As The Kraken’s Keepsake approaches Stormreach, Ballast and Spark search the belongings (and bodies) of their deceased comrades, discovering Alarich’s dragonmark and noble background, and Jin’s journal of stolen mystical findings that might benefit from translation. Then, after too long, the city of Stormreach comes into view – clusters of modern, human-sized buildings clinging to the roots of ancient giant ruins, a sprawl of ramshackle and ever-shifting buildings wrapped together with rope and regret.
Two witnesses watch the ship dock and the warforged disembark:
- Sláine, a human from the Iron Soul monastery in ravaged Cyre, now in Stormreach with her master Áedan to pit themselves against hardship and seek answers to the mystery of the Mourning
- Kaddik, a half-orc tracker (and alchemical crossbow expert) in league with House Tharashk, searching for his missing mentor Marik’aashta whose trail led from the Shadow Marches to the shores of Xen’drik
The warforged set out to explore the city and sell the antiquities they found on the Island of the Writhing Horde; they meet with Kaddik, who wants to hire non-local adventurers to help him break into a warehouse where he believes Marik might be held. He shows the newcomers around a little, and they agree to meet with him later. Meanwhile, Sláine returns to the Temple District to speak to Áedan, who has heard the rumours of death magic and evil cults befalling The Kraken’s Keepsake – could this be connected to the Mourning? He asks Slaine to meet with the warforged, while he examines the bodies of the two dead adventurers.
Eventually, the four heroes end up in the Rusty Nail (Stormreach’s only tavern serving warforged ‘alcohol’) where Kaddik ropes them into his mission. They break into the warehouse, fighting their way past a Liondrake’s Roar unit (monstrous mercenaries in service to House Tharashk) to get to the basement, where a House mercenary and a masked woman argue over money next to a pair of unearthly beasts like flying octopuses made of boiling mist. In the battle that follows, the woman draws on the dead-gray mists of the Mournland and the creatures nearly devour the minds of the heroes, but the adventurers finally prevail. At Sláine’s insistence, they bring the surviving mercenaries back to her inn for questioning – only to find Áedan cut to pieces and near death.