The group peeled off from the other merchants and headed southeast towards Balic. During their travel they noticed a group in the distance that were mounted, but seemingly left their mounts and began following on foot. The next few days of travel were uneventful and the party arrived at Altaruk, a small trading post. Their hopes were that in Altaruk they could arrange a sand skiff to travel faster down the Estuary of the Forked Tongue.
In Altaruk, things were exceedingly quiet. Asking the locals, they found out that the small outpost was plagued by a Thrax. This cunning undead creature was brazen enough to enter the walls of the keep at night and drain the life of the occupants. The party decided to offer their aid in ridding the community of this monster, and with a few mercenary guards in tow, headed out to try and track down the undead beast.
In the hilly and boulder-laden desert, they managed to pick up the trail of the Thrax, likely having its lair in a southern range of mountains. While travelling they were suddenly waylaid by a group of a dozen elves, all armed with thick hide armor, bows, and hefty weapons. An imposing figure came forward and sneered, “Lismuuk has tasked me with bringing him your heads and the stone amulet.” *