11th Saranith 4709
After spending all day in the Pesh fields observing the village of Kellmarane we retired to the monastery and bolstered our defenses with sheets of the cactus over any entrances. We all caught up during dinner and discussed plans. Khalid would be working on potions in his lab. Ding and Nini planned to visit the tower in the distance, causing all sorts of commotion with their planning. I’m not sure if this will eventuate but its best not to ask too many questions where the gnomes are concerned.
Taking advantage of the Gnomish distraction, Kay Xuum and myself left on our pre-organised scouting mission reminding Almah and the guards of our intentions. We headed straight to Kellmarane avoiding the road and headed to the cliff on the west side. Just as we were about to climb I spotted several gnolls heading down the road towards the entrance.
We waited for them to pass and headed into the ruined buildings across the road. We discovered a hide that had been occupied by one human for about 2 weeks. He seemed to be lying low and left a fortnight previously after quickly dousing the small fire with a blanket. Fortunately we caught sight of the returning gnolls in time to take cover and then crossed back over the road.
We then headed east below an embankment and crept up to some ruins. I stayed on watch covering Kay’s approach. Almost immediately he spotted 4 gnolls gathered together. When he got into earshot he overhead the guards talking about being on high alert due to the goings on in the monastery. We took this as our queue to leave the village and return to Almah and report our findings. With Gozrehs guidance we have discovered a fairly good ambush site and we now have to decide whether to wait for the alert to die down or put plans into action as soon as possible. I think it may be impossible to keep the monastery quiet while its afflicted by gnomes and my vote is for action straight away.
As we made our way back to camp we heard a scream almost directly ahead of us somewhere in the pesh fields. We raced forward and caught sight of Nini in the jaws of a Dust Digger, a creature i’d heard of but knew little about. Piran’ya was gripping a rope in his beak which led back to the struggling gnome while Ding was coming forward to help. From beyond them I could make out the figures of Khalid and some guards also arriving. Before I could react Nini disappeared into the creatures gullet and the rope grew slack as Piran’ya pulled on it before evaporating back to its own dimension. In a move I can scarcely believe even as I’m writing this down Ding produced from his backpack some kind of padded inflated pigs bladder, hugged it and dove directly into the diggers maw. I was sure that would be the last i’d seen of the pair and even Gozreh couldn’t preserve them but as I was hacking into the beast there was an almighty roar and thickened bile spewed forth from the creatures gullet along with both Nini and Ding who landed in heaps a short distance away. Khalid declared Nini dead as Dashki and I despatched the beast. Kay also confirmed Dings demise.
I breathed a sigh of relief and heard Khalid tell the guards to head back to Almah and inform her of the gnomes deaths. I was about to pack up and follow when to my surprise Khalid revived Nini and told the rest of us that he’d lied to the guards because Almah had ordered both gnomes to be executed due to their distractions. I stood amazed that Kay had been so quick to catch on and follow his lead, surely some sort of human-human telepathy I did not inherit. Although I can understand Almahs frustration with the pair it seems a little extreme to kill them when surely just ceasing their employment would get rid of them just as easily. I’m starting to wonder about her motives now and we are yet to discuss our dysfunctional groups next move.