The party did some exploring of the town a little bit and traded for some items and goods. After the trading, many went on smaller side quests to learn some things about the area. Kevin researched Ruane and was captured in the most glorious of rescued attempts. Luckily, due to his discussions with Davros, he had a way to tell the others that he was in trouble. He used this and that called the others.
Everyone went to the red temple and started ransacking the place (this is obviously a bad thing), they found the secret entrance where Shivetya was hidden and followed into some natural caves. Inside the natural caves were all manner of beasts, all slightly afflicted with shadow. They found their way to a boiling river flowing under the temple(side note: volcanic activity is definitely plausible now) and came up with a plan to cross the river. They tried to act like they were members of the church and convince someone to drop a bridge and help them cross. Then, just when their disguise failed, grog came in and started attacking them, lending some truth to their plan. The man dropped the bridge and got help, battle ensued.
The group found 2 chambers here. The first chamber was an area where magical items were bathed in the boiling water from the river and then heated until all their magical essence was removed. These items were then transported to the other room. Inside this room was also a magical staff which Ganthet picked up. Inside the other room was barrels of magical essence from the destroyed weapons. Ganthet also found and kept a book on how the magic distillation process is done.
Next they encountered a man with man cages of tortured animals, he intimidated that he would let the animals out, and the group thought he might get attacked by the animals in the cages and called his bluff. He opened the cages and the animals all turned on him, and then on the group. Fighting ensued. Many people hurt. Found a book on animal torture processes.
Next the group found a chamber with a woman in red and a man being tortured. She was trying to cast a spell and the group rushed her, doing massive damage, but not killing her. She stabbed into her victim and from the tortured man came a vicious shadowy spirit. The team almost wiped on him, taking massive amounts of damage and losing one team member (Birch, the cleric) to death. After the fight the group managed to get everyone up through magical items and a health potion hidden in the chamber. They moved on to the next room which was a large row of chambers. After checking a few (Drow in one room, human (?) in another, they finally found Shivetya and a Half-Orc. They let both loose and Shivetya wanted to see Ruane. He saw the body and was saddened, saying they had to bury him.
The team carried out Ruane and Birch through the secret entrance in the tree, and when they arose someone said “I see them over here!”. Encounter begins.