Mirrors and Ice
The party recovers from the last day's excitement. They head down to the miner's camp to bring the former slaves back for their own safety and for some discussion. Most of the people brought to Ar-Ensul were from the village of Havel located somewhere in the central plains. Others were from smaller farming communities along the way from here to there. The journey was pretty amazing, they crossed many dangerous and inhospitable areas to get here, led by the Rhodin.
Graal used his great diplomatic ability to entice these people to stay in the city of their servitude, now as citizens. Most were resigned to do so, since they could not return to where they were from. Some were no very interested, but with promises of good work, and positions in the court once it is established, they agreed to stay.
Elidia disappeared, though some of the villagers claim to have seen her here and there.
After talking to the people, the party decided to interrogate the Winter Witch. They discovered he spoke some Common, but he demanded his freedom in exchange for information. Reluctantly they agreed to release him once he revealed his informaiton. He claimed that Ruqun was counseled by the Mirror throughout their stay here, and before. The mirror apparantly was smaller and able to be transported and grew in place when it was brought here. The witch gave the impression that Ruqun was advised and aided by the mirror. Why they came here was unclear, but it was clear the mirror was the brains behind the move. The witch also gave the party the passwords for the secured door to the empty tower, and the dragon, though the party is still unsure of what the dragon does.
The party then went to talk to the mirror. Again, the impression was one that they could not trust the mirror. They did learn that the mirror/keep does not need human sacrifice, it needs some kind of sacrifice, of something valuable to the party. The mirror/keep called the sacrifice an investment. It also claimed that the sacrifice made by the Dramojh, they had to 'bow' to the golden dragon to gain access to the mirror, and insult to their chromatic heritage. The mirror offered one bit or wisdom without cost. It warned them of a danger about to be unearthed by a prospector up the road from the keep.
They decided to go check, just in case. They encountered the eccentric prospector, Konner, in his mine. He immediately bade them leave. the party refuse. He attacked, they returned fire, doing their best to avoid bloodshed. A brief fight ensued, Konner demonstrated that he was not a simple prospector, but a spellcaster as well. The party demanded he show them his latest digs, he grudingly agreed, fearing another attack. He led them back to a cold chamber with an ice falls in the center. It seemed to glow in the light from Konner's staff. He showed them the unusual ice, it would generate cold, but it wouldn't melt. The potential uses were obvious. The party saw a lucrative chance to sell the ice downriver, and Konner seemed eager to participate in the sales as well. They made plans to meet again in a few days.
Linneaus checked up on Konner the next day, and discovered that there were signs of a fight, blood and such. He ran to get the party and returned with them to assist.
They quickly encountered a strange beast. It was some hellish two headed owl bear. It was ferocious, but against the combined might of the party, it was no match. They killed and looked for Konner's body. They found a boot, his magic staff, but no sign of him. They can only assume he was eaten by the dread creature, or some how escaped.
They returned to the keep to plan their next action.