The Guardians return to the raiders’ camp, only to find that the camp is almost entirely gone: kobold tents have been burnt to the ground, and the tents of the cultists and mercenaries have been removed entirely. The watchtowers, too, have been destroyed.
Findar is able to determine that the destruction came from the inside of the camp and headed outward. This, in conjunction with tracks heading in many directions, but one main group with wagons heading to the northwest, suggests that the cultists broke camp and left shortly after the Guardians escaped captivity.
Determined to make a search of the areas towards the top end of the area, where the commanders’ tents and an off-limits cave were to be found, the Guardians are warned against their open approach in that direction by a female gnome. Breena, as she introduces herself, indicates that they could work together to enter the caves, but that a frontal approach is sure to be seen by guards hidden just within the entryway.
Together, the party split and come at the cave entrance from two sides, swiftly dispatching the guards.
Beyond, within the cave, the group avoid tunnels which sound more populated, and instead head towards a patch of cultivated mushrooms. Breena falls victim to a trap which lands her at the feet of several violet fungi. Knocked unconscious by their surprise attack, she is rescued by Saladir, while the rest of the party dispatch the dangerous shrooms.
Soon thereafter, the Guardians are able to sneak past the nest of some stirges, hidden amongst an extensive bat colony. Beyond, they descend to a chamber which is clearly a garbage pit, where several troglodytes ambush them. Having dealt with the threat, Breena investigates the crack through which the troglodytes entered the pit, and discovers an extensive tunnel beyond which is too small for the party as a whole to follow.
Breena also discovers a rude shrine in which a spherical piece of crystal sits. She takes this driftglobe and secrets it on her person.
After investigating a cavern being used as a meat locker, the party bypass a simple pit trap and rush upon a group of arguing kobolds. From a lower section of this cavern, three guard drakes rush up to attack the Guardians.
Once the battle is won, the party opts to hole up and rest, replenishing strength and marshalling resources, even while recognising that their enemies likewise will take the opportunity to prepare.
Once rested, the party proceed further into the tunnels where, despite being cautious, a trapped ceiling collapses on top of Oloster Uoben.
Following on from this event, The Guardians discover a kobold barracks, where the use of a sleep spell is as amusing as effective on the diminutive creatures.
Finally, the group discover a shrine to Tiamat, where they face off again against Langdedrosa Cyanwrath and four berserker followers. Unfortunate positioning and Saladir’s use of darkness do not help the heroes in the early going. During the battle, Kevben is knocked unconscious, and several others come close to death. Finally, Langdedrosa is felled by Saladir, while the remaining berserkers are finished off.
After a short rest, the party investigate the room, discovering a hidden grotto with a portal to the shadowfell. The chest in front of Tiamat’s shrine is picked and opened by Saladir, and several treasures are recovered. Kevben moves the chest and sets off an acid trap which once again leaves him dying.
After another bout of recovery, the party investigate a nearby passage and discover a room where the dragon eggs are held – the Dragon Hatchery. However, they are in too poor shape to risk a fight with the hidden guards, and so retreat to the shrine for a long rest.
During that rest, when the torch lights of the shrine go out, the portal to the shadowfell opens in the grotto. Somewhere in the distance, through the portal, a pale, flickering light can be seen.
The group send Breena in to investigate the shadowfell room. Within, she finds four statues and a sarcophagus. Above the sarcophagus, set in the wall, are four driftglobes, with an empty depression for a fifth. After progressively removing driftglobes, the party as a whole eventually all enter the room and put all five driftglobes into the wall.
The sarcophagus and statues crack open, and the group are assaulted by five spectres. Although Kevben’s turn undead ability has limited value in dealing with the spectres, the Guardians are able to deal with the spectres in short order.
Searching the tomb, the group find that heroes buried in the crypt have left behind powerful magical items, which they quickly avail themselves of.
The group then make their way back to the cave with the dragon eggs. They make a bold move into the room, and are set upon by two guard drakes. As they begin to wear down those foes, a roper reveals itself within the room, and some mischievous kobolds use sticky- and fire-bombs to harass Findar, who had taken a ranged position overlooking the rest of the cave.
The roper’s tentacles proved menacing, but good luck and liberal use of fireballs won out in the end, though not before both Oloster and Saladir took some heavy damage from the drakes. Kevben, in a break from tradition, went unscathed (and felt it was all to do with his new mithral platemail). Once the roper was dispatched, the kobolds were not an issue.
Searching the room carefully, the Guardians located three eggs, which they destroyed.
From there, the group went back through the shrine, up a nearby ladder, and happened on Frulam Mondath. Despite calling for reinforcements, she took damage early in the fight, and the battle was over in short order.
The caverns cleared, the party left to go to Elturel to meet up with Leosin.