The party, now consisting only of Thadwick, No-Merit, and Olvine, set out to the East from Syndaril, headed towards Mistlevale minus a grieving Enna. Their path took them through dangerous territory, in the battleground between the orcs and goblins. They attempted to sneak by, but took a wrong turn, and as a very large orcish war party closed in, they were forced to flee blindly into a swamp, where they were ambushed by ghouls, crocodiles, and muddy earth elementals. They managed to defeat the opposition, and found that the superstitious orcs had not followed them. Trudging on through the swamp, they made their way to Mistlevale.
From Mistlevale, Marius asked the group to escort him on a trading expedition, though he was very vague about their destination, only hinting that it was to the East and trading with “good people.” The party agreed, but were somewhat suspicious.
Heading eastward, the party was ambushed in the forest by a green dragon. Luckily, it was not the brightest of dragons. It pinned Marius to the ground and demanded tribute for passing through it’s domain. Olivine tried to bluff him that they had no gold, but the dragon claimed to be able to smell it on them. Thinking quickly, No-Merit claimed that it was his new cologne, and presented the vial of ectoplasm he had collected from an earlier encounter. With a little help from the rest of the party selling it, the dragon took up the vial and ordered the party to leave, which they gladly did.
Continuing East, the party was stopped by a dwarven patrol at the dam, and was asked why they were coming by the dwarven dam. The party stated their business, and warned the dwarves of a green dragon just up the road. The dwarves seemed quite interested in such a battle, but also in having a feast with new visitors. The party (quite rudely, from a dwarven perspective) flat out refused to stay and feast with the dwarves, but continued on. As thanks for telling them of the dragon, the dwaves gave the party a nice gold bracelet and a throwing shield.
The party rested not long afterwards in the forest. The next morning, they continued the rest of the way, and entered a Shadar-kai settlement, where they were met by a number of guards. This was the destination Marius had planned, but the Shadar-kai were suspicious of him, because they had recently been attacked by an alliance between a number of tieflings and gnolls. To smooth out relations, the party agreed to investigate the matter and try to make the attacks stop.
Heading South towards an old, abandoned fort, the party was attacked on the road by a party of gnolls and a hellhound. The party was hard pressed, particularly by the hellhound, but emerged victorious.
The party approached the ancient fortress, and Olivine managed to sneak up to a crack in the wall before she was noticed. She managed to make some attacks before the tieflings and their evistro ally attacked the group. The evistro was dispatched fairly handily, but provided the distraction the tieflings needed to wear the party down significantly. Although they were finally defeated, the party needed to rest before they could assault the fortress.
The party rested that evening, but their dreams were assailed by mysterious chanting and ominous imagery in their dreams.
In the morning, they awoke somewhat more refreshed, and made their final assault on the keep. Inside the keep, they found the source of the chanting from their dreams, and discovered an open portal to the Abyss. Thinking to get the drop on their foes, they were instead ambushed by a cambion, a barlgura, a gnoll demon-priest, and a massive zombie. The battle was fierce, but the party used the tight quarters of the fortress to their advantage, and emerged victorious.
Being unwilling to leave the unattended portal to the Abyss standing, the party went about dispelling and dismantling it, which proved fairly easy with a competent priest and ritual caster, as well as two knowledgable arcanists and a holy warrior. The party then returned to the Shadar-kai settlement, where Marius made his delivery, and returned to Mistlevale victorious.