Arriving in the Seven-Pillared Hall, the Shadowguard set about gathering information regarding the possible whereabouts of the gnolls. Over the course of a couple days, they had reached an impasse. Though they had been asked a favor by the Ordinator Arcanis, spoken to a foul-tempered trapper named Breeg Orlivanch who gave them lore about gnolls they already knew, and received a mysterious letter requesting aid from an unknown entity – they were still without a clue as to where the Threshold captives were. With each day’s passing, they believed the villagers’ survival less and less likely.
The note however, spoke of the duergar and a meeting place. Though only tangentially, the duergar were connected and the Shadowguard followed the only lead they had – though they suspected it was a trap.
Upon arriving at the rendezvous point, they were set upon by deathlocks, wights and a bronze warder. The Shadowguard overcame the forces in short order with some injuries that were quickly tended to. Found upon one of the deathlocks was a satchel that contained two parchments and a sealed scroll.
The first parchment read:
I don’t care how you do it, but deal with these heroes. If they remain in the Labyrinth, they could disrupt my plans. Take the bronze warder and a contingent of undead if you must. Once you’ve dealt with them, deliver their bodies to our gnoll allies along with the scroll. This map will lead you to their lair.
The scroll had a wax seal stamped with an elaborate “P” and read:
Exalted Chieftain of the Blackfangs and Chosen of Yeenoghu:
Lord Pizentios offers you the corpses of these champions as a gift of our enduring friendship, that our alliance might continue to be mutually beneficial. May you savor their blood.
Your friend and ally,
Taking only a brief moment to collect themselves, the Shadowguard immediately made their way to the Well of Demons. The chamber of the well was large and possessed three columns. Hidden among the columns were a ghoul and two young grick. The well contained a monster completely out of sight whose dozens of tentacles rose from the depths to grasp anything that moved nearby.
After the Shadowguard defeated the ghoul and young grick, Gryffin Farstryder moved into the room only to hear the feral minotaur faces carved into the columns speak – their words heard in each listener’s native tongue:
Greetings, seekers of Baphomet’s glory.
Those who prove unworthy of his attention shall be claimed as his slaves.
Those who prove worthy shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning.
Mask, bell, axe, and scroll.