As the party loots the corpses of the orcs, Kitten lies down next to the toppled Dragonborn statue so that the two are face to face. He asks the statue if it can hear him. To the surprise of his companions, that statue’s face awakens and speaks. Only Kitten can hear its words. The others simply hear a deep rumbling emanating from the sculpture’s face.
Kitten discovers that the statue bears the likeness of Nera, the Healer. The orcs have been encamped in Caerbannog for nearly a month. When asked about Menzo, the statue reveals that the wizard has made a deal with Yssinia the Harpy Queen who leads the orcs. In return for bringing back the head of a rival orc chieftain named Ungryn, Yssinia will give Menzo the Staff of Rejuvenation.
The group agrees that they need to leave the building but the ruined city is crawling with orcs. Petrin decides to utilize the yeti as a distraction. Using hand signals he tries to tell the yeti that there are more orcs outside. The yeti mistakenly thinks the dragonborn wants him to take the dead orc that he was eating outside, so he nods in agreement and hoists the orc corpse over his shoulder and proceeds to exit through the front door. “Good enough,” thought Petrin.
The orcs react quickly to the emerging yeti, unleashing a volley of arrows. Several arrows sink into the yeti’s fur, but they only seem to anger the beast. It charges into the orcs, providing the distraction the adventurers were hoping for. They exit the building and note they may be able to leave the city through the back gate with little risk of being seen. However, another structure nearby draws their attention. While many orcs are scurrying about in response to the rampaging yeti, a squad of orcs remain at attention guarding this one building. There may be something important in there and the group decides to sieze the opportunity provided by the current chaos in the city and attacks the guards.
These orcs proved just as tough as the others the heroes faced. Petrin was cut down by an archer and Galendan, Kitten and Bel all took a beating, but the adventurers bested the orcs. Arygno revived Petrin and mended the wounds of the others. It was time to discover what the orcs were protecting.
The heroes were greeted by darkness. Galendan lit a torch, illuminating a 20 by 40 foot room. The walls were of the same ancient stone as many of the buildings they saw in Caerbannog. These walls however were covered in writing…the same sentence over and over again…“Death makes us stronger.” Against the left wall of the room was an old stone staircase leading down.
The stairs led down to Caerbannog’s catacombs. Centuries old Dragonborn remains, too many to count, lined the long corridor. A close inspection of the stone floor revealed tracks that none of the adventurers had ever seen before. What was down here…and why? The corridor ended in a three-way intersection. The party ventured left and came upon a door.
The room on the other side of the door held more remains, but where the hallway had bodies in proper recepticals, these were haphazardly strewn about the floor. Among the corpses was one that didn’t resemble any known creature, like something only an alien mind could create. Voren approached this corpse and poked it with his staff, causing it and several nearby Dragonborn skeletons to awaken and attack. The cleric Arygno quickly casted “moment of glory” knocking prone nearly every enemy in the room. The heroes quickly advanced and finished off the undead. But where was Petrin? He never entered the room, for he wanted to explore the passage that led to the right.
Petrin, seeing that his companions had the battle well in-hand, backtracked to the intersection and took the unexplored path. It also led to a door. This room was dusty and empty, except for a glowing apparition of a Dragonborn. The ghost approached Petrin and made a remark about how similar in appearance he was to Harkano. The ghost introduced himself as Dansem Ulfor.
Nearly nine hundred years ago, Dansem led a project to construct a portal gate that would lead to the Fey Wild. He successfully built the gate in the city of Caerbannog, but the portal did not operate as planned. Dansem assumed the Fey Wild was the only other realm besides his own. To his shock and horror, he discovered that his gate opened a pathway to the Shadowfell. Dansem tried to close the gate immediately, but failed. Soon a group of dark dragons emerged from the gate and destroyed the city. Harkano travelled through the portal and destroyed the gateway on the other side, preventing other dragons from entering and imprisoning himself in the Shadowfell forever. Heartbroken by the disaster he caused, Dansem vowed to stay with the city until it flourished once more.
Petrin told Dansem that they were looking for the Staff of Rejuvenation and the lost dragon eggs. Dansem told Petrin that Yssinia, the Harpy Queen held the staff and that she was in these catacombs. However, he warned Petrin not to look for her for she was too powerful and would destroy him and his companions. Instead, he advised Petrin to follow the path that Harkano’s daughter and the green dragon took when they fled the city 900 years ago. The dragon may still live and know the whereabouts of Sunwyn.