After coming upon the silhouetted figure at the ruined campsite, the party learned that the figure was Spanner, a being constructed from metal and given sentience via a powerful magical artifact. He had been caught in an explosion, and when he woke up he found himself surrounded by strange trees in a land not familiar to him. Disoriented and weakened, he was captured by a band of slavers from the Dominance of Resolve (operating under the auspices of the Bloodhawk Guild). They were attempting to send him back to their Dominance with a small detachment of their slaving band when he broke free of his confinement and murdered his captors. The party found him just after this occured.
After learning about what Spanner was (and Penny being intrigued by the worth of the materials that made up his body), the party rested for the night. The next morning, Spanner realized that the Gatestone— the artifact that he was charged with protecting— was missing, likely taken by the slavers when he was captured. The party followed the tracks left by the slavers back to their main encampment. On the way, Spanner was envious of Ricgold's shield, and he gifted Penny with a dagger forged from the same metal that made up his body.
When the party found the main slaver encampment, it appeared to lie in ruins, with wagons tipped over (and some set afire), and the cages open and emptied. Around the clearing, the slavers stood in a motionless stupor. At the center of the clearing stood three Illithid— terrifying creatures from Spanner's home who had apparently followed him through a portal and now held the Gatestone in their grasp. Spanner, enraged, charged the Illithid, only to be stopped at the mindless slavers roused into action, throwing themselves in front of him as the Illithid set up a portal to escape through.
The party tried to hinder the Illithid and recover the Gatestone. Dubya tried to shoot the Gatestone from the Illithid's hand, and managed to hit the creature with his arrow. Professor tried trapping the Illithid and their thralls in a conjured web, and even managed to catch the creatures in a blast of flame, but alas the Illithid were able to flee through the portal, leaving the party to fend off the mindless thralls they left behind. After nearly being swarmed by the thralls, and both John and the Professor being greviously wounded, the party managed to defeat the thralls.
Dubya tried to chase after the Illithid, pulling out his Portal Finder to determine how exactly they escaped. Spanner recognized the Portal Finder as being of similar construction to the Gatestone, and suggested that finding an Elven or Dwarven arcanist of sufficient skill might allow the party to modify the Portal Finder to be able to function as a Gatestone. Both the Professor and John knew of contacts back in Garren's Crossing that may be able to help. However first, the party must find a way to cleanse Spanner of the rift energies so that he may walk through the city without running afoul of the law. Dubya also pointed out that it may be prudent to warn the authorities of the Illithid menace.
Penny also thought that traveling to the Dominance of Resolve to sell Spanner to the collector there for 500 platinum pieces could be a valuable use of their time. The party must now decide what they intend to do next.