The Feathergale Society did not disappoint, and neither did Biggle. The feast that the Society had prepared for the tenth anniversary of their founding was beyond the likes that I have ever tasted. Deliciously rich foods of such variety accompanied by a likewise selection of wine and spirits. Biggle’s performance did not disappoint, and the Society were certainly impressed by his performance, granting him the use of one of their limited tower suites for the night and an open invitation to play for them again when he returns to the area in the future. Biggle weaved an entertaining tale of our group’s adventures through the Dessarin Valley, utilizing song and magic to enthrall everyone in the Hall. Surely nothing could top great food and a great performance but there was still one more thing to make this a night I would surely remember- the Manticore hunt!
When the sentries burst into the Hall at the conclusion of Biggle’s performance to announce the sighting of the Manticore in the mist cover Valley the knights erupted in a fervor of activity. Commander Merosska announced the award of one of his own personal jeweled rings to the person who brought him the creature’s head. We were even offered a chance to participate, riding atop a giant vulture mount of our own.
The hunt was an experience that I am at a lost for words to describe. The rush of wind blowing on your face as you ride atop a flying beast in ever shifting mists, the darkness occasionally lit up by the moonlight with the ground far below and playing cat and mouse with a creature that was very much capable of playing the role of cat or mouse. While the Feathergale Knights flew off in one direction we decided to stick together in our group, hoping that teamwork would bring us victory.Our decision proved to be a good one as we suddenly came upon the beast and the dance of death high above the earth started. The creature was not interested in closing the distance and used its ability to fire spikes from its tail at us while we attacked it with magic or javelin in the case of Aszh. Gorm was with us, and despite the shifting mists, we were able to reacquire the beast when it hid from us and Aszh finished it with a javelin that pierced its skull and sent it plummeting to the valley floor. We returned to the Tower, the Manticore’s head in hand and received Merosska’s reward in the midst of the Knight’s applause.
The following day, following Lady Savra’s advice that the way to the Sacred Stone Monastery would be hard to travel with a wagon, I made arrangements to have our wagon and horses stored and cared for in the Tower and, with Lady Savra as our guide, we headed to the Sacred Stone Monastery. On her hippogriff, Savra scouted ahead by air, looking for potential dangers and the best path for us to take on the ground.
During the occasional periods of rest, Allegro and I attempted to learn more of Savra’s decision to leave her husband and family and tried to convince her to return to her homeland. She did not seem to have any intention of returning to her previous lifestyle, and after the experience I had last night I could not blame her. She had left behind a lifestyle of strict duty for one of freedom, adventure and excess. She did mention that her coffers were running low and she would soon be unable to pay her dues. She was contemplating returning home to ask for more money, and should this course of action be taken I do not foresee a joyous homecoming for any of the parties involved.
With the exception of a potentially deadly encounter against a pair of Bulettes, which Aszh would have surely perished in were it not for the healing power of Gorm, the trip to the Sacred Stone Monastery was uneventful. We arrived early in the evening and our speaking attempts to investigate its residents were stonewalled at the door. The golden masked individual told us that we would not be allowed entrance and not be allowed to speak to the abbess; we were told not politely to leave.Aszh thought that the individual at the door was hiding something and further investigation into the Monastery was warranted. This began a heated discussion amongst the group about how to proceed, and whether or not an assault on a potentially innocent recluse monastic order without cause would be justified. Eventually it was decided that Allegro would attempt to infiltrate the Monastery when night fell and get us some information to help us decide how to proceed.