Dan as Incendius, Human Wizard
Neil as Bud, Ranger
William as Fib, Warlock
Sina as Alvenor(?), Swordmage
Steven as Etain, Drow Cleric
Jacob as Kintama, Hengeyokai Thief
Josh as DM
…As the sigil of warding bursts, spraying the party with lightning, they burst through the door to find Slim talking with a robed figure who they (correctly) assume to be Gant. They tell him he’s under arrest, and when he asks what will happen if he doesn’t come peacefully, he is answered with a fireball to the face (compliments of Incendius). The rest of the team joins the fray as two more goons burst from the basement.
Kintama, thinking he has found his moment, creeps through the window and backstabs Gant for major damage, but one of the goons immediately heads in his direction, cornering him as the other moves to block the door. Alvenor successfully draws fire from Slim and the goon, allowing Bud and Fib to unload on them. But, a mysterious imp (Gant’s familiar?) suddenly appears out of nowhere and starts biting people.
Under pressure of steel, lightning from Gant, and the imp, Alvenor is taking massive damage, but the placid Etain is up to the task and is able to keep her up with his signature “STOPFUCKINGDYING!” of healing. Kintama, seeing himself outmatched, somersaults over a nearby couch, dodging swings from the goon and Gant as he charges into the fray. The combined force of the four party members quickly take down Slim and the thug.
Meanwhile Incendius has been seemingly muttering to himself outside.. Bud and Fib start wondering what he is doing when suddenly a huge sphere of flame erupts from thin air near the back of the house, following Gant and the goons around and scorching them over and over (oh, and maybe singe-ing the carpet a bit too…) With his allies falling and himself outmatched, Gant throws up a protective shield and threatens that his plans have already spread beyond Bryn Shander, and Easthaven will be his next victim, as he teleports away. The team quickly finishes off the imp before it can vanish again, robbing Gant of his familiar at least.
They run to Duvessa and fill her in on the situation (including the fact that he was trying to burn the house down and nearly succeeded with the carpet! That bastard!). She promises to send word to the other Speakers. After some persuasion from Incendius she also gives the party a hefty reward, at least for level two adventurers. They debate whether to head to Easthaven to try and finish off Gant, or keep their promise to Helda and Hengar to escort them north. They decide that any low level adventurers will probably be sufficient for Easthaven, and pool their gold to post a reward at the inn for a party of at least four level 1 adventurers to head to Easthaven, warn the townsfolk and stop Gant’s threat. Feeling this is sufficient, they take dinner at the Northlook where they meet Helda and Hengar.
Hengar is brooding, but Helda has a drinking contest with Incendius over dinner.. he learns quickly “never challenge a dwarf to a drinking contest” as everyone else laughs and heads to bed. They let Hengar and Helda know to meet at dawn, and Hengar complains that they don’t seem to understand the seriousness of his village’s situation. In the morning, Helda is waiting with her cart but Hengar is nowhere to be found, and the guards report he headed out a few hours before dawn. They make good pace towards the dwarven settlement at Kelvin’s Cairn throughout the day, and push on a few hours past nightfall to make it before stopping.
The guards at the entrance to the dwarven valley are terse and unfriendly. They agree to escort Helda to Stokely once they learn of the family connection, but refuse to let the heroes in. Something about their tone tips off Etain and Fib that things are not right, and they convince Helda and the party to retreat and camp just outside the valley for the night. In the morning, they discuss their options.. they could try to sneak through side tunnels into the main colony, but they might have to abandon the donkey in the tight tunnels. They decide to try their luck with the guards again, hoping the day shift is nicer…
Unfortunately, the day shift are just the guards that Kintama saw hiding inside the guard post with weapons drawn the night before, and they present the same story. Kintama presents a sense of urgency, and they begrudgingly agree to let the heroes come with them as half of them will take Helda to see Baerik before going to see Stokely. Apparently Baerik has taken over the colony as Stokely split, which doesn’t make much sense to Helda but they go with it.
Inside the dwarven tunnels, they reach a wide junction and Helda stops, claiming they are heading away from Battlehammer Hold where most of the dwarves live. The guards say that Baerik has moved the clan since Stokely left. They argue about whether to split up, and realize that the guards are not going to keep their deal if they get to Baerik. Kintama uses the argument to create a distraction, and everyone else gangs up to knock out the guards.
Investigating their equipment, they find the source of the problem.. each of them carries a weapon made from some unknown material that seems like black ice. Alvenor and Fib, who are attuned to such things, feel a malevolent energy coming from the weapons, and Incendius reflexively throws his to the ground and incinerates it when he feels a magical pull on his mind after taking the weapon. They realize that the black ice is warping the dwarves’ minds, and they must warn Stokely!
They rush to Battlehammer Hold, where guards (armed with normal metal weapons) recognize Helda and quickly move them through the living quarters into the central forge, where a large imposing dwarf stands, fully armed – Stokely! “So, what brings you to Battlehammer Hold with my neice in these dark times?”