The group continued back towards Dragonsfoot, stopping to investigate buzzards circling a pair of bodies off the trail. After driving the giant and normal sized buzzards off, the group examined the deceased. Two women in all-white dresses with white veils had been throttled by something, necks unbloodied but badly bruised and abraded. Puzzled at this discovery, the group turned south away from Sanctuary and towards Cauldronford. The mystery was partially solved as the group was besieged by four wights during the night, two former Iron Knights and two (relatively weak) females in tattered and bloody white gowns with bruised necks. After a desperate fight with burning logs, magic weapons, and a failed turning attempt, the trader Yuros was killed and Geofric was drained of one level. To avoid propagating the wights, the group burned all of the deceased despite the risk of alerting others.
The next day the band arrived at the humble motte-and-bailey farmstead of Cauldronford. In the so-called "Mudbug Tavern" the group heard about a band of local heroes that saved the town from the depredations of a horrible minotaur and continued on to adventure in the Hollow Hills mines, minus two members, an elf and a dwarf, who mysteriously disappeared on the road to Ironkeep. The locals also mentioned Dweomerdays, the two days in the second weeks of Icebreak and Snowebb, when the Starmoon and Firemoon are at half phase and the border between the Prime Tangible and the Faerie Sphere are at their weakest. When the Leafmoon is also at half phase, and if the Seamoon also happens to be at half phase, the ruin of the Palace of the Dweomer Princess becomes material and can be entered- many have over the years and none have yet returned. A gaunt man and woman in chain armor were also there, preparing to enter the Dweomer Princess' palace.
The other occupants of the Mudbug were a cheerful mongrelman named Kiewok and his hooded, taciturn companion. Only after deciding to continue to Dragonsfoot together did it become clear that the hooded misanthrope was the infamous Leper, subject to bounty by the Ironkeep Thieves' Guild for stealing "something". The new companions were anxious to leave town quickly, so after a quick trip through the Ironvale Bazaar (and purchase of a few potions and some noxious gnome cheese and an enameled metal can in which to carry it) the gang marched on towards Dragonsfoot.
There the group heard more about Dweomerdays and the Palace of the Dweomer Princess and Brother Meagol (curate of the Circle of the Wolf) told of a Mask of Restoration rumored to be able to reverse the effects of energy drain and explained the Dragonbrides of Sanctuary, pledged to mollify an ancient dragon who no longer claims them and now held safely there by a sect of Quoddess priestesses. Detmar fruitlessly searched for plate mail armor, only to learn that smiths capable of producing it are rare to vanishing along the Iron Trail, worth far more than their weight in gold. Finally, Calveric met with Cortchet and learned a new spell (phantasmal force). Cortchet also provided a bit of information about the Mythus Mage and his Eldritch Hexad, located somewhere due west of Ironkeep. He also speculated that a sage might be able to divine or deduce the command word to open the tiny chest.
The evening ended with a brief scuffle when Kiewok decided to stay with the group but Leper activated his stolen cloak and boots and headed for the door. Detmar quickly doused him with a handful of flour and Calveric blasted him with his wand of paralyzation.
The group now ponders his fate and theirs, considering exploring the Palace of the Dweomer Princess, the Hollow Hills, finding the ruins of the Eldritch Hexad, or moving on to Ironkeep before trying any of them…