A quick and dirty summary of what has occurred so far. Feel free to add to and embellish.
As civil order in the kaer began to rapidly erode, with “Openers” pressuring the Elders to open the kaer and rallying at the gates and “Closers” raiding storerooms and armories and barricading parts of the kaer off against an anticipated attack, the Elders called forth several of the adepts that had trained and prepared for moments like this: Armiger, Beasly, Daksa, Dule, and Kylin. The Elders planned to open the Inner Gate of the kaer and send you out, giving you one hour to navigate the traps and access a secret side entrance that would allow you to scout the outside world and report back, before they opened the Outer Gate.
When the Inner Gate was opened to let the adepts out, several Openers managed to break past the guards. The adepts stopped most, with two getting past only to immediately fall victim to a deadly trap just steps beyond. As the guards were nearly overwhelmed, Dule incapacitated the crowd (and guards) with a spell of noxious fumes, clearing the area.
On the way out, while working through a magical trap known as the maze, deliberately designed to lure in and trap horrors, you found a monstrous creature hanging partly out of the shadow world, its mind entranced. Judging by the stagmites its drool had created, it had been trapped there for over a century. Squeezing by, you accessed the secret side door, and went outside.
You were immediately disappointed to find no sign of the Sun Dragon or Moon Dragon in the sky. The sky was lit, but dimly, and seemed to be in a state of perpetual twilight. You could only guess that the world was caught in that period of Twilight between the Long Night and when the Sun and Moon Dragons return. The land down below was hard to make out, much of it covered in thick fog.
Scouting outside the kaer, you spotted a small contingent of Namegivers. The spirit Armiger sent to investigate them did not return. With time running short, you made a decision to approach them directly.
A lavishly-dressed dwarf among the Namegivers identified them as emissaries from Thera and OverGovernor Zebulon who had come “to negotiate the terms of Evenfall’s surrender.” This dwarf made it clear that the Therans had occupied the pre-Scourge ruins of the city of Evenfall over twenty years ago, and that it had taken them this long to find the kaer’s secret location. They claimed Evenfall as a subject/conquered city, and instructed the adepts to return inside and convey this message to Evenfall’s Elders. Many of the Therans exhibited signs of Taint.
Returning inside, the adepts found the kaer in even further disarray. The Elders themselves had split into factions, with some of them already abdicating the Council. They took the news from the adepts poorly, but clearly were unable to act decisively. In the midst of this chaos and disturbing accounts of strife elsewhere in the kaer, news came that guards had been unable to close the Inner Gate after the adepts’ return.
Running back, Armiger discovered two great form elementals were holding the gates opened and engaged them. The others rushed past, investigating loud noises ahead. They found the Therans breaking in the Outer Gates with the help of several massive spirits. The Therans were also far more numerous, and a stone airship hovered outside the gates as well. A full frontal assault was underway.
The adepts retreated back inside, finding Armiger unconscious, incapacitated by the spirits. Falling back, they sought out the Elders, coming across a harried Elder Zinn first. Zinn accepted the grim news, and proclaimed that the kaer was doomed. He urged the adepts to take on an urgent task: collect the relics of the Star Shields from the Hall of the Ancestors and meet him in a back side tunnel near the Garden Caves.
The adepts broke through a barricade of Closers and raced to the Hall of the Ancestors. There they recruited another adept, Nova, who had been stationed to protect this area. Breaking into the tombs, they grabbed the various Star Shield relics, leaving the other treasures and library untouched.
On their way to meet Zinn, they encountered the effects of (presumably Theran) air elementals within the kaer, poisoning the air and leeching away the air to incapacitate the kaer’s defenders. Reaching a balcony area overseeing a main hall, they had another glimpse of the kaer’s invaders, this time noting that many of the attackers did not look like any type of Namegiver they had ever seen before.
Reaching the back tunnel, they found a wounded Zinn, who opened a secret escape tunnel known only to a few Elders. Noting that this route was too impractical to organize a mass escape, he urged the adepts to flee, keep the Star Shield relics from capture, find out why the Twilight still lasts, and do what they could to return and liberate or avenge Evenfall.
The adepts fled through a small, cramped, winding tunnel that often had them crawling on all fours and barely squeezing through tight areas. Beasly found and disabled several traps, though several members of the party nearly fell victim to a collapsing floor that would have dropped them down a chute and into a freezing, swift-moving underground river. Another trap caused the tunnel they were in to fill with freezing water, but they managed to get ahead of it and escape to higher ground.
Eventually the adepts found their way to a much larger tunnel deep within the mountain. Sending a windling ally spirit to scout about, the party was soon set upon by a trio of horror constructs: pale t’skrang melded together into abominable forms. Using nethermantic magic to prevent a large number of these constructs from reaching and attacking them, the group retreated another direction, coming across a group of barricaded tunnels home to a group of strange, pale T’skrang who had become adapted to living underground. As it turned out, these Pale T’skrang protected a riverboat on an underground lake. According to their Clan leader, they had traveled here centuries ago to seek refuge in Kaer Evenfall, but had arrived too late. The T’skrang were very excited to learn that the adepts were from Evenfall, but dispapointed to hear that it had fallen. They refused the adept’s request to take the old riverboat through the underground channels and into the outside world, saying it was far too dangerous. They related their own tale of being stalked by a horror in these tunnels for centuries. If the adepts could defeat this horror, they would prove themselves to the T’skrang, who would then feel more assured about venturing to the outside world.
The adepts retired for the night, feasting on fish and water from their Pale T’skrang hosts. Unfortunately, they had walked into a trap. Their meal was poisoned, and the party captured.
Daksa awoke naked, sealed in a metal cage hung outside one of the T’skrang tunnel barricades. It wasn’t long before a horror construct came to investigate her, and soon after that the horror itself stepped sideways from the Shadow Realms.
The others awoke in pairs, shackled and stripped of their possessions, in underwater T’skrang settlements. The primitive T’skrang, long bereft of adepts in their tribe, had underestimated the adepts’ abilities. Beasly soon freed herself and Dule, and the illusionist ensnared the minds of their guards with a spell, so that they were quickly escorted to shore with their personal goods restored to them. Armiger summoned aid from spirits to free himself and Nova, overcoming their guards and escaping to the lake shore. There, hidden in shadows, Nova and Armiger looted several huts, set them ablaze, and launched an assault on the riverboat guards.
Daksa, watching the slug-like horror approach, managed to swing her cage with such force as to snap the old chain, knocking it to the ground. Rolling away from the horror, her screams of help were mixed in with the chants of a group of Pale T’skrang who watched from beyond the barricade.
Dule and Beasly, alerted by this racket, ran to investigate. Spotting them, Nova and Armiger followed. The calls of alarm from near the riverboat drew the Pale T’skrang watching Daksa back to the cavern, however, and the groups collided in the tunnel. Beasly deftly slipped past, rushing to Daksa’s aid, leaving the others to engage and quickly defeat the T’skrang.
Beasly raced ahead to find Daksa, still in the cage, being mentally tortured by the horror. Bravely facing off against the horror and its construct, he held them off long enough to get Daksa freed. Armiger and Dule soon arrived to help, as did Nova after she finished beheading the dead T’skrang to keep them from rising again. In a long, drawn-out battle, the horror and its construct were defeated, though Beasly was also slain. A last chance salve restored the troll to life, however.
This is the current status of the party. Battered and weakened by the horror, many suffering from wounds and mental trauma, and most of them still missing their gear—including many of the Star Shield relics. The windling Kyrin remains missing and unaccounted for. The tortured cries of numerous horror constructs sound in the nearby tunnels one way, and the Pale T’skrang village remains the other.