The scene was a somber but bizarre one. A tall rugged human standing next to a young boy, a svelt Eladrin, an imposing dragonborn warlord and an earthy druid dressed in animal fur. All with their heads lowered while a dwarf in the vestments of the silver dragon read slowly from his prepared eulogy.
It was not a funeral, as the Eladrin's body had already been returned to his grieving mother and the Paladin had no earthly remains over which to mourn. Still, it was what the friends wanted. Ghanash had returned for the wake along with Velorian who had returned not wanting to stay near his aunt and her somewhat violent grief.
When it was over Vogir thanked Bayern and went to talk to Ghanash to see if he was going to hang around for a while now that his other business had finished: The party needed a battle-leader now that Egil had passed.
Zahig, the boy wizard, however immediately caused further concern as he announced that he would be leaving for some time. He had been contacted by a friend of his old master - the man who showed him how to use magic to make life on the streets so much easier, and had let him study in his private laboratory and library. He had said that the old man had died and Zahig was to come to the reading of his will prepared for a long journey. Not two funerals for the boy but three.
A month has passed since that fateful day and now the adventurers, no longer satisfied with the boredom of everyday life, looked for their next challenge. Bayern wanted to head west beyond the Nentir vale towards the great mountains that lay far beyond the Stonemarch. His only reason was to find out more about the legendary dwarves that built epic structures in the great mountains known as the Ironwall.
Nobody could come up with a better idea, and it was certain that the further west they went, the more chance there was of finding sport of some kind.
Before they left they replenished their travelling stocks and were about to leave when the strange woman who they had saved from the maul of the terrible beast stopped them and asked if she could come along on their little trip. Niema argued that they would need someone who could scout and lookout for danger and knew a little about the country west of the Nentir vale. She could fight too - although none were willing to take her word on that one - where would you hide a sword in that dress!
But, she also offered another boon: she knew of a half-orc fighter that was looking to join a party of adventurers and that he would provide all the muscle that anyone could need.
So it was that Vogir, Bayern, Ghanash, Velorian, Niema, Rudha-an and Orestes walked into the town of Timbervale. Tucked close into the Ironwall mountains the party was sure they would find news of the ancient dwarves and their amazing structures. What they found though was not a thriving town at the hub of the most important trade-route in the region, but a dying community utterly cut-off and at the edge of the known world.
What had happened? What of the ancient trade route through the Ironwall Mountains? Maybe there was something to be done here after all!