- Sar 4th, Barrakas, 998 YK
It was a lovely, homely little village Blackwood Company found before them. A provincial town, at best, it sported a small number of homes, a few shops, and a town hall at its center.
Though, there was a little bit of a twist, concerning the gnolls who where leading townspeople around by chains.
Thinking quick, the Assassin shifted herself into the form of a gnoll, her mask concealing the most obvious changes until she was ready. The Artificer too, was mindful of the situation, and quickly devised an easy-to-escape leash, to help the group blend in more successfully.
The group confronted a pair of gnolls leading around some Humans, and queries into the bizarre setting led them to split up and explore the town. The Assassin and the Artificer made way to the town hall, while the Battlemage and the Monk decided to poke around.
What both groups learned was suitably discomfiting.
The Battlemage and the Monk first explored the shopping section, where they spoke with a young child hiding amidst the ruins of a small building. He told them of a fiery man coming to the town, working with the gnolls to bring the city to its current state, but didn’t know much himself.
He also found the Battlemage so intimidating that he wet himself during questioning.
The two then explored the housing section, where they found a gnoll staring into a curious-looking hole at one end of an alley, and two more standing before a house at the end of another. The Monk moved to interrogate the lone gnoll while the Battlemage made a suitable distraction.
The Monk the proceeded to push the gnoll down the hole and walk away.
Unfortunately, the Battlemage and the Monk only managed to antagonize the gnolls, who sounded the alarm, forcing the two to the center of town, where they met up with the rest of the group and where then, grudgingly, given permission to speak to the gnolls’ leader.
Once regrouped, the leader made himself known, naming himself Fangren, a Shaman of his tribe. He was the same gnoll that the Assassin and the Artificer watched lead a band of gnolls to attack the minotaur caravan they had ‘shared’ the road with not an hour past. The Artificer managed to dissemble enough that the Shaman didn’t recognize him as the same Antica he fought on the road, but he was suspicious nonetheless.
Regardless, he welcomed them evenly, and even asked for them to undertake a small job for him – make way into a nearby tomb, where a band of gnolls formerly a part of his crew were hiding out, and fetch a glowing vase. He offered a handsome reward, and, with reservation, the group agreed, considering it part of their mission to solve the problem diplomatically.
And as that allowed them to wet their blades a little as the made to solve the mystery, not a single one of them complained…in the gnoll’s earshot, at least.
They immediately made for the tomb, which was only a short trek, and just by its appearance – a massive, open animal scull amidst the sand – it was clear that this would be no easy feat. Then again, they were among the best The Guild had to offer. Easy simply wasn’t on the menu.
They cautiously entered the tomb, examining the first room with a casual indifference, until they found the door to the next room. Upon opening it, the door to the room they had entered began to shut even as a trio of gnolls began to assault the group.
The Artificer managed to jam a crowbar between the door, managing to slow it, but left him noticeably further from his companions…and just as they’d felled the first three, they were set upon by another quartet, emerging from hidden doors around the room.
Though more challenging than the first, it wasn’t a true test of the group’s skill, and they managed to dispatch them, the Assassin literally tearing them to pieces. The Artificer even went as far as to stuff these dismembered body parts into the door, to the consternation of the Monk.
Even then, two of the gnolls, before dying grisly deaths, each managed to pull a lever on each side, setting off a trap by appearances.
That ‘appearance’ being the rapid influx of sand into the room.