The next morning the party awakens &, as they prepare to return to the monastery, abruptly comes under attack. Three Feathergale Knights, 2 on hippogriffs & 1 on a vulture, begin an aerial assault, informing the party that their usefulness is at an end as they do so.
The battle is quick & brutal, ending with 2 knights down, the vulture dead & the last night fleeing on one of the hippogriffs. As Organnac attempts to calm & connect with the other hippogriff, having recognized it as the one he rode hunting the manticore, Nasim discovers that one of the dead knights is Xander & reacts in a suitably melodramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, Silveno goes racing after the last knight in an attempt to shoot him down, Maluth Clanguard Caragavi stands ready to step in if the half-orc has too much trouble, and Javonte goes about looting.
Silveno failed to bring down the last knight, then got jumped by an ankheg & almost killed. Fortunately, Organnac rescued him before the giant bug made off with his body.
Once that was all sorted out, the party made it back to the monastery. The first several rooms they explored were empty. When they reached to temple, they discovered a pair of Black Earth priests, which they immediately engaged. The fight drew in the rest of the monastery’s occupants: a couple of ogres, some gargoyles & the female monk with the eyeless mask. While harrowing & intense, the party came out victorious.
Further exploration revealed a library, a distillery for cheap booze, and a garden with a crude mass grave & a few more gargoyles. The party also discovered a sealed chamber that, when forced open, revealed an undead wizard who made it very clear that he should be left alone.
Convinced the building seemed secure, the party found a place to settle down for the night.