It's taken me about a year, but finally I've hit the last chapter of Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. I also see that I'm two chapters behind on updates.
I started Chapter 3 with the two guards on duty at the entrance to the Lost Refuge, one of whom is not actually a Sharran, but needed the work. I had Constal Tholl execute them in the end, although I haven't largely written him as being either officious or brutal. (On that point, I may need him to perform another summary execution; more on that later.)
This was also the chapter where they recruited another member to their band, a cleric of Mystra called Halish who had been dominated by the Starry Gnosis. He survived the rest of the ritual and has the advantage of being able to see things in Oscuria (which the rest of you know as Shadow or Shadowfell) that the others can't. They also added Gathan, the former chieftain of the Sharptooths to their band.
Some information came out of this chapter, including Despayr and Esvele Graycastle, and Shar's plan for the Weave, but I had to be careful not to give the game away about Despayr's true nature, which has only just been revealed.
If Chapter 3 ended up being prolonged, Chapter 4 was even worse with nine encounters that lasted nearly twenty pages as the party travelled across the Vast Swamp in Oscuria. I omitted the Shadowscale Warren because if they sailed on the Necreme, they wouldn't see the Shadowscales at all and because the whole chapter would have dragged on beyond endurance.
With this in mind, and finding Chapter 5 has at least 14 encounters, I decided to truncate things. To make things more interesting, I've been writing in more backstory about a cambion called Dulma who had been supplying Despayr with recruits and equipment, but who has been sly and tricky about his dealings with him – guard dogs that aren't all they should be; skimpy uniforms for Shar's priestesses; and various other things that fall short of expectations.
The canoloths which guard the approach to the Black Rift were asking to be changed, especially because their hearing would be impaired by the noise of the waterfall. I also downgraded various monsters to what they really are – animals. For example, if it has the head of a crocodile, and thus the brain of one, it's not going to be speaking any language.
I'm hoping to get this volume finished this summer so that I can finally move on to Vol. 2., Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land.