Lost Mines of Karak
After the arrest of Bram Ironfell, Ulysses Conrad ordered the raid of Bram’s warehouses. Inside there was precious little evidence of the consipiracy between the Elsir Consortium and Sarashan. There was one clue found in the raid: a map leading to the forgotten Ironfell Fortress!
Legends told that this fortress was build over the ancient mine of Karak and was the seat of power of the dwarven Ironfell clan! For centuries, the dwarfs of Ironfell mined the gold from Karak and became wealthy and powerful, leading to the construction of Overlook. Everything prospered until the dwarfs of Fortress Ironfell vanished and the location of the mine was lost to time. As time passed, the trade route between Overlook and Fortress Ironfell were swallowed by the desert and the rich mine went with it.
Ulysses believed that this mine may be of some importance to Sarashan and may yield more evidence against the Consortium. If he was incorrect, the riches of the mine would still have value to Overlook. In order to avoid assassins, Ulysses sent the party on a quest to recover the Lost Mines of Karak!
Madmartigan’s Men (and Ithyk) left over look and went into the desert. The journey was treacherous, but they were able to follow the old trade routes to the farming village of Dunesridge. As they arrived, they discovered the town being abused by the Warden of the Queen, a knoll champion of Queen Shephatiah. He was demanding tribute for the queen and was preparing to execute several villagers, when the heroes engaged him in brutal combat. The party was able to slay his Behir mount and minions, and Ithyk spared his life. Madmartigan and Ithyk interrogated the Warden and found that Queen Shephatiah was ruling over the Ironfell Fortress!
The party ventured into the forgotten fortress and found it over run by Queen Shephatiah’s fould minions. Madmartigan’s men (and Ithyk) climbed onto the crumbling roof of the castle, and descended into the sand filled courtyard. There, they were attacked by an hidden Carrion Crawler and a flock of harpies! After this battle, they rushed into the throne room to face the dryad Queen and her minions. The heroes made short work of the dryad and her bodyguard, and then turned to explore the rest of the fortress. The party lured the remainder of the fortress’s guards into a group melee and were able to defeat them all. Exploring the remainder of the fortress, they encountered a bizarre creature from the far realms that split into numerous foes. Defeating the Barbalang, they ventured into the fortress’s dungeon and encountered a strange but helpful prisoner. This prisoner, surrounded by 7 golden canaries, told them that the Queen still lived and the dryad was a decoy. He gifted them with a signet ring that would open the lower levels of the mine and allow the party to find the true Queen. Kage the Black believed that this prisoner was an exarch of some deity. The party took this gift and descended into the ancient and hidden mine!
The heroes journeyed into the recently reopened mine and encountered the last of Queen Shephatiah’s troglodyte minions. They discovered that elemental energy from the vast plane of Elemental Chaos had corrupted the stone in this mine, leading to the madness and death of the former dwarf holders. The party encountered the reanimated corpses of the long dead dwarves and fought their way to the true throne room of the Queen of the Desert. The powerful Naga Shephatiah sat on a pile of skulls and was protected my powerful demons. The party engaged her in brutal combat, perhaps their hardest fight yet, and were able to defeat her. They uncovered her magic ring and found communication between her and the Emissary. From these letters, the party found evidence that the Emissary had contracted Shephatiah to open the mine so he could gain magical stone to fuel his war machine. The Emissary, now believed to be Sarashan, also noted that the stone would be smuggled out of Overlook by the Elsir Consortium. Armed with the proof of the conspiracy, the party made their way back to Overlook.