As soon as they arrived at the mountains the party made for the Dwarven settlement within. Upon conferring with the Dwarven lord they found that the Dwarves had also been plagued by earthquakes in recent weeks. This appeared to be due to the recent excavation of a mine shaft as the miners had all gone missing. After some persuading, the adventurers were promised 100 gold pieces each, with half paid up front. They went to see the mine overseer and learned that he suspected magic was at work and that the rest of the miners were spooked by the shaft. The party check the overseer’s library and discovered that the area had been the spot of a structure constructed by an infamous wizard some 400 years ago.
The party entered the mine and were immediately beset upon by a swarm of stirges. The pests were dispatched without much trouble and the adventurers went on to check the bodies of the deceased miners. They found 30 pieces of gold and a Rod of Deadly Casting. It turned out that just inside the mine was the entrance to a structure that matched the time period of the wizard. The walls of the structure were lined with glowing green runes. Proceeding further the party were attacked by a tribe of strange albino kobolds. After a harsh battle in which Grakk was nearly killed the party discovered the source of the mysterious quakes: a large cauldron filled with earth somehow influencing the land itself. Using their combined magical aptitude (and some encouragement from Trace) the party was able to disable the bizarre device, but were dismayed to find that there were signs on similar sites scattered throughout the land.
Returning to the Dwarven settlement the party received the rest of their payment from the lord. After a debate about what to do next, they decided to update the lord of Hammerfast about what they had discovered.