After a brief rest, the party moved on up the stairs. No locked doors or traps were to be had and the first two rooms were empty. A barracks for laborers and a kitchen that had just seen some use….there was even some stew still simmering on the stove….along with the remnants of the ingredients. There was one room that was closed by heavy curtains that an occasional strong breeze would part them just long enough for the T’Maethra Arkhenneld to get a peek at a group of humans, mixed laborers, guards and a wizard, eating dinner. After discussing a number of possible plans, the Heroes decided to bring a table into the main hallway from the barracks to partially block the way and provide cover if needed. In a surprise attack, both T’Maethra Arkhenneld and Mahaelis Kreigen took sneak attacks against the mage, hoping to bring him down quickly…..but he was tougher then he looked. He was damaged and even poisoned but stood his ground. As Mahaelis Kreigen retreated into the hallway, she used her burning sphere to block part of the hallway and burn down the curtains. T’Maethra Arkhenneld took the quickly vanishing cover of the curtains to duck inside of the barracks and hide, hoping to sneak in behind the soon to be approaching Baneites. The plan worked well….too well, as all but one of the laborers was killed quickly, causing the Mage to send the lone remaining laborer for help. After a bit of a battle, the mage was killed only to have 2 guards and a rogue take his place. After a brief panic, the rogue was killed and his two companions shortly after. The party rested and then began to scour the rest of the stronghold for the missing Darvon Basha and the laborer. They discovered and looted another barracks and then found the master of the stronghold’s apartment….with him and two guards ready for them. A tough fight ensued with all of the party members being injured, some heavily. Once the cleric and his guards were killed, his office was looted where they found Baneite stationery, orders to move Darvon Basha and all of his possessions to a cave on the northern side of the Cloud Peaks, complete with directions! Also found were 3 obsidian statues, one each of Bane, Bhaal and Cyric…which were examined and destroyed to see if they contained anything. Now completely drained of all energy and recovering from their wounds, the party decided to hide back in the room with the secret door in the caves. As they were planning how to replace the bookshelves, the Giants that were guarding the gates came into the hallway, looking most quizzical. Quickly realizing they were not being attacked, the party claimed that the giant’s masters were dead…..the giants only spoke one word…“Proof!”. Helben Swede went and retrieved the cleric as “proof” and after a few words among themselves, the giants spoke again…..and again with a short reply….200 gold…each….the moneys were paid and the giants left. Realizing that from the great hall the giants had entered in had the front door open, the searched the rest of the building interior, finding neither Darvon or the laborer. They then did a long search for secret rooms, finding none. All that was left was to search the courtyard grounds and towers, no sign of either again, until a light was spotted miles down the road, heading away from the stronghold. With the letter being dated three days in the past, the party felt confident that there was not much of a head start and that they would take an extended rest and then travel back into the mountain to tell the Orin’Rivvin Clan that they were successful and also to reclaim their steeds.