Something had cut off the Old North Road in the vicinity of the Blackfens. Noen could flee by that route, nor could help from more distant cities reach besieged Elsir Vale. While scouting the swamp and seeking an answer to the question of who or what had cut off the road, the heroes encountered the reclusive owl-riding wild elves known as the Tiri Kitor. From them, the heroes learned that Wyrmlord Saarvith had allied with a black dragon named Regiarax, and together they had established a hatchery of sinister dragonspawn in the ruins of the drowned city of Rhest.
The heroes discovered the threat of the Ghostlord. Meanwhile, the horde was striking deep all across the vale's western marches, and the war was going poorly indeed for the beleagured humans.