of the party and into the trees and was quickly surrounded by a great number of the shifty Kobolds; he was followed by the Rogue, Jin, and the Cleric, Durgan. The Ranger moved along the tree line to focus his attack on a lone Kobold, but became stuck fast when it threw an orb filed with viscous ooze at him. Blaze rushed to Myst’s aid and together they took down the lone Kobold. The Wizard took up position away from the concentrated action and picked out individual foes. The party fought well and the Kobold numbers quickly diminished to two. One of the Kobolds broke away from the fight, yelped out “Irontooth must be warned!” and made for the waterfall. Verro rushed to stop the fleeing Kobold, his initial attempt to assault its feeble mind failed, but he found extra strength of will and managed to infiltrate the reptilian mind. It collapsed, with a vacant stare, before the waterfall.