Party: Abel (Leader)
We gathered some brave adventures because we have been hearing of Gnolls drawing ever closer to WMC, and the surrounding area. Snowball has had the pleasure of working with both Abel and Sneks before, and was feeling quite conifdent. The problem was the reports were scattered. Snowball and company were unsure where exactly they have been recently; just that they make their home around the Tempest Plains. We spoke to a guard on our way out of town, who was not the most informed, but told us there was a weird story going around about gnolls in a cave to the southwest in between the Ishah Plains and the Silent Forest. it would take us too far away from the Tempest plains, so we did not explore it, but another group might if they are heading that way. We ended up traveling up the road taking the path there the road building was stopped because of the Gnolls.
We were fortunate that so far in our journey, we were safe.
After a short bit of travel in the morning, we were pleasantly met by those of the Bloodeye Clan, a group of Hobgoblins that were recently freed from a demoness, and their numbers dwindling. While they treated us well, they understandably did not want to upset the Gnolls in the area by helping us deal with them. The clan leader told us they have a sort of ‘understanding’ and would leave each other alone, and told us where their “border” is. After a short rest we decided to continue northward.
As we bedded down for the evening, we saw some lights upon the road. Looking further we discovered a Drow woman with her Half-Orc bodyguards. She was clearly a slaver, seeing the eyes of the poor souls in the back of the cart begged me to act. However, as most of the group agreed, it was not out place to interfere. Painfully, we let them pass, the Drow woman taunting us all the while they moved, and even casted a spell that made everyone not be able to hear or be heard! Next time I see her… Maybe my prudence won’t hold be back next time. But I had felt at the time that we had a mission, and important one, and we could afford to get hurt so deep into Gnoll territory. It did beg the question how she could move through their lands with such ease.
Reluctantly, we continued to rest for the evening. Poor Rose not being able to sleep (literally) due to her patrons influence had to stew over everything the whole night. As someone who thrives off of their connection to the Astral, it pains me to see one never sleep anymore.
We moved deeper into the Gnoll territory, staying away from the hills and mountains. We had read the logs detailing a lot of danger not relating to the Gnolls around there and wanted to stay on task. Snowball pondered the fact that we were deep into the Tempest Plains and still haven’t seen any signs of them. Could it be that the reports of gnoll activity were wrong? Or were there more hiding in other locations around the island? Regardless, we pressed on and Snowball found of group of the bastards trying to ambush us! ‘Not today’ Snowball said as his eyes were too quick. But these were clearly scouts, as we quickly dispatched the group. One of them falling to a single paw-punch from Snowball! Quite humorous indeed!
Looking back on it though, the scouts might have been our downfall; as we quickly grew confident that we could handle and Gnolls sent our way…. Its laughable how wrong we were…
That night we were awakened to the sound of drums far off in the distance. At the time we weren’t sure it was the Gnolls, but we were pretty sure, considering how deep we were in the plains. Sure enough though, The Gnoll army uses drums to communicate with each other over large distances. Over the vast reaches of the plains, the drums could be heard for almost a mile.
Deciding to investigate we got closer to one of the sources of drums. Snowball thought we were being cleaver and getting the jump on them. However, they have large beasts the leaders sit on that can detect our scent from at least 200ft away from them. Before we knew it the group of gnolls were charging towards us. Our leader, Abel was suffering from an injury from the skirmish with the scouts, and couldn’t move fast at all. The option to run was off the table, lest we abandon our leader. It was hastily decided to face this smaller group of gnolls and then run away from here.
The leader, named Vyx thought it was a game, and to him maybe it was. He called out “If I take one of you as prey, the rest of you may go!”, snarling and laughing in the back, he did not even engage us at first. Which was fortunate because we were having enough trouble with the group in front of us. Gnolls that were larger than normal ones lead the group, attacking with ferocity and savagery Snowball has never seen before. The fight has fierce, and Sneks decided he had enough of the leader’s taunting, and shot him with his bow.
That single arrow changed everything.
We had the leaders full attention now, and he was clearly delighted someone attacked him as he taunted sneks. I do not understand the magic, but when he claimed Sneks as his prey his bow began to glow a blood red and it truly appeared his shots fired more true against him. Somehow, Sneks managed to dodge the first few, but his luck ran out as he took one straight to the chest. He fought so valiantly, as the rest of us finally took down the two large brutes that lead the charge. It was too little too late, as we were on the backfoot with very little in terms of healing as the leader rode in to take Sneks away, locking him with strange spiked cuffs.
Rose attempted to stop the leader from hauling Sneks away, and shouted her defiance at the Gnoll, who promptly felled her with a single arrow.
From there we were scrambling to keep ourselves alive, as many of us were falling and getting back up constantly. Snowball himself took a massive blow from one of the brutes that disabled my arms… I felt so powerless as I squirmed around barely being able to feed Rose a good berry or dodge attacks through the pain.
Whether it was mercy, pity, or just being bored Snowball willll never know, but their leader had his prize. He ordered the rest of the group to follow him away, and they started to leave. Until Abel attacked one of the fleeing Gnolls and they resumed thier attack once more. There was a moment, where all of us laid bloody on the ground, I had just been saved by Rose from the brink… Everyone was dying… Snowball was going to run. To save himself. To run as fast as my legs would take me from this nightmare… but they stopped..
Snowball hazily remember the leader yelling at the grunts about leaving them, but was too tired and injured to listen. Maybe Illmater himself saw pity on us for the suffering we were enduring… I’ll never know. But we were able to get the rest of the party to safety, alive. Poor Abel was so battered, he couldn’t move and we had to drag him away.
We spent the night in a makeshift hideout made by Rose’s ability to mold the dirt around. And thankfully, we were unaccosted through the night. Making haste, we were able to make it back to the Bloodeye’s and they escorted us back to town.
We are sorry Sneks…. Snowball was’t strong enough to save you just like he wasn’t strong enough to save Pacha. But you will never be forgotten.
Dedicated to the Bravest Kobold that has ever lived