Unenthusiastic towards the Behir’s proposition that they hunt down a black dragon in return for information, Rholin and the others managed to convince the monstrosity to tell them what they needed to know for the promise that upon their return they would kill the dragon. After the Behir showed the group the path that Dryndarel Ziorisst had taken down the mountain, the group turned back and began their return journey to Belfor knowing they had a means of retracing Dryndarel’s trail. From there they journeyed south towards the port town of Whitehall where the group had hopes of learning more about the disappearance of Diero’s adopted uncle Ramas Sereli.
Arriving at the town gates the party split, Rholin and Phaedra went for supplies while Niavara and Diero went to the docks to track down more information about the missing ships. In the process of speaking with one of the dockmasters Diero discovered that his father’s old ship, the Silentsong, was in port for repairs from a recent scuffle with Hadrian privateers. Seeking out the commander of the vessel, the group met with Captain Mansel “Shady” Kelsey of the Custodians of the Wave and discussed the disappearance of Ramas Sereli, one of Captain Kelsey’s old crewmembers. As the party gathered again, they decided to check out Ramas’s old stomping grounds at the bard’s guild of Bravo Bravura. There the group was introduced to High Lore Keeper Luvan Yelsalor who assisted the group in completing a scrying attempt on Ramas in hopes of determining his whereabouts. Getting a glimpse of a dark rocky cliffside cavern, it was discovered that Ramas was indeed alive, and in the keeping of Hobgoblin slavers. With this information in hand, the group returned to Captain Kelsey and convinced him to give the group passage on the Silentsong. The following day the group departed Whitehall, sailing northward to the Molten Crest. There they would begin their search along the coastline in search of the Hobgoblin slave camp where Ramas was being kept.
Along the journey Phaedra took the opportunity to make another scrying attempt on Ramas, which revealed the extent of Ramas’s plight and the might resources available to the Hobgoblins within their encampment. Phaedra also made several scrying attempts on Dryndarel in hopes of revealing more details regarding his location and plans. Upon the groups arrival to the southernmost reaches of the Molten Crest, the crew of the Silentsong bid the group good fortunes as they scaled the narrow cliffside paths to the top of the cliffs where they could travel more easily across rocky plains. Heading north for no more than a day, the adventurers caught the passing glimpse of winged reptilian creature pass far overhead before turning away as it flew further across the plains. Moving carefully forward the group soon caught glimpse of a distant stockade lined with watch towers along the uppermost part of the cliff. Sneaking down the cliff, the group moved forward quietly so as not to draw attention from the watch towers above. Arriving just at the fringes of the higher portions of the cliffside encampment, the group quickly realized the scale of the threat before them as they counted out a rough estimate of a mixed force of close to 500 Hobgoblins, Goblins, and Ogres tucked away in the side of the cliff above the coastline below.
Retracing their steps a safe distance from the camp and nearly giving themselves away, the group laid out their plans as they waited for nightfall to come. Sending Thalion on a wide berth of the stockade to the opposite side of the camp, the rest of the group through the aid of several spells and natural prowess, turned invisible and began moving silently down the tiered cliff face and through the encampment where patrol after patrol marched on a constant rotation throughout. Eventually finding their way to the large wolf and Goblin guarded slave cages, the group discovered almost 80 captive individuals fighting over scraps of food in two near kennel-like structures. In a moment of moral crisis the group realized that they couldn’t just free Ramas. They needed to get everyone they could out. Alerting Ramas telepathically to their presence, Phaedra began telling him their quickly formulated plan to get everyone down to the two captive ships at the base of the cliff so that they could escape by boat. Realizing at this moment that Thalion would be waiting for the group’s return at the top of the cliff and that the invisibility spell would soon be wearing off, Rholin deftly began scaling the opposite edge of the encampment in search of Thalion. In the meantime Diero passed Ramas one of his extra instruments and Niavara began working quietly on unlocking the two large cages as well as the manacles and mouth cage adorned by a copper Dragonborn in the second cage. Just as Rholin was returning with Thalion in tow the invisibility spell faded and both Ramas and Phaedra managed to recast it on the party just before a nearby sentry was able to spot them.
As the final cage was unlocked a nearby sentry began approaching to inspect the prisoners, but Ramas quickly cast a sleep spell on the Hobgoblin before he could react. At that moment the group quickly sprung a distraction by summoning forth several animated objects and beasts to attack nearby Goblins while the rest of the group assaulted other sentries in the nearby watch tower. As the gates to the cages were flung open the captives quickly began pouring out of their confinement and moved towards the rocky slope towards the ships. As nearby patrols began responding to the escaped slaves, the two sides clashed as a signal fire took light at the uppermost level of the fort. Pushing past the nearby threat a gnarled and burnt Hobgoblin could be seen stepping up to the ledge above the adventurers. On his heels, two sections of Hobgoblin archers stepped forward and on his command began loosing volley after volley upon the escaped slaves and their liberators. As several prisoners fell to the swarm of arrows, the rest soon moved beyond the volley’s range and began making ready the waiting ships. As the adventurers paused momentarily to cover their retreat down the cliffside, they managed to fell a responding Hobgoblin mage before evading another volley from the Hobgoblin general’s men.
Boarding together onto the Torren while the Narborrow began pulling away the group was given a brief moment of pause as they as well pulled away from the cliff face. As the ships began gaining distance from the encampment the same scarred Hobgoblin commander stepped forward to the ledge with his troops gathered around him. Then, illuminated only be the nearby burning tents and distant signal fire, a leathery winged shape soared overhead as it dove with violent intent towards the escaping ships…