Trail-weary and more than a little dusty; the PCs entered the northern gate of Fallcrest. The head of Isti-Zar prominently perched on Benjaar's shoulder drew gasps and murmurs form the guards and caravan drivers assembled at the gate. Shortly, a crowd had begun to gather in the wake of the PCs as they made their way to Moonstone keep. Lord Markelhay greeted them and requested his courtiers to leave so that he might speak with them privately. The groups' concerns were now echoed in Lord Markelhay. He conscripted them to gather information around town so that they might have adequate evidence on which to take action. Before dismissing them he paid them their reward of 1000 gold pieces and bade them good luck.

The PCs first stopped at Teldorthans to sell what they could of the items taken from the hobgoblins. Since they were size-appropriate to most humanoids, the dwarf was more keen to purchase than he was the kobold armor and weapons they had brought last time. Voodoo traded-in the Ruby Scabard he had received from the dragon hoard for a pair of Quickhit Bacers. The rest of the group contemplated buying items of protection, but the dwarf really didn't sell anything of that sort other than armor and bracers (which weren't exactly what the PCs had in mind).

Once the gear situation was sussed the group thought about how best to approach their investigation. After a quick inventory of the skills they had and the skills they'd need, they decided to let Cassius do most of the diplomacy work, while Benjaar would intimidate if need be. Akriel Hadarai and Voodoo could shadow any suspects, while Olan… Olan would distract and keep an eye-out where needed. Cassius was able to get information from a whispered conversation between Serim Selduzar, a teifling expatriate from the south, and one of the town guards; from Wisara Osterman, the proprietor of the Silver Unicorn Inn; and from Nimozaran the Green, the resident wizard. Benjaar tried to get a little information from Barstomun Strongbeard, the head of the porters' guild, but was rebuked during their first meeting. He also attempted to speak with Kemara Brownbottle, owner of the Blue Moon Alehouse, but diplomacy was not the dragonborn's strong suit. Akriel was able to get Orest Naerumar to confide in him about Serim's dealings with the cult. Eventually Benjaar had to challenge Barstomun to a drinking contest, which he surprisingly lost. It was only by the tactical diplomacy of Cassius that they were able to get testimony from the dwarf. Hadarai and Olan, meanwhile, tried to break into Serim's suite at the Nentir Inn, which was less than successful. Hadarai ended up fey-stepping out the window to escape notice. Akriel and Voodoo kept an eye on the Kamroth estate (since evidence was pointing that way) but they turned-up nothing.

With enough evidence for Lord Markelhay (and enough ale in their system to drown a watersoul genasi), Cassius and Benjaar rejoined the group as they made their way back to Hadarai's home to sleep-off the booze and organize their findings. The next morning they met Lord Markelhay and presented the evidence. He was deeply troubled by their findings and decided to hold a moot later that day with all of the guards whom were supposed to be off duty at the time of the conversation Cassius had overheard at the Nentir Inn. All evidence pointed to Amros Kamroth, Serim Selduzar, and a few members of Fallcrest's town guard. In the meantime, the group was free to get a bite to eat and take care of other matters before high-sun. On their way out they noticed a very pretty young woman enter the hall and move up to Lord Markelhay to give him a peck on the cheek. No doubt, it was Lady Allande Markelhay.

After breakfast and a few other small errands the PCs returned to Moonstone Keep for the moot. The hall was filled with a hand-full of town guards and the guard captain. The courtiers were there as well and Lady Markelhay stood patiently on the dais with Lord Markelhay. Once the group had arrived, Markelhay asked if the guard Cassius had seen at the Nentir Inn was present. The priest of Bahamut couldn't spot the man amongst the assembled guards. This made the captain realize that one of the guards present was covering for the absentee. The deceptive guard's resolve caved under Lord Markelhay's scrutiny and he admitted to aiding the cult. He also implicated one of the courtiers, Billius, as one of Kamroth's informants. Billius, present for the whole scene, began running for the doors. Lady Allande tossed Lord Markelhay his crossbow on his signal. The Lord promptly sent a bolt into the shoulder of the fleeing courtier, knocking him out. Cassius attended to the courtier, making sure he didn't bleed to death, as Lord Markelhay began plans to infiltrate the Kamroth estate. The PCs were to go with the captain of the guard and two of his most trusted men and get into the Kamroth estate by any means necessary.

The gates were locked when the group arrived, but a quick kick from the dragonborn fixed that issue. The manor house was empty and had apparently been packed-up; most of the finery and artwork of any worth had been removed. After a detailed search they found a ruined teleportation circle in one of the storage closets. The dweomer had been used and the marble slab on which the circle had been scribed was heavily fractured. The circle had only transported its user a relatively short distance, according to Olan whom deciphered the scorched runes of the circle. Amros was still within the city limits.

They could find nothing else of interest in the main manor house so they moved on to the carriage house. Another busted door thanks to Benjaar and the small building was open to them. But, as the dragonborn stepped into the structure the floor beneath his feet flared with arcane runes as a winged reptilian form appeared and looked him right in the eye. Benjaar found himself stuck in place for a few moments, but the reptilian form and immobility quickly passed. The rest of the group moved cautiously into the carriage house, which from the inside looked more like a small prison. A search turned-up a hidden bundle of torture tools (used recently) and a hidden switch in one of the cell bars. Turning the bar revealed a spiral staircase in the center of the floor, leading down.

The captain sent one of his guards back to inform Lord Markelhay before leading the way down the stair. He and his lieutenant were the first to reach the dark room below followed closely by the PCs. Their torches revealed a square room with a 10'x20' recess in the northeastern wall that housed a 10' tall wooden platform with a narrow stairway. Another smaller recess was in the southern corner of the eastern wall where stood a small reptilian humanoid. The kobold promptly flipped a lever on the wall as sling bullets flew at the captain and his lieutenant and Voodoo. The two guards were knocked out and probably killed while Voodoo deftly side-stepped the projectile. The floor in the northwest and southeast corners slid aside revealing dark pits and the faint tinkling of a bell could be heard.

Following the paths of the sling bullets, the group spotted three more kobolds on the platform. As the panels in the floor slid open, the spiral stairs the group had descended retracted back into the ceiling. Four winged forms, two from each of the now-open floor pits, rushed toward the group. One changed direction abruptly to attack the kobold that had pulled the level, while the other three closed on the PCs. Akriel was unfortunate enough to face two of them as them both sunk their vicious fangs into his drow-flesh. Benjaar faced the remaining ambush drake and found it similarly unpleasant.

The group fought the kobolds and drakes, with Benjaar taking a healthy dose of damage. Olan managed to knock one of the drakes back into the pit, but it re-emerged only to attack the other kobold minion. The drakes seemed to go for the easier meals whenever possible, and the kobolds on the platform continued to hurl sling bullets at he PCs and even tossed caltrops on the dungeon floor in front of the platform in an attempt to deter the PCs from advancing. Unfortunately for them; Olan teleported onto the platform behind them and cast thunderwave, knocking them off and onto their own caltrops. Hadarai followed suit and attacked the one kobold that had evaded the spell. Voodoo tore into the drakes with abandon, taking full advantage of his new quickhit bracers and doling out massive damage on more than one occasion. Cassius was ready with healing as Benjaar punished any drakes foolish enough to ignore him. Akriel stayed mobile, gaining concealment and casting spiteful glamour and eldritch blast at the ambush drakes.

Eventually, the group defeated their reptilian foes and inspected their fallen bodies, the pits, and the lever on the wall. The openings in the floor led down curved ramps to a small, roughly-hewn cavern wherein lay the remains of several humanoids. Missing townspeople? The butler staff of the Kamroth estate? There was no way to tell. Cassius checked the fallen quards to see if they could be stabilized but they were past help. There was a door in the northern corner of the eastern wall that lead further into the dungeon. The PCs regrouped and prepared to advance.

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