The party rested overnight, and to all intents and purposes it seemed like no danger or disaster assailed the heroes’ camp. However, when the adventurers awoke the next morning they discovered two of their companions were missing—Wolfgrin and Jarrik.
Consternation was universal among the heroes. What had happened to their companions? Saeldur searching about discovered the tracks of the two dwarves leading away from camp and back towards Dunstone. This development suggested the two had simply decided to abandon the group. Nevertheless, the adventurers felt they should get to the bottom of this mystery and decided to follow their companion’s tracks.
This they did. Moving rapidly the party quickly left the tangled woodlands growing around the ruined monastery, crossed the river and returned to Dunstone. Unfortunately, Saeldur lost the two dwarves’s tracks when they entered the town and so it seemed like their fate must remain a mystery—at least for now.
Crestfallen, the adventurers returned to the Dwarf’s Folly on Selka Street to slake their thirst. There, the landlord, Rister Osma, professed no knowledge of the missing party members. He did mention, however, that a warrior new in town, Harald Greyfalcon, was seeking a group of adventurers prepared to venture into the forest around the Nameless Monastery.
In transpired, Harald was a follower of Darlen and was staying at the Tower of the Sword. The party quickly decamped to the tower to meet the new warrior. Harald, they discovered, was a neophyte paladin and was in Dunstone to investigate rumours of a goblin army mustering in the hills around the so-called Horror on the Hill.
Clearly, fortune was smiling on the party. With the matter settled, Harald joined the party and the newly reinforced group decided to set out bright and early the next day.
A day and a half later, the heroes were once again deep in the forest hills to the west of Dunstone. And, ever better, they were armed with more detailed knowledge of what they might find among the ruins. During their journey, they had discovered a weatherworn statue hidden amid a deep patch of brambles. The statue was a hateful, vile thing and Kildak destroyed it with his axe, but before he did so Bodrum identified it as an ancient representation of Braal the evil god of hate, malice and revenge. Braal is Darlen’s most hated foe and with this news Harald was champing at the bit to get to the monastery and cleanse it of whatever evil taint yet lurked within.
The party had retraced their steps, and now lurked close to the armed camp near the lake they had adroitly avoided on their last foray into the hills. The ruined monastery lay just a short distance away. Last time, the heroes had snuck passed the camp. This time, though, was different. Harald and Saeldur noted the warriors in the camp seemed ill at ease in the bright summer sun and theorised the garrison comprised goblins. After a brief discussion, the heroes decided to confront the warriors. After all, if they were the minions of evil they must be dealt with…