Session 36 Summary

March 27th, 2010

Heroes: Prometheus, Mariska, Donner, Dashiell, Lysandros, and Thorgan.

Game Date: Highdain, Whitesky 18, AD1017

The heroes, Fate Seekers, were heading to the Capitol of Mentiel when they seen a pillar of smoke. That smoke led to a village in need, and like heroes, they rose to the challenge. Seeking their own fate, the adventurers trailed the beasts to their lair. Now they search the hole known as Gorehold for the hostages taken by the gnolls. Spiraling down through the lair, the Seekers cut, slashed, hammered, and blasted their way through every bit of evil they found. Gnolls, trolls, and ogres; they were all the same.

The group had entered the chamber of a strange blue ogre called an Oni. Killing the creature and its demon minions, the group found a number of crates with strange markings and a letter signed with 2 fancy R’s. It had been a long day and the Oni was a powerful enemy; it was time to rest. Unfortunately, they tried to rest in a dangerous spot. The gnolls were all over the lair and it did not take long for them to find the intruders that had been killing them.

A small hunting party found the Fate Seekers in the Oni chamber. It is always good practice to have a watch when resting in hostile territory. That act helped the group drastically, for Dashiell and Prometheus spotted the gnolls when they arrived. Even though Thorgan was found with his armor down, the group defended themselves and the gnolls fell one by one.

The Pack Leader

The rest was over and the group was refreshed. It was time to put an end to this pack of gnolls once and for all. The adventurers followed the passage down further and came to the single largest cave in the lair. It rested at the very bottom of Gorehold, like a stopping point for whatever made the hole to begin with.

The room had a faint green aura from the strange vegetation growing throughout the chamber. Patches of mushrooms, some with single mushrooms bigger than a human, were scattered around the floor. Puddles of green liquid were also found scattered about the room. At the far end of the chamber, a gnoll sat upon a wood and bone throne. This gnoll was grossly disfigured and deformed, and was the biggest gnoll the Seekers have seen to date.

The gnoll leader known as Bloodfang had a shaman with him along with other gnolls as well. He had demon followers and demonic pets to aid him in case of trouble. All these followers were not enough against this kind of trouble. Donner, Dashiell, Lysandros and Thorgan charged forward into melee while Prometheus and Mariska supported them with ranged attacks. The Seekers proved to be far more skilled than these gnolls and their supporters. Bloodfang’s lackeys fell quite readily, leaving him to fend off these intruders by himself. Eventually the leader of the pack fell to the combined might of the Fate Seekers, which spelled the beginning of the end for the Gorefang pack.

Where’s the Hostages

After slaying the pack leader, the group searched around the room for more clues, and valuables. Among the pile of treasure Bloodfang kept behind his throne, the Seekers discovered a group of letters. Once again these letters were signed only with a pair of fancy R’s. Whoever this RR person is, they have granted a great favor to this pack of gnolls, a favor that is important to any gnoll.

The letters explained how the gnolls could gain the favor of their master and lord, Yeenoghu. These instructions would grant one of the gnolls the favor of the Master of Slaughter and in turn, bring favor and glory to the entire pack. The main ingredient for this diabolical ritual was 66 innocent women and children, to be stolen from various villages from around.

The Seekers realized they were no longer trying to solve the problems of a single village, they were trying to rescue the innocent lives caught up in this evil scheme. They scoured the entire Gorehold lair in search of these prisoners, and found nothing. Thinking back, they didn’t find a gnoll shaman skilled enough to perform such a powerful ritual.

The group headed outside to search for more clues and found a good trail leading off into the jungle. The trail had gnoll and human tracks alike; quite possibly the gnolls taking the prisoners to a more suitable location to perform the ritual. They did find the message “House of Slaughter” scrawled in blood on a wall in the lair. When they reached the end of the path, it led to a barren area with evidence that a structure of some kind used to be here. A stone foundation still lay in a hole in the center of the clearing.

Between Dashiell and Lysandros, they were able to figure out this was the location of a powerful Temple called the House of Slaughter. The gnolls used it before to mutilate and sacrifice countless elves. Lysandros knew from eladrin history that his people went to the natural world to help the elves. Together they banished the Temple into the Shadowfell, so the evil place could not bother them again. The elves keep a guardian in the area to watch for any signs of the Temple’s return.

Back to the Village

After a search around the area where the Temple used to be in the Natural world, the Seekers decided to try and get more answers in Tumoin, the village where they started all this. They knew the gnolls had used a form of teleportation to get to the Shadowfell, but no one in the group has the capabilities to follow.

On the way back to Tumoin, the adventurers discovered a group of gnolls scouting out the village. They were watching for something, possibly a person or group of people. They tried their best to sneak forward and gain the element of surprise, but not all the Seekers were meant for stealthy travel. Still, the group was becoming used to fighting gnolls, learning their fighting techniques and their tactics. This small group of refugees from the lair proved to be a mere exercise for the heroes. The village never knew the gnolls were there watching them.

The Seekers learned from Larimond the Inn keeper, and acting Mayor, that Elesthare might have information about this strange place in the jungle. When they questioned Elesthare, he knew very little but his father has lived here all his life and he always wondered why. The group tracks down Lynril Redvale on the outskirts of the village. Come to find out, he had quite a bit of information for them.

Lynril knew nothing about any ritual the gnolls were performing. He knew nothing about why the gnolls needed 66 hostages to take to the Temple. He did know there was a Shadow Crossing, a thinning of the veil between worlds, which the gnolls could have used to gain access to the Shadowfell, and therefore, the Temple. Lynril was the guardian against the Temple coming back to haunt the Natural world. He could not stop the gnolls from going into the Shadowfell and using the Temple. He still wanted to help. Knowing nothing good could come of letting the gnolls use the Temple, no matter where it was, he gave the Fate Seekers two scrolls, powerful teleportation scrolls, to enter and return from Shadowfell.

Before the party could leave Lynril had one more thing to add. It seems he went looking for the last group of adventurers that tried to help the village. All he found was an axe that one of them carried into the woods. He presented a magical greataxe to Thorgan, since dwarves use axes. The axe turned out to be just what Donner needed. He traded the axe for the spear he had been using. Both Donner and Thorgan were happy; Lysandros was sad. Lysandros knew the spear was very nice and wanted it. He brokered a trade with Thorgan and finally got what he had been drooling over for the past couple of days. THE SPEAR WAS FINALLY HIS! But it didn’t work…

Back Tracking

After Prometheus picked up a good portion of rations, the group set off once again in search of the House of Slaughter. How many times will they take this same trip through the jungle? Who can guess? On their way to the clearing an elf was waiting for them, casually leaning against a tree. The Seekers had a brief conversation with the seemingly nice elf, but Dashiell was not fooled by her disguise.

The elf morphed into a woodland creature called a dryad. She did not seem to be happy that Dashiell was with the group. She even mentioned something about her mistress warning her of Dashiell’s abilities. The dryad called upon the power of nature and summoned allies from the jungle itself. Giant shambling mounds of weeds and vines came alive to attack the heroes along with several plants as big as an ogre that could swallow a man whole.

The dryad seemed to be able to travel directly through plants, teleporting from one area to another as long as a tree was close by. She could also command the trees with a single touch, getting the trees to attack anyone that got too close to her. Thorgan seemed to be able to keep the shambler busy, for the creature continually tried to attack him and failed. The dwarf moved into the clearing and did his battle cry that challenged any enemy nearby, but the man eating plants had a long reach.

Finally, all that was left was the dryad herself. Dashiell could tell she was more powerful than others of her kind; possibly an emissary of her mistress she kept talking about. She was difficult to pin down since she could travel through trees and appear elsewhere. The group tried to lure her and pull her to a clearing so she could not get to a tree, but that didn’t work out too well. Eventually, wounded very badly, she walked into a tree and disappeared for good.

Who is this RR person and why would they want to help out the gnolls? Why does this person want one of the gnolls to become a Favored of Yeenoghu so badly that they send explicit instructions on how to do it? On a grimmer note, can the Fate Seekers find the gnoll shaman before he performs the ritual? Can they save the 66 hostages used in the ritual for sacrifices to Yeenoghu? If the shaman is able to complete the ritual, what does RR get out of it? What is next?

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