The party returned to Bysorth and went their separate ways, agreeing to meet later in the day at Dav’s favorite tavern, The Smiling Naga. Dav and Savik return to the military barracks, and Savik reports in. His superiors are happy to learn of the success of the mission to Winterhaven, and even more pleased to meet Rond Kelfem. Kelfem says his goodbyes and is taken to the Palace. Meanwhile, Sephori and Kelton escort Doven Staul home. At his house, he thanks them again and bid them farewell.
Later that night, at the tavern, Captain Kelfem does not return as he had promised. However, a pageboy from the upper city greets the party and hands them each a sealed letter. King Orren is having a ball at his palace the following evening, and has invited them to attend.
The party spends the next day cleaning up Dav and Savik, purchasing them some fine clothes. At the ball they meet up with Captain Kelfem, who is pleased to say that King Orren has agreed to send a garrison to the Keep on the Shadowfell immediately, to prevent any further cult activity that could endanger Winterhaven. He has been made acting Senator from Winterhaven until Lord Padraig sends someone else.
The party also makes acquaintance with several influential Senators who had heard of their deeds in Winterhaven, including Jorn Guldanni, Iione Aal Kuzu, and Ro Arayin. King Orren himself eventually makes his entrance and gives a short speech, thanking everyone for their continued service to Bysorth. He singles out the party, thanking them for establishing relations with Winterhaven, who he considers welcome brothers to the people of Bysorth. After some applause, he finally announces his engagement to Saruko Arayin of Nadeseil, which draws gasps and murmurs of shock and disbelief.
After his speech the ball continues, and Orren finds the party and thanks them each individually. He says he hopes to see more of them, and expects them to have a bright future in Bysorth.
A few days pass, and Doven Staul seeks out the party once again. He’s worried; he hasn’t seen his wife since returning to Bysorth. When he returned home, his home had been ransacked. He didn’t say anything to Kelton and Sephori at the time, feeling they had done enough for him, but he didn’t know where else to turn at this point.
Doven confesses that his trip to Winterhaven was not specifically to further his academic research, but rather a deal he made to pay off some old gambling debts. The men he owed money to arranged for him to seek out a specific piece of antiquity at that particular burial ground in exchange for a large payment, which would cover his debt and significant interest. When he failed to return, he suspects that his wife was abducted and is being held for ransom.
Doven described the item as a thick crystalline tube, roughly 2 feet in length and 6 inches across, with an inner diameter of 1 inch. Beyond that his “employers” said no more, other than it may hold faint magical energy.
The party investigated Doven’s home, and saw signs of multiple intruders and a struggle. They also found old pig manure, probably stuck in someone’s boots. They interviewed his neighbors, who were reluctant to talk. Eventually one old man who ran an apothecary confessed seeing 3 men break into Doven’s house 3 days prior (which was shortly after the party had dealt with the rift on the outskirts of Broadvale Valley) and take Mrs. Staul during the night. He described one man as very large, with a bald head and a tattoo of a bull on his arm.
Taking the clues they had the party ventured to the outside the walls of Bysorth and began searching around areas with pig farms. They talked to some people that knew a man who matched the description of the bald headed kidnapper; he was an occasional farmhand here. They found out he frequented the Stony Well Tavern in Bysorth’s west side.
At the Tavern, the party found the man they were looking for. Conversation did not go well and a brawl broke out. Savik spotted a halfling slipping out the back, and after knocking out the bruisers the party gave chase.
They pursued the halfling through the streets, and eventually cornered him in a dead-end alley. After a short fight the halfling surrendered. He confessed to kidnapping Myra Staul. They had delivered her to some men outside the city and they were headed to Old Lookout Point to hide her until Doven made good on his deal.
The party set out for the point, travelling a day and a half until reaching Fort Radaren, at the base of Mount Hephsas. Seeking a room for the night, they drew the attention of a group of shady looking men. The men skip town before the party is able to question them.
The following morning sephori travelled to the fort itself and attempted to convince its captain that a prisoner was being held up atop the mountain, at Old Lookout Point. Since she had no proof, the captain didn’t give much weight to her claim, reluctantly agreeing to send a patrol to investigate the following day.
The party set out by themselves instead, heading up the mountain. After several hours travel, they came across a group of dead orcs. The orcs appeared to have killed each other. Among the bodies they encounter one orc still living. Healing him enough so that he could talk and move, they interrogated him. His name was Krul’Thoon, and the dead orcs in the area were his tribe.
His vizier had betrayed him, taking half his clan. Krul’Thoon and his loyal tribesmen ambushed them while they attacked a group of humans travelling up the mountain with a female prisoner. He attacked while the orcs and humans battled, and the humans escaped during the commotion His small band was defeated, and what was left of his clan went north with his traitorous vizier to serve a dragon who had recently arrived in the area, taking with them the human woman they had captured.
The party and Krul’Thoon continued north when they were ambushed by the men from the tavern, the same men who had battled with the orcs the day before. Krul’Thoon, wounded, was knocked unconscious, but not before felling two of the ambushers himself. A third mage committed suicide rather than be captured, exploding in a ball of electric fire. The fourth, a tiefling man, escaped, to Savik’s chagrin.
The party came to Old Lookout Point near the end of the day. The ancient tower was out in the wide open, with no stealthy way to approach. Instead the party boldly stepped forth and demanded Myra Staul be released. Sythiss, outraged, ordered his orcs to attack.
The party fought a fierce battle with the orcs, all the while Sythiss attacking them from above with his poisoned breath. Eventually they took the top of the tower, and repairing and old ballista shot Sythiss through the wing. The dragon crashed into the tower, collapsing it, plunging them all into the caverns below.
Inside the party found Myra Staul chained and soaking in fetid water. Before they could free her Sythiss returned and attacked, defending his lair. The party was again victorious, and freed Myra Staul. Exhausted, they spent the evening inside the crumbled remains of Old Lookout Point. The next morning, a patrol of soliders arrived as promised, too late to be of any help. They did mention capturing a tiefling man the day before and locking him up in the fort. Upon returning to Fort Radaren, the prisoner had escaped.