The party met late in the day on the docks of Darkshelf. Ras Hamal, Leandros, and Garret Greenbottle came ashore from a merchant ship headed south for Imradd. The Dwarven Cleric Groein, in town to pick up provisions to bring back to his hermitage in the Erud Ghor mountains, caught sight of Ras Hamal and, fascinated by seeing a man of Far Tarroon on the other side of Diernemaen, struck up a conversation. Anderos, Drat, and Groo, who had been traveling together for some time, caught site of the well armed and somewhat out of place strangers and decided to hang around to see what might happen.
The adventurers were approached by Maedra, Chancellor of Neistor, Lord of Darkshelf. He explained that there had been some trouble of late and that Lord Neistor was looking for a group of hale individuals to look into the matter. Maedra arranged for meals, drink, and lodgings for the adventurers at the nearby Darkshelf Dockside Tavern and for them to meet with Lord Neistor early the next day.
The next morning the party met with Lord Neistor. He expressed his concerns about Bazili Erak, proprietor of Darkshelf Quarry, the recent activity of pirates and slavers in the region, and the string of half-eaten bodies found on the banks of the Pelyra river and the Darkshelf waterfront.
“The results from the quarry seem too good to be true,” he said. “And the raid on the slavers’ camp was a little too quick and clean, if you ask me.
“And then there’s the dwarves that work in the quarry at night but that nobody ever sees. And, of course, the terrible attacks we’ve had around Darkshelf.”
“Something’s not right at that quarry. Will you look into it for us?”
After answering a few questions, Lord Neistor went on to explain that he had already sent someone to look into things.
"It wasn’t so much the quarry as it was the attacks.", he said. "I sent a man named Kwon out to find what’s been killing our people and leaving the bodies looking half chewed-up. He brought me a few reports, but I haven’t seen or heard from him in a while now.”
“Frankly, I’m worried. I’m hoping that by looking into the quarry, you’ll maybe find Kwon—alive, I mean.”
After fielding a few more questions, Lord Neistor offers the adventurers 500 gold pieces if they can find out what’s really going on, put a stop to any trouble, and find Kwon.
They set out for the quarry right away and, using a map Kwon provided to Lord Neistor in one of his reports, they were able to locate a ventilation shaft hidden by a copse of trees on a bluff overlooking the quarry.
The party lowered Groein into the shaft. At the bottom, he found an iron grate that he could not lift. The dwarf was pulled back up to the surface just as the party heard voices on the bluff beyond the copse of trees. As he removed the rope from his waist, Groein stumbled from the trees to find four armed, human guards. "Bring him to ground, boys!" one of them yelled, and the four loosed their swords from their scabbards.
A brief fight to the death ensued. The adventurers made short work of the guards, and all but Groo. who suffered a few cracked ribs, emerged with nothing more than a couple of bumps and bruises.
The party then returned their attention to the ventilation shaft — hiding the bodies of the guards and stowing unnecessary traveling gear as they prepared to descend and find a way to lift the grate at the bottom of the shaft.
It was then that they noticed that Leandro was nowhere to be found…