Prior to the party’s most recent adventure, the following occurred:
Back in town, the party—which has by now gained great renown—goes to the blacksmith to buy new weapons. Gaul, the weapons master, outfits them with his finest creations, providing a morning star and sais for several of the party members. After that, they go to gay Merrick’s general store, where he sells them necessary items like torches—and lingerie and a gown for the two women, Aeryn and Silver. The women and Slade rejoin the party in the tavern.
At the tavern, the party tries asking for information from the barman about Frostmantle, but they are unsuccessful. A drifter who overheard their conversation throws gold coins on their table, garnering the party’s interest. Aeryn strikes up a conversation with him and they meet later to talk privately. The man, Roland Fanghunter, an ex-soldier of Frostmantle, was betrayed by him and had his wife captured by Frostmantle. He knows Aeryn wants to get to him, so he says he will lead her directly to him if she returns his wife to him. He can only take them as far as his fortress, however, and then he will have to leave.
They take off the next morning to meet the man, but they have no horses, and he impatiently says they should get some since they’re already wasting time. . In a bid to get horses, Aeryn and Silver go to the stables dressed in their lingerie. Two young exceptionally ugly and inexperienced stablehands inside the stable see them and are instantly transfixed. Aeryn leads one up a ladder into the stable, and as he is getting impatient, she decides to take one for the team while Silver distracts the other one. Eventually Slade shows up and steals the horses, rendering Aeryn’s tactic useless. The party takes off. At night, they build camp and Aeryn reveals to the man that she is actually a Dragonsbane. He instantly recognizes her as loyalty and says “my lady.” He says he was a servant of the Dragonsbanes before Frostmantle took over and he was forced to work under him. He also pledges his sword to her in service. She pardons him for what he did and makes friends with him.
The next morning, the man leads them to caverns and then leaves. Once inside the caverns, David does a check for burrowing animals and stumbles across two talkative moles. They warn them that there are creatures coming from every direction, which indicates to the party they are in imminent danger. They proceed with caution, coming across a band of goblins. David is able to bend bars in a prison-like alcove of the cave, where the party hides and waits for the goblins to pass. They attack them with the element of surprise. Once they’ve killed two patches of goblins, they come to a room filled with stalactite-like creatures that fall down upon them. They are able to kill them and then they come to a room with a living web that is resistant to a lot of different types of attacks. The party is able to dispatch it using fire damage with their sais, and as the living web disperses, three treasure chests are revealed in back. Inside the chests are weapons, garments, and a necklace of fire beads, which Silver Shadow-Wraith takes.
The party travels back along the same path, stumbling upon the moles on the way back. Aeryn unsuccessfully tries to persuade the moles to join them as her pets. They are very offended and end up leaving after saying their goodbyes.
The party comes to a room with disemboweled body parts in a huge bloody mess on the ground. They leave that room since there is nothing to do there and find a small hidden room with a cache of goods. After that they stumble upon a party of troglodytes (who are coming from behind). Although Silver is tempted to use her necklace, her deity warns her not to use it in close spaces. The party kills all but two. They tie the two up and torture one while making the other one watch. Slade ends up killing the one and the other one is scared. The sounds from the screaming troglodytes bring more running to their aid. The party engages them all in battle and emerges victorious. Then they come to a room with a huge goblin. There are four pillars and a dais. The goblin is standing motionless on the dais when Slade runs in, waving at him. The goblin advances on Slade and the party enters the room to do battle. Not long after, all of the party members take refuge behind the pillars as Silver uses one of the beads in her necklace, sending a big flash of fire throughout the room. The goblin is encompassed by flames.
Slade runs down tightrope through a booby trapped hall.
In the cavern, they meet up with a fairy who is in the middle of fleeing some imminent danger. She warns them to leave, so they run for the exit of the cavern. Slade and David climb up one of the trees while the other party members hide by the exit out of sight. Three troglodytes emerge from the cave, walking bravely toward Alaric, who is standing boldly in front of them. The rest of them stand grouped about the entrance. Slade dives on one troglodyte, felling him instantly. The others attack and eventually overcome the troglodytes. Alaric sees the ghost of Bedlam, which is pointing northeast. He talks to Silver about his vision.
The party retreats back into the cave. There they pull the handle on a door and a ghostly face comes out and stares at them then sinks back into the door. Slade pulls the handle on the door and holds it so David can ask it who it is. The voice says “present yourself to his mightiness” to the little gnome, who obediently bows down to it and introduces himself to the ghostly face. The face says “you may not enter; you’re not worthy.” David says, “Aeryn, I think the door is for you.” As she approaches the door, Silver barely notices the Frostmantle logo etched onto the door (because of her interaction with the stagecoach. The face says “present yourself to his mightiness.” Silver warns Aeryn about Frostmantle and the possibility they won’t be thrilled to see her, but she says she has to do it. Aeryn says her full name. As soon as she says the name Dragonsbane, the face glows more brightly and it gets a reddish hue, and it opens its mouth unnaturally wide and it shrieks “enemies.” To either side, the ground starts to crack and hands come up from the ground. Skeletons emerge from the ground, attached to the hands. They pull out big two-handed swords. Silver throws one of the fire opals in to the room and closes the door behind the party.
David and Alaric return just in time to see Silver throwing the fire opal. “What the hell’s going on?” Alaric asks. The door explodes outward into everyone’s faces because of the size of the passage. It dawns on them too late as flames come out into the hallway. Alaraic helps up Silver and Aeryn. There is another door across the room. Alaric thrusts a kopesh into the door but is unsuccessful. Slade stabbed the door with his double sais. Everybody else tries too, to no avail. Aeryn stabs her short sword into the door and the face reappears, its eyes red and its mouth open and shrieking. The face says, “Leave now and never come back!” Silver says, “I have a bad feeling about this.” The face says “you were given a chance” and disappears. A low rumble comes from behind the door. Alaric tried to open it. The door came off its hinges and it grew arms and feet and a giant mouth and fangs. The door (a mimic) attacked the party. The party killed the door.
The party smells food. David finds a book about the history of the Dragonsbanes and gives it to Aeryn. She rewards him with a kiss on the head, ultimately friend-zoning him. The party comes to a room with a dining table that has been set for a feast with roasted turkeys and vegetables. Silver and David know there is something wrong with this and the whole party runs away. The door in front of them is shut, however. A spider is blocking its way, so they fight the spider and both Aeryn and Slade are poisoned. Silver feels drawn to hold a club to heal Aeryn, but all of a sudden the sound of scraping draws near. David pushes a paralyzed Aeryn out of the way while the others push the table. Silver feels a healing warmth coming from the club as she touches it to Aeryn’s body. It’s as though the club is asking Silver’s permission to use it. Aeryn is healed and feels extremely weak from the entire ordeal. Slade is also paralyzed and weak. What is behind the table?