The party continued deeper into the lair, cautiously moving through the room that had once been inhabited by the tentacle that Draffin witnessed. A short path took them into a furnished room that had once been occupied by some humanoid. They found an altar devoted to some unidentifiable force, as well as a desk with some minor alchemical supplies. Their caution allowed them to thwart an ambush by two mimics disguised as doors in the room, but the savvy mimics surrendered immediately. Spike and Ike shared some information in exchange for their lives, but didn’t divulge much of use to the party. The party fought a few gricks, and cleared the rest of the area of a few valuable art objects and magic devices, then returned to the surface.
Back in the cosmopolitan level, Tessa hit the streets to find out if anybody else in the area had seen a man matching the description of The Messenger. Her talent, bolstered by a stroke of luck, earned her some very solid information- many people had regularly seen him traveling to and from Draffin’s home, coming from further out towards the Fringe. An eagle-eyed witness even noticed that the mud on his boots suggested he had in fact come from the Shadowlands.
On their way to the dark side of the world, they made one last stop at a lonely home at the very edge of the Ecumenopolis to ensure they were on the right track. A cottage, isolated almost an hour from the last other person they had seen, was home to a portly middle-aged woman named Burma. She was eager to invite the travelers in and share food and fire with them. She seemed to be a retired adventurer of some sort, with access to some means of conjuring food, but she was rather coy about it. She confirmed that she did know the man they called The Messenger, and that she had given him food and shelter before, but was hesitant to share any more information. After the rest of the adventurers went to sleep, she confided in Shirin, who she judged to be a kindred spirit. Burma told Shirin that The Messenger is in fact an orc, by the name of Lokesh Mudscar. He is a member of the Mudscar clan, located two days’ trip into the Shadowlands.
The party continued after their rest into the Shadowlands. As they passed beyond the influence of Dei, many members of the party saw their first sunset, and felt the icy chill of the cold wastes. Shirin knew to travel along the edge of the Last Woods until they could find Lokesh’s trail. Their travels took them across the path of a pair of hostile ice trolls, and they found themselves being tracked by wolves before they decided to make camp in a hillside cave. Through their combined efforts, the party managed to seal the cave entrance with a wall of ice to discourage any further attacks. The next day, their trek led them to the path that would lead to Mudscar territory.
The first mud hut along the path seemed to be isolated, without any other structures in sight. The door was answered by an angry-sounding orc wielding a spiked club. Upon realizing his visitors were from the Ecumenopolis, he abandoned his brutish pretense and invited them inside. Lokesh, they learned, was a well-read and eloquent scholar, and his home was a library with books from cultures all over En’quorra. He also claimed to be an oracle, burdened with the curse of tongues. For the last two months, though, he has been unable to experience any oracular visions, which is why his letters to Draffin ceased. The source of his visions is a mushroom grove inside of the last woods. Two months ago, the green dragon Pyfegremár built his lair around the grove, and has refused to allow Lokesh to harvest there. Lokesh sincerely apologized to the party, unable to imagine that they might stand up to a might dragon.
Talk quickly turned to dragonslaying.