Crukul has learned that the pawn shop where he worked for all those years has been ransacked. He has some very important personal items hidden in the upstairs floorboards but he’s much too old to retrieve them himself and the few people he knows can’t make it out of the Shadowfell to return them to him. He calls the group to his quaint house and asks if they will be willing to travel to the city of Gloomwraught and retrieve his items for him. The odds are against them; Crukul is still a stranger, the Shadowfell is full of death and unknown dangers and once the portal he creates closes there’s no known way to get back. He did mention that an old associate of his will meet them and guide them to the pawn shops location.
The group took the challenge and entered the portal via a large mirror. Their reflections revealed weakness that the Shadowfell brings out of people and their armor and weapons were stained with the blood of the innocent. After stepping through they landed in a dark marsh just outside the city but Ashlen was nowhere to be found. They made their way through thick, muggy water and onto the shore where rotting dead bodies lay. The air was warm and fowl and they could hear the faint sound of screams.
At the edge of the marsh, they were met by a group of dwarfs who claimed the party had trespassed on “their great city” and must pay an enormous toll to pass. An insight check from Morgran revealed they were just a bunch of thugs and the group was forced to murder them. After the fight they approached the 50 foot tall city wall where they saw a halfling sitting on top. He was Crukul’s friend and called himself the helper, a name he got from working as a hired hand at the pawn shop taking inventory and cleaning up. On their way to the shop they learned that his real name was Ostran* and he used to be an adventurer like them.
Once they got to Trap’s pawn shop, a perception and stealth check revealed voices inside so they went around back and entered through the basement where Ostran used to live.