Anvil, the Dwarven surface city, has been under siege by the forces of the Diabolist.
Anvil is the gate to the Forge, the Dwarven capital in the Underdark.
The Saints of Circumstance are bound for the Forge, seeking the second Eye of the Stone Thief, and to Usurp the false King of the Dwarves.
Sneaking into the city through tunnels used by Were-rats , the adventurers emerged into a city with its spirit broke. Even our heroes were in low spirits: Laurentide lost her left hand, Garrett was inflicted with Lycanthropy, and the only people they had seen for weeks had tried to kill them.
The lone townsperson with any pluck left in them was Draziros Drake, a blacksmith who kept himself busy by forging sword after sword. Kurza earned Drake's begrudging respect through his eye for steel, and Styx soon distinguished himself with his work ethic.
From their hideout inside a boarded up apothecary, the party was able to puzzle out which businessmen had been working with the were-rats to smuggle Dreamweed into the city. Jeskill, the Bandit Merchant, was promptly kidnapped and leveraged into lending an alchemical laboratory to Garret to synthesize a cure for his disease.
As townspeople began to notice the increased zest and activity in the blacksmith, more folk came out to gather and watch. Merrik Frost, posing as Captain Ironeyes, challenged any Dwarf worth his weight to step up, draw a blade, and defend their city. Together, the heroes rallied the townsfolk, soothing their aches, shoring up their defenses, and encouraging them to fight.
When the demons came, Anvil was as ready as it could be. Thanks to careful planning, teamwork, and well played skill sets, the horde, headed by a giant toad-beast, was beaten back into the smoking hell-holes from which they emerged.
An emissary of the Diabolist approached Merrik, telling him to meet at the now-abandoned Pleasure Centre. There, the party found a "call waiting" – a summoning circle, lit candles and incense, everything needed to invoke a manifestation of the Diabolist… including a chalice meant for blood, and a ceremonial dagger carved from human bone.
The Diabolist offered a trade: she would spare the townspeople and turn over the Eye of the Stone Thief if they would open the gates to Anvil, and let her pass through to the Forge.
After some heated discussion, the party decided to turn down a pact with a demon.
Leaving the Pleasure Centre, Merrik ran headfirst into Ebony and Ivory, who between them carried a device recognizable as "stone thief cult paraphenelia". Striking first and asking questions never, the party pounced, pummeled, and pinned the children of the daughters of the Elf Queen.
Holding the elves captive, Kurza waited and watched. Styx tended to wounds. Garret lurked invisibly, whispering devious things into their ears. Merrik finally turned to the dream world, which his fears had kept him away from for months, only to discover the worst: some black thing had festered and grown on his soul, and went he entered the dreamworld Court of Moon and Stars, it burst loose. Writhing black tentacles and teeth, the aberration shot like an arrow towards the Elf Queen, where it tore her limb from limb.
Elves across the world screamed out in pain and sorrow. Hurled back from the world of dreams, Merrik freed ivory, begging his forgiveness. He handed his belt knife, his to carry at the blessing of his queen, to Ivory… who drove it into his heart. Ivory then turned the knife on himself, cutting his throat as he wept.
Ebony, a Drow woman and a harder heart, pulled herself together enough to crawl through her tears, seeking to escape. Kurza drove a spear through her back.
Two days later, the Saints of Circumstance left Anvil for the mountains, the fallen Dwarves bundled in a cart among camping supplies.