Adolan, Jimbo, Kira, Nuella and Vayera has just exited the glacier mines as the mines collapsed around them. As they turned back to look at the scene, they were surprised to see a colossal disembodied head floating over the caves. As woman’s face, of fair complexion, hair tangled and tossed glared down at them. Even if her spectacles had been on correctly or there were no twigs and bits of moss in her hair, she would still have appeared completely insane.
She bellowed at the heros, “What are you doing? I summoned you here to stop the dark one and yet I find you here, in Rogard, about as far way as you could be from you task. If you can’t follow instructions, I’ll just find someone who can.”
With that, Chiteen, Colbrand, Gandt, Needloum, Saphire awoke in the Kota Camp the morning before the party had entered the glacial caves. To them, it seemed as if they had just had the most realistic dream possible and had dreamed of themselves as other people doing the actions they had performed up to this point including having already entered the caves.
The party entered the caves and almost immediately discovered that some things had changed. Minor things but some things none the less. The location of a rock slide had moved, a spot of blood, etc. But they immediately heard the small voice singing, “One eye, one eye, it has seen you now you die…”.
The party made their way to the back of the cavern systems where they encountered an imp singing. She engaged the party and was slain quickly. Chiteen attempted and succeeded at recovering a vial of the viscous liquid that was dripping from the imp’s stinger.
Following the caves around, the party engaged several Lemures who ran this time. One held the party in place in a narrow corridor while the others ran down all the remaining corridors screaming and alert. After a couple of moments, another imp, wearing an eye patch, came flying through the area and escaped out of a hole in the roof of the caverns.
The heroes made their way into to the last cavern and discovered Luna Kota, the barbarian shaman, unconscious and bound. The party was able to heal his wounds, but was not able to rouse him. They delivered him, and his staff, to Paupa Kota and the Kota Tribe . Paupa Kota presented the party with four gifts, a huge golden nugget, a black metal nugget, a Kota Tribe friendship totem for Imbroglio and a Victor’s Totem for the party itself. The party would later discover that two of the items bound to the totem were a Long Sword +1 and the Ring of Malkizedek.
The party was treated to a feast by the Kota Tribe and more of the barbarian liquor. This time it claimed nearly all of them sending all but one into a drunken stupor. As daylight broke, Adolan, Jimbo, Kira, Nuella, and Vayera awoke from another overly realistic dream. They thanked the Kota Tribe once more and began making their way back to Hero Guild.
Just before nightfall, the party found themselves at Road’s End the last camp site along the road that runs north toward Rogard. As the party began setting up, several ash skeletons sprang from the grass and charged the party. Adolan’s faith was put to the test as he attempted on three separate occasions to turn the foul undead before the last of them fled from the radiant righteousness of his faith.
As the last of the skeletons fell, the party noticed a large black covered wagon riding in from the east. As it grew nearer, it became even more obvious that this was not your ordinary wagon. It was nearly twice as wide and long as a normal and was very tall as well. It was completely enclosed in a dark wood engraved in macabre relief. As the four black horses pulled it near the camp, the driver called out,“Welcome travelers. My master would like to parlay with you. Please prepare yourselves while I tend to my master. As soon as the sun has set, he will allow you an audience.”
True to his word, ten minutes after the sun has set, the doors of the massive wagon opened and a wild haired, pale skinned man stepped forth, introducing himself as Beauxmont, a representative of the “Lords of the East”. His driver, while building a fire, notices a recent copy of the Port City Gazetteer that someone has apparently used to light a fire. The Gazetteer indicates that the Hero Guild Grand Council has been called to review Imbroglio’s actions regarding the party. It also includes an article about the “Bloody Baron” having burned some more towns and that a war council had been called.
Beauxmont shared several pieces of information with the party. He informs them that someone from Hero Guild is trying to make contact with the Lords of the East and that someone, perhaps the same person, has been passing information to the Bloody Baron. He also indicates that Master Imbroglio seems to be “of two minds” these days and says he thinks it has something to do with what is going on at The Gray House, the boyhood home of Imbroglio and his brother Maze. Beauxmont offers the heroes a “gift of good faith” if they will promise to investigate the happenings at Gray House and gives them the life of Henry Woodsen.
Beauxmont seems to become a bit nervous as the evening wears on and offers the party one last bit of advice, the perhaps they can not trust Gilead as much as they suspect. With that, he and his driver pack up and drive off into the night.
As soon as he is gone, Henry shares some “choice words” about his former “host” and relates his story. In short, he used to own a shop in Port but decided to become and adventurer. He hired on with an adventuring company (though he didn’t mention their company name) and was almost immediately informed that he would be sent out on a mission with an experienced group. They took him out two days into the wilderness, knocked him in the head, robbed him, and left him for dead.
However, he did not die. A traveling monk happened upon him and nursed him back to health. The monk mentioned that he would require some long term care that he could not provide for Henry but that he knew a place that would put him up if Henry had, “even a little coin”. The monk helped Henry exchange a letter of credit of hard coin, at which point, the monk knocked him in the head, robbed him, and left him for dead.
However, once again, he did not die. He awoke on the side of the road, broken and battered. He decided he needed some training from Hero Guild and began making his way there. He exchanged the last of his letter’s of credit for hard cash so he could make his way. On the third day he crossed a bridge where a troll happened to be residing. The troll knocked him in the head, robbed him on his gold and drug him into the wilderness to die.
This time, Henry probably would have died, had he not been found by Beauxmont. Beauxmont took him in and nursed him back to health, “in case I needed a snack along the way”.
After Henry told his story, he asked the heroes, “who’s your man?” The party informed Henry that they did not have a manservant and Henry stood and proclaimed, “You have no man servant? Tis not right I tell you, not right at all,” with that Henry stood up as tall and straight as he could and said, “I swear, by all this is holy and not, that from this day forward, I will be your man.”
With Beauxmont gone the party settled down for the night. Just before the last watch, Gilead and Kithka, his dire wolf companion, strode into camp. Gilead confirms some of the information that the party has discovered and tells them the location of The Gray House. When asked what he’s doing out here, he tells the party he’s hunting a Vampire. The heroes do not divulge the fact that they had met a Beauxmont earlier that night. Early the next day, Gilead rides on and the party heads for Snake Head.
At Snake Head, they manage to sell the large nugget of gold for some much needed coin to the town’s mayor Master Mathews, and spend some time tracking down leads. The town cryer announces that there is a message waiting for the “Strangers in a Strange Land”, the adventuring company name of our band of heroes. It turns out to be from Imbroglio. The letter indicates that things are very unpleasant at Hero Guild right now and that the party should remain away a little longer.
Supplies are refreshed at Tobias’ Goods, some services are hired from the Snake Head Temple and the heroes track down Crazy Red a retired wizard living in Snake Head to do some research about the Ring of Melkizedek.