At the start of this adventure, the party had spent most of April, 917 in Dämmendell, training and studying. During this time, the dwarven nobles forced King Bjornstraand to declare his niece, the Crown Princess Ingridine, not just missing but dead. After an eight-day period of mourning (customary for the dwarves: one day for each of the eight ancient dwarf-clans), during which all the dwarves of Dämmendell hid their faces with hoods and all the folk of King Bjornstraand’s house shaved half the length off their beards, the nobles then called a moot to decide who would be named the next heir to throne.
Matriarch Garavel missed the mourning period but arrived in time for the dwarf-moot. The party considered this somewhat suspicious, wondering whether the matriarch hadn’t possibly been corrupted by her brief contact with the Eye of Izatu-Bal; they informed the king of their suspicions and were permitted to scan the matriarch with detect evil, but they sensed no evil coming from her. The matriarch was a little put off, but she deemed the PCs’ suspicious actions to be in the best interests of the kingdom and actually praised them for their care and caution. Then, as a recently-elevated noble-woman, she joined the other nobles in the dwarf-moot.
Before he went back to head up the proceedings, King Bjornstraand informed the adventuring company that in all likelihood, succession would follow the royal bloodlines and wind up falling to the king’s cousin, Count Orrin Eisengant, who the king deemed a schemer and a fool, someone who would risk a reckless attack on Anarxis of the North before the dwarves were strong enough to actually succeed, for the sake of whipping up popular support.
The company actually left Dämmendell before the moot was concluded, though, choosing instead to continue exploring Shade Abbey. They delved back down to level 1B, the Temple of Devotions, where they explored rooms 20–29, 31–32, 34–37, and 39–41. Much hilarity ensued. It was these explorations, mostly involving riddles and puzzles, that consumed practically the entire game-session. The details can be found on the page for Shade Abbey dungeon sub-level 1B.