On reaching Red Larch, the party met Dame Azinell & Arboro Vesto, one an agent of the Harper’s, the other an agent of the Emerald Enclave. Both were sent by their superiors to aid the party against the threat of the cults in the Dessarin Valley. They meeting didn’t necessarily go smoothly, as members of the Cult of the Howling Hatred attempted to unleash some sort of magical catastrophe on the town. Fortunately, the attempted was thwarted. Organnac (the 3rd) also found out that Zomith was pregnant with his child.
The party first chose to aid the various farms and ranches in the northeast part of the Dessarin Valley which were being attacked by the Iceshield Orc tribe. After a few day’s travel, they reached a ranch where a number of ranchers and farmers had hunkered down to battle the invading orcs. Erned Stoutblade, the commander of the defense, welcomed the aid the party had. After much brutal fighting, in which a distressing number of farmers were slain, the Iceshield forces were destroyed. The next morning, a force of high elves, accompanied by the paladin Galya, arrived to help the survivors of the attack get things back together.
The party traveled back to Beliard, only to find the center of town wrecked. The party helped out with rescuing survivors and investigated what happened. Witnesses reported seeing what appeared to be a group of Black Earth cultists gathering in the center of town and unleashing a a magical earthquake on the town. The cultists disappeared right after the attack.
After finishing in Beliard, the group decided to head south to Womford. Along the way, they stopped off at Summit Hall, home to the Knights of Samular. There, they learned about the Haunted Keeps in the Dessarin Valley. They were also joined by a young monk and scribe, Noah Borchers, who intended to record their further battles against the four cults threatening the valley.
On reaching Womford, they heard about the town’s troubles with vanishing citizens. They went down to the docks to investigate and ended up in a battle with the crew of one of the riverboats. The captain of the boat, a water genashi, managed to escape, giving Arboro a severe beating in the process. Investigating the boat uncovered crates of supplies marked with the water cult’s mark, as well as a map leading to Riverguard Keep.
After Noah smoothed things over with the authorities in Womford, the party commandeered the riverboat. Since no one actually knew how to pilot the thing, they hired on Clancy and Yancy, two tpwnies who also happened to be experienced with sailing riverboats.