The following thoughts contain minor spoilers for Keep on the Shadowfell. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read it. And if you’re in my gaming group then you definitely shouldn’t be reading it.
REVELATION 1: THE KOBOLD LAIR
Keep on the Shadowfell begins with a kobold ambush. The entire village of Winterhaven is suffering under the effects of the kobold attacks. And Lord Padraig is offering bounties on both dead kobolds and the location of the kobold lair. So how will the PCs actually find the kobold lair?
CLUE 1: TRACKING. The PCs can track the kobolds back to their lair, starting at the location of any of their attacks or the barricades on the road between Winterhaven and the Keep of the Shadowfell.
Following the trail is a 6/3 skill challenge. The PCs must first succeed at a Perception check (DC 15) to locate the tracks (this counts as a success on the skill challenge), and can then use Nature and Perception checks as primary skills to complete the skill challenge.
CLUE 2: NINARAN. A successful Streetwise check in Winterhaven will put them in touch with Ninaran (see “On the Streets of Winterhaven” and “Winterhaven NPCs”).
CLUE 3: INTERROGATION. Any captured kobold can be forced to reveal the location of the kobold lair with an Intimidate check vs. Will defense. The kobold receives a +10 bonus because it’s hostile and a +2 bonus because giving up the location of the lair is essentially a betrayal of the entire clan.
Other PCs can use the Aid Another action with either Interrogation or Diplomacy (good cop/bad cop).
REVELATION 2: DRAGON BURIAL SITE
The PCs need to become aware of the dragon burial site and motivated to check it out.
CLUE 1: DRUIDIC SPIRIT. The druidic spirit in area 6 of the kobold lair is aware of the dragon burial site and of its importance to Kalarel’s ritual (see “Kobold Lair”).
CLUE 2: VALTHRUN. If asked about the Cult of Orcus, Valthrun will have some information but will also refer the PCs to Douven Stahl — “the true expert on the cult”. Valthrun knows that Stahl was researching the burial site and can tell the PCs where it is. (See “On the Streets of Winterhaven” and “Winterhaven NPCs”.)
CLUE 3: KALAREL’S LETTER TO BALGRON. We’ll put a letter in area 4 of the keep, written by Kalarel with instructions for Balgron.
One of the villagers has stumbled onto the dig site south of the village. I’ve ordered Datok and his men to reinforce Agrid. You should send some of your goblins to the surface and keep an eye on the ruins. It is important that our work not be disturbed.
REVELATION 3: THE KEEP
Pretty much anyone in Winterhaven can tell the PCs where the Keep is, and many people can give them even more information about it (see the relevant Streetwise check in “On the Streets of Winterhaven”). However, the following clues will make the players aware of its importance:
CLUE 1: DOUVEN STAHL. When the PCs speak with Douven Stahl at the dragon burial site, he’ll be able to tell them about the Keep. (See “Dragon Burial Site”.)
CLUE 2: KALAREL’S RITUAL LETTER. The note Kalarel writes to Ninaran can be recovered after the “Dead Walk” interlude. It mentions the keep.
CLUE 3: SIR CALIBAN. Perrien’s father, the banished knight Sir Caliban, journeyed to the keep and was killed there. (Bairwin Wildarson can tell them this.)