Having activated the portal in Mistwatch Valley, the party immediately bridged the distance between and found themselves once again in the dungeon of the Westbrook tower. The ruins were filled with the sounds of wild animals, and for a disorienting second, they party imagined itself in the middle of a wild jungle. The hyena at the entrance to the portal room let out a howl, and stirred the party to action.
They quickly found themselves in the middle of a battle. Apparently gnolls had inhabited the Ruins of Westbrook. In the tower dungeon laired a gnoll priestess, her bodyguard and a pair of gnolls with a deathly pallor (though very much alive). Caged was an Eladrin prisoner. The battle was fierce, with the Eladrin fey-stepping to his bow as soon as the melee was joined and entered combat on the party’s side. The priestess was an exceptional challenge, but eventually the gnolls fell.
The Eladrin, Zin, told of his capture by an entire tribe of beastfolk, many dozens of which now camped in the ruins. They were led by a gnoll priestess, who reeked of abyssal power, and her kenku advisor. The priestess they had just defeated was a mere apprentice to the chieftain. Zin’s companions had all been sacrificed to Yeenoghu in a nightly ritual which stole their spirits and forced them to serve the abyssal priestess. Zin’s night would have been tonight. Zin also said that the chieftain had been called away by the badger-folk who had just cleared a pathway into the manor house (which they called the human chieftain’s den). The chieftain and her entourage left with the badger-folk to explore the now-opened ruins.
Using his silver necklace, Fix disguised himself as the priestess’ bodyguard and scouted the town. About a foot of snow covered the ground and several dozen beastfolk roamed the snow-covered ruins. The gaps in the town’s walls had been filled with rubble from the ruins. Locating a gap close to the tower, the party decided to scale the rubble and make a break from the ruins. Brost had brought up the fact that the histories of the area told of the Mayor’s escape from the ruins when Westbrook had fallen, and that there may be a escape tunnel under the manor house, but the party chose the walls.
Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned. Though Zin made it to the walls unnoticed, the rest of the party was easily spotted by the guards on the good section of wall as they attempted to do the same. The wall guards moved to intercept, and were soon joined by two gnolls guarding a tunnel in the back of the manor house. Fix scouted out the tunnel and found it to be passable and shorn up with timbers. Further in, the center hall was stone-lined and in much more stable condition. Fixing a rope around one of the supports, Fix rigged the tunnel to be collapsed if it were necessary before rejoining the battle. Though the battle seemed to be going in the party’s direction and escape seemed within reach, when the disguised Fix made it to the top of the walls, he saw many packs of gnolls prowling outside the walls as well.
That was when one of the wall-guards used his signal horn and with two blasts of the horn, alerted the beastfolk that intruders were within the walls. Quickly changing tactics, the party made a dash to the back of the manor house. Still disguised, Fix tried to divert the beastfolk, but when the other party members dashed across the alleyway behind him, he knew the con wouldn’t work.
Once the party was safely through the tunnel and near the stable parts of the central hall, Fix (with help), pulled the support out from the unstable tunnel, crashing it down on the heads of those gnolls who were right on their heels.
After taking a few minutes to rest, Zin crept down the stairs and found the abyssal priestess and her advisor engrossed in searching the walls of the manor’s basement for secret passages. They were guarded by two of the deathly-looking gnolls. Zin, Torra and Elias positioned themselves near the bottom of the staircase before engaging the priestess’ entourage.
The priestess called forth four hyena spirits, who Torra could tell were Eladrin spirits twisted by dark magic into their current form and forced to serve the priestess. A battle against four turned into a battle against eight in the cramped basement of the manor house. Though the battle was bloody, and several of the party were on their last leg, eventually the tide turned and they were victorious. As the priestess died, Torra saw the four eladrin spirits ascend from the stones where the hyena spirits had been dispatched. Zin sacrificed his raven companion to lead his friends’ spirits back to the Feywild, secure in the knowledge he could recall his companion.