Juselen 8th 1014 YE
The party pushed deeper into the mountains, on guard for the dangers that lurked there. While spring was blooming down on the coast, freezing winds, snow and ice were still a danger in the Alan Tepes Mountains. As the noon day sun rose, the party came across a steep river gorge that stretched for miles. A quick search however revealed the existence of a nearby rope bridge. The bridge was well maintained and recently be serviced, but by who? The party crossed over the river without major incident, through some party members had some minor difficulty due to bulky mounts and a high wind.
Leaving the gorge behind they soon found themselves on a mountain trail that headed upward, as they circumvented around the side of the mountain they saw a sight that made them gasp. The party could see on the other side of the valley was a massive humanoid skeleton leaning against a mountain. This giant was the fossilized remains of some titanic being from an age long lost to time and history.
As the party pushed on they crossed another mountain. As the sun began to set, the party looked for a place to make camp. Oberron found a hollow between two mountains that lead down to a valley. As the party made camp, dark clouds rolled in blocking out the moons and stars.
Juselen 9th 1014 YE
During the night, a dense fog enveloped the mountains and valleys. The party awoke shivering to find themselves and all of their gear damp and cold. Visibility was extremely limited as they crept down into the valley they had spied the day before. As they moved through the fog they soon realized they were not the only beings in the valley. Oberron and Garrick detected the heavy footsteps of a large group of armed humanoids moving towards them. The guttural voices of the humanoids and their looming silhouettes showed them to be a warband of ogres.
The party attempted to move quietly as possible through the fog trying to avoid the ogres. However it was for naught as the Ogres caught their scent. A confusing battle erupted in the fog as ogres began to swing blindly. The party reciprocated lashing out with blades. Damien managed to land a critical blow disemboweling one of the ogres. Ivanova and Avery also both managed to bring down one. One of Avery’s retainers was struck a terrific blow and flung from his horse, his body disappearing into the fog.
The party managed to escape the ogres and make it to the other side of the valley. They could hear the ogres still in the fog searching for them. The party was close to their destination, the fact that a warband of Ogres was so close by was not a good sign.
Several hours later, Oberron carefully checked his maps and declared the valley they were looking for was close. The party found a sheltered area that would make a good base camp. All of the henchmen, retainers, and animal companions would stay at the base camp.
Juselen 10th 1014 YE
Oberron led the group to the crest of a ridge that overlooked the valley. Scouting ahead Oberron’s heart sank a little when he saw what was in the valley. A large tribe of gnolls had established camps throughout the valley and had set up guard posts and patrols around the valley. Oberron could see that there were also a large number of enslaved humans and demi-humans. Dig sites had been set up all over the valley; the gnolls were searching for something, the secret door to the vault? It was clear to Oberron that the Demon’s minions had gotten here first, but the heroes had something that the gnolls did not, the second map with the actual location of the hidden door to the vault.
Oberron crept along the ridge noting where each camp, dig site and guard post was. He also noted that sounds of hyenas barking from one of the central camps. He watched carefully the patrol routes and guard changes. The gnolls had one camp that was nearby but it was not too close to the vault entrance and they were not digging in the vicinity yet.
With the right timing, the party could sneak down and enter the vault and the gnolls would not be the wiser. Oberron returned to his comrades and gave the details of his plan.