- Morvar Ironsides the Dwarven Warden, Redgar the Human Warlord, Swift Moon the Elven Druid, and Trygon the Dragonborn Blackguard are dispatched by their respective governments to a remote location in the Thri-Kreen Dessert to meet with Catran Vanlanthiriel the Half-Elf eldress renowned for her skill in high level diplomatic missions.
- Catran briefs the four strangers on their mission to travel to meet Hargen Firebeard the King of the Dwarves and convince him to end his madness and stop the Dwarven Civil War. She leads the party to a small squadron of Drake Mounts capable of flying long distances over the Ironside Mountains. Once aloft, they fly towards the Dwarven Capital of Ironside, a city hewn into the very heart of the greatest mountain in the world.
- The route to Ironside takes the adventurers directly above the Elemental Node that bridges the Prime and Elemental planes. The pristine day is interrupted by an expulsion of elemental energy that shoots up from the node. The Drake mounts are overwhelmed by the chaotic storm of elemental enemies. These primal beings are so bent on destroying the material beings that they do not simply let them fall to the ground. Several hours are spent in a gradual descent fighting through a desperate series of challengers: wind, water, fire, and earth. Although ultimately successful, Catran is almost lost to death in the battle of fire, and is gravely in need of healing.
- On the ground, the party continues their journey to Ironside on foot, as it is not far to the Longclimb entrance of the Dwarven capital. Catrans condition worsens and the missions success in doubt.
- The journey through the mountains is both arduous and dangerous. Despite their cautions, the party is startled by a young Goliath named Ganzorig Udvar who begs the party to divert their course to save his father. Swift Moon is strong in his protest, but the party will help with or without him. They find the distressed Goliath held aloft by ropes, spread eagle above a spiked pit. Ganzorig explains that his father had been captured by a group of Orcs who found it amusing to leave him to his death this way. Although alive, his immense weight makes it impossible for one man – or even Goliath to extricate him. Luckily, the adventurers have great strength between them, and Trygon, Redgar, Morvar, and the young Goliath take up positions at each limb and prepare to lift. Swift Moon thinks the venture ill-advised, and takes the unconscious Catran and keeps watch in a hidden grove overlooking the area. As the heroes lift the massive Goliath, a loose piece of gravel disturbs a group of Giant Mountain Centipedes who proceed to try and eat everyone in sight. The four fight the poisonous creatures one handed while hauling their massive load to safety.
- With his bindings cut, the immense Goliath introduces himself as Ganbold, chief of the Udvar tribe of Goliaths. He tells the emisaries of recent incursions by Orcs, previously unheard of that far to the west. He pledges the enduring support of his tribe to help pay the debt he owes for his life.
- Moving quickly, the team finds themselves overlooking a gap in the mountains used for quick overland travel by ancient Dwarves. The gap is flanked by towers once used to regulate traffic across the mountain range. On the plain of the valley floor, a militia of Dwarves and one of Genasi are squared off looking to treat with violence. Unbeknownst to either combatant, a group of Orcish archers have infiltrated the two towers, and lay in ambush to finish off whichever opposing side prevailed. With a cry of warning, the adventurers leap down from the ledge causing great damage to themselves in the resulting fall. They manage to rally Dwarf and Genasi factions against the greater Orc menace and when the dust settles, every Orc is slain. The two sides realize the error of their ways, vowing their lives, fortune, and sacred honor to help end this great civil war. But will the party deliver Catran before her life force slips away? If not, all is lost…
The Diplomatic Mission to Ironside Mountain (Part 1)