Instead of the Swordlord, the party found themselves facing a slight irate elven male, who quickly declared himself as Lord Neilus, sent by the Swordlords to aid them on their quest to determine the fate of Varnhold and it’s residents. Currently they are disappointed with our progress, and have sent him along to aid the party, as well as report back progress as needed. After brief introductions, he is brought up to speed on what we have seen and done, taking particular interest in the evidence discovered in Varnhold pointing to the Nomen centaurs. As well, he is able to narrow down where in the Nomen Heights the centaur camp might be located, estimating it to be near a location called the Blood Furrows, where the party fought the bulette. After business is concluded, the party dines with their new companion before resting for the night.
After spending some time purchasing a last few items and acquiring new steeds as needed, the party heads south and west back down in the direction of the Blood Furrows. On the way, they find a pair of odd sprialling structures consisting of small ziggurats connected by short walls. A few of the party members after some thought suspect it to be a centaur burial ground. Making use of his magic, Nielis takes to the sky, quickly spotting four Manticores resting within the ruins. The manticores also take notice of him, and leap into the air to attack.
Using his magic, Neilis puts one to sleep as the other 3 quickly rise high into the air, well out of melee range. Despite the set back, the party attacks skyward with magic and arrows, having some success in damaging the foes. Bei Lin takes on the sleeping manticore as Neilis manages to draw one down to the ground using a suggestion spell, opening him up to powerful strikes from Penelope and Gregor.
Soon, all four are slain, and the party carefully searches the grounds, takes especial care to not disturb the sacred ground of the centaurs. Among the remains, they manage to find a pouch filled with gold, and a handful of magical items, including a wand of Enlarge Person, potions of Haste, Gaseous Form and Draconic resistance, and scrolls of Spike Growth and Inflict serious wounds. After a bit more travel, Gregor summons his grove and the party rests through the night.
The party rises once more, spotting the raven for a moment before it is spooked off by a flight of giant eagles. A calm day of traveling proceeds, only seeing a few mastodon tracks before eventually camping again for the night, which again passes quietly.
A particularly cold day spurs Gregor to cast Endure Elements for the whole party. They then finish their trek to the Blood Furrows reaching it shortly before noon. As Gregor begins to recounts information about the terrain, a large contingent of 27 Nomens suddenly appear and approach. The party forms a line, Penelope requesting that no one take an offensive action until they are attacked. Bei Lin presents the manticore head, which causes the centaur forces to charge, shrilly screaming and waving weapons. As the party holds fast, Neilis manages to read the thoughts of the leader, identifying their actions as a bluff, and attempts to cow them by using a spectral voice to announce their intent to not cause harm and tell the Centaur to stop. They do, initially in a mocking manner, still highly distrustful even after Penelope explains the circumstances of the previous engagement with Centaur. Recalling information from their recent excursion to town, Alexander presents Skybolt, confirming his suspicions that this fine bow was indeed the one stolen from the Nomen. At this point, the centaurs attitude immediately shifts to a more accommodating demeanor. After more discussion, the Centaur agree to allow the party to meet with their leader, the Mother Moon.