The party slowly regained consciousness. The first things group notices (especially Rex) was that it was not cold and there was no snow on the ground.
This caused a certain amount of confusion
The next fact to strike the party was the color of the sky, it was wrong. It was a solid reddish black and neither clouds nor sun could be seen. The terrain was barren with twisted, dead trees dotting the landscape.
Alem notices a small group of riders approaching. The party elects to hide and observe, the group is composed of several ShadarKai, one obviously important ShadarKai (much better armor and weapons) and a priestess of Thalin distracting beauty (this is not difficult but is still worth noting).
The group appears to be inspecting the crater and area around when Thalin steps out and introduces himself. The ShadarKai do not attack but go on guard (as does the rest of the hidden party). Thalin flirts in a diplomatic fashion and finds out that there is a rift in the politics of the local ShadarKai and this location was being used by a rival faction in service of The Traveler rather than the Raven Queen.
The rest of the party comes out of hiding and are invited to meet the high priestess.
The important looking ShadarKai is a lord and the priestess is actually the High priestess of the Raven Queen.
They explain to the party that they are in Shadowfell now and that their faction opposes The Traveler. They go on to explain that the Traveler is actually in league with the Raven Queen and even though she is opposed to it’s end goal, she is tied up in what amounts to celestial politics and can’t directly oppose him at this time.
The party finds out where the other faction (which directly supports The Traveler) is located. In this realm, at the same spot where the Dragon temple is located in their realm, is a massive temple that they use as their base of operations. The assistance that they can offer is limited as they serve the Raven Queen and are likewise bound. He explains some of the values they hold important and it’s based heavily on the strength of your sword arm. Rex is pleased. He explains that the only other portal they know of is in the camp of their opposing faction.
Morel produces a scroll with instructions for making a suit of armor that has sharpened bone protrusions and asks if they have any craftsmen capable of creating this.
The Lord takes them before the head smith of their city. He examines the plans and says he can make but he will need a lot of bone in order to do so.
He tells the party that he will need at least 3 Hellboars to do this. These beasts are not scarce in Shadowfell and they are given directions to find them. After coming back with the dead animals the smith creates a suit of Spiked Armor that Rex dons. He compliments to smith and proceeds to cut himself a few times on some of the bits before getting used to the fact that he’s now sharp, in strange places.
The party heads of towards the large bone fortress masquerading as an outpost.
The party decides on their course of action and march right up to main gates of the encampment, at which point they are stopped.
When questioned Thalin explains they are new recruits and wish to sign up. The guards realise they are not of Shadowfell and question why they wish to enlist. The group shrugs and says they want to kill humans, Xin chitters, Rex flexes and asks if the guards wish to prevent them from enlisting.
Wisely the guards let them through and they are placed in a group of warriors. Listening around they find the quickest way to get promoted is to kill your Superior.
Thalin becomes a captain.
They quickly discover that there is a pecking order amount the groups with the best group being given special privileges, which include the right to go to the other plane first. That group is quickly identified. Their leader is an uppity Vampire thrall. The party considering possibly upsetting a vampire and decides that as they are already going up against a celestial being, a vampire can’t be that bad. Also, there’s no guarantee it will be upset (if they succeed in preventing the Traveler, it WILL be upset with them). A challenge is issued and accepted.
The party’s combat group is elevated to being the elite combat unit with first dibs on assignments.
During this time Xin has been sneaking around the base picking off soldiers. Between the various challenges (which Rex issued for any reason he could for a bit) and Xin, the ShadarKai numbers have been impacted.
Somehow they manage to locate where the portal is located.
The portal is located behind a door some 2 meters high and 1 meter across. There is no locking mechanism that can be seen and 2 huge Zombies guard the door.
They see that acolytes seem to come and go through the door pushing it open with ease, despite it’s size. Thalin intercepts one of the Acolytes, lures him back to a dormitory. He then applies intimidation and his codpiece and finds out that he actually doesn’t know any useful information. He only goes to the door when he’s order and it opens.
Xin Feasts. The party figures he was holding information back
Luceous figures there is a ward and that proper mental commands he can get the door open. With him in disguise, the party approaches the door. After a few tense moments where the Zombie guards began to notice the door wasn’t opening Luceous got it and the party went through.
Past the door is a large vaulted hallway with huge skeletal statues inset into the walls at regular intervals. After heading down the hall a ways the party sees there is a large chamber at the end. About this time some of the statues come to life and begin pursuit.
Running to the chamber the party find a portal being maintained by several ShadarKai magi around glowing orbs, some Troglodytes and a very familiar looking ShadarKai that they could all swear they killed back at the dwarven outpost.
Caught between giant Skeletons and ShardarKai the party focuses on Destroying the crystals. After bulls eyeing one orb Alem proceeds to break his bowstring leaving a nasty redish welt across his face. Luceous is able to deal with the other 2 orbs. Much to everyone’s surprise, the portal up and explodes in a display worthy of a pure plot device.