Ranza (Changeling 4)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 5)
Thrax (Fighter 3)
The party gathered their treasure and put their minds once more to dealing with the giant eagle nesting in the head above. Based on the legionary standard they'd just recovered, Hobbs thought there might be some connection between the eagle and the long fallen Imperium. So Thrax was dressed in a legionary uniform stripped from one of the men in statis, and placed the standard on the end of a spear. Then standing in the chest opening, he sounded the bugle to get the eagles attention. Which it did, the avian once more flying down to confront the party, but refraining from pecking eyes and entrails for the moment. Gnarl then cast speak with animals to open conversation. They learned they eagle knew nothing of the Imperium, so Thrax was able to change back into his usual clothes. The eagle (Elsivar) was quite intelligent, and the party learned this as her usual nesting site. She currently had an egg in her care. And her biggest worry was a creature known as the Synarian Beast, a scintillating winged thing she feared would destroy her egg or young fledgling once it hatched. She was quite interested in making a deal with the party; she would help be their eyes and ears if they would destroy the Beast. She also offered her treasure, half now and half after the Beast was dead. She agreed they could use the colossus as a refugee, but warned the shade hounds frequently appeared in the darkened room by some unknown means.
The party agreed, but informed Elisixar they must rest and prepare first. The eagle departed, and as it was now evening, the party decided to take their chances here in the colossus. They barred themselves in the secret alter room for the night; a good plan as they could hear a shade hound sniffing outside their door during the night. It unfortunately was still lingering in the morning, for it emerged and howled just as the the party was exiting the chest cavity via rope. Hobbs and Ranza were already on the ground, but Gnarl was just starting to descend and Tharx still stood rear guard. The howl once more drove Thrax mad, and he bulled past Gnarl to escape down the rope. The wood gnome, being made of stern stuff but muttering some unkind words for the big human warrior who nearly plummeted him to his death, escaped unaffected.
Once safe and away, the party headed for the refuge tower to rest a few days and let Ranza recover from her grievous wounds. Unfortunately it was not there when they arrived, and in fact there was no sign of there ever being a tower there. They decided to push on and return to Mikan and Allisan's cabin to rest in safety. They were once more greeted kindly, though Mikan was somewhat gruff when he learned they hadn't even been near the fortress yet, let alone recovered the sapling for Allisan. They stayed quite a few days as Ranza needed a long rest, and they also obtained three more healing poultices from Allisan before heading out again. They climbed back up the hillside to avoid the trolls in the valley, and headed back to the colossus to meet Elsivar. By this time they'd figured the Synerian Beast must nest somewhere in or around the valley's northernmost tower, and that tower was their ultimate goal. They received from Elsivar part of her treasure (a wand of bees claimed by Ranza) and then settled into the secret room once more to rest the night. But of course only after once more dealing with the shade hound which once more turned Thrax into a quivering bowl of fear. But it was driven off with no further issue.
Once more their rest was disturbed though, but this time by a racket outside. They heard Elsivar and some other creature screaming at each other, and the sound of massive wings cut the night. The party, thinking perhaps the Synerian Beast had come to them as it did in the refuge tower, bust out of the room and headed out to look. Indeed, in the sky above they could see the giant eagle and a scintillating draconic creature circling each other. The appearance of the party seemed to spook the Beast, and it broke away and flew off to the north. The party scrambled to the top of the statue with Elsivar's help, and prepared a trap for the beast. The giant eagle flew off to grab a deer from the forest to use as bait to lure the beast back, then flew out of site so as to not spook the flying creature with it's presence. The party then raised a racket, and soon the Beast did return. It cleverly did not land in the middle of the trap, however, instead clinging onto the edge of the colossus and biting viciously down on Hobbs. Thrax guzzled a potion of heroism, Ranza used her new wand of bees to summon some help and Gnarl laid down a snare and stumble on top of the colossus's head. Unfortunately, the kaleidoscopic scales of the Beast caused great confusion, and most of the bees turned to attack the party. As Hobbs continued to get chomped, Ranza blinded the Beast. This caused it to get confused and disoriented, such that it stumbled into snare/stumble. There, momentarily pinned and helpless, it soon met it's end under the combined blows of the party, and the body crashed to the earth below.
Elsivar now emerged to cry her thank, and offered over the rest of here treasure; a series of gems hidden inside a hollow human femur. Gnarl recovered from trophies (hide, scales and teeth) from the Beast and then the party got ready to settle in again and rest after a battle well fought.
Gems (10sp, 3x75sp, 2x750sp)
Wand of Bees
The Synarian Beast
The Synarian Beast