The party cleared the rest of the Horned Hold, rescuing the slaves from their orc, devil, and duergar captors. They safely escorted the group back to the Seven Pillared Hall and returned Gendar’s rod to the drow. Scarab and Glurp checked out Rothar’s Taproom for any interesting rumors and to keep an eye on Brugg, while the rest of the party headed to the Halfmoon Inn for a much needed rest. Unfortunately, the ogre had other plans as he led a large group of his cronies to arrest the heroes and put them into The Pit. Ganassi was stripped of his possessions before being incarcerated to await a death sentence with the others. After a few hours rest, the party attacked their jailors and were about to escape when the Ordinator Arcanis cleared a path for them to flee. They narrowly avoided Brugg before being transported into the Tower of Saruun, where Orontor, the last mage in the Hall, aided them and asked for help finding the other mages. The party set off to follow the maps they found in the Horned Hold, locating the Deep Stair and arriving at the Sea of Shadows. There they discovered five of the six missing mages, but also something more sinister, as a zombified dragon swooped in to attack!
After a short rest and raiding of the duergar supplies, the party snuck into a ruined chapel and examined a desecrated shrine to Baphomet. Not finding anything of note, the group crept through a minotaur crypt, before opening a hidden door that led to the Horned Hold’s cisterns. Chained up in the dry pits, they discovered the missing Riverdown slaves, being guarded by a couple of orcs and some devils. The party quickly dispatched the orc leader and his spinning chains, before taking out the rest of his allies. Glurp, Scarab, and Mot freed the prisoners while the rest of the adventurers asked their leader about the remainder of the Hold.
Leaving the prisoners safely in the cistern room, the party entered a hallway and checked the two doors there. They heard muffled talking behind one and large fireplaces behind the other. Deciding to clear out the interior room first, they burst in to find three duergar and one beautiful young girl. One of the duergar, Murkhelmor, was a paladin of the evil god Asmodeus, and D’kar went after him with righteous fury. After some suspicious actions, Scarab quickly figured out that the young girl wasn’t as innocent as she seemed. The evil creature dropped it’s disguise and revealed itself for what it truly was, a young succubus. Despite some trepidations about hurting the devil spawn, the party quickly cleared the room. After looting it for treasure, weapons, and information, the party left that room and prepared to open the door across the hall.
Hearing only breathing behind the door, Scarab tried to open it stealthily, only to be surprised when the massive hand of a cave troll reached out and pulled him into the room. The party piled damage onto the large creature and quickly put him down, but not before it nearly knocked Scarab unconscious and almost used Ganassi as a club on D’kar. The four orcs in the room didn’t put up much resistance and once they were destroyed the party triumphantly led the prisoners back to the Seven Pillared Hall, with half of them riding on Ganassi’s Jade Macetail.
Harken’s Heroes sent the slaves on their way back to their farms, returned Gendar’s Rod, and tried to find a Mage of Saruun to talk to. Being unsuccessful, Scarab and Glurp went to Rothar’s taproom to keep an eye on Brugg and get a drink. The rest of the party returned to the Halfmoon Inn for dinner and some recovery time. Along the way, Charrack the kobold gave Mot a ring gifted to her from Bennick the Wanderer (supposedly). Scarab and Glurp heard some interesting rumors, before being warned to leave the bar. Scarab sent Glurp away, but stayed behind to keep an eye on things.
Everyone’s relaxation was cut short, however, when Brugg was alerted to their activities in the Horned Hold. The ogre chased Scarab back to the Halfmoon Inn, where he, his cronies, and his duergar allies confronted the party. Kendra, the duergar theurge, accused Mot of stealing the ring she was wearing. Convinced of their innocence, the party agreed to be taken into custody and were led to the customs house, where they were imprisoned in The Pit. Before he was locked in a cell, Ganassi was taken away and stripped of all his belongings. The group tried to rest in the cells, but were interrupted by strange noises coming from the building above. Seizing the initiative, they attacked their guards and escaped their cells. As they were about to leave the jail, the door was opened by the Ordinator Arcanis. Surprised to see him, the group nevertheless followed him out of the Trading House and through the Seven Pillared Hall to the large minotaur statue. There he teleported the party into the Tower of Saruun and told them that the he was the only mage remaining of the seven usually found there.
The party was shocked to learn this information and also found out that Kalarel had been a acolyte of the mages at one time. After an extended rest, Orontor provided Ganassi with some replacement armor, helped them figure out where to begin looking for the mages, and also told them that Paldemar was the one who had requested the Duergar to dig out the side tunnel. Dismayed that an ally of the group had turned out to be a treacherous liar, they set off at once to rescue the mages and figure out what evil scheme he may be up to. Orontor teleported them on their way.
After moving through the Road of Shadows, the party descended a deep staircase, where D’kar and Scarab both had ominous visions of the past. They discovered a Sea of Shadows deep under the mountain, where D’kar and Scarab had another vision of the past, though this one seemed to be repeating itself in the present. They followed a series of bridges over the necrotic black waters and arrived at the center of the sea, where the mages seemed to be trapped in some magical field. As they watched, arcane energy was sucked from the mages and put into a Bronze Warder, powering the creature in its Song of Breaking. Ganassi attempted to free one of the mages, but all he succeeded in doing was alerting a zombie dragon that was guarding the area!