Once our Heroes finished taking stock of their newfound treasure, they commenced an interrogation of the Halfling assailant. From Brulio, for this was his name, the Party discovered that he was a member of the Invisible Hand, a guild of thieves based out of Eadmont and New Alsben. Brulio's mission was to kill anyone he found within the tower and take the Black Scroll that was formerly in Malavar's posession. Several other members of the guild had been sent on similar missions, most recently to Dar Gwynnol. The Halfling also alluded to a hideout of the Invisible Hand that could be found in New Alsben. Deciding that they had heard enough, our Heroes locked Brulio in the magical cells found in the tower and headed for the nearby village.
Our heroes walked through an empty farm, arriving at what they discovered to be the village of Melibor, and eventually came to a tavern called the Outsign Inn, formerly the Painter's Brush. There, the Party found Lafayette, who had followed them from New Alsben along with two other adventurers who were staying in the tavern. From the locals (Micah, the Halfling village guard, and Hasinel, the Elven innkeeper), they learned that there had been strange sightings around town for the last couple months, and that the nearby Tower of Dar Tara had disappeared within a cloud of black smoke until last night. The hooded figure from the Raven Inn had also been sighted in the Inn, but had left the night before heading west. Furthermore, ever since the tower reappeared, there had been unexplained tremors in the ground.
As one such tremor hit the village, our Heroes looked outside to find the source. They didn't have long to wait, however, as a Bulette erupted from the ground and swallowed the blacksmith. The Party fought the monster through the streets of the village with the help of Micah and cornered it outside the Inn. Korrigan managed to save Granny Reba from the same grisly fate as the blacksmith as the Bulette was finally brought down.
After the fight, Ahna and Micah extracted the body of the blacksmith and prepared for a burial. As Micah left to get his family, Ahna decided to use a spell she saw on the Black Scroll to bring the dead blacksmith back to life. The spell worked, although was a form of Dark Magic, causing Ahna's holy symbol to burn. Micah offered a reward for saving the blacksmith's life, but Ahna refused and traveled with the Party back to Dar Tara.
Our Heroes deliberated on what action to take next, but were interrupted by the sudden appearance of a figure clad in scarlet robes flanked by two Ogre Zombies. He claimed to represent a man named Thanatis, who was interested in the Black Scrolls and offered 1,000gp to each of the Party Members in exchange for it. Our heroes negotiated and asked for one hour to decide about the Scroll. The man accepted, and teleported away. However, once Orutan attempted to damage the scroll, the man and his necromantic bodyguards reappeared and attacked. A pitched battle ensued, and beguiled by the man's magic, Orutan and Korrigan gave him the scroll before he teleported again. The Ogres were quickly defeated and the Party was left wounded and demoralized. Looking for answers, they decided to persue the hooded figure…