In the depths of the monastery of the Sundered Chain, the Hand of the Silver Flame rescued the last surviving monk, Kalad. As the woeful dwarf recovered from being tortured, he explained what had happened.
A terrible force of goblins and orcs had emerged from the myriad tunnels which had long sat dormant under the monastery. As a last ditch effort to stop the seemingly endless hordes, Kalad and the other dwarves sundered their forges, collapsing the tunnel entrances permanently. The forces of evil that remained still had the advantage of surprise, and surged ruthlessly through the monastery, leaving a bloody wake. Only Kalad was kept alive, in a vain attempt to force him to reopen the tunnels.
With the information that a nearly limitless army was approaching Breland through the tunnel system, the party raced to assist the West Wind riders, who were bound to be outnumbered by now. The tunnels did not need to be defended, said Kalad, but blocked completely, before it was too late.
The intrepid Hand rushed on into another tunnel system, one far more perilous and labyrinthine than any they had ever encountered. Following signs of the West Wind riders’ passage, they made their way through the winding tunnels until they came to a nexus of gigantic steam pipes. Based on the information Kalad had given them, their only hope was to open the nexus, and then try to reach the boiler room, where they could flood the entire complex with boiling water and block it off for good.
The tunnels were not empty, of course. Our heroes battled their way past sinister clockwork traps, fire-spewing beetles, a seemingly unbeatable cave-troll, and goblin alchemists that lobbed deadly grenades. They were forced to hide and rest for a few hours, while Elani lay unconscious, hovering on death’s door after a brutal attack.
Having found the lifeless, looted bodies of the West Wind riders, they knew that they were the only ones left who could stop the dark onslaught. Fortunately, they had encountered a friendly changeling, who had stayed alive this long only by impersonating an orc. He was happy to find himself in the company of a party full of righteous rescuers, and gladly offered to assist in their goal, if only to escape the foul caverns.
As soon as they had rested up and prepared themselves for what might be their last act of heroism, the Hand of the Silver Flame rushed toward the boiler room, a huginormossal room filled with steam pipes and equipment. The steam controls they sought were nearly a hundred feet above them, reachable only by climbing a long series of platforms that spiraled around the room. War drums erupted as they began their ascent, heralding the arrival of an ever-growing battalion of orcs (and a shadowy warlock), blocking their path.
Orc Warboss Tusk and his Shadar-kai warlock wench
They fought onward and upward, circling the room, and soon it became clear that they would eventually be swarmed by an effectively limitless number of orcs unless they could reach the top quickly. The strongest of their foes, a tremendously strong orc in shining armor, held them back, stirred on by the beat of the drums, and for a moment it appeared that the Hand of the Silver Flame might fail—but the Flame burned bright, and they persevered, and struck down their foes in droves even while more poured in from every entrance.
Finally, reaching the top, Jantry and their new acquaintance worked the controls; the enormous pipes creaked dangerously, but remained intact, and finally, there was an eruption of scalding water from below, which began filling the room (and conveniently, the goblin tunnels) with hot liquid death, while the party escaped safely through a hatch in the ceiling. They had done it!