As I return to our small hamlet, Critterville as it has been named, things seem amiss. I returned alone, leaving Faris behind to deal with her part of this plan. The rest of my companions are not about when I arrive—though I did not think that they would be just waiting for me. Hopefully they are dealing with some of the hobgoblin menace.
As I walk into town, I hear the quiet whispers—filled with fears of destruction and death—yet there are others that do not seem to suffer the same fears. The mayor informs me that spies had been located, or scouts from the Lions Hammer, and the others have taken them to the dwarves. I am sure there are other scouts, probably some living within the town. Some probably in contact with the Lions Hammer daily. Maybe even Faris. I wish I knew which side she is playing.
Through the dark I travel, a few days since I left the town. Two men come running out of the brush, eyes filled with fear. I let them continue. I am sure they are Lions Hammer and I am sure that fear is from Xago. Perhaps they will warn other scouts to stay away.
It is morning when I catch up to my fellow party members. They have a few men tied up, one of them without hands.
Over breakfast, I tell the other briefly of my journey to Estilin—I needed to train and had to use the resources that the guild has.
From the sounds of the town though, the fear of the Lions Hammer attack and a Dwarven rebellion might be close. Seems like the plan is moving forward.
When we arrive at the dwarves, after a rough travel involving the fortunate death of a prisoner who was trying to pin myself as a spy, I allow the others to take the remaining prisoners in. I check on the hobgoblin camp. Being used again, as I expected. At least it is not bigger. I think when it is time, I will poison this camp also.
It is uncovered, through some interrogation of one of the prisoners, who wants to join us and claims to be an former commander of the Lions Hammer, that there are six different “doomsday” strategies in place to destroy the island when the Hammer is done.
1. Doomsday Machines—the dwarves can lead us to them.
2. A crazy dwarven clan being brought to the island—perhaps we can sink them in the ocean before they arrive
3. Some goo like creatures that will eat everything living
He did not know the others, and knew few details about the ones he did. Odd for a former commander.
Well we head to the witches. Not one of the doomsday strategy, but the Ice Gem that is wanted by those fire creatures Padric spoke of could help with the volcano doomsday machines. As we know where they live, per the dwarves prior, we travel up into the volcano rather than toward the flying bird creatures.
We reach a hallway with four hidden doors. One takes Bjorn and Lorick to the top of the volcano, two lead to the home of the most annoying gnome, and one leads to a rhinoceros. Past the rhinoceros cage, we find a door with nine locks on it. Perhaps the witches. I take care of the lock with ease, though it might have been unnecessary, and we enter.
Within the chamber, we find a large room with a podium and space for people to sit. Beyond there is a room that has books and a large desk with numerous drawers. Lorick finds a few secret doors in that room. Some look like dorm rooms, one has a ladder that leads up, and the last one has a pile of bones with an unseen force—Lorick tells there is an invisible troll who is angry and attacks….