Alabazium would not be joining them as he was away at the library, researching tomes to decipher the scrolls he had found. Neither would Gwynfor be along. He had debtors to pay.
So it was that the elves Mellion and Gildrid, the dwarves Gruffydd and Dimzad, the halfling known as Miss Adventure and the two newest members left the safety of the gates and went again, Beyond the Wall.
They were rested and re-equipped. Mellion and splurged and bought himself a riding horse. Dimzad had settled on a goat for his mount, though the ill tempered little creature kept stopping to graze, and had to be led most of the way. About noon the reached the massive tree of the little dryad, Newli.
"Newli!" Miss Adventure shouted. "Newli, it's us. Your friends."
"My friends?' A little pale face had appeared in the branches above.
"Yes. Us." Miss Adventure gestured to the rest of the group. "Have you any news?"
"News? Newli looked perplexed.
"Has anything happened since we were here last?', Gruffydd asked
"Oh! Men. Lots of Men on horses came. They looked very cross. They looked like they were looking for something. Is that news?" Newli smiled.
"Yes,"the old dwarf said as he turned to his companions."looks like we should get going." Then to Newli, "Thanks again, we'll be back soon."
The party left the old logging camp behind and headed northwest, where they knew the old tomb stood.
After about an hour they crested a hill. Below them a small creek ran between the hills. At a ford in the water was a scene of carnage. The corpses of three bloated horses and two figures had dammed the creek. A half a dozen small creatures were stripping the bodies.
"Charge!" Mellion shouted. The impetuous elf drew his sword and put spurs to his horse. Gruffydd put his hand over his eyes and sighed. As Mellion flew down the hill, Guthix began a eldritch chant and Gildrid drew his bow. Miss Adventure calmly sat down down and put on her Boots of Speed.
The creatures were small. Smaller than even a halfling. They had scaly rust colored skin and small horns. They were somewhere between a dog and lizard in appearance. They were gleefully stripping the bodies until they spotted the elf charging pellmell straight at them. Six scattered and began splashing south along the creek. Two stood, gave a soft growl, and drew their tiny knives.