First, they convinced Bassy to give them her key (with a 25 Diplomacy, after they spent a week doing good deeds around town) and draw them a map. Once they got there and defeated the guardian, they left, because they didn't have a reason to go in, but now they know about the bones.
Then, because two of them are Irorian, they went to the monastery and when they learned that it was occupied, decided to cleanse it. They weren't scared by the kobolds (since they already installed Nighttail as their puppet-chief of the tribe), and when the bells went off the group decided to storm the bell-tower and silence them.
So far, they've gotten the mummy's blessing and slain Goladryth (it's a three-person group, so they have Maffei and used excellent tactics). I suspect they're going to clear the monastery next session, unless they get killed (at level 5, it may be a little hard, but not impossible). I moved the last lieutenant off-site, because the auction hasn't happened, and I wanted to keep him in my back pocket.
My problem is this, of course: how does the near-complete lack of allies impact the dragon's tactics? I have no idea how to run this. I'm open to any ideas, because at this point I think we're completely off-book, but I'd hate to lose the auction completely, since it's a really interesting mechanic.
My impulse is simply to have the dragon attack the town at the end of the auction and try to raze it to get what he wants, but why would he even wait for the auction? Why not destroy the town right away, in retaliation for the PC's unprovoked attack? I could have him include the PCs in his demand, "send me the heads of those who have so affronted me," or something. Either way, this impacts the Kell situation in unpredictable ways. Still, why wait three weeks to get revenge, if there's no plan to get what he wants secretly (especially given the loss of other... strategic resources)? In fact, given the loss of those resources, would the dragon even want the book, anymore? Hasn't it lost its value?
Yep, no idea where to go. Help?