The Vale Defenders Extermination Co.

And now, for something kind of different...

The Vale Defenders Extermination Company was founded in some unnamed vale, which may have been more of a city. It's members include Borgrim Stonecircle, a dwarven priest, the amiable (?) halfling rogue Wilbur Sunshire, the somber elven wizard Elmathor Amnatell and the human knight Brandis Lee. They earned a reputation... wherever it is they came from as "passable rat exterminators" and "okay exterminators" for anything else.

Their work isn't pretty. And since moving to the frozen town of Frostmantle, it isn't even necessary. That's why they have put themselves on the line as adventurers, "on the side." This, too, was pretty unsuccessful, and for most of their stay in the dank basement Shaven Bear in, they have been without work or money of any kind.

But then came the request from Ovin Silverhelm, acting mayor of Frostmantle. A wealthy citizen of the town, Kavalar Coppernight, made a sizable investment in some property on a nearby mountain. He went out to excavate a small hold there, and hadn't been heard from since, so Ovin sent out a small militia (two members) to check on Ovin and his band. They, too, did not return, so Ovin, without any other option, turned to the Vale Defenders. Desperate for work, they accepted the task.

On arriving at the excavation site, the Defenders found it blocked by an eight foot tall fence. Wilbur climbed a pile of rubble to get a good look at the area, and found it to be completely infested with kobolds. As a quick reaction, Wilbur fired his hand crossbow at one of them, but missed. Hearing the commotion, the rest of the Defenders scrambled into action. The four cut down the kobolds without difficulty, and moved to investigate the pit descending into the earth, and into Coppernight Hold.

Before checking for a ladder of any kind, Brandace leaped into the pit and fell to the bottom, harming himself somewhat in the process. Impressed, Wilbur followed, with arguably more success. Borgrim and Elmathor simply climbed down - this worked out well for them. Borgrim made a particularly impressive display of climbing the ladder.

At the bottom, they were engulfed by darkness. Elmathor cast Light on his tome of spells, which was to little avail, so Brandace lit a sunrod. The four were faced with a large statue, depicting a dwarf charging forward, and tapestries on either wall depicting dwarf battles of various sorts. At the end, two kobolds stood waiting for them, so the group jumped into action. The battle went well at first, and one of the kobolds was taken down with little effort. But then they started moving forward, and Brandace uncovered two kobolds that had been hiding... just a little too late. These kobolds pushed the statue over on top of Borgrim, who was pinned down beneath it. He struggled to get up, until one of the kobolds pulled a cord that dropped the tapestries on top of everyone in the hall; in other words, everyone but Wilbur. The three affected were covered in the heavy tapestry, and as the wyrmpriest among the kobolds used his freezing breath, Borgrim began approaching death. He lamented his situation as loudly as possible for the rest of the group to hear, until his death (which only lasted a few seconds, but still).

Eventually, Wilbur and Brandace were felled as well, leaving only Elmathor to deal with the final remaining kobolds. Elmathor used one of his most powerful spells, leaving one left. At the edge of collapse himself, Elmathor was able to beat him back and caused him to flee, then helped the party up. Wilbur, in possession of a (stolen?) Raise Dead scroll, brought Borgrim back to the world of the living, and the four pressed onwards.

In the next room, they found more kobolds and their leader, a fledgling white dragon, in what appeared to have been something like a throne room. The last of the kobold's forces attacked the Defenders here, and the dragon quickly wiped out Wilbur, while the kobolds brought Elmathor and Brandis down before long. Borgrim, however, was not fond of the going down again, and was able to bring the latter two back to their feet after ensuring Wilbur would not bleed out. They then launched a push that defeated the kobolds, though Elmathor was taken down again. Brandis and Borgrim defeated the remaining kobolds and the white dragon (roughly evenly) with ease. They then opened the iron double doors at the far side of the room.

Inside, they discovered a human and two dwarves, starving and chained to the walls. The Vale Defenders freed them, and one of them informed them that he was Kavalar Coppernight, owner of the hold. He directed them to the dragon's treasure hoard as a reward, kept in an unfinished room at the end of the hall. Brandis then yelled at one of the weakened militia men until he agreed to fight with the Defenders, but quickly went back on this plan once they learned that they had explored the entirety of the hold. Borgrim discovered some dwarven chainmail, that Kavalar was more than happy to give to him.

The group returned with Kavalar and the militia in tow to Frostmantle, where they were rewarded by Ovin Silverhelm, who found their presence irritating but their services useful. Placated with a small amount of money and one magical item, the group returned to the basement of the Shaven Bear to complain about how slow the rat extermination business has been.

This has, so far, been the only adventure of the Vale Defenders Extermination Co., who are no longer located in a vale of any sort. What awaits them in the future? More adventure? More rats? A successful investment on their patented "Rat Milkshake?" Only time will tell.