Monthly Archives: February 2012

Passage of the Ancients

Ludo was exhausted, the journey had been long and tiring. The pressure of the pursuing Gnolls was relentless and, worst of all, he could not foresee a happy evening to their predicament. Once the Gnolls caught them up, it would be curtains for all of them. He was sure of that. He could not help glancing back every few seconds. As the Gnolls got ever closer, he wondered if this was the end. He felt sure that Feldard would go out in a blaze of glory and take a few of the Gnolls with him, but the end would be the same. An ignoble death at a bunch of savage beasts, his head stuck on a pole. He shuddered at the thought.

When he had seen the gorge ahead, Ludo felt this was the border of the Gnolls territory and maybe just maybe they would not pursue the group beyond the bridge. Ludo did not care what was on the other side, anything would be better than facing these blood thirsty pack of Gnolls. Ludo strode out.

“Come on! If we can get to the bridge we will be safe,” he gasped. His mouth felt dry, with fear and lack of water, since he dared not slow down even to drink from his canteen.

Stephan barely glanced back at the menacing war party.

“Must. Keep. Going,” he said in successive blasts of exhaled air. “That tunnel is our only hope. The Traladaran was severely fatigued. His bandages, like Hasan’s, were stained anew with fresh blood from wounds that should not be subjected to the brutal march they’d done.

“Looks like a bridge,” he said in gasping breaths. “Better defense. We must make it to the bridge.”

Maruc wholeheartedly agreed with Stephan. The dark tunnel swallowed them up.

The thunderous roar of the falls followed them into the tunnel, and echoed around the damp and dripping walls. A short way ahead, the tunnel bent to the right, and began to ascend in broad steps. The undisturbed mud on the floor foretold that no one had been here for many years.

With a weary grunt, Feldard followed after his party. It made for a steep climb and the giant gnoll warband made a huge racket that was amplified by the echo haunted gorge.

It wasn’t long before their tired legs brought them to the top of the tunnel stairway. It opened out directly above a raging torrent of water, mere yards from where it fell into the valley below. Spanning the river between the tunnel mouth and the far side was a wide stone bridge which was straddled, halfway across, by a squat, crumbling stone tower.

On the bridge, in front of the tower, three skeletons lied, face downwards on the flagstones, They seemed to be crawling back toward the tunnels, away from the stone tower.

A road, cut into the cliff-like side of the pass, ran from the far side of the bridge, on the other side of the tower, climbed steeply up into the Black Peaks.

The priest look nervously at the tunnel mouth. “Is their anything you can do Miklos?”

Miklos nodded grimly. “Everyone, get away from the tunnel mouth I shall attempt to bring the roof down on them.”

Hasan gasped as Miklos prepared to cast his spell. “I suppose no exit is better than sure death, but that’s rather uncomfortable,” the elf grumbled. “I do hope the bridge is sound.”

Miklos glanced nervously at the bridge and hoped his lightning bolt wouldn’t fracture the bridge instead of bringing the roof of the tunnel down. But they had little choice he had to delay them until they were well into the mountains, and whatever lay beyond. He would have to refer to the tapestry to check their path was true.

He checked the party were behind him. “Stay away from the edge of the bridge. Don’t become a target for bows.” Although thankfully gnolls didn’t seem to be blessed with too many ranged weapons, but among the swarm charging into the lower tunnel mouth there was no guarantee of that.

The adventurers had fully expected the gnoll army to charge into the tunnel up after them, but they did not. Instead, their forces gathered in the gorge. In addition to the gnolls, there were giant boars leashed to their ogre masters. The gnoll chieftain made his way to the front.

The gnoll army stood and watched their quarry as they stood on the bridge, waiting for them to enter the small ancient tower.

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Race to the Gorge

“Let us despoil these creatures of any valuables to tithe to the church.” Maruc said stepping over the corpses, “Then let us be on our way up the pass as swiftly as we may. perhaps we may get far enough ahead of the gnollish warband that they will give up on us.”

After claiming a large handful of coin, Maruc turned to Hasan, “Forgive me, your wounds are severe, but I’ll have no healing from Halav Incarnate until we rest. But I do not suggest we remain here, we have no choice but to press on.”

Maruc resumed his position in the line and continued in earnest toward the lofty peaks.

Miklos watched Feldard as he dispatched the remaining gnolls with a dispassionate professional nature. Miklos took the opportunity to see if any of the dead had maps of the pass, or any clues as to what might lie ahead, but there was nothing. He fell into line behind the armour clad priest.

Feldard checked to see if any of his two bolts were salvagable, then took up his rear guard position once more as the party set out once more. His view of the approaching warparty was not encouraging. “Our battle seems to have spurred on those behind us. We have to move quicker.” Yet one look at his companions, showed that their newest injuries were telling. They wouldn’t be able to keep up a quick pace for long.

Stephan recovered what arrows he could. He was pleased to find both his enchanted arrows nicely plunged into the jugulars of two gnoll’s. But he lost four other arrows.

Enervated further, Stephan trudged on with the party. The still distant pursuers provided a strange force to his legs that kept him moving at a decent pace although perhaps not to Feldard’s liking.

“You are like a mountain goat, master dwarf. This rocky way seems to speed your legs.”

Ludo quickly recovered what arrows he could from the thick hides of the dead Gnolls, he took note that after the recent combat that he had 12 arrows remaining and five of his six throwing daggers, having lost one in the first melee against the Gnolls.

Tightening his straps of his backpack, he scrambled towards the front of the party to catch up with Hasan, then fell in just behind the nimble elf. Between breaths he spoke. “Another combat like that to slow us up will allow the pursuing Gnolls to catch up. Then it will be curtains for us all. Hasan step out the pace, we have a whole day in front of us and I feel that these Gnolls are not in mood to turn back unless they have blood”.

Ludo wiped the sweat of his forehead and focused on the path ahead and tried to ignore the relentless pressure of the Gnolls pursuit.

Hasan stumbled on the rocky ancient Hutaaken road, and paused momentarily to remove another pebble from his boots. “The mountain itself is beginning to fight us,” the elf gasped heavily, still heavily favoring his left side, which had been torn apart by a gnollish spear. The elf tinkered with his bandages and saw new red join the old brown. He shook his head, looked back at the dust cloud arising where the gnolls paced on in the valley below, and step forward again.

It was a long day, perhaps the longest of their lives. Battle fatigued and wounded, the group had no choice but to move at the fastest pace they could muster. As they moved further up the valley, the ancient Hutaakan road became more defined. Knowing that they were so close to reaching the mysterious land spurred them on. It was late in the afternoon when the party finally came within sight of the gorge at the head of the valley.

Huge plumes of white spray rose into the air where the river thundered down a mighty waterfall. The air was very damp and water ran in rivulets down every available surface. At the foot of the falls, massive wild white water churned. On the west side of the river, the ancient road wound its way up to a dark tunnel opening. At the top of the falls, a squat stone structure can just be seen.

By the time the party reached the gorge, the size of the gnoll war party had grown to include nearly the entire tribe. There were nearly two hundred of them in total, and they were a mere 200 yards behind.

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Death’s Head Dead

Stephan fired his arrows, including the two enchanted, until the last moment. Then, casting the bow aside, he readied his shield and sword and engaged the gnolls. Once again, and in a significantly weakened condition, he faced the slathering, hate-filled face of a Death’s Head Gnoll.

Feldard fired off his second bolt then switch weapons to his battle axe to join in the charge. He was glad to see that Miklos had taken out some of the gnolls, but would it be enough?

With no time to consider the consequence if it were not, Feldard swung out with his heavy axe blade at the first gnoll in range.

Ludo let fly with his arrow and reached for another, but the range had closed and with a general melee developing it became too difficult to distinguish between friend and foe. He stood by to provide close support to Miklos, should any of the dogmen break through the battle line that Feldard and Stephan had made. He glanced at Miklos, “I think another spell of slumber would come in handy, we have to even the odds a bit more”.

Maruc barreled into the general melee beside Feldard. He detected a certain doubt in their ambushers, their attacked were less wild, more considered, well, as far as he could tell. There wasn’t the zealot fervour that gripped the gnolls whilst they were incited by their shaman. Their natural cunning and pack behaviour began to show in coordinated attacks and their advantage in numbers was beginning to tell. But fighting next to the iron-like dwarf was like riding a wave of elemental force, similar to one of Miklos’s summoned lighting storms. His axe rose and fell with grace and gore. Maruc spent more time guarding his flank than being particularly useful. Still, he managed to lay one low with a lucky strike that owed more to the magic within the mace than actual skill.

A small knot of gnolls out flanked him, Maruc stretched his defense but they were well out of reach and he couldn’t leave Feldard’s flank exposed. A quick glance back saw them running at the mage.

More fool them, thought Maruc as he ducked a claw swipe.

I’ll need to have a word about the concept of line of sight to my enthusiastic friends after this, thought Miklos. The small band of adventurers were swiftly being outflanked.

Miklos waited for an opportunity, it didn’t take long in coming. He knew he’d made himself a target, in fact he was counting on it. Four brute gnolls came crashing toward him.

The mage stood calmly in the face of the charge and, exactly at the optimal distance, he released the web spell he had prepared some moments before. He smiled with the same satisfaction as he had when he had downed all those bandits on the river all those days ago. Bound gnolls collapsed a few feet before him.

Hasan stood shoulder to shoulder with Stefan. The big human’s frame hulked over the elf, but the two swordsman worked well together even so. For all the ferocity of Hasan’s charge, the elf was cool now. Watching, waiting for the spears to poke, and bracing for impact, the elf held back until the last minute, when he saw an exposed wrist. The sword swinged through the air, a howl arose, and the wrist hit the ground, arm-encumbered no more. Hasan growled himself, and began to watch and wait again.

The gnolls’ numbers advantage had been eliminated by the mage’s spellcasting. Now the dogmen were outmatched, facing warriors with superior skill, armor and weaponry. Nevertheless, the dogmen fought ferociously, inflicting heavy wounds upon their enemies as they fought to their last.

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No Time To Dilly-Dally

Ludo drew an arrow to his bow and aiming at the closest clearest target he could see released his arrow. The Gnolls were clearly out of spear throwing range, so he continued to shoot arrows at any Gnoll that he could see..

Hearing the twang of an bow, Feldard, who was watching more behind than in front, turned just in time to avoid bumping into a stopped Miklos.

“What’s going on? We don’t have time to dilly-dally.”

The dwarf peered ahead, glimpsing through the travel weary party, the gnoll ambush. His shoulders slumped a bit at the sight of them. “That river crossing is looking better and better.”

Feldard stepped off tot the side so that he had an unobstructived shot towards the gnolls and let loose his bolt. He immediately began reloading, glancing behind to check on the approach of the main war party behind. This could get ugly.

Seeing that Ludo was taking action, Stephan joined in sending a volley of arrows. He too felt an unpleasant feeling in the pit of his stomach.

As went through the motions of loading, aiming firing, he muttered to his companions, “I have no regrets…falling in with you comrades. We’ve done some good things. You have enriched my life….I hope I have done a little for yours…”

“Charge!” hollered Hasan, breaking into a sprint. “We have to draw them out for Miklos! We can’t deal with them one-by-one.” The elf screamed a wrath he didn’t quite feel.

The mage edged off to one side. The flurry of bolts and arrows struck home and he could hear the wolf – cries of consternation arising from the their would be ambushers. They were poorly armed for a ranged combat and the bushes offered little protection from the speeding shafts. They had little choice but to meet the elf’s headlong charge.

The wild glint in their eyes shone as they leapt and bounded down the track slack jawed and growling obscenities, but something was wrong. The lead gnoll’s legs gave way and he crashed into the ground, before they could stop themselves the two behind tripped over him and fell unconscious. The next avoided the growing pile and fainted in mid leap. The charge faulted.

Miklos turned to Maruc. “I thought the sleep incantation would have got more. They must be resistant.”

Maruc shrugged, “Nevermind, time to help out I think.”

His armour clanked as he jogged to catch up with Feldard. His mace in hand he joined the fray.

As Ludo released his arrows at the targets before him, he could not help but be worried. These Gnolls were slowing the their progress towards the mountain pass and the pursuing Gnolls coming up the trail would he was sure be redoubling their efforts to catch the group up. He yelled to the Feldard and Hasan. “We must finish these Gnolls off quickly! Their friends are not far behind us!”

The groups faced off. There was Hasan, Feldard, Stephan and Maruc facing off against ten gnolls. Ludo was close by, trying to pick off the gnolls with his bow. Miklos also stood back from the melee, trying to decide whether to cast more spells now, or save them for later.

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Dogged Pursuit

Ludo kept looking over his shoulder as the warband of Gnolls got closer and closer. The day was warm and as they climbed further into the mountains the path they were on became nothing more than a goats track, rocky and narrow. He knew if they stopped to give combat they would die. Of course a lot of Gnolls would die as well, but in the end the superior numbers of the Gnolls would be the telling factor. He could see that Maruc was tired from his vigil, prayers to Halav and all his healing to the group, Ludo moved over to him. “Maruc let me carry your pack to give you time to have get your breath back”.

Feldard kept his crossbow at the ready, watching the gnoll war party get closer and closer. “We need to slow them down, or pick up our pace somehow,” the dwarf huffed, tired and weary after a near sleepless night.

It was hilly terrain. The Foamfire river flowed to the party’s left, and with mountains a couple miles to the right, they headed north toward what would presumably be a gorge or pass where the river flows down from the mountain. Feldard searched for any means of causing a rock slide, avalanche or anything that could slow the gnolls’ chase, but he did not find any.

Maruc smiled at Ludo’s generous offer. “No my friend, I am not so weary as to burden you. I might even suggest that you’d be better placed to fool the pack away into the hills?” The priest thought about it. “Perhaps not, if these creatures are related to dogs they could follow us by scent. We would have to cross the river for any meaningful attempt to loose them.”

Miklos was missing his creature comforts. A dry soft bed for one. He didn’t like the idea of getting wet in the river either, but given the choice of that or another fight he might well get wet. “What does everyone think? Perhaps we could cross the river to see if we can delay the pursuit?”

“Nay, Miklos,” answered Hasan, still groggy from the night’s too-short sleep. “The river is swift, angry almost. We cannot cross. Did you not argue last night that we could beat the dogmen to that pass ahead? Let us not despair. We will find our redoubt there.” The elf stood and shouldered his pack wearily. He trudged forward, nibbling another dried apple, one of the last from Sukiskyn. “Let us away with speed,” the elf admonished, but his own pace was faltering.

The dwarf just grunted as they pressed on. “Miklos, as much as I hate to say it.. I hope you got more of those web spells at the ready should we fall behind in our pace.” And then to help keep everyone moving, Feldard began to sing out in his off key voice a dwarven march.

Upon hearing Feldard’s singing, Ludo cringed and instinctively lengthened his stride, whispering to Miklos, “I wish you could use your web spell to muzzle him”.

Miklos laughed. “Indeed Ludo!”

The foothills grew more lofty as the path began its assent into the high pass. The mist began to part to reveal the crystal blue sky and the frost rimed teeth of the black peak mountains.

Miklos rummaged in his pack for his warmer robe.

Stephan kept quiet and trudged on with the party. Hasan maintained the group at a furious pace; barely allowing time for water. During a brief pause in the march, Stephan spied their pursuers. “If they are like dogs, maybe they’ll stop the chase once they have run us off their property.”

At the head of the march, Hasan was the first to spot them, then Ludo shortly after. About 100 yards ahead, the glint of armor gave them away. A dozen gnolls lay in wait for them, trying to conceal themselves for an ambush, spears at the ready.

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Towards The Black Peaks

Feldard had found it so very hard to remain still while so near to the gnolls. He had to quell the urge to jump up and begin a battle. But soon enough, the dwarf heard the jangle of chainmail and those gnolls left at the tunnel were heading off away from him. Cautiously, the dwarf left his hiding spot and began hurrying his way towards the hut, concerned that the other half of the war party would discover his friends.

He didn’t go far before his attention was caught by pebbles being thrown at him. A search of the woods around showed his companions waving to him off in the mist. He headed towards them.

When Ludo saw Feldard heading towards the party, he dropped the small stone that he was about to throw. When Feldard was once again with the party, he whispered, “Let’s get out of here. These Gnolls are baying for blood. Hasan I suggest you lead.”

Despite the relief of seeing Feldard reunited with the party, Stephan kept an eye out for gnolls. He fell in line behind Hasan and Ludo. The pace they set was ferocious for his weakened state but being a stalwart Traladaran, he did not complain and marched on; determined not to slow the group down.

Maruc nodded in agreement. He still felt pain but the potion had worked off the edge of his discomfort. He was glad to be away from the potential fight, but was concerned about being chased without rest all the way up into the mountains. They would need rest soon. The severely injured party would not survive another such encounter and as healer he felt a particular burden.

The young mage fell into step next the Hasan at the rear. He said nothing of his choice. He was fully armed with offensive spells should any nasty surprises occurred. Hasan was quiet at the back, his elven footsteps making a bare whisper of noise against the gravel path.

With the elf and rogue taking the lead once more, Feldard fell back and resumed his rearguard position, watching warily alongside and behind them as they took a route hopefully around and away from the gnolls. As he walked he checked his crossbow, ensuring it was still loaded and ready should it be needed.

Hasan drove the group forward mercilessly, alternating positions in the front and back of the group. “Come on, now, boys,” he called from ahead. “Move ahead, Miklos, don’t look behind, leave that to me,” the elf chided from behind. All the while, the elf waited for the outcry that he was sure would come soon. The elf’s eyes roved the landscape for a defensive position. “Look out for an open space with shelter behind it, Stefan. Or a steep hillside. Mark my words, friends: we’ll meet the dogmen again, and it must be in a place of our choosing.”

Ludo was tired, the day had been long and had seen a lot of bloodshed and death. But he understood that the Gnolls would soon be following their scent, and to survive they had to get as far away from them as possible before sunrise. Ludo was sure that once the Gnolls discovered their trail, that they would be relentless in their pursuit. He was glad that the mist was still around concealing them, if the mist lifted they would be in serious trouble.

They travelled into the night, trying to get as far away from the Gnoll’s sacred burial grounds as they could. Eventually, they found a suitable spot to rest for a few hours. At daybreak, they were on the move again. In the valley behind them, smoke plumes rose into the sky coming from the area of the Death’s Head clan slaughtering grounds. Over the next few hours, as the companions continued their fast-paced march, more smoke plums columns appeared.

In the distance, up the valley about three miles back, they spotted a large group of humainoids following their trail. As they continued through the valley, the companions caught glimpses of the war party. Throughout the day, it grew in size and slowly was closing the distance. Miklos studied the map. By his calculations, it would be a close race to get to the mountains before the gnolls would catch them.

At nightfall, the sound of gnoll drums echoed across the valley. As they camped, Maruc did his best to heal the party along their journey, but there was little time for prayer and invocation, and the healing made the priest even more exhausted than everyone else.

At dawn, the group was already moving. Though they were as fatigued than they had ever been, survival propelled them forward. An army had gathered to chase them, but the Black Peaks were now within a day’s journey.

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Dwarven Subtlety

Feldard let out a bit of a tired sigh at the sight of yet another gnoll war party. He and his companions were in no state to fend off another attack by such fierce opponents. They barely had survived the last.

Glancing back towards the hut and second guessing the wisdom of his decision to try leading them away, the dwarf could make out the figure of one of his companions following him. The dwarf scowled and shook his head towards the figure, motioning him back. Then with a deep breath, turned back towards the gnolls and cut across their path just within sight of them. He paused a moment, giving an alarmed shout as if startled by their presence then ran, making a route away from the hut.

He ran purposefully towards the tunnels.

Maruc started at the gruff yell in the mist. It was most certainly the voice of Feldard. He waited a few seconds. Normally Feldard’s cries would be immediately followed by sounds of battle. Strange, there were none. Either he was running away, most unlikely, or it was some clever deception. Either way, Maruc felt unsure as to what to do. Feldard was not one to call for help, but neither was he stupid. He saw Miklos start back down the path.

“Hold a second Miklos, I think all is not what it seems.”

Miklos stopped and turned to the priest. “That was Feldard seeking aid was it not?”

Maruc shook his head, “Can you hear fighting?”

Miklos shook his head, “What are you getting at?…Oh I see, you think Feldard is leading them astray?” The priest nodded.

Mikos grinned, “Dwarven subtly, now that is remarkable. There must be hundreds of gnolls then. Or at least that is what he’ll say!”

Stephan was relieved to the see the dwarf had the sense not to attack the gnolls. He saw dwarf move at a speed he thought not possible through the foliage. The gnolls appeared confused for a moment but soon took the bait and started chasing Feldard.

Through the mist ahead, Ludo heard the yelps and barks from more Gnolls ahead. Stephan was just turning to warn the others when Ludo came upon him, grabbed his shoulder and with urgency in his voice whispered, “Follow me, Feldard knows what he is doing. We need to get back with the others. We’re in no condition to take on more Gnolls. Maruc and the others are further up the path waiting for us. Feldard can catch up later. If we take on anymore Gnolls, we will get killed for no purpose.”

The rogue felt it necessary to state the obvious.

“Duh,” Stephan responded and allowed the newest member of the party to take the lead back to the others.

Upon arriving, Stephan said in hushed tones, “Feldard leads them to the tunnels. We must go to his aid. They will come to this hut. We must go. Tunnels!” His words were short and full of urgency. He raced to the tunnels, bow in hand.

Miklos grabbed at the woodsman. “Not so fast Stephan.”

“Feldard runs into the woods followed by gnolls! I, we, can’t just stay here or move on. We go check on our comrad!” Stephan seemed annoyed at having been delayed.

“If you or Hasan wished to lead someone astray, you would be best qualified to do so under trees. Is this not so? Feldard is showing cunning. He leads them into tunnels and he is a dwarf, not confused by such things. That is a maze in there and there are many exits. Should we go blundering in there? We are unskilled in such things, that would expose us all to danger.”

“Da,” replied the veteran warrior. “I did not intend a frontal assault, Maruc. The gnolls don’t know about the rest of us yet. We must at least go spy.”

“He has a point, Miklos.” Maruc said, after he polished off one of the sour tasting healing potions. “We must at least assume that not all the gnoll party will follow him into the tunnels, if any. Remember they do not know the ghouls are dead. They may well leave him to his fate, equally they may follow him in and leave sentries at the tunnel mouths.”

“Very well,” Miklos peered into the mist, “we shall venture within bowshot of the tunnel mouths. No further. against the possibility of them leaving guards. If they split up we can deal with them piecemeal with magic.”

Ludo shook his head. Within his mind he debated the wisdom of their plan. He felt sure that Feldard would be ok, with his infravision and tunnel sense there was a really good chance he would succeed. As the others disappeared into the mist, he sighed, damn fools, all of them he muttered, picking up his bow he followed Miklos and the others to ascertain Feldard’s fate.

The dwarf in the meanwhile had led the gnolls to the nearest tunnel entrance. He ran amongst the rocks and boulders lining the mountainside entrance, often dodging out of sight for a moment or two.

When he was fairly certain he was out of sight of the gnolls, behind a large boulder yet clearly within sight of the tunnel entrance, Feldard dropped back and under the foot of the boulder and quickly and hopefully quietly dragged rocks and debris to cover himself. The rocks and dirt should shield his body heat if the gnolls had infravision like most noctural humanoids. With luck, the gnolls would suspect he made for the tunnels and spend time searching them, giving him and his companions time to slip away.

The adventurers ran silently through the woods angling to approach the tunnel entrances from the right, on elevated ground. Taking a concealed position that afforded a good vantage from which to shoot at medium range, they saw the dark shapes of the gnolls. As Feldard had hoped, the gnolls chased after him, but they stopped once they reached the hidden tunnel entrance.

There was a lot of activity around the entrance, and it was to tell exactly what they were doing. One thing was for sure; Feldard was no where to be seen and the gnolls looked perplexed.

There was gruff talk amongst them, full of barks and growls, until the leader asserted control. The large gnoll ordered half of the group to investigate their shaman’s hut while the others stayed. They formed an outward-facing circle. One of gnolls stood only a few feet away from Feldard. The gnolls tried to gaze through the mist for other interlopers.

Hasan saw Feldard’s predicament, trying to steal away from the gnolls. “Hiding, Feldard?” the elf winced. “Let’s hope they smell worse than a real dog does,” the elf whispered to Miklos. “Still, maybe this will help a bit.”

The elf drew magical energies to his aid. His companion then saw the strangest sight, as the elf began an awkward, stumbling, silent dance. “Silence, elf? when did you learn that?” began Miklos, but then he stopped. “Ahh, I see, err, hear, I mean.” The human had heard the jangling of chain armor coming from the farthest side of the ghoul’s underground labyrinth. The elf’s magic had cast the noise there.

“Genius, Hasan.” Miklos watched in wonder as half of the gnoll war party ran hither and thither chasing the spectre of the noise, and most importantly moving away from Feldard’s hiding spot. The other half of the gnolls continued to approach the hut.

“Krasgat! Krazgat! Acchakkkk brakksskk!” they called toward the dwelling as they got closer to it. When they saw the evidence of the recent bloody battle, there was more shouting broke into a run, determined to find out if their shaman, or any of their gnoll brethren, was in the hut.

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