Thornside tells his friends that Rufus Cromley might be able to get them to the Shadowfell to catch Bram. He rushes away and the others follow.
The Gray Redoubt of Rufus Cromley is a squat, gray-stone tower that leans slightly to the left and bears the dubious distinction of being the tallest building in Shanytown. When Thornside knocks on the door a window opens up and a zombie dressed in black butler clothes peers out growling questioningly. Thornside asks to see Rufus and the zombie opens the door, revealing a cluttered single-room interior filled with strange undead implements.
Rufus agrees to send them to the Shadowfell if they promise to bring back any bodies they ‘find’ there, as payment. They agree and he performs the ritual to open a portal. The Bear Claws go through and find themselves in a long gray hallway that stretches out into the distance. Ahead they can see torchlight and hear raised voices. Thornside sneaks closer and sees Bram standing in the middle of a group of Shdar Kai arguing with them about who is in charge.
Pug is also there and when the Bear Claws are noticed he tells them they can have Bram and walks away in disgust.
Thornside shifts through the Shadar Kai, his armor expanding as shadows stretch out around him. He lunges at Bram but Bram slaps him aside at the last second.
The Bear Claws step in and Bram falls to their attacks, quickly. Yelling in rage Thornside continues to shoot arrows into Bram’s body, his armor sucking darkness and color from the corpse.
Bram’s guards go down quickly and the Bear Claws take the bodies through the gateway back to Rufus Cromley’s tower. He seems pleased with the payment they brought him and is muttering about reanimating them as servants when they leave.
They check in with Aerun to find that the other members of the Consortium were all arrested and four of them confessed to get a reduced sentence.
On the way back to the Belden’s Rest they split up to go their separate ways. Roland wanders around looking for a temple or shrine to the Raven Queen but finds that she is not a popular deity in Overlook. Alton and Jak head to the Temple of Avandra in the Nine Bells where they talk to (Miranda) again. She has some results of the research she promised Alton she would do last time they talked.
James goes Stonehammer to talk to Brak but he hasn’t made it back from Dunesend yet.
Thornside returns to the inn where Ruth recognizes that he is very troubled and she puts him in a room and gives him some drugged ale to make him sleep.
When the rest of the Bear Claws return she serves them some turducken that she has been experimenting with. Before heading up to their rooms for the night a table full of Tieflings make a few jokes about James. His friends talk him out of confronting them until he has rested.
In the morning Rory gives them two messages. One is from Glorin Hammerfist inviting them to join her for breakfast at Leena’s, to collect their reward. One is a ransom note telling them to get out of town or their women will be tortured. The note includes two sketches of a dragonborn and an elf.
The Bear Claws decide to stop by Leena’s on their way to track down the origins of the note. They meet Savory, the tiefling chef, who speaks to them briefly and crafts them each a custom breakfast. Glorin gives them their agreed upon payment and tells them that she is making a push to bring back the Freetraders in the name of Thornside’s parents. She is making him an honorary founding member. James, Jak, Alton and Thornside all give her back some money to help with her endeavors.
After breakfast they go to tradetown to talk to Haelyn at the Shrine of Erathis. She tells them she saw Mary and Jalissa, the two pictured on the ransom note, just two days before, asking after the Bear Claws. When she sees the note she seems very concerned and tells them to go to the Pickled Imp and follow the Lost Ones representative when he comes to collect his protection money.
The Pickled Imp is dirty and known for the pickled Imp on the counter. The Bear Claws wait a few hours before they see a half-orc enter, order a beer and be served a small bag of coins along with his drink. They follow him across town to the Nine Bells district where he enters the abandoned temple of Pelor.
It starts to rain as the Bear Claws approach. Megan Swiftblade calls to them from the porch of the Temple of Moradin where her and the Freeriders have taken a job as guards. Megan tells them to be careful if they are to confront the Lost Ones, they have a good reason to kill the Bear Claws because somebody has put a price on their heads.
When the Bear Claws enter the temple they see Jalissa tied up in chains in the center of the open room. She sees them and seems relieved that they are here. While they are releasing her there are sounds of a scuffle from one of the other rooms and Mary emerges carrying two short swords. One of them she tosses to Jalissa and she greets the Bear Claws as she approaches. When she is within striking distance she attacks, morphing into her natural form. Both of them are doppelganger assassins and the Lost Ones quickly emerge from the back rooms to attack the Bear Claws in ambush. There are some tense moments before the last of the Lost Ones finally surrenders, unwilling to fight to the death when he is obviously outnumbered.