Taking a few moments to say goodbye to their good friend Firie, the party then decide their next course of action. The paladin of Tymora, Drarzisk, suggests that perhaps the party could go to his Temple in the north to resupply before, perhaps, going to Neverwinter. Forric then suggested that they could also go to Saphurst, his home town. In the end the party decided to head northwards in an attempt to find the remaining cultists.
Leaving in the night, Drarzisk’s wolf is sent ahead to scout, while the rest of the party travel in the Battle Bus, which had been kindly resupplied by Joemor and the Order of the Unicorns Horn.
Around half a days travel north east along a trail, the party begin to see a few groups of people along the road, looking a little worse for ware. The party stop to offer aid and try to determine what has happened. The party are told by a lady that a group of hooded men had come to the centre of their town, Womford, carrying an ornate box with carved symbols. When questioned further the symbols appeared to be that of the Cult of Black Earth. The box was left in the town centre by the statue of Tymora, before it was opened. The hooded figures ran before the glowing orb that had risen from the box exploded, taking a lot of the town with it.
Being told that the town was a few more hours along the trail, the party decide to investigate.
Coming along the ruined town of Womford the party offer aid to those that are left. Drarzisk helps with the injured and dead of the town, feeling love from his god as he did so. Thorgills attempted to see if there was anywhere he could obtain some black powder, being directed to the nearby town of Ironford. Saris moved toward the bodies, but was eyed by many members of the town as she did so. She moved away.
Forric, while the rest of the characters were busy, attempted to give a rousing speech to the survivors of Womford. However after asking the townsfolk for information a happy, talkative Wood Elf piped up saying that she had seen the direction that the cultists fled to. The party proceeded to talk to this new individual, effectively ending Forric’s speech, much to his dismay.
This Wood Elf, quickly befriended by Saris, gave her name as Aera. Aera described that she saw the hooded figures flee toward a row boat on the nearby river. The party eagerly decided to follow their prey, sending Drarzisks wolf to scout ahead again. A little while travelling by the river the party move through a small town that Thorgills smells the heavy stench of burnt gunpowder. The party continue on though, as not to lose their quarry. Forric meanwhile, thinking he had missed a chance at a great speech drank away, becoming quite inebriated.
After a couple of hours travel, and a warning to stop by Drarzisks wolf, the party come across an abandoned rowboat on the other side of the river. This river at the base of a mountain split into two directions and, after Saris checked with a leaf, seemed to be quite fast moving.
Saris and Thorgills attempted to swim across, but Saris, caught in the fast current, was nearly swept away. Thorgills being a surprisingly good swimmer for a Dwarf, was able with help from Aera, to bring Saris back to the bank of the river. Forric meanwhile in his current drunken state ties himself to his noble steed Triskellion and almost passes out. Thorgills swam to the other side of the river and retrieved the rowboat to enable the party to cross. After determining that the Battle Bus could not be brought through the deep river Qhavarro elected to stay and guard it.
The party then began to walk up a path in the mountain to where they believed the cultists to have fled to. Having the wolf scout ahead again the party followed close behind. Unfortunately a trap was set off and large boulder hit all but Drarzisk and Thorgills. Dusting themselves off Thorgills, using his ranger senses, found another trap a little ways up the path. Saris and Thorgills between them manage to successfully disarm it.
Forric meanwhile decides that the best course of action is to climb the rest of the way rather than following the path, and begins a fairly arduous climb.
The party follows the path further with Thorgills narrowly missing another trap. Rounding a bend Thorglls sees what he believes to be two dwarves talking at the mouth of a cave that is flanked by two 50ft high Dwarven statues. Believing them to be friendly, Thorgills hails to them in Dwarven. The response he gets is in Dwarven, but that of the Deep Dwarves; Duregar, who proceed to fire crossbows.
A battle ensues and the party find that Duregar can grow in size, allowing them to hit much harder. The party manage to take down the two Duregar, but are almost immediately met by three more Duregar who were apparently invisible. Aera, showed some strange powers during the battle, but the main event was the timely intervention of Forric, who for the start of the battle had still been climbing. Forric jumped from the top of one of the Dwarven statues, impaling one the Duregar hard, but also taking considerable fall damage. He was however able to get back on his feet very quickly.
With the battle over soon after, the party search the bodies and find that these Duregar appeared to be wearing robes bearing the symbol of the Black Earth Cult…..