The party left the xvart lair behind, deciding it would be more useful to report the intelligence they gained rather than succumbing to a horrific sonic demise.
As they enter the vineyards surrounding the town of Dagger Rock, a strange, muttering dwarf finds his way through the vines to Lady Indilwen’s horse. She screams in terror, almost kicking the dwarf in the face. Confused, the dwarf scurries off. Only Sophos notices that the dwarf stuffed a note into one of the saddlebags on the lady’s horse.
The group is met by an escort from Bearclaw Keep, led by Lieutenant Raven Bearclaw. The lieutenant seems relieved at their arrival. Indilwen explains that they have important information to report. “Also,” she asks Lt. Bearclaw, “Do you have a problem with vagrants in your vineyards?” Raven simply looks confused as they continue into the town of Dagger Rock.
The party is given time to clean up before reporting to Sidon Bearclaw, Raven’s father and constable of the town. Most of the group fails to notice that Ved doesn’t accompany them. Private Wilster reports their information on the xvart lair, the fire giant army, the downed griffon rider, and the falling sky castle.
After Wilster’s report, Sidon informs Lady Indilwen that two of her retainers disappeared from their inn the previous night. He suspects the Storm Tyrant may be responsible, the mastermind behind the giant activity in the Thermal Mountains. He suggests that she visit Grog’s Happy Half-ogre Inn, where the Storm Tyrant’s spy network is rumored to meet. Indilwen thanks Dagger Rock’s leader and takes her leave. Private Wilster is asked to remain behind, where he receives a promotion to Sergeant for his assistance to the town.
Before heading to Grog’s, Sophos informs Indilwen of the note left behind by the dwarf in the vineyards. Conveniently, the note says to meet the dwarf at Grog’s. The group makes their way to the inn and Grog shows them to a private back room where the dwarf sits at a large table.
The dwarf introduces himself as Corkscrew Vines and says he has information on the whereabouts of the lady’s retainers. He has a price for the information, however, which angers Indilwen. Corkscrew relates that he is a well-known vintner in the area, and that he desires to know the secrets of the elven winemakers of Amberilla. Indilwen only agrees to discuss the possibility after the dwarf provides the information on his retainers. Corkscrew relates that he suspects the halfling and gnomish nation of Poota Belly, who aren’t shy in demonstrating their desire for access to the Ulurassal poppy.
In addition, Grog presents a ransom note requesting that 800 gold pieces be delivered to the Dagger Rock by noon the next day. But his theory is that the surface drow of Oa’Xacoa are behind the kidnapping. Frustrated by the extortion and competing theories, Indilwen insults Grog, who calmly informs her that her character will be judged by how she deals with the issue. He also suggests that the group seek out Sir Kinndyr Davvydq, who can provide information on the tunnels beneath the Dagger Rock, where the kidnappers may be lying in wait for the ransom drop.