The party secures their quarters in the old Moonstone Keep. Markelhay sends workers to reestore the damaged gates and the roof of the training arena.
Amon enters a period of meditation upon the mysteries of life and so decides to remain in the Keep for the time being.
The party heads to Fallcrest to answer Nimozaran’s summons. Grae goes on ahead to get the word on the street about the current market conditions and investment opportunities. He learns that he should seek out a merchant named Orest Naerumar.
Along the road to Fallcrest the party meets a shifter named Bengal of Clan Razorclaw. He is a former denizen of the Feywild who has lived in the Nentir Valley for the last 20 years after accidentally crossing into the natural world. He has been enjoying the recent influx of kobold, green “devils” (the Abishai), and the soldiers from the Northern armies as it has given him more monsters to hunt. He says that he witnessed the party’s attack on the roadblock and then followed them to Fallcrest where he witnessed their assault on the old keep. He asks if he can join their “hunting” party. The party agrees to allow him to join.
When the rest of the party arrive at Fallcrest they run into Grae who is on his way to Naerumar Imports. Since it is on the ay to the Septarch’s tower, they all stop in. Grae invests 1000gp of his money in caravans that are bringing raw materials to be used for making arms and armour for the town militia. He hopes to get his money back plus 10% of the profits.
While Grae is negotiating his deal, Breena overhears mutterings about people in black raiding communities and selling their ill-gotten gains outside the Fallcrest gates. These people are said to be abnormally thirsty and are very attracted to water.
The party heads to the Septarch’s tower. When they arrive, it seems unnaturally quiet. Nimozaran lets them in. When they arrive in his chamber they note that he is tired and worried looking. He speaks of disturbing dreams—invading dreams. He sees eyes and hears voices.
Hallabiri inquires after Gerdis of Forgehome, cleric of Moradin and Nimozaran’s acquaintance. Nimozzaran says that he has not heard from anyone in Forgehome since the party left there.
Grae mentions that he too has been having disturbing dreams and asks if Nimozaran has been recording his dreams. Nimozaran has and presents Grae with a large tome in which he has written down his dreams. Despite his obvious frailty, Nimozaran has no problem lifting the book, but when he passes it to Grae, he can barely lift it.
Grae reads of Nimozaran’s dreams of the void and of strange formless shapes.
Suddenly Nimozaran cries out “The Wards are Failing” and grips his head in a daze. Grae determines that the wards are to keep out extraplanar incursions.
The walls appear to melt and very warped kobolds appear. Their features shift and move about. They seem to be twisted. Grae determines that they have a condition that twists lifeforms and allows madness to take over.
The party defeats the invaders and everything returns to normal. Nimozaran has no memory of the encounter. He tells us that there are invaders in the city who are seeking us. They are servants of the “Dark Goddess” (probably Tiamat, Goddess of greed, who never lets an insult go unpunished).
After asking too many questions, Nimozaran teleports the party out of the tower and informs them that he will contact them soon.
The party are suspicious of Nimozaran’s apprentice who is said to be in the catacombs of the tower. The party seek for an entrance but are not able to locate one.
They search the town for the people in black, then put the word out that they will meet them along the road north of town near a well known rocky outcrop and that they are looking to buy the goods that the people are selling.
They camp on the rocky outcrop at a spot that Bengal knows. They gather food which Grae unfortunately spoils. Bengal goes out to hunt a meal for Breena’s rage drake when he is ambushed by the people in black. They approach him to attack claiming that they are seeking revenge for the Brown One in the Place of Sand. Bengal has no idea what they are talking about, but sensing his peril, he shoots a Blazing Flame arrow into the air as a signal to the party that he is in peril. Akira has already sensed the attack and is moving towards the attackers. The party is about 300 feet from Bengal with nothing but difficult terrain between them.