Continuing exploration of the ramparts being rebuilt by the Daranos led to a few near-death experiences, a spiritual connection for most of the party, and ultimately, the defeat of the remainder of the wererats.
The party grilled Charles further after defeating the fire beetles, learning key facts about the eastern tower of the ramparts. After releasing Charles, the party barricaded the east double doors in the basement of the western tower and proceeded on the ground level, through the battlement tunnel, and into the eastern tower. Qatana attempted to sneak in, but the door creaked loudly as she opened it, and the occupants were able to get their weapons ready in time to fight.
Combat was tricky due to the presence of two shadowhunter bats, a difficulty compounded by the arrival of backup from the second level: 5 gravehounds and their master, Kalmo Darano. During the course of battle, Broknar and Ventlandra fell unconscious multiple times each, and everybody brought forth their full might to ensure the survival of all the Dragon Slayers of Nenlast. After the intense battle, only the bats remained, and without their master, they fled in panic up to the next level and out of the tower.
Dolgthrasir rushed to his unconscious adoptive brother’s side and began to minister to him. As he did, he entered into a trance and found himself overlooking Broknar’s village, as it appeared the day they had discovered it destroyed. Broknar was within the village, fighting a pointless battle against apparitions of giants, until finally he had exhausted himself. The spirits known as The Grandmothers manifested to him and put him on a new path, while the spirit Grandfather, mainly to be contrary, imparted some changes to Dolgthrasir and the Elves as well.
As the Bonebreakers came to, Broknar found himself with a new sword, more equipped for accuracy than for death. Quick exploration of the ground level and the one above found a few magic items, which the party distributed among themselves. They then returned to the western tower, walled themselves in, and took an extended rest to fully recuperate.
Their rest completed around 6:30 in the evening, they pressed on, returning to the eastern tower and descending to the basement. Finding a number of gray wolves, chained up and neglected, they first fed them with the bodies of some of their fallen adversaries from the levels above, then ultimately decided they should be put out of their misery.
Bursting through the west doors, the party surprised a group of wererats and Jib, a Goblin hexer and friend to the clan. Familiar with Goblin hexers, the party concentrated on him and soon had him begging for mercy. After eliminating his former wererat allies, the party interrogated him and learned what remained in the two chambers under the ramparts. Qatana, having had enough of him, stealthily slit his throat to silence his piteous wailing.
Finally, the Dragon Slayers burst in on the Darano meeting hall and confronted the leader of the clan himself, Ephram, setting the tone by tossing the head of Jib in ahead of them. The remaining Daranos threw themselves at the party, but did not manage to keep them away from Ephram. The magician tried to escape through a tunnel he dug for himself, but the party was able to drop him before he could do so. Before long, the massacre was complete. Looting the clan treasure, they found a number of valuables and coins and a Sunblade.
They proceeded onward, safely past the dart trap Jib had told them about, and started heading down an underground passageway that Ventlandra believed was heading in the rough direction of the Scepter Tower. Partway along the path, they found a pair of boots with a rare magic in them that granted a running wearer insubstantiality.
What unknown dangers lay at the end of this southern passage? Could this path lead them inside the mysterious tower, whom none but a recent sighting of Dark Creepers had entered for decades? They would learn the answers to these questions soon enough.