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Gnolls, Bugbears, and Goblins! Oh My!

It seemed like any other day in the sleepy little town of Shepherd’s Rest until Roland Avery stumbled into the Crooked Crook Tavern bleeding and beaten and screaming about bandits kidnapping his sister.

The party rushed to his aid and began a systematic search of the surrounding area. Jessica, being a Ranger well versed in tracking and woodsmanship quickly found a trail leading north into the more unexplored regions of FaelĂ­n.

After hours of searching the party stumbled upon the corpses of the bandits and Roland’s poor sister. All of the bodies were missing their ears, as they had obviously been cut away as trophies.

A new set of tracks was found entering the copse of trees where the party found the bodies and exiting again to the north. Jessica recognized the tracks as being made by goblins, which was consistent with the wound patterns found in the bodies. Deciding that such a threat so close to Shepherd’s Rest could not be left unchecked, the party decides to follow the goblins north.

The party soon stumbled upon a large overgrown canyon with what looked to be old Galarian ruins of some sort of town nestled within. Seeing no other option, the party made its way down the canyon walls as stealthily as possible. James, the Wizard, decided to Feather Fall to the bottom, reaching the floor much faster than anyone else.

Deciding to scout ahead, James comes upon the remains of the town’s outer defensive walls. They are made of old stone crumbling with age. Deciding that it would be better to have the goblins come to them rather than have the party sneak into town and try to take the goblins in their home territory, James knocks over a section of wall with a well placed spell.

However, James failed to notice the sleeping bear, whose den was made in a cave by the outer wall. The bear woke up, startled by the noise and immediately reared to attack, but not before James, acting quickly came up with an audacious plan.

Slapping the bear across the face to enrage it, James bolted through the large gaping hole in the wall and ran with all speed towards the center of the crumbling town. The goblins had already been alerted by the sounds of the breaking wall and the roars of the shocked and angry bear, and so were already running towards the disturbance by the time James had made it through the wall.

But this was all according to plan. Barely staying ahead of the bear, and on a collision course with a small battalion of goblins, James leaped to the side, but not before casting Grease on the ground. The bear and goblins stood no chance and hit the grease slick at full speed, slamming into each other at maximum force.

His foes, tangled in a heap of greasy limbs and fur on the ground, presented an easy target as James cast a fire spell into the fray, lighting all opponents on fire.

At this time, the rest of the party had made it down to the canyon floor, and immediately rushed towards the sounds of battle. With very little effort, the party dispatched the rest of the goblins who had not been killed by the incredibly hot grease fire, putting the poor unfortunate bear out of its misery in the process.

With the goblins dead, the party entered into the center of the town. Ryan, not wanting to battle any remaining goblins if he did not have to, decided that he would intimidate any survivors into surrendering. Chopping up goblin bodies and bathing himself into sticky and highly pungent goblin blood, Ryan demanded the immediate and unconditional surrender of any goblins in the area. Sadly, his performance was for naught as all of the goblins had been slain.

The party moved to search the building which James had seen the goblins funneling out of, and found what appeared to be a camp or home within. Everyone began to search the goblin camp for any loot and the party stumbled across a hidden switch. Upon hitting the switch, both Cat and James fell into a hole in the floor that had opened up, and were quickly swept away by a torrent of rushing water.

The water appeared to be part of an ancient plumbing system, powered by magical runes. Mandy, using her detect magic was able to pinpoint where these pipes connected with the rest of the town, finding they all lead through the center of town in a large building that seemed to be some sort of town hall, or perhaps an old temple.

Searching the building, the party found a hidden staircase leading down into a sewer system below the ruins. Proceeding with caution, the party dealt with patrols of Gnolls and bypassed many traps before finding the spillway where all trash in the pipe system ended up. The spillway was protected by a room of goblins with a single gnoll commander.

Listening to their banter, the party was able to find out that two people had been pulled out of the water some time ago, and had been taken away for the boss Gurg to question. Not knowing where to find this “Gurg” the party decides that the only thing to do is to take out the room and question one or two survivors. Sneaking in through the spillway, Ryan is able to sneakily deal a critical blow to the Gnoll commander. With everyone in a panic, Isaiah is able to rush into the room and cast a powerful AoE spell to take out many of the goblins before they have a chance to even pick up a weapon.

There are two survivors, Blork and Splork, brother goblins. Blork is quite intelligent for a goblin, and cuts a deal. Blork will lead the party through a series of hidden tunnels that lead directly to Gurg’s chambers in exchange for a bit of coin and he and his brother’s assured survival, though mostly his own.

The party is lead through a series of secret passageways, bypassing many goblin and gnoll patrols, and end up in what appears to be the town’s gaol. There are dozens of prisoners, victims of goblin and gnoll raids along the surface. The keys to the prison are being held by Gurg, who according to the prisoners is “entertaining” guests, some fresh prisoners that had just been brought in.

Knowing that they might be too late, the party rushes through the gaol to Gurg’s own personal quarters within the warden’s offices. Gurg, a massive Bugbear, is in the process of “interrogating” a prisoner, not really caring as to what they had to say, but enjoying their squeals of pain and agony as he cuts their flesh from their bodies. Luckily, James and Cat have not been subjected to Gurg’s sick games as of yet, though they have been beaten quite badly and have been strung up on the wall, awaiting their turn.

Seeing as how Gurg is occupied, the party sneak attacks him from behind. Gurg puts up a mighty struggle, nearly killing Ryan with his powerful blows. Luckily, the party is able to put him down before he kills anyone, and Cat and James are rescued, along with the rest of the prisoners. The party escapes from the sewers, but not before looting Gurg’s own personal treasure stash.

Ryan offers a “job” to Blork and Splork, and both goblins readily agree to come with the party, not wanting to be around if the others find out that they sold out their boss.

Making it back to Shepherd’s Rest, the party gives Roland the unfortunate news about his sister. Saddened by her loss, Roland nonetheless is determined to keep his and his sister’s dream of having a successful homestead alive. Ryan secretly slips him a bit of gold when he’s not looking to help get him restarted.

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