The next morning, the party came downstairs to the main level of the inn to find the innkeeper in a rising argument with the heralds of Serathis. The strangers seemed very upset about the exotic claw hanging on the wall, which the Innkeeper purchased from a merchant less than two months earlier, claiming that it could not be real and that it was some kind of sick joke. When pressed by the party, the heralds would rather let the discussion go than explain it. The Party met up with Klar who began to lead them up to the keep, letting them stop along the way to buy some supplies.
Leading them down through the cell block where he was held prisoner, through an old unused door at the end of the hall and down a spiral stone staircase, the party finds a series of caves beneath the keep. After several turns through the labyrinthine caves, they eventually came to an open cavern with flowing water, where they spotted a pair of bulettes netted to the ceiling with vines. As they approached, several crazed Sahuagin jumped out of the water and attacked.
After dispatching the fish-men and cutting down the bulettes, the party splits up onto the beasts and begins the awkward burrowing trip towards the Western Tower. Arriving into the sewers, the party found themselves split up and separated by barred off tunnels. Using a series of switches, fending off some rampant kobold groups, and avoiding some devious traps, the party makes their way through the sewer maze and to a set of stairs up to a storage room within the tower.
At some point in the sewers, McGwyver's latest experiment was discovered as he was birthed from the Bag of Holding wearing a pair of makeshift goggles and a seemingly normal snorkel, claiming he'd lost something and had to look for it. Capturing the last kobold, named Slink, the party bribes him with silver pieces "more valuable and shiny than gold", to run up through the storage room and distract the hobgoblins above.
Slink runs off to his task. Shortly afterward, the party ascends the staircase and finds Slink was true to his word, a game of Goblin-Durok appeared to have been abandoned at a table in the storage room. Carric and Istarya quickly snuck out the door, finding a large hall filled generously with chest-high walls and regular Hobgoblin soldiers patrolling around, with a locked door to the upstairs balcony not far away. Slink had tipped them off that the key was stored in a desk on the far end of the hall, but Istarya first attempted to hide behind some crates and pick the lock.
While Carric remained well hidden, Istarya was spotted from above and had to flee back into the storage room. As time passed, the pair of hobgoblins who had been playing cards returned to the room, causing the party to hide except for Istarya polymorphed to look like a Hobgoblin, using a Comprehend Languages ritual he was able to understand goblin but not speak it. Acting as a mute but tough Hobgoblin, Istarya managed to challenge and beat both of them at cards, earning himself some money and encouraging them to return to their posts rather than lose more money.
Afterward, Istarya patrolled out into the hall and managed to sneak his way to the desk, obtain the key, and return to the door allowing the rest of the party to sneak upstairs unseen. Up another set of stairs, the party came to the upper room of the tower, finding themselves behind a large throne with three kobolds around it, being addressed by a group of Hobgoblins holding Slink as a prisoner, and claiming that he was telling them the sword the kobolds were using didn't do what they claimed.
The head kobold, Grizbun Klurbin III, offered proof in summoning a young blue dragon named Kalseru down from the rafters. The party joined the fray, using an Arcane Springboard to leap up the stairs and get the jump on the kobolds. After a lengthy fight, the hobgoblin commander managed to kill Grizbun, steal the sword, and teleport to the throne laughing victoriously.
At that moment, his chest was pierced by a familiar bronze blade, and his body slumped to the side as Klar snatched the Sword of Julunggul. With a smile, a nod, and some quick thanks Klar touched the sword to Kalseru's snout, causing her scales to flare out and slowly ripple to red instead of blue. Finding themselves faced with a Red Dragon, the party watched as Klar jumped atop the dragon and flew through the roof and into the distance.
Looking out from the top of the tower over the ruined town of Fallheim, the Hobgoblin army could be seen retreating from the town in the direction that Klar and the dragon flew, and for the first time in months things started looking up for Fallheim.
740xp – Carric, Lel, Gwrtheyrn, Teodora, Istarya, and Rex
690xp – McGwyver
890gp + 30sp in Poker winnings (Istarya)