Tl;dr: Adventurers from White Moon Cove search for and find a group of gnolls responsible for the destruction of a nearby outpost. They also find many gnoll children and didn’t know what to with them.
Future Adventure Notes:
•Some of the gnoll forces responsible for destroying the outpost were killed. Unknown how many yet remain.
•Gnoll children were found in a cave that was protected by the gnoll host. What do with them should they be there still?
•A wildfire is currently raging near the gnoll camp.
•Versus a force with superior range, while closing the distance, dropping prone can be a good way to mitigate their ability to shoot.
Session Title: Gnolledge is Power
Session DM: Seph
Session Date: 10 Jul 2022 @ 17:00 UTC (rescheduled from 29 Jun 2022)
Session Risk: Unspecified
•Aneksi (2 Paladin/2 Sorcerer/ 2 Warlock) (played by SlyOkami)
•Barley (Druid 7) (played by Tootired78)
•Glanfath (Barbarian 9) (played by Mal)
•Nunde (Cleric 1/ Rogue 6) (played by Trulhammaren)
Aneksi had sought out available adventurers to trail a group of gnolls responsible for the destruction of the outpost southwest of White Moon Cove. Little did I know that this scouting mission would end with a difficult morale choice.
We set out on a cool summer day, following the road south west. Glanfath possesses an unusual power to enhance the speed of travel, which is a bit unsettling. We arrived at the destroyed remains of the outpost by midday, normally a full days journey. At first it seemed there was nothing but the building remains and oddly, some dried fish nearby, but closer inspection revealed a tree with corpses nearby. As we neared it the tree began moving, revealing itself to be a roper disguised with bark.
Here my druid enhanced fog allowed the others to kill it before it killed them, but for the occasional knife throw from Nunde, I could see none of what happened until they declared it dead. Searching the remains around the roper was fruitless, just piles of bones, mostly humanoid. The inside however, had a gnoll’s skull, just three or four days old.
Nunde found a trail of gnoll tracks that lead in a northwesterly direction, which we followed. From a distance there was a plume of smoke raising straight up and the sounds of drums. We tried to move stealthily from there on and walked by some individual patrols, with large hyenas at their sides. We made it unnoticed to the edge of a large camp, two massive tents and other smaller, place in front of a cave entrance.
Here is where I discovered that Aneksi had more in mind than simply scouting this groups location. She intended to destroy as many gnolls as she she could. Her plan was to utilize Glanfath’s unnatural speed to allow us to set a grassfire to the east, expecting some gnolls would go investigate, and that we would return using that speed again and engage the remaining in combat.
Shocked by the brazenness of this idea I was unable to come up with anything better, nature forgive me. We set out east, and I found some plants that are known for being particularly smoky. While fire is nature’s way of refreshing the land, it still felt wrong to do so intentionally and wildly risky with no rain coming over the next day. Aneksi and Glanfath lit some fires with torches and then we sped away, back to the gnoll camp.
We tried to approached stealthily again, but, perhaps my mind was still concerned with the fire we had just set. I stepped on a twig and broke the poor thing, lost in the moment I swore heartily, alerting the gnolls to our presence. We never had a moment to verify if some gnolls had left to investigate as we were beset by combat.
Being already in a bad frame of mind, my opening actions of this fight set caused it to be very different that it might have been otherwise. Mistaking our retreat plan for our attack plan, I summoned a massive of plants throughout the entire camp, making movement extremely difficult. None of my allies had bows or other ranged attacks, so while I had cut off gnolls and hyenas from approaching, neither could we.
Glanfath and Aneksi slowly went around one edge of the overgrown area while Nunde went the other way. Some gnolls had longbows and were capable of shooting us as we moved. Laying on the ground proved to be an effective way to evade some of their shots.
Some of the gnolls retreated to the cave instead of engaging, while others retreated to the entrance, waiting to see if we got near. One hyena tried to run through the overgrowth but was slain before it could get all the way through.
Eventually Glanfath was in place to lay heavy blows and blow dragon’s breath from a potion Aneksi had. Nunde kept throwing his psychic knives and dodging arrows while Aneksi used magic for weal and woe, healing hurt allies or hurting enemies. I was able to throw some lightning bolts, one hitting many gnolls who had surrounded Nunde.
It was with surprise that I looked around to realize we had indeed managed to kill the gnoll forces who had remained at the camp. With our minds focused on the battle, we lost track of how many might have retreated into the cave, and how many might be returning from scouting duties and checking the fire we set.
We looked around the camp, finding typical supplies one would expect, all worn down from use. There were some locked chests that Nunde opened easily enough. When we went to check the cave though we found something unexpected.
Within the cave were gnoll younglings, and elderly. Most were no threat to anyone. The slaughter of non-dangerous creatures was not something I or anyone else was prepared to commit this day, knowing that left unchecked they would become dangerous.
Not knowing if more gnolls would soon return, and being severely depleted of resources, we fled the area, heading back to White Moon Cove. The fire we had started had blazed out of control, raging now miles away as I write this. Nature’s cleansing is a powerful force, and I hope we have not started a worse problem than the gnolls.