The trip to Ardev was unexciting. The journey from Ardev to Six Kings was more eventful. During their travels, the party came across a goblin being detained by a group of Emerald Claw Scouts. The Emerald Claw was originally a military detachment from Karnnath, but was outlawed by the Karnnathi government and forced underground. The Mercenaries attacked upon sight, and after a short battle our heroes freed the goblin, who rewarded them with a silver Dhakaani necklace.
Two days later, the party encountered a group of monstrous raiders from Droaam who had set up a blockade. Composed of a minotaur, several gnolls, and some orcs, it was clear that they had been attacking local villagers. They identified themselves as being loyal to Warlord Turakbar, and demanded a toll. They were summarily defeated in battle.
As the group proceeded towards the Six Kings, they stumbled into another group of Emerald Claw mercenaries, who had set up an ambush. Accompanied by a necromancer and led by an officer, they made for worthy opponents. After a long battle, our heroes emerged victorious.
Having reached the Graywall Mountains, the party were treated to their first view of the Six Kings monument. Carved out of several mountains by Dhakaani craftsmen over the course of several generations, the monument was originally of six hobgoblin warlords, destined to gaze eternally out over the lands which they once ruled. However, the passage of many millenia had brought low two of the nobles, and now only four remain whole.
As they passed the feet of the first Kings, the party was confronted by a group of goblins who claimed to be of the Kech Sharaat clan, or the Blade-Bearers. This clan of fierce warriors is vying with the Kech Volaar for supremacy in Darguun, and sought to obtain the the Ashen Crown for their own glory. The boss of the Kech Sharaat, a hobgoblin named Naersaar, demanded that the party pass over the blade, and leave the holy site of Six Kings. Battle ensued, and our heroes triumphed.
Arriving at the appointed meeting place, our party was met by the Kech Volaar. Led by the Dirge Singer Yeraa, they had been lying in wait within one of the entrances to the tombs beneath the Six Kings. They were accompanied by Tikulti, a strong Hobgoblin warrior who in reality was a changeling double agent for the Kings Citadel, and by Govaan, the goblin they had rescued from the Emerald Claw several days earlier. Yeraa asked the group to name their price for the Blade of Ashurta, and to leave.
After arguing that their intentions were both noble and helpful, Yeraa asked that the party participate in the goblin rite of Amalorkar, or honor fight. When our heroes prevailed, they were greeted as peers by the Wordbearers, who regarded their victory as a sign that the spirits of the Six Kings approved of their alliance.
Entering the caverns beneath the monument, the combined forces encountered a strange monolith among many piles of bones. Study of the monolith revealed it to be an old gate, which would lead those of hobgoblin blood to a point deeper within the tombs. Yeraa gave the party a sending stone, which would allow them to communicate with each other over great distances, and advised them to look for something called the “Moon Pool”, where they would find Zaraani’s Solitaire. As the monolith was activated, the hobgoblins disappeared, and the piles of bones animated and attacked. This battle was easy, but a sign of things to come.
Our heroes explored the caverns, encountering not only the ghosts of dead goblins, but aberrant creatures as well, both undead and alive. They made their way through a field of Byeshk stalactites, and passed through both natural caves and the remains of crafted tombs. After some time, they came to an underground river, where they encountered a group of goblins. After a few tense moments, these cave-dwellers accepted the heroes as enemies of the aberrations, and thus friends of goblins. They told the heroes of the many generations their clan had spent under the Graywall Mountains, battling the aberrations and keeping them from reaching the surface. Their shaman provided the party with directions to the Moon Pool, and a warning about the monsters that dwelled there. After clearing a blocked tunnel, the goblins bid the party good luck.
The Moon Pool was indeed surrounded by a large group of undead aberrations, the leader of which was a deathgaunt madcaster who had possession of Zaraani’s Solitaire. After an arduous battle, the group was finally successful, and retrieved the Solitaire. Reuniting with the Wordbearers, whom had retrieved a piece of the Crown known as Luurtans’ Cord, they returned to the surface. They were faced with the reanimated corpses of the Kech Sharaat whom they had killed earlier, and laid them to rest once again.
After the battle, Yeraa deems this affront to be the work of Emerald Claw necromancers, and urges the combined groups to hurry onward to their hired airship. The Kordanga, captained by Delan d’Lyrandar, had been attacked by Emerald Claw mercenaries. It appeared that their aim was to only delay their departure, and repairs were necessary to make the Kordanga airworthy again.
During the repairs, Captain Delan and Avagon recognize each other from their early days in House Lyrandar. Both had chafed under the Houses’ draconian rules, and sought the freedom that the wider world afforded. Delan was happy to see Avagon, and when repairs were finished earlier than expected attributed it to Avagons’ added expertise. With the Kordanga once more ready for flight, the hobgoblins and our heroes prepared to find the last piece of the Crown, in the Droaamish city of Graywall.