After spending some time flying over the dense jungle canopy, our heroes saw a recently extinguished campfire and tracks heading out of the clearing.
Following on foot, they came to a large bunker. Inside it seemed less like a storage facility and more like the office of a noble or Dragonmarked scion.
A large testing chamber was discovered on the first level, with controls that enabled the emission of gouts of fire and sparks of lightning within the chamber. It was there that the intrepid explorers were engaged in combat by eight warforged grunts, three stoneforged troopers, and a flameforged lieutenant: The latter being capable of causing people to burn from within, eventually detonating in a burst of heat when it could no longer be contained.
Eventually our heroes were victorious! But not, however, before the flameforged could jet off into the basement levels ahead of the party.
Once they descended they found opulent offices appointed with all the comforts of wealth and privilege. Of particular note was the appearance of two large paintings. One was of a robed figure striking a self-important pose. The other was a painting of the recent battle in the Dark Tower within the Shadow Marches. It showed our mighty heroes locked in combat and the painting was in the style of a master of Old Galifar who was famous for his “doomed hero” artworks: Each depicting a hero or heroes fighting a battle that would end up being pointless, even if won.
Deciding to keep the paintings, an explosive panel was uncovered when the portrait was removed from the wall. Calling upon the power of his Dragonmark, Jevresh Highthorn d’Cannith overcame the call of Dolurrh and reactivated the mark upon his dead flesh. By its use he and Alston d’Sivis were able to defuse the arcane explosive.
An escape tunnel was located behind the battle tableau. The plucky band used this to leave the facility, but not before completely searching it and retrieving invaluable notes from the research and administration level above.
With these notes, the Creation Forge at the Frostwall Enclave will now be able to produce warforged of a level of power equal to those seen gathered beneath Sharn!
Not all was rosy for our heroes however! Upon leaving, The Dread Pirate Karik found that his ship, the Tyren, was burning and listing dangerously to one side! The flameforged lieutenant had emerged and set upon the Tyren, scouring its flanks and deck with fire. Only the heroic dedication and quick thinking of the officers and crew saw it off. If not for the first officer’s strength of will, the storm elemental could not have been freed from its ring to defend the vessel, or returned to its captivity either!
Overall, two officers were killed, as were ten of the crew. The remaining five officers and forty crew were all seriously wounded, some even crippled, in the attack.
Limping home to Sharn and putting the Tyren into Lyrandar skydock for repairs, our heroes were able to take advantage of the connections and influence of Nuada d’Orien. They hitched one of Baron Kwanti’s private carriages to the rear of the Lightning Rail and made the trip to Korth in record time.
Koleb d’Tharashk commiserated with them for the damages and suffering caused during their mission. While brainstorming, it was decided that the attack on Fairhaven, and all the subsequent smaller attacks, were probably demonstrations made by a weapons dealer. It was also noted that the robed and masked figure had been seen before at Prince Kolberkon’s auction in Port Verge.
With that conclusion, our heroes began the process of becoming run-down pirates seeking new employment. They set sail for the Lhazaar Principalities and will infiltrate the Prince’s inner circle to learn (by any means!) what he knows about the bidders at his auction.