We join our band of adventurers congregated at the base of the Sighing Valley, where Redkin, Malark, Alton, and Hermit are looking down into a crater. Inside the crater is the body of Ot, who proved exactly how hardy Rock Gnomes can be by falling like a stone into the earth. The gnome was stunned, but alive. Malark spent a good 15 minutes removing the head from the Manticore’s body and the group returned to Feathergale Spire.
Thurl was delighted to see proof of death for the beast and held a hearty breakfast for the returning heroes. He rewarded Redkin with a ring and some money for his troubles. Redkin found Savra at the guardhouse and told her about his mission. Savra was grateful but reluctant, as she did not want to leave while a second Manticore lived. She told Redkin about a dear friend who was slain by the Manticore and gave him a map with possible locations of the lair.
The party inquired about buying and/or renting Hippogriffs from Thurl, but he encouraged them not to explore the Sighing Valley, as many more dangerous creatures roamed and he didn’t want their deaths on his conscience. He instead offered to transport them to the Sacred Stone Monastery, where he believed monks dwell doing evil culty things. The group asked about the map Savra supplied and Thurl seemed to be visibly annoyed at the idea of a second Manticore. He was also annoyed that Ot kept dropping clay symbols and sneezing faces at him. The party overstayed their welcome and was asked to leave on goodish terms. Ot sneezed a face at the guard on the way out, noticing the guard recognising the visage he created. Hermit was last seen travelling to Red Larch, barking orders at Little Hermit and laughing about a ‘grand hermit army’.
Setting out on foot the party quickly discovered that the valley is indeed full of roaming creatures. Two large griffons made them double back and avoid a fight, so they picked one instead with a band of Gnolls playing happily in the river. The resulting fight was a bit of a scrap, with everyone fighting tooth and nail. Weapons were dropped, staves were stolen, and Ot’s fist of unbroken aid was more of a light breeze. The gnolls proved tough and somewhat bitey, but Alton the halfing assassin ninja, managed to slay them all with backstabs and throwing knives.
Travelling to the centre of the Valley Ot climbed atop a massive plateau and scouted the surrounding area. The team avoided another gnoll camp and worked towards reaching a large cave. On the way they noticed a Aarkocra war party swoop in and make quick work of the remaining Gnolls.
Inside the cave they found the remains of an orc encampment, including the remains of the orcs. They found some gold and tradegoods, and a tunnel leading deeper in. Alton scouted ahead and saw a large room with chains on the walls, bodies in the corner, and a very large, very upset Manticore. He laid a trap of ball bearings and returned to the party. He quaffed a potion of growth and became ultra Alton, complete with ripped clothes and veiny arms.
Malark, using warlock trickery, cast the sound of another Manticore in the cave, causing the real one to walk out and investigate. The manticore stomped the ball bearing trap into the earth without noticing it was there, much to the disappointment of the Rogue.
The resulting fight was quick but deadly. Annoyed that his unbroken wind hadoken again was nothing more than a fart, Ot did a runner, leading the manticore to give chase, swiping at Alton and biting down hard on Redkin. But the Cleric’s faith and chainmail proved too tough for the creature’s teeth.
The band answered the Manticore’s rage with rage of their own. Redkin critically hitting the beast in the face with a mace. Malark drew power from his patron and blasted the Manticore with raw energy, and Alton stabbed it in the butt.
Right in the butt.
A massive critical butt stab.
The manticore responded by slamming Alton against the wall with a spiky tail, and the halfing butt stabber collapsed into a brawny heap. In the body pile they found a number of Feathergale Society remains.
Ot, deciding that running away was more a thing for cowardly dwarves, ran back with his Staff of Light, and beat his righteous Monk implement into the skull of the beast. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Malark removed the head in 7 minutes because he’s better at head removal now.
Post-fight the team revived the halfing and decided to chill out in the cave to rest. Halfway through the rest the Aarakocra war party entered the cave and attempted to converse with the gang, who unfortunately could not understand them. Using hand signals and non-hostile actions the team let the Aarakocra retrieve one of their fallen from the body pile and leave in peace.