The clan of hill dwarves were right. There was a vast trove of food supplies in the caves to the west. And after defeating not one, but TWO dragons, the swarms of bees were more of an annoyance than a real challenge, especially after the party cleverly decided to smoke the hive first to make the insects more docile. The party and their band of refugees were able to collect enough of the sweet honey to sustain the entire group for at least two weeks. Morale amongst the refugees improved as the party plotted a course south to try to find at least a temporary reprieve while the heroes searched for the key to the mountain dwarves home.
Along the way, each night the team spoke with the heads of the various factions of the refugees. Whether it was the renewed hope of having a destination, the certainty of having enough supplies, or perhaps the gods were truly smiling down on them, the party was able to improve morale throughout the camps. The one exception were the Free Folk – they had been surly for some time and their leader unwilling to cooperate in any meaningful way.
Telia and Fass reported of some strange interactions after visiting the free folk. Sin volunteered to put his skills to use, but Kyriel was able to convince the assassin that they should hold off on that course of action… at least for now. Dunk instead demonstrated to the Free Folk the true power of the gods by surrounding their leader in a Zone of Truth, compelling him to reveal his true intentions. While he said he would not do direct harm to the party or their charges, he and his followers had a firm belief that all was lost and all of them would soon perish. As disconcerting as this was, the entire group was able to live in peace with the Free Folks promise of not disrupting that peace.
Eventually, and without any other major incident, the caravan successfully made their journey through the hills and mountains along the western edge of the region, through a final pass until they were greeted by a virtual paradise. The valley they had chosen proved to be everything they required and more – fish and game were plentiful; forests for materials were nearby; and the leeward side of the mountains provided an amount of protection from the harshest of the natural elements. The refugees should be able to sustain themselves here for some time, although perhaps not permanently as there is still the concern of the dragonman armies heading south. However, the heroes should have time to explore the swampy lands further east in search of the ruined Tower of Fistandantilus and the key to Thorbardin. The next question is whether the reclusive Mountain Dwarves will be willing to welcome these scraggly humans or if they will leave them to their fates at the hands of the oncoming horde.