Having just defeated the bandits in the basement of the Lucky Monkey, the group took a quick rest. Searching the bodies and the area, they saw that the basement was the scene of an earlier and fierce fight. Exploring further, the group found the body of Sarcem Delasharn, his head missing, as well as a young elf, Shensen, who had locked herself in the inn’s cold storage to escape the bandits. She identified herself as a Strider of Avandra and saw to the temple here at the inn. The missing ritual components were nowhere to be found. Shensen described a striking redhead who lead the bandits, but no one the group had encountered yet.
They escorted her back through the inn, where a brief fight ensued with the remaining bandits. Handily defeating the badits, the Eldritch Blades returned to Cauldron with Shensen and many questions.
The group started their investigation into who this mystery redhead might be. Some hijinks ensued and many false leads, though the group were able to identify the woman as Triel Eldurast, a one-time town guard of Cauldron who escaped punishment after murdering several of her fellow guards while on duty. This event took place nearly a decade ago, so the specifics of the incident had grown hazy in the memories of the people of Cauldron. The group were ultimately put in contact with a local fence, Artus Shemwick. After some persuasion, he was able to identify Triel and her whereabouts in a subterranean ruin below Cauldron and the means to reach it.
With that knowledge in hand, the group set out the next morning to confront Triel and retrieve the missing ritual components.
Per Artus’ directions, the group followed an old lava tube on the side of the mountain Cauldron sat atop. The lava tube curved and meandered, but always down further under the mountain. Eventually, the lava tube opened out onto a ledge overlooking a cavern of immense proportions. A large suspended cage stood ready to carry them down to the cavern floor, across the acrid, phosphorescent lake below them. Also on the ledge, carved from the rock was a stone structure. Listening at the door, Linden could hear voices.