Nightal 5, 1371 to Nightal 8, 1371

Date Weather Narrative
Nightal 5, 1371 Steady Snow. Northerly breeze force 1 Introduction:
When the session started the Party were camping in The Misty Forest after exploring the Netherese Fort:

An early start saw the party travel with Malastar to the edge of the Misty Forest, whereupon he wished them well and pointed them in the right direction to rejoin The Trade Way heading South, (to follow one of the blue beams from the tower in Lizard Marsh). Before parting he undertook to travel home through the Misty Forest in order to let the Wood Elves know of the burial of their fallen comrade, (discovered in the outer tower of the Fort).

The poor weather made going tough but the Party found the road at about midday and headed south without incident. A cold night was spent in the snow by the side of the road and it was impossible to get enough proper rest to aid any recovery from prior injuries.
Nightal 6, 1371 Steady Snow. Northerly winds force 2 The Party continued South and reached Dragonspear Castle in the late morning. Scaramon and Caradel, heard the sounds of fighting and the Party moved up to the ruined castle's Outer Gate to investigate. At the Outer Gate they saw that an armoured figure was locked in combat with 2 Gnolls behind the portcullis of the Inner Gate some 120ft. away. The Party moved in to aid the Paladin and defeated the two Gnolls with missile fire. the Paladin pointed to the Inner Keep and explained that his companions were trapped inside the keep and locked in combat against impossible odds. The doors had been jammed by Gnolls who sneaked into the castle taking the small force left guarding the shrine, (while the others delved inside the depths of the castle), by surprise and killing all but him.

At that moment more Gnolls came into view running towards the portcullis. Caradel and Therrion ran to find a way where they could climb over the crumbling walls and Elrad climbed the tower housing the portcullis while Scaramon slid another bolt in his crossbow. Elrad tried to sneak onto the exposed first floor of the Tower where he saw two Gnolls, but a loose stone alerted them to his presence. He entered combat alone but shortly Caradel and Therrion arrived on the scene and the Gnolls were defeated. On the ground The Paladin fell in combat with the Gnolls who retreated round the corner to avoid the bolts from Scaramon's crossbow only to find them selves in a hail of deadly missiles from Caradel and Therrion in the tower.

Elrad raised the portcullis and the Party rushed to the door of the Keep to remove the wooden beams that prevented them from opening. Scaramon attended to the fallen paladin and stabilized his condition.

With a joint effort the beams were removed and the defenders quickly retreated out of the deadly melee in to the courtyard, jamming the doors behind them.

The Party were thanked by Aginael paladin of Helm who gave them two potions of healing for their assistance and arranged for the clerics under his command to provide healing to them. He explained that the Shrine to Helm had been set up 10 years ago after the defeat of the evil hordes that had poured forth from the bowels of the Castle, (and the portals / underdark entrances therein), in order to stem any future incursions. Realising that time was pressing the Party bid their farewells and continued South. Another freezing night was spent by the side of the snow covered Trade Way making true rest difficult.
Nightal 7, 1371 Snow and Sleet flurries. Northerly winds force 2 The snow and sleet made for a cold difficult days travel, but on the good side the journey was quiet and they encountered no wandering creatures from The High Moor or Trollbark Forest.

In the evening while on watch, Scaramon heard a rumbling like and earthquake. He quickly roused the Party and the general opinion was that a huge creature must be approaching. More so then was the surprise when a Groundling broke out of the earth near Scaramon and began to attack him. It swiftly grabbed him firmly and started to pull him beneath the surface. Elrad was surprised by a second Groundling who also managed to grab his victim and pull him into the ground. In a bloody encounter the Party managed to kill the Groundling attacking Scaramon just before it could drag him fully beneath the surface. Elrad managed to break the grasp of the second groundling and scramble out of the hole. The second Groundling, now wounded, chose to retreat. The Party licked their wounds and relocated their campsite a mile further down the road.
Nightal 8, 1371 Steady Snow. Northerly breeze force 1 A snowy and cold but otherwise uneventful days traveling which ended with the Party reaching the fork in the road that leads it either side of The Troll Claws. Whilst checking the Tear key the Part discovered a second beam of light that appeared running north-south on the East side of the road, about a days ride away.