The party answers summons of King Itheus and learns that the king believes that valena, nay the world, shall soon be threatened by a Hellmarch. The party agreed to recruit armies to on behalf of Itheus
Learns about Hellmarch, and that conditions will be right in a few months.
The party learns that the independent city-states are not directly ruled by the king. The king is kept in place as the city-states find the position useful for adjudicating disputes and preventing intra city war.
There have been numerous sightings and disappearances, but no solid evidence of a Hellmarch. Itheus is aware of a sighting at Kuza, a hamlet bordering the scrublands.
Hellgate location is unknown, except that it is somewhere in the Abadon badlands
Gives parties copies of treaties with the dwarves and Johirans
Dwarves are currently not communicating (which isn’t unusual as they keep to themselves), Itheus is awaiting a reply to allow the party to visit.
Johirans may not be enthusiastic about helping Velena; the last 50 yrs have seen the progressive encroachment of Rethem and Koor hamlets in Johiran territory. This expansion, backed up by the armies of Koor and Rethem, has pushed the Johirans into the scrublands, where life is especially hard.
Johiran situation may be complicated by the emergence of a new war-chief that has successfully united the inter-warring clans. Most are worried that Johirans are now on a war footing.
After leaving chamber, the party runs into General Halbarad vas Koor. And has an unpleasant exchange with the party.
Halbarad doesn’t believe that a Hellmarch is imminent. He requires troops to marshal his forces. He is more concerned that Kamesh or the Johirans will exploit the movement of the army to the north, and attack their rear.
Halbarad is accompanied by a small cohort of soldiers, including a remarkably beautiful woman in a slim black silk tabard, that does little to conceal her form (g cup, or standard size for any of peter’s campaigns). Tash is away tucking in the kids at this point, so the rest of the party demands more details. She is later identified as Lilith, Halbarad’s Lady.
Johirans get no sympathy from Halbarad, as he feels their land claims are the result of artificial boundaries made around the territories occupied by Kamesh before independence.
The party travels to Kuza, only to find a small community of religious zealots, and a cold reception. The party can tell that the hamlet is actually a former Johiran town, and that the Kuzans had the Rethemi army chase off the Johirans. The party also determines that the sighting story is more likely a front to trick someone into clearing out a subterranean temple so the village can use it themselves. Nonetheless, the party goes to the temple in case there is any evidence to be had. Veronwe loses his cool on a peasant named Lydia. Unlike every other female in Kaldor, she is dressed conservatively.
The party gets in and smells brimstone. The tension is palpable. The party is ambushed by snakes and peter learns a quick lesson in scaling encounters.
The party finds the room is filled with skeletons, they also find a gold bracelet worth 250gp, as well as 50gp.
The party next explores a room with a well. The scent of brimstone is much stronger and the party braces for the worst.
A bunch of flaming bats do a really poor job of setting things on fire. Peter learns that the PCs have weirdo powers, and that d8s are very rare.