So when we last left off the group had been following their newly charmed kobald pal, Belkin, further into the castle to retrieve a sword his tribe found but never dared to take. The party along the way decided they wanted to check every room and door they came across to check for additional loot or to maybe per-emptivaly strike at any monsters that may try to sneak up on them later. This did annoy Belkin some as he was trying to lead them and they would start to wander off including finding a crystal cave like room that really threw their map to the wind. They eventually figured out the trick to the room and decided to follow Belkin to the sword.
What they found was an old smith shop, most likely used by who ever used to live here to create additional iron hinges, rods, nails, etc. It had not been used in a long time but right smack in the center was what they was promised, a very large anvil with a beautifully crafted short sword with golden lion faces on the hilt with a silvered blade and a large deep red ruby on the pommel. The cleric went over and checked to see if anything was amiss but did not find anything so he tried to take the sword. His hand touched the hilt with no issue but when he tried to remove his hand he found it was stuck. The group thinking it might be some sort of trick waited a moment to see if he could free himself, which is when the anvil's rounded edge used for shaping extended out into a club like appendage and smashed itself across the clerics face.
The group fearing they too might get stuck went at it with ranged and long reach weapons while the cleric tried in vane to free his hand as he kept taking solid (2d6) clubbings to the head. Eventually the barbarian had enough and brought down his battle axe splitting the anvil creature (a mimic) into a pool of silverly colored blood and leaving behind the sword.
The barb grabbed the sword as his prize and found it amazing that the blade burst into flame! They thought about spending another night in the castle to recharge but Belkin begged them not to as he and his tribe never stayed the night in the upper part of the castle as any number of terrible things could get him in his sleep. They thought about it and decided he had a point and they wasnt too far away from Belltaine not to return so they took a quick pit stop over at the storage room from their first visit to collect some of the ale for the inn keeper and headed back.
On the way back a group of 4 gnolls came up on the party, both groups surprising the other. The barb drew his battle axe and the newly claimed flaming lions sword and prepped for battle. The gnolls seeing the flaming sword and that while the party out numbered them close about 2 to 1 they was fresh and ready to fight and this pack of travelers already looked beaten, bloody, and soon that flaming sword will be theirs. Each of them was wielding big heavy war clubs (1d10) and they all ganged up on the barb. The party went first but it was a calamity of the errors. The barb couldnt hit the broad side of the barn, same with the majority of the group. The mage tripped over himself and smashed his face into the ground stunning himself for 2 turns. The cleric went to swing his morning star and it slipped from his grip and flew over his shoulder 9ft behind him. The wolf rogue and guard dog both just barely missed their marks as well as the charmed henchlings and druid. The gnolls went to work 2 of them getting some solid hits into the barb with their clubs. Next round starts and things look up for them as the assassin stabs one from behind for double damage but just barely keeps from killing it. The cleric uses a sling and hits one in the head with a rock. The charmed orc hits with his spear and the barb strikes with the flaming sword slaying one of his tormentors. Still not wanting to give up and having seen the big half orc bleed they are determined to take him out and possibly cause the rest of the group to surrender. They go all in swinging with their clubs with only one of them missing the other 2 hitting their marks the first causing him to double forward and the second caving his skull in with a mighty (9 damage) swing killing him (-4 hp).
The group as always seeks to avenge their friend and the guard dog leaps onto one of the gnolls that scored the final blows and drove it to the ground mauling it to death while the wolf bit one of the others in a unpleasent area ;) and caused it to die from system shock. The last gnoll some how survives this round and decides if he is going to die he aint going alone and swings for the mage, missing his mark by inches and shattered his club on the ground. The mage rolled for his attack with his jeweled dagger (+1) and scored a natural twenty and got triple damage, sticking his blade right above the voicebox and twisted the blade slaying the final foe. They collect their friend and travel the rest of the way to Belltaine where they are going to see if resurrection is a possibility or if they will have to have a funeral ceremony for their departed friend.