When they returned to Altdorf after visiting the dwarfs, they decided to restore Durag Dol to an operable condition. To do so they needed knowledgeable dwarfs to help. So they set about recruiting in the taverns and neighborhoods with the biggest Dwarf population. Here Kozar again won some of the dwarfs over with his tales and performances. He actually rolled another critical success and the heroes were able to recruit a master plumber. Or more specifically, they ran into the assistant of the most prominent waterworks expert in Altdorf. After hearing about Durag Dol he immediately agreed to go to Durag Dol and help out. It turned out that Durag Dol had originally been designed with a variety of water-based and water-powered systems to exploit an underground river that was close to it. The engineer was only too glad to see the devices for himself. Only he even remembered/knew that they existed and he had given up hope of even finding the ancient hold.
With such a prominent figure going, it wasn’t hard to convince others to accompany the heroes. They soon had a small group of 10-15 dwarfs who agreed to accompany them. After some preparations, needed supply acquisition, and a stop at the Amethyst College to drop off the Necromancers’ possessions for investigation the heroes set off. This time they took the Witch Elf (WE) along too.
On their way up the river, the heroes stopped at a small village named __. Here the heroes were asked to help with some interesting happenings. A small group of Sigmarite pilgrims had been ambushed in the woods not far from the town and the local populace lacked anyone who could/would investigate. The heroes decided that they would send Dillon and Kili on with the rest of the dwarfs and supplies whilst they investigated.
It did not take the heroes long to find the ambush sight as one lone initiate had survived and was able to show them the place. She (the initiate) was also suffering from horrid nightmares and visions associated with the attack and after showing the way she returned to the village. There was one younger lad (about 14) who agreed to come along with the heroes though, Olaf. Olaf had an uncanny eye and was the best shot in the entire region. He was so good that he was even conscripted into the town’s militia to serve as a watchman and scout. He accompanied the heroes as they searched for the group responsible for the attack and any possible survivors. They had found no bodies at the sight except some unrecognizably burnt figures, but not nearly enough to constitute the entire group.
Whilst investigating the ashes however, Kozar found an unusual amulet that he decided to keep. It seemed out of place and definitely not something a group of pious devotees would be carrying. He reasoned that it must have been dropped by one of the attackers. What he didn’t know was that this had been left behind intentionally by the culprits and they very much wanted someone to pick it up. This was a magical amulet that allowed them to see through the bearers eyes, influence their dreams, and track their progress. Who were they? A trio of chaos crones who had managed to control a small band of orcs and undead and decided to start taking what they wanted from the surrounding country side.
The DE was also able to help a little with this as she used one of her ability of psichomancy (?) to look into the recent past and discover what had happened. She saw the burning of the wagons and what not and was also able to see some of the orcs. This way the heroes knew at least a little about what they were up against. It did help a little as the journeyed on but not that much.
While Kozar was wearing this amulet, the crones had been invading his dreams and making his sleep all but worthless. Instead of send their minions to attack the crones were setting up a nice reception and hopefully weakening the party as they traveled to their hideout. It proved to be a two day journey and Kozar was all but exhausted by the time they arrived at the cove complex that served as their lair. Here the heroes had to battle their way past Ettercaps, orcs, zombies, and even trolls (Big Mike can clarify this maybe, I don’t remember all that well.) to get to the hags. This they did however and Olaf proved to be an invaluable support with his bow skills and expert eye. So much so, that we decided to keep him on as a hireling and eventually developed him into a real character.
The heroes ended this threat and made off with quite a bit of the loot as well. Of course some of it was returned to the sigmarites, and a little given to the villagers who had suffered from the attacks but by and large they were able to keep most of it as no one could claim it. However, when they returned to town it wasn’t to a heroes welcome as they had expected.
When they showed up, the town was happy to take their money and glad for the help eliminating the threat, but in the week it took them to accomplish it all someone had been spreading rumors and fomenting suspicions. It turns out that the same assassin that had tried to kill Kozar in Altdorf had followed the heroes upstream and began working on the villagers as soon as the heroes left. He was the angry brother of the noble that Kozar had spurned so long ago and the enemy he maintained on his character sheet. Because they were both elves the villagers almost felt like it was something they could not interfere in, and after hearing both sides of the story they decided that it would have to be settled with a duel. The idea for which I can’t remember who came up with.
The duel was going somewhat poorly for Kozar until he scored a luck hit on his opponents arm/hand. This didn’t immediately end the fight, but after a very poor roll, the enemy had dropped his sword and was pleading for mercy. Kozar was feeling benevolent and decided that it was in order to grant him his request. However when he bent to help the enemy up, he was viciously stabbed in the manhood and momentarily caught off guard. He was able to fend off one last attack before the enemy turned to flee cradling his wounded arm. The crowd was stunned as very few of them had even seen an elf let alone a duel of honor between two of the. Because none of them moved to stop them, BM nailed him in the back with his spear and the WE finished him off before he could get far. This effectively vindicated Kozar, but whilst all this was happening BM was running his mouth and one of the sigmarite priests who had showed up to take care of the lone survivor decided that he sounded/looked too much like a heretic to let him go on his own. The heroes had no choice but to let him be taken back to Altdorf for “questioning.” The heroes had been in the focus of the witch hunters from time to time just because they were so different, but rumors of their stories, magic, and other things had made the witch hunters a little suspicious. Add to that BM’s Norse heritage, social stigma, and chaos taint and they had fairly made up their mind to bring him in. As this was a priest from Altdorf, he was vaguely aware of the rumors and being a little overzealous would not settle for anything else.
So BM was carried back to the city. The WE and Olaf decided to go on to Durag Dol to tell the Dwarfs what had happened as well as deliver the rest of the supplies and new found money. Kozar returned to Altdorf behind BM and used some sketchy contacts he heard about through an initiate from the Amethyst College to find some one who could break BM out. There was simply an exchange of money and the promise that BM wouldn’t show up again for a good long time. This was the best deal they could get. And in the end, it worked out well and BM was able to get out of prison and make his way to Durag Dol. I didn’t do details on this, but I figured that there was someone who took a bribe and let BM go instead of someone else. There may have even been a loss of documents so that they wouldn’t have to worry about them coming for him again. There were a few witch hunters however who remember BM’s face and may be inclined to bring him in in the future if they happen to run into him. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to make more out of this than that. The Heroes paid a good sum to get this all taken care of and I think I will let it stand unless they do something else to trigger the attention of the authorities.