The party almost walked into a group of goblins who seemed to be scavenging these halls for wood and any useable materials. The short fight was over quickly as they dispatched a magic wielding goblin who promised that “Draggik will get you and kill you slowly”.
Exploring the halls they found three huge concentric circles, each with areas for shops and living, but mostly well ransacked by the goblins. Grint recognised the insignia of the goblins as Dragon’s Claw goblins, a strange bunch even by goblin standards.
The party soon came across a very heavily defended door. Spotting the trap was the easy part. The rest of the party stood back as Balthazar tried to disarm the trap but he wasn’t nimble enough. Lightning crackled and blasted him off his feet. The other members of the pary were also caught, not having been far enough away from the blast. Dazed and deafened they were unprepared for an attack from a shadow-walking bugbear who snuck up on them and attacked while they recovered. Though strong and fast they were able to kill the bugbear before it was able to get any help.
They continued their exploration of this level and found a cache of magical items and a spellbook behind the trapped door (though not before Balthazar had managed to singe himself again). The party kept moving though the empty corridors until they started to hear a noise behind them. Thinking it was another bugbear they split the party and tried to chase after it. Too late they realised that they had been caught in a trap. From in front of them another bugbear shadow-walker was able to attack Balthazar and Lagazi, while goblins with bats attacked Grint and Lucan. Another group of goblins joined the bugbear and the fight soon escalated. The PCs were lucky to escape the encounter all alive and decided to take a rest.
The party scoured this level of Bronden’s Halls, eventually finding the stairway that led led to an upper level. Moving slowly they encountered a small group of goblins who were quickly despatched. Moving further in they met another group of goblins and bugbears who again fell to the swords, fists and spells of the party. Moving past a trapped room the party eventually came upon a locked room. Ever eager to find their way inside they opened the door only to find a Scytheclaw drake. Deciding that they didn’t want to kill a creature that seemed to already have suffered some abuse they tried to calm it down. They didn’t manage to tame the savage beast, but at least they escaped it unharmed and let the drake run away.
Moving through the corridors they came upon a room with cauldrons and various body parts of drakes being dissected. Venturing further they found rooms that seemed to belong to a shaman with small animals and divining tools. Accidentally they nearly collided with a small goblin carrying a platter of food. Subduing the goblin was easy and Grint was able to take its place, carrying the platter through to a room of goblins. At the table they recognised that he wasn’t one of them and tried to fight. Despite there being a pair of hobgoblin spell slingers and some archers, the party managed to defeat them without too much trouble.
The party kept moving and found a corridor that was heavily trapped. Again Balthazar was the unfortunate who narrowly escaped being burnt to a cinder, only just. The flame aroused the suspicion of a hobgoblin guard who came to investigate. Unsure of what it saw it returned for a sunrod and threw it down the corridor. The sunrod lit up the corridor and he saw the party trying to disarm the succession of traps. He started firing while his fellow guard ran for help.
Emerging from the trapped corridor the PCs quickly despatched the lone guard but shortly after the doors to the main room burst open and Draggik appeared mounted on a Rage Drake, followed by his hobgoblin soldiers and Dirge Singer.
Feeling themselves outnumbered and low on resources the PCs felt it would be best to retreat. While trying to organise a fighting rearguard they managed to kill Draggik while he rode the Drake which went on a rampage. They quickly defeated the soldiers and were about to engage the Dirge Singer when Grint recognised him as Drulyut, a Shadow Goblin of Grint’s own tribe.
Drulyut had fled the massacre of the Shadow Goblins when Grint had and had come to live with the Dragon’s Claw goblins as a way to survive. While he helped the PCS he was not comfortable with the company that Grint now kept. He showed them Draggik’s hoard (while keeping a few pieces for himself) and persuaded the party to let him talk to the goblins. Lagazi wanted Drulyut to let them ransack the Halls but while the party rested Drulyut took the remaining Dragon’s Claw goblins and left the Halls, taking any more valuables with them.
When they emerged from their secure room the party found the halls deserted. They found that the great opening from the room where they fought Draggik led out behind a waterfall which fell from a hug earth mote flying above the mountain. Surely this must be the Dragon’s Peak where the Crown of Tears is located?
While they tried to work out how to get up to the Dragon’s Peak Balthazar saw far in the distance the unmistakeable smoke of an army, a huge Netherese army. It seemed to be moving towards Daggerdale, where an internal war was brewing. The PCs seemed to think that Sable was an agent of Netheril and was sowing the seeds of war. They need to decide how they will approach this conundrum.