The party (minus Matt's nameless character) leaves the serenty and civilization of De Shamod for the great unknown that is Ar-Ensul. The board a river boat late in the evening and sale for several days up the river to the mouth of the Diamond Run, a tributary of the might Ghostwash and a decent sized river in its own right. There they visit the small burg of Lowenvale. But all is not well in Lowenvale. It is apparent almost immediately. The good people of the town are under the yoke of a band of Rhodin (humanoid ram headed monsters) that extorts obedience and repays insubordination with death and enslavement. The people beg the party not to fight the creatures lest they bring down their wrath yet again.
The next morning the party kills four Rhodin who approached to bring them to their leader.
The villagers shake their heads knowingly (adventures, what can you do?)
The party vows to prevent further attacks and to rescue the children of the village, and free the valley from the thrall of these beasts. They travel up the Shard Path until they spot a look out. Ferrethryn, their Litorian mageblade, and backup scout, moves ahead of the group and dispatches two of the foul creatures before they can sound an alarm. The rest of the journey is without incident until they make it close enough to view the once magnificent castle, now somewhat overgrown and in ruins. They have little time to enjoy the view, or plan an assualt, as the keep is alerted by the lack of a call from their lookouts.
A party of six Rhodin approach to investigate. The party makes pretty short work of them. The mighty hammer of Graal, the swift blade Legion doing most of the damage.
We left the party planning their next move. They fear to leave the path, lest another larger group moves past them and harrasses the villagers of Lowenvale. But, they feel they must investigate the keep, and its environs if they are to end this unrighteous reign.