On our heroes’ journey home from the woods north of Daerdenfel they see the shimmering lights of Daerden magic keeping seismic activity at bay on Mt Cladeus. Smoke in the distance draws their attention and they investigate to find a magma filled crag spitting out an obsidian orb before the Daerden enchantments can close it. As they slowly approach they realize the orb is an egg as it begins to crack open to reveal the glowing fiery maw of a fire snake, the larval stage of a salamander. Rather than run or fight, R Pompus Antillus enthralls the creature and after a struggle to communicate, convinces it that he is friendly.
Woden rushes back to Daerdenfel, arranges a meeting with the Daerden in hopes of attaining some degree of fortune for taming a wild baby salamander. The Daerden take little persuading to come take the specimen home and Woden gathers a contingent from the Vaestio Syndicate to tag along as well to arrange the transaction. On his way into the Syndicate, Woden sees Laurent expelling a familiar face from Woden’s less tasteful dealings who they would learn was an Auditor for the royal mines.
The company of nearly nearly 30 Daerden, Syndicate associates and men at arms leave the city and find R Pompus still struggling to convince his friend to continue the march to Daerdenfel. Once the price is agreed upon, the Daerden, lead by chief Arcanozoologist Henric Gelden, shackle the beast and make for the city. Pompus, Woden and Gelden share a scholarly discussion of magical beasts and a brief history of salamanders in the March on the way home.
Returning to the Syndicate, the party receives Laurent’s accolades in Travaers’ absence. Laurent offers the pair Junior Associate status at the guild and states his expectation that Travaers will promote them to Senior Associates when he returns and hears of their profitable heroism. He tells them that their next task will be to check in on some Imperial Surveyors making preparations for the potential trade road outside of the dwarven city of Alderstadt.
The party spends some of their hard earned cash the next day on some equipment upgrades and heads down the mountainous path towards Alderstadt. On the way the two are caught off guard by a pair of harpies. The battle goes in favor of our heroes, and the party lets the defeated harpies go with a warning.
When the party arrives at the Imperial camp, they find dozens of Imperial corpses and after some investigation, evidence that the attack was perpetrated by dwarfs. They continue on to Alderstadt and fumble their way through an investigation of where this attack came from. The authorities seem unaware of the trade road plan but agree to send a delegation to Daerdenfel to discuss the situation. At a bar in a bronze collar dwarf neighborhood the party question a bartender with little success and continue to the shadiest portion of a dwarf city that one might find. There they ask a street performer some questions and are referred to his brother, Ghumbar, a gemsmith. Ghumbar has a taste for politics and is the first to admit he knows all about the trade road. He gives perhaps an unsatisfactory run down of dwarven politics and potential motives leaving the party feeling defeated in their investigation and ready to return home.
The party meets with Laurent again back in Daerdenfel and begin to tell the story as Travaers returns. Travaers is delighted by the party’s exploits until he hears of the attack on the Imperial encampment. On this news his tone becomes more urgent and he asks Laurent and the party to inform High Chancellor Zenisek of the Imperial University of everything they saw.
The party complies and on their walk back to the guild they get word that Guildmaster Corbin Sanmarco is dead.