On returning to the dragon cult, the Talons of Tresendar found the camp to be largely abandoned, bar a light guard surrounding the hatchery itself. They waltzed unopposed into the camp, slaying the guards at the entrance to the hatchery before following the path Adaven had scouted on his previous visit.
After fighting a larger group of cultists and Dragonclaws, who were eliminated thanks to a well-placed shatter spell from Tarlach Malthar coupled with some equally well placed strikes from Grey. Adaven then led them to the Wearer of Purple’s inner sanctum, where they uncovered a secret hatch leading into the depths of the cavern. The Talons climbed down the rope ladder and tumbled out into a large cavern, covered with relief carvings of dragons, the black dragons being noticeably more detailed. Standing in the centre of the room, her hands playing across an orb of pulsing black energy stood the Wearer of Purple herself, Frulam Mondath.
Frulam Mondath moved to attack immediately, ordering two lumbering Dragonborn warriors to engage the Talons in melee combat. The Dragonborn made the mistake of crossing swords with Grey, who wasted no time in cutting them down, with a modicum of help from Adaven, who slung spells at the trio of enemies, whittling them down. Soon the trio of enemies fell, despite the orb feeding on the wounds of the Talons, and directing the leached life energy into the desperate Frulam Mondath. Even with the aid of her twisted magic, she soon fell.
A small box lay under the orb of darkness, and whilst opening it, Tarlach Malthar triggered a trap, poisoning himself in the process. Despite this minor setback, the Talons were soon rested enough to push further into the interior of the Hatchery. Their exploration took then into a large cave with a sharp slope down to a lower level, the entrance covered with a thick cage. A malnourished band of Kobolds began a half-hearted attack from the darkened corner of the room, but were soon crushed. The Talons noticed a couple of the Attack Drakes that had been present during the siege, these were slightly larger however, and a set of collars and leashes nearby suggested they had been tamed to some degree. Dragon eggs littered the far corners of the cavern, their ominous forms illuminated by a series of pale blue lights at the perimeter of the room.
Whilst investigating the cavern, the Talons were then assaulted by a roper, a vicious stone-like creature who’s strength sapping tentacles pulled prey in to a gigantic maw. The Talons managed to fight the creature to an impasse, and convinced it to let them go in exchange for a supply of food (the corpses of cultists and kobolds alike sufficed). The Roper, happy with its tribute, allowed the Talons to proceed, fortunate for the heroes as they were sorely wounded during the encounter.
The Talons then spent several minutes scouring the rest of the hatchery, finding a large cavern filled with stirges, as well as a further cave with yet more dragon eggs, and more of the lizard-like attack drakes. A nest of kobolds also fell to their blades, the creatures lair a filthy stinking mess of discarded bones and rotten food.
The exit was blocked by a field of noxious fungi, which began to move, knocking Tarlach Malthar flat with their poisonous spores. Above the field of mushrooms swung a naked and bound halfling, who asked politely for their help as he dangled over the cavern floor. The Talons recovered their wits, and cut the remaining fungi to pieces, before rescuing the halfling, who introduced himself as Ratshadow.
Having scoured and secured the hatchery, the heroes headed back for Phandalin, the knowledge they had picked up suggesting the bulk of the cultists had headed for Yartar, although Rezmir seemed to have taken a small forced into the Mere of Dead Men. They decided to rest at the manor before deciding their next course of action.