After fighting a delaying action against the forces of Urik, the men of G’tok Dra are captured and interrogated by a Urikite templar and his surviving half-giant bodyguards. The interrogation seems to focus on the fabled Crown of Dust artifact that the group found and lost on earlier adventures. The templar pays particular attention to Ilikan, and seems to have knowledge of his recent comings and goings. Around the burning dwarven town of Kled, many dwarves have been hung up and crucified. Several of them surround the party.
As the Urikite interrogates various members of G’tok Dra, the others sense opportunity and quickly free their bonds and turn the tables on their evil captors!
Hearing a particularly vocal crucified dwarf, Oblidai engages the man who mumbles a few words about water, the high sun and another templar before falling back into unconciousness and, ultimately, death. Oblidai discovers an odd-looking gem in the dwarf’s shirt and keeps it.
G’tok Dra decides to head back to the hidden elven fortress of the Jura Dai and plot their next move. Upon returning, Sartaj accosts them about continuing their original mission to Altaruk, but the group is disinterested. They opt, instead, to follow the trail of an ancient preserver mage, Aravek, to find a location of interest.
Another day’s journey brings them to a small, hidden and verdant valley near the Ringing Mountains which contains an enormous rock column with a large cave at it’s base. The group discovers Gith basking among an apparently limitless supply of water. The group skillfully slaughters the mutants and discovers a pit in the floor that leads to an underground chamber.
Toox is the first one to explore the cave with her psychic senses. She discovers a cat-like monstrosity sleeping. Ubelievably, the rest of the party makes their way down to the water-filled chamber without immediately rousing this beast—a tembo, as it turns out. As the party approaches the beast, though, it is awakened! The beast is hit by Ilikan and quickly hops around the cramped chamber, attacking any and all of the invaders.
The battle looked dire until a loud splash was heard. It was Bost! Thought dead and left back in Kled, the mul had somehow found a way to follow the party and arrive in the nick of time!
Though the tembo was powerful and continued it’s persistent attacks, it was ultimately defeated by the heroes and it’s treasures looted.
Upon exiting the cistern, the group was again set upon by the forces of Urik, who had also discovered the location of Aravek’s cistern.
The Urikites were woefully overmatched, as G’tok Dra cut through them like a kirre does to the erdlu flesh!
G’tok Dra returns to the elven citadel and eventually bargains back the return of it’s items (taken by the Jura Dai on their slave caravan), including the First Fragment of the Crown of Dust. After this masterful negotiation is accomplished, the party is approached by a shadowy elf named Kivrin, supposedly with the Veiled Alliance. He tells them that the raider Yarnath has parked his mobile citadel, called Slither, to the south in order to study the Blood Jewel-the second fragment of the Crown, that the raider found soon after losing the first to the G’tok Dra.
Having liberated themselves from an unfortunate association with the apparently-doomed Sartaj, the G’tok Dra accepts Kivrin’s offer to act as guide for them to infiltrate the monstrous Slither and liberate the Blood Jewel.