The party headed east for about six miles and reached a tent city that they later found out to be called Coyote’s Refuge. It was named after a halfling adventurer who started the place as a base for adventurers setting out for Vor Rukoth.
Vor Rukoth was one of the jewels of the empire of Bael Turath. Sometimes called the City of Forges, it was ruled over by the emperor’s sister, a human named Lady Najala. During the long and violent war with the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia, the powerful humans of Bael Turath-nobles, wealthy merchants, spellcasters, and priests-underwent a sinister transformation through diabolic pacts. Among the first to swear the oaths to devils and become a tiefling was Lady Najala. Seeing her power and influence grow as a result of her oaths, many of the other nobles of Vor Rukoth lined up for the opportunity to participate.
As the threat from Arkhosia grew more imminent, Lady Najala became suspicious of everyone and began scouring Vor Rukoth’s population for traitors. She called out those nobles who had refused to take infernal oaths, believing they conspired against her, and she erected a gate to Hell to ensure her hold on power. Ultimately, it proved her undoing. As a dragonborn host marched on the city, she desperately threw open the portal to any creatures that would aid her. On what came to be known as the Day of Devils, legions of fiends spilled out from the Nine Hells. They repelled the dragonborn host on the outskirts of Vor Rukoth, but they also slaughtered the thousands who inhabited Vor Rukoth. Najala’s victory meant little, for the city was shattered and left a ruined vestige.
As they were about to enter the city the encountered a dwarven caravan. The dwarves turned out to be exiled slavers from Thunderholme. Thunefir felt they had no moral high ground since the argument was that slaves were better servants than demon powered machines. They let them go and went another way. when they entered the tent city of coyotes refuge, they found there were only three permanent buildings. The watchtower, the Dancing lizard, and the canteen. The canteen is a general store that the dwarves make regular deliveries of sundry mundane items, and the dwarves were there unloading their cargo.
As they made their way towards the Dancing Lizard (tDC) the door flew open and a brusque dwarf with a metallic Jaw greeted them with a boisterous halloo and brought them inside and bought them a pitcher of ale, He warned them that the only water to be had was at the Canteen and that it was a very expensive and bilious concoction; twas better to drink ale.
Inside the tavern were X groups of folks sitting at tables. One was a number of tieflings affiliated with a group caled the Scions of the Horned Empire who seek to see Vor Rukoth returned to its former glory. Later, Nemanock went to talk to them and the lone red haired woman greeted him enthusiastically as the four other tieflings abruptly got up and left. She said not to mind them and Nemanock quickly noticed that she was not tiefling, but human. She explained that she realized tieflings were the most perfect mortal form. She searches for the Athenaeum of Bael Turath which she believes can transform her into her preferred form. She is willing to trade info with anyone that can help her.
At another table sat an eladrin female and an older (looking)human male. Aponym went to talk to them and the man introduced himself as Lord Kelevar and the lady as Taleen Quirrelle. They are with a trading group called the White Lantern Consortium. They offer to back likely expeditions into Vor Kurath. Aponym was playing his hand close to his chest and did not reveal the parties true intentions and merely stated that his employers were interested in much the same and perhaps they could come to some agreement. They made small talk and parted.
At another table, with one sitting on a nearby barstool was a group of mostly human armed types with a definitely religious bent who were wearing Raven pendants. The dwarves approached this group of Raven Queen followers after buying them a round of ale. Thunefir asked them their business and when he found that they were hunting down and destroying undead in Vor Kurath he enthusiastically applauded their efforts and they pledged mutual aid. The only Lich they knew about was the undead Lady Najala, if she even existed anymore. They hadn’t ever seen her and they certainly have never ventured into the Ruby Court where the gate is rumored to be located. They said they were once interrogating a corpse about another issue and it said that there was a group of devils who were trying to reopen the gate, and that they were living in a tower by the sea. The gate is unstable and demons have also been passing through it and the devils want to realign it so only devils can pass through it. They finished their drinks and adjourned themselves from the table.
Outside the group had one more stop they wanted to make across the street at the other building The Canteen. Inside the canteen they met the tiefling Inferna. She is interested in finding out details about her family which is House Rexia, a noble house specializing in courier and travel services. Are there any left alive inside Vor Kurath? Nemanock exhibited sympathy and concern and she seemed to regard him favorably.
At this point the party decided to go back to the ship. The path they walked on to get to the tent city, while not busy by any means, does have the occasional traveler and they were careful that no one followed them back to the Pond where the ship was moored.
They wanted to ask Windy if the ship was in need of any provisions that they could pick up in town.
They are going to digest and discuss the information they got in Coyote’s Refuge, specifically:
How do they go about finding out the whereabouts of Kharn-Dzul and Aurgloroasa’s phylactery?
Are they willing to risk exposing this information about their real intentions in order to obtain the information they need? What other choice do they have.?
Nemanock informs them that Kharn-Dzul is an Immolith demon.