Heroes of the Vale Recap: Episode 1

The Nentir Vale has been wracked with misfortune. Three years ago, a comet appeared in the sky over the vale. In the course of a single night, it drifted from one end of the Vale to the other before disappearing in a flash of light. Since then, disaster has befallen settlements and ill luck has plagued the land.

As newcomers to Fallcrest, the largest town in the Vale, you've seen firsthand the fear and tension that the comet brought with it. The common folk fear that the Vale's days as a safe haven are coming to an end. Refugees stream into town, bearing tales of strange magic and bizarre events that have meant the end of villages on the Vale's fringe. Folk say that Fallcrest is too large to fall prey to such disasters, but you hear the doubt in their voices and see the fear in their eyes.

With fear and tension rising, all of you fell afoul of the law for various, petty infractions. However, before you could be sentenced you received a summons. A wealthy nobleman, Count Reiziv, made a sizable donation to the city's coffers to secure your freedom. His servant, a silent, heavily armored knight, delivered a scroll to you with a request that you visit the count in his small keep just outside of town for lunch the following day.

—Mike Mearls, Heroes of the Vale, Episode 1

Watch Heroes of the Vale: Episode 1!


Dramatis Personae

Level 3 Characters

  • Keen, Eladrin Eldritch Knight Fighter played by TJ Storm
  • Avren, Human Hexblade Warlock played by Todd Kenreck
  • Briv, Half-Orc Cavalier Fighter played by Adam Bradford
  • Fla’apper, Aarakocra Beast Master Ranger played by Shelly Mazzanoble
  • Orkira, Dragonborn Light Domain Cleric played by Lauren Urban
  • Penelope, Halfling Circle of Land Druid played by Hope LaVelle

Full Summary

A silent knight leads the group into the keep of Count Reiziv, an outwardly impressive building that is mostly empty on the inside. The group climb the tower to find a 70 year old robed man with an impressive beard, the Count himself. Reiziv promises if the group helps him with a problem he has, it could lead to not just material wealth but rewards for the mind, body and soul. He wants the group to go to a town called Kiris Dahn that has fallen to ruin after the comet. A curse has robbed it of material wealth; any material goods of value have vanished. He wants the group to go and break the curse, and believes the thing that made the curse is called Ruin. Reiziv gives them a blank playing card to bind the soul of this creature. Once weakened they can draw forth the card and use it to capture Ruin.

The card is part of a Deck of Many Things, a powerful magic item some of the group are familiar with. Reiziv has the empty box, and says if all the cards are recaptured then the group might gain great powers.

Back outside the keep, the knight waits with a wagon and 2 horses of supplies. While Briv looks for more food in the tower the group examine their map. Kiris Dahn is only a day of travel away if they decide to brave the Cloakwood, but Penelope is terrified of Torog and does not want to go!

Orkira knows some refugees from Kiris Dahn working at the docks who might know more information about what happened in the town.  She brings the group to meet a young dwarf “leader” named Agara. The silvermine in the town helped Kiris Dahn be prosperous, but then the comet came. The next day all the silver was gone, all the valuables were gone, and the money vanished. Without the mine the mining town fell to ruin and people left because they had no way to make a living. She says the leader of the town was Baron Copperlocks, a human, who owned the most lavish, largest building in town. He and some of his family tried to stay behind when she left.

Keen wants to find other warriors who might have been through the Cloakwood, so they head for the Lucky Gnome Tavern.  They find an old woman named Killian, who agrees to offer information if they keep the beer and food arriving. Flapper and Orkira persuade her to talk with food and drink as Keen plies her for information.  She highly recommends if they want to traverse the Cloackwood to go quickly through. The faster they go the less likely to be caught by something. She provides a path: stick to the Kings road, DON’T turn away no matter what, continue across the Downs, look for the stone pillars, go through straight to the West. DON’T VARY YOUR PATH.  “He who crawls will try and pull you below.”

While information is being gathered, Avren uses his skills to swindle a bunch of card players out of their winnings. One of them is a Halfling member of the “Fell court” who threatens revenge as he leaves.

The group decides to abandon the cart and go on foot in the morning. Still itching to make some coin, Avren puts on a show in the common room, gambling using fire to tell the stories about dragons. Orkira is entranced.

They follow Killian’s instructions the next morning, heading into the Cloakwood through the pillars.  They get quite far through the Cloakwood but are attacked by four spindling creatures called Chokers looking to eat them for Torog! They dispatch the Chokers but are worried about more enemies, and start to hurry out of the wood as quickly as possible. They manage to escape the forest just before some huge creature downing trees behind them can reach them!

Continuing through the hills leads to the ruins of a small town, Kiris Dahn. The few structures that are left are a large tavern, a large stone building near the center of town, and a low stone building temple of Erathis. Everything else is destroyed. Briv throws a coin into the town, watching as it disappears as it enters. Avren quickly buries his valuables to avoid bringing them into town, followed by the rest of the group.

Looking back into the town they see a floating halberd held by a translucent humanoid figure!

Who is this figure? What new devilry does its appearance portend? All shall be revealed in time... Episode 2 debuts 12/5/2018 at 2 pm PST.

Lauren "OboeCrazy" Urban is the Community Manager for D&D Beyond, as well as a professional classical musician playing both oboe and English Horn for many orchestras and recordings. When she's not playing a Bard in real life she's a prolific Dungeon Master and player on a variety of livestreams and podcasts. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband Luke where they spend their free time playing video games and drinking tea. The best way to keep up with Lauren's busy schedule is to follow her on Twitter at @OboeCrazy.


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