Emerging victorious from the underground lair of the Necromancer, the party rests for a moment at the Hostel of the Sacred Stone. As usual, the topic of conversation turns to the events at Shithole Island and the limitless opportunities that running the island will bring. Determined to make a difference (for themselves) the party heads towards the mustering place of Daffyd Lyrr’s flotilla.
En route to the ship the adventurers stumble upon a skirmish in the streets of the Dock District. The streets run red with the blood of a number of fallen combatants (who some identify as members of the Fire Eyes). The victors turn their attention to the party and attack the seeming reinforcements without hesitation.
A brief and bloody battle ensues with the heavily armed party outmuscling the thugs. Fleeing into the streets appears a good option for the surviving Stone Bears, but one cannot get away from the fighter who roughs him up for some information before ending his life. Apparently the Stone Bears have not forgotten the incident at Alchemist’s Row and have standing orders to attack any Fire Eyes, or anyone in your party. With a moment to pick up some loot and help the fallen gang members the party heads off to the docks.
With no further confrontations, the party meets up with Daffyd Lyrr, who launches his warships for the Island of Moray. Daffyd has found an old map showing the location of a temple belonging to the Black Bloods. He thinks the temple houses the leaders of the cult and has prepared his expedition to wipe out the Malarites for good.
En route, the party takes stock of the warships and notices some of the recruits from thier previous expeditions inside and outside the city. Unfortunately, the three “Captains” appear to be the most experienced troops in the flotilla and most of the warriors gathered are inexperienced and would have difficulty against lycanthropes and ogres. Most appear ill-equipped to deal with any threat greater than wild game. This sentiment is echoed by Captain Vondal (shield) who remembers the ferocity of the werewolf Blood-Eye very well.
Arriving on the island, you note much of the destruction has been repaired and troops once again line the walls of the outpost. A delegation of merchants from Silvergrove are in town, and have been there for about a week. Despite the local grudges about the policies and history of Silvergrove, they have brought a large number of arrows and weapons for sale and have also been serving on the walls with the rest of the garrison. This has greatly improved the disposition of the locals. Choosing the overland route, Daffyd presses forth from the settlements with his army, his enthousiasm bolstering the morale of his troops.
Once outside the palisades of the city, the army encounters and disperses a number of small orc war bands. During those skirmishes the army takes a number of casualties and too many of the men get seriously wounded. Arriving at the forward base of a mining camp, the army has a chance to regroup in the shadow of the Orcskull Mountains. Captain Vondal once again voices his apprehensiveness of the current strategy, thinking the army should reinforce the towns and mines.
The party discretely apprises the entrance to the temple, scours the area for clues, and searches the nearby mines for any signs, entrances, or approaches to the temple. Finding little aside from the masses of footprint leading to the temple, the party musters to decide a plan of action.
Daffyd stoutly insists that he will lead the bulk of the army into the mouth of the Temple and he will gloriously destroy the monsters that are within. No amount of coercion or intimidation will sway him from his appointed course: this is to be his revenge, his moment of glory. However, An with the grace of a natural diplomat reminds the Lyrr that he will win no glory if his men are cut down in the entryway, and his revenge will be hollow if he loses the island. Reluctantly, the strong-willed man concedes control of the expedition and asks the party for advice.
The plan is this: To have Sheldrax and Zax’Ran enter the temple disguised.
Descending into the torch-lit depths of the temple, Sheldrax leads the way through the entrance: a gaping maw of some bear like creature. Wall carvings and gigantic statues line the approach, all of them obviously dedicated to evil. While Gruumsh, Auril and others are depicted, Malar is obviously the dominant god amongst them.
Entering the torch-lit antechamber the disguised Rogue and Wizard are confronted by a Minotaur, Werewolf, two drow and a handful of wererats. Aggressively bluffing, Sheldrax at first commands the lowly beasts with some success, but when he demands that the lord of the temple “Whitescar” come forth, the guards draw their weapons and advance.
Passive Insight At the mention of the name Whitescar the wererats cringe as if terrified.
A disembodied voice says “I am out of wine, roll for initiative”