The six companions, 5 dwarves and 1 reincarnated blink dog, entered Mendev after traveling for weeks. One purpose they had: finding artifacts and glory within Rappan Athuk.
- The weather began to turn sour. Snow was in the air.
- The city of Egede in Mendev assaulted the senses with activity. The Fourth Crusade was alive and well. Though the church of Iomedae and her holy paladins seemed in control, “low templars” and mercenaries of a varied sort filled the street. Those seeking wealth and glory in the World Wound far outnumbered the holy crusaders who commanded them.
- Paladins carrying a man bound in cold-iron chains stopped as the man’s head exploded in the middle of the street and the crusaders hacked the emerging demon apart. The party recognized it as a nascent hezrou demon.
- A dwarf bumped into the party and yelled, “Choose your own death, my friends!” He laughed and moved on.
- Egede seemed to suffer from the activity of sending troops to the World Wound to protect the Ward Stones. Drunk mercenaries were passed out in the park. Trash and the smell of rotting vegetation filled the air.
- A government office seemed prominent in Egede, beckoning new-comers to join the Fourth Crusade. The party found one Crusader Captain Venreim inside. After attempting to sign them to march to the front and protect the Ward Stones, the Crusader admitted they knew little of Rappan Athuk and would be thankful for more information. The dungeon seemed to appear out of the mists no more than eight months ago. Three patrols had been sent and still no word. Undead, trolls, bandits and cultists of Orcus, demon prince of the undead, were said to populate the area 100 miles north of Egede. He offered rewards for information and help.
- On day one, after camping for the night, the party encountered Horace and his band of men, deserters from the crusade. They killed Horace and drove them off.
- A couple days later, a mob of 25 zombies attacked, nearly overwhelming them. Hacking and biting through rotten flesh, the party defeated the menace and pressed onward.
- The sunken graveyard loomed near. They looked in the well, examining the claw marks indicating a beast of some size had tried to claw its way up from the depths. Azrond threw a stone into the well and listened to the echo as it dropped into some unseen lake of darkness.
- Hiso passed through a dwarf statue, finding a hidden compartment. Inside was a large wrought-iron key. They kept the key though found no immediate use.
- They avoided many rat tunnels, though the creatures peered out to examine them.
- Booted prints were common-place. They searched two mausoleums and left a third, the largest, alone. One of the smaller was empty, long-ago looted. The second seemed to contain the horde of some group or creature. After looting, they found excavated rat tunnels leading underground. They travleed them and found themselves in a cavern complex underground.
- Rough-hewn stairs led down into darkness.
- Within minutes, rat swarms and dire rats surrounded them. After dispatching, they headed north, bypassing an underground river that led into darkness. Wererats ambushed the party, emerging as a mound of earth collapsed and hurt them. Poisoned bolts flew from the darkness. The cowardly creatures shapeshifted and fled into tiny tunnels, severely wounding the heroes.
They looted the wererat nest. Slurping sounds and miasmic movement came from the east. Stench of filth and disease filled the cavern.