The Companions had stopped, needing to explain themselves to the Hylar dwarf warrior, Arman Kharas, justifying their presence in the underground complex of Northgate, the defensible entrance to the kingdom of Thorbardin. Arthur, wearing the Helm of Grallen — and using his irda powers to mimic the form of the long dead dwarf — explained dragons had returned and war had come to the surface. Arman said he would escort the heroes to the Council of Thanes. Arman was a Hylar prince, descendant and namesake of the great dwarven hero, Kharas who was the last wielder of the legendary family hammer.
Meanwhile, at the Hopeful Vale, Elistan fell ill as he was spiritually assaulted by Verminaard and his dark goddess. Eben volunteered to travel to Thorbardin and warn the heroes.
After travelling through Northate for some time, Arman’s scouts returned, having found the location of the Thiewar prison. Arman’s half-brother, Pick, had been captured and needed rescuing. The Hylar prince suggesting using his troops to attract the bulk of the Thiewar forces, while the heroes assaulted the prison proper. After climbing down a transport tunnel, the Companion saw the prison: a sheer stone wall with a single gate. Gauraux and Wilder Spirit scaled the wall, while Elsebeth and Tictok flew over. Arthur just magically reshaped the stone to gain access, letting Arman rush forward. After dispatching the crossbowmen on the wall, the group faced the captain of the guard, mounted on a dire boar. Arthur used his healing powers to aid the injured Arman.
Having defeated the Thiewar and fleeing with Pick, the Companions snuck through the tunnels and complexes of the city, eventually making their way to one of the large warrens that produced the crops the feed the kingdom. The next morning the group reached Hybardin and met with the Council of Thanes. The Thanes were impressed by Elsebeth’s words and Arthur’s tales of the return of Reorx. The Companions pushed for the potential return of the Clan of the Dead, which would act as a tie breaker for the deadlocked council. Having heard their words, the council tasked them with laying Grallen to rest. They also spoke of the Hammer of Kharas, as legend said it would not be rediscovered until there was a new High Thane. Since war was coming and leadership was needed, the Council tasked the Companion with finding the Hammer and thus proving themselves.
The heroes entered the Valley of Thanes and laid Grallen to rest, and soon discovered the magical archway that teleported them into the tomb of the long-dead dwarven king. They were surprised to discover Duncan’s tomb now floated over the valley, having been magically raised into the air! The late beneath was partially the result of the massive structure and surrounding stone being wrenched into the air.
Exploring Duncan’s tomb, the Companions encountered several mysterious features, such as moving objects, greased steps, and everything they checked detecting as magical. They also discovered a sleeping dwarf who claimed to be Kharas, although he was not nearly old enough and had a beard. Moving swiftly through the corridors, escaping traps, the group eventually found the Hammer atop a tall shaft. Tictok flew up and retrieved the Hammer of Kharas, and the others joined him on the highest level of the tomb. They found the body of the real Kharas, and the dwarf following them admitted to only being the guardian of the tomb.
Then, the giant red dragon Ember appeared! The dwarf that had claimed to be Kharas revealed himself as Evenstar, a gold dragon. Evenstar refused to fight as he had vowed only to defend the tomb, and was bound by “the Oath”, which he refused to discuss.
Else took down an old flagpole, apparently having been fashioned from an old and unusual lance, and braced to receive a charge. Gauraux and Wisp peppered the dragon with arrows, while Arthur used his magic to protect the party from fire. The dragon began with a cone of fire that engulfed Arthur and Wilder Spirit. Tictok hurled several flasks of alchemical frost onto the dragon badly hurting the wyrrn. Arthur used powerful magic to wrack it with guilt, paralyzing the wyrm. The tinkerer gnome then tossed a couple of tanglefoot bags that ensnared the dragon, limiting its flight. Before it could reach the safety of a ledge, Arthur stunned the beast again causing it to plummet 400 feet down.
As the dragon flew back up to return to battle, Gauraux, Wisp, and Else jumped off the tomb, striking it as they flew past. Else struck with the lance while falling, landing a devastating blow that shattered the worn lance, really an ancient dragonlance! Tictok used a flying device of the knight, while he and the minotaur fell like feathers. Wisp just grabbed a hold of the dragon, clawing herself onto its back.
Still alive, Ember flew atop the tomb and focused its fury on Arthur, at the same time dislodging Wisp who fell. Thankfully, Elsebeth caught the elf in midair. Alone, Arthur tried to fight, but was quickly defeated, devoured whole by the dragon. As he fell, Tictok unleashed a final spell that slew the dragon, dropping it into the lake. The Companions swam down to retrieve the fallen body of Arthur, barely alive and now in his irda form. Wilder Spirit recognized the form, but did not judge, and helped the barely alive Arthur to his feet. To their horror, they realized the holy man had lost an arm during the struggle.
The Companions limped back to Thorbardin, triumphantly wielding the Hammer of Kharas.