In the morning, most of the party resumes digging through the rubble of the collapsed cave, while Marvin and Gord look on. Before they’ve gotten very far Shamash reappears in the manner they’ve come to expect. (BAMF!) He tells the tale of his teleporting adventures: to a misty forest, back to the cliff side momentarily, away to the outskirts of a strange city in a sea of fire, back to the cliff side again, and to a meadow near Ortognia in the natural world, before arriving the most recent time.
In the misty forest, Shamash had found all but one of the Sending Stones dead, but managed to make contact briefly with someone through the stone marked Lorin Deage. While in the city, he found all of the stones dead. While in the natural world, many of the stones were working, and he carried out a brief conversation with someone named Rolen through the stone marked Rolen.
After several hours, the entrance to the cave is sufficiently excavated, and the PCs go down to discover the portal intact and the cave empty. They go through, though Hunter has to prick Daffodil for a bit of his blood, much to his consternation. They make their way back through the deserted underground city, and up into the tower from which they had descended about a week ago. Daffodil is precariously marched up the open stair by Hunter, singing a merry stair-climbing song.
They are easily ambushed at the top by a squad of Hobgoblins with a pet Ankylosaurus, led by the hated Medi, who sounds some sort of magical alarm. The hobgoblins all bear the mark of the dead tree set against a white field on their shields, sending Shamash flying into a terrible fury. The goblins and their beast are dispatched with relative ease, and Shamash takes a couple pages out of Gord’s book, ripping a tooth from the mouth of the Hand of Bane he has just knocked unconscious. But at the height of his blissful, bloody vengeance, he is whisked away bamf.
Hunter and Ander and Gord give chase as Medi, dripping blood from his broken nose, courtesy Hunter, flees up the stairs. Marvin, who had been studying the magic alarm device, decides he’s satisfied, and follows behind. Glamrok hurriedly grabs everything he can off the Hand of Bane, and mounts Daffodil, cruelly wounded near to death by Medi, and follows as well.
Two more Hobgoblins and two wolf-riding Bugbears must have been on their way down the stairs when the alarm sounded, because they intercept. Ander manages to slip by them, and continue chasing the little nemesis up the stairs, while the rest of the party fights a few flights below.