Sometime in the distant past, our brave company of heroes met by as-of-yet undetermined means and decided to travel together towards the city of Duraahn (again, for reasons yet unknown). Our protagonists were about a day’s travel from the city when they heard sounds of battle off of the main road. When they went to investigate they found a scene of carnage between a company of human knights and green armor-wearing kobolds. Only one knight remained alive, and after our heroes scared the kobolds away he introduced himself as Cambridge, a knight-captain of Duraahn. He thanked them for their aid and asked them to clear the rest of them out of their cave in order to stop their attacks on nearby towns. He explained that Duraahn just didn’t have the resources to do it themselves
They did so, making it past a dastardly spike trap and killing the leader who the others called Jumper in the process (of note is the fact that he was able to use magic, unusual among lowly kobolds). They found Jumper’s journal among the treasures in the cave, and it contained some pretty disturbing references to an unknown “Master” that orchestrated the increase in the aggression of the kobolds, gave Jumper the ability to use magic, and made the kobolds bold and strong enough to attack a group of trained knights.
Our group went on to Duraahn to collect their reward from the treasury of Duraahn and to present the information in the journal to Cambridge. They shared the tale of their exploits in the cave with the good captain over a round of drinks, and after hearing about this mysterious “Master” Cambridge went to arrange a meeting directly with Lord Uther the Ram, king of Duraahn. While this would be an unusual circumstance even in a time of peace, Cambridge (whom the king puts a fair amount of trust in; he’s an accomplished veteran in their army) was able to convince Uther that this was enough of a worry to talk to our heroes.
(An aside: While drinking with Cambridge, Ichabod foolishly attempted to throw back multiple of the Tipsy Gipsy’s [sic] signiature drinks called “The Eruption”, got really drunk and attempted to wander through the streets of a city he was unfamiliar with. Hilarity ensued.)
The following day Cambridge took them to the castle, a beautiful keep composed entirely out of a strange dark blue stone. After a lengthy discussion with the battle-scarred warrior king, Uther acknowledged the need to follow the lead, but told the adventurers that he couldn’t spare anyone to do anything about it. With that in mind, he asked them if they would investigate the issue, and promised to reward them if they returned successfully. Our heroes accepted the proposal, and recieved rewards from the treasury for the Kobold incident. (Plate mail, a ring, and a magical violin called the Strings of the Tyrant)
Cambridge tells our heroes to start by heading east, towards the settlement of Lancaster Junction after giving them a trinket that will identify them as on a mission for the knights of Duraahn. Lancaster initially appears to be a ghost town; the roads are somewhat barricaded and no one is outside when the party arrives. After a bit of investigating they find the house of Gerald, the unofficial leader of the town. He explains that a pair of beasts have kept the town paralyzed by fear for a couple of weeks, and asked them to kill the ‘demon hounds’. The party set up in the town and waited, and the creatures attacked. They beat the monsters badly enough that they retreated, and our heroes gave chase all the way to the cave that the beasts used as a home. Yet another was waiting there, but the adventurers prevailed. The cave was a single room that contained a significant pile of bodies and a treasure chest, and there was a body on top of the pile clad in green armor similar to the kobolds. The corpse clutched a note that seemed to indicate this was none other than the nephew of the king of Jacinth. It also implied that Jacinth has been utilizing monsters to fight Duraahn (including Kobolds) and the king has had his castle sealed with a magical barrier that only those bearing certain rings can enter.
Cambridge then told our heroes via letter that there was a base further east that had missed their weekly report, and asked them to investigate it. They were almost to where the fort was supposed to be when they stumbled upon an encampment of Duraahn soldiers. They tell the adventurers that they’re the only survivors from the fort; it was attacked by a large company from Jacinth while they were out on patrol. There’s a secret passage that they can use to enter the fort while the soldiers distract the Jacinth forces, then they can open the gate from the inside and let the Duraahn soldiers in. The plan went off without a hitch, but as soon as the Jacinth forces in the courtyard were taken care of, dead soldiers from outside were reanimated and came forward to attack. The Duraahn soldiers stayed to handle the undead and told our heroes to run in and stop the source, a powerful Jacinth necromancer. They killed him and found one of the signet rings on his finger, and then took a few days to recover in the fort with the surviving soldiers.