The Palmers opened their eyes one by one onto the dimly lit cavern. The fires and molten lava had died down, and in their place were charred rock surrounding the bloody limbs and remains of fallen dwarfs. A scarred dwarf with singed off hair looked hopefully at the heroes. He explained that after Ogg killed them all, he had left without checking to make sure that he, Kalad, was actually dead. Kalad then explained that he had made the arduous journey back to the outskirts of Overlook where small attacks had already been made on the city. Kalad ventured into the Shantytown and asked for the help of Rufus Crumley to come back and revive the heroes. And that was how they had lived again.
Rufus was a quiet man who seemed to enjoy brooding by his lonesome in a dark corner whenever possible. Kalad was badly hurt, but he was passionate about the city and the mountains. He let the heroes regroup and then explained the direness of the situation. He was sure that while the majority of the forces at Bordrin’s Watch fought the orc hoards above ground, a secret army were slipping through the vents beneath. The Palmers told Kalad that another adventuring group called the Farstriders were sent to protect the vents, but Kalad wouldn't hear it. He argued that the if his ponderings were correct then the sheer number of orcs coming through the vents would snap the Farstriders without a second glance and continue on their way. After little discussion the Palmers all agreed that following Kalad through the vents was the right thing.
When they finally got there Kalad found that he was right, already orcs were passing through the vents, and not just a handful. From a few hundred feet away Kalad and the Palmers watched as Ogg and a large group of orcs sat around a fire, seemingly eating the remains of five horses; the Farstriders’ horses! Edgar and Paelius led the sneak attack this time. They surrounded Ogg and, after taking down his group, cut off his head and threw it on his own fire. The revenge was sweet.
Inside the vents were more orcs. And there was something odd that the Palmers and Kalad both noticed; Shadar-Kai weaponry. The orc army was outfitted with weapons way beyond what they should have been able to come by, and in such large numbers. After fighting their way through multiple foes the Palmers came upon a smaller group being led by a dark creeper—scum and servants of the Shadar-Kai! Something about this attack seemed somewhat out of the ordinary, what with the organization and the arms. The heroes took note, as did Kalad.
Finally, they came upon the entrance to the Nexus. A large chamber which Kalad told was a safeguard against this very happening. But he was troubled because he might have been one of the last to remember its true usefulness. Inside the Nexus the heroes found a never ending barrage of orcs as they scrambled out of the vents. The room was large and ladders and stairways led up and around in a circular pattern to the top, where Kalad told them a control to fill the vents and the Nexus with scalding water resided. As the heroes fought their way up the balconies, Tusk, the king of this particular orc army, came marching out of one of the vents, his wife by his side. Together the team managed to block the controls to the Nexus and throw the Palmer’s ranger, Don, down to the rock floor to his death. The group eventually got to the top and activated the controls. Paelius, using his rope and climber’s kit, managed to swing to the bottom of the Nexus and cut off the hand of Don—so as to raise him from the dead if they were able to return to the city. He made it back in just the nick of time, just before the boiling water overtook him, and the heroes and Kalad climbed the long ladder to the top of the Nexus, to the stronghold Bordrin’s Watch.