- “The Lucky Fox” Tavern, midnight -
A bloodcurdling scream pierces the night.
Dave, Kai, and Fayzo exit their individual chambers, which fate would have it, were side-by-side. All three immediately notice a hysterical woman in the hall, screaming and sobbing about a monster she saw. She points to a room across the hall. A dark figure is seen swiftly entering the door, which then swings to a close.
Dave, Fayzo, and Kai stack up at the door to investigate. Dave, a simpleton barbarian, is highly annoyed with being disturbed during his slumber. He kicks the door in, and jumps inside.
Through the door-opening a menacing sight greets our heroes. A hyena-like humanoid is standing over the figure of a man in his bed, with a dagger ready to strike.
Dave doesn’t think twice (or even once, really…), and bull-rushes the monster. He slams it over the bed and into the wall. Fayzo quickly jumps in and fires a bolt from his crossbow, but misses.
Kai joins the fray and blinds the monster with the dazzling bright light from his Flare spell.
The monster is severely disoriented. A giant half-orc bulldozed him into a wall, an arrow whizzed by his head, and a bright light flashed in front of his face, all in a matter of seconds. Dazed and confused, the hyena-like monster swings his claws wildly, but hits nothing but air.
Dave Dunker has had enough. With a great big swing of his greatsword, he cleaves the beast in half, separating its head from its body.
The man in the bed sputters in disbelief. Drenched in the still spurting blood of the monster, he professes his eternal gratitude towards the group of adventurers.
As Fayzo retrieves his crossbow bolt and investigates the monster’s body, the man in the bed introduces himself as Walda, a local merchant trader. He also identifies the monster as a Gnoll, an intelligent but vicious monster that is not normally seen in these parts.
As the barkeep of the tavern comes to investigate, and offers the men a free pitcher of ale for their troubles, Walda requests that the three heroes accompany him to Erech, for protection. Upon arrival, Walda promises that his friend and colleague Turach Lorenu will reward them handsomely for the job.
After some discussion the group agrees, and a party is formed.
The following morning, at first light, the party prepares to set off towards Erech. A short exchange of nervous glances and questions of sanity arise as Kai walks out with a tiger by his side. The rest of the party is slightly uneasy and unsure as to how well Kai can keep the wild animal in check, seeing as it is larger than the tiny gnome. Kai introduces the tiger as Leng, and assures them that he is a friendly and loyal companion. As it is about a day’s walk to Erech, there is no time to argue the point, and thus the party sets off.
The road is paved and well-travelled, and the journey is completed uneventfully. Upon arrival in Erech, Walda immediately takes them to his trusted friend Turach, who lives in a giant villa adorned with a lavish garden and courtyard. Turach is obviously a very rich man.
As they enter the home, Turach jovially welcomes them in his home, and when told of the previous night’s encounter, thanks the group profusely for their heroism. He invites the party to stay in his home, and asks them to accompany him at dinner that night.
Each of our three heroes spend the rest of the afternoon separately. Fayzo takes a long relaxing bath. Kai walks through the garden to investigate the plants, and is joined by the local gardener, who fixes him a healing kit from the various healing herbs in the yard. Lastly, Dave spends the afternoon practising playing his Lute. It does not sound good.
During an extravagant dinner held at the villa that night, each of our heroes is granted 100GP for their troubles, and is invited to take some helpful supplies from Turach’s storeroom, should they need them. The men discuss the events that transpired, and the possible reasons behind them as well. It is decided that the party will investigate a raid on a nearby village, which may be related to the unrest that seems to be brewing throughout Darandis province.
After dinner the party takes a quick look in the storeroom. Dave grabs a fishing net, a climber’s kit, and some other useful items. Kai grabs a veterinarian’s kit and a bunch of potions, whilst Fayzo obtains three powerful magic scrolls.
The following morning Kai wakes up early and leaves for the market, where he buys a set of leather armor. Afterwards the party sets off towards Ivona, the small village that was raided.
After four hours or so, they arrive in Ivona. Fayzo questions some villagers and quickly learns that the raid was on a farmstead owned by the Kromax family. The man of the house was severely injured and left for dead, whilst the wife, and their two young daughters were kidnapped by the attackers. The Kromax’ only son, Rada Kromax, was not home during the raid.
The party walks over to where the man is being treated for his injuries. He appears unconscious. Kai, the druid, stays by his bedside to try and heal the poor farmer. Dave and Fayzo meanwhile, walk over to the farmstead that was attacked.
It appeared to be completely burned to the ground. Some quick investigating revealed several tracks in the mud and ash that suggested that the attackers were of Gnoll and Orcish race. Dave and Fayzo quickly walked back to their companion, who in the meantime had been able to revive the injured farmer.
Farmer Kromax revealed that he only saw a sinister- and scruffy-looking human attack him with a dagger. He did not know what happened to his family, or where they were.
His son, Rada, however said that he saw the attackers leave on horseback towards the hills to the north. He posits that there could be only two places the raiders could have gone. Either The Old Abandoned Mine, or The Gully.
The following morning the party treks the last few kilometres to The Old Abandoned Mine. Rada stays at the mine’s entrance. He’s not equipped for fighting. The party enters the mine with an eagerness for justice.
After just a few hundred meters however, they come across a crossroads. They can either go straight, or hang a right. A few moments of debate, and the party decides to go right. But at that very moment, from the front, they hear an ominous clicking and ticking sound.
Two Giant Spiders appear from the darkness and attack. Their poisonous pincers biting into Dave, who bravely takes the spiders head-on. A difficult battle ensues, made even more challenging when four more Giant Spiders appear. It is a battle wherein Dave and his immense strength and rage prove indispensable. Kai with his healing powers, and his voracious tiger Leng are also invaluable in defeating the spiders. Fayzo is able to reliably execute the weakened foes with a few well-placed spells and crossbow bolts.
As the last of the spider-corpses thuds to the floor, the party knows two things;
- They work well in a team, and are up to great challenges because of it.
- They are looking in the wrong place for the kidnapped Kromax family-members.
They agree to leave the mine for now, and haste over to The Gully, where they now believe the raiders and kidnapped family to be…