Armed with what little information the Sons could give them, the group set off westward to look for the entrance to the Black March. They traveled across the harsh dessert for seven days, hearing the same story in every town: Jaryn and his party had been seen heading Northwest several months ago. Finally they came across a lone house with an old man in the dooryard calling to them. He invited them into his home to warn them and tell them to go back when the house was abruptly attacked by the Black Hand.
In the process of fighting off the attackers, the party burned down the man’s house, made friends with a horse, and found out the town was a stop on the Black Hand’s supply chain. What was left of the man’s home contained crates of weapons and war supplies. The travelers convinced the townspeople, who had arrived after the fight, to take up the arms themselves and stand up to the Hand. Then they continued into the wilderness, still searching for the missing paladin.
The Sons of Pelor had warned the party they would have only seven days until the Black Hand managed to resurect their dark god, and as they climbed into the foothills, they saw heard and saw the signs that they would be too late. Seven days had already passed. Yet still they struggled on, determined to find out more about the dark cult and the events that had drawn them together.
As they drew near to another ruined temple, a man matching Jaryn’s description appeared out of the trees to greet them. It soon became apparent, however, that he was not the real Jaryn and further that he had several dopplegangers. After fending off the attack, the party inspected the area and decided it was the entrance to the Black March. They had found it at last.
Shortly afterward, Regulus put in a brief appearance, only to disappear a moment later as the chaos reclaimed him. In his place, was a large bearish looking man who introduced himself as Blood Bear. He too bore the mark of the Black Hand on his neck and was outraged by the unnatural things he’d observed near his homeland recently. He’d somehow met Regulus and agreed to join the party, who were glad to have his aid in battle. Dreugan left the party briefly as they prepared to enter the March, answering a call for aid from the Sons of Pelor who needed his expertise for a battle closer to town. Thus changed, the party entered the Black March and prepared to meet their foe.