Arriving in Bogsbridge the party found a festival in full swing . A county-wide day of celebration had been ordered by Count Bradenton due to his son’s glorious victory over the Vulture clan dwarves responsible for the massacre at Ashmead . A handful of wounded soliders who had been at the battle and were left in Bogsbridge to convalesce (Max thought about healing them but didn’t) said that the Count’s son (known to the party to be a effete and feckless moron) was completely transformed into a forceful and effective leader soon after the arrival of some “truly ugly” female archers led by a hideously ugly priestess . They hailed it as a miracle , Menoth reaching out to give the young man the courage and wisdom to carry them to victory . The Count’s son and Heartless trained the conscripts relentlessly while the newly arrived archers , woodmen (women) of some kind searched out the dwarves . After they were located the Count’s son personally led the charge and the dwarves were routed . After this victory they turned south to confront the gnoll threat , which according to rumor greatly angered Count Bradenton as his son’s orders were to disband the force and return home .
The group establish that Redeye’s grave had already been robbed but they did find the discarded false leg and sold it for two silver . The rest of the day was spent arguing about buying horses and mules . The highlight of the festival was a tournament of blood hawks that had drawn the best breeders from all across Cymril , Vichee , Vardoon and even a few from Thenol . One of these breeders was an acquaintance of Furnock’s who approached Ace , recognizing his hat . This touched off a firestorm of controversy as it was believed that the hat had been stolen back by Furnock during his attack on Renwald . The entire incident was called into question . It was suggested that Ace had been replaced by some kind of shapeshifter . Or what he was just a lying jerk . In any event the breeder confided to Jak and Max that if Furnock’s abandoned tower hideout was “blown” he was probably hiding out in the abandoned city of Grandil in the Crate Ridge area (a hobo camp of sorts) or holed up with his Red Claw buddies in Greennest . Shortly after his Lady Mytara contacted Max and told him that Lavinia was wanted for the murder of a church official and has taken up residence in Briarwood . Max swore that he would let nothing distract him from either taking Lavinia into custody , killing her , or dying in the attempt .
The first distraction was a few days later on the path to Briarwood . Hathor and Jak set up a nightly counterintelligence operation to see what Ace was up to . One night Ace was able to slip away without Hathor noticing until he was already gone . Hathor woke everyone else up and they followed the tracks for a short distance until they disappeared . Searing the ground all about they found a stone plug in the ground at the base of (and covered by the roots of) a tree , said stone was marked with Tiamantic script . After some dithering and the discovery of a pit trap Hathor started to climb the tree and was assailed by arrows . He jumped down and Max tried to parley . Due to language barrier Jak and Hathor took over the parley , never being quite sure who or what they were talking to . In the end they decided Ace might be down the hole , Max levitated the stone up and tied a rope to it , sending Crow down with an everburning torch . The found the floor directly under the shaft to be illusory leading to a water-filled zone inhabited by an undead anaconda . Avoiding that nonsense he held the rope for the rest of the party to climb down to the solid ground beyond .
Heading down a passage to the right they were assailed from front and back by opponents that stayed out of the range of their torchlight and vexed them with spells and ranged attacks . Eventually Hathor was able to get enough light forward for Crow to smash the spellcaster to bits – who turned out to be some kind of undead who has been covered by an illusion of life . The rear attacker fled , climbing on the walls “like Spider-man” and then locked itself in a room . Jak picked the lock but the creature inside held the door shut , mighty Crow failing to knock the door down . As they messed with the door , another door opposite opened up and a fellow with a sword came out , slashing Hathor with life-draining power . A short wild melee ensued and the first door opened again for a flanking attacking , but it was too late and the door slammed shut again . The defeated swordman was also revealed to be undead with illusion of life . This time Crow , Jak and Max slowly forced the door open while Hathor shot the fellow inside repeatedly in the face , eventually killing him and revealing him to be undead as well . Both rooms were looted of a significant amount of jewelry .
Continuing down this path they encountered an area of magical darkness . After much consternation Max turned invisible and started working his way along the edge of the wall through the darkness . Hathor charged through heedlessly , interrupting something stabbing Max in the kidneys . Hathor’s unintentional bull rush carried him and what was revealed to be a skeleton through the darkness . Hathor grappled with the skeleton as Jak , roped to Hathor , used that to find his way through the darkness and Crow charged in to blindly fight the remaining skeletons in the darkness . Hathor and Jak were able to take down the skeleton and eventually Crow got tired to trying to fight blindly and exited the darkness as well . The party continued on and found a room of empty barrels . Much conversation was had about what could , should , and would be done with said barrels . In the end they were staged near the darkness for potential rolling into skeletons .
The next room was filled with dead miners and had a crudely dug shaft down . Rolling down a few barrels it was determined at the bottom of said shaft was a Flaming Skull and three Huecuva there was brief parley where it was determined that this was a “sleeper” cell of Tiamat cultists that had turned themselves into undead centuries ago to wait out all the various forces that were after them . In talking with Max they determined now was a good time to return to the surface and resume their evil ways . Max reminded them the party could rat them out , for which they thanked him and attacked with a fireball . A deadly battle ensued but the party was victorious and seized a king’s ransom of silver , gems , and jewelry the cult had stashed to fund their wicked works . Jak returned to the campsite while Hathor , Crow and Max barricaded themselves in one of the rooms . Jak found a hysterical and sobbing Ace at the campsite thinking his friends and companions had been killed . Jak watched for a while before revealing himself and claiming to have been answering “nature’s call” . Ace asked where the rest of the group was and he made some vague comment . Ace deciding they all had UTIs went to sleep . The next day the party searched the rest of the complex and found nothing much of interest .
Moving on the next distraction they came upon was the scene of a titanic fight between a bear and a wyvern . Following the tracks of the seemingly victorious bear they did indeed find a bear feasting upon a dead wyvern . Jak and Hathor were detected and the bear turned into a man , they chatted for a bit and determined that he was an exiled from the Lortmils called Grom-gil-Gorm . He presented them with their next distraction , asking them to head into the nearby town of Enstad to talk to Ann Li Mage for Hire who he commissioned to make him magical armor that would protect him in bear form . Dragging Max along the party entered the town and set about selling their loot and buying new implements of destruction .
Also at several points Jak and Hathor had tea parties with a silver tea service that once belonged to King Macar himself .