House of the Beast: LoF Session XXV
The bight light of the desert sun seems almost scorching to the depth weary travelers. Their exit into the mountainous terrain is a welcome reprieve from the horrors they faced in the belly of a domain made home to beastly gnolls, flesh crafters and lovers of decay and rot. Gathering their wits they consult amongst themselves as to their course of actions. Do they attempt to follow the path from which they came, or do they head down the valley along the river to exit the range? Knowing that their guide is long gone and the path they took to get here, winding, the party heads out to begin their trek home along the river.
Their path laid before them by the winding water, the group beds down for the night in an alcove in the rock. A wind worn cleft which provides little in protection, but enough cover to provide a sense of security. Knowing this area is still home to many gnolls, the gnome sets a personal alarm spell before taking his watch.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, the spell is triggered and the gnome awakes with a jolt. Farahid stands watch, gazing into the night as Glarthobbalvott approaches. As they listen, rustling and movement meets Faharids ears and Glarth summons the rest of the group. Not knowing what has made the noise Ce-Tan casts a glitter spell in an attempt to root out anything concealed behind a large rock. Whatever has made the noise, however, seems to have escaped and the party is left with an uneasy feeling.
Morning dawns on the next day and the adventurers put more miles beneath their feet. Ever watchful for more unwelcome guests. It isn’t long before, along the crest of the valley, a large gnoll rider is spotted eyeing them carefully. Ce-Tan calling out in challenge, the gnoll howling and walking away, out of sight.
Several more times over the next days, their gnoll watcher appears, saying and doing nothing. Observing their movement and making his presence known. As they walk, it starts to dawn on the party that several key exits and side paths seem to have been blocked off. As if someone is perhaps taking steps to help guide their path. These exits may not have been where they were planning to go, but seeing potential points of egress conveniently unavailable has not gone unnoticed.
Yet again, along the ridge, the same rider appears atop his hyenadon. This time, however Ce-Tan is prepared. Realizing the distance can be covered, without hesitation he launches a fireball. The blast connects and the rider is struck with the magical fire. More gnolls appear. Clawing and howling they charge toward the group from their areas of concealment. Surrounded, Ce-Tan casts toppling missles at three of the gnoll riders which have announced themselves, successfully toppling one as the gnolls attack.
The party engages and a fight breaks out. Swords and magic flash and blast the land when a beastly gnoll, afflicted with a condition which rots his flesh and casts a sickening affect onto those nearby enters the fray enters. Zahkmed nearly stumbles under the magic, but quickly regains his composure as the rest of his companions fight around him. Faharid gives a deafening shout, startling the ghastly gnoll as he charges and dodges its blade. Suerbahn engages a flanking pack moments after Khatovar assaults them.Ce-Tan takes to the air and lashes out with Fire while Glarth sends an aqueous orb at their charging, scorched stalker. Faharid fells the rotting gnoll with a quick slash of his blade as Khatovar kills his own quarry, both of them heading back to finish off the last of the gnolls caught captive in a calming effect caused a cloud of pesh smoke released by the Gnome conjurer.
With 15 gnolls laying at their feet, the cowardly dogs turn to flee as the heroes stand defiantly in a pool of their brother’s filthy, acrid blood.