The heroes get acquainted with a few of the personalities in Tylmer Keep, and get to see first hand the strained relations between the workers, masons and architects from Tir’Heth and the xenophobic and jingoistic locals. However, socio-political concerns take back-seat to the constant harassment of spire drakes; the winged lizards that roost in the nearby clock tower have become more and more bold, culminating in the theft of a whole roast boar that was being prepared for the arrival of an Andalonan dignitary.
While Jurak and Koteth interest themselves in the plight of the inkeeper Marta and her stolen feast, Arem discovers that most of the old tomes and books he seeks may be contained within the clock tower that the spire drakes are using as a roost. The clock tower itself belonged to the court wizard back in the days that the keep was in use, and the wizard’s library would still no doubt be intact.
The tower is shored up on all sides by the collapsed remains of the surrounding building, so entrance by the main door would have to wait for major excavation. However, Koteth’s years of scavenging from the bones of ruined settlements allows him to uncover a means into the cellars of the adjoining collapsed building, so that the party can access the tower’s cellars and work their way up.
Descending into the damp, moldy basement, the party is set upon by a horde of enormous diseased rodents, one of the many kinds of creatures that infest the uncleared ruins in the keep.