What's up Nerds, thanks for coming back for your weekly dose of the Bards Tablet.
For those of you who need a recap, our adventurous party cleans out the Monastery of terrible, horrible, really bad, SH$% and gains a level. That's right, one level for four adventures worth of crap. Moving on.
So the Monastery Is now safe for people who aren't armed to the teeth to inhabit (HUZZAH!) and so they move their camp and start inhabiting it. The Hot Chick and Dusky Brown, who have become an item without Wizard Crystal ball Polisher around to get in the way, take over the cathedral area as their “Staging ground” and the party goes to see what's going to come next. So then, after having these guys slog through hell, the Hot Chick tells them her REAL reason for being here; because apparently, it isn't to clear out Monasteries devoted to old gods. The real target is a nearby city that has been taken over by gnolls.
Now, we went over this a few instalments back (number 3 I think?) but at this point, she goes way in depth with her mission statement. The town in question was once a great seat of power for those who worshipped the old gods who were native to the area. When the gnolls moved in they took over the whole region and now they sit, unknowingly, on a site of great power. She wants to reclaim the city so she can rule it and bring the region back to its once great splendour. But before she can do that she needs some information.
So she sends these four chuckle fu%$s to go scout around and bring back some info.
So off and away they go.
Travelling towards the city our party runs afoul of (spin the wheel of encounters) a bunch of beetles.
Solomon was not impressed.
Solomon- What? A bunch of bugs? Man, I will squish them with my mighty…”
Then they group of bugs ate down a tree and the group quickly reassessed the situation.
Now the problem is when Solomon moved to squish the bugs he caught the attention of the swarm and they cut him off from the group. Marcellus fires off a few rounds at the swarm to thin their numbers but… have you ever seen one of those vampire movies where they shoot the vampire and his wound closes up and he’s fine? That's what was happening to these bugs. After a couple of shots, he has succeeded only in gaining the attention of the swarm and Panda, Garrus, and Marcellus opted for the obvious conclusion of “If we’re in the nearby river then the bugs can't get us. So Panda gets on his bear and Garrus and Marcellus use said bear as a flotilla while Solomon thinks long and hard about which one he’s more afraid of; bugs or drowning.
You see, Solomon couldn't swim. This is not me being racist, he literally had put no points into swim, along with a low strength score so no real bonuses to Swim, and was now deliberating whether it would be worse to drown or get eaten by bugs. That is when Garrus had his first brilliant (and accepted) fire related idea. Throwing Solomon a pitcher of oil (which he caught because he had amazing Dex) he tells him to just pour it on the bugs and light them up. Solomon liked this idea and after fishing for his flint and steel he throws the oil, kindles a spark, and lights the bugs up.
DM- Nothing happens
Solomon- What do you mean nothing happens? I just lit them on fire!
DM- Ya, they live in the BURNING DESERT; they're pretty okay with fire and heat in general.
Garrus (after a short pause to process this)- Fire has failed you brother, best to make peace with your god.
Solomon- I’m an atheist so...water it is then.
So Solomon jumps over the (now flaming) bugs and just manages to grab the bear before the current sucks him downstream. The bugs followed and, despite being immune to fire and on fire, they were not immune to running water and were soon sucked downstream and dissipated.
We counted that as a win and kept moving forward.
Finally, we make it to the city and It's a hot mess; literally.
We find a city in the early stages of late-stage decay thanks in part to the beast people who are living there. Gnolls have completely taken over the place and, if you know anything about gnolls, they are quite obviously not focused on architecture or infrastructure. From the ridge though we can see a lot, troop movements, guard shift patterns, the people being taken into a large pit for sacrifice.
Panda- Whoa wait, what?
Marcellus- Yeah they have a cart with like five people on it and they're taking it to a big pit.
Panda- Well then we have to go help them!
Marcellus (sceptically)- There are about a million gnolls down there and you want to go save five people?
Panda- Bear and I will do it ourselves if you're too scared.
This is when Solomon decides to pull a complete 180 and go help Panda save these people while Garrus and Marcellus opted out of a suicide mission. This is the part of the story where the party makes the worst decision ever; to split the party. Garrus and Marcellus stay on the ridge as Panda and Solomon descend quietly to see what aid they can render and this is where our story ends for now.
Come back next week when we discover why it's not a good idea to pit thousands of gnolls against two level 2 adventurers.