After a couple hours or so (it’s hard to tell time in the sewers, though the dwarves are quite insightful underground), the party emerges from a sewer outside of the southwest wall of Cauldron. Maavu leads them toward Redgorge, mostly somberly pondering the events of earlier, but still partaking light conversation any of the dwarves make. KiRen follows, but keeps to the shadows and trails the band. Finally Maavu tells them: “The password is ‘mortar’,” he says.
“Wha-huh?” nearly all of the brothers reply in unison.
“That which binds stone to stone. ‘Mortar’. It is the password.” He changes direction. “Go to the ”/wikis/Redhead%20Miner%27s/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Redhead Miner’s Inn when in Redgorge. There you will find a contact."
After the brothers exchange a few confused glances, they look around to realize Maavu is nowhere to be seen.
A few more hours along the Cauldron Trail, and the brothers arrive in Redgorge. The town is as expected for a mining ghost town; rundown and mostly uninhabited. Exhausted, dirty, and especially smelly, they decide to retire to the Redhead Miner’s Inn. The large, two-story building even contains a large store catering specially to adventurers and explorers. Behind the bar a large, smiling man with his long hair tied in a ponytail notices the party as they enter.
“C’mon over beggars, ya won’t starve as long as Mikimax lives!” he introduces himself, waving them over.
In the corner of the common room a handsome man ignores Mikimax’s call and plucks at the strings on his lute. Dark haired and rather short, he wears a fine blue robe and polished knee high boots. As the party approaches the bar, he calls out a riddle to them.
“What can bind, with water sand and lime?” He plucks a little tune.
“Wha-huh?” nearly all of the brothers reply in unison.
The bard repeats himself, plucking the strings some more. Confused, the band ignores the man and approaches the bar for some drinks.
KiRen strides over on his lanky legs to the man, and says in his birdish accent, “Mor-tar”
“Close enough!” the man winks at the Tengu as the brothers nearly spit out their ale. They shake their heads in disbelief, having already forgotten the password Maavu had recently mentioned. The man slings his lute over his shoulder and introduces himself. “”/characters/the-honest-minstrel" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ekaym Smallcask, The Honest Minstrel" he brags. “The Chisel knows of you heroes from your growing fame. In fact, ”/characters/the-foreman" class=“wiki-content-link”>The Foreman has requested your presence at the next meeting of The Chisel. The Paladin Alek Tercival and even your friend Maavu will also be in attendance."
Shrugging their shoulders, the brothers follow The Honest Minstrel. Xogar grumbles, “…as long as there’s food…”
Following the bard into the rear of the bar, behind a fake shelf and down a flight of stairs they come to a magnificent room clearly out of place in this rundown town. Elaborate torches light the room and a massive gleaming oaken table dominates it surrounded by equal fabulous chairs while beautiful frescoes cover the entirety of the circular walls. Xogar slumps into his seat, disappointed at the lack of food. The frescoes along the wall depict the glorious moments in the life of Surabar Spellmason. Starting with his arrival at a dormant volcano, followed by an encounter with an angel, the founding of Redgorge, construction of the Basalt Bastions, the battle of Redgorge, and an image of Surabar transforming into a mountain, oddly enough.
Sitting at the head of the table is a tall human in fine brown leathers with grey hair and a short well trimmed goatee. He greets the band, introducing himself as The Foreman, and offers them some fine wine from a nearby cask. The brothers willfully oblige, and servants emerge from the corners of the room to serve them. “Welcome to the ”/wikis/Hall%20of%20Carvings/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”>Hall of Carvings."
Moments later a hidden door slides open in the fresco, and Maavu emerges into the room. “Glad to see you made it” he greets the party, but they give no reply as another door slides open and Mikimax enters the room. Following them is the bard from the barroom. Cursory greetings are exchanged as the servants leave as if commanded. Mikimax speaks first.
“Alek Tercival will not be joining us.”
“I did not expect him tonight,” The Foreman replies, “but his continued absence is worrisome nonetheless.”
Turning their attention to the newcomers, The Foreman begins to speak. “We are always looking for fresh blood to join our ranks, even indirectly. Many of our members have grown selfish, thereby violating the philosophy of The Chisel: to protect the region and support artisans and craftsmen. Many of the violators are Cauldronites who have shifted their ways and now care little for the wellness of society as a whole.” He sighs. “Turning our minds to more direct matters, I fear a great force of chaos and evil has beset cauldron’s government, and even the ”/characters/severen-navalant-lord-mayor" class=“wiki-content-link”>Lord Mayor himself may be involved. All our Divinations suggest a great disaster on the horizon."
Maavu interrupts, “Were the Paladin Alek Tercival here, he would second this motion. Lately he has been experiencing visions that proclaim the same fate.”
The Foreman turns his attention to Maavu and continues. “Though your intentions were well, they nonetheless caused more harm than good, Maavu. I now fear The Chisel will become the scapegoat for the ”/wikis/Unrest%20in%20Cauldron/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”> troubles in Cauldron, and action may be taken against us."
“It was meant to be a peaceable demonstration. Some villain stirred up the riot when they ambushed those guards.”
“T’was the Last Laugh Thieves Guild,” The Honest Minstrel chimes in. “Only one who fell for it were you” he jabs at Maavu, inciting a little squabble.
“Better dead than slaves! A wandering strummer like you should know!”
“Peddler! You count lives like gold pieces; no difference to ya, eh?”
Growing tired of the argument, The Foreman demands silence.
The Honest Minstrel breaks the silence with dire news. “My informants in Cauldron tell me that ”/characters/terseon-skellerang-watch-captain" class=“wiki-content-link”>Terseon Skellerang is indeed building a force of half-orc mercenaries to invade and search Redgorge. On the surface it is to find the mad criminal Maavu, who he blames for a list of crimes. The summoned Umber Hulk that left a handful dead and property ruined, conspiring with the Last Laugh thieves, inciting a riot, and even ‘targeting city officials’ for the slain orcs."
After a short discussion, The Chisel agrees that although the Hall of Carvings would survive such an event, but the town of Redgorge may not. The villagers would resist the invaders, and that would mean certain destruction.
“We must persuade ”/characters/terseon-skellerang-watch-captain" class=“wiki-content-link”>Terseon Skellerang to renounce this plan," The Foreman says. Looking directly at the Band of Battlehammers. “This is where you come in to play.”