After defeating the Tieflings and the Bronze Warder, the party took an extended rest in the safe, secure, and off-of-the-beaten-path cavern where they were ambushed.
They came up with a plan where they would sort of fake their own deaths. They created a funeral pyre by stacking rubble and rocks over the bodies of the Tieflings and Vivienne penned a note/eugoogally (Zoolander!) about the sad event that killed off her adventuring party (again).
They then all decided to make their way back to the Horned Hold. This was risky since the Labyrinth is tricksey and they had not been this way before. But they were lead adeptly by Cinder and ? to the chasm and portcullis that they are becoming all too familiar with.
They braved the Horned Hold yet again…this time getting some scouting help from Cinder’s bat…Chompers? Or is it Rabies? Or is it Bitey? Or is it Roamer?…I forget. Anywho, the place was deserted but things had changed since the party was last here…all of the bodies were gone. Hmm….
They cautiously made their way towards arch-nemesis Murklemor’s chambers. When there were just outside the door, they stopped and noticed noise from within. Conversation. In Common. Hmm. They devised a plan and entered. The scene before them was an odd one…4 human men at arms lounging around while a dwarf took a bath. The dwarf proceeded to dress and he addressed the party – declaring himself to be an exiled king named Thain.
Banter ensued and King Thain tried to enlist Sy in his cause. He also got irked at Cinder; who seemed to not fully respect a King such as himself. Finally, he claimed to have killed off all of the enemies in the Horned Hold that they found. He said all bodies were dumped in the chasm because he was prepping the area to make it his stronghold as he rebuilt his army in preparation of recapturing his rightful kingship.
Overall, the party did not pick a fight here and they ended up skeptically moving on towards the Seven Pillared Hall.
Once there, most of the party hid in the secret passage they found that lead up to the back side of Grimmurzhul Trading Post. Vivienne confronted Charrak – who seemed to not know much of anything about who setup the party. He was scared enough to offer some help, though. He was also intrigued as her story of the party’s death peaked his interest.
She also found Rendil at the Halfmoon Inn and told him the true story. He offered to try and dig up some info for the party in the morning so as to keep suspicions down. He sent food to the party and Vivienne spent the night at the inn. Oh, and Rendil also agreed to spread the story a bit and to tell Bennick all about it so he could invent a morose yet ribald ballad to sing. That one should be fun.
And that is about all. The party has options but gathering a bit more intel is key.
“Cinder’s bat…Chompers? Or is it Rabies? Or is it Bitey? Or is it Roamer?…I forget.”
It’s Sparky. Get it, Sparky and Cinder? Those other names would be just as good though. Also, nice pic of them!
At FIRST Cinder was respectful to King Thain when they met him, offering 20 silver pieces as tribute, and kissing his butt with vigor as in "oh you must be a mighty king indeed to have killed such a fierce foe . . . " The tense moment that you refer to came later, when the party tried to get back into the hold and the two guards had to let them back in. Anyway there is something odd about King Thain and his guards, and maybe it will all come to light as we push on! :-)