Last week on the Tuesday game...
The party eventually make their way to the dwarven city of Nihfaldir, where - following the directions in the book that they had liberated from Biblos - they discover that the entrance to the dragon's lair is hidden somewhere within the second tier. Although it is normally restricted only to diplomats and dwarves, they managed to get through the gates with a little diplomacy and some money changing hands.
Although the book describes the entrance fairly well, the party realise that in the intervening years between the author's last visit to Nihfaldir and their own current visit, the city has changed somewhat; the ancient mines have since been repurposed into a merchant's house. They eventually negotiate entry into the tunnels behind the merchant's house, and after making their way through a shockingly linear series of tunnels (interspersed only by a couple of sphinxes, a waterfall of gems, and a myconid colony), they eventually arrive. The scene is surprisingly pastoral, complete with gentle hill and cottage, except that instead of real grass, the ground is covered in a soft spongy layer of algae.
In the cottage, a doddering old dwarf greets the party and makes them welcome. He seems more than happy to answer their questions (and is surprisingly knowledgeable for someone living so far away from civilisation), but he would vehemently insist that he is not a dragon whenever the party would so much as hint at it.
From their conversation, the party learns that Biatos the Eternal - mother of the Red King Kranarax that they had killed - has five disciples that are collectively known as the Talons of Biatos. One of the Talons, the old dwarf tells them, is actively hunting them, and has gone so far as to track them down to Nihfaldir. If they wish to survive, they must not only evade the ambush that has been set for them, but turn the ambush on the hunter and end that threat once and for all.
Exhausted from their long travels through the tunnels, the party rests in the little cottage (which is, of course, in time-honoured fashion, significantly larger on the inside). Sleep came easily, but it was far from dreamless; within moments, the party found themselves pulled into a shared dream, standing before the same pastoral scene that greeted them previously... only now, they were before the barrow instead of the cottage.
Venturing into the barrow, they realise that it's a literal treasure hoard, glittering with gold and priceless treasures as far as the eye can see. When Serrano tries to bring a treasure out of the hoard, however, he is quickly interrupted by Uthoil herself flying down from the roof of the cavern and pinning him to the ground. Keeping the demon-possessed rogue silent by squeezing the air out of his lungs, the dragon interrogates the rest of the party as to what their true intentions really are.
Eventually, albeit with some hemming and hawing, the party convinces Uthoil that they really intend to stop winter and restore the world to its natural balance. She agrees to aid them, but tells them that what they seek - a ritual spell that will restore the mantle of Summer to the Feywild - is currently being held by Biatos: specifically, by one of her disciples. Uthoil will help by drawing Biatos' eye away from them, but the party must face Biatos' Talons and retrieve the spell by themselves.
As they leave the cavern, the party ruminate about what they have learned: specifically, about the ambush that Rasinth Flamekissed, Fifth Talon of Biatos, is doubtlessly setting for them right now back in the city of Nihfaldir. After noticing a few shopkeepers behaving suspiciously, the party decides to ask passersby if they could point them towards a quiet, almost deserted part of town.
Unfortunately, there was exactly where Rasinth wanted them to go. As the party enters Beggar's Alley, a handful of cultists leap at them, and the party quickly cuts them down. This in turn triggers the true ambush: the summoning of a bone devil at the mouth of the alley, sealing them in the alley and turning the entire corridor into a dead-ended death trap.
Thankfully, Alistair manages to locate the summoning sigil and dispel it, causing Rasinth's hold over the devil to break. No longer compelled to fight, the devil flees the scene and rampages through the city instead, allowing the party to flee into a nearby building and regroup there.
As they rest up, the party bribes the beggars to spread the word about where they are currently hiding, in the hopes that Rasinth would learn about this and launch an attack personally. Their plan works, and within a half-hour Rasinth shows up outside Beggar's Alley.
The party cut through what remains of Rasinth's cult with relative ease, and as he tries to flee Serrano catches up to him and guts him with the dread cutlass. Screaming in terror and agony, the cult leader staggers off the lip of the Giant's Steps... and would have fallen if not for Gabriel reaching out and grabbing his corpse, ensuring that it does not disappear into the hands of their other foes and reappear at another less than convenient time.
Before the guards could question them about what they're doing with the body, Serrano drags it to a quiet alleyway and chops it up, scattering the various parts all over the place in time-honoured serial killer fashion. They then return to the dragon who, as promised, teleports them to somewhere near Mt Amarath, where Biatos has her lair.