The Maldhane campaign begins with the heroes attempting to raise Shari, a local leatherworker’s daughter, from the dead after she was accidentally slain while the heroes were fighting a vampire cult hidden beneath Fallcrest. They quickly found that the vampires had been taken over by Kalarel, a scion of Orcus that the party had first encountersed in Shadowfell Keep months earlier. Kalarel wasa bent on revenge against the heroes for thwarting his plans in the Keep on the Shadowfell and was using the child’s abduction to lure them into a trap.
The eight-hour ritual proved to be a grueling challenge for the heroes and if it weren’t for the aid of High Priest Ressilmae Starlight of Moonsong Temple, the heroes may have lost the child’s soul to Orcus, Demon Prince of Undeath.
After the return of Shari’s soul, Falcon Markelhay entered Moonsong Temple with urgent news. A magical cry for help was recieved at Moonstone Keep from Heir Warden Ernesto Markelhay, the eldest son of the Markelhay family and ambassador to the Town of Moonstair to the south. The Heir Warden’s phastasmal message stated that Moonstair was under attack by the trolls of the nearby Trollhaunt and that the son of Baron Perenon of Therund had already been slain is his attempt to hunt down and destroy the leader of this new troll army, Skalmad, the self-proclaimed new King of the Trollhaunt.
The heroes gathered and quickly decided to travel south on the Nentir River to aid Moonstair. Luckily, they were able to get passage with one of the captains of the reknowned Swiftwater clan, Alkon Swiftwater, a tough halfling with a good sense of humor but a dubious sense of business. Nontheless, the heroes were traveling south in a matter of hours.
The river course was uneventful until the Swiftwater barge entered the Witchlight Fens. Recent clashes with lizardfolk on the fringes on the swamp, strange noises, unnatural shadows skulking at the edge of lantern light, and a feeling of foreboding draped over the area like a pox-filled blanket made it difficult for most of the crew to sleep. Nothing happened in the Fens but it is only a matter of time before somethinig malevolent rises from this poisoned bog.
At the end of the 5-day river journey, only an hour or so out of Moonstair, the heroes noticed screams and the sounds of combat from the shore. Captain Swiftwater ordered the barge to land and, within moments, the heroes came upon five bloodstained trolls led by a horrible blue-skinned creature the heroes guessed was an oni. The giants had ambushed several messengers on a seldom-used side road out of Moonstair. The heroes slew the creatures and found a message meant for Baron Perenon, telling him of Moonstairs troubles, the death of his son, and the loss of the ancestral family sword, Sunwrath to the Troll King Skalmad.
The heroes gathered the bodies of the fallen messengers and the session ended as the heroes saw their first sights of Moonstair.