As Harburk and the rest of the butchers start putting things in order in Red Larch, Zoltar offers to help with the investigation. The rest of the party gets started on investigating the Sacred Stone Monastery. First thing, Alfar wants to go compare notes with Thurl Merosska at Feathergale Spire. After hearing about the interference of a suspected Earth cultist in Red Larch, Thurl offers the team the use of aerial mounts to carry them to the monastery. Alfar has to remind Thurl that he is too large to ride a hippogriff. Thurl smiles and says is he is half the man that he looks, he could tame a mount that none of the Feathergale Knights have been able to. They had captured the recently deceased manticore's mate and only needed convincing.
Alfar makes a contract with the manticore, who agrees to bear Alfar to the Monastery and back if released from imprisonment. Using directions provided by Thurl Merosska, the party quickly finds its way to the Sacred Stone Monastery. The manticore and hippogriffs land nearby and remain hidden. From the skies, the party had seen a stone building with some openings above, one of which is a huge walled garden.
The party approached directly at first and were greeted at the front door by a monk wearing a golden face mask and robes. They asked for food and water as they were weary travelers. The monk soon returned though, dropping a small pile of supplies in front of them. The party asked if they could come inside and rest, but the monk just turned and closed the door. The party went back out of sight and waited until nightfall. Under the cover of night, they broke into the walled garden and soon found themselves facing off against