The Red River adventurers deliberate in the Telos’ Gaze inn and reveal some of their deeply held secrets, but their confessions are interrupted by Executor Kurgal of the Ironfell Council who raids the Inn to capture the family of Dwarven slaves the innkeepers were smuggling into Damara. Rather than hand over the slaves, the Companions slay many soldiers and earn the enmity of the Warlock Knights, forcing them to flee by road. Jonn suspects that the facilitator of the slave exchange is none other than “Dalelander” Goodman Tultin; Jonn’s estranged father, who may once again be profiteering off of the burgeoning Vaasan civil war.
The companions discover upon the road to Telos City a gathering of buried corpses, and they begin to suspect that Thay is once more seeding Western Territories with sleeper harvests of animate corpses, preparing for some future Endgame.
When they arrive at The Dellhalls mine, the adventurers discover that it has become a work camp and death camp for the displaced indigenous Dwarf population under the supervision of Lord Knight Vidicator Mansoon, the self proclaimed Witch King of Vaasa, and heir to the Archlich Zenghi. Through guile and deception, Zanne earns the Witch King’s confidence and the companions set out to rendezvous with the Dragon Gowxorel.
Gowxorel expresses his displeasure that his path is blocked and he demands that the Companions slay Sulfindarkel the Objector, an Earthquake Dragon that evidently has claimed the Dellhalls as his lair. The companions reveal Gowxorel’s intentions to the Witch King, provoking Mansard into ordering an all out attack on Sulfindarkel, who evidently stands in the way of his access to an Ancient Netherese portal buried under the mountain.
The Red River Adventurers battle Sulfindarkel and the Witch King is consumed by the vengeful dragon before ultimately falling before the companions blades.
The death of the dragon permits access to the Netherese Portal which the companions discover is familiar to them. It is identical to the portal that exists beneath Shadowfell Keep, the one that currently holds the Demi-Dragon Shadraxil imprisoned in the Shadowfell.
Curious as to the nature of the portal, Zanne, Isaac and Jonn test it and find themselves transported back to Shadowfell Keep, but in an insubstantial and invisible state, unable to interact with the Purple Dragons and War Wizards that they find occupying the site. Only Lady Fenrikka seems to possess the ability to communicate and sense their presence due to her necrotic power, and Isaac uses that awareness to attempt to negotiate with the Purple Lady.
But even in this state there is the warning of danger, related by the Vigilant and Restless Sir Keegan, who reveals the truth of where the Trio have found themselves. The blocking of the Shadowfell Gate has brought them into Shadraxil’s prison, and that it is from here that Shadraxil preys on the minds of those who inhabit Shadowfell Keep. To Isaac’s great dismay it is revealed that Shadraxil has declared the imprisoned Tria Pacen as her consort and is attempting to drive her mad with paranoid whispers just as she once drove Sir Keegan to murder his family and command a century before. Isaac may have secured Tria’s release by cutting a dangerous deal with Lady Fenrikka, but how much damage has already been done to the virtuous young Exemplars mind?