Leaving the Slaughtered Stag and its resident drake behind, the party began the day long journey back to Red Larch. The trek was uneventful until late in the afternoon when a severe earthquake struck, creating a massive crevasse which forced the group to divert from the road, adding hours to their journey.
Breeze flew on ahead, concerned that Red Larch may have been damaged by the quake. Arriving at the village, his fears were confirmed. The clearing where the circus had encamped had been partially obliterated by a massive sinkhole, and a scene of chaos unfolded below. Among the rushing figures, Breeze was able to catch sight of Secomber Jon (“Sec”) Richhome frantically trying to see to the safety of both fellow performers and his beloved animals.
A crowd from the village had gathered around the sinkhole, and Constable Harburk Tuthmarillar was trying his best to maintain order with a handful of militiamen. Several of the waqons had fallen into the thirty foot deep pit as well as some village children.
The rest of the party arrived on the scene as Breeze began to organize efforts to get a rope lowered to assist in aiding any survivors who might be trapped below. A small group of townsfolk, led by the surly wagon merchant Ilmeth Waelvur were arguing that outsiders (namely the player characters) should not be assisting in the rescue. Mutters could be heard, including the cryptic phrase “They must not disturb the Delvers”.
Harburk was having none of the nonsense and quickly intervened on the party’s behalf, yelling harshly at Ilmeth and his cronies to disperse while the newly appointed deputies did their job with the constable’s blessing.
The group wasted no time descending into the pit and were surprised to find a door of worked stone in the large cavern below and evidence of more mysterious dwarven ruins similar to those they had encountered previously at the Brandyfoot Farm.
Of more immediate concern however were the smashed wagons, dead horses, and the two small children who had miraculously survived the fall with only superficial injuries by landing on a loose mound of dirt which formed when the ground above had collapsed.