Opening the trapdoor, we proceeded down an iron ladder into the depths of a subterranean realm of Dwarven construction- Dovak was certain of that and also suspected it was of the same style that existed in the caverns deep beneath the Sacred Stone monastery. Still not fully recuperated from our battle with Dryflagon, we decided this was only going to be a cursory inspection to see what lay below.
I heard Dovak get challenged by a gruff voice in the dark and unhappy with the response he provided, a group of hobgoblins attacked us at range from a rock barricade that guarded deeper passage. With the exception of Biggle and Allegro, our party was not hindered by the dark and we engaged hobgoblins. They were dispatched, proving only a slight challenge due to our already weakened state.
A search of their bodies revealed that they were wearing tabards displaying the same strange symbol that the iron collars of the hell hounds that attacked us had and we grew wary of continuing our exploration further where we were sure more opposition would face us. It was decided we should exit and head to the Feathergale Spire to make our now-delayed meeting with Lady Sarva and address her concerns about an evil inner circle within the Feathergale Society’s ranks, including their leader Thul Merroska.
We were halfway to our destination, carefully rolling our wagon over the Sumber Hills, when we spotted a hippogriff rider being pursued by four vulture riders. The hippogriff rider was attired as a Feathergale Knight and his pursuers had the same appearance as the people that attacked us unprovoked weeks earlier. It was clear the Feathergale Knight was heading toward us and he was brought down a couple hundred feet from our position. Alive, but trapped under his wounded mount, the Knight struggled to fight off his pursuers, some of which broke off to prevent us from assisting.
A desperate battle ensued and, despite our depleted spells and yet to be healed injuries, we were victorious- slaying the vulture riders and their mounts, while saving the Feathergale Knight and its mount, which we were surprised to find was Lady Savra’s mount, Sky Dancer. We also found that we knew the Knight, Lord Daylon, the stablemaster of the Feathergale Society, who we met during our visit.
Once his condition was stabilized, Lord Daylon shared a horrific tale that gave us great cause for concern, despair and, at least for me, guilt that we did go to assist Savra earlier. He told us Lady Savra was dead, murdered by Merroska’s own hand as a sacrifice to an entity named Yan-C-Bin. Lady Savra had made some of her inquires about the Society’s inner circle to the wrong members and she was seized and killed for her actions, stabbed and thrown from the top of the Spire. Daylon, a member of the inner circle, but seemingly unexposed to the nefarious activities that were done as part of their servitude to Yan-C-Bin, disagreed with Merroska’s actions and his voiced opposition only marked his death. Luckily, with our later assistance, he survived.
It was clear that Daylon was telling the truth, I could see that he cared for Savra in a manner that was more than just friends. He loved the woman but respected her marriage to another. He was trapped in a personal torment trying to reconcile his feelings and Savra’s unavailability. His love gave him conviction and he only sought to have vengeance on Merroska and his inner circle.
Hearing of Savra’s death, and Daylon’s grief, Bruldenthar told us about one of the few remaining maintained places of the Dwarven kingdom of Tyar-Besil, a place of religious pilgrimage for Dwarves called the Vale of Dancing Waters. This place was a shrine to the great Dwarven god Moradin, and it is known to bring the dead back to life if Moradin, or his wife, the goddess Berronar Truesilver, believed the requestor was working toward a great and honorable goal of Dwarven import. Upon hearing this, hope was born and there was much to plan.