The hopes of the invading goblin army rested on the mighty back of an owlbear. Unfortunately, hope really wasn’t enough. Not when the party got to work. The remaining combat was short, extremely bloody, and painful; but when it was finished two dead monsters against two unconscious heroes left three pissed off heroes to finish the job. And so ended the Battle of the Witchwood; all that was left was cleanup.
The party rested the remainder of the day with the Tiri Krator before continuing their journey north. While the elves were good hosts, there was a war on – and the mysterious breeding program to smash. So it was north that the heroes travelled.
The party was relatively familiar with the ruined (former) capital city, and so decided to first head for the delver-controlled quadrant and talk with Draygan. Verrick remembered a pretty good bar there that served as a neutral ground, so the party stopped there to wash the dust from their throats while they waited for Draygan. They certainly didn’t have to wait long before the minotaur arrived. The two groups set to business – Draygan didn’t want any trouble, and the party wanted to know of any signs of the Red Hand. The minotaur didn’t have any direct word of such, and so pointed the PCs towards the northern quadrant of town, citing a number of monsters the delvers had been unable to deal with. The party concluded that it was more likely Draygan was letting wishful thinking get the better of him, thanked him for his time, and went for a second opinion on the form of Sargoth, a lizardman that Stan had had some contact with previously. The lizardman was happy enough to arrange a meeting between the party and Saranth, the leader of the Cold Sun tribe.
The trek from the delver’s quadrant to the lizardman-controlled area was smelly and tiring, but not dangerous. On the way the party attempted to get a good look at the western quadrant but failed due to the omnipresent fog. When they arrived they found a tribe that was remarkably civilized by all accounts. The center of the tribe was a makeshift chapel dug into the ground, where the party found Saranth (and most of the tribe) worshipping an idol to Semuanya, the lizardman deity. Sly reflexively attempted to detect any magic emanating from the idol and was nearly blinded by the result; this, and some logical deduction, lead to the party concluding that they had found the resting place of the Talisman of Al’Akbar.
Saranth was a gracious hostess and was pleased to relate both how she found the idol (in the cargo hold of a sunken ship) and how it had lead her to rapidly civilize the Cold Sun tribe. This, of course, gave Sly a splitting headache as he attempted to justify why running off with the Talisman would be a good idea.
Saranth suggested that the party investigate the western quadrant. Since this matched up with their prior conclusions, they headed that way next. At this point it was getting on dusk, which made travel that much more difficult.
As night fell, the party heard cries for help from a trio of elven women and went to go assist them.