Carric, Istarya, Lel, Teodora, McGwyver, Gwrtheyrn, and Rex
In the temple beneath Portalis, the party finishes their discussions with the mysterious Elves. Arun'del Breakwater and his companions, having handed off Lester to Gwrtheyrn, head towards the surface after mentioning that he was rummaging around in the basement of the Old Mill when they last saw him. Lester explains that he was attempting to hide in the Old Mill, but the Elves followed him so he fled deeper into the caves. Heading back to the surface, the party notices that the well seems to be working once more, and they head back into the basement of the Old Mill. Here Lester digs through a pile of strewn about hay and pulls out a letter and a vial of purple liquid that appears to be some kind of curative potion. The party reads [[Lester's Letter]], take the potion, and decide to keep him prisoner until they can find some answers. As the party emerges back into the evening air, they notice a large congregation of people led by the Town Councilmen, coming to thank them for their brave deeds.
They meet head councilman Orin Brandis, as well as the other members of the council. After some quick introductions the party is tired and heads off to rest, making their way to the guard house and putting Lester in a jail cell for the night. In the morning the party meets with the mayor, Maxentius, and discuss their actions in rescuing the missing hunters and beneath the town fixing the well pump. Their discussions are interrupted as three well armed Tieflings burst into the room, dropping a golden feather on the mayor's desk, demanding their reward.
The mayor argues with them briefly, they contest that their job has been done as far as they care to do it, receive their payment and leave despite insults from Istarya. Outside Gwrtheyrn holds Lester prisoner while the rest of the party talks inside. Hearing that Lester met with a merchant in town to exchange gold for the letter and potion he had stashed away, the party heads to the merchant square in search of the particular dealer in question. They find the short and balding man, Samuel Tindell, in his cart set up in the square selling various seemingly useless and overpriced rarities including an intricate hourglass, some small and broken gearwork pieces, and an odd looking animal hand / claw the likes of which Carric has never seen before and could not identify.
Samuel claims he obtained the paw in a trade far to the East, at a coastal town in Ithacarus. They bribe the merchant away from his cart, having him put his helper Harlin in charge of the cart for a moment, and lead him to an alley where Istarya and the party threaten and intimidate him. He reveals that he is just a middle-man, like Lester, and that his instructions involved an area outside of town but he would always just send Harlin to do it.
The party goes back to the cart and convinces Harlin to come with him, they proceed to threaten and intimidate him as well, and he hastily draws a map for them to a location just north of Portalis. The party takes the pair to the brig and locks them up, then heads out of town in that direction. The map leads them through the woods to a clearing with some rubble and ruins in the middle of it, but as soon as they step foot near it the entire clearing collapses 20 ft. underground into a cave. The party finds themselves surrounded by a horde of chitinous, ravening monsters which they can recognize from stories as Kruthiks. After a hectic fight with the clawing, gnashing horde the party finds a stash of treasure the Kruthiks had piled nearby containing a +1 Lightning Falchion and a +1 Symbol of Hope dedicated to Pelor. Hearing more monsters from the caves beyond, the party takes one dead Kruthik body and heads back to town, with concerns that the Kruthiks may too close to the town for comfort.
Returning to the brig, they find the guards confused and both Samuel and Harlin's bodies lying dead on the floor from vicious knife wounds. There is a lingering taint of the Shadowfell in the guard house, but no other clues as to what happened or who killed them. The party then heads to the Owl Tower in town, meeting the gnome Owl Keeper Arvis, who explains that the tieflings did rescue one owl from wherever they are being held, Dora the golden owl. He agrees to let her lead them back to the place, and pleads with them to bring back as many of his owls as they can safely.
Heading north-east from town, Dora leads the party through the woods to a long corridor between tall trees where she is suddenly ambushed by two Spiretop Drakes. On the ground the party sees a dwarf hunter with a crossbow taking aim at Dora, with a guard drake at his side. Lel charges towards the dwarf while the rest of the party takes care of the Drakes attacking the owl. Shortly afterward the drakes are dead, the guard drake is dropped, but the dwarf reaches into his backpack and pulls out a small metal ball in each hand.
Tossing them into the clearing, they roll to the ground with a flurry of clicks and grinding as they transform into two mechanical Iron Defenders who charge the party. The dwarf is taken down, and on his person they find a half of a blue crystal which seems to eminate arcane energy in relation to a location.
565xp – Carric, Istarya, Lel, McGwyver, Gwrtheyrn, and Rex
432xp – Teodora
Loot: +1 Lightning Falchion, +1 Symbol of Hope, Cloak of Resistance +1, and +1 Bloodcut Armor, 380 gp