The stairs along the cliffside of Ironslag already had another party ascending them. Our heroes split into two groups: one to climb the stairs from the bottom and another that started at the top of the stairs and descended. By the time the groups met, they were in a cave halfway up the stairs. Inside, they found the other adventurers recovering from what looked like a surprise encounter with a chimera which killed two of them.
The rising sun revealed the other party as drow, setting everyone on edge. Sashura provided some minor healing as a gesture of goodwill and the drow told him that they were on their way to meet with Duke Zalto about a job. The two groups parted ways carefully.
Upon reaching the mountaintop, the party found a village of Yakfolk, who welcomed them into the cheif's hut for a modest feast. After a time, word came that Duke Zalto would meet with them.
On the way through the giant's forge, Bryn and Corvyn noticed several collosal pieces of armor, too large even for a giant.
The party was introduced to Duke Zalto and they asked for his help to get to King Hekaton's court. He said that he would help them if they did a job for him first: acquiring a flame primordial named
Maegera. If they capture it in the
Iron Flask he gave them and bring it back to Ironslag then he would allow them the use of his conch to get to Maelstrom and prepare them for court.