Once again in pursuit of a House Cannith heirloom for the mysterious Lady Elaydren d’Vown, our heroes find themselves in the teeming goblin metropolis of Rhukaan Draal, the very heart of Darguun. Seeking safe passage to a ruined quarry on the old Cyran border, they’ve made contact with a shady human named Failin, who claims to know the way – but can he be trusted?
Our feisty heroine, Quillathe d’Lyrandar, and her trusted companions follow the mysterious Failin from the tavern, drinks untouched. He hurries through Rhukaan Draal, rushing the group through the streets to the outskirts of the city. As the group turns a corner, two bugbears step into the road, blocking the path. The group glances behind to see that three more bugbears have closed in from behind. The goblinoids are armed with morning stars and javelins, and boast leather armor. The party is trapped! Then the largest and smelliest of them speaks.
“Failin, do you have the money you owe us? You cheated us.”
“Skrag, I was just going to come find you and give you some money! I don’t have the money on me yet,” replied Failin. He turns and whispers to Elleia, the elven cleric. “These guys are assholes. We should go.”
The bugbears growl and make threatening noises, so Caredric nocks an arrow, prepared to shoot if they attack! Val activates her inertial armor, sensing the ill-intent of the bugbears. Ivello, Quill’s brave cousin, decides to pull out his crossbow so he will not be left out of the action! Quill also readies her trusty blade. As the party prepares for battle, one of the bugbears throws a javelin at Failin!
Failin cries out and slumps to the ground. Elleia grabs him, pulling him into a nearby alley for cover. Wysteria d’Vadalis, in an attempt to cool tempers, casts entangle. Grey Fist tries to engage a bugbear close to him in hand to hand combat, with little effect. Combat ensues!
Soon enough, Quill and her friends have defeated the unfortunate Skrag, and Grey Fist offers the bugbears the opportunity to withdraw. They do so, and the party moves on once Elleia has healed Failin’s wounds.
Failin leads the group to a secluded area and rolls up his right sleeve. Quill is amazed to see a House Orien dragonmark on his arm, which he touches to the rock outcropping. As he adjusts his sleeve back down, a wagon appears from behind the stone. The wagon has a canvas cover, four wheels and is decorated with an undulating pattern of constantly shifting stone, gems and crystalline structures. He offers to let Elleia ride for free in exchange for healing his wounds.
Quill and her friends arrive at Rose Quarry, a previous holding of House Cannith, at twilight on the 4th. A wall of dead grey mist can be seen in the distance. Failin explains that the mist is the border of Cyre, now called The Mournland. In the large plateau below, Quill sees the sad remnants of the village of Roseport. She can see chimneys and facades, but there is little left that is not stone, covered in ice.
Someone is in Roseport! The group can see tents and figures moving around below in the light of a large fire pit. They see more than a score of horses and a covered wagon. There are seven humanoid figures with armor and helms in evidence. Skeletons armed with scythes guard the camp from the shadows.
In order to scout, Quill, Ivello, Caredric and Elleia sneak closer and make a shocking discovery! What appeared at first glance to be ice is actually glass! A songbird rests embedded in over 1” thick glass, perfectly preserved forever. They determine that Ivello and Caredric should continue scouting while Quill and Elleia keep watch close by. Elleia casts Hide from Undead on the pair and they move further into the town.
In the buildings, Ivello and Caredric find people burned alive and covered in glass. In the next alley, they find a dwarf, partially burned and covered in glass. In another alley, they found where something was chipped out of the glass. They hear a faint screeching sound…the sound of glass scraping across glass. They see three horribly burned looking dwarves, covered in glass walk past them. Clearly, their unexpected competition is chipping dead bodies out of the glass and animating them!
Ivello and Caredric bravely move up to spy on the camp. They see a score of soldiers and skeletal guards, in addition to the glass zombie patrols. In what appears to be the command tent, there are three beds and a coffin! Hearing what sounds like faint chanting, continue moving to the north towards the largest building in the village.
The large building is made of red marble, and has a carving over the doorway of the House Cannith bull. Across the street is a chapel of the Sovereign Host, and within that edifice ritualistic chanting can be heard. After watching zombies pull glass and stone out of the buildings, they realize that this force is likely looking for the same thing they want! Ivello suggests they leave by saying cleverly, “We’re being proactive. These people don’t even know they want to kill us yet.”
Back at camp, Maker studies the mysterious rod provided by the group’s powerful Cannith benefactress. He is able to determine that it is a key charm. The party spies on the larger force and realizes that they are with a terrorist group known as The Order of the Emerald Claw! Realizing that they cannot allow such a powerful item fall into the hands of such a group, Quill and the others decide to move under cover of night.
While Failin prepares to leave swiftly, Elleia, Caredric, Ivello and Val make their way to the Cannith building to find the map. In order to gain access to the building, they are forced to kill two guards and destroy a zombie guard. Once inside, Ivello discovers a number of statues and inscriptions in the main room:
White Hearth – Wolf and falcon statues:
Cablin Hall, Red Seal, SW 15
Black Hearth, Black Seal, SE12
Black Hearth – Knight and Griffon statues:
On Black Knight:
Kronu Hall, White Seal, N6
Red Hearth, Red Seal, SE7
Red Hearth – Dragon and Lion statues:
Tallis, Black Seal, E4
White Hearth, White Seal, NE9
They quickly surmise that these indicate places to stand to find maps to the various locations. Val uses her autohypnosis ability to memorize each map for future reference. They scatter rubble back over the floor to conceal what they learned from their enemies. As they are leaving, they run into a guard bringing breakfast to the others. They silence her quickly, but not before they are spotted. Taking the dead guards’ breakfast, they run for the wagon, while their opposition chases them on horseback!
Failin pulls the wagon forward, picking up the heroes before they are caught! They drive through the night, leading any pursuit back towards Rhukaan Draal. Then they head fearlessly into The Mournlands in search of Whitehearth. The map was accurate, and Failin is able to drive straight to an entrance leading down underground. While Quill and Wystaria debate the wisdom of leaving Failin alone in such a dangerous place, Caredric spots an undead vulture following them. He shoots at it, and it swoops away, returning to attack Failin viciously! Grey Fist destroys the creature, saving the day.