Gnolls, gnolls everywhere…
We set out early the next morning, my husband trying to nurse a horrid hangover, and reached the cave we were to fight the creatures in. Without wasting time, we headed in and were immediately greeted by some horrid hyena/wolf man hybrids. I was told these were gnolls. It was a small group of four that we took care of easily and moved onto the next cavern by the light of Tezran’s “big glowing fuck off hammer.” I was the one tasked with dragging my now puking husband behind us, leaving a trail of bile like Hanzel and Grettle’s bread crumbs. Inside this cavern, the gnolls were trying really hard to hide, and failing really hard. I think they thought that if they couldn’t see us we couldn’t see them, as most of them had their heads bowed behind rocks with their rears sticking up clearly in the air. We took them out easy; it took more swings of my ax than I thought, but the surprise attack we did really put them off balance.
With that cavern clear we moved on to the next cavern, me still hauling my puking husband, where there were four more gnolls hiding the exact same way as in the previous. I, and a few others, sensed that the ritual that was happening deep in the cave was coming to an end quickly. For the sake of time, we ignored the hiding gnolls and let them think that we didn’t see them. The next cavern held five gnolls who were not hiding, they were about 60 yards away, some of them had bows and started shooting us. It was taking us forever trying to inch our way up to confront them, my husband, the ranger, and the wizard tried to pick them off from a distance but it wasn’t working. The wizard was getting arrows stuck in him and it was just taking too damn long. So Rowen reached for a spell that we all nicknamed “murder cube.” She summoned daggers that flew through the air slashing at the gnolls constantly. I we all cheered and thought they were done for when the decided to simply step out of said “murder cube.” If any of us got close to the cube it would hurt as well, so after much arguing, we decided to send Diarmund to use thunder wave to knock them back into the cube. Surprisingly it worked on all except one of the gnolls. He simply shot it and it fell like the others inside the cube.
This is when we regretted our decision to leave the gnolls from the other room alone. They came up behind us and started to ambush our already injured wizard. Rowen healed him thankfully and we all started to attack the four that had just shown up. Diarmund and the wizard we already too far away to help so they decided to be bold and go into the next cavern, for the sake of trying to stop the ritual. The gnolls were tough and I became clumsy and took quite a few hits from their spears. Tezran was nice enough to heal me up while Rowen healed the monk who was starting to really feel the pain.
We hurried to catch up with the others, who I could hear were already engaged in combat. There were two guards standing at the entrance to the next cavern my husband and the wizard were trying to get into. I watched as my husband fell one of them, while the wizard was struck with yet another arrow. Somehow he survived, his will to go on too great or his luck too high. Rowen hit with another healing spell as we rushed in to help our party.
Moving on to the next room we finally saw it, the ritual. There were two more guards below the platform and a priest on top of the “alter.” Diarmund and the wizard engaged the guards below as the rest of us rushed to go after the priest who was slinging distance magic at us. That’s when we heard more footsteps, gnolly footsteps. An arrow flew by the wizards head, his luck saving his life. Five more gnolls walked into the room, all of them holding bows and shooting at us. I charged at the archers who then took up spears and started poking me with them. My monk trainee had fled, terrified of what was happening, or perhaps he was the traitor we were tasked with finding. Rowen, defied her bard morals of healing and stabbed one of the gnolls and killed it.
Finally those five fell and I was hurting really badly. Blood was gushing out of my chest and stomach where I had been stabbed, I held my hand over the gut as it was gushing more than my chest. Rowen had run out of healing spells and Tezran was too far away from me to give me aid. I was stuck like this.
My stomach gave out as I saw it being summoned. The super gnoll rose up from the summoning circle and started for us. Since Tezran’s “glowy fuck off hammer” was a divine weapon he was able to cast a spell that sent the charging gnoll running away screaming in fear from us. This allowed us to finish off the remaining guard and priest.
By the time we had finished the super gnoll had broken through the wall of the cave and was headed in the direction. We hurried back to the entrace of the huge cave and set off to try and warn the village, hoping we would be fast enough to beat the super gnoll. I hoped we would find some kind of healing items while we were there too, I didn’t know how much longer I would be able to stand in fight. Our wizard was in even worse shape than I. Diarmund had cuts on his arms and there was a trickle of blood to the side of his mouth. Tezran had the markings of bruises already forming and a cut on his scaley face. The ranger still looked fine as did the monk, there wasn’t a scratch on Rowen. I thought to myself, “We haven’t even found the traitor yet… How much longer can we keep going…?” I reminded myself at least it wasn’t like the wolf dreams. At least none of us had died. Yet…