Having recovered from their ordeal with the undead denizens of the tower, the heroes returned to the Monastery. Once they had healed their wounds, and organised the recovery of their missing equipment, the heroes made plans to attack Kelmarane before the Gnoll hordes had a chance to strike first. As Kay’enn, Khalid and Vash prepared to head out, their attention was drawn to strange chanting coming from the rear of the Monastery. After making their way around, they soon found Ding and Nini naked apart from a head dress made of feathers. Upon being questioned, Ding explained that they were performing a rain dance. Khalid had had enough, and said he was heading to Kelmarane as he was paid to do. Kay’enn and Vash soon realise their mistake with trying to have the Gnomes explain their ritual, and quickly dispersed allowing the Gnomes to finish.
Kay’enn, Khalid and Vash made their way through the Pesh fields, hoping to go unnoticed. About halfway there, a storm rolled in over the hills, quickly turning dusk into near darkness. It was only Khalid who had difficulties which meant that it was up to Kay’enn and Vash to lead the strike into the Kelmarane.
As lightning flashed above them, the heavens opened with torrential rain. This, although uncomfortable made excellent cover for the heroes in their mission. Kay’enn stealthfully moved up first, quickly spotting four Gnolls on guard duty near the open area at the bottom of the hill. As two of the Gnolls branched away to return up the hill, Kay’enn motioned for the others to move up to the buildings. Silently, Khalid and Vash moved into position. When the time was right, Kay’enn gave the signal, and two arrows quickly found their mark, felling a gnoll warrior. The others rushed in and quickly dispatched the other gnolls.
Soon after, as Kay’enn took yet another memento of a gnoll kill, both Vash and Kay’enn heard something coming up the hill behind them. The three moved in position, although Khalid was not entirely sure what the fuss was about. Pira-nya was the first to be seen, and Kay’enn motioned for the creature to him. Kay’enn knew that the gnomes were not far behind, and almost on cue the three heard squelching coming towards them. Almost crawling in the mud were Nini and Ding, both with their pockets full of something which appeared to be mud.
Kay’enn quickly explained the situation, and both Ding and Nini applied the dirt to their faces, clearly an attempt at disguise, and stated that they were ready for action. The group then made their way over to what appeared to be the old gatehouse to investigate what they had seen the gnolls feeding earlier. Pira-nya was the first to examine the interior of the ruined building, and as it peered around the corner, it was gored by the tusk of a Dire Boar, obviously upset about the intruders. The heroes made their way into position, but not before Vash’s pet, Zuum Zuum, was gored by the bear, a fierce cut running down its body from the boars massive tusks. The creature however was easily felled, and the heroes made forward once more.
The heroes’ target was the old mill where they had seen the Peryton fly to. Whilst making their way to the mill, Zuum caught wind of something in a nearby building. The heroes, not wanting to take chances, barged into the building with a surprise attack. The heroes were confronted with a young man wearing a worn leather breastplate, a tarnished helmet and a makeshift spear. As the heroes intruded, the man panicked, throwing the spear at the now enlarged Khalid. The spear missed, but hit the barn door as Kay’enn entered the building.
Vash readied his weapon as did Khalid, but Ding stood between them declaring that the group shouldn’t hurt him. The man agreed and said that his name was Philliped and that he had been in Kelmarane for a number of weeks, hiding from the gnolls who had captured him and his companions. He claimed that his companions had been killed and that he had escaped. Ding offered to “rescue” him, to which he appeared thankful, although he made it quite clear he was more interested in running away into the desert than confronting any more foes. Both the gnomes agreed to look after him stating that they were on a mission to take back Kelmarane.
The heroes moved on and made their way to the mill. After crossing the river, the heroes briskly moved into the mill. Khalid was the first to enter the building by smashing open the side doors. Kay’enn was next by dexterously climbing the mill’s wheel, using its paddles as make shift stairs. As Kay’enn reached the roof, he found he was face to face with the Peryton. Its evil gaze took on a new meaning when its show dissolved turning into that of Kay’enn.
Khalid vaulted through an opening in the roof, landing close to the Peryton. Although the creature was able to gore Kay’enn with its horn, it was no match for Khalid and the almighty swing of Kay’enn’s mace. The weapon struck true, near obliterating the creature’s skull, it’s now limp body falling motionless on the waterlogged rooftop. The heroes knew that their spells were near to wearing off, and so quickly pushed the Peryton’s body into the mill, and made their way to their next target, a small building near the edge of the Pale River.
Khalid was the first into the building having smashed his way through the door, and was quickly followed by Kay’enn and Vash. The room was filled with a putrid smell. As the heroes quickly observed their surroundings, they realised that the room was filled with bottles, jars and baskets of things of unimaginable horror and intrigue. Near the middle of the room were 3 large cauldrons, and standing in front of one, its back facing the doorway, was what appeared to be an avian looking humanoid with brown mottled feathers. As the heroes entered it spun around, ladle still in hand. Kay’enn and Khalid immediately recognised the creature as a Harpy, its face clearly surprised. Almost as quickly, as Khalid made ready his weapon to crush the creature, the Harpy begged for her life. Once given the opportunity, the Harpy introduced herself as Undrella, and stated that it was clear what the heroes were there to do, and so offered, in exchange for her life, to help them retake Kelmarane. Her only condition was that she be allowed to remain in Kelmarane to continue her business unhindered.
After much discussion, and flirting with the heroes, the party agreed. The creature, not wishing to answer many of the party’s questions, agreed to explain her situation if they brought her the head of the giant Mamba which has taken up residence in the old slavery buildings to the south east. The heroes again agreed, and quickly begun their trek back into the heart of Kelmarane…