There were some rumors of troubles with orcs far to the west, and that the city of Overlook was looking for adventurers and mercenaries. The group decided to travel to Overlook. As they approached the foothills to the mountains which protected the Elsir Vale from the hordes of orcs on the other side, Fulk noticed a gathering of carrion birds some distance off the road. Investigating, they found a human close to death. They stabilized him and got him to a nearby town, and the next morning he was well enough to tell them his story.
He had been with a caravan traveling the back trails. They had been attacked by kobolds, led by a kobold wizard. The kobolds had seemed to know exactly what they were after – the most expensive piece of merchandise in the caravan, a jade chalice – and had retreated after getting it, inflicting minimal casualties. Unfortunately for the caravan, their bad luck was not over for the day, as soon they were again beset, this time by a group of orcs which had somehow gotten over the mountains. The merchants tried to buy their lives by telling the orcs about the kobolds and the chalice, but the orcs slaughtered them nonetheless. The man had received a vicious wound which had rendered him unconscious, but he regained consciousness some time later, as the orcs had been sloppy and not made sure everybody was dead. The man tried to make it to the main road, but his strength had failed him before he made it.
The group debated for a short time whether this was something they could do anything about, but ultimately decided to go after the orcs. Fulk’s great outdoor skills allowed them not only to follow the orcs, but to take some shortcuts the orcs had missed, gaining a great deal of time on the orcs.
They made their way to the kobolds’ lair, an abandoned dwarven outpost in Talon Pass. They found the entrance already broken open by the orcs, and soon came upon a group of orcs recovering from a battle with the kobolds. The group defeated the orcs, not even letting their pet wolves run away. In the next room, they found an orc pinned down by kobold slingers. The kobolds quickly turned their attention to the newcomers, calling for reinforcements, and the orc attempted to break free. A pair of kobold warriors soon entered, but both orc and kobolds were soon defeated, with one of the slingers succeeding in retreating.
They soon faced the slinger and another group of kobolds in the next pair of rooms. The rooms were separated by a set of curtains, which Fulk promptly tore down, which helped the group focus their fire. After defeating the kobolds, the group descended down a flight of stairs. The first room they found was empty, but in the next chamber, they found an imp who tried to goad the group into approaching him across some rubble. The attempt failed, and the imp was soon severely injured by ranged attacks. The imp descended and a trio of metallic dogs attacked from around the corner. The imp reappeared in the middle of the combat and was swiftly slain. After the dogs were defeated, the group explored a set of rooms which had apparently been inhabited by the kobold leaders. In one chest they found a dwarven holy symbol which had apparently been too valuable to throw away and too repugnant to keep close.
Proceeding through a pair of double doors and down a flight of stairs and through another set of double doors, the group found themselves at the bottom of pit with spikes on the walls and sets of ladders to a second level, but no easy way to the top. A voice declared that they would be tested to see if they would win the Jade Chalice. Subsequently, wall panels opened which released first zombies, then guard drakes, and finally a blazing skeleton. Meanwhile their tormentor, a kobold wizard, would sometimes appear and cast down spells at them, along with a magical crossbow on a tripod. Fulk and Usgald made their way up walls of the pit to try to get at the wizard, while the rest of the group dealt with the threats in the pit. Strange magical effects kept happening to those within the pit, but the adventurers ultimately prevailed, defeating the kobold menace and winning the Jade Chalice.