Dryug has the kids try to start a game in the castle that consists of throwing buckets of water at torches. He tries to find out details that might help him plan heist on the royal treasury. Unfortunately, the kids don’t know enough and not many other people really like talking to Dryug.
The next morning Revy the Hunter and Kyuzo Takimura meet for their dual. Revy the Hunter has recruited Captain Bohmont to officiate the duel. Without Revy the Hunter‘s permission, Bohmont has also told all of his friends about the dual, and quite a crowd has formed to watch the altercation.
Several of the adventurers are also present to cheer and boo at Kyuzo. Bohmont takes collateral and Meldy gives Revy the Hunter a cold resistance potion. Then the battle begins. Kyuzo Takimura is a whirlwind of blades, but his frost attacks are less effective against the fortified Revy the Hunter. Nevertheless, the battle initially appears to be in Kyuzo Takimura’s favor. Revy the Hunter is able to blind him with a smoke bomb and turn the tide of the battle. From the crowd, someone launches a smoke bomb in Revy the Hunter‘s direction, but it misses its mark. Dryug is decidedly inconspicuous as the crowd looks around for the culprit (it is particularly odd as Dryug seldom looks innocent of doing anything). Unable to determine the interferer, Bohmont has some of his soldiers push back the crowd and form a perimeter. Kyuzo Takimura recovers his sight, but it is not enough to save him from defeat. The crowd shouts at Revy the Hunter to execute him, and Bohmont intercedes, handing Revy the Hunter a large sum of cash. The crowd disperses.
King Wil summons the adventurers to his throne room. When they arrive, Wil is seated on his throne. Behind him are Revy the Hunter, Meldy, Blade, Rima Kohin, Bertrand Turmel, Jean deMetz, Maria Pontmercy, and an unknown gnome that had been in the crowd at the duel earlier that morning.
Wil tells everyone that the gnome is looking for capable warriors and asks if the group would care to hear his “gnomish remarks.”
The gnome begins to speak and is heckled. He continues talking, describing how he had sensed the closing of a nearby portal and assumed strong adventurers must be nearby. He then speaks about a magical teleporting hill called Amon Elende that is capable of shifting between plains. He tells the group that the hill has somehow been rooted in the Shadowfell and is under attack. He turns to Dryug and elaborates that the attackers resemble him, showing the disembodied head of a duegar. Although dead, the eyes show a fading glow of dark purple.
“What would happen if the hill was to fall?” asks Kyuzo Takimura.
Bertrand Turmel talks over the gnome’s response elaborately and incomprehensibly. The only information conveyed is that it would be disastrous and whoever captured the hill would be capable of freely moving between plains.
‘’What say you Master Dryug?"
Dryug cringes at Kyuzo Takimura’s inquiry and then cringes again as Miria sarcastically mimics it. Dryug hardly even has time to be disgusted at being associated with a duegar.
He replies that it would be unwise to let “them” have access to all the realms. He turns to Blade, “Want to fight a purple dragon?”
Blade and Rekas Selchar perk up at the question. “THE purple dragon?” asks Blade. Dryug nods.
Revy the Hunter begins asking about rewards and someone else asks Revy why she has brought Meldy. Revy the Hunter informs the group that they are now partners.
“…But she’s a child!”
Rima Kohin interjects, “Isn’t Mr. Orryn a child as well, though?” The concept of the gnomish race is explained to Rima Kohin. Wil says something about them being a shorter and lesser race. The conversation is refocused on the quest.
Miria asks what will happen if Adriana Prevot returns. Which leads to an equally distracting tangent…Where do vampires come from? When a mommy and a daddy vampire really love each other…well actually someone just gets bitten.
Dryug is committed, which in turn means a servile Kyuzo Takimura and a sarcastic Miria are soon also commited. When did the deva become sassy? Eventually the others also agree to join the quest. Orryn, the newcomer, transports them to a fantastical shimmering hill amidst the gloom of the Shadowfell.
An eladrin greets the adventurers one by one:
To Rekas: “An honor to have a warrior of the Shavron Waste.”
To Miria: “Good fortune to have a Deva with us.”
To Kyuzo: “The swordsmanship of the Yamabushi will be a great boon.”
To Ashar: “We also welcome the elemental might of the genasi.”
To Blade and Rima: “The versatility of the half elves will be of great use.”
To Revi: “Vitalio has produced many great warriors. Glad to have another one on our side.”
The eladrin then turns to Orryn. “You brought a human child and a drow? A human child…I don’t care how powerful…and a DROW! We do not want an enemy within and without.”
While Rima Kohin and Blade contemplate the meaning of their greeting and Dryug contemplates whether to knife the fellow in the throat or heart, Kyuzo Takimura and Miria speak up to defend Dryug.
“Drow are a deceitful race. He’s here to betray us.”
Dryug decides not to dirty a blade with eladrin blood. “I’m here to kill HER.”
The eladrin blinks, not knowing who “her” is. He then excuses himself as the forcefield shatters and enemies swarm the group.
The stench of dark purple eyed troglodytes and blood fills the air. Floating jellyfish monsters, no eyes (purple or otherwise), blind the adventurers. Obviously the jellyfish had inadequacy issues with the seeing. These enemies fall only to replaced by spiders: little spiders, big spiders, and a drow that possibly worshiped the biggest spider of all. Dryug openly breaths fire at them all, his first time while not hiding in a cloud of darkness. The others are too distracted by battle to question it. Rekas Selchar soon has a fresh coat of spider blood covering the coat of jellyfish blood that was covering his tattoos. The others continue to show battle prowess.
Surprisingly the small gnome not only damages enemies AND creates favorable fighting conditions for his allies AND manages not to burn any of his allies with fire or acid. Even more impressive, the mage chooses to use magic to fight rather than charge his enemies and ineffectively thwack them with his stick. He gets more than a few compliments when the fighting ends.
Fifty yards away, Dryug sees Revy the Hunter severing the head from an already dead drow. Dryug does the same (a feat more awkwardly done with daggers than a sword). He throws the head at Revy the Hunter. She side-steps the projectile and glares.
A voice from the hill calls everyone to retreat up the hill so the shield can be reactivated.
Atop the hill, the adventures find many of the warriors of Team Zalthanus, a green dragon crest marking their allegiance. Fernando Lamas is there as well, wearing old, well worn leather and surrounded by several young, well armed ladies.
The eladrin introduces himself again, being naturally quite proud of who he is, and stands up to thank everyone for their aid. Fearing the shield will not hold again, he declares that a sortie will be sent out to the dark castle in the distance. Their goal will be to break whatever magic bonds the hill to the Shadowfell. Fernando Lamas, being the most interesting of the adventurers, is selected by Mindartis to lead the expedition.
Being a gathering of great adventurers, many begin shouting their willingness to go on the dangerous, but certainly interesting quest. Fernando Lamas selects adventurers one by one: Rekas for strength, Dryug for stealth, Ashar for strong defenses, and Miria for healing. Kyuzo, he selects because he appreciates a dualist. Orryn he requests for his familiarity with the hill’s magic.
The group is told to rest and prepare for an early departure in the “morning” or whatever passed for morning in the Shadowfell.