While the orc camp burned, there came a voice from outside the camp walls. It was a dwarvish voice that yelled “What’s going on in there?”
The heroes shouted back but all they heard was a woman’s scream and then a child yell “Mommy!!!!”
The dwarf voice repeated itself.
The heroes decided to run out and investigate. Unfortunately, the voices had come from a band of Kenku’s that were drawn to the fire.
Kenku’s are a bird-like race of creatures that have the ability to mimic voices with perfect accuracy. Their trick worked and the heroes were ambushed when they left the camp. (thanks to redditor heliorosa for monster suggestion)
Betamax the dwarf was knocked unconscious and nearly killed but the heroes defeated enough of the bird-folk to scare the rest away.
Damaged and tired, the heroes decided they would head in the opposite direction of Urag’s vicious horde and headed on a two day trek to the town of Ashton.
After a few minutes of walking, a forest elf named Taurel walked on to the path. Unfortunately, Raging Bull’s warg couldn’t handle the sight of an elf and charged. He was quickly dispatched by Taurel’s blade.
Taurel apologized but explained that a warg is not a natural beast and has no place here. The heroes were understanding.
Taurel questioned the party on the happenings at the orc camp. The party was given some healing potions in exchange for the information and also brought to safe place to camp the night. They woke up to a feast of elvish breakfast though the elves had left.
The party continued down the path until they met a lone gnome sitting by the path eating many mushrooms. The gnome was clearly stoned but he presented them a riddle that he just couldn’t figure out.
“What is a room that has no windows and no doors?”. He continued chewing his mushrooms and hoped the party could help him but they were unable to solve the riddle.
Martin the gnome still loved the talk however so he told them they should be careful if they continued down the path. There was a gnome war going on over territory and they would have to travel through it.
He also mentioned there was a couple of treasure hunters that had put up a cabin nearby where he lived and they haven’t returned in weeks. Martin suspected they were dead but he said he would bring the heroes to the cabin if they wanted to check it out.
The heroes went to the cabin. Inside they found what appeared to be a long poem with a mysterious symbol.
Fearless hunters, brash and bold
A map you have that hints of gold
Treasures, rubies, magical gifts
May await you if you’re swift
Only the true, the most devoted
Will be awarded treasures quoted
Every trial will lead to more
until you’ve reached the final door
A lifetime of adventure with no regrets
I seek the worthy, I seek the best.
Treasures that sparkle, treasures golden
You can have them, though you’ll have to hold them
There was also a map to a nearby cave. In addition, there was an unfinished map to the inside of the caves that perhaps the cabin owners had presumably been working on.
They party was happy to find this information but they didn’t feel ready to check out the cave just yet. Instead they decided they would make for Ashton, purchase some equipment, get rested and then come back to the cave.
On route, they arrived in the middle of the gnome territory war just as they expected. Fizban the wizard held out his arms and said STOP in a very commanding voice. The gnomes were startled and actually stopped just long enough for the heroes to run through.
When they arrived at Ashton, there was a small dragon-like creature atop one of the buildings. A women came out on her balcony and tried to shoo it away with her broom but it spit fire on her and she caught on flames and fell to her death.
Betamax wouldn’t stand for it. He sauntered up and threw his crude spear like a javelin right into the side of the beast. It flew down to retaliate and blew fire but Betamax stood strong behind his shield and was unscathed.
The heroes surrounded and killed the beast (much to the happiness of some spectating townsfolk). The townsfolk explained they were always being pestered by these beasts and they knew there was a nest nearby to the east. The townsfolk suggested they would reward the heroes if they could solve the problem permanently.
Heroes spent the night at the inn. Raging Bull tried to cuddle with the female innkeeper but was rebuked.
In the morning they went to shop and bought some better equipment and some training.
Before they left, they visited the tavern. They talked to an old man and realized that one of the humans they rescued was his son! The boy’s name was Dyme and he was about 13 years old and was a mute. However, after the teary reunion with his father he began to speak! He explained that he wanted to be an adventuring hero just like his saviours (more on that later).
The party set out to return to the caves. They took a detour around the gnome war (although Raging Bull still took a Nancy Kerrigan style assault to this leg from one of the gnomes).
When they arrived at the cave there was grizzly bear investigating the entrance.
Here’s where things got very messed up for the party.
Raging Bull believed that bears liked to eat mushrooms but he whipped the bag of mushrooms right at the bear. It hit the bear and enraged him. The bear charged the party.
It was a brutally vicious fight… The bear was clawing and biting and taking hits himself. He went to bite Albert the cleric and rolled a natural 20 (double damage) then rolled max damage (8×2). He ripped Albert apart from the torso and mauled him. There would be no hope of revival. This was permadeath.
Then if you can believe it, the exact same thing thing happened to Raging Bull. Bite attack (natural 20) + max damage (8×2).
Two members of the party were permanently killed.
The rest of the party were able to take down the bear and Orion Payne finished by lopping off it’s head with a two handed sword swing.
That is where we ended.. a somber end to the night where two great characters were killed.
The deceased player rolled a new character but the stats were all so bad that we decided he would become the 13 year old boy from the town that they rescued and would be a human thief.
The other deceased player rolled a strong human cleric who we are saying was a young warrior of God. He knew the mute boy and believed that it was a true miracle. He will join the party in hopes of witnessing more miracles.