A summary of the first session:
That night, a city official entered the cell block and interrogated one of the prisoners. He took a stone on a chain from the prisoner and told Golin Kar to ready the prisoners and “the insurance”.
The party and the rest of the prisoners were corralled, brought out of the cells and taken through a tunnel at the back of the city hall that led up the mountain to the main mine entrance.
There they were met by the official, Hassan, along with a complement of city watch and “the insurance”, a large cyclops that seemed to be under Hassan’s control. Hassan informed them that they were needed to investigate the mines deep into the mountain, and that he would be following them to make sure they didn’t stray.
Quinlin, Finnan, Ka’eo, and couple humans and dwarves split off from the main group shortly into the mines and ventured down a side shaft, doing battle with some slimes along the way, losing the other prisoners during the battle. They found a path leading back to the main tunnel, and saw a glow as though a fire had been lit under the mountain. Turning a corner they saw the rest of the prisoners doing battle with a fiery elemental. Hassan and his dominated cyclops were standing to the back of the battle ensuring that no prisoners attempted to run. A blazewyrm rocketed into the fight, but was quickly put down by the combined strength of all of the prisoners, including the enormous Goliath.
Deeper and deeper into the mines they traveled, when at last Hassan informed them that they were nearing their destination. They were beginning to think that their night was done when an enormous Ash Disciple burst from a nearby passage. The powerful elemental began to lay waste among the prisoners, slaying the gnome warlock and the only surviving dwarf before it was brought down. Casualties were high, and several of the other prisoners had been knocked unconscious by the choking fumes before Hassan joined the fray. It was clear now that he is a powerful wizard, though even he would have been hard-pressed by himself.
Once the prisoners had rallied together, they turned a corner and saw a fiery maelstrom whirling in a subterranean cavern. Hassan studied it at length and then informed them that they had rendered their service to Darrow and would be compensated and set free upon their return to the surface. He turned to walk away, taking his cyclops with him, when Quinlin, obviously angered at the abuses suffered by the prisoners attacked Hassan, wounding him. Finnan jumped into the fray and the cyclops began attempting to pound them flat while Hassan fled. The Goliath stood and watched the battle unfold.
Hassan, however, flung up a magical wall that prevented them from following his escape and by the time the wall subsided they knew he was out of reach. The cyclops was no longer under Hassan’s control, and Ka’eo convinced it to follow them and get revenge on Hassan.
They decided to rest for the night and began to journey back to the surface after recuperating and healing some of their injuries. They fought a couple magma beasts, apparently spawned from the strange cavern below, and discovered an Azer named Ghaz hiding in some mining equipment. He spoke Giant unexpectedly, so Finnan was able to communicate with him. Ghaz had escaped from his titan master and found himself transported with the rest of the elementals through a rift between the planes. His only goal was to stay away from his former masters as long as possible, and Finnan reassured him that they would help him escape.
They reached the mine entrance and found Hassan and the city guard waiting for them. He was not pleased. They cyclops came back under his control and the crossbowmen had itchy trigger fingers, so there was no struggle. Hassan brought them back to the Magistrate and explained further to them.
He said that he normally didn’t let people who attacked him live, but that he still had further use for the guilty parties in exchange for their lives. The goliath took this opportunity to point out that he had not been involved in the attack on Hassan, and this was acknowledged by the wizard who let him go.
Hassan explained that he was worried about what was going on under the mountain as attacks on miners grew in frequency, and the monsters responsible should never have been able to be present in Darrow. He began to research the legend and myth of the mountain, tracking histories as far away as the great libraries of Sur. He came to suspect that the dragon had been killed deep under the mountain, but knew of no dragon diffusion that could cause such a planar rift as the one that seemed to be responsible for transporting elementals between the Elemental Chaos and Darrow. The expedition tonight was to confirm if his suspicions were correct. They were. The small area of the cavern could barely have contained an ancient dragon, and the diffusion caused upon death was greatly concentrated.
In his studies he came upon an ancient song describing the victorious march of an ancient fey people, returning from “Thair Hunt Victorius, the Red Hearte Furius” that made him suspect that some enemy of the dragon from the Feywild had slain the dragon and brutally cut out her heart as a trophy of battle. This could explain the violence of the diffusion, and Hassan knows of a ritual that may be able to dispel the diffusion and restore the isolation of the planes. However, he also knows that should another elemental like the Ash Disciple find itself in Darrow, it could be a disaster if there is no one to defend the city. This is where the prisoners came in. In exchange for not executing them, Hassan wished them to investigate the slaying of the dragon, particularly to find out which people or race are responsible and may have the Heart in their possession.
They are free to do as they like, but Hassan has given them a couple options for starting points: the ancient city of Nezeregit in the north is old enough to have been contemporary with the dragon – there may be information to be gleaned from the ruins, and the great libraries of Sur have many more texts than can be read in one lifetime.
Hassan provided the new adventurers with lodging, and a Lodestone of the Planes, to locate the nearest portal to the Feywild. He only knows of one, and it is not constantly open. He believes that it will open in 6 months time, and it is a long journey away. He provided them with 3 Scrolls of Sending that they could use to contact him.
They slept, not knowing that adventures awaited them.