Upon reaching Theradyn, Mo parted ways with the party and headed to the local tavern, The Silver Cup. The adventurers returned to the guildhall and reported in to Fallon about their adventures before retiring to the barracks hall at the top floor of the guildhall.
Mo the Grand, unsure of his next move, and grateful as he was to the party for his rescue – hesitant about signing on with the guild, began drinking heavily. Already far into his cups, he met a young duergar traveller, Brutus Balzak, and the two began a lengthy debate on the superiority of mountain dwarves over their Underdark cousins. Many mugs and a few punches later, they agreed to disagree and became fast friends.
The next morning, the party woke to find Fallon speaking with Nat Perrin, one of Kemper Vassili’s deputies. The constable was interested in hiring the guild to hunt down a group of bandits preying upon travellers on the southern Bridge Road. Fallon accepted on the guild’s behalf, and the party laid plans over breakfast as how best to draw the bandits from hiding. They decided to disguise themselves as peasants, and Fallon purchased a wagon, which they loaded down with empty crates. He also acquired a skinny, half-blind horse named Lightning, and a flatulent donkey named Eugene to haul it.
So equipped, the party set out down the Bridge Road. The ruse worked, and the bandits accosted them a few miles from the city, making mention of their leader MacElroy. There was a bloody battle, with only one of the bandits escaping, bleeding heavily, into the woods. As the party dressed their wounds and prepared to give chase, Mo the Grand and Brutus Balzak arrived on the scene, and introductions were made.
Mariss Druustya picked up the trail easily enough, and the party gave chase. The trail lead them to a riverside camp and a cliffside cavern system in the midst of renovations. MacElroy had been doing quite well for himself, and was constructing a small fortress in the rock to house his enterprise. The party fought their way through the camp and caverns, eventually finding MacElroy himself.
They conversed briefly, and MacElroy alluded to things that the party did not quite understand.
“I told the other man he sent that I had no idea that that particular shipment belonged to the Hand. It was a misunderstanding. It is my intent to deliver it via courier tomorrow. There was no need for this. I am a businessman, and I desire no bad blood with your master. Instead, you come here and murder all of my men. This is senseless. Take the stone, please. It makes my skin crawl, anyway.”
Once MacElroy realized the party were not agents of ‘The Hand’, he attempted to bribe them, and then flee. He was quickly cut down. Secreted away in his private quarters, the party found an iron-bound chest with interesting contents, not the least of which being several inches of gold and silver coins at the bottom. Most importantly, however, they found a perfectly round black stone, shot through with veins of pale blue mineral, and carved with several layers of arcane and divine inscriptions. The inscriptions were made in a language that none of the party recognized, though they saw similarities in the characters they had seen in the book of Nephren Ka.
Their mission accomplished, they returned to Theradyn to collect their reward and to tend their wounds.