Players: Missy, Lynn, Mark, Todd, Mike
Somehow Shao Tsang managed to finally release the whole party from the warp marble. While Shao Tsang and Ezren brought the long-absent Tellar back up to speed, one of the elves had a talk with Mogdar. The elf then tossed some more gunpowder in the keg by introducing the party to Isaac, a shifty priest of "the gods of commerce" who would not agree to heal anyone without first obtaining a contract for payment. Once the outrage died down, almost everyone accepted these terms. Thus assured of an easy source of income, Isaac joined the group.
The Horn of Iggwilv
Pierces the heart.
Look over your shoulder
Before you start.
How many sorrow?
Because they did not
Turn back then.
That settled, everyone was ready for the grizzled wandering dwarf who popped by with the startup info for the adventure. He had been sent with a letter to the elves, which he lost inexplicably during his journey. He still knew the basic message though. Word had come down that the giants had sent an expedition into the Yatil Mountains far to the north seeking a lost artifact called Daoud's Wonderous Lanthorn. This powerful artifact had once been the property of the local elves and could turn the tide of the liberation in favor of whichever side posessed it.
The artifact had been stolen from Oytwood long ago by a mage called Iggwilv and was rumored to be hidden in her abandoned lair, the Caverns of Tsojcanth, somewhere in the Yatil Mountains near Bissel. The dwarf had a scroll (luckily in a different pocket than the letter) which would enable them to teleport to the Yatil Mountains without being detected by Malligant and his dupes in Gran March. He also had managed to hang on to a map of the mountain trails with an odd little rhyme about Iggwilv on the back. The spell would also bring them back, once they found the lantern.
After yet another warp marble accident, the party was left with Seisha, Mogdar, Bobo, Tellar, Daiten, and Shao Tsang. Soon they were teleported, along with horses, supplies, and their ever-growing retinue of weird animal companions, to a rocky trail just outside of Bissel, heading northeast into the Yatil Mountains. Remembering the rhyme, they looked behind them, but saw nothing noteworthy. They did notice clouds gathering behind a high mountain to the east.
They escaped an avalanche, although Shao Tsang barely managed to save the lives of Bobo's porcupines. Scouting ahead, Seisha cleverly managed to avoid a fight by spooking a pair of stone giants with her telekinesis, and was rebuked by bloodthirsty companions for not bringing in the party to kill them. Passing by a couple of smaller trails that weren't on the map, they found their way to a cave in a box canyon, where a giant snake almost ate Bobo and Seisha's cat before Tellar beheaded it. The cave turned out to be a dead end.
On the way back Tellar caught an assassin who tried to escape by switching bodies with him. Luckily, Bobo's wand of enemy detection and Seisha's psionic powers easily revealed the truth and set things right. The brain-fried assassin was interred within the infamous warp marble for safekeeping.
Back at the crossroads, they ambushed a troop of hobgoblins on border patrol, killing all but the leader, Grank, with a fireball. They accepted Grank's surrender, got all the information they could out of him, then prepared to execute the helpless captive anyway. A fight almost broke out when Daiten tried to free Grank and save him, but he was unable to block Bobo and Tellar at the same time. Once Grank was dead, there was little point in further argument. A particularly disturbing bit of treachery occurred when Isaac, hired by Daiten to cure Grank's wounds, instead cast a "cause wounds" spell on the unconscious captive.
They eventually found their way to Gnome Vale, where Laird Gwaylar informed them of recent attacks by increasingly powerful monsters from the west. Originally just norkers, these attacks had recently included ogres, trolls, even a pair of hill giants once. It seemed that the party sent by the giants had set up camp nearby and was organizing local humanoids into a small army, perhaps in the very cave they were searching for. The gnomes, glad that the party was interested in wiping out this menace, proceeded to hold a feast in their honor, complete with generous helpings of their famous Gnome Vale Stout beer. Bobo got drunk and revealed that he liked the gnomes because "you're short and you're funny" and that he never liked Daiten, muttering about "you and your damn honor."
The next day, the gnomes refreshed their supplies and led them through the craggy trails to where the last assault was repulsed. Once there, Bobo was able to easily detect and follow the giant tracks. Towards the end of the day they reached their objective, a basalt pyramid with a truncated top. The structure was built into the top of a mountain and apparently had only one entrance, a dark portal across a stone bridge.