Adventurer's Beware

04 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – No way out

Eventually, the party decided to venture forth from the earth node room. Travelling back through the chambers they used, they discovered most had suffered damage and luckily the passages back to the dwarven halls were still negotiable with some climbing and crawling. The halls suffered as well as crevasses had opened and passages had caved in. The cult’s barracks areas were collapsed and unreachable, the pool room had suffered enough damage to block the sewage tunnels and leave Barl’s feet emerging from beneath a ton of rubble, and the remaining tunnel survived enough to reach a landing. The group quickly surmised the landing to be beneath the winch wheel room in the upper halls, but sighed deeply as they realized the wheel and its chains had fallen to score deep scars in the stone landing. A blood trail could be seen disappearing into another set of sewer tunnels. Dyan’ette cast spider climb on Rhogar and the dragonborn climbed to see what was left of the upper halls. Just before the spell ended, Rhogar returned to give the party unwelcome news. Most of the chambers above had collapsed and though the stairwell could be reached, it had also filled with collapsed stone. He also discovered three cultists, a stone guard with crushed legs and two gray robed men. All were exhausted and slept as he found them. They apparently had only climbed to find themselves trapped as well. Concern flooded the group as they realized they had only two options. Navigate the narrow sluices of the sewage tunnels in hopes to find one not collapsed and able to reach the surface or descend into the huge cavern below with the distant sound of water. The same sound could be heard above in the collapsed chamber, but also could be heard faintly in the original entry room that had the rope bridge over the large fissure. Maybe the group could find a way beneath that fissure and climb out from there?

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03 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – Tremors and Trouble

The eight hours passed quickly as the group rested in the comfort that the hammer of warning would alert Tamnai of trouble. The group prepared for the challenge ahead when Tamnai signaled their attention and pointed at the barred door. A loud knock sounded on the heavy wooden door. The group remained quiet as if the knocking would go away. It continued until a voice from the other side announced “You are needed! Kerdlin says there is trouble in the halls above and you are needed!” The party remained quiet far too long and the voice finally called, “Fine I will tell him you do not answer.” A few seconds passed as Tamnai flung open the door and Rhogar rushed forth to grapple a surprised young man in a dark gray robe. Carden followed and used the pommel of his sword to strike the man unconscious. As they pulled the limp body back into the room, Yeshua was horrified and objected profusely to such treatment. After some initial tension between Yeshua and Dyan’ette about prisoners, Carden splashed water on the captured cultist to awake him. After discovering that the man was named Barl and that he was a relatively new initiate to the Black Earth Cult, the party threatened him with his life. Again, Yeshua protested and promised Barl that no one would lay a hand to harm him. The man obviously was not convinced, and was intimidated to relay information on the Cult’s strength and leader’s whereabouts. The group agreed after considerably discourse to leave Barl bound in the room with the intent of returning. Within minutes, they avoided the cult members responding to the upper halls and were outside a door leading to the chapel according to Barl.

Carden peaked in to see cultists chanting and a robed figure in the center of the long room carrying a rod similar to the leader in the Dourstone Mine. A three-legged and three-armed creature with a large mouth where a head would be turned toward Carden and the rogue announced we are discovered. The group erupted into action. Yeshua leaped through the door and within a moment snapped the neck of a cultist with his fist, sunk a dart into another, and then dashed around a wall to the right. Tamnai followed with a fireball that erupted in the center of the room and consumed all the enemy within. Nine cultists were obliterated and their charred forms sunk to the stone floor. Only the leader and the weird creature remained. As Rhogar made his way in, he called for Bahamet’s strength and his sword flared with radiance. The three-armed creature closed with Yeshua and slashed the monk deeply, but luckily missed with its slavering maw. The cult leader called for the earth’s vengeance and the earth erupted about Carden, Rhogar and Tamnai bludgeoning them badly with shards of stone. Carden rushed the caster but failed to penetrate the splint mail beneath his robes. Dyan’ette and Ben-Hadad made their way into the room and Ben-Hadad held the caster magically. Within seconds, Yeshua dodged away from the three-armed horror while Rhogar tried to get its attention. The horror turned its attention to the injured Carden and quickly slashed the rogue to unconsciousness before biting him deeply to leave him bleeding out at the feet of the held cult leader. The others surged forth, spells and Shatterspike bit at the three-armed creature. The group witnessed Ben-Hadad’s fiery rays strike true and immolate the held caster, however the caster, much like the one found in the Dourstone Mine, burst into shards of sharp stone upon his death. The blast sent stones into the three-armed creature to kill it but also into Carden’s dying body. The rogue took his last breath as Tamnai shouted, “Noooooo!” The Sune priestess rushed to his side and started the casting of a life-returning spell with the use of a hand of valuable diamond dust. As the dust sank into Carden’s form and glowed, strange shadows erupted from his skin as if to resist. Tamnai continued to call on the will of Sune and the dust blazoned with a white light and the rogue grasped a deep breath and opened his eyes stating, “it burns!” Everyone seemed relieved that Carden was back, but a few carried worried glances at the shadowy resistance. The group collected a magical wand carried by the cult leader while Tamnai and Rhogar took a moment to heal some wounds. All agreed to proceed through the excavated tunnel leading from the chapel with hopes of resting soon.

Within a few minutes, the party emerged from the unnaturally carved tunnel into a large natural cavern with numerous ledges, stalactites, and stalagmites. No obvious exits were evident and the group spread out to inspect the room for the best place to rest. “Sentinel” pulsed to warn Tamnai, Rhogar, and Yeshua of danger. Carden’s uncanny senses also picked up the threat, though no threat was visible. A large stalagmite in the center of the room exploded with activity. A roper was within the party’s midst and four rocky strands lashed out. Tamnai, Dyan’ette, and Carden were snatched. The large aberration reeled all three towards its maw, but chose to bite Tamnai. The cleric went limp after the vice-like jaws bit her severely. Everyone else sprang into action and pelted the roper with spell and weapon. Yeshua’s fists struck true but were resisted by the creature’s rock-like hide. Rhogar’s blade slashed true and deep, especially after Dyan’ette covered the roper in faerie fire. Ben-Hadad’s flames repeatedly hit home. Yeshua’s stunning strike finally penetrated the roper and gave the party the opening to finish it. Luckily, Rhogar caught the limp form of Tamnai before it could strike the floor and Carden rushed forth to use his spare the dying cantrip to stabilize her. Dyan’ette produced an ointment of healing and used it to revive the Sunite, mush to her surprise. It was then, that Yeshua realized that the Sunite was not human. With wounds dispersed among them all, the group decided to risk the short rest to bind their wounds and catch their breaths for battles ahead. Fortunately, an hour passed quietly and the group spoke very little. Dyan’ette identified the wand as a wand of web and claimed it. A thorough search of the cavern revealed a secret passage hidden along a large stone. Another unnatural carved tunnel stretched ahead and the group resumed their order of march to see what lay ahead.

The tunnel opened into another large cavern, but the group’s attention was immediately drawn to the large glowing green stone in the center of the floor. The members that viewed the smaller earth node in the Dourstone Mine recognized the stone as much larger earth node. Across the cavern, a tall robed man greeted the group and asked why they chose to trespass into his sanctuary and what reason they had to oppose the Black Earth Cult’s operations? A brief discussion occurred revealing that this man, Maliyai Styre, served the Elder Earth known as Ogre’moch and that he was well aware that the party had foiled his operations in the Dourstone Mine and must have recently killed his Stonemelder, Kerdlin Stonebender, along with other members and servants of the Black Earth Cult. The party pushed to learn what Ogre’moch wanted in these lands and pursued questioning that seemed more concerned about the ethics and morality of the cult opposing the group’s beliefs. Rhogar crept forth with each question, but was matched by a large earth elemental between he and Maliyai. The cult leader offered the group, or at least some of the group, a place with the cult and mentioned their misdeeds which caused Yeshua to start questioning the party’s intent. This only complicated things as this distracted and distressed the party’s cohesion. After detecting evil in the very earth node, Rhogar howled and pushed the moment to combat. Maliyai answered swiftly with a vitriolic sphere that sprayed the group with acid. Tamnai and Ben-Hadad were injured most as the acid continued to burn them. Rhogar and Yeshua faced off against the earth elemental with Shatterspike doing the greatest damage. The cult leader countered a spell from Ben-hadad and continued to volley back and forth with the group. Opposed by a spiritual weapon from Tamnai and another from the ring of spell storing, Maliyai placed himself on the earth node and transformed into an elemental of earth and metal. He bashed the group with powerful strikes as they returned his ferocity with blade and spell of their own. Once the earth elemental was destroyed, the group focused their efforts and knocked the cult leader from his form. The earth node showed signs of absorbing some spells as Dyan’ette’s shatter spell deafened the room. Spells continued to be flung and both Tamnai and Ben-Hadad were down. Dyan’ette again rubbed the ointment over Tamnai’s acid burns to revive her and she likewise revived Ben-Hadad. Carden fired eldritch blasts from his fingers and Dyan’ette released another Shatter spell which was absorbed and then followed by a tremor the rocked the cavern. The tremors toppled a table and a barrel on a far ledge. It was then, some noticed a glass case with a metallic orb fall to the stone floor and shatter. The orb rolled at started to throb with an eerie light and ominous power. Ben-Hadad fired his searing rays at Maliyai. Two holes opened in his chest and erupted from the cult leader’s back; he fell silent upon the earth node. Panic set in as the group realized that the orb was pulsing faster with each moment and all realized it was likely the devastation orb they had read of in the journals from Dourstone’s mine. Seeing the node match the pulsing, Ben-Hadad shouted that it could be a gate and tossed the orb onto the earth node. Yeshua pulled the cult leader’s body from the node and was splashed with acid for his efforts. Carden, ignoring the risk to himself, straddled the orb and attempting to push it into the earth node. It slowly sank as did Carden. He was quickly joined by Yeshua and Rhogar attempting to press the orb into the node faster. Ben-Hadad panicked and started molding earth into a bunker-like structure, but then spotted a chest near where the orb fell from. Tamnai and Dyan’ette offered encouragement as all anxiously awaited the orb’s eruption. Once blasted open, the chest revealed only scrolls tied with twine. It was too late! The orb now 80% sunken into the orb erupted and most of its force was pulled downward into the earth node. However, tremors echoed through the chamber and the ceiling gave way in places. Heavy rock and formations crashed to the floor striking many of the party. Both Ben-Hadad and Tamnai were struck down and many of the others barely remained conscious. The dust was thick from the rubble and the rumbling continued pierced by sharp cracks and groans that sounded as if from far away. The glow from the earth node slowly faded leaving a smooth dark stone the size of a small cart.

Once the tremors stopped and the area calmed, the group gathered again to heal and stabilize. With Tamnai unconscious, the party decided to rest in place. The Sunite eventually wakened and healed the sorcerer of flames; all agreed that further rest was needed. Nearly 10 hours passed in silence with an occasional mild tremor. The group identified a bag of holding on Maliyai’s corpse and waited for Ben-hadad to read the scrolls. The scrolls were records of the earth nodes growth and use to create three devastation orbs. Though cryptic, the phoenix sorcerer uncovered that one was given to someone referred to as the “fat man” and another entry possibly referenced the same person as the “miner”. Most of the scrolls contained rhetoric on Ogre’moch and his rebirth into Faerun to lay waste to the unnatural structures built by the betrayer races.

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02 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – The Broken Path

Before entering the large room, Rhogar summoned forth his steed and instructed his dragon-like creature to guard the stairwell. With magical lights placed on Rhogar’s shield and another upon Ben-Hadad himself, the group carefully entered the large room. Carden and Dyan’ette offered that the far side extended beyond their vision and the group was presented with either a left or right passage since the central chamber was bisected with a gaping chasm. Rhogar consulted with the spirit of Corwin and the dwarf spirit informed him that the left led to a chamber where most of his previous party were slain by traps and that the right led to winch wheel that descended into the lower chambers. Carden and Rhogar took lead and slid down the left corridor before reemerging through a door into the central chamber beyond the seamlessly bottomless chasm. Another door was opposing them and likely led to the right passgae. The party followed; Carden and Dyan’ette could see a dwarven statue on a pedestal with hands outstretched with palms skyward. Carden quickly announced that the palms each held something magical. Cosima skirted right of the next fissure in the room and carden and Rhogar skirted left. All watched the two strange piles of rubble of a different hue than the stone floor and with some iron and golden metallic flakes amongst them. Tamnai and Ben-Hadad kept some distance beyond the lead members and Gromm and Dyan’ette brought up the rear at an equal distance. After searching the rubble, Carden announced it appeared to be statuesque and perhaps ceremonial before being destroyed. The entire group continued cautiously toward the dwarven statue just beyond a large arched doorframe. The group also discovered that the second passage entering from the right was filled with rubble and its opposite entrance was collapsed into another bottomless chasm. As soon as Carden reached the side chamber exits, a rumbling could be heard beyond the arch and two large stone statues carved as dwarven guards with metallic joints crunched forward with enormous hammers in their grasps.

As Carden quickly moved to get beyond the statues’ assault, he triggered a vicious swing from the hammer that barely missed to crack the stone floor. Rhogar sent forth a heavy crossbow bolt that bounced harmlessly from the statue’s shoulder. Cosima reacted immediately and wielded “Shatterspike” to great effect. The magical blade sliced two huge rifts across the golem’s midsection almost severing it in half. The first golem swung its massive hammer just missing Cosima. The true threat was revealed when the second golem belched forth a cloud of dust that engulfed the first golem, Cosima, and Carden. The warrior and the rogue watched in terror as their skin begin to harden and turn into stone. Horrified, the remaining members cast forth a flurry of magic spells including shatter, scorching ray, and spiritual weapon. The first golem crumbled under the assault and the second was injured. The remaining golem took Rhogar’s strikes and moved past the dragonborn to draw another strike with little effect. The next moment seemed to stop time as the group realized the golem’s intent. It lifted its large stone hammer and struck the stone structure of Cosima with a sickening crack. Cosima’s head was instantly crushed into rubble as was much of her upper torso. The clanging of Shatterspike could be heard striking the floor still in the stone grasp of Cosima’s severed arm. The golem then turned toward Carden. The party let forth an assault that harried and eventually destroyed the golem, while Gromm heedlessly rushed to the statuesque remains of Cosima and started dragging her away from the battle. With the golems destroyed, the group watched as Gromm seemed lost in his thoughts. Tamnai attempted to console the half-orc offering possible magics that could return her to a single form and then possible discovery of a cure for the transformation. Rhogar likewise offered words of hope. The others, preferring to avoid any discussion on loss, started inspecting the dwarven statue with arms outstretched in hopes of finding something. Two magical stones were discovered in the palms of the statue and Dethek runes were found on the wall in the alcove behind the statue. Many grimaced when they realized tht Cosima was the only party member that spoke dwarven. Dyan’ette asked Gromm to use his magical abilities to discern the runes meaning, but Gromm refused and just remained with the statue of Cosima as if broken himself. Frustrated with such ambivalence, Dyan’ette decided to copy the runes on a parchment.

Rhogar, Tamnai, and Carden observed Gromm start dragging the statue of Cosima toward the path they had entered, while Ben-Hadad worked Shatterspike from Cosima’s arm’s stony grip and Dyan’ette copied the runes. Rhogar closed on the half-orc and asked what he was doing and where he was going. Gromm simply replied that he was leaving. Rhogar offered that the upper level was still occupied by orcs and that this course was foolish. He suggested that Gromm snap out of this melancholy and think of what Cosima would want the bard to do. Gromm angered and punched the dragonborn, but Rhogar remained calm and offered practical advice. Seeing that his efforts were not working, since Gromm again started dragging the statue, Rhogar attempted to grab the half-orc. Gromm whirled and drew his blade before casting a hypnotic pattern the demanded Rhogar’s attention. Carden and Tamnai were also in the spell’s radius with only Carden submitting to the effects. Tamnai shouted at Gromm to think of what he was doing and suggested that the group could all ascend and fulfill the bard’s need to bury his friend. Gromm blurted some hateful words at the priestess, refused her offers, and started to move again when his spell dissipated releasing both Carden and Rhogar. The two immediately realized that they had been ensorcelled. Carden unsheathed his sword and closed the distance while yelling at the bard for casting a spell on his own friends. Finished with the runes, Dyan’ette and Ben-Hadad were drawn by the commotion. As Dyan’ette came around the corner, he witnessed Gromm and Carden with swords drawn on each other and Rhogar, obviously frustrated, near both. Thinking to diffuse the situation, the dark elf empowered a spell to make both Gromm and Carden fall asleep. The next moments seemed to slow as if time itself wanted to ensure every moment was remembered as they cascaded. Dyan’ette’s spell was strong enough to affect Carden, but Gromm shrugged the effects at the last second. Carden slumped forward and fell to the right of Gromm striking the shin of Cosima’s statuesque remains. Her statue started to topple on the edge of the precipice. Gromm instinctively reacted and gripped the one arm remaining as the statue rocked into the chasm. The weight was too much as the half-orc was off balance and he cried out, “Noooooo!!!” Rhogar watched in horror while he jumped to grab the bard unsuccessfully. Rhogar laid their confused as he clearly understood that Gromm chose not to release his grip and save himself. Tamnai screamed and the others just looked in confusion as Gromm’s scream could be heard for seconds as he fell with Cosima’s remains. It was if he was crying out for her and not his own fate. In a few minutes, the party had lost two of their members and the rest were left with the knowledge that they were vulnerable.

Rhogar woke Carden who exclaimed, “Why does everyone keep casting spells on me!” The rogue asked were Gromm and Cosima’s statue was and Rhogar could only point into the chasm with no words added. Eventually, the group discussed the ordeal and all seemed to agree that Gromm was lost before he chose death over living with the knowledge that Cosima was beyond saving. The group continued to the room that the soul of Corwin mentioned that his previous adventuring party had been killed other than his brother, Derwin, and he. The room beyond the fallen floor revealed a glowing sphere about a floating hammer, a bowl beneath the sphere with ancient golden coins, the bones of Corwin’s ranger companion, a broken statue of his wizard companion, and a complete statue of his monk companion. The spectral ghost of a dwarven guardian appeared and commanded the group to leave and take the trespassers. The group decided to do so, when the ghost pointed at Carden and howled something in a distant dialect. The ghost touched the rogue causing him to double over in pain and then it wailed as its face peeled back to reveal a horrible visage. Many in the hall were fearful and watched as Carden aged before their very eyes from a young man in his 20s to an older man in his 30s. Rhogar, unnerved by the ghost, smiting the undead as Ben-Hadad burnt it with beams of pure flame. Dyn’ette recovered a magical ointment from the dead ranger’s remains and Ben-Hadad gripped the hammer and it was released from the field. After touching it, a burst of energy pulsed forth and restored the monk statue to life.

The group gathered the 100 golden coins from the bowl and took a short rest to speak with the monk called Yeshua. The group discovered that three years ago, the adventuring party consisting of the dwarven brothers Corwin and Derwin, Yeshua, Callen (their scout), and Ayoum (their wizard). The brothers hired the others to accompany them to a discovery of an ancient dwarven redoubt known as Glitterhame. Upon entering, the group bypassed the trapped and locked dwarven doors and cleared the upper hall of some monstrosities. After descendingto a lower level, a tremor collapsed some of the floor and they almost decided to retreat. However, Derwin, assured the group that the dwarven script on the walls spoke of a smile shrine just ahead. After finding the shrine, Callen triggered a trap and an acidic cloud took his life. Corwin argued with his brother to leave and Derwin accepted the decision. However, Yeshua’s last memory is of Derwin breaking the glass container around a floating hammer in the shrine and then of a brilliant light. During the rest, Dyan’ette revealed that the stones were ‘sending stones’, that the hammer was a magical hammer of warning, and that his ointment was Keoughtom’s ointment able to heal wounds, disease, and poison. The monk, Yeshua, requested to accompany the party after hearing that Corwin had been slain by his brother and that the group searched for Corwin’s remains. He also asked Rhogar if he could wear and attune to the ring, so he could converse with Corwin. Rhogar agreed after a series of questions to discern the monk’s motives.

The group continued to the winch Wheel room described by Corwin and found a counterbalance contraption used to descend even further into Glitterhame. They were ambushed by three stone guards and a stone priest of the Black Earth Cult, yet defeated them quickly with blade and spell. After discovering a narrow tunnel system beyond a secret door, the group decided to descend through it instead of the counterbalance wheel. Tamnai marked their path in chalk as Carden took the lead into the narrow sluices. A close encounter with small worms burrowing through a corpse, Carden kept a flaming torch before him and continued further winding downward. Reaching a larger tunnel system filled with a few inches of stagnant water, the group saw a distant light down one of the corridors. Carefully, the group reached some steps ascending a few feet into a larger chamber. The room was filled with an eerie green light issuing from a central fountain ringed with bones and skulls. As the group entered, three odd creatures with putrid green skin and a large central eye of swirling fluid attacked. Battle ensued as the trio clawed at the party. Each hit upon a party member transferred a glimpse into their past to reveal a moment of horror or sadness plucked from their very memories and displayed prominently in the pool. The flaying of Rhogar’s father, a vile beating of Carden as a child by older children, a draconic word teasing Rhogar were all among the visions. The very nature of the creatures caused all to feel a sense of dread. Once slain, the group discovered that the door could be barred from within and decided that the room would serve as a point to camp and plan their foray ahead. Carden discerned that the glow was emanating from a magical source and the soul of Corwin confirmed that this was the room he had been slain by his brother. Ben-hadad dived into the pool and confirmed the presence of two skeletons and retrieved the source of light, a driftglobe. Once the bones were retrieved, Tamnai confirmed that one skeleton was dwarven and placed Corwin’s remains into her backpack. Yeshua asked to carry the remains to honor his once friend when the party continued. Thinking of the trials and emotions this day involved, the party eventually slept.

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01 Marpenoth (Leaffall) continued – Into the Forlorn Hills

Rhogar summoned his dragonlike steed and the party mounted their horses. Leaving Goldenfields slightly after noon, the party viewed the massive farming community fully for the first time in the sunlight. The residents bustled about preparing for harvest season as the group rode back through the gatehouse and out onto the Northfurrow Trail. Autumn, evidently settled between the ears of Tamnai’s mount, announced that the group should skirt the southern wall of Goldenfields and head due east until they reach the River Dessarin. Within an hour, the party reached the large river spanning almost 1000ft from bank to bank. Autumn explained that the Dessarin river is wide and deep in most parts, but she knew an area shallower during this season that the mounts could traverse with her assistance to the south. An hour or so travelling along the banks of the Dessarin finally placed the group at the spot that Autumn called a ford, though like no ford any of the group had ever seen as the river appeared just as deep. The pixie flitted about unseen evidently speaking to the mounts and then called for the group to ford the river behind her voice. As the group remained mounted, their mounts appeared to swim effortlessly across the river, even Cosima’s current armored mount. Once across, Autumn guided the party northeast toward the Forlorn Hills.

As the party traveled the rolling hills, Gromm and Cosima caught site of danger just before the group crested a small hill. A hill giant and two ogres seemed to be arguing while four bugbears paced about in frustration. Gromm cast a spell allowing him to understand their language, likely the giant tongue. The bard informed everyone that the group were arguing over finding food and were planning to raid nearby farmsteads. He mentioned that they admitted that they had done this previously with some success. Rhogar spurred his dragonlike steed forward to crest the hill and gain their attention. Before the dragonborn could call any warning or greeting, one ogre pointed at Rhogar and announced ‘FOOD’! The gathering started to lumber toward Rhogar while the bugbears charged. The giant heaved a boulder as he closed and its force smashed Rhogar’s summoned mount; dismissing it instantly. The party hastily reacted with spells and missiles. The gods or fate surely smiled upon the group as their enemy failed to wound them at all. However, the party’s strikes were deadly and quickly fell the giant, the ogres, and three of the four bugbears. The last bugbear huddled behind his shield and surrendered to Cosima as she towered above him with her bloody two-handed blade. Upon speaking with the bugbear and assurances from Rhogar that he would be spared if he simply cooperated in providing information, the party learned that the giant had gotten them lost. The bugbear was serving the hill giant that had been ordered by its leader, referred to as Guh, to gather as much food as possible and bring it back. Unsure of where this Guh was, the bugbears had joined for any spoils as they were hungry and had not eaten in a while before the giant and its ogre allies encountered them a few days back. The bugbear believes that there are more giants about since the hill giant spoke of others and was trying to find them as well. Rhogar declared that he would kill the bugbear if he ever saw him again and released him. The bugbear, taking the dragonborn literally, told Rhogar he would travel the opposite way of the dragonborn and then hid behind a downed ogre, carving some meat from its corpse, until the party departed.

The rolling grass-covered hills slowly altered into a more rock-strewn terrain as the group continued toward the higher ground. After a couple of hours traveling the higher ground, the party approached a series of peaks in the distance. The group decided to continue further before asking Autumn to use her ability to commune with the land to find their goal. During a short rest, the pixie sat upon a small boulder and placed her hands to it. As small roots and vegetation wrapped about her hands, Autumn concentrated on what the party requested. She confirmed that a small vale was some two and half miles east and that it contained crude unnatural structures. She also revealed that above the vale a few other stone structures existed and that they were very old. Lastly, she extended her consciousness into nature to determine humanoids within the area. Other than the party, she felt the presence of a small group travelling to the south a mile or so away, a single humanoid to the north at the edge of her reach that simply disappeared from her awareness, and a large group in the vale area. Scattered about the small vale was a little more than two score and at least a half dozen could be felt at the old stone structure above it. After Rhogar consulted the soul of Corwin within the ring, the party was certain that this could be the location Renir had suggested was the entrance to Glitterhame and the area of Black Earth Cult operations. Following the trails, the party winded toward the envisioned vale to find themselves below a steep rock wall rising to a narrow ridge. Carden decided to climb and get a better view of what was beyond. The rogue easily traversed the rocky face of the stone and slipped out of view from the group. He returned a few moments later to descend and inform the party that a nearly encircled vale was just beyond. The vale floor was covered in a half a dozen wooden longhouses and some hide tents and populated what he believed to be many orcs, though most looked to be avoiding the direct sun if possible. A weathered path ascended vale’s inner walls circling from west to north to east and finally reaching the stone structure between the crags of the upper stones. The stone structure appeared to be built into the walls themselves. After discussion, Autumn informed the group that she would accompany the group to the crest to see the vale, but would then return to watch over the horses and find a place nearby until the group returned. After the group ascended to the crest, Carden lead them along the narrow ridge to a location they could descend some 60 feet to the trail below in hopes of not being seen. A few remembered Cosima’s spell that allowed them to quickly descend in the mines. Gromm was not happy with the height, but was eventually convinced by Tamnai and Cosima to go along with the plan. The spell could only effect five, so two were not affected and Autumn recommended they use her pixie dust. She explained that it usually allows the recipient to fly, but also disclosed a few other possible effects not so helpful. Rhogar quickly volunteered to fly and placed faith in Bahamut to keep him from a bad outcome. Ben-Hadad, ever curious, agreed to use the dust as well. Luckily, the dust proved beneficial as Rhogar and Ben-Hadad flew down to the path and the others jumped to be caught by Cosima’s feather fall spell.

With an hour or so left of daylight, the eastern heights the party approached were floodlit by the setting sun. Carefully making their way to the top of the trail with Rhogar and Cosima taking the point, the group paused to let Carden reconnoiter. Two orc sentries were ahead avoiding the sunlight and others were likely behind the arrow slits now visible above the group. Tamnai decided to cast a silence spell to allow the group to surprise the sentries. Dyan’eette cast a sleep that caused one orc sentry to slumber as Rhogar flew forth to block the sentries from retreating into the large open doorway beyond. The common chaos of battle ensued once Rhogar flew forth and across the entry room. Ben-Hadad flew in after Rhogar, summoned a bonfire for light and then retreated back out once he saw the orcs. The surprised orcs hurried to respond and closed the doors after Ben-Hadad’s retreat to seal Rhogar from the others. Outside, orc archers sought targets in the silence. Cosima dispatched a sentry and Carden slew the sleeping sentry. Tamnai rushed the door but was repelled by the thick wooden door barred from inside. Eventually, the door was defeated by Ben-Hadad’s flames and Gromm’s shatter spell. A fireball from Dyan’ette streaked through an arrow slit and silenced the archers beyond. Within the keep, Rhogar could see somewhat from the bonfire and realized his separation fully. The entry room was bisected by a jagged ravine with no visible bottom and only a three-rope bridge allowing a physical crossing of the span. Rhogar was beyond the ravine and pressed hard by two orcs lead by another calling for his death. Seeing the burning doors blown asunder by the shatter spell, Dyan’ette consumed the flames to feed a pyrotechnics spell that filled the entry way and much of the room with thick smoke. This also plunged Rhogar back into darkness against foes with darkvision. The battle slowed for those in the smoke as the orcs and party fumbled about attempting to kill each other. Calling on his inner light, Ben-Hadad blazoned to light and flew in again giving Rhogar enough light to battle his adversaries. Already wounded by the leader, Rhogar healed himself after watching the leader heal his wounds. Ben-Hadad overwhelmed the leader’s psyche to hold him in place. Rhogar used the diversion to bypass the leader, block, and slay an orc intending to alert the keep. Much less honorable, the Zakharan blasted a flame so hot that it penetrated the orc leader’s chest and singed Rhogar beyond him. The smoke eventually cleared to reveal the orcs dead and the party somewhat injured. Uncertain of the duration of the pixie dust, the group looted the corpses and then rolled them into the ravine. Unnervingly, no sound of their impact could be heard, only a distant roar similar to water striking stone forcefully. Deciding to rest and recover before testing their luck. Carden found a secret door leading to the arrow slit room with four badly burned orc bodies and another door. After disposing of the bodies in the ravine, the group wedged the door in the room shut with pitons and started to rest. A dozen minutes later, a knocking from the door startled the group. The knocking pattern continued and a failed attempt by Gromm to act as if all was well resulted in increased activity beyond the door. It was at this moment Ben-Hadad caught a glimpse out one of the arrow slits of an orc at full run rounding the corner down the trail to the camp below.

The group scurried back to the entry room in hopes of crossing the rope bridge only to find orcs between them and the exit and others across the ravine. Another battle ensued with the fighters pressing the orcs back from the secret entrance so others could join. An orc spellcaster filed to command Gromm and Cosima to jump into the ravine, but the orcs were able to injure the party further. Another fireball consumed many of the orcs beyond the ravine but likewise destroyed that end of the rope bridge. One orc fled deeper into the keep as the party slew the remainder, but then a horn could be heard in the distance giving no doubt that the camp was alerted to the party’s presence. Ben-Hadad leaped for the ravine and stepped through a conjured mist that placed him on the other side as a rope was produced to tie to one of the burnt ropes. Dyan’ette used a mage hand to carry the rope end to Ben-Hadad who secured it by wrapping it around a stalamite. Rhogar wasted no time in muscling his way across the rope, followed by Carden and Dyan’ette. Terrified of heights, Gromm argued with Tamnai to go first. After securing a climbing harness on Gromm, the half-orc finally urged himself across at a snail’s pace. Hastily, Tamnai made her way across but the rope wedged in her gear and frayed significantly by the time she made the far side. With a look of disbelief and a few choice words, Cosima followed with hopes the rope would hold. The rope snapped as she neared the far wall, but the half-elf warrior made her way up with assistance from Rhogar. The secret door opened to reveal more orcs peering at the group over the ravine. The party gathered their rope and quickly made their way further down the dark corridor. They passed a door to their left after 20 feet and stopped at an arched stairwell, another 30 feet, with orc writing on its side. Gromm interpreted the words “no ORC beyond“! The door behind them opened and two orc heads peered at them and shouted to alert others. The group hastily descended the stairs for some 30 feet and listened for any pursuit. When no pursuit came, the party healed some as Carden checked the stairs beyond.

With no obvious pursuit, the group decided to rest as long as they could without interruptions. The stairs were uncomfortable and hard, yet the party managed to get a long rest before descending to the arch opening into a large room with gaping holes in the floor.

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01 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – Goldenfields, The Breadbasket of the North

The sounds of early farmers woke the group as a few in their bunkhouse were among the workers with morning duties. The group headed back to the Northfurrow’s End for a large breakfast of eggs, thick fried pork strips, golden fried potatoes, freshly baked bread, an assortment of fruit spreads and a strange paste made of nuts. Not wanting to waste time, the party headed for the Harvesthome Abbey to find Abbot Ellardin Darovik. The large elaborate building looked to be centuries old and its outer walls were adorned with a large statue of Chauntea at each corner with her hands raised to the sky as if to cast a spell to summon rain. Well-tended hedges surround the foundation, and a sun-shaped window of stained glass set above the main entrance and steps. As the group entered, they immediately noticed two black bears lying in the center of the pews. After asking an acolyte, the group was approached by the abbot wearing long brown robes allowing him to keep his arms crossed within before his stomach. After taking the group into a small garden to the side of the abbey, the abbot listened to their story. Ellardin seemed a man likely to avoid confrontation or ruffle few feathers, but offered assistance in the form of an ally capable of speaking to nature. When asked about Renir Copperbeard, the abbot directed the group to a small hovel in the northern part of Goldenfields near the Goldengulp Brewery. The abbot informed the group that his ally would await them at the stables and then wished them success on their endeavors.

Renir Copperbeard’s hovel was easy to find but no one answered after repeated knocking and calls at the door. Upon looking through the window, an old dwarf could be seen rocking in a chair at the far end of the room. Louder calls and banging brought the dwarf to the door though it took much longer than expected. The reason became obvious when a spectacled venerable dwarf carrying a hearing cone opened the door slowly. After considerable repeating of questions and misunderstood words, the group eventually extracted enough information in hopes to find the entrance to Glitterhame. The supposed entrance to the unearthed earth node being used by the Black Earth Cult. Renir Copperbeard asked if they could fulfill his life’s goal and share any knowledge or findings of Glitterhame. The party agreed and proceeded to the stables to gather their mounts. An hour before noon, the group entered the stables to find their mounts ready with tack and gear, but alone. A giggling could be heard and then a fluttering when the group called for their ally to show themselves. Eventually, a high female voice answered them as the hair between one of the horse’s ears wistfully danced about. To the party’s surprise, their ally was a pixie. The green-skinned, red-haired, butterfly-winged fey smiled widely as she introduced herself as Autumn. After introductions, she disappearing and asked if the group was ready to leave.

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Highharvesttide – Travel to Goldenfields

The next day delivered another bright and clear day to Dyan’ette’s dismay. Yet travel along the Northfurrows Trail was lonely and neither beast or traveler was encountered. A quick lunch and evening meal allowed the group to push into the evening and past dusk. A couple of hours past sunset, the group crested a hill to see the flickering flames of lanterns along long steep stone walls. Certain that this was Goldenfields, the party approached in the dark. After announcing their intentions to the guards upon the Gatehouse, the party was ushered into a space between portcullises and submitted to an inspection. Minutes later, the group was heading along a dirt road in the darkness between fields of indistinguishable crops. Passing the central square surrounded by concentric rings of flat long houses, the party followed their directions to the Northfurrow’s End, a three-story stone edifice with arched windows. The raucous laughter and music erupting from the inn suggested that the Highharvesttide celebration was still in swing. As the party entered, many of the inn’s patrons turned, smiled, and then continued their revelry. The proprietor, Miros Xelbrin also dubbed the “Yeti” loudly greeted the group and ushered them to join the celebration. Not having any rooms available, Miros offered a bunkhouse along the residences they had passed if they needed somewhere to sleep. He offered a reduced price and had one of his staff secure the group’s horses for the night. The group enjoyed the food and drink while watching the patrons. Of note, the group witnessed a bookish black lady wearing the seal of the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors from Waterdeep. Gromm made friends with a performing Halfling, Oren Yogilvy, leading most songs with his lute and voice. After a couple of hours of camaraderie, fine food, and finer drinks, the party retired to the bunkhouse and snuggled in their blankets for a good night’s rest.

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30 Eleint (The Fading) – Waterdeep and beyond

Near midday, the party approached the southern gates of Waterdeep. Everyone but Carden and Tamnai marveled at the immensity of the City of Splendors. Carden took the lead as guide until Tamnai announced she wanted to visit her shop in the Dock Ward. All were surprised to discover that the tiefling actually owned a shop and was a paying guildmember in Waterdeep. As the group traveled the streets of Waterdeep, words cannot describe the sheer wonder of the city and the sheer activity bustling about her streets. Departing the northern gate, the party returned to their arduous travel for a dozen or so more miles before reaching the Northfurrows Trail. It was here, that Rhogar felt a suspicion that he was being watched. After discussion with the group, it was believed that Rhogar was being magically scryed upon and Dyan’ette offered him the ring to attune in hopes to thwart any further attempts. The group camped for the night and agreed to push forward the next day in hopes to cover the last 50-60 miles. Yet again, an uneventful night blessed the party and their mounts.

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29 Eleint (The Fading) – The High Road

The next day was clear with a few clouds visible as a mild breeze persisted from the coast. The group passed a few small wagon trains and a group of travelers on foot headed to Waterdeep throughout the day. The 48 miles travelled were uneventful and somewhat pleasant for the group, other than Dyan’ette and his sensitivity to the sun. An evening camp was established and the night was peaceful beyond a few howls in the distance.

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28 Eleint (The Fading) – Tying up Loose Ends

The party decided on a quick breakfast and departure to The Harvest House to speak with Shale as soon as vigils were complete. The senior scribe for the Harvest House greeted the group warmly, but concern was clearly on his face. He returned the journals to the group and posed a few possible actions for them. Foremost, he reminded the group that the clergy of Daggerford should not be directly leading an accusation, even one so clearly supported with documentations. He recommended two paths. The first would be for the party to seek an audience before the 23-member town council of Daggerford to introduce their findings. The second would be to present the evidence to Ronan Stormweather, the investor behind the Dourstone mine who had been swindled, so that he could present the findings to the council. The party rapidly agreed the second would be in their favor as none wanted to be the brunt of questioning from a town council composed of 23 members with agendas beyond the group’s knowledge. Shale supported the party’s intent to track the Black Earth Cult back to the Forlorn Hills since they present a threat, especially with the mention of a devastation orb. He suggested that the group determine what a devastation orb can do, how many does the cult have, can they produce more, and what do they intend to do with them? Also, is the cult aligned with another entity since the orcs are clear allies, but the group mentioned a ‘Triad’ by the dead Enclave operative, Lyrendre. The group asked Shale for any advice and the scribe said they should travel to Goldenfields, a fortified farming community to the west of the Forlorn Hills, and seek the Abbot, Ellardin Darovik, a clergy of Chauntea and member of the Emerald Enclave. The abott should be able to help and Goldenfields would likely be the closest town to the western Forlorns. The group thanked Shale and departed the temple. A few decisions were made before the group split. They deciding to depart Daggerford for Goldenfields that very day and not check out from their rooms at the Lady Luck. Since the rooms were paid through Highharvesttide, their departure may go unseen by the Untherites and any other watchers. Carden and Dyan’ette would sell any valuables and gems the party needed to liquidate, Cosima would prepare the horses for travel, and the others would seek to speak to Ronan Stormweather about the journals.

The residence of Ronan Stormweather was a three-story estate house in the Money Quarter which the party found after asking a few residents of Daggerford. A man servant welcomed them and informed them that he would inform his lord of their request for an audience. A few minutes later, a distinguished man in his 50s with salt and pepper hair and beard appeared at the top of the elaborate bannister. His courteous and comforting demeanor contrasted his favor toward dark clothing and piercing eyes. The group detailed their discoveries omitting some of their more questionable actions. After providing the journals and allowing the retired guildmaster to peruse them, Ronan assured them that he would request a meeting with the town council and see their discoveries to fruition. He stated that such a meeting would likely not occur until after Highharvesttide. He suggested the party return after he had time to assess the journals thoroughly and possible rewards could be discussed. The group agreed and left for the stables.

As a last thought, the group remembered to visit the Thinker’s Fraternity to see if any progress on the dwarven parchment left there had been made. They were directed to Eldrac Bonecaster, a sage with concentration on the dwarven empire of Delzoun. He believes Glitterhame refers to a grand hall of a hidden Delzoun bastion somewhere in the western Forlorn Hills. The orc hordes swept over the hills in the past and little has been discovered to his knowledge since then. Eldrac knows of a source, a very old dwarf named Renir Copperbeard, that lives in Goldenfields that provided him with this knowledge a few years back when he was researching the Delzoun empire in that area. Eldrac wants to purchase the ancient script and offers 100 gold coins to the party. The party agrees and the sage also beseeches them to bring him any other information, antiques, or relics from Delzoun or Glitterhame if they discover such. He will certainly pay for authentic items.

Shortly after midday, the party mounted their steeds and departed Daggerford through the River Gate to avoid detection. They turned west and then took the High Road toward Waterdeep. The evening approached after the party traveled some 24 miles, though the party passed many travelers heading toward Daggerford and Waterdeep to celebrate the upcoming Highharvesttide. The night passed uneventful.

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27 Eleint (The Fading) – Return to Daggerford

As morning’s light crested onto the party’s camp, the group started to break camp and discuss disposition of the remains of the Untherite. Dyan’ette composed a sketch of the Untherite at Rhogar’s request. After the sketch was completed, an agreement to burn the body was reached and Ben-hadad ignited the corpse in a bonfire while the group remained to ensure the body was consumed. Rhogar studied the strange blade taken from the warrior. He practiced with the khopesh during the burning and hung it upon his belt as a trophy. Tamnai gathered the group and revealed her tiefling heritage as if she was worried of the revelation. The party nodded in understanding and none judged or seemed to care of her fiendish heritage. All admitted that she was their friend and their ally. The group started to walk to Daggerford. The travel to Daggerford was uneventful and the party reached the Farmer’s Gate a couple of hours beyond noon. Carden greeted Jak Crimmy, one of the guards on the gate, and the group decided to visit the Harvest House and report the recent discoveries to Shale.

Upon entering the Harvest House, the party waited only a short time before they found themselves in the meeting room with Shale. After producing the documents obtained from the cult and discussing their encounters to include their discovery of Ragnolin Dourstone’s involvement, Shale asked if they would leave the documents for him to read thoroughly and return in the morn after morning vigils. The group agreed and immediately split once outside the Temple to Chauntea. Carden stated he needed to drop off something without any details; causing the group to warn him to refrain from illicit activities. Rhogar announced he planned to visit the Table of the Sword and Cosima agreed to accompany him. The rest of the party, Tamnai, Gromm, Ben-Hadad, and Dyan’ette decided they would secure rooms since Dyan’ette’s magical disguise was soon to expire.

Carden made his way to the storage facility to deliver his latest report to the Gray Watchers. Upon opening his compartment, the rogue discovered a thick rolled parchment and a small tin container. The container was filled with a hair dying compound to lighten his hair to a light blonde. A simple note stating “You may need this” was in the larger parchment which was an actual wanted poster with Carden’s likeness when he left Waterdeep. The bounty on his head was 100 gold lions and was issued by the Order of the Gauntlet for breaking and entering and grand larceny. Startled by the wanted poster and the prospect of being hunted by the Order of the Gauntlet, Carden quickly snatched the contents of the compartment and placed his report there before locking the container and quickly departing while looking over his shoulder.

Rhogar and Cosima walked casually to the Table of the Sword and Rhogar asked to see Baergon Bluesword, the High Priest of the Shrine. An acolyte informed the pair that Baergon was not present and likely would not return until the evening. After showing the acolytes the sketch of the dead Untherite with no recognition, Rhogar and Cosima decided to spar to pass the time and give Rhogar some experience with the Khopesh. Just prior to evening feast, Baergon returned. Unfortunately, the priest did not recognize the Untherite, nor have any information of the group Rhogar seeked. After a tailored version of the encounter with the orcs, the dreaded revenant, and the Untherites, Baergon suggested caution. The High Priest showed considerable concern over the rise of a revenant, but did not persist in questioning its reason for seeking Rhogar and his allies.

Upon arriving at the Lady Luck Tavern, Tamnai and Gromm secured the three remaining rooms due to the upcoming Highharvesttide holiday due in four days. Dyan’ette immediately headed upstairs to scribe a scroll while Owenden continued to speak with Tamnai and Gromm. Owenden informed Tamnai that a group had asked about their golden dragonborn friend. The innkeep pointed to a distant table with two dark skinned well-equipped men sit watching the exchange. Ben-Hadad decided to remain at the bar and watch from a distance to see if the men had other allies. Tamnai purchased a bottle of wine and then her and Gromm approached the table. A grim discussion bordering on hostility and threats occurred. Tamnai and Gromm learned that the leader of a group of Untherites purposed to seek and slay dragonborn for their invasion of Unther. This leader, Samar, was certainly in league with the caster, which he named Zeldara, and the slain warrior, which he named Horat. Samar bore a large symbol of Gilgeam wheras his partner, Azzed, was wrapped in fine leathers and toyed with a dagger while cocking an eyebrow in disbelief at everything Tamnai said. The group noticed that Rhogar’s shield was being used as a platter for food and drink spilled across it. Tamnai and Gromm assured the pair that they would inform Rhogar of their presence before returning to Ben-Hadad. Ben-Hadad alerted them of two other similarly dressed men at one of the upper tables that were watching the exchange intently. The three decided to go upstairs and relay this to Dyan’ette to find Carden sitting in the room with the dark elf as he scribed into his spellbook.

Rhogar and Cosima returned to find the rest of the party preparing for dinner. The group discussed their events of the day to include Carden’s wanted poster and the Untherite presence at the Lady Luck. Those familiar with the Order of the Gauntlet requested that Carden to reveal his full crime. The rogue told all that he stole some items of wealth from a minor noble’s house and was seen. When questions started to pervade the Deep (Waterdeep), he decided to leave and let things blow over. He knows not why the Order of the Gauntlet would be involved. He admitted that to find out fully who and what the Order of the Gauntlet really are could be helpful. Rhogar was more focused on the presence of the Untherites and suggested that the group head downstairs to eat and see if they were still around. Seeing the Untherites at a small table, the group spread about the tavern anticipating a conflict. Finding a table able to hold the party, Tamnai took a seat to hold the seats for the party. Ben-Hadad and Dyan’ette, disguised again, remained near the bar to watch the upper tables while Rhogar, Cosima, and Carden approached Samar and Azzed. Samar quickly attempted to enrage Rhogar by blaming his kind as usurpers and invaders. Heated, yet controlled, insults and jests were passed between the two to confirm a deep hatred between these two beings. Even the admittance of slaying Sharash along with revealing a necklace with eleven other dragonborn scales did not break Rhogar’s will. Likewise, revelation of Horat’s death and his subsequent burning did not sway Samar either. A mutual loathing and antagonism developed as Cosima and Carden held their actions to follow Rhogar’s lead. Samar also threatened to reveal that the dragonborn and his group willingly travel with a dark elf. Unable to hear the conversation, Dyan’ette watched intently with certainty that a battle was going to ensue. A final attempt to break Rhogar’s control was revealing the dragonborn’s magical shield with his symbol of Bahamut defaced and being used as a platter for the Untherite’s meal and drinks. Rhogar erupted and snatched the table, flipping it to send all the contents toward Samar. The priest of Gilgeam remained calm as food and drink splashed about him with some falling into his lap. With lightning quick reactions, Azzed caught the shield midair and pulled it away from Rhogar and the floor. The tension was palpable as Rhogar simply turned and walked away followed by Cosima and Carden. Azzed returned the table to standing and Owenden walked toward the dragonborn stating, “There is not to be any trouble in the Lady Luck!” Rhogar nodded and offered a few coin for the mess as he and the others settled at the table with Tamnai. The group hastily ate a dinner with little conversation until Dyan’ette claimed that they must visit the best smith in town as soon as possible. Curiously, the others looked at the disguised dark elf for an explanation. Dyan’ette simply stated the ring is speaking and wants to go to the best smith in Daggerford or I will surely get no rest this night.

As the group exited the Lady Luck Tavern, Rhogar confirmed that the best smith in town was surely the dwarven weaponsmith, Derval Ironeater, of Derval’s Bright Blade. The group watched intently for any trailing them as they made their way to the dwarven business a few streets away. After being met by a sweaty dwarf in the shop’s foregrounds, the group was lead to the master smith Derval Ironeater. Dyan’ette, in his disguise as a high elf, told the master smith that he was sent by a spirit in a ring he carries and spoke the words the ring’s spirit revealed. Frustrated with the absurdity of the elf’s story, Derval was quick to dismiss the group and question the elf’s motives. After the revelation of a series of names and statements that caused Derval to openly become irritated and almost hostile, the dwarven smith called in some reinforcements. The ring would require attunement and Dyan’ette realized that the ring was beneath his thin black gloves covering his dark elf skin. After some subtle distractions, Dyan’ette produced the ring and Derval took it and asked all to sit why he waited for the magic to attune to his presence. The hour passed slowly while the party revealed the story behind the mine’s closure, the deceit of Ragnolin Dourstone, and the alliance between an earth cult and a tribe of orcs. Once the ring began speaking to Derval, things intensified quickly. Ragnolin Dourstone was revealed to be Derval’s brother, Derwin Ironeater, that had not been seen in the past three years. The spirit within the ring was revealed as Derval’s other brother, Corwin Ironeater, whom had left at the same time. The redeeming fact for the party was that Corwin’s spirit also revealed that Derwin had murdered his brother after he was aware of Derwin’s involvement with the Black Earth Cult. Derval’s questions turned to his brother’s, this Ragnolin Dourstone, misdeeds and the events that resulted in his death and his subsequent return as a revenant. After some uncomfortable admissions, especially Tamnai admitting to slaying Derwin with holy magic while he was bound, the conversation became hostile again as the ring revealed that Dyan’ette was a drow. Furious that he had been further deceived, Derval refused to speak to the dark elf any longer. However, after some calmer discussion, Derval agreed that he and his brethren would refrain from revealing the drow’s presence if the party agreed to retrieve Corwin’s bones in the cult’s lair in the Forlorn Hills and return them for proper burial. He also asked for the location of Derwin’s burnt body was so he could retrieve those as well. The group agreed and the ring was returned to Rhogar to hand to Dyan’ette since Corwin’s spirit could assist at the location he was slain. The party returned to their rooms, inspected them for any surprises, then finally slept a full night in a bed. Except for Carden, Dyan’ette and Ben-Hadad who discovered Pavril beneath one of the beds awaiting Carden. She smiled at Dyan’ette and Ben-hadad as Carden irritably questioned her motives. She coyly suggested she was only helping, especially since he is wanted in Waterdeep by a well-known, well-resourced, and saintly order respected by law-abiding citizens and their rulers. She poured out the water and Carden immediately assumed she had poisoned it, but she simply shrugged at such an allegation. She wished him well and recommended using the hair dye before she departed the room and locked the door from beyond.

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