This is a tardy, abbreviated summary.
There were 3 major episodes.
- The adventurers spoke with Kargien Dissengulp about what to do next. After he started to talk with them, he was called away, leaving them behind in his quarters. He removed some documents from his desk and put them in a locked chest. He encouraged them to eat and drink while he was gone. The group debated picking the lock to see what Kargien might be hiding but decided that it was too much of a betrayal regardless of his suspicious behavior and motivations. Upon his return, they heard a great horn blast, which Kargien explained was a call for the orcs to retreat from their wanderings and to fortify. As he had seen this many times after they suffered great losses, he recommended that the adventurers pursue some of their other requests until the orcs eventually relaxed and began to spread out again, making them more vulnerable. In fact, he referred to a plan for taking advantage of the retreat and to possibly cut off wandering orcs.
- The adventurers then met Pingtu for the first time. They found him attempting some ritual to restore the Speaking Stones, which were actually representations of the gnomish gods. During the invasion, the Stones had been silenced as a protective measure against the drow. Now, Pingtu had been studying to restore the Stones.
The group asked about the invasion and the rumor of a traitor, from which they learned about the Cult of Urdlen, as well as some of the cult’s history in general and their presence in Blingdenstone before the drow invasion. Pingtu explained that the Speaking Stones had been used to help expose the Cult in Blingdenstone. The group agreed to help Pingtu complete the ritual, which he was about to start. The ritual succeeded in evoking the voice of his master, who explained how to awaken the Stones. They would need 7 different gems. Pingtu helped identify where they might get a few of them.
- The group then decided to investigate the House Center. They found no orcs there and went through the gate to the fort/palace there. They fought and defeated several skeletons and giant centipedes. As they were about to climb the stairs to the second floor, Sir Paul cast Detect Magic, which revealed something magical above them.
The session ended at this point.