Rise of the Runelords

Session 17

A Pride of Gnolls

Present Players: Eydan, Jaren, Feda, Vincent, Purrcival (Late)

Session Notes:

The party meets with the town leaders (Father Zantus, mayor Deverin, and sheriff Hemlock) and explain the situation at Thistletop. They are relieved that it went pretty well and that the goblin threat, for now, is gone. Sheriff Hemlock updates the party that Tsuto has been taken back to Magnimar to face trial and he will likely be sent to the Hells. The mayor promises a reward to the group, but isn't ready to discuss it at the time of the meeting. She promises to discuss it when the party returns from their errands in Magnimar. The party goes to visit Ameiko and Shalelu to figure out why Shalelu went missing and never showed up at Thistletop. They find a rather bored but fully healed Shalelu at Ameiko's estate. Shalelu explains she was scouting for the goblins as agreed. She first went to Thistletop but was side tracked when she found a war band lead by Gordknot, the second in command of the Mosswood goblins heading east. She didn't follow too closely due to the danger of being caught but used her survival skills to stay on their trail. After following them for a couple of days she came upon their camp site in utter ruin. Going by the tracks the goblins were attacked by a band of Gnolls. In the center of their camp was a horrific display of Gordknot spread eagle with his ribs broken open. On his forehead was a dark twisting rune that Shalelu didn't recognize. Very concerned about this band of Gnolls she pursued it but she was ambushed while trailing them. She managed to outrun them and stay right ahead of them but it took her way out of her expected path. After a couple of near misses she managed to lose them without leading them toward Sandpoint. She had them heading South-East when she caused them to lose the trail. Shalelu yells for Ameiko who eventually shows up with a sigh at her house guest. Ameiko greets the party and shares the frustrations on being a noble. Shalelu shares a bit of gossip that the mayor is angling to offer Thistletop to the party, and Ameiko advises the party to use her upcoming party as a chance to lobby for support from the other noble houses. Shalelu offers to join the party to hunt down the Gnolls, but admits she is hoping to find some of Bruzathamus' stashes. The party heads to the headmaster of the academy and gets him to agree to make scrolls in exchange for the guardian statues at Thistletop. They then head to the Goblin Squash Stables and are impressed to find a pretty normal looking stable besides the hundreds of goblin ears nailed to the building. The owner admits he is a bit odd, but that he has a particular hatred for goblins. The party swaps some goblin hunting tales before renting a few horses for their trip to Magnimar.

 

On the way to Maginmar Eydan warns the group in two days a big thunderstorm is going to roll through the area. The partial day of travel from Sandpoint passes uneventfully and the party camps in one of the campsites set along the road between Magnimar and Sandpoint. The second day is grey and the air is heavy with the threat of rain. About 20 miles out of Magnimar the party's keen eyes spot fire from a country estate of a local noble. The party knows it belongs to a famous weapon smith that is based  out of Magnimar. The manor belongs to Pellius Abinor, Master Weaponsmith the cousin of the legendary Cheliaxian weaponsmith Henderthanes. He lives there with his family and manufactures beautiful (and functional weapons) for the nobles of Magnimar.  Concerned, the party heads toward the smoke following a nicely made cobble path about 3 miles into the wood. Eydan scouts out ahead and confirms the party's fears that the Gnolls have attacked the estate. Eydan manages to silently dispatch 3 Gnoll Whelps that were on guard around the manor. The party see a large number of Gnolls inside with the majority of them feasting on servant bodies. After a fair amount of planning and scouting, the party comes up with a very direct plan of attack. Purrcival and Eydan rush up to the window; Purrcival opens it with a magical spell and Eydan tosses in a gem from the fireball necklace. It explodes with a whoomf and causes the whole house to erupt in a chorus of hyena-like yelps and yells in Gnoll. The party's fireball has effectively ruined the Gnoll's diner and even manage to remove a few from the fight. Like a kicked over anthill, hyenas and Gnolls pour out of the house. The party is hard pressed as the Gnolls pepper them with arrows and some raging, almost feral Gnolls engage in melee. Dire Hyena mostly taken down by Aurelia. Feda attempts to reduce the incoming arrow fire by casting obscuring mist, but the mists are quickly ripped away as a fireball explodes from an upper window hitting the grouped party. The sudden appearance of the spell prompts the party to look toward the second floor in which they see a strange twisted creature with a lolling tongue between split mandibles. Purrcival recognizes the aberration as a Pridespawn, a creature spawned from the Thassilonian  Pride school of magic. They are vaguely related to the wrathspawn the party has fought in prior encounters. From inside the house Eydan hears a voice they recognize as Abinor, he tells the party to head upstairs and save his family. A couple of Gnoll Fighters jump out the window with a flourish which earns an applause from Vincent and a head shot (crit) from Eydan dropping one instantly. The other fighter pivots and rolls to Vincent leaving a massive bleeding gash across his chest. Purrcival drops the dire hyena that Aurelia has been peppering with magic missiles with a well-placed arrow. The session ends with the Gnoll forces continuing to surround the party near the manor's patio.

DM Notes:

  • Weapons with x3 crits are to be respected
  • I wasn't sure how the party was going to approach this combat, and with that in mind I should have added more area around the house to work with.
  • The party actually has a few friends in Sandpoint. This is a change of pace from my college games where it seems like the PCs had a very antagonistic relationship with  basically everyone.
  • Fireballs were flying from both sides this combat. Pretty good for a level 4 party.
  • I have no idea what challenge rating this whole fight is, but it certainly helps the party I can't roll above an 8 for the most part.
  • Eydan had some really nice stealth rolls around the house. Everyone else, not so much.
  • Everyone learned Jaren is a lot less dexterous than previously thought ("His AC is really that low?"), but man does he continue to hit like a truck.
  • I've played a lot of games where, as a PC, I would love to have a healer like Vincent

Rewards / Loot:

  • A promise of a reward from the Mayor

Challenges / Monsters:

  • Gnoll band. I'll break it down by monster in the next update.

End Date: Spring 25

Comments

Rapida

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