Their comrades lain safely in state in the Halls of the Iron Keep, Darmok and Vimak returned to the Stahl’s home, heads hung low and hearts heavy with grief. Douven met them at the door, heard their tale, and for the first time since they’d known him, was speechless. Juli collapsed to the couch, tears flowing from her eyes. Exhausted and defeated, the heroes turned in to sleep mere minutes before the grey dawn. Vimak offered prayers to Bahamut, but heard no response. Then, as he lay unable to sleep, he heard a voice. The spectral figure of Sir Keegan stood before him, sword in hand. However, far from visiting Bahamut’s justice on the fallen runepriest, Sir Keegan offered Vimak a way to redeem himself. He was told that Magdronan, Bahamut’s chosen warrior, had passed beyond the mortal coil, but that the Paladin’s service to the Platinum Lord was not yet done. Vimak was tasked to recover his comrades body and warned that Bahamut would not tolerate another failure.
Darmok awoke the next morning to see Vimak wearing tokens of Magdronan’s armor over his own and carrying Aecris, the Longsword of Sir Keegan instead of his customary greataxe. Curious, but not wanting to press the issue, Darmok followed his friend down to Douven’s sitting room, where they were greeted by Albanon, Tempest, Uldane and Shara. Douven sat speaking to the adventurers while Juli bustled about, providing more food than even the halfling’s appetite could handle. The newcomers expressed their condolences, as well as their regret that they had not arrived soon enough to help in the battle. Albanon and Tempest explained that they had traced the magics used by Isis Ravanna in her escape, and gave a likely range on the teleport spell, revealing Isis had been a sorceress. Douven then requested that Darmok carry a personal letter for him to the High Master of Hammerfast. Tempest would accompany him on this journey, and together they would also escort Thrykkla to face justice at the hands of Hammerfast’s Orc population. Shara and Uldane would be carrying similiar letters to Fallcrest, Winterhaven, and Mistwatch. Douven was tight lipped about the contents, saying only that he would reveal them in time. As he prepared to task Vimak to Nenlast and the Dawnfens, Douven noticed Vimak’s armor and sword, and held him back. He asked the others to grant them privacy, and they set out to prepare for the trip. As they sat to talk, there was a knock at the door. When Douven answered it, much to his suprise, and elder Half-Orc stood at the door, his fur cut with grey. The holy symbol he wore around his neck showed his dedication to Kord, and the tribal tattoos he bore identified him as a clan-mate of Grok. The Half-orc introduced himself as Ekkt, a fellow exile of the Kord-Claw clan. Ekkt had followed his own visions, as well as stories of the Heroes of Winterhaven to find Grok, whom he believed to be a destined leader of his people. He took the news terribly of the barbarian’s passing, even though he had died as a hero in combat, as Kord asked of his followers. He spoke to Douven and Vimak of a ritual that would allow Grok’s body to be preserved for a great time, and of the rumors that another existed that would allow him to call back a deceased warrior. Douven was skeptical of the Half-orc at first, owing to the number of enemies Grok had collected in his short life, but did not dismiss the idea. With Vimak having explained his quest for Magdronan, Douven was nervous to send the Goliath on his own. If Ekkt agreed to accompany Vimak on his quest, Douven would supply the materials needed for the Half-orc to perform the ritual, on the condition that he perform it for Magdronan and Onodrim as well. Ekkt agreed, and the party set out.
When they revealed their plan to Darmok, he suggested the travel together for the first leg of their journey. Uldane volunteered to join as well, as the party would need a tracker when they arrived at the end of the teleportation spell. With Thyrkkla chained, gagged, and in tow they set offf. Arriving at the crossroads, the two sorcerers immediately began searching for a magical terminus, succeeding minutes later. A small circle was burnt into the grass at the edge of the clearing. As the groups parted ways, Uldane began applying his considerable tracking skills. The halfling followed close to the ground, retracing the imprints left by several sets of feet, and one dragged body. Two small human tracks led the dragged, and a larger, heavier set followed. The last set appeared sporadically, but were clawed and smaller when they did. Ekkt theorized that they were chasing a winged enemy, likely scouting ahead of the other party. After several hours march the group found themselves at the Fiveleague house. The inn on the edge of the Vale had a shady reputation, though it appeared empty now. Sneaking forward, the party found several slain horses in the stable, one which appeared to have several chunks of flesh bitten from it. The windows were all shuttered, so the party was left with no choice but to enter. Vimak led the way, Aecris in hand. Immediately after the doors were opened, a blast of acidic energy flew out at the party. Kobolds scurried from the darkness of the inn and attacked. Each wore a badge of five colors. A fierce battle ensued, Vimak’s sword cleaved through flesh, Ekkt’s spells seared enemies and healed allies, while Uldane darted from enemy to enemy, burying his daggers in any target presented. When their foes were defeated, the party searched the area, finding the inn’s owner and staff murdered. They made their way to the lower level. More members of the Brotherhood of Five awaited them, two dragonborn and several lizardfolk. They had with them the deceased body of Magdronan. His tattoo had been recarved post-mortem. Vimak raged at the sight, charging headlong into battle. After several tense minutes of combat, the last dragonborn fell. Uldane climbed from the fighting pit into which both he and Magdronan’s body had been thrown, and Vimak pulled his fallen friend. Ekkt’s healing powers had been spent in an effort to keep Vimak standing through the fight, so the group agreed to spend the night in the inn. They barricaded themselves in one of the rooms and passed the night.
The next morning they set out back towards Harken. Magdronan and Ekkt carried Magdronan between them. As they approached the crossroads, Uldane spotted smoke in the distance. He agreed to scout ahead, leaving the other two to guard the body. After over a half hour, the halfing had not returned. Slowly the two made their way towards the smoke. As they entered the clearing, they saw Uldane’s body laying on the road. A fire giant stood over him, with a smaller humanoid female next to him. She spoke a word, and the giant began lumbering towards the newcomers. Thirty feet away, he shouted in giant and unleashed a massive fireball that engulfed Ekkt entirely and charred Vimak, knocking him to his feet. Ekkt’s body was covered in living flame that showed no signs of subsiding, leaving Vimak alone facing the giant, in a strange parrellel to events that led him to begin this adventure years ago. The monster bore down on him, screaming a challenge before drawing a stone hammer and charging. Ignoring the challenge, Vimak turned and knelt besides Ekkt’s body, praying to Bahamut for aid. As he reached his hands out to pull the half-orc from the fire, he felt a burst of cold energy fill body. His hands traced the Rune of Mending in the air without so much as a thought, and the air around him shone with divine light. Ekkt awoke in wonder, completely unharmed, to see Vimak before him. The goliath’s eyes shone as he pulled both of his weapons and turned on the giant. Before Ekkt’s startled eyes, Aecris merged with Vimak’s axe, forming a glowing platinum weapon. “Save the halfing,” he said. “This ones mine.” He charged the giant, meeting axe to hammer. Ekkt rushed forward, dodging blasts of fire from the mysterious female as he rushed towards Uldane. Moments later, the halfling was awake and darting about the battlefield, daggers flashing in the reflected light. Ekkt closed on the female, his mace landing the killing blow. Ekkt had never seen her race before. Her skin was dark yellow with green hues, and her face was gaunt and angular. Black hair hung braided from her head, and long, narrow, pointed ears showed through it. Puzzled, Ekkt turned just as Vimak’s axe struck the final blow on the giant, knocking him to the ground. Following an excellent suggestion from Ekkt, the heroes placed the giant’s hammer into their bag of holding. Neither could wield it, but one never knows when it might come in useful. Together, the group carried Magdronan back to Harkenwold, laying his body beside his comrades in the great hall of the Iron Keep. An empty cairn sat at the end of the line with John Snow’s shield standing upon it. Douven entered with Roghar and Baron Stockmer. The mighty Paladin broke down in tears upon seeing Magdronan’s body laid besides the others. Douven cleared the well wishers from the room and placed a heavy satchel in Ekkt’s hands. “Well done. Thank you for what you’ve done.”
After the ritual had been performed Ekkt joined Vimak and Darmok at Douven’s home. Douven revealed to them that the letters he had sent out to the great cities and towns of the Nentir Vale were to call a conference of all important citizens of the Vale to be held on 1 Magrothan in Fallcrest