Reaching Northtown, Malchi was introduced to Captain Lunean, a well groomed and professional captain who was a personal aid to general Thane. Northtown was gathering together many troops, even from the local barons, in case the Dark Queen's forces came north past Heart City.
Captain Lunean wished the group to travel to the Mountain of Brown Fires in the Heart Mountains, to deliver a scroll that contained information on possible encounters with the dark Queen's forces. He insisted on a small, fast group. Malachi did as he was ordered, and prepared a group made of himself, Zerek, and Kerrick.
The Mountain of Brown Fire
The Mountain of Brown Fire gained it's name in the Great War, when many mountain giants were killed and burned on the mountain. Great fires that burned with an odd brownish color stayed alight for days. since then, this mountain has been named after those famous flames.
The travel to the mountain was not very difficult. Along the way, malachi and his two companions met Lt. Nathinal Fallen, nephew to the famous Sir Fallen who almost took over the kingdom, and his companion Father Makan. Nathinal wants nothing more than to somehow make up for what he sees as a great dishonor by his uncle.
Once in the mountains, the heroes noticed something strange going on with thier horses. They soon realized that their steeds were poisoned. Soon after, the horses died, and the heroes had to walk toward their goal.
Even worse, Rotan of the Black Hagglers attacked, posioning Malachi and his men. They now had no way to get back to a city and only a few hours to live before the poison killed them. With Rotan on thier heels, they tried to steal his horses and escape, only to find that he had killed his steeds and that they were becomming more and more lost as they tried to make thier escape.
Finally, they had to strike a bargin with Rotan to save thier lives. If he would spare them by giving them the cure to the poison or a way to live, they would give him one of the jewels they possessed.
Of course, Rotan could have waited for the heroes to die and take thier belongings, but he decided it was best to take the jewel now, and then collect a reward for the live heroes if he could later! he accepted, and told the heroes the way to the fortress they sought to begin with, and told them that there was a herbalist there that could cure them.
The heroes did survive, although Zerek came very close to death. As soon as they were able, they quickly traveled to Northtown.
Once there, they decided to trust Captain Lunean with their information, even though they knew that someone in the city has poisoned thier horses. They suspected Lt. Lane.
Their suspicions were correct, and they also discovered a doppleganger in the mist of the captain's minions. In a harsh battle, they were able to kill both the doppleganger and Lt. Lane, thanks to the captain's archers.
The heroes stayed and helped the captain discover the location of some of the hideouts of the Black hagglers, and where Rtan and Vilos once were (although they were now departed for other cities). Apparently Vilos killed 10 men while in the city for "revenge" agains the captain and his forces.
Dismayed that the dark Queen and the Black hagglers might be working together, the group saw little choice but to keep searching for the Rods, and left Northtown, heading east toward the area south of Seatown. the Rods were pulling in that direction.