After setting out from the Militia outpost near the foot of the Tusk Mountains, Serin and Ivan are led by Pavel’s cousin, Vlad across the plains to a network of deep gullies amidst the foothills. At the end of one of these gullies lies a gnoll encampment and a cave entrance where several frontiersmen and women are being held captive.
As the group approaches, they formulate a plan – two archers, one on each side of the gully, and the remaining 4 will sneak to the edge of the gnoll encampment. As they approach, Serin and Ivan flank the camp to either side of the watchfires while Vlad and the other militiaman approach from the front. As they do, the militiaman stumbles stepping over a large log, attracting the attention of the gnoll band’s hyena and one of the sentries.
Serin and Ivan strike at the stragglers, Ivan preventing the gnoll leader and his bodyguard from entering the fray from the cavern entrance. Ivan first a shot from his crossbow at the nearest sentry, missing by small margin.
The battle rages on and the gnolls fall one-by-one, but not before the clumsy militiaman is torn to shreads by the hyena, Ivan is mortally wounded, and Serin is left severely injured. But, the small group of allies prevails, slaying the gnoll leader and sending the lone remaining gnoll scurrying off with his pet in tow.
Inside the cavern are three households and some of their ill-gotten spoils. The gnolls had the settlers mining for uncut ore and gems. Thought not worth as much as cut stones, they will certainly give the pair some spending money with their other magical spoils from the gnoll leader.
Having rescued the settlers from slavery, Vlad entrusts their care to the other militiamen and returns to Lepidstadt with Serin and Ivan. First getting supplies for their journey and getting updated on information about the swamps, they learn that news of a murder in Lozari has begun to filter into the County. It’s only a matter of time before the bounty hunters follow..
Though still needing information to clear their name, the trio opts to get a fresh start in the morning, which turns to late morning after their evening of drinks and carousing. The bard which frequently performed at The Ghoul’s Jawbone is now also performing at The Magic Maidenhead. He gives a rousing performance before he retires to a racous applause.
The three make it to bed, but have strange dreams of a clamor and ruckus outside the inn. When they awaken, they find Calina speaking to the local guardsmen and one of the windows of the inn cracked. Over breakfast, Serin inquires about what happened, learning of a massive brawl outside the tavern involving some of the patrons.
With fresh packs, full bellies, and hangover-free, the three set out north along the river to the crossing into the swamps…