After returning to the city and reporting what news the party had discovered deep in the mines regarding the fire giant, Roykl and his kingdom, the party was informed that Athenon and the guards charged with transporting Mercer Loren, son of the Queen of Pine March, back from the front lines to be held until negotiations with Pine March could be established, had not been heard from since arriving at the Quarry village of Faern Groht (Home of Stone). Upon hearing this, the group decided it would be best to investigate and went southeast to Faern Groht. As they began to get closer, the party, Hemingar particularly, began to feel as though they were being watched, and began to see shadows in the night. Upon arrival at the quarry, Tawn noticed that the entire village was far far to quiet, and began to sneakily look around, finding a large sink hole in one area, and a pit full of bodies in another, which reminded her of Lowhill, her home town.
While investigating the pit, they noticed movement in it, and attempted to pull whoever was living from the soon to be mass grave. They were able to pull Athenon, barely clinging to life from the pit, only to find that Tawna had snuck off again, and had found something else, freshly created Zombies, wearing the colors and armor of Duram, and in charge of them, was a Mercer, caught somewhere between life and death, his face mangled, and floating just inches off the ground.
In a brief exchange, he noted that his mother was not pleased with his capture, and that this was his punishment for his failure to acquire the Princess Amberle. Though, how the Queen was able to enact this punishment from such a distance is a mystery to the party. Mercer attacked Tawna, sending her rushing back to the rest of the group, only to be restrained by the shadowy tentacles of Grave Bolts.
A battle ensued, with multiple Zombies exiting from ramshackle buildings on the southern side of the small village and attacking, along with one beside Mercer. Hemingar rushed the sudo undead warlock, attempting to draw his attention from the halfling Tawna, while Nairb and his Spiders attacked, and Nordred tended briefly to his dying brother.
The fight was over relatively quickly, Mercer, sensing this would not end the way he had hoped, cast a spell, and turned into a gaseous cloud before fleeing into a nearby hard to reach abandoned Dwarven Citadel. The party cleaned up the remainder of the Zombies, and decided to rest, as the fight had taxed them.
During the night, Nordred and Nairb noticed several times on their watches, shadows creeping about, popping out of the sink hole and back in, and the eerie sense of being constantly watched. When they awoke, they made their way to the Dwarven face shaped inset door in the cliff above.