With the decision made to move against Azgoduk in the north and remove him from his command to drive the Legion of The Shattered Hands into chaos. The party used powerful new magic Dross had learned to travel quickly along forgotten pathways through the darkness. Although the passage seemed easy enough Gompers and Ayla seemed touched by something.
Near the town of Trell the party made camp in a dense, sprawling forest and investigated the town and Azgoduk’s camp to the north. After attacking a few patrols in the area to test their strength the party pulled back to the forest and made plans to gain access to the fortress.
That night a forest nymph named “Guardian” attacked their camp and attempted to capture Narcissa and drag her into the dark, Thanks to a quick reaction by Ayla and Abraxis they drove the spirit off and saved their companion. However their troubles weren’t to end here as the very next night they discovered the source of the dreams which have been plaguing Ayla and Abaraxis as a huge, winged deamon crashed down into their camp and quickly they realised they were out classed and fled into the trees. The great beast had trouble pursuing them through the dense undergrowth and they took shelter in a deep cave.
Following the cave down into the earth to escape the reach of the beast the party came across a disturbing scene, more than a hundred bodies – human, gnomish, orc and halfling – lined the earthen walls, pinned by roots of the trees above and seemingly drained of their lifeblood. With trepidation they continued down until the came across the nymph “Guardian” who was in a move convivial mood than at their last meeting and explained it’s purpose – to protect the spirit “Forest” who resides lower in the caves. It was Forest who commanded her and the denizens of the forest to collect the living to provide the forest with nourishment in the drought.
After speaking with Forest – an earth weird who survived the sundering – the party came to an agreement: they would find a way to unblock the underground rivers which had been diverted when Azgoduk set up his camp in the mines, thus restoring water to the forest in exchange for information on how to enter the mines and help from the spirit to hide rebel forces in the forest in the future.
Eager to leave the forest behind Narcissa and Chompers volunteered to infiltrate Trell and pin down the broken stories from Forest of secret entrances to the mines. The town was easy to enter once past the patrols, swarming with human mercenaries, orcs, goblins, bug bears and the other forces of The Shattered Hands they blended in quickly. Their efforts lead them to some of the few surviving older residents of Trell who recalled stories from their youth, spent living in a now abandoned fishing village to the north, of silver being found at the entrance to some caves along the coast. Caves only accessible by sailing down a treacherous gorge which not even the most experienced sailor would try to sail.
Before they could leave Trell Narcissa received an order from the Circle of Skulls it read “Adar of the blood razor tribe must die tonight”. With no choice but to obey she and Gompers found lodgings in the town and made their plans. After buying their way into the orc camp with wine they had procured from the outfitters Narcissa located Adar in the commanders tent and laid in wait until he was unguarded and then she struck, killing the only two orcs left in the tent in their sleep. From one she recovered a token which was later revealed to be from the tribe of The White Mother.
With masterful deception and a silver tongue Gompers managed to place the blame of the killings to Oren who had that night left his store, the outfitters, and fled into the night to escape persecution at the hands of the orcs and goblins in town. Gompers took over the undesirable role and used his new position to ferry the rest of the party into town as labor.
They quickly prepared a plan to restore an old boat at the fishing village to the north while keeping the locals off their back by running the business well.
Soon they left, taking useful supplies to leave behind for rebels, and took the skiff to the Pelurian sea. They located the gorge and after a night at anchor waiting for the tides they made their run. Sixty meter unforgiving stone cliffs loomed on either side of them as they plunged in, the waves threatened to smash the skiff to pieces and then do the same to them when in the water but thanks to Chompers masterful sailing they made it through safe and entered the caves.
Here they quickly went about their business, destroying the systems which blocked the waters of the under ground rivers and locating Azgoduk but there was an interesting turn of events. After eavesdropping on a meeting with Azgoduk and his commanders it seems that he is loosing populations due to his conservative troop movements and choice towards tactics over blunt force. His concern for his troops has lead the party to believe that perhaps he is part of The White Mother or perhaps just a very competent commander. Either way they plan to speak with Azgoduk before attempting to kill him as he would make a powerful and unexpected ally.