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“Excuse me- what are they saying?” asks a very tall and wide humanoid. Thick scaly pods of toughened skin mark the creature’s skin. The patterns of this thick skin are uniform and symmetrical. Hardfist, a goliath from the Mror Holds, asks the shaved and bald dwarf. The dwarf looks up and is startled by the impressive sight. The dwarf quickly sizes up the humanoid. The giant of a man has no weapons and seems feebleminded. Usable.

“Don’t know. Don’t care.” Grumbles the dwarf as he looks at the crowd before him. His mind is elsewhere. Last week he made a bad decision. A very bad decision. He thought he could work with the Boromar “family”. He now knows one doesn’t work “with” the crime lords of Breland. The crowd before them is getting louder. There is a hooded figure talking about the corruption of the city and how the king needs to be replaced. The dwarven inquisitor, Ronin Wardrum, knows he should leave before the watch arrives. Too late.

Dozens of red cloaked Watch members suddenly appear from the various alley ways and bridges to converge on the small square in the Granite Halls district in Lower Central Plateau . “Aw %#@*” growls the dwarf as he tries to move away the Watch. Five red robed Watch members point wands at the group of people they are within. He stiffens as magical hold spells wash over him. The large man catches his falling body. “I have you lil’ buddy.” A mage with a different colored crystal gem on his wand turns to the goliath. “…but who has you brute?”

There is little the dwarf can do as the Watch collects him and many other onlookers (many just passing through- not part of the anti-government rally). Chained, he placed under arrest and brought to the cells in The Citadel. Three dozen people total were taken here. They are interviewed and/or interrogated by the Watch one at a time. It is now that the dwarf meets another highly unlikely prisoner- a lizardfolk. The dwarf stays near him for the opposite reason most of the crowded cell stays away from it. Since people fear the humanoid, they shy away from it. The dwarf sees this as a means to avoid most of the riffraff and harassment.

Kar-Draith, a traveler from the swamp lands of Q’barra, is angered by the imprisonment. The giant of a man that seems fascinated by his tail and scales furthers fuels this negativity. Wardrum is taken out first. Soon three large ½ orc brutes and a nervous looking mage collect the goliath. As the sun rises through the morning fog, Kar-Draith is released. He was given many stern warnings by the watch about the laws of the city and how they are the law. He had little to say to them and grumbled at them in draconic until a mage was called in. After an hour of the verbal harassment, he is released and finds the dwarf and goliath outside.

Not liking this, the lizardfolk hisses at the dwarf. The goliath raises his eyebrows in concern. “I am Ronin Wardrum and this large lummox is Hardfist. It seems we have something in common.”

The lizardfolk glares at him waiting for the rest of the comments. “We are all not liked by the Watch. We should look out for each other.”

The lizardfolk looks at the dwarf considering everything. He looks up at Hardfist whom is currently more focuses on a tall building nearby. What he is thinking is unclear.

“There is wisdom in your words.” He looks over his shoulder at some of the Watch members whom are watching them intently. “Let us discuss this elsewhere.”

“You are wise also.” Says the dwarf with a broad smile.

The goliath stares at the building then suddenly realizes he is alone and panicked, searches for his friend and spots him walking away with a lizardfolk. “Wait for me guys!” and he hurries after them.


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Hardfist and Kar-Draith had arrived in Sharn separately just last week. Only Wardrum knows the city. He and another inquisitive ran a small struggling business until last week. His partner involved him in a very bad business investment that cost him his life and the dwarf’s freedom. But that is another story for another day. Today they need income. Though it is not asked why, all three also need somewhere to stay.

Wardrum knows that Morgrave University often hires people to work on the university premises or as errand boys. It is not glamorous but it can pay the bills and lead to possible contacts that may help them. They spend much of the morning climbing up stairs until they reach the Morgrave area. Students dressed in black robes with red trim hustle about, late for classes. Others seem to be happy to sit around in clusters and discuss anything from magic theory to the limits of the Giant’s power to the cutest bard making a name for himself.

They come to the job obelisk that lists possible employment opportunities. Wardrum finds one of possible use. A Professor Zilshire is looking for couriers and adventurers. Pay and housing to be included. After trying several students (whom didn’t avoid / run away from them) they are directed to the Ancient Histories Lecture Hall. Students by the dozens are here. Many waiting for the university bell to chime marking the end and beginning of the classes here. One female dwarf glares at the goliath. As he passes her she clunks and mumbles “Hill Tripper” at him. Goliaths are not popular within some dwarven circles. If the insult is heard or harmful, the gentle giant doesn’t show it. There is too much to look at and take in for that.

Generally the students make a path for them as the lizardfolk stalks straight forward. He is not comfortable here. He is not a warm and fuzzy type. The dwarf attempts to ask for directions once within the lecture hall but for the most part the students ignore them or move away. They spot a tall statue with a blue glowing ball before it. Wardrum places a hand on the ball and it crackles to life. “Professor Zilshire” he says plainly. Several uncertain seconds later a grid appears on the globe. Two stars with a moving arrow connecting the two stars appears. The dwarf hurrumphs and says “Follow me- his office is to the right.” Hardfist tentatively reaches for the globe with his over-sized hand but before he can touch it he is summoned by the dwarf.

As they reach the hallway leading down the right hand side of the lecture halls a chime rings. Dozens of loud talking and hurrying students burst out of double doors. Again, the students give way to the fearsome looking lizardfolk and the wall known as Hardfist. A few students go to doorways and wait. There is a ½ elven female leaning against a door labeled as Professor Zilshire: Draconic & Fiendish Studies. She looks at the dwarf and bats her eyes. Then she looks up to the goliath stops flirting and leaves quickly. So quickly she nearly trips over Kar-Draith’s tail. “This is it. Hardfist- behave.” The goliath gives a look of “who me?” and smiles as he sees a professor wearing a strange cap made of various colored leathers with a large green feather. He likes it here. Much better than the prison cell.

The dwarf smells the incense before he opens the door completely. The small room here is extremely neat and tidy. There is a small desk with several chairs. A door to their left and at the back end of the room is a shelf with several books and plants. A tall and muscular ½ elf woman is here. She is wearing black leather pants and jacket over a white shirt. She also has thick glasses that are sliding off her nose. Beautiful looking but with some possible orc blood within her ancestry. The dwarf’s attention shifts as she addresses them.

“Hello. Can I , like, help you?”

“We are looking for Professor Zilshire. Are you her?”

“Oh my!”, she exclaims as the lizardfolk walks in. “Q’barra? Shadow Marches? Oh no ! Wait! Xen’drik! I’ll just die if you are from, like, Xen’drik!” She exclaims hunching over like a grandmother seeing her grandchild for the first time.

Then the goliath thumps his head on the door frame and steps back. Ducking and smiling he reenters. “ohhhhhhh….. you’re a B-I-G one aren’t you?” she says looking the goliath over fully. Then she checks each person out slowly.

“This is Zilshire’s office?” asks the inquisitive now uncertain how seriously he can take her.

“Yes. Like, this is Professor Zilshire’s office. How can we help you?” She asks as she goes to the desk to get a piece of parchment and an ink pen.

“We are here to ask about the job offering and apartments.”

“Oh- Like so many are. Let me see if the professor can see you.” In a quiet voice she adds- “Careful- he is a bit grumpy this morning.”

She gently raps on the door and listens patiently while smiling at the three. She pokes her head in and some grumbling sound that cannot be understood is heard. She slowly and quietly closes the door and smiles as she adjusts her jacket. “The professor will, like, see you in a few minutes.” Sitting down she smiles again to place the group at ease. “So, like, what are your names? Where are you from? What brings you to Sharn?”

“I walked.” Offers the gentle giant as he answers what brought him here. The dwarf closes his eyes and slightly nods his head in aggravation and annoyance. Kar-Draith’s tail thumps once on the floor softly.

“We met here yesterday and thought it to be wise to join forces and our unique skills to better ourselves.” Says the dwarf. He hopes she doesn’t reply with the word ‘like’.

“Fantastic!” exclaims the overly cheerful secretary.

Before she can say something else there is a muffled call from the door. “The professor will see you now. Tee Hee.”

The difference from the secretary’s room to the professor’s is extreme. Books, tomes, manuscripts, scrolls and various items cover every flat space in the room. It smells like a damp basement. Behind a pile of papers and books sits an old man dressed in green and blue. Though his skin and frail form suggests a very old man his eyes are sharp and bright.

“Sit if you can find a place.” Offers the teacher. The dwarf moves several books then sits on a scroll. Mumbling an apology, he then moves this. The lizardfolk doesn’t even attempt to sit. He tries to be very mindful of his tail which could easily topple a pile of papers. The goliath is amazed by the maps, awards and certificates on the wall.

“You are here for the job I presume. It is straight forward though I wonder how you could ever travel without drawing attention.”

“About that, could you tell us more about the jobs and responsibilities that will be required of us?” asks Wardrum calmly.

“As the flier said, I need someone to be a courier and at times seek lost items of interest that I have become too old to do myself. As a tenured professor here at Morgrave, I can also offer you a place to stay nearby.” The professor watches the goliath wearily. “Please large sir- don’t touch that.”

Hardfist freezes in mid-motion as he was about to finger a figurine on the top of a shelf filled with books with peeling spines. He smiles innocently places his massive hands at his side.

Along with the room, I can offer some pay based on the degree of skills and danger involved in the work.”

“Danger?” asks the dwarf with new interest.

“Yes well I study things that other people have a great deal of interest in also. Some of these people go to extreme lengths to obtain this knowledge. Possibly some of the work opportunities would include finding and retrieving tomes or artifacts from hidden ruins.”

The goliath leans over and looks at a figurine he wanted to touch earlier. He breathes in dust and sneezes very harshly. The figurine topples over but remains on the shelf’s top but now a cloud of dust is in the air. The three turn and stare at him like a bad child that has embarrassed a parent in public. “Snifff…. Sorry. My bad.” Apologizes the large man.

The dwarf leans over to the lizardfolk. “Any thoughts Kar-Draith?”

“What of supplies? Transportation?”

“I or the University will supply funds and means for these.” He offers.

The lizardfolk nods his approval. With a drippy nose, the giant smiles. “We agree to your terms.”

“Excellent. Welcome to Morgrave.”

“When do we start?”

“As it happens, I wish to trade tomes with a contact in Aundair. I would like to see it begin as quickly as possible.” He slides a file to the dwarf. Wardrum leans forward and picks it up. He opens it and finds an envelope and several papers within. There are tickets for an electric rail passage that leaves in two days. The papers include directions that use an electric rail to Fairhaven. From there they go to a ‘Stray Cat’ Inn. From there they go to Cleaved Stone.

Then the professor slides over two keys with a similar shape. “Keys to your suite.” The words suite brings a smile to both the dwarf and goliath. The dwarf likes the idea of an elegant room and living area to stay in. The giant likes anything ‘sweet’.

They leave doing their best not to disturb any further piles of papers or tomes.

“What are you, like, doing for the professor?” asks the woman.

“That is between us.” Replies the dwarf.

“I hope it is exciting. Do you get to travel? I love traveling.”

“Fairhaven.” Replies the happy goliath.

“Com’on you. Time to go.” Says the dwarf wondering if the potential muscle of the giant is worth his feeblemindedness.


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The sun rises and the three are up. Though not ‘sweet’, the goliath likes his new home. Kar-Draith finds the room very dry and unlike his home. The dwarf sighs often. What he thought a suite would be like in truth is not what they have. It is four small bedrooms with a small water room and a small closet in one unit. There are several of these units on the floor. In the center is a series of stairs going up to the University or down to the student living areas and a large well of magically cooled water. There are two permanent heat metal plates here also to cook and prepare food.

They collect their goods and lock the door. They go down the stairway and across to Tavik’s Landing which takes them a long time to reach. Kar-Draith and Hardfist are certain they would become helplessly lost trying this without Wardrum. He knows the city and takes them up and down stairs and ramps and across bridges while walking through the morning crowds. The dwarf’s eyes wander and follow several Halflings that seem to follow them.

As they reach the rail station they are forced to wait in line which moves very slowly. Hardfist stares off into space at the top of some of the towers and buttresses above them. “Copper for your thoughts.” Says a woman wearing a traveling jacket and a small shoulder bag.

The goliath looks down at her and smiling asks- “Has anyone ever climbed these towers?”

“I don’t know. Would you want to?”

“Oh yes I do! I like climbing. It’s why I’m here.”

“Hardfist- com’on over and leave the lady alone.” Commands the dwarf.

A woman wearing blue and white with an unicorn emblem on her jacket asks for tickets. She looks at the three tickets and stamps them and tells them which platform to walk to. The three of them have never been on an Electric Rail before. In fact Hardfist has never even seen one before. He asks twice where the electrical powered wagons are when walking next to them. It amazes him when Wardrum points out the pyramid shaped power cells under the floating small homes made of wood and metal. The cars at each end have a crackling aura of energy that encircles them. So amazed and caught up in the sights the goliath doesn’t spot the Halfling that separates his one coin purse from his belt. It is a good thing this was his “petty” funds purse and not his main source of money. Later after he discovers this, he never tells his new friends but pouts quickly…. For a minute or two before seeing something new and neat that absorbs all of his attention once more.

“You have to be kidding me.” Grumbles the dwarf. Zilshire has purchased tickets in the common area of the craft. No private rooms. Not even a bed. This large 25 x 75 ft space has six long tables and maybe two dozen chairs total. Fifty plus travelers crowd into a car that already had a few passengers.

The dwarf and lizardfolk decide to make the most of it as the goliath sticks his face against the glass to watch the city as the craft begins to shudder. A loud whistle blows and a mere moment later it begins to move. Slowly at first but begins to pick-up speed as it clears the station. The craft rides on a bridge that hangs high off the ground connecting with towers. Except for a few children, the people visible on the towers ignore the craft as it reaches the top speed within the city limits. Like a happy child, Hardfist takes it all in and offers viewing for smaller children to see through the windows. When he sees someone open a window he is desperate to learn how to do this. A child shows him and he tries to stick his head out the window. It will not fit so instead he puts his massive pebbled and callused hand out instead. He smiles at the sensation of the wind on it. This entertains him for an hour or so before he joins his new friends.

“Did you know the windows open!”

“Don’t stick your head out there. You’ll get bugs stuck in your teeth.” Says the dwarf as he leans back in a chair he took while the original occupant stood up and stretched. Suddenly, the goliath is happy he could not squeeze his head through the window. No one wants to eat bugs. Unless you were a frog. They like bugs.

Kar-Draith and Wardrum take turns napping to secure their belongings during the night. The dwarf entertains himself watching people and profiling them. He notes a dice cheat whom is doing well in the corner. Several passengers loss all of their coppers to him, a few even some silver.

Kar-Draith looks drowsy as dusk comes. “In the future- we buy food.”

“Agreed.” Says the dwarf as they didn’t realize food was not a given on this car. Neither know there is a food car, expensive, but available.


Wardrum is barely awake when he notes a woman watching him. She is wearing a cloak and cowl that shadows her face. When he opens his eyes and sits upright she is gone. He assumes she has gone through a door into another car. Thinking nothing more of it he notes that the lizardfolk is still awake but staring at an elf eating some questionable jerky. Wardrum’s stomach growls as he tries to return to sleep.

Hardfist rolls over and sleepily stares at the dwarf. His eyes pop open as the dwarf is so asleep a bit of drool escapes his mouth. “Is he okay?!?” asks the goliath. The lizardfolk looks strangely at the big man.

“Best to be sure. Hit him.” He says not expecting what happens next. The big man raises his massive hand and he slaps the dwarf on the chest. Everyone on the car not awake is now as Wardrum calls out in pain then wheezes as he tries to get a breath. The goliath rolls back over happy his friend is alive. The dwarf glares first at the massive figure then at the quietly hissing reptilian.


Finally they reach Fairhaven, Aundair. Hardfist is not at the window which surprises the dwarf. Instead he is at the door shifting his weight from foot to foot. The dwarf felt somewhat claustrophobic by the second day. He wonders how the much larger man is doing whom obviously enjoys being outdoors.

People disembark from the car faster than they climbed onto it. Fresh air. The goliath looks at the roof and asks if next time he can ride there. The dwarf wants to say yes as he massages his still sore ribs but says no. It is not allowed.

This station is very similar to the one in Sharn. An Orien employee aids passengers. Wardrum asks about food and where the Stray Cat Inn is. Two blocks down are several food places including two that are Ghallanda certified. The employee only knows the Stray Cat is outside of town. Another passenger, a woman with thin white hair covered by a cloth tells them how to reach it.

After getting some food and a discussion about the need to cook the meat between the dwarf and the lizardfolk they begin the long walk out of Fairhaven.
One mile outside of the town on a Orien built road they reach the Stray Cat Inn. It is a two-story basic wooden structure that needs a paint job. Two twin wooden sculptures of cats sit on the arm rails of the porch. The three of them go inside. The inside is even less amazing than the outside.

Kar-Draith spots a female cleaning and dusting behind a cracked counter. “Hello.” The dwarf offers. The woman stands upright and reveals a possible second reason for the name of the Inn. She is a catfolk. Her fur is thin and a pale cream color.

“Hello travelers. Looking for one or three rooms?”

Wardrum pulls out the papers of credit given to him by Zilshire. She hisses slightly and twitches her nose. Her tail wags with annoyance. “Yes. I was expecting you. I am Sersi. Welcome to the Stray Cat Inn. Morgrave has arranged everything for you.” She collects a key and gives it to the dwarf. “Three horses will be ready in the morning.” She looks at the group and frowns. “You can ride…..?”

“Leave that to us.” Says the dwarf whose main concern at the moment is laying down on a bed to sleep.


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These horses are sad.

Not magebred. Not even of any quality. The horse given to Hardfist looks like a tired delivery work horse which if so will not like a rider.

Sersi, as promised, has three horses readied and saddled for them. The dwarf climbs on and hopes the others are up for this. Hardfist puts his horse in a headlock and after forcing the head down climbs on. The horse looks pained. But at least he didn’t fall off. The lizardfolk’s tail is awkward at best within the saddle. Twice he fell off as his tall struck the horse’s flank before being seated. Once on, the horse is unsettled to have such a rider as this and proves hard to control. Hardfist is smiling and happy to be up on the horse. When the others begin to trot to the gate he asks for them to wait. “My horse won’t go!” he cries out like a worried child.

Sersi, wondering if this is the last time she will ever see her horses tells him to cluck two. “Cluck?”

“Yes or you can gently kick it with your heels.”

The horse wheezes as the gentle giant gives a hard and gut retching kick to the old workhorse. The horse more staggers out the gate than trots. The goliath is proud of himself. He is riding a horse. If he were home he would have to show his entire village. Frowning as he thinks about this, he decides that maybe it is best they do not see him riding a horse.

It is not long before the lizardfolk remembers something that they thought would not happen again- they didn’t stock up on food.

Though the animals are different and the rabbit he hunts jumps quickly about instead of swimming, Kar-Draith finally shots it. It is not much but they eat that day.

Slowly they get better at riding. Hardfist tries a new method of mounting his horse. He goes from behind and forces the horse to sit. The horse, if not prepared to have a rider, clearly is not used to be man-handled.

On the second day, Hardfist supplies the food. No questions are asked at how he got it (found it in an existing trap) but the food is good. Again, Wardrum and Kar-Draith discuss the need to cook the food.

They saw their first floating tower on the second day and their first dragonhawk with a rider on the third day. No food.


That night however something comes to them. The city dwellers decide setting up a watch was not required. They regret this decision as they awake to the screams of Kar-Draith’s horse. An owlbear has entered the camp looking for fresh horse meat.

Kar-Draith is quick to locate his bow. The dwarf is quicker. He fires at the raging creature and a bolt strikes it. It shrugs it off. The dwarf and lizardfolk are dumbfounded as the goliath charges directly at it.

“Darned fool thinks he can fight it hand to hand!” grumbles the dwarf as he reloads. Hardfist rushes up and punches the creature. It stops mauling the horse and turns its attention to this foolish humanoid. The dwarf summons up an illusion of a fire to protect the horses. The horses kick in fear but the owlbear’s ringing head allows it to ignore the “obvious”.

“Move it you stupid…. Oops.” Says the dwarf as he fires another bolt at the owlbear. He sinks it into the goliath’s backside. Much like the owlbear, if he felt it he doesn’t show it. The owlbear takes another arrow. With a smirk of joy, the goliath unleashes himself on the unprepared owlbear. A solid punch to the gut breaks several ribs and causes a puff of feathers to spring forth. Dying, the owlbear then has it’s head gripped by the “gentle” giant whom then drives his hard and crusted knee into it’s head forcing the beak to shatter and drive back into it’s brain.

The two ranged fighters look in disbelief. The goliath killed an owlbear by punching and kicking. Wardrum smiles. He chose well in picking the goliath as an ally.

“The horse is dead.” He nearly cries.

“Thank you for this bounty great Devourer.” Says the lizardfolk as he draws out a wicked blade. Neither the dwarf or the goliath heard this comment hinting at Kar-Draith’s spiritual beliefs.

The next day is a long one for the lizardfolk. He walks behind the others which slows them down. They come to a small stone carved monument next to the road. Reading it, the dwarf closes his eyes in respect. A bloody battle took place here between Aundair and Karrnath. Hundreds died.

They encounter a giant red frog in a shallow bog and later two defensive dire badgers. In each case, they merely steer wide of it. No sense killing something that is not inherently evil.


On the seventh day they can see a large rocky outcrop ahead of them. The rock appeared split in two, like a stone cleaved in two. A small building is at its base. Looking above the Cleaved Stone, a floating tower can be seen.

“We’re there.” States the dwarf.

“Good.” Says the lizardfolk. Hardfist was about to mention some of his favorite adventures for the third time. They weren’t that good to begin with.


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Having been spotted from afar, a man waits for the tired riders (and walker). “Welcome to the Cleaved Stone. I have been expecting you.”

“Sorry. We lost a horse on the way here. Owlbear.” States the dwarf as he begins to profile the man. He appears to be a ranger or at least works with horses. Seems bright and friendly.

“Yes. I have heard they are unusually activate this spring. Then you must be tired and wish to rest. Follow me.”

They follow behind the man and they take in the area looking around. “My name is Dubris Durn. You may call me Durn if you prefer.”

Walking along, Kar-Draith, looks at the watering bin. A horse’s head can be seen as if laying down. It seems odd to lay down there. Then he spots a hindquarter recently removed with fresh dripping blood. His stomach gurgles from the thought of fresh meat. Then the inquisitor spots the dismembered horse and can’t help himself but places a concerned hand on the horse’s neck.

Durn spots his reaction and smiles. “Do not worry. We will place your rides in a separate area from our mounts.”

Still unsettled, the dwarf looks into the open doorway to the stables. Griffons! He looks up and spots a thick chain going from the stone to the floating earth above. They use griffons to reach the towers above.

Two stable hands take the reins of the horses. Hardfist luckily never saw the dead horse or a griffon feeding. He looks at the winged lions with an eagle head and in awe- “Can I pat one?”

Durn looks at the dwarf with a “really?” look of disbelief. “Yes. You can pat one and then ride it. I have one big enough for even a big man like yourself.”

Uncertain and knowing how well they rode the land bound horses, the dwarf looks about. “Is there another way?”

“Never rode a Griffon? Do not worry. These creatures are well trained. They will do most of the work themselves if I lead us up- which I will.”

Durn mounts an albino griffon. He pats it and whispers a soothing few words of encouragement to it. They take to the air and circle about. The aids bring three griffons to the group. Confident from his surprising ease of riding a horse, the dwarf goes first. The griffon begins to run about to fly but doesn’t. “Relax. It senses your fear.” Offers a stable hand.

“Easy for you to say.” Quietly grumbles the dwarf. The griffon runs once more and it takes to the air. Wardrum is glad he has not eaten today.

Hardfist is next. He falls off before the griffon gets a steady run. He is laughing at his misfortune. Kar-Draith is next. His tail batters the wings of the griffon and it bucks him off- hard. Durn and Wardrum watch from above as they circle the stable.

Hardfist begins again. After running about thirty feet the griffon suddenly bears down and stops which sends the goliath flying into a hard tumble. He is laughing through most of it. The lizardfolk’s griffon refuses to go. It shrieks in protest. He wonders if the dwarf can do this on his own. Maybe he doesn’t need to fly up there. Hardfist is dropped from about ten feet off the ground this time. He laughs.

Durn is beginning to wonder how incompetent these two are. The damned dwarf can do it……

Finally the lizardfolk’s griffon takes to the air. The lizardfolk is not happy and hopes this to be quick and uneventful. Even as he thinks this, he hears calls of alarm as Hardfist once more is thrown from his griffon…. And continues to giggle. Finally, after about ten minutes of circling over head, the others can not help but smile as the goliath finally takes to the air with a loud shout of glee and excitement. They circle for another minute until the griffons form a flight. They go up higher.

From here, the three of them can see the floating towers better. There is a floating land mass that is literally chained to the stones below. One tower floats about ten feet above the island. Another tower connects to the first by means of a bridge. All are in a condition of ruin.

Durn lands softly and his mount calmly walks to a post to be secured. Wardrum lands and though not graceful, he remains on the griffon. Kar-Draith is next. He is nearly kicked off as his griffon lands. Once more his tail has struck the griffon. Though they don’t mean to, they hold their collective breath as Hardfist’s griffon lines up to land. He falls off the griffon as it comes in too fast. It is not used to the extra weight and how it will increase it’s decent to land. However, with his magical Chainmail of Landing, the goliath skips and tumbles and slides to safety. For a brief moment, Durn fears he will slide right off the island but the goliath grabs at the ground and stops himself.

“Alright then….. follow me please.” Says Durn. New stable hands tend to the griffons. Looking about as he follows the leader, the dwarf notes a few strange things. There is a full grown fruit tree here. Nearby is a grave stone. A small hill is on this hundred foot around island. Inside the hill are stables for the griffons. Durn leads them to the side of the hill and to a ladder that leads into the bottom of the lowest tower. Looking to the underside of the two towers, the observative dwarf notes the nesting birds that call this home. He figures then this place is generally quiet and peaceful. The birds would also act as a warning of visitors by taking flight. Both towers are made of stone, wood and mortar. He notes that the second larger and higher tower has magical runes inscribed on the bottom. He is uncertain what they do.

“Go ahead and climb up. Someone will instruct you from there.”

“Not going with us?” the dwarf becomes suspicious of this.

“I will wait here. I was told you should not be long. Besides, someone should calm poor Tarrell, the griffon your large friend rode.”

With a nod of acceptance, the dwarf is first to begin to climb the ladder.


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Wardrum climbs through the square opening to the tower. He takes in everything before going all the way up. There is a ruined stone and wood stairway that spirals along the outer wall to the next floor. A series of bars block passage to the bridge that connects the two towers. Along the wall hangs many portraits. Over-stuffed chairs and a table are in the center of the room.

The dwarf finishes his climb as the lizardfolk comes up next and finally the goliath. Once he is in a gentle breeze stirs. A barely visible form of a small humanoid appears. “I am Auran. Master Saas, the Lord of Acid Tears is aware of your arrival and eagerly wishes to meet you. He needs to but address a few lose ends first. Please sit and wait for him here. I strongly suggest you don’t leave this room by stair or walkway.” The misty form seems to break up and leave in the breeze.

The dwarf guesses it was an Air Mephit. The dwarf sits while the lizardfolk stands in the center. Only the goliath explores the room. “Remember- manners. We shouldn’t touch anything.” Warns the dwarf.

The goliath smiles and nods in understanding. He looks at the portraits. “They look funny. They have horns like a ram and tusks like an orc.”

“Really Hardfist. Sit down before you break something.” Suggests the dwarf.

“I would do as the dwarf has suggested my large guest.” Agrees a voice from nowhere. They turn and see a horned man with reddish skin and small fangs. He is dressed in a green and black mix of leather and cloth. In his taloned hands, the tiefling holds a golden scepter. Wardrum guesses the scepter has a copper dragon head on it. It seems to mist faintly from the opened and fanged mouth. “I am Ank-Lace Saas.”

“I believe you have something to give me from Morgrave.”

The dwarf is not happy to be working with a tiefling. He doesn’t like them. “Yes. And in return we are to given a book to bring back to Professor Zilshire.” The dwarf pulls the wrapped book from his pack and hands it to the threatening looking host. Waving an open palm over the paper wrapped book, the wrapper unfolds itself. A wax seal of a golden color bubbles then slides off. He opens the gold scaled book. In quiet awe, he murmurs “at last- The Tome of the Gold Dragon- Surf-fan-grand-axis.” The dwarf makes a mental note of the name to reference at a later date.

Satisfied, the tiefling raises a hand and snaps his fingers above his head. A small rift of space opens up and a wrapped book appears. “I am sure the professor is eager to read his gift. You should leave immediately.” A maleficent glint appears in his eye as he mocks you more than speaking out of sincerity. Still, he doesn’t need to ask twice. You take to the ladder and return to the island below.

Though Hardfist thought about climbing down the chain instead of using the grumpy lion-birds, he agrees to try them again. Only Hardfist has any problems landing. Once more his magical armor’s enchantments lend him help and luck to not hurt himself as he tumbles off the landing magical beast.

Their two horses have been fed and watered (not fed to the griffons as feared) and are eager to leave the predatory creatures.

Kar-Draith hisses in frustrated acceptance. He will need to walk all the way back to the Stray Cat.

On the third day they meet a House Cannith Tinker. She hopes to acquire payment by fixing or mending anything of theirs. They decline aid from the stranger.

NYMM 01, 1000

On the fourth day, they spot something in the near distance. Pulling out a viewing spy glass, the dwarf yelps in surprise. The creature has charged at him and leaps onto the horse’s head biting onto it’s ear. It is everything the dwarf can do to not be thrown from the attacked horse. A small Green Dragon Wyrmling is savagely attacking the horse without any sort of attack.

Wardrum hits it with a bolt putting a small hole in its leathery wing. The goliath is quick to race over take a swing at it but misses (he feared hitting the horse). Kar-Draith is far enough behind the riders he cannot get a good shot. Wardrum manages to reload and fires again. The bolt grazes the top of the horse’s head making it buck wildly. The dwarf is thrown clear and nearly lands on Hardfist’s spooked horse. An arrow finishes off the dragon baby.

“What in the world was that about?!?” exclaims the ruffled dwarf as he picks himself off the ground.

“It bit the horse’s ear off” cries the goliath.

“I want the dragon’s hide.” Says the dwarf seeing a possible means out of a bad situation.

“No. I did the finishing blow. It is mine by rights of combat.” Hisses Kar-Draith. He once more pulls out his blade.

“Two gold.” Offers the dwarf.

Feeling the empty weight of his coin purse, the lizardfolk hesitates then agrees. He quickly skins the baby dragon and gives the dwarf the hide for two gold.


Sersi once more greets them. She slides a key to the dwarf. Once inside their room she checks on her three horses. There is only one intact and the other is bloodied. “You will pay for this also” she grumbles.

They go into the city and learn the next electric rail leaves in another day. They return to the Stray Cat and enjoy another day of rest and sleep. Sersi keeps a Talli.


They board the common room car once more. Though not as excitable, the goliath still insists on watching from the window. The lizardfolk archer is content to sit back and stare at any one person that will stare at him first. He likes making these people uncomfortable. The dwarf half-snoozes / half-concentrates on a sole thought- Surf-fan-grand-axis.


Wardrum watches as a red headed male human creeps along the outer wall of the car. The hair and color of his traveling coat suggests he is a House Cannith member except his hair is unkempt and his jacket is dirty with holes. Curious about what he is doing, the dwarf walks further down the car to where the man will walk past him. He nods and sits down next to a woman with a terribly large mole on her chin. Two thick dark bristles protrude from it. The dwarf tries not to look at her face again.

The man is crazed. He believes the car is about to break up and kill everyone on board. As a Cannith member one has to wonder. The woman is startled by his comments but for the most part, everyone ignores the two of them, including the bored dwarf.


Happy to be “home” the three of them disembark from the car and take the long walk back to their new apartment. The walls prove to be too thin and they not too tired. Hardfist sleeps through the activity next door. Frustrated and unable to sleep, Kar-Draith takes a short walk. As he returns a nice looking female student (based on the black robe) quietly steps out of the room and searches for witnesses. She spots the lizardfolk and gives him a shhhhh and an embarrassed look as she adjusts her robe and walks away.

Questioning what he is seeing, the archer stands there for a moment then another human exits the room. A professor of Morgrave. He also looks for witnesses and when he spots the archer, he stands up straight and marches past him as if he doesn’t exist.

A hiss of amused bewilderment is all he can do.


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“Like, what did you see?” the ditsy secretary asks as the groups waits to see the professor. She smiles and bats her eye lashes at the dwarf. Today she is wearing a dark green dress with the same black jacket.

“The country” says the dwarf in a guarded manner. He tires of her giggle and curiosity.

“I rode a lion-bird!” exclaims the goliath with great pride.

“A lion…. A Griffon?” she asks. “Fantastic!”

Fearing a high-five the dwarf asks her how much longer the professor will be. On cue, he calls for them to enter. Smiling in silence, she nods and shrugs to go in. “The professor is waiting.”

He is eager to see the tome. Like a child given a wrapped toy, he tears into the wrapping. He holds the book up in a way the dwarf cannot see the cover. The old man stops and stares at the dwarf from the other side of the held book. “Yes….?”

Before anyone can say anything else he dismisses you. Clearly he wants to read the book and have no one bothering him. The dwarf and lizardfolk is first to leave. The goliath turns to leave but hesitates. He half turns to face the man again.

“Yes.” He grumbles impatiently.

“We were told we would be paid……” begins the hungry big man.

“Hurrumph- yes and close the door behind you.” Growls the cranky old man as he tosses a small coin pouch to the goliath.

Back at their apartment / suite they look at the money. 60 gold. 20 apiece. The dwarf is not pleased. He needs more. He looks at his travel pack and has a wonderful, desperate, but wonderful idea. He collects a wrapped bundle and excuses himself. He is getting some air. The goliath says okay. The lizardfolk knows better but honestly doesn’t care.

Taking the long way to avoid any suspicion of being followed, Wardrum wanders to the Firelight District. A club with many scantly clad women of several races greet him as he enters. They all promise him a good time. He ignores them and continues to the back of the entry room. Two Halfling appear suddenly.

“Where have you been little inquisitor?”

“Heard you left town without a goodbye. Makes us sad.” Suggests the other Halfling.

“Thavash is very unhappy. He missed you.”

“Funny thing- I returned to make good on a payment to my dept.”

“What is in the bag?” one Halfling asks as he begins to paw at it.

The dwarf pulls it away. “It’s not for you. It’s for your boss.” This angers the guard whom draws a small blade. He remains angry but pauses as a voice comes from the next room.

“Is that Wardrum? Send that pathetic piece of street filth in here. I need to clear up some rules with him.”

Nervously, the dwarf enters the dim room. Behind a large dark wood desk sits a Halfling. He has a serious- deadly serious- look on his face.

“You owe me a lot of money for what was done. I had hoped you understood leaving the city would be a bad idea.” The crime boss and associate of the Boromar clan leans forward. “What have you there? My money?”

“Close. It is something of great value. I bring it to you as a gift.” Says the normally confident dwarven inquisitor.

“None of your beguiling mind game illusions. You know that won’t work on me.” The Halfling pulls and twists at a jeweled ring he wears. Wardrum suspects it makes him immune to illusions. Bad for him.

“You are aware of the power and prestige of items made from dragon scales…..” begins the dwarf as he places the bundle on the desk. The Halfling sits back wearily.

“Go on.”

“I have for you a genuine dragon hide. It is untouched so you can make anything you wish from it.”

Never taking his eyes off the Halfling, he unrolls the hide. Confusion. The Halfling is not impressed. He appears angry instead. Looking down he sees to his horror the true condition of the hide. Patches of scales are missing. Other scales are heavily damaged. A lone bright colored beetle wiggles within the green scales.

“What-Is-This?” growls the crime lord. Wardrum stumbles back a step in fear and shock.

“I…I… I don’t understand…. It was not…. What is this….”

“Don’t treat me like a fool that YOU are Wardrum. Take your filthy diseased …. Skin and leave. You know the clock is ticking. Interest is accumulating. I WILL have my money.”

The dwarf begins to leave quickly. “Take it!” shouts the angered little man whom shoves the skin off his desk. The dwarf stumbles and fumbles with the skin. He trips and crawls out of the room.

The crime lord sits. Anger clearly on his face. After a few moments he demands his two guards to enter. Fearful they did something wrong they instantly enter.

“What was THAT about?!?” he demands.

The two guards stumble on their words to answer him.

Suddenly a toothy grin is on the halfling’s face. “Did you see how he ran with his tail between his legs? That image will carry me through the rest of the day!”

The three Halflings laugh….. and laugh…. And laugh.

The dwarf makes it to the next tower over and stops to catch his breath. “Damn you Tobus and your ideas. Damn you. And damn this!” he shouts as he throws the ragged skin over the edge of a bridge. Trying not to sob in public, the humbled dwarf leaves to return to Morgrave and figure out how to raise the money he owes Thavash and his Copperheads.

The skin flutters and dances in the air. It blows up against a tower then peels off. It glides down to a bridge hidden in a darkened area in the lower sections of the district. The hide shifts and rustles but there is little wind or breeze this deep in the City of Towers. The barely seen beetle crawls out from the skin. It flitters it’s hard shell wings before turning in small circles. Suddenly, as if it has decided what to do it moves quickly… deeper into the shadows of Sharn. Hunting.


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NYMM 24, 1000

The sight before them is amazing. The walls are mirrored throughout. The floor is green marble with silver and white veins of an unknown mineral. The room is very wide and long. Four comfortable looking sofas surround a small table of live wood. To the back there is a large bird cage with four multi-colored birds with very long tails and crowns on their heads that are as long as its neck- over a foot in length. The air smells of exotic flora and fauna. The soft cooing of the birds attracts Hardfist. Wardrum and Kar-Draith sit at the sofas where chilled fruit flavored water awaits them.

As they take gentle sips of the water the scene begins to change. Green tall grass seems to grow up around their chairs and the table. The walls look like the edge of a forest with the morning sun peering through. It is very calming and tranquil. A soft breeze makes the grass wave gently. The dwarf knows this is an illusion but it is truly amazing. Hardfist considers touching the birds that show little to no fear of the big man. “it is okay. Just be gentle” comes a soft female voice. The bird takes a few steps and reveals a female gnome standing on the other side of the cage. The goliath has no idea how long she has been there watching him and the birds.

The other two watch her as she walks around the cage through the tall grass. Her long green and blue dress sparkles as the morning sun caresses it. It has a tall slit going up the leg and hip. The dwarf is caught up in the figure of the host. But in the same token he suspects trouble. Too many illusions. And it’s a gnome.

“Welcome to my home. I am known in these parts as Lady Alina ir’Lyrris. I was the one that requested your company and now your host. Thank you for coming so quickly.” She stands next to the goliath whom is amazed as she places her arm into the cage. The closest bird softly hops onto her arm and allows her to remove it. She walks slowly through the tall grass with the goliath following her. She sits down and the dwarf feels warmth on his face as he sees the slit of her dress allow much to be seen. She smiles and winks slowly at the dwarf. “Enjoy the water. It is magically cooled and flavored with a now rare Cyrian grape known as the Hendra Fruit. It is said to arouse strong primitive emotions. I don’t know about that but I do like it. Do you Master dwarf?”

“Ahem…. Fist- sit down before you step on someone.” Wardrum says to change the subject and her focus on him. He thinks deeply about her name. He remembers she is well respected within the gnome community. She has much wealth and it was said to have been made during the war. Rumor has it she is a smuggler of weapons and magical artifacts. He looks up as he hears her grasp a glass of the water. She wears many jeweled rings and necklaces. No doubt some are magical. She motions for the goliath to have a drink. He picks it up but never drinks from it. He is enraptured by the bird.

“I am in need of a procurer of a lost scroll. After asking around in my many circles of influential friends and contacts your names came up. You work for Professor Zilshire. Correct?”

“Yes.” Answers the lizardfolk. His scent glands seem to be picking up smells other than the grass and flowers. It makes him uncomfortable and he begins to shift regularly.

“I hear he has locked himself up to study a tome you brought to him.”

‘How did she learn of this’ wonders the dwarf. “Yes.” He notices a morning “mist” is laying heavy in the grass now. The air even feels damp. Amazing.

“There is an abandoned temple to Aureon, the god of Law and Knowledge. It is located in Northern Zilargo. My contacts and resources say the scroll of Durgardus is here. As it is abandoned, I would like to lay claim to it. Unfortunate events have lead to a misunderstanding between myself and Zilargo. I cannot go in person. I ask that you go in my stead. I will pay you- pay better than Morgrave has.”

They talk about terms and conditions. They will receive 100 gold each before and after the mission is completed. They may keep non-magical items as they find them. Historical items and magical items interest her and she wishes exclusive first rites to buying them. She will give gold for the items. The team agrees. She waves a hand above her head and three small coin purses appear and a small leather pouch about six inches around . She gives each member a small pouch. Kar-Draith looks at his pouch quickly- 100 gold. The dwarf takes his pouch and finds himself staring into her eyes. Magical eyes. Blinking rapidly a few times he refocuses his mind onto the weight of the gold and motions to the fourth bag now on the table. “What is this?”

“Gifts” she says as she opens the pouch. She removes from within it a small map of the area they are to go to. Three tickets to Zolanberg via Electric Rail from Sharn and back. Vouchers to House Vadalis for three magebred horses. Then she pulls out thirteen tubes and small bottles of potions. “Gifts to aid your trip.”

The lizardfolk continues to weigh the coins in his taloned claw-like hand. Visions of extra items found and forgotten cross the dwarf’s mind briefly. The gnome looks on with a self-assured look of confidence. “I like your birds. They are pretty.” Says the goliath with a child-like smile.

“Be gentle but you may pet Gerdie. I think he likes you.” Turning to the dwarf she continues, “Gerdie misses her home in Aerenal, the land of the elves. Fascinating island-Aerenal. It has many rare plants and animals. Everyone has heard of soarwood and most of live wood. But what do you know of the Purple Silk Orchid?”

He nods now wondering where this is going.

She slowly gets up and circles around the chair. The bird just out of Hardfist’s reach now. “The blossom only appears once per two years. The pollen it creates then is deadly. It cuts off air and blood flow to the organs slowly. A painful way to go…. And slow. Still, it has a wonderful fragrance and the elves developed a cure… an antidote if you will.” The dwarf’s face turn bitter red in anger and sudden understanding. “It comes in two parts. The first part is taken in a fluid. Something like this sweet water.

The lizardfolk gulps the last of his water and demands the goliath to drink his- NOW.

“Anyhow, we are not here for botany lessons on such morbid subjects. I hope we have an understanding. I must go as there are other subjects and projects that require my supervision. Have a beautiful day.” She seems to blow away in the mist before their eyes.


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NYMM 24, 1000

That afternoon Wardrum tries to learn anything he can about the gnome. Most everyone whom has heard of her says she is good to her word but is not against fear tactics to get her way. One person suggests she has contacts with many groups from the Watch, the Citadel, Nobles of Breland and other countries. Even groups like the Emerald Claw, The Twelve and other groups of power


Once more they are on the rail and in the common area. It is not as crowded this time which is a slight blessing. The over-sized brawler sits by the window and awaits the car to move along again. The dwarf and lizardfolk sit in a corner and browse over the maps and notes with no sense of commitment. The dwarven inquisitor cannot believe he was poisoned by her to maintain their honesty in completing of the mission. What may be worse- did Hardfist drink or not? From talking to a few contacts, the water would have a delaying tactic to the poison. Without it, the poison will take effect much sooner.

A few hours later the dwarf is annoyed by an old man reading the Korranberg Chronicle. The headline mentions a new king and queen in Darguun. He is more upset with the lies involving a war criminal and the Mournlands.

NYMM 26, 1000

Hardfist is turning his head side to side like a dog trying to understand its master. The dwarf watches him move slowly to an orc sitting by himself. He is wearing a brown dirty robe and carrying a potted plant. Hardfist gets closer and closer until he is nearly sharing the seat with the orc. Fearing the orc will grow tired of the innocent actions of the goliath, Wardrum gets up to ask the goliath to sit with them instead. “It is okay young dwarf. I do not mind your large friend. He was helping me comfort Gary-Lynn.

“Who?” asks the dwarf.

“Gary-Lynn” repeats the goliath. “He is afraid of the traveling house.”

“Sorry…. I don’t see a Gary-Lynn here.”

“It’s okay Gary-Lynn. The dwarf doesn’t understand is all. He is a city man. Gary-Lynn has never traveled on a Rail before. He is nervous.” The orc looks down to patted plant.

The dwarf takes Hardcase by the ear and leads him away without looking back.

NYMM 27, 1000

They reach the gnome settlement of Zolanberg. They know little about it (best Know: roll was a 5 between the three of them…. Go figure). It appears to be a mining town as many dwarves are here also. Mining tools and carts are visible in the streets.

They spot only two taverns here- The Rusty Dragon Inn and the Blue Cloud Tavern. The dwarf wishes to be with his ‘people’ while the lizardfolk believes one should be with the locals which he believes is strictly the gnomes. Undecided, the goliath follows the first to direct him- the lizardfolk. The scenes and environment are as different as night and day.

Ronin steps over slumped bodies of dwarves drunken and beaten to reach the bar.
Kar-Draith and Hardfist step into a quiet bar with orderly tables and a sweet scent of flavored smoke pipes.

Frowning, Ronin lifts his ale and the map he was trying to look closer at as a stray mug skids down the bar. A fighting and bad-smelling dwarven miner slams up against him. The inquisitor calmly takes a bottle from the bar keep and strikes down the unruly dwarf.
Hardfist sits on very small and dainty stools (yes- two for him- one per cheek) and he gently kicks his feet to and fo in a need to do something. The archer gets a drink from a bar keep who served him but is uncertain what the archer is… lizardfolk? Dragon-kin? Yuan’ti? Paying costumer.

Arm-wrestling, spitting and darts that strike other miners as often as the board break up any means of being able to study the map.
The goliath breaks up the quiet conversations by the gnomes when he nearly falls asleep and his head thuds on the bar. Based on the dirty looks, Kar-Draith wonders if they should be going.

The dwarven commotion settles down some as a female begins to dance on the table in the back. Wardrum looks at the map. He drags his finger along the map following the route of the Electric rail. He then notes the location of Darguun. He sighs then moves his hand down and sees where they are going.
Directly next to the Mournlands! (DM screw-up. Misread map late at night- Zilargo doesn’t touch the Mournlands…. Sorry)

A sleepy goliath and a bored lizardfolk get up and begin for the door as Wardrum bursts into the tavern. “Do you see where we are going!”

Soon, in a room upstairs within the Blue Cloud they work out some of the fears of the possible Mournlands encounters. They thought they would sleep here as the Rusty Dragon was so rowdy. Hardfist’s snoring brings this into questioning.

NYMM 28,1000

After getting their Vadalis Magebred horses, they begin to travel north to the marshes at the base of the mountains. It is not an easy trip as the land is marshy and has some fog. They spot a small hammock of trees and try to stray away from it fearing an encounter. As they circle around it three short ugly troll-like creatures and a full troll charge out of the water.

Kar-Draith’s horse is struck by the troll (crit on a charge) and the animal is killed instantly. The lizardfolk is thrown into the mud and water nearby by the impact. Even as the brawler climbs from his horse, the dwarf castes an illusion of a bursting fireball that even feels of heat and smells of burning grass. The goliath stops in his tracks. The trolls and troblins move around the fiery wall. Wardrum changes the shape and the trolls are at bay. They circle the group for several minutes before Wardrum nearly loses his concentration as his horse bucks him off in fear. After twenty minutes, the trolls look for food elsewhere.

Once more, the ranger is forced to carve up pieces of his slain horse and move on but on foot. It could be worse, he likes the wet lands more than the forest he walked through before.

LHARVION 2, 1000

Three large swamp trolls attempt to attack the travelers. Using fire illusions, the dwarf once more drives the trolls away.

LHARVION 3, 1000

In the distance they can see the rising grey mists of the Mournlands. Neither of the three need to ask about it. The great country of Cyre died on Oralune 20. 994. Everything inside its borders dropped dead and the very buildings and landscape heaved and reshaped in its death throes. The gods, uncomfortable with seeing the dead country placed a shroud of thick grey mists over it. Few dare to enter it, fewer leave. Somewhere at the border is the temple they seek.


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LHARVION 3, 1000

The valley is misty with running water under the ground just audible enough to hear if you don’t move. They try to follow what appears to be an abandoned path. They hope it leads to the temple. It does.

The temple is green marble with white marble for the roof and trim. All of it is tainted with a grey fine ash presumably from the Mournlands. The mists are a mere twenty feet from the back side of the temple. They look around briefly for any threats or activity. There is a well with a statue of an angel on the side. They do not check if the well is dry, tainted or good. The grass and trees seem to be healthy near the temple itself. Feeling it is safe, they dismount and go to the entrance.

Stone heavy doors with rusted iron hinges bare their way. The dwarf cannot open it so he asks the goliath to do it for him. He attempts several pushes and finally charges the doors. The hinges break and he tumbles inside. Lights within the temple ignite and six balls of glowing static allow them to see everywhere within the small temple. It seems strange to the dwarf that something so valuable could be hidden in such a small and insignificant temple. On the floor in the center of the temple is a glowing glyph that represents the god of law and knowledge. They look at it but do not touch it. Moving around it they come to an alter. As the dwarf looks this over, the ranger spots something near the ceiling over twenty feet up. It is a slowly moving crystal. Strange but they cannot reach it so they leave it alone.

Looking around the alter, Wardrum finds a secret panel and removes it. A medium sized tunnel with a ladder leads straight down. “Just as I thought.” Declares the dwarf. “A secret passage to the main area of interest.”

“Before going down we should secure the horses and this temple.” Suggests the ranger. They bring in the horses and once more the big brawler has a hard time closing the stone doors.

After waiting for the others to walk over to him he slowly goes down. The lizardfolk has some difficulty as his tail adds to his girth. Then the goliath looks at it uncertainly. It takes him time to figure out how to go down. Even then, he must suck in his gut and essentially fall through the hole. It is not a pretty site nor very graceful. The dwarf is really uncertain if he will be able to squeeze back out.

As they reach the bottom, more lights magically turn on to illuminate their way. There is a long hallway that ends with two doors to either side and an exit to another room at the very end. Slowly they walk down. They search for traps and ambushes as they go.

Ignoring the doors, they go to the end of the corridor first. Within this large room is a huge storage area with crates, barrels and various mundane goods. Searching around, hoping for something of value to use or sell to the crime lord he owes money to, Wardrum begins to open crates and check barrels. The other two do this also. Most of the goods are so mundane they have no value. Somethings may have helped them if they were not so aged. It proves to be a disappointment to them. Wardrum finds only a few unused ledgers with decorative edges and trim. Hardly worth the effort of carrying it around.

Coming out of the storage room they turn right. He checks the door for wards, traps or anything harmful and finds none. If fact, the door is not even locked. Carefully he pushes it open and it creaks loudly. There is another long hallway that magically lights up as they enter. Four doorways, two per side, can be seen. They move to the first room. Inside they find a map room.

Several shelving units have nothing but various maps. One map is on the table. It appears someone was looking at it when the temple complex was abandoned. It has notes in a language they do not know (elven) and shows an island that they cannot place. The inquisitor takes the map hoping someone else can translate it and then sell it for a profit. After spending some time looking for the scroll they give up and move to the next room.

The next room is very messy. Something or someone has spilled out the contents of several book cases and thrown them onto the floor then scattered them further. Kar-Draith waits in the hallway. This is not what he excels at doing. The goliath is curious at what the dwarf is doing and largely just watches and mimics his actions. Shortly a moan can be heard which unnerves the goliath. An image of a ½ orc warrior can be seen in a ghostly form. The two of them quickly leave the room hoping it will not follow them. It doesn’t.

The next room has many shelves and cabinets filled with scrolls and tomes. Most of it looks like pure gibberish to the three of them. With effort, the dwarf translates a tome’s title as “Tome of Enlightenment.” He collects it for future reading. The lizardfolk finds a book he cannot read. Looking inside it depicts six pieces of something that is connected do something. He has no idea what it is but collects it sensing it has value (book about the Creation Schema…. Kim Elderich would have loved to have had it). The book the goliath finds of interest has colorful pictures of gems and crystals. Thinking the dwarf would appreciate the artwork, he offers it to him. Understanding it involves creation magic he gladly takes it making the brawler happy.

The final room at this end has a shelf with several boxes and crystal containers on it. A table and several chairs are also within the room. The handful of books here are so old and fragile, they tear and crumble while touching them. Wardrum spots a book on the bottom shelf that looks out of place. A rolled up piece of parchment was used as a book mark. Carefully, while the others are looking for something that will not break or crumble he opens the book. The page marked seems to deal with farming. Unrolling the crushed scroll, he discovers the prize they came here for- The scroll of Durgardus. The sparkling gold and silver ink is hard to read. The others come to see what he has found. He pockets the scroll and shows them the picture of the farming shown. As they begin to leave they hear something shuffling down the hallway.

Looking out they spot an undead creature that is more skeleton than zombie. It has several of it’s organs visible and a long tongue. Long claws for hands suggest there is great danger there. The brawler charges at it. He punches the undead. The head spins around with the tongue wrapping around it. (wasted crit) For his effort, the goliath is clawed by the undead and feels himself becoming weaker. It meanwhile seems to shrug off most of the damage just done to it. The others attack it doing little damage to it. It then claws at the dwarf whom feels weaker soon. The dwarf’s attacks cause it to bleed and spray the floor. The blood is very oily and slick. The dwarf falls down and tries to avoid further attacks as he crawls backwards from the undead. Arrows do little to it. In time they beat it down but two of them suffer greatly for it.

Finding nothing else, they turn back to explore the other doorway. Again, the dwarf is careful and checks the door. Once more it is not only entrapped but also unlocked. He hopes there are no more undead as they go through the door.

The first room they explore has a circular floating silver mirror about eight feet across. Being careful not to touch it, the dwarf finds runes on it. Taking the time to try to decipher the magic on it he figures it was used for teleporting. Whether one would teleport somewhere within the temple, on Eberron or even to another plane is uncertain. They agree to leave it alone.

The next room has a bookcase with hundreds of handwritten journals. Some of it can be read but cannot (Elven). A chair and a large crystal globe are deeper in the room. Looking at the journals, they give dates and records of various often mundane events of everyday life. Wardrum takes out a lose page he has found. It is dated as year 934. Assassins dressed in green and black (possible Emerald Claw?) are seen killing a noble. As a result of this, an Aundarian fleet met defeat in navel battle against Karrnath. One of the ships had an experimental weapon on it that was never used. It sank within the ship to the bottom of the Karrn Bay. Looking again at the globe the dwarf sees there is a journal there that is open. Someone has begun writing in it. There is a powerful ward guarding the globe and chair. It has evocation spells built into it. The dwarf asks the brawler to get the journal. As he reaches for it he is struck by a powerful electrical field. Between this and the draining undead, Hardfist doesn’t feel very well.

The next room has a mysterious magical effect. A multicolored energy ripples within it (Prismatic Wall). Beyond the wall is another chair and desk. A journal sits here also but is too far away to read. A large oval crystal floats before the desk. The wall is solid. They are forced to turn away.

The next and final room appears to be a mess hall. Several tables with chairs and food are here. The food looks fresh but is cold. Kar-Draith suggests the goliath should try the food but his tummy is unsettled and doesn’t want to. Then a thick dark mist filters down from the cracks in the ceiling about twenty feet up. The mist has moving shapes within it of fanged mouths and reaching claws. It strikes the goliath whom shrieks in fear. It then covers him entirely making him flail about. The dwarf correctly guesses this is a Living Spell (Fear) and commands the giant to move away. Though holding back, the big man helps the others to beat it down.

“Time to go.” Declares the dwarf.

“But the missing scroll….” Begins the ranger.

“Found it a room or two back.”


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LHARVION 3, 1000

It takes a long time for the goliath to work his way up and he accidently breaks the alter while doing it. The horses are safe and the doors remain closed.

“Getting dark out, we should stay here until the morning to gather our strength.” Suggests the ranger as he looks at the goliath whom looks very weak from his encounter with the undead.

Resting, the dwarf thumbs the book he collected. He is about to open it when Kar-Draith sits up suddenly alert. “Something is outside…. Near the doors.” He draws his bow. The brawler steps up to the door putting his body between the doors and the horses. The dwarf puts the book away and positions himself so that Hardfist AND the horses are between him and the outer doors.

Something runs up to the door and hits it.

Nothing. Only silence.

Five minutes later it happens again. Then again. And again. Then there several thuds.

“More than one creature is out there.” Adds the lizardfolk.

“Stay inside.” Warns the dwarf. “Whatever it is cannot open the doors.”

With that a wicked thump as something leaps at the door. The door moves back an inch. Several more attempts then again… opens a few inches this time. A clawed bruised hand carefully tests the doorway by reaching in but withdraws with a hiss.

The horses are becoming skittish but the might and mass of the goliath holds them still. Another hit that further opens the door another few inches. This time a gaunt black eyed bald face looks in then hisses in annoyance and withdraws before the ranger can fire an arrow at it.



Then the brawler yelps. “Do you hear that?!?”

They do. Whatever it is, it is attacking the out walls now. Possibly looking for a weak point to attack from. This continues for several hours until the first hint of the rising morning sun appears. Whatever the creatures were, they leave with the coming of the sunlight.

Once they feel it is safe, the goliath opens the doors completely and they flee the area in the safety of the burning bright sunlight.

LHARVION 6, 1000

One the way back they spot a giant large red lizard. Thinking it is okay to look closer, the dwarf leads them in. Once he sees a bit of smoke rising from its nostrils he quietly motions for a retreat. “That is no ordinary lizard and we should avoid it.” As such, the Redspawn Firebelcher lives to eat another day.

LHARVION 7, 1000

They reach the mining town of Zolanberg and take to the Rusty Dragon and sleep well. The goliath has recovered his strength (and more importantly his lost CON stats) and feels much better.

LHARVION 10, 1000

They reach Sharn and crawl to their apartment to sleep and rest further. As the others sleep, the dwarf finally gets to look at his book. He is startled as he opens a random page and strong glowing blue glyphs are on the pages shown. He is unsure what it is but closes it quickly with a loud thumping snap. He guesses those are Draconic Prophecy Glyphs.



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LHARVION 11, 1000

The dwarf has thought this through carefully during the night. He refuses to be had by the gnome again.

They take the same path back to the gnome district. The gardener is outside once more. He raises an eyebrow as the three adventurers march past him and go through the door. Inside the dwarf calls out the gnome- “Alina! Show yourself!”

The room has a dusky effect as if a storm were coming through that was blocking out the sun. The cage and birds are not there. It makes the dwarf wonder if the birds were EVER there. Could they also have been an illusion?

Soon there is a swoosh sound like a rogue breeze and she appears. This time she is dressed in purple and blue sequin dress. She is perfect. Again. Illusion or real?

“Welcome back my wonderful heroes of Morgrave. Was your trip successful?” She asks while a table rises from the floor with fresh fruit and a picture of water. The smell of freshly baked bread rises and when she turns she has bread and butter also. “Please- sit. You are guests.”

“Is that what we are to you?” growls the dwarf.

“No. YOU are so much more to me. Your friends also.”

Hardfist’s stomach growls at the smell of the bread. He slept through breakfast.

“Stop trying to charm me. I see through your games now.”

“Games?” she asks innocently.

The lizardfolk archer finds this argument to suddenly be hollow. Why is the dwarf giving his friend so much grief. She is offering food and her hospitality along with the rewards of a job well done. The goliath just hopes he can have some bread and maybe pat the colorful birds again. As a friend, she may if he remains nice.

The dwarf pulls out the crushed scroll and slaps it onto the table next to the food. “There.”

She gives a tight smile as she lifts the scroll. Her eyes never leave the dwarf’s. She looks at it. “It is damaged.”

“Found it that way. It was being used a bookmark.”

“That is why they did not find it. It…… “ She states quietly then realizes she spoke out loud. Wardrum is hopeful. That was her first obvious slip-up. He is getting to her. “Bread for my mighty hero?” she offers again with a sensual smile and a twinkle in her eye.

She is just beginning to think she has charmed him when the big man suddenly reaches out and collects much of the bread. “Thank you! I like bread. UMMMM…. It is still warm from the kiln.” It breaks the moment.

“I sense frustration my dear. Is there anything I can do for you? Massage maybe?” and she sashays around him sliding a jeweled ringer along his wide dwarven shoulders. “A shaved dwarf is so… refreshing.”

“You poisoned us!” He blurts out.

“Poisoned?” She giggles. “Silly- I didn’t poison you. Why poison you. It would make you not… UP for the task I wanted and craved to have done.” She circles around to face him. “Did you think I would poison you? I merely was talking about my interest in things Elven.”

The dwarf is furious.

“WHAT?!?” he screams out loud. Both of the other two stop in mid bite of their shared bread. “You never …. You made us believe…. You manipulating whore of a…..”

“Flattery works but only so far. Did you find anything else of interest?”

Blinking several times as if waking up from a short day dream, the lizardfolk shakes his head. “Payment. We were told we would get our second half once we returned with the scroll.”

Her smile wavers. She provides three more coin purses. “Anything?”

“Why should we? What if I found a powerful weapon to destroy you?” he challenges as he creates an illusion of six crystals of sparkling colors.

“I would pay you for it handsome.” She purrs as he suddenly finds his illusion possessed as the crystals float into a pattern that looks like a prancing horse. This is when the dwarf knows he is outclassed and needs to finish this up and leave- forever.

“I have this. I know not what it speaks of but it appears magical.” Kar-Draith provides the book he found. She peers slowly at it then for the second time, she loses her control for a brief moment. It is clear to the dwarf that she knows what this is and wants it. Just as quickly her expression of need and greed appears, the look of bored interest reappears.

“A book. Strange language. Is it a puzzle?” She asks as she places her small hand on the cover. The archer pulls it back.

“How much?”

“100 gold.”

The dwarf waves away that bid. The archer waits for a higher bid. “200 gold?”

She begins to pull the book back to her when the dwarf adds his strength to the archer’s. The book stops and a crinkle of anger appears on her face. “That is equal to the payment of the original deal. That is four hundred gold you will receive total.”

Again the dwarf waves it off. The lizardfolk ranger hesitates then agrees…. “Higher.”

“I am a woman of many means but to pay so much for a puzzle book? Very well- I have connections throughout Sharn. I have pull with the Watch, the Mayor and even the Citadel. Even in other countries. 200 gold and a favor asked of me.”

The dwarf hesitates as he wonders if this is another bluff or the truth which the ranger takes as encouragement. “Agreed.” And he raises his hand and the gnome greedily pulls it to her and looks once before putting the impossible mass of the tome into her pocket of the robe that leaves not so much as a wrinkle.

“Anything else?”

“Not from I.” answers the archer.

She looks at the goliath whom shrugs and finishes off his juice.

The dwarf offers the book about gems. He is aware how helpful gems and crystals are to an illusionist. They have a battle of bids also that results in the same 200 gold and a favor. It is not what he wanted but it places him that much closer to paying off his loan with Tarvash.

As the goliath wiggles through the doorway, they can hear her call out an endearing goodbye and names the dwarf by his full name. The care keeper, even with his thick and large facial hair, is obviously smiling as the three of them leave.


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Kar-Draith quietly has left the company of his friends from Morgrave and traveled deep into the tower bases. He is looking for something in the dark tunnels. He comes across a goblin. For a coin or a promise of no harm the goblin tells him where to go. He repeats this three times before reaching a small deserted underground tunnel complex where goblins and creatures that can be barely referred as humanoid lurk.

He is greeted by a shadow, From the shadow steps out a black cloaked goblin. They whisper and nod to an agreement. The trip back to the night sky above is long as the archer becomes lost several times. Luckily he is not attacked by any of the cutthroats that call these lower levels home.

There is a knock at the door and Hardfist answers the door. It is a gnome messenger of House Sivis. He hands you a message and puts out his hand. Instead of a tip, he gets the door closed in his face by the goliath whom is excited to get a message.

The dwarven inquisitor takes the letter from the giant of a man and opens it. As he reads it to himself he frowns a bit. The lizardfolk archer comes out from his room and asks what the message is. “Professor Zilshire wants us at his office immediately. He has learned of something and wants our help.”

Due to the ongoing agreement, they have little choice but to comply. They gather a few items in case of sudden need for travel and head out.

The annoying and teenage-like ½ elf is at the office. She is the secretary hired a month or so ago after the professor’s first secretary disappeared. “Where, like, are you going this time?” she asks nearly jumping up and down in excitement.

“Don’t know if we are going anywhere. Is the professor in?” asks the dwarf.

“I bet it’s Thrane. Thrane is so fun and exciting!”

“Have you ever been to Thrane?” asks the dwarf in utter amazement.

Ignoring his sarcastic retort she goes on. “Maybe Karrnath. The land of the dead!” and she raises her arms to look like a cartoonish zombie. The effort brings a smile to Hardfist. “Aundair? That IS where you went last time isn’t it? I bet you did. The land of Magic. Did you go to a floating tower? Did you see a Dragonhawk? Oh I am so jealous! I just know you saw a Dragonhawk.” Wardrum is happy for once that the professor has grown impatient and shouts for them to enter.

The office is as a mess as ever. Papers piled high. Tomes piled up like totems. Even a few maps are out that were not there before. The Goliath returns his interest to statues on the top shelves.

“As you know, I have been reading and studying the tome Saas traded. One name occurred several times. I have asked a few friends to learn whatever they can about him and now I ask you also. I wish to learn where Jaxen Willowtrender is and get in contact with him.”
“What do you know about him?” asks the dwarven inquisitor.

“Mr. Willowtrender was once a Wayfinder out of the local Sharn office. Amazingly enough, he was also an aid for Professor Gillard Rhen here at Morgrave. I believe he has a similar agreement as we have. He may even live in the same tower as you.”

“Professor Rhen….” Begins the dwarf.

“He lectures about pre-gobliniod civilization here at Morgrave.”

“Very well, we’ll ask around.” Says the dwarf whom looks to both of his allies. The goliath quickly snaps to innocent attention and smiles.

“Wonderful. I will continue asking around myself. Should we agree to meet here again tomorrow mourning?”

In agreement, the three head out of the office doing their best to avoid and ignore the secretary as she asks many questions once more.


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The three of them begin questioning the local students. It takes a while as most are afraid of the lizardfolk and goliath. Most of them know nothing about Willowtrender. A few say he worked with the Professor Rhen until recently. Two of the female students curse and storm away.

Nearly at the point of giving up, you come across a student that seems open to your questioning. Aurora , a half-elf, says he lives in a suit below them When given the floor, Wardrum realizes he is the very next floor down from themselves.

Going back to their apartment, they go to Willowtrender’s apartment. The dwarf looks around briefly then quickly works the locked door. It pops open and he puts away his tools and wipes the grease from the knob to his pants. He takes two steps then freezes up…. Paralyzed. “That sneaky bastard….” Thinks the dwarf.

Kar-Draith asks Hardfist to take the dwarf outside into the hallway as begins to look around. Lifting him by his back collar, the dwarf is carried out like a smelly bag of waste.

The layout is much like their own suite. The lizardfolk goes to the first door on his left, the storage closet. It is locked. Hoping not to alert Jaxen of their being there, he passes up this door. The room is a bedroom. Clean and empty as if never used. The next door is slightly ajar. He looks in to find a total mess. The bed is unmade, pillows on the bed and floor. Blankets half dragged out the bed onto the floor. Looks like he is an uneasy sleeper or he left in a hurry.

The next room has had the bed removed. A table and a handful of books and papers sit there. Before going in the archer looks to the fallen dwarf. The goliath is rubbing his back and trying to get him to awake. Lose change and odd objects used to search an area for clues fall out of his pockets as the goliath lifts him up and gently shakes him…. Upside down. Smiling, the archer moves to the next room.
It is another empty and unused bedroom.

The lizardfolk looks briefly into the water room when he hears the dwarf grumble loudly for the goliath to put him down. Picking up his lost belongings, he stomps to the entrance. Disgusted with himself for not seeing the contact poison on the knob, he kicks the door the rest of the way open.

Carefully checking the knob and door, he tries to unlock the closet. No luck. He follows the route the archer took. At the desk area he takes a moment to read the titles of the books. It appears the Wayfinder was researching magic that involves wards and protection. He sees a calendar… Lharvion the 14th is circled with the word Passage written. Hardfist spots a bottle of whiskey on the floor but is told not to touch it. Wardrum fears more tricks with poison.

“Now what?” questions the lizardfolk.

“Ever been to Undersharn?”

“No.” Lies the archer.

Going straight down to the base of the tower they were in, they reach one section of the area referred to as Undersharn. It is the space between safety of civilization and the dangers of the Cogs.

The tunnels are dark, often the magical lighting set up has been stolen or in most cases- destroyed. Many of the more dubious races stalk these tunnels and call them home. Goblins, dark cloaked Halflings, gnolls and an occasional minotaur are seen. They come into a slightly better location that is closer to the docks based on the slight smell of salt and low-tide over the otherwise sour smell of waste. The dwarf leads them to a tavern called The Blind Eye. “Remember- let me do the talking. Don’t touch anything or anyone. The people here can be very unfriendly. Respect them and you will be okay.”

“Strange people you know….” Suggests the archer once the dwarf enters the tavern. Inside there is a thick smoke filled with the tastes of stale ale and body odor. Dwarves, goblins and a few races with no clear lineage sit about quietly drinking and discussing events the Watch would rather not know about.

“Wardrum! Love you’ve come back! So good to see you again.” Calls out a woman near the entrance. She shuffles over quickly and gives the dwarf a big hug. His face is buried in her large and exposed bosom. Kar-Draith hisses as he giggles. Hardfist watches with fascination. “After everything with Tobus we were not sure if we ever see you again!”

“Yeah about that- can we keep it quiet? Is Dunlup in?”

“Oh he will be happy to see you again. He’s by the bar.” The three of them move past her to an open table. The archer and Brawler both sit down.

“Don’t touch anything. Don’t touch anyone. Don’t talk to anyone. And please- don’t drink anything. I should be back shortly.” He looks to both of them with a serious tone. “Understood?” The archer hisses a yes and the goliath nods absent mindedly as he watches several gnolls bark and yip at each other over a game of dice.

The dwarf goes to search out his contact from his early inquisitor days. The other two watch and take note of the activities around them. Games of chance and drinking…. Dark alliances…. So much here. Kar-Draith takes note of it all.

The dwarf sits at the bar. The bar tender has his back to him. “What- I say what will it be my fine gentlemen?”

“There are no gentlemen here.” answers the dwarf.

“I dare to say- is that a voice from the past my ears hear? They he is. There is the ghost of the past. How, I say there boy- how are you doing?” says the large man with a very much larger gut. Several teeth are missing and the remainder are yellow and brown. He sets down the mug and moves to hug the dwarf whom leans back and out of reach.

“I see you are doing as well as ever Longhorn. Blind Eye is busy. Still a lot of people comin’ and going.”

“I say there boy…. Sounds like you are looking for someone. Say- don’t you owe me money?”

“Really? Not that I recall. Jaxen Willowtrender. Morgrave. Wayfinder. Ever hear of him?”

Disappointed that the dwarf recognized his bluff, the large greasy man continues to smile. “Quite the name. He sounds familiar with a name like that. I can ask around.”

Kar-Draith is becoming annoyed as the people here stare at the odd couple. One table is obviously commenting about them when a woman walks into the tavern. The occupants at the table hush up and wait and watch.

She walks over to them with a purposeful stride moving her hips slowly. Her long blonde curly hair seems to perfect to belong here. Her top exposes much of her breasts leaving little to the imagination.
“Oh my…. What a …. Big…. Man you must be.” She gasps as she looks at the Goliath. Kar-Draith hears a quiet giggle from the next table over.

“What kind of man are you?” she asks ignoring the reptilian ranger.

“Heh…. I’m a Goliath.” Giggles Hardfist.

“Do those ridges cover your entire body?” she asks as she slides her hand over his arm. Hardfist’s face becomes a few shades of purple brighter.

“I bet. You can show me…. And I’ll show you mine.” She purrs. One man nearby snorts and spits ale out of his over-sized and broken nose. They laugh…. At him or what was said is unclear.

“How much?” asks the lizardfolk.

She looks at him coldly. He is obviously not her chosen mark. “For this big man…. Five silver.”

The lizardfolk plucks out five silver coins and says “Enjoy.”

“But…..” begins Hardfist.

“It’ll be okay. Just come back to here.”

As the two leave the building the table next to him barks out “Go easy on him Char-letta.”
“Yeah!” begins another dirty human- “Let him decide…..” and a new roar of laughter.

Shortly the dwarf comes over. “Where is he?” he demands.

“Stepped with a young lady of the night. Let him have some fun. Let the boy grow up and learn something in the process.” He hisses.

The waitress, Suzie, comes over again. “Anything to drink?”

“No but maybe you can still help us. I am looking for someone that deals with…. Borrowed goods. A Jaxen Willowtrender.”

“Willowtrender….. oh him. Yeah I know him.”

“You do?!? Is he here?”

“Not seen him in several weeks. Ladies man and a real charmer. He often came here to meet up with his business partners.”

“You say you haven’t seen him in a while. Know where he may have gone?”


“Thankyou. We’ll be back in a few hours. If you see our friend could you have him stay here?”

They leave and go back up into the light. “I can’t believe you let him wander off like that. And to think, I didn’t believe he even had any coin on him.”

Rolling his reptilian eyes, the archer remains quiet.

“While we give Dunlop a chance to work his magic and come up with a coin amount for his memories, we can visit another contact of mine. Hope you don’t have issues with the Watch.” The lizardfolk almost breaks stride hearing this.

Two hours of wandering the middle districts, they finally spot the contact a few bridges over. It is another twenty minutes of criss-crossing the bridges and tunnels with an occasional stairway before meeting up with-
“Officer Vicegrip…. Bernald Vicegrip. It has been a while.

The Watch officer stops and looks behind him and spots the dwarf. Immediately he looks around to see who else is around. The archer finds this curious. A Watch officer afraid of being seen with an inquisitor.

“What is it Wardrum? Make it fast.” Says the nervous young man. “I have a patrol to finish.”

“Jaxen Willowtrender. Ever hear of him? Wayfinder and procurer of goods.”

“Yeah. Heard of him.” Says the man as once more he checks the tunnel for ease droppers or witnesses.


“Minor theft and civil disruptions. Had a falling out with the Wayfinders but nothing could be proved.”

“Couldn’t…. or wouldn’t?”

“Comon Wardrum. I can’t answer questions like that. As it is… if the Watch commander knew I was talking….”

“And how is the commander? Still angry about that incident two years ago? Happened during your watch I believe…….”

“Fine!” He exclaims in a mix of frustration and anger.

“He runs with adventurer groups. You know…. Wayfinders and Tomb Raiders. Rarely runs with the same group twice. Said to fence goods throughout this tower- Morgrave University right down to the Undersharn tunnels.”

“Anything else?”

“No! Now are we even yet? I would think we were.”

“I’ll let you know when we are. Say hello to the commander for me.”

Returning to the Blind Eye they are puzzled by the piles of bodies in some of the hallways. Small gangs of thugs seem to have bitten off more than they could chew. Many deep bruises and broken jaws. The two of them look at each other and pick up their pace. The brawler was here.

They enter the tavern and find fewer people here than before. Suzie rushes over. “Your friend was here…. Dunlup isn’t happy about it. Maybe you should….”

“Wardrum! Wardrum is that you? You lousy son of a troll twice bitten by a leper tick- It’s about time you returned for him!”

“Where is he? Where is Hardfist?”

“Out! I yelled at him and he left. For such a bad-ass he is very much a sissyboy.”

“Sigh…” This is going to be a long night thinks the dwarf. “Learn anything for me?”

“I say- I say…. Aren’t you listening to me boy? Find the galoot and leave.”

“Info first…. Or I will be forced to return.”

“Why I never….. ARHHHH! Fine. Your boy, I say , your boy is an ass. He lies and cheats with every partner and employee he has ever had. More would like to see him dead than alive. Now find him and leave! He is killing my business- literally!”

The bartender’s eyes shot wide open. The dwarf turns and there is the goliath. “I found you!”

Patrons shy away and remain quiet as the big man walks in happily.

“What happened? I asked you….. demanded….you to stay still.”

“Kar-Draith said….” Behind the dwarf, the lizardfolk waves off anything further to be said.


“It would be okay to go with her.”

One customer snorts. “She show you?” he laughs. His drinking partner slaps him from behind.

The dwarf glares at them then looks up at the goliath. “And….”

“She took off her top. She asked what I liked. I thought about snacks and sweet water but thought she meant something else. She offered a bit of both. I’m sorry- I didn’t understand what she meant.”

Another drinker snorts and falls out of his chair.


“When she took off her breaches she was a man.”

“It scared me Ronin. It really really scared me.”

He glares at the lizardfolk whom shrugs like “whatever” and they go to the top side.

The goliath will never be the same again.

[DM NOTE: Monitors- please don’t hate me]


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LHARVION 16, 1000

After a quick trip in the morning to the Wayfinders in the Uppermost levels, they group learns Jaxen was a member there until he cheated several allies out of artifacts and was suspected of murder with the third and final mission. Hendra ir’Kavay , the Wayfinder organizer of Sharn, hopes nothing but harm comes to him. They travel lower to the Morgrave University and Professor Zilshire’s office.

“This is , like, so exciting!” says the secretary as she shuffles together a prepared lecture about the artifact – Drums of Dang-Garrow.

“Yes- I’m sure it is. The professor is waiting for us. May we?” says the dwarf as he moves past her.

“Ah yes. Any news?” asks the professor whom seems as excited as his secretary.

“You first.”

“He is clearly not to be trusted. Spoke to the Rhen. He has nothing good to say about the man. He has skills and talent but will do whatever brings him the most coin. He was last known to have fled to Aundair this past week.”

“Fled?” thinks the Inquisitor. Yes we learned this and where in Aundair he went. He is in Passage.”

“Passage…. The one woman I spoke to mentioned a contact of his that lived in Passage. A Mr. Blink Dog I believe.

“Do you have the money for this trip?” asks the dwarf.

“Ah…. Kundarak isn’t open yet…. So many delays after that incident….. ah…. Let me see….” He looks into his desk and pulls out a few coins. Another drawer has some more….. With a flustered sigh, he digs into his pockets. A few more coins and some lint come out. The dwarf rolls his eyes. The lizardfolk questions if this is any way to live. Hardfist… well he checking out another top shelf with a sculpture of a tentacle skinny cat that the artist screwed up on. It has six legs.

The professor gets up and climbs over a few stacks of books and papers. He reaches up to a series of books then stops. He looks sharply at the two employees whom are watching his every move. Picking up on what he means, Wardrum looks away and has the archer do the same. The professor pulls down a hollowed book and removes money and Kundarak certificates. He places it back and returns to his desk. The lizardfolk memorizes the shelf and the general area of the book.

“Please go easy on the money. It is mine- not the University’s.”

“Before we go, I wanted you to look at this for me…” says the dwarf as he begins to pull out a book that glows when opened.

“I have no time for that and if you hurry you may make the morning car to Passage.” The professor declares and waves them off. The secretary laughs and tee hees as they leave in a rush. Then a very serious look crosses her face as she pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose again.

They make the electric rail and travel north to Passage. Once more they are in the common room car. It is not as packed as the first time. Kar-Draith asks to look at the book. Seeing no harm in it, the dwarf pulls the book free of his pack. He opens it and the glowing glyphs appears.

Staring at it, the lizardfolk attempts to “read” the glyphs. “The symbols seem like a stylized draconic. I speak draconic.”

“Well….?” Asks the dwarf with renewed curiosity.

The archer spends fifteen minutes trying to decipher the glyphs. “I’m sorry. I can only make out a few words.”

“Which are?”

“Flooded Money…. or Flooded Treasure and Broken Mirror or Self-Image. Strange.”

He closes the book and hands it back to the dwarf whom thinks a moment before repacking it with his other belongings.


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LHARVION 19, 1000

They reach passage, Aundair and disembark from the rail car. They take in the sites before them again. They begin towards a few taverns to ask about Blink Dog and Jaxen Willowtrender. No one knows of Jaxen but a few know Blink Dog. He is a guide that goes into Eldeen for the right money. He typically can be found at the Black Raven on the docks.

As they walk to the dock area (based on spotting the expanse of the Galifar Lake is) they cross a Kundarak bank and a House Sivis message house. Excusing himself for a moment, the dwarf goes to send a message to the professor. Then as an after-thought, he decides to send a second message. He wants the Halfling crimelord- Thavash Boromar to know where he is and promises a large sum of money.

The Black Raven is located in a spell blasted area that has not been rebuilt since the war. There is no pattern to the destruction beyond there is not more than a few buildings per block upright. As they go, they ask occasionally a local if they know where Jaxen or Blink Dog was. One person says they will not find the Blink Dog- he will find them. Undeterred, they continue asking and move towards the docks. They eventually find the Black Raven and go inside. There are a handful of men and guides here. It is a rugged group and solemn. Typical rangers and woodsmen.

With the third customer they ask he nods to his left. Looking that way you see a black and dark brown haired shifter. He stares up and down to evaluate you and then nods and waves for them to come over.

“I understand you are looking for me. Why?” he states more than asks.

“You are Blink Dog?” asks the dwarf.

“Very. Now why come here and ask for me.”

“We are looking for someone. Someone we are made to understand you know.”


“Jaxen Willowtrender.”

A toothy snarl comes from the shifter. “Very popular for the kind of scum he is.”

“So you do know him.”

“You with the Claw?”

“the claw…?” worries the archer. “The Emerald Claw?”

“The same. They are looking for him also. Maybe they find him first. Maybe not.”

“Where is he?”


With a tight smile the dwarf breathes through his nose. “I understand that. Where may we find him?”

The shifter, whom has yet moved or taken a drink from his ale, stares at the dwarf.

“What do you want of him?”

“We need a few answers to some questions.”

Painful seconds go by. “Very well. Heard he was headed into Eldeen- near the mountains in the south.”

“Anywhere special?”

“Nosy dwarf. You an inquisitor or Deneith?”

“What makes you say that?” says the dwarf as brazenly as possible.

“Nothing. Winetree. Heard he was going to Winetree or at least stopping there.”

“Would you be willing to take us?” asks the archer.


“I thought you wanted him also.” Adds the dwarf.

“Not worth the time. When in Sylbaran ask for Ferris. Mention my name…. he will at least consider it.”

“Thankyou Blink Dog.”

Kar-Draith gets up leaving a silver coin behind. Blink Dog doesn’t touch it. He merely looks at his ale and becomes lost in his own personal thoughts.


“How much!” exclaims the dwarf.

“Silver a day per horse.”

The dwarf continues to stare in dismay.

“With the receipt, you may switch out for fresh horses at any of our stables.”

“Why so much again…?”

“These are Magebred beauties bred for speed and endurance. No quicker way there by land.”

“We’ll walk.”

The archer and brawler look after the leaving dwarf in confusion and dismay.

“Walk?” hisses the archer.


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LHARVION 20, 1000

They are truly wondering what the dwarf was thinking by mid day. Compared to most, the walking up and down of ramps and stairs in Sharn has conditioned them better than the average traveler on foot but this is for days…. Even weeks. Outside. In the mercy of Arawai and The Traveler.

The money that could have been spent on horses was spent on tents, bed rolls, food and supplies. Damned coin pinching dwarf!

LHARVION 23, 1000
This night Hardfist is awakened (he was supposed to be on watch) by the sounds circling their campsite. Six wolves. The archer awakens and kills one with his bow. Hardfist kicks one out of the light given by the fire and never returns or yelps as it crashes into the brush. Before the dwarf can stumble out of his tent the other wolves have decided to move on.

It rains two days later. They learn campfires are harder to start with rain.

LHARVION 28, 1000
They reach the first larger settlement of their trip. They knew they were close when they saw the floating towers. Arcanix.

The floating school of magic is believed by most to be the best school of magics to exist on Khorvaire. The Twelve and a few other institutes may disagree. Though Sharn is magical, this place overthrows in magic. Everything is clean and pristine. Bards sing songs on the streets and taverns that cause a magical calm and peace.

The cheap dwarf refuses to spend any money on beds here. More camping.

BARRAKAS 2, 1000
The three walkers have a strange encounter with teleporting dogs. The animals were racing down the road baying as if chasing down a raccoon. The lizardfolk draws his bow on them and suddenly the four of them are now charging from the left.

Startled and uncertain what to make of this the dwarf holds back. Hardfist tries to kick one but misses. The archer fires rapidly. He thought both arrows had struck but one missed somehow. The animals circle them calling in a dog-like bark that has an element of higher intelligence. They seem very curious about the lizardfolk.

Having decided he is not a threat, they teleport away further down the road past them. Strange. “Was that Blink Dogs?” wonders the dwarf with uncertainty.

BARRAKAS 6, 1000
They encounter a flying danger. A manticore circles them. The dwarf activates a power of invisibility. He and the goliath disappear. Kar-Draith whom was fifteen feet away takes the full brunt of the attack as the creature fires spikes from it’s tail. The attack nearly kills him instantly. Wardrum resets his power to hide the dying lizardfolk from the flying creature above him.

BARRAKAS 13, 1000
They reach the reach settlement. XANDRAR. This is a crossroads between Breland and Eldeen Reaches. Several battles took place here and seemed to all be centered on a bridge between the countries. Now, the war is all but forgotten except for a few veterans remembering the days and a few ignored war memorials.

They spend a night at an inn here. They hate the morning almost as much as they dislike the dwarf when it is time to move on.

RHAAN 1, 1000
The last two weeks have been quiet. Except for an occasional caravan or traveler it is uneventful. However, as they reach Sylbaran a dangerous looking storm comes. They take cover within the settlement’s walls. They see a stable and a tavern. They go there first to secure rooms before others escaping the heavy rain get the rooms.

Here they ask about the guide Ferris. The Inn keeper snorts and says he is in the stables no doubt. As a centaur (a previous inn’s customer revealed) he no doubt rests there often.

He is easy to find. He is a multi-colored centaur that appears to be much older. He is aiding the Orien and Vadalis workers with calming and feeding the horses. The centaur glares harshly at the lizardfolk. “You are making the job harder.”

“Excuse us?” asks the dwarf.

“The reptilian- he is making the uneasy horses harder to calm. They can sense what he can do.”

“Sorry- we’ll be quick. Are you Ferris?”

Snorts very horse like. “Why do you ask?”

“Blink Dog from passage suggested you may be able to help us.”

“Got things to do. Places to be.”

“But he said….”

“Blink Dog and I are not friends. We are merely guides for hire. Professional courtesy. Now be quick.”

“We are looking to travel to Winetree.”

“I go that way but not to Winetree.”

“Could you take us there first?”

“The orcs have requested my aid. There are fiends lose in the forest. The remains of last years activity. There is also a huge green dragon that once protected a village but now threatens it. No. I can take you some of the way then point you the rest of the way.”


“Enough. I don’t need your money nor do I have the time. Ask the locals. They can point out the road to take. Follow the edge of the mountains.”

“You won’t help us then?!?” squirms the bewildered dwarf.

“You annoy me. Of these horses are yours?”

“None- we walked.”

“So you will slow me down further. Find another guide, if you can find one willing to go near the unrest and leave me alone.”

Disillusioned, the three walk out. “Now what?” asks the goliath.

Still with his head down, Wardrum answers- “We walk”


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They restock whatever supplies they can and begin to ask questions. They are given directions to the road that leads to Wine Tree. At first, the road is well kept as any Orien trade road is. Then as they go deeper into the Eldeen Reaches the road becomes muddy and uneven.

The grasslands give in to trees. The trees give in thick forest. Some there is rarely a point of greater than twilight conditions in the constant shadows of the thickening trees.

RHAAN 4, 1000
Kar-Draith spots large birds circling over head. As they enter a clearing made by a forest fire they see these birds are humanoid. Immediately the dwarf calls up his Invisibility Circle as the Harpies fly slowly over head. Soon they move on.

RHAAN 5, 1000
Similar trick as a stomping grumpy Hill Giant treads near them and crosses the road unaware they are there. Hardfist really, really wanted to test his brawling skill on such a big “man”. Wardrum makes it clear now is not the time.

RHAAN 7, 1000
Late afternoon, Kar-Draith hears pipes from nearby. Wary of this, the dwarf is about to turn on his invisibility again when a Satyr skips and plays his pipes for them. “Hello Hello. How are we my fine travelers.” He sings between notes on his pipes. The goliath listens carefully. The lizardfolk sways and nods to the tune. “Tired” he says.

Sensing a charm at work, the dwarf does what he can to drive the fey creature away. The goliath sways with the lizardfolk ranger. He is not certain if it is because of a charm or his feeble mind mimicking his friend. “We are merely passing through. I don’t want to be rude but we must be going. Thank you.”

“Going so fast?”

The dwarf and satyr keep up this word game until the fey creature decides it is either bored or they do not have what it wants.

RHAAN 10, 1000
“How much further?” whines the goliath.

“500 ft less than when you last asked.” Grumbles the dwarf.


It has been like this for the past two days. The long walk is wearing down their minds and tolerance of each other. After all, what would the three of them have in common beyond Sharn- which in itself is debatable.

This long exercise has allowed them to understand each others motions and intensions more. Invisibility doesn’t scare the goliath anymore. He still doesn’t always understand illusions but he is getting better.

As they continue along the ranger spots a movement of bright blue in the brush. He makes a slight sound that the dwarf understands as a warning. “What and where?” he whispers.

“To the left… in the brush. Something blue in color.”

“Oh! Oh! I see them!” calls out the brawler pointing at them. As said, there is still work to be done with the goliath and subtlety.

Two small but bright blue creatures rush out at them. The dwarf summons up an image of an owlbear complete with sound and smell. It charges forward from behind them. Maybe this is why the goliath misread them as being real. Even as the creatures (Akatas) attack, the brawler goes to tackle the owl bear from behind. He somehow misses as he tumbles in the grass ahead of it. The creatures are not fooled and move forward to attack.

The ranger kills one leaving the one on the dwarf. Amazingly, the goliath goes to tackle the owl bear again and this time lands on top of the surprised creature even as the dwarf stabs it doing some damage. The ranger is afraid to attack so he waits this out knowing how long it will last once the goliath understands the real threat.

The creature dies instantly as two club like hands punch it into the ground. He looks behind himself for the owlbear whom breaks up and disappears.



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“Small place.” Comments the dwarf looking down the entirety of Winetree. He spots about 7-8 buildings or by better description- structures.

They walk past a cabin and a small trade house. There is a small building marked with a sign of House Jorasco. Next to that is a stable marked with House Orien. The largest building is a tavern named after the town- The Wine Tree. The biggest surprise is the small Silver Flame temple.

“Let’s try the tavern. Get beds, food and maybe learn something.” Says the dwarf as he heads to the entrance.

The goliath spots a small wood shelter with many claw marks and diggings around it. “What is that?” he asks the ranger.

“Dog House.”

“I like dogs. This is a good place.” Says the goliath with a smile.

Inside they find a small tavern with two tables and a small bar. A hallway leads down the right side with several other doors. The guest living area they figure. Behind the bar is another closed door. They guess it leads to the living quarters and storeroom of the tavern.

The door opens and an elderly old human man dressed in red robes with gold and brown trim steps out. “Welcome to Wine Tree. How may I help you?”

“We would like rooms and some food would be nice.” Answers the dwarf with more respect than he normally would give. This care keeper has an aura about him. The dwarf finds him worthy of respect.
Looking to them he smiles. “I have tribex stew and for you young man, I have uncooked tribex in the back.”

Kar-Draith nearly drools… if he could drool. Hardfist’s stomach growls loudly- masking the dwarf’s own stomach growls. “I take that as an approval.”

They sit down as the man goes to the back to prepare food. He comes out with a cask of ale and a bottle of wine. He carefully feels the weight of each and offers them to the travelers to begin. “Don’t worry, I keep the costs down. Enjoy. We failed to complete our greetings. I am Sir John.”

Each of the three give their name and begin to drink. Sir John excuses himself but soon returns with a large bloody-rare steak, no vegetables. As he goes back to check on the stew the lizardfolk starts into his steak. “Good spices…” The other two are trapped between revulsion and envy. They are hungry. Out comes bread but the dwarf isn’t big on it. He ate bread for the first half of their journey. Crumbs and berries for the second half.

Sir John comes out with a large bowl that has to be handled with two hands and gives it to the goliath. He returns with two large bowls for himself and the dwarf.

“Kar-Draith…. Are you of the Shadow Marches or Q’Barra?” asks the old man.


“Wonderful. I remember my first visit to that amazing land. It was back in 892… or was it 894…. It has been a long time.” He finishes his bowl and pulls out a pipe. “We were there as adventurers… The Red Banners I believe….. Ah… I wonder what became of them.”

The three of them sense a long winded history to be told but with good food in their stomachs they don’t mind much. “Are you from Ka’rhashan?”

Not wanting to answer possible sensitive questions, the ranger changes the subject. “Do you get many travelers here?”

“No. Wine Tree is very distant from the rest of the world. Even from Eldeen itself.”

“Why be here then?” asks the dwarf.

“I like the place. It has a special quality to it. Nothing like it, not even the far East has anything like it.”

“So if anyone passed through here you would know it.” Suggests the dwarf.

“Quite so.”

“Has a man been here- a Jaxen Willowtrender?”

“Perhaps. A few weeks ago a man did come through. He didn’t stay. He was in a hurry. He was under the thought that a underground ruin was nearby. There are a few but nothing worth exploring.”

“Oh- where?” asks the dwarf sensing they are getting close now.

“Then there was those dreadful men. They came a day after. They were looking for the same ruins. They wanted rooms but I am too small of an establishment. I couldn’t possibly house the entire lot of them. They were so unruly and rude it may have been just as well.” He blows out several smoke rings that seem to change colors as they rise.

“Could these men…. Be the Emerald Claw?”

“Dear I hope not but perhaps.” His thoughts drift even as his smoke clouds do.


For the three rooms and the huge meal with drink only costs them a gold each. The best deal of this entire trip. When they wake up, Sir John has just baked sweet rolls with a drink he calls “coffee”. The lizardfolk and goliath each take a roll. The dwarf slides the tray’s contents into his bag. When Sir John turns around with a second tray he seems confused for a moment but looks at the goliath whom is finishing his roll. “Ahem…. Yes. Well alright then.”

This time, the goliath grabs several rolls before the dwarf takes them.

Before leaving they go to the trade store to pick up a few supplies. Money is getting low. An elf runs this store- The Trap & Tackle. His name is Fabian Dearrean. As they pick up fresh water and trail rations they discuss local events. Fabian agrees that a lone man came through followed by a large group of men- fifteen plus. They wore coats and cloaks over green and silver armor.

Fabian, when asked, agrees they were searching for a ruin. The ruin was believed to be near a lake or large pond along the cliffs. This reminded the elf of a similar place about a day or two away. “Just follow the road until it veers away from the cliffs. Stay by the cliffs. You should see it easily enough. Just be careful, Eldeen is a dangerous place at times.”

Confirming their original concerns, the three of them head out.


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After walking for two days they arrive at the area…. They guess

What they see is a decent sized pond of water set up against a rock Cliffside. There are trees and brush along the pond and a small island near the cliff’s edge.

They spot a trail on the far left side and decide to follow it. They sneak as best as they can and can see a doorway built into the rock wall.

Being over eager to get inside and locate Jaxen Willowtrender, they miss the slightly twitching vines hanging from a huge tree near the entrance. As Ronin begins to look at the door for traps the vines on the tree suddenly strike out at the dwarf. The three vines strike him and wrap around his flailing arms and head. Up he goes.

The archer cannot fathom what is happening. The brawler kicks at the tree and merely shakes it hard causing a strained gurgle to escape from the dwarf. The dwarf tries several times to free himself but the strong bark and limbs of the tree keep him grappled and strangled. The goliath leaps up into the tree and tries to break limbs to save the dwarf.

Before he can the dwarf jerks a few times then hangs there very very still.

In a fit of rage, the brawler cracks the tree down the center and the lifeless body is caste into the water. The lizardfolk ranger rushes into the water to save him. Too late.

Ronin is dead.

They retreat from the fallen tree and door entrance. They remove a hand full of items from the body and give the dwarf a burial on the edge of the woods.

It is a long walk back to Winetree.