When we last left the party they were in a circular room with many cages containing wererats. There were also several wererats who had arrived in the room from both exits and the party was in a the middle of a fight with them.
With some heavy-handed axe hacking by Malkor the Dwarf, some crossbow shots by both Mithkin the Rogue and Alunda the Mage the wererats were soon dispatched. The party then attempted to speak with the wererats in the cages but only two seemed talkative.
The two wererats were released from their cages and told the party that they were actually humans who had been farmers on the outskirts of Newport when they were taken by a group of wererats and brought here. They are a little cloudy on what happened next, they believe they were drugged, but when they came to they had been somehow transformed into wererats themselves! They told the party they had been in the cages for almost ten days and previously to that they had been shackled to a wall in another room but they weren't sure for how long. They led the party to the room they had been previously kept in and here the party found 10 people shackled to the walls of the room, some human, some dwarven, halfling and even an elf.
The party freed the captives and took it upon themselves to lead these people to safety. Though a slow and arduous task considering the prisoners condition, they all found themselves back in Newport 3/4's of a day later.
The party found the local militia, who contacted the towns leader, Yoall. Yoall listened to their tale and immediately sent for the local clerigy and also some members of the Mages Guild. Yoall would contact the party when he had any information as to how these people were infected and who they all were excately.
Leaving the militia and Yoall the party rested for a couple of days, recuperating and healing their various wounds. On the third day they set out again for the complex where they had encountered the wererats.
They met no new resistance as they proceeded throught the corridors and down the stairs to the lower level. Perhaps the wererats had assumed one of the prisoners had freed themself and then helped the others escape?
The party moved past the room with the cages, still containing the eight wererats who hadn't seemed inclined to speak to the party if they were even able to. Down a long and quiet corridor the party came to a stone door. Oddly, it was locked from the outside.
The party discussed this and decided a Detect Magic spell by the party's Mage, Alunda, was in order. She cast and a moment later told them that she could feel the strong presence of elemental magic from behind the door, and to a lesser degree, necromantic magic...
The party frowned at this new information, necromancy, not good (literally). They unlocked the door and had a peak in. Beyond was a barren room, scorched marks on the walls here and there, except for a brazier on a tall three legged stand. A light glow emanated from the brazier and bathed the room in an eery glow.
The party fashioned a plan! A rope was tied around the Dwarven Fighter Malkor and Mithkin, Grey and Alunda held on to the other end of the rope. Malkor opened the door more and stepped into the room...
... and the brazier ingnited in a rush of hot air taking the shape of ....
...yeah! That guy (above).
The Fire Elemental eyed the next meal its fires would consume in the Dwarf Malkor.
Alunda acted first and summoned a bat swarm into the room in the hopes that a thousand tiny meals would be better than one. It worked the Fire Elemental turned its attention to the mass of black shapes skittering through the air nearby. Mithkin and Grey took this opportunity to pull Malkor out of the room with a hard yank of the rope. As Malkor was pulled across the threshold he pushed the door shut behind him!
[So the party escapes the Fire Elemental. I would really liked to have seen them battle the brute, it would have been a tough fight and they probably did the right thing by getting the hell out of there. So, here are the most Renown heroes of the lands....