It is nighttime in Mosstone, the creaking of the crickets, and far from the diameter of the Great Tree, a point of light, one of those local pubs open in every town when all other stores have stopped selling their wares and locked their doors. On the other side of the town, a nest of shanties and huts. The party is split. Half of them, not ready to give up on the day, perhaps with the leg of their journey finally so close, decide to stay for a drink at the above mentioned pub, the other half have decided to fall in for the night. Inside the round pueblo style hut, the other half sleeps, the other half save one.
There is a small fire in the hearth and a soft crack of coals popping, amber light flickering. As the fire crackles, the shadows seem to grow long and short. There is someone standing over the body of Dejmor, Morro’s page. It is Mouse, her small frame absurdly contrasted with that of Morro’s immense great hammer in her hands. She hefts the hammer over her head, the hammer is the length of her lithe body, and sends it down crashing onto Dejmor’s head. But the weight has set her off balance, and the hammer lands on Dejmor’s small chest. There is a crack as the small boy’s sternum is caved inward. The boy gives out a gurgling whistle, what would normally have been a scream if his lungs weren’t pierced with the shattered remnants of his ribcage. But it is loud enough that Morro and Kaz awake.
Kaz can see everything in the night gloom. His race has evolved night vision and the dark room to his eyes is awash in a purple light. Morro cannot see in the dark. He looks towards Dejmor’s bed. For some reason, Morro has chosen Dejmor to be placed under his protection. The boy is his responsibility and the relationship has evolved to something like father and son. He sees a dark shadow, short, thin, but hanging over Dejmor’s bed. Morro attacks bare handed, reaching to pull the weapon out of this assassin’s hands.
Kaz is frightened. The room is too small for three combatants. He might get killed getting in between Morro and Mouse, two assailants whose effectiveness at killing he has already seen first hand. Kaz has no idea why Mouse would kill Dejmor, but he is not surprised. For a Drow, betrayal is never a surprise. Mouse was a sellsword, just like him. Kaz could not expect loyalty from anyone; and except for Daewoo and Jera-Sai who had saved his life, he planned to give none.
Mouse turned towards Morro. His large frame, clad only in cotton bottoms and a night shirt, towered over her. Mouse cursed; her plan had failed. She was going to kill Dejmor and frame it on Mouse. Perhaps, find some way to tie Kaz into the plan as well. She knew that with any wrong doing, he would immediately be suspect. That would put her in a perfect position for blackmail. But Morro was another thing. He was dangerous.
Morro reached towards her grabbing at her hammer. She threw it to her feet. The weapon was too unwieldy, and if Morro got his hands on it, then with his strength he could pull it from her grasp anyway. She pulled out her whip chain and slashed him across the chest.
Kaz was moving along the walls, trying to get to the doorway. He needed to make sure that Mouse was down before he could get away. He cast a spell.
The shadows came alive beneath Mouse’s feet. They writhed up, tentacles of blackness, and pulled her to the ground. Morrow leaped around her, as Kaz raced out the door. He leaped, rolled, and came up with his hammer in his hand. He swung it around smashing Mouse in the face. Her small frame shook with the impact as her face was shattered. She flew back crashing into the burning embers and then rolling outwards. She was lying unconscious on the floor. Morro looked at Dejmor trying to breath even though his lungs had collapsed, then he raised the hammer above his head, and hammered Mouse’s head into the earth. Mouse’s head exploded like ripe Chultian Melon.
The rest of the Darkstalkers ran into the room. Daewoo had showed up in just enough time to heal Dejmor. But Morro has decided to leave the party. He gives no explanation for leaving, but perhaps he realizes that the life of a Darkstalker is too dangerous for a small boy. Morro and Dejmor walk out the front gates of Mosstone and out of the lives of the Darkstalkers.
The Darkstalkers are stunned. One of their party members is dead, another has left with his protege. Mosstone guards are investigating the death as a murder. Though there is initial suspicion that Kaz might have something to do with what happened, Archdruid Mumridor cleared everything up. Once again Kaz is indebted to the druid.
The party decided they needed to regain their numbers, but perhaps do a more careful job vetting potential Darkstalkers. They find a strange, intelligent Golem hanging around the town of Mosstone. He is a new design of roving golem-soldiers designed by War Wizards of Cormyr. He has decided to come with the Darkstalkers on their trip, but they will not be as quick to accept him as they have done their other comrades.
Gabbo, the boy scout, leads them to Gharash Vren’s hideout, a few miles into the Wealdath forest. The hideout is a old, abandoned mine, but it appears to only be filled with the bodies of Gharash Vren’s men. The Darkstalkers begin to investigate, but there are already many traps. The deal was: Bring back Gharash Vren’s head, but are the Darkstalkers getting in over their head.