The party’s next foray leans toward frontier diplomacy, as they head toward the Craggiset, and a northern pass into the wilds beyond. Before that, a stop at an Inwahe Gnoll village, and a meeting with their chief. Along the way:
*A big, scary, ashen beast thing catches sight of the group and dive bombs Vicik, tossing him down a cliffside into a set of bushes. The rest of the party takes the beast on, Shadow firing arrows into the mist, Tiskus attempting some spellage, and Telvas attacking from out of hiding. After some bumps and bruises and semi-broken bones, Telvas brings the beast down, both to the ground and upon him as he lops off its head.
*Nearby Inwahe Gnoll “greet” the party, and things immediately go south, as Tiskus’ attempt to say “HI, we’re cool, right?” comes out to “I shit on your mother” in Gnoll tongue. He finds himself in hand to hand combat, an encounter made more difficult when Vicic’s attempt to scare Tiskus’ opponent backfires, and creates strange illusions now intent on scaring Tiskus. No matter. After a lengthy slap fight, the two decide they are eventy matched, then take the vow of brotherhood through combat. Off to the chief we go.
*The party meets with the Gnoll chieftan, Wenreji, who informs them he’s already been asked about passing through the sacred lands by “other stinky people” (i.e., humans). However, Telvas’ gift of the huge ashen beast head, plus the party’s promise to go through the cleansing prep ritual AND clear the howling caves of the spirits tormenting the Inwahe dead, allow them a guide through the platforms to the mines, where they are immediately greeted with the ghostly howlings of the dead.
*Once in, via a secret passage, the party is confronted by a strange kelly-like beast that evidently contains the spirits of dead dwarves. The spirits howl “GET OUT!” The group stays. Ghould show up. A fight commences. There’s some wounding. The group wins the first battle, but there is more to follow.