They reached Fort Belurian. Most of the Morningstar troops had already left to lay siege to Dungrunglung (royal residence of the Grung). Inquisitor Darius was left in charge.
Lucretia delivered some shocking news to Darius (a secret about the Undead threat known only to Juma).
Lucretia got her promotion (to 5th level Inquisitor) and used Sending to communicate with the Morningstar Commander – they agreed to meet up at Dungrunglung so Ariel could try to broker a peaceful settlement with the mad king – otherwise, the Grung would be declared as Necromancers and exterminated.
After a few days travel, they met a wounded Aarakocra (brightly-coloured parrot-man) near the spire of the Pterafolk.
He (Nephyr) and his sister Pyloxia had been searching for Click (who Nephyr seemed to blame for being “late”) when they were ambushed by Pterafolk.
Usually Aarakocra fly faster, but the Pterafolk had been magically hasted. Nephyr had been injured but managed to crawl through some dense jungle and hide. His sister was carried away, still alive. The good news is that most of the 30-40 Pterafolk of the spire appear to be away and there are only a handful of the creatures left.
Our heroes agree to launch a rescue attempt and sneak up to the spire under cover of darkness.
There are trapped ladders, giant spiders and a flock of vampire bats that emerges when Grey starts trying to hammer an iron spike into the masonry (quietly).
Ariel climbs in the form of a Giant Spider with Grey clinging to his back. Ront climbs the ladders and fights his way through the spider level. The others follow up the ladders, eventually finding an internal shaft with iron rungs.
The Pterafolk are alerted by Grey’s stealthy spike-hammering and the screeching of the blood-draining bats [GM:Stirges with echo-location].
It’s a very close run thing, especially when Ariel is forced out of spider form and he and Grey plummet (only saved by a rope Grey had attached earlier by some amazing feat of perspicacity) but with missile and spell support from below, our heroes prevail, killing the Pterafolk warlock and his minions.
They rescue Pyloxia and learn that Nephyr is a “Prince” of the Aarakocra (son of the colony’s Leader – High Prophetess Asharra). After a bit of banter with his “subject” Click (who does not seem to have much respect for his Prince) it becomes clear that Click was sent out on a mission, then delayed by being captured by the Goblins, but is supposed to be bringing a band of heroes with ancient artefact Masks (forseen by Asharra) to Kir Sabal. The Aarakocra are an ancient line of nobility at Kir Sabal and the Kenku are viewed as second-class citizens.
Pyloxia overheard the Pterafolk while she was a captive. They had been visited by some Witch who gave their leader warlock powers in exchange for the Pterafolk flying off to search for heroes with ancient artefacts (Masks!).
Nephyr made a deal with Sister Lucretia to bring a squad of Aarakocra to the spire to assist Morningstar troops in holding it as a Watch Tower.