A forest warden in Klok’s Woods tells the party that he had verified that gnolls are gathering in large numbers south of the Gosmaw River in the area known as Branten’s Gift . The land was originally given to orcs and once they abandoned the worthless land gnolls moved in . Count Branten declared that the gnolls could live there so long as they converted to the worship of Menoth and protected the land from the Tiamat worshipping raksata to the south and wild men from the Lortmil Mountains . Recently mineral wealth was discovered in the Gift and Branten rescinded his offer , declaring that gnolls had to leave the land for occupation . The warden hiked to Enstad (the first major city likely to be attacked if the gnolls do cross the river) and told them about the gathering army . Their response was to place a bounty on gnolls .
Shortly thereafter the party encountered a military force being put together by Count Branten’s son to hunt down the Vulture Clan dwarves that destroyed Ashmead . Renwald was taken for a dwarf and “questioned” by the count’s son and his drunken sycophants . While this was going on it was determined that a “wild man” from the Lortmils called Heartless was the real military leader and that the aide Tila was the one keeping everything organized . Although badly burned Ace recognized Tila as in truth being Meris , a maid to the missing daughter of the assassinated duchess . He seemed mildly interested but quickly gave up on trying to talk to her . Theo cozied up to the count’s son and told him about the gnolls to the south . Various contradictory and seemingly pointless plots and schemes were pushed to varying degrees . . Max agreed to invent and then build a cannon for the count’s son .
Heading away from the military encampment during his morning prayers Theo was contacted magically by Sister Ia who informed them that Deacon Hope was gathering a large number of constables for an ill-advised mission into Thenol that would likely provoke another war with Calbaria . Intent on putting a stop to it they headed to Nulb where they encountered a river troll and tormented a man with no pants . Deciding they hated Nulb they wandered aimless until they came across a group of trappers who told them where the constables were gathering . In return for this information the trappers asked for help with some poachers who were attack them . They request was rebuffed with extreme prejudice for reasons unknown . The party caught up with Deacon Hope and nearly a hundred constables . Theo cozied up to him . Crow met another mongrelman and decided to fight him to the death for some reason . Max met a fellow alchemist who told him about the hobgoblin ritual of Skinned Flesh and asked for his help in developing a way to find the Hobgoblin infiltrators . After various conspiracies and false information campaigns it was decided that the matter of “invading” Thenol would be decided by thrilling legal battle ; Ace and his co-counsel Max against the Deacon’s dream team of 7 lawyers and the saboteur Theo . The magistrate ruled in the favor of Ace and Max and the matter was settled .
Heading into the Imrdys Run swamplands the party sought out Mother to determine what had happened to Anders . After determine that Anders was “gone” they headed for Heningstbury where they sold a ton of loot and spent several days shopping and carousing . Heading towards Dockalong they encountered a party of fellow constables who had just come from Dockalong with a string of prisoners . They found that they were intent on taking the prisoners to an abandoned adamantium mine near (or maybe across) the Thenol border to sell the criminals into slavery . It was decided that the party would accompany them , feigning to go along with the plan , and then spring a trap to take them down and the slavers . Also the mine would be plundered of any remaining admantium .