We last saw our heroes in the bowels of the Mildfire Iron Mine, fighting off an apparent Underdark infestation. Having slain a band of [[Grimlock?]]s, the party trekked on toward the largest cave, presumably the source of the surge of evil creatures.
Dark signs were discovered on the walls of the approach tunnel, clearly telegraphing the malicious intent of the inscribers. Indeed, they managed to surprise a pair of [[Troglodyte?]] guards. The sentries silenced, they party came upon a decision: travel to the West and explore dazzling lights or turn right and delve into darkness.
Choosing the lighted part of the cavern first, they came upon a bewildering creature with four arms and a great, lolling tongue where a head might have been. Gotum took the initiative and tried to communicate with the thing via his pipes. The performance resulted in a swirling, reality-reshaping display, as the creature joined its own strange powers with Gotum’s song. The party managed to disengage with the creature, but not before it created a Staff of the Adder, which it sent sailing right in Sitlali’s direction. They took the hint.
Departing the strange creature left only one unexplored avenue. The party quickly found themselves in the main [[Troglodyte?]] camp, apparently that of a scouting party. A battle ensued with the trogs and their pet [[Giant_Toad?]], but eventually they won the day. The toughest looking trog had been wielding an apparently stolen greataxe, which Gotum quickly realized was enchanted (+1). Looking around, they also found a Medallion of Thoughts.
Seeking greater adventure, the party ventured into the opening which apparently led down into the Underdark. They stopped short, however, realizing a great, floating eye was staring back at them. It began to silently approach and our heroes decided it was a pretty good time to collapse the Underdark entrance. They escaped the mine and lived to fight another day.
The party made their way back to the Marquis and his valet to explain the goings on below. They kept the details about treasure to themselves, but did warn Adrien Mildfire to be wary of [[Bugbears?]], the [[Xorn?]] (who they maintained was harmless), and the strange thing in the prismatic cavern. Sitlali and the others did notice a bright emerald pinned to his breast (matching a jewelry box that was given to him by an associate of Talash), and asked the Marquis for any details he could give them about his apparent benefactor. He was light on details other than saying they were a “foreigner” who wished to gain influence with the court of Dreashire.
In recognition of their deeds (aside from 600 gold), Adrien Mildfire bestowed upon our heroes “The Order of Farmeadows,” which grants them some standing in the court and admittance to his club [[The_Roaring_Demon?]].
Taking leave of the Marquis, the party traveled back to the city to rest up in [[The_Abbey_of_the_Just_Hammer?]]. They decide to head down into the sewers next to take down the evil Talash. Tunfur the Stout repeats his challenge to Barador and this time he gets an answer. Barador swears to defend the weak from evil and to rid this city of any evils that plague it, starting with Talash. Tunfur proclaims Barador as a “Sword of Tyr” and knights him with a Longsword (+1), which he charges him to carry as a representative of [[The_Knights_of_the_Merciful_Sword?]].
Retcon: During their recovery and planning in the abbey, Sitlali recognized the gold liberated from the [[Bugbears?]] had a yuan-ti insignia stamped onto it, clearly Talash’s doing. It seems the [[Bugbears?]] were in the employ of the Nightmare Speaker.
The sewer is warm, dry, and inviting. Wait - strike that, reverse it. Anyway, the party makes a full-on frontal assault on Talash's Nest, taking down [[zombie?]]s and a [[yuan-ti_broodguard?]] just to get through the front door. With their newfound strength, they break through and find themselves facing down a couple of [[yuan-ti_pureblood?]] clerks, by all accounts. Sitlali tries at her guile, but in the heat of the moment things go sideways and combat begins…
Combat and Loot:
Boy, that demon hasn’t said much recently…