Materializing in the Helmwatch, the adventurers found themselves confronted by Malvar and his guards. None too pleased to learn that they had just destroyed the Runestone, Malvar was livid, demanding the party follow his men, or face consequences. Not wanting to upset the delicate alliance they had been slowly building with these cryptic merchants, the group agreed to follow along. Upon reaching the Adventurers’ Camp, however, all four were swiftly knocked out.
They reawakened in cool, damp cells, each of them separated from their colleagues and bitter over the double-cross. Vyurek found that his magical Illumian sigils had been extinguished, and Aystra similarly could not even cast a simple cantrip. With no rescue in sight, the adventurers began to explore their surroundings in an attempt to escape. Scouting her cell, Aystra noticed a strange-looking device within one of the bars in the wall dividing her cell from Edgar’s. With his help, the two managed to break it free and smash it, foiling the makeshift security device that prevented her from casting spells.
As Havard and Vyurek attempted to do the same, a guard began a patrol of the area. In a moment of vulnerability, Edgar burst into a barbarian rage, smashing down the cell door and catching the guard with his pants down. He began to struggle with the guard, but backup quickly arrived. With his colleagues still behind bars, Edgar was left to his own devices to fend off their attempts to subdue him. With a series of focused spells, Aystra eventually managed to blast her cell door off its hinge, allowing enough of an opening to escape her confines. But with Havard and Vyurek still struggling to free themselves and Edgar painfully outnumbered, the best the helpless adventurers could do was to demand to see Malvar.
After some time had passed, an even angrier Malvar appeared, incredulous at the group’s actions. He attempted to explain his motivations, but was interrupted by a loud blast and the appearance of a Drow raiding party. In a moment of desperation, Malvar pleaded with his imprisoned friends, bargaining their release in exchange for their assistance. The group reluctantly agreed and rushed to retrieve their gear and confront the attackers head-on.
A skirmish ensued, led by a menacing Drow officer and his team of assassins, but they were readily dispatched with Malvar and the adventurers’ superior numbers. In the aftermath of the battle, he eventually attempted to share the reasoning for his actions. To him, the Runestone represented a powerful tool that could have been employed by his faction against the Drow to put an end to their stalemate conflict. The party’s decision to destroy it raised alarm amongst Malvar’s people, who feared that the four may secretly be working against them, aiding the Drow. To be safe, Malvar had them imprisoned, but insisted he did not intend events to pan out as they had. Realizing the damage his actions had done to their relationship, he allowed the party to go free, suggesting they take some time to allow their mutual wounds to heal.
Returning to the surface, the group took their first breaths of fresh air in days. Eager to clean up and refresh, they made their way to their lodgings, only to be halted yet again — this time by the City Watch, who placed them immediately under arrest in the name of Piegeron Paladinson, Open Lord of Waterdeep…