After leaving the beaten path to wipe out the den of Kobolds, we returned to our original goal of traveling to Winterhaven. Upon arriving there, we set up at one of the tables in the tavern so we could listen in on the townsfolk and get a general feel for the mood. While there we met Valfren, a kindly old man who was both a sage and a scholar, and he informed us of the history of the town, the tavern, and the nearby keep. He informed us that the town was constantly plagued with Kobold raids, and that Lord Padraig was doing all he could to prevent the raids.
We then ran into the elf Nanarian, who we had run into while hunting the Kobolds. We thanked her for her help, and informed her that we had wiped out the Kobold den. We then sought an audience with Lord Padraig, who was in the tavern, and asked him how we may best serve Winterhaven. He let us know of the Kobold raids and the steps he had taken to defend the town, and we informed him of the den that we had wiped out. He was somewhat skeptical of our bold claims, and asked for proof. We then showed him the letter we had taken from the den, but did not show him that it said there was a spy in the town, for fear he may be the spy. We then asked if he knew of any cult of Orkus activity in the nearby area, and the tavern went silent as I mentioned the name Orkus. I could tell that these people lived in fear of Orcus by their reaction, but I pressed on.
Before Lord Padraig could tell us much more, a door at the other end of the tavern opened enough for a hand to indicate to Lord Padraig that they wanted to talk with us. We warily went over, but upon entering found private bedrooms and nothing alarming about the area. We were then greeted by Eleanor, who goes by the handle Bishop, a servant of Talasht. She serves in the area with two companions, Rook and Knight, and was assigned with Rook to look into the cult of Orkus, while Knight is off on a separate assignment, seeking Drow near the Karkenwood forest. It turns out Rook was a Kobold named Kossis, and was under cover in the Kobold den we had wiped out, but when she described his appearance and his unusually dark scales, we were certain we had not come across him. She suspects that Rooks cover was blown after she informed Lord Padraig of his role, but doesn’t believe Lord Padraig was the one who sold him out. Since we are both share the same goals, we agree to adventure with her to the keep, where she believes there may be goblins serving the cult of Orkus. We agree to meet with her the following day outside the keep, and she heads off to the Kobold den to look for any signs of Rook.
We then decide to spend our remaining time in Winterhaven scouting out the barrel where Reiks is supposed to drop off his missive. We place the missive in the secret compartment and spend the night keeping an eye on the barrel in hopes of finding a servant of Orkus in the town, but the only person to touch the barrel is the old stable boy in the morning. As we confront him about it, it doesn’t appear that he knows much about the cult or anything else, and we find that the missive is still in the secret compartment of the barrel. Since we have to meet Bishop, we take the letter back so that Reiks can deliver it himself at a later time. As we prepare to leave for the keep, we run into Valfren again, who lets us know more about the keep. We find that it is built over a rift to the Shadowfell, and was abandoned a long time ago when the commanding officer, Sir Keegan, went crazy and killed a bunch of people at the keep. We thank him and then head off to the keep to meet Bishop, and ensure that the rift to the Shadowfell remains closed.