Several days after leaving Vulkwood and the Vulkurn Forest, the party reached the hills south of Pinnacle Rocks. While continuing through the hills, they came across a number of Kiplin settlements. Eventually, the players decided to stop and take a break at the kiplin capital of Bor Todihr. As the party approached the city in the hills, they passed by a large crowd of people (of all races) in a rowdy outdoor marketplace. All kinds of firearms and other wondrous technology were on display for purchase.
After checking out the (super expensive) wares on display, the party made their way into the subterranian city. The party, quickly getting lost, requested the aid of a random kiplin to guide them to the tavern/inn.
Upon reaching the inn, they asked about any quests that they could go on. The old barkeep suggested that they talk to Mayor Towick Bizzspark. Around this time, another (drunken) kiplin was causing a ruckus over at one of the tables. The party approached this fellow and found that he was a former merchant who had been down on his luck lately and was angry with one of his investments. Apparently the inventor of an investment opportunity he was involved with refused to release her product until it was "tested," despite it being completed. He requested that the party aid the inventor, Kathink Sparkgear, in testing her new invention.
The man lead the party to Kathink's lab where she explained that what she had created was a mechanized combatant in the shape of a dog. She called them "Clockwork Hounds." She requested that the party face these constructs in battle to verify their practical capabilities.
After defeating the clockwork hounds, the party was rewarded for their time and continued on to Mayor Towick's offices to inquire about the task the barkeep mentioned.
Mayor Towick explained to the party that the kiplin and the dwarves had a very strong and very important trade agreement, but recently, all of the kiplin merchants who had made their way to Hammerforge for deliveries had yet to return. They attempted their own investigations but were unable to find any clues to their disappearances. He requested that since the party was heading to Hammerforge anyway, that they investigate in the process and come back if they find any clues.
Before leaving, Aradel requested that Towick provide him with a firearm in exchange for helping them. Towick agreed and the party set off for Hammerforge the next morning.