The heroes quickly decided to leave the obsidian shrine, lest whomever fled so quickly returns with greater numbers. From the mouth of the cavern, they traveled a road that ran in a curving line to the north. Less than half a mile away, a military camp spread out with a few buildings scattered amongst a field of canvas tents and cook fires.
Above it all, looms a mountainous rise of black rock and flowing magma shot through with black as night energy. The magma flows ’neath a massive stone bridge and through a low building set in the shadow of a tall tower. The camps and markets of Umbraforge are bustling with activity.
Halfway to the camps, the heroes take refuge in an old, abandoned tower… but it is for naught as a keen eyed drow able to hear the heartbeat of a field mouse at a hundred paces calls out to the group. “I hear you there and you should know sellswords, there’s nothing for you to scrounge up in that ruined tower. Get back to the camps or be shot.”
Skardreg and the others quickly leave the ruins of the tower and knuckle their foreheads in mimed subservience, glad to be mistaken for some of the many mercenaries that have been hired for some great task. Once inside the perimeter of the camp, all but Wired breathe a little easier. The anonymity of the virtual city of tents and open air taverns and markets around the tower will make it easier to blend in with the crowd and seek out information on Modra.
Clarissa and Ravavyr quickly slink off into the markets and wander the slave bazaar to pry information from the crowds and the merchants that fleece the unwary of their coin and wealth. They gather a little information about Sarshan and the weapons trades, but little else.
Skardreg, Longbeard, and Francis head over to the training grounds and find a pair of ogres and a rather large beetle eager for a fight. After one of the ogres is slain and the beetles shell cracked and split open, the remaining ogre yields and provides the three with information about Modra and the bounty on his head.
They are then approached by a slender elven woman who names herself, Reniss. She has noticed that Skardreg and the others don’t seem to share the same motivation as the rest of the mercenaries in the camps of Umbraforge. She quietly asks that Skardreg and the others meet her at a Hobberts Tavern later that evening.
Over a meal and some mead, the heroes meet with this archer and she tells them that she too is hunting the dark creeper, Modra, for having slain her sister. Reniss also passes on information that Morda is planning to sabotage the foundry at the center of Umbraforge the next day. After a bit of discussion, the heroes agree to let Reniss accompany them to the foundry.
Once there, the archer provides valuable information about a secret entrance into the foundry, which gives them the chance to ambush the creepers inside. A fierce battle erupts as the heroes interrupt the creepers, which are gathered around key points within the foundry, breaking valves, twisting pipes, and loosening fittings and attachments.
An ominous rumble and tremor that shakes the foundry and all within foretells of doom and disaster.