Safely back in Overlook following their ordeal in the Shadowfell, the heroes rest for a week or so, assisting in the clean up following the discovery of the Shadowfell gate and teleportation portals beneath the Happy Beggar. They raid numerous warehouses, close down the portals, and generally investigate the expansive network of Sarshan’s operations.
Traveling quickly to meet the dwarf, the group meets Bram Ironfell in his lavish office in one of the nicer areas of Overlook. Getting to the point quickly, the dwarf offers the party a job. In one of the raids of the shadar-kai’s warehouses and transit points, the watch uncovered documents connected to Sarshan’s operations, including an ancient fragment of parchment. On this delicate piece of paper was written a list of landmarks and bearings for a journey, along with the name of Clan Ironfell. After some research, Bram believes he has found directions to the ancient Karak Lode. This lost mine in the lands of ancient Karak has a mythical and storied past. According to legend, the Karak Lode was a legendary sourche of wealth as its folk pulled rich deposits of hold, silver, and other mysterious precious metals from beneath the desert sands far to the south. The location of this mine was a closely guarded secret, and its secrecy eventually became its downfall. Rather abruptly, all contact with the mine ceased, and those that knew of the mine’s location never returned or passed on the information.
Bram Ironfell asks the heroes of Brindol to seek out this old mine, undertaking the arduous journey across the wasteland of the Thornwastes and the desert to discover its ancient secrets. More importantly, this mine could be a source of strong metal that would make fine weapons in the defense of Overlook; the metal of Karak was legendary in its strength and unique powers. Should the invasion the heroes believe to be coming actually reach fruition, strong weapons and stout shields will most certainly be needed.
Prepared to leave immediately, the heroes set off in search of the Lost Mines of Karak. They travel south through the Thornwastes, where they are promptly ambushed by a group of rival dwarven clansmen—the Hammerfist clan. The Hammerfists have long been bitter rivals of the Ironfells, and after defeating them, the heroes discover one of the dwarfs possessed a journal hinting at the clan’s hunger to claim the lost Karak Lode in defiance of Clan Ironfell. It also notes “the secret route to the mine” being discovered months before, but makes no mention of who did so.
Continuing through the Thorny Wastes, the party has some trouble successfully navigating the dangerous area. Fortunately, aid comes to them in the form of Mag Blackthorn, the mysterious guardian of the Thornwastes. He guides them through the treacherous terrain all the way to the settlement of Dunesend, a small village on the frontier of two equally desolate lands—the forbidding Thornwastes to the north, and the endless Sea of Sand to the south.
As the heroes approach the village, however, they find a menacing gnoll named “the Warden” in the process of collecting the village’s tribute.
They defeat the Warden, and travel through the desert to Fortress Ironfell.
Notes: Erik is still being courted by the representatives of the various faiths in Overlook to renovate and reopen the old temple of Pelor, and Modyom is again offered a job by Bram Ironfell to produce weapons, armor, and armaments for the Elsir Consortium.