After a night of rest in the tower, the adventurers parted ways with Elenia. Partaking a last time of Fwar’s cooking skills, they stopped to query Korhaft, the Galeb Duhr, about Prulekai, the necromancer who had intruded on the archmage’s domain.
Not realizing that Prulekai had been an intruder, having displayed a tiny mechanical messenger bird, Korhaft had not questioned his visit, and was visibly distraught to learn that the necromancer had ulterior motives. He informed the group that the man had headed south, out the mountain entrance. Learning of the two shadow demons, he called to Guldin and began to make his way north to check on the passages below and make sure they remained blocked.
As the party ventured south, they made excellent time due to Asade’s survival skills and having trekked this path before. Covering a good deal more distance than before (possibly due to no longer fighting an uphill road). As they considered camping for the night, they began to see evidence of more fallen trees and shifted earth mounds, as before. Still believing the culprit to be a large, burrowing creature, Asade considered all the likely candidates. After conferring with the group, they decided to press on to the crazy old hermit’s hut, and make camp near there.
Finding the hut, they began to make camp as Asade knocked on the door of the hut. Hearing no reply, she swung the door open to find a ramshackle abode, with a messy dirt floor. Taking a closer look the earth looked…disturbed…and she felt wetness on her foot and looked down to see that the earth was bloodied. Leaving the hut she drew her companions’ attention to her findings…only to have her companions tell her that a mound of earth was burrowing toward them from the north. Vahn and Asade began to beat their weapon butts against the ground to draw its attention, and the creature stopped. A hole opened in the ground and a green liquid began to spray forth into the air, telling Asade that these were likely Ankheg’s they were dealing with, a large burrowing insectoid creature that sprayed acid.
As they watched this odd display, they looked around and noticed that they’d been flanked. More furrows were approaching from the east and west, and eventually the creatures sprang forth from the forest floor.
A ferocious battle ensued in which Vahn got to test his new hammer and Asade became a spider and webbed several enemies.Faelar quite literally shamed several of them to death with his vicious wordplay, and as a whole the party dispatched three adult Ankheg and several juveniles, despite both Ke’shin and Xarrai being caught, at various times, in the monsters’ jaws.
Victorious, the party made camp and had an uneventful night, with the noticeable exception of Xarrai drawing inspiration from Asade and taking out his wand of web to create a hammock for himself. It worked beautifully, until the spend ended an hour later, dumping him unceremoniously to the ground.
The group returned to Guldin Falls the next day. Wanting to interview The Hinkelmann Family before heading north, they hit up the Shimmerspindle Inn. As Vahn stabled his horse, he saw several avian creatures in the stables as well, with small wings and enormous beaks. Inside, Ke’shin noted that three members of the Winged Patrol were having a drink; pointing them out to his friends, the party approached and gave the Patrolmen the brief summary of what was happening with undead scarecrows and merchants to the north. The Hinkelmann’s managed to recall most of the name of the merchant caravan that had visited them (The Golden Pig something) and that rang a bell with the Patrolmen. An honest merchant troupe, if such a thing existed.
Resolved to head north the next day for more clues at the Hinkelmann farmstead, the group turned in for the night.