Frustrated by their lack of success chasing their previous lead, the party deliberated on what to do next. Unfortunately, they realized that their escapades had taken too long, and they were now too late to make it back to Breven for the Mayor’s trial. Putting that out of their minds, the group headed back to Beliard to see if they could glean any additional information, and if not, follow their secondary lead. Upon arriving, the group realizes they had been gone far longer than Grund’s single day off, and he had taken it upon himself to begin the construction of a rather lovely addition to the main inn. He happily agreed to join them the next morning as they left to follow their next lead. That night, Torrin went out to gather information on the delegation, unwilling to wait until morning. A series of misunderstandings with townsfolk meant he spent the night happily in jail. The next morning the group came to bail him out, but also thought to ask additional questions of the guard, who let them know the delegation had been through Beliard successfully but had never reached Summit Hall, and that huge, oversized birds had been seen down the trail. The party decided to follow the delegation’s footsteps and see if they could find a sign of their disappearance. The rest of that day was uneventful, and the group camped quietly and were not disturbed. Halfway through the second day of travel they found evidence of a struggle on the side of the road. Tramping through the bush to where the birds circled, they found the remains of a caravan and a number of bodies all wearing the same design on their tunics. Vist recognised the designs as those of the guard sent with the delegation from Mirabel. A more thorough search showed a large cairn of stone standing above the caravan area; detect magic showed only that the area was full of magic. Along with the caravan were some additional books, the body of a woman in a golden-leaf gargoyle mask, and a mirror. The books turned out to be part of the same set that have been found around the valley telling of a dwarven civilisation that existed in the region hundreds of years ago.
Following the path of footsteps further into the forest, Jon realized they must belong to at least 20 bugbears and 10 humans. The footsteps went deeper and deeper in until they reached the riverbanks, where impressions could be seen where boats used to lie. Wil became mist/fog and floated upwards, just barely able to spot the boats hidden on the other side of the river, and off in the distance the top of a stone spire.
Returning to Grund and the horse/cart, the group, exhausted, went to bed for the night, but not without a last unlucky twist of fate. Vist, looking in the mirror, was overtaken with his handsomeness and shapely form; he found he could not look away. Torrin and Wil too were caught up in the mirror, wrenched away only when the group woke the next morning to find their camp unguarded.
They continued on to Summit hall, home of the order of the gauntlet. Torrin, finding himself much at home, pledged himself to uphold the righteousness of the gauntlet’s mission. The rest of the group spoke to the head officer, who despite not being a paladin herself, was happy to welcome another into the hall. She knew little more about the delegation than they did, and was only able to confirm the group had never reached the hall, as well as the fastest way to the spire.