Having successfully rescued (some) miners, The Party found themselves in a gigantic underground temple. The temple was multi-leveled, with stone arches carved into the bare stone walls. On an altar set in the back middle of the temple, the party found a large chest containing an enormous amount of plain metal rings. The Party tried on a set of rings that were laid out on the altar. Once the rings were on, an archway behind the altar opened up to a bright, glowing light. Seeing no other exit, The Party stepped through the archway and ended up back at the entrance of the “middle” mine.
The Party makes their way back to Lujahn, and report their findings back to Elminster. Some time later, as The Party recovers in Lujahn (having been made honorary citizens and being gifted houses), Elminster joins them to reveal the news that he had gathered.
Firstly, the war with Thay had not started well for the good guys. Thay was quickly able to conquer the countries of Mulhorand, Unther, Thesk, the Hordelands, and the Pirate Isles. Also, the long thought lost country of Anauroch had once again banded together, allied themselves with Thay, and conquered the country of Sembia. Thay’s network of footholds in many other countries had allowed them to put pressure in many other places, even if they hadn’t yet conquered them.
Elminster, however, had only managed to loosely band together the countries of Aglarond and Cormry. While both of those countries had substantial resources and manpower, they would not be able to last long against the combined strength of Thay and Anauroch.
Secondly, Elminster informed The Party that he had been able to identify the temple that they had discovered. It is a temple to the god Shaundakul; a very old deity that had lost some of his former glory over the years. In fact, all temples to Shaundakul were thought lost. Shaundakul is the god of travel, and Elminster was able to find a group of clerics that still worshiped Shaundakul. These clerics (Linka, Albie, Jolan, Orm, Thaav, and Ilde) were brought to Lujahn to oversee the temple.
Elminster tells The Party that he is still putting together some plans, and that they should hold tight until he gives them their next task.