The party relaxes in a tavern in Fallcrest after a job well done in Thunderspire, though Timandrius and Adrie are elsewhere. As they tip back their drinks, a militant dwarf introduces himself only as Sarge to the party, and Izaak in particular. He tells them of the fabled sword of the Markelhay family, lost several generations ago. Sarge asks them to investigate within the ruins of the abbey god the list sword. Should they reclaim it, he believed the reigning lord of Fallcrest, Lord Warden Farren Markelhay would repay the party quite handsomely.
At this point, Clubbers becomes a sad drunk and tells his friends that he is now questing for an item that will let him live as long as his fey friends. To lighten the mood, a drinking game is started, and some of the locals join in. TaiLee, Clubbers, and Izaak are the only members of the party participating.
TaiLee, the lightweight elf, is out in the first round, unable to endure “waterfall” segment of the game. A few townsmen drop out as well. Clubbers is next to lose on the “never have I ever” game. Declaring for all the bar to hear, he informs that, for a Goliath his size, he is incredibly under-proportioned. Even the gnome, whom he used as a projectile so many weeks ago, laughs.
Finally, it is down to Izaak and a merchant. The merchant, already wobbling, ups the ante, and puts 500 hold on the table. Izaak, probably thinking how much that could help his family, readily accepts, and wins the game!! The night fades with the sound of music and laughter.
The next morning, TaiLee finds it hard to focus and meditate with her head splitting hangover. Dawn, surprisingly selfless, takes care of TaiLee. At this point, the party realizes Dawn treats TaiLee like her pet.
Izaak and Clubbers meet with the merchant to collect Izaaks winnings. While in the shop, a woman dressed in southern garb catches Izaak’s eye. She introduces herself as Aleera, and admits that she has been looking for several items that she has been looking to acquire. Izaak, ever the gentleman and slightly smitten, agrees to keep his eyes open for the two items Aleera was looking for. She makes flirty promises of payment, and then exits the shop.
At this point, Timandrius and Adrie rejoin the party, and they set off for Winterhaven, the small town that rests near Gardmore Abbey. Along the way, Clubbers protects the party from a flash flood of snakes, and Timandrius tells a story about the Markelhay sword, Moonbane. It’s a pretty bad rendition, and doesn’t really make the trip feel and shorter. On the second day, TaiLee makes some delicious snake omelets. Dawn hunts for kobolds, and finds naught but their droppings. Izaak inspired his allies, and gets the to Winterhaven that day.
Their first order of business is to meet with Valthrun, the sage that sent them to Thunderspire in the first place. Valthrun is incredibly pleased with the competed map and the inert Minotaur artifacts the party returned with. He gives them. Ritual book, and bids Dawn to study it. He then introduces his guest, a dwarf scholar named Kharas the Just, who is also researching minotaurs. He mentions that the Abbey was built over minotaur ruins; there is a legend of a hidden chamber under the abbey known as the Temple of Golden Treasures. A few trinkets would be most appreciated! At the mention of the abbey, Valthrun rummages through scrolls and pulls one out. He claims the abbey grounds houses a place called the Tower of the Archmage. Within, there is a book called the Winterbole Tome. He would like to add that to his collection, if at all possible!!
The party leaves Valthrun’s tower into the town square. TaiLee buys a flower for Dawn from the flower merchant Delphina. While buying the flower, they inquire about any interesting news, or if she knows anything about the abbey. She mentions that quite recently, a pair of eladrin nobles and their small retinue came to town and spoke with Lord Padraig. All she knows is that they were searching for a family member, possibly their father.
They continue to Lord Ernest Padraig’s manor, where Dawn asks about the eladrin. Padraig confirms they are looking for their father, and only remembers the brother’s name: Berrian. He believes he has a job for the party, and directs the conversation away from the fey. Padraig fears the increased Orc activity in the area, and asks the party to scout the abbey, and report back to Padraig with any findings.
Retiring to Wrafton’s Inn, the party discusses their next course of action when they are approached by an aging knight that introduces himself as Sir Oakley. He requests the aid of the party in his quest to purify the Temple of Bahamut, perched at the top of the hill above the ruins of Gardmore Village. Agreeing, they rest at the inn for the night.
The next day, Clubbers wanders into Bairwin’s Grande Shoppe. Clubbers shortly walks out with two trumpets and a trombone.
The PCs depart Winterhaven, and easily find signs of orcs as soon as they leave the beaten path. The usually-stealthy TaiLee is the one to attract the small party of orcs’ attention, and combat ensues. Dawn uses a new-found ice-teleport power to teleport onto a disc of ice over what appears to be Orc piss. She almost falls in. Timandrius wanted her to.
After the battle, they approach the Abbey grounds from the western side, and find a long steep staircase leading them to the summit of Gardmore Abbey known as Dragon’s Roost.