A collection of texts hastily piled together inside a leather pouch. You remove the papers and begin scanning the pages for more details about the recent Quakes.
Three Months Ago...Submitted by Poly.
Rey sits down to write again, nestled comfortably in a forked branch in a tree, recalling the events of the first night that the western quakes hit:
It was just over three months ago when the first tremors wrecked Aeval. I remember it clearly. Most of us were outside in the gardens when everything went quiet. Even the wind seemed to stop for brief moments, and then it came, a violent earthquake which rattled the buildings. All around us lanterns and awnings fell. The well caved in and the gazebo roof split apart. All the windows shattered, and cracks started forming up the walls of the scholar’s guild. The tremors came and went with momentary breaks, though each one was stronger than the last. People were being hit by the falling debris, so everyone gathered just outside the town’s walls overlooking lake Elnea. It was then that everything seemed to quieten until the forest was impossibly silent. Not a sound was heard for a few moments until the woods erupted as every bird in the vicinity took flight.
What followed was the low thunder of footsteps as… something… stampeded through the forest from the north. We just saw dark shapes moving at the tree-line across the bridge when we heard the same thundering sound coming from the south. Knowing the southern wall was undefended, a group of us immediately took off that way, through the crumbling buildings. We reached the guild hall where Frufire was hit by a falling spire. Inside, many were trapped beneath the debris but we were drawn away from helping them as hundreds of thousands of centipedes crawled over the walls and swarmed around us. I managed to slow them down with fire spells, however, there were too many. With Chloe's help, we kept them at bay where we could pick them off, though soon we were swarmed by tiny venomous spiders that ate our magic away. They consumed my spells and the enchantments on Chloe’s staff. With Frufire’s telekinesis spell he crushed the most of the centipedes… though things only got harder from there.
At this point, the gate beside the guild burst open and out spilled three large aberrations. They were crawling masses of flesh, covered in all places with wide eyes and sharp-toothed mouths. They seemed to slither toward us, and before I could react, they had me paralyzed. They enclosed around us and I remember seeing one bite Ulric, and once it had… it’s the whole body seemed to wrap around him as it swallowed him whole. I was then swarmed with the mage rippers and knocked unconscious, though only for a few moments as Ceriza rushed in to heal me. When I stood up, I noticed then what the rest of my party had failed to see before. The seemingly black cloak that was encased around a body lying at the steps of the guild, shifted slightly. It wriggled as if alive… and then it sprung up. It flew straight at Frufire and swallowed him up, where it wriggled for a moment before turning, empty-handed and staring at the top of the guild hall.
I wanted to help, though the mage rippers were still covering my body, and one of the gibbering mouthers was getting closer. Instead, we moved back and I used my last fire seed given by the druids of Sylvanus to blow the tiny spider-like creatures away. Around the same time, Ulric managed to cleave his way out of the aberration and get some distance. I glanced up then to see Frufire fall from the top of the mage tower, followed by the cloaker. He managed to use feather fall to ease his landing, though on the way down more rubble fell which crushed a brave guard that had stayed to help others evacuate. I didn’t know Carl very well, though as the cloaker landed on his body, it seemed to set off something inside Frufire who relentlessly attacked the creature, finally killing it.
At this time, only two gibbering mouthers remained, however, it was not over. Right when things were looking up, there was an ear-splitting sound. It was something strange... that I’d never heard before. It made the wall to the south completely crumble into dust which then drifted away in the wind, and through the gap stepped a giant creature with small claw-like arms and no eyes. It strode over to the earl and with another booming shout, completely shattered his armour. I managed to halt its advance with a wall of fire while Chloe took out the remaining gibbering mouthers, however, it didn’t keep it at bay for long. It turned its attention to us, and let out a bellow that left my ears bleeding and my bones aching. It was then the Lady Ceriza who turned the tide of the battle. With a silence spell, the blind creature was completely disorientated. It could not perceive any of us, and with this opportunity Ulric rushed at it, locking it down long enough for me to summon a bolt of lightning which finally killed it.
With our side of the fight finally over, we patched ourselves up, though could not rest long as we rushed back to the north to help the group that had stayed to defend the gate. They were in rough shape, with many injured and one, a Vincent Strange, already fallen. We swiftly killed the one creature that remained which pinned Killian and healed up, retreating back into town. The battle was a success for us. We killed the invaders and drove any others away, though… we still faced grave losses. I am not sure of the exact number that fell that night, though it was devastating, and was only the beginning of something much worse…
The Quakes Submitted by Jahdyil
The world shook. In the Three Banners Inn, glasses fell, bottles shattered, and I spilled mead on my favorite shirt. I had to determine who was responsible and make them pay... And so it was that I, Kalten Atkey, set forth on this journey of discovery. Some of these words are speculation, some are fact, and some are a mere rumor... I leave it to you to decide which is truth and which fiction.
I journeyed to Fangstford, Murkwell, Valloryn, and even Aeval… The passage to Hammerfast was blocked. I learned that vermin rose from the Eladrin ruins near to Aevel within the realm of Celes. The elf, Chloe Evenstar, called upon her goddess to repel vermin, yet they learned these... mage rippers, tiny abominations, were unaffected. Even while dealing with this, large blobs with multiple mouths and eyes appeared to assault our heroes, 'Gibbering Mouthers' they have been dubbed. Then, too, came the cloakers. Flying enemies that could cloak at will, perhaps a camouflage or invisibility...
Valiantly did Ulric Dugderan, Earl of Fangstford, lead our heroes into combat. However... something happened. There are mixed reports on exactly what, but it seems that the mage rippers ate the magical items of our adventurers. Ceriza Elassidil, Countess of Aeval, did match wits with one other worthy foe... a destrachan, a large aberration that doesn't see but rather listens for its targets, using sound to identify their locations. Ceriza cast the spell silence upon it, leaving it a helpless victim rather than a fearsome aggressor.
Frufire Cupshigh, Court Wizard of Aeval, did then split the party, sending one half to deal with one problem, the other to deal with quickly destroying this seemingly helpless creature. The battle is the thing of legend worthy of its own tale, yet, alas, it is not one to be told by me. The elves, Rey, a druid, and Chloe met their foes fearlessly and, for this reason, were the targets of magical fear. They gibbered in terror for a time and fled the battle.
Things were falling apart rapidly, despite their successes. Then, having lost arms and armor did Earl Dugderan quit the field at speed, ordering the retreat. It fell to Cupshigh to gather them all once more and use his fierce magic to teleport them safely to Aeval. Two Rivers was said to be instrumental in slowing their enemies, but this bard has been unable to reach them before publishing.
Things had not gone well in our heroes absence, however, as the town was half destroyed. The Skyfallen Guild was rubble, the people misplaced. Vincent Strange, the wizard and a lieutenant in the Murkwellian guard, died trying to save the town. Of Earl Gervas of Murkwell, there was no sign and has been no word since.
Our story doesn't end here, however, as the groups reconvened to discuss what had gone wrong and plan for the next match... for this war was far from won. There were a series of light skirmishes as the preparations were made, and a party of heroes set out once more for Hammerfast. This time, Ulric was unable to attend, sending his daughter Asta in his stead to 'show support for our allies' in Aeval.
They traveled for a day and a night, skirting combat too, instead, find a breach. An old hand in these parts, Jahrik Elassidil (adoptive brother to the countess) joined them, warning of some of the dangers that had been faced in the tunnels by Arbrek Ironstar and his dwarven countrymen. The warning was useless in that all enemies found seemed to have, instead, broken through to these caves from the Underdark.
As they traveled, they noted damage to the bridge where several stalactites had fallen... most were circumvented, however, they came across one section of the bridge that was weaker than the rest. Volunteering, Jahrik did use magical telekinesis to hold the bridge in place. One by one our heroes lined up to cross. Asta Dugderan, Frufire Cupshigh, Rey the elf, Ceriza and Jahrik Elassidil, Two Rivers the Monk, and Chloe Evenstar.
Our heroes crossed one by one, two across, now three... Ceriza was crossing when something snapped within the wizard Jahrik. Perhaps it was jealousy, or perhaps indeed his magic was taken from his command, but his spell slammed the bridge shut upon her like a trap! In seeming horror, he released the spell and she fell, surely not to her death? But no, the ground was near at this time.
Rey, Two Rivers, and Jahrik ran to her location to dig her out of the rubble. In the meantime, Frufire, Asta, and the others engaged their enemies. Unfortunately for them, their enemies were Illithid, mind flayers if you will. Asta, Jahrik, and Rey later claimed to have come under the effects of a spell, confused as to what they should do. Asta began attacking the heroes, Jahrik fled like a coward, and Rey screamed, falling to her knees and crying... Rey was the first to overcome these effects, and she went forth to make war upon these bastards. Jahrik returned after quite some time, abashed, but ready to fight. Ceriza was healed by a magical wine gifted from Two Rivers... and Frufire was fighting off a mind flayer hungry for the taste of his brain!
Things got tense. Everything seemed to slow down, but at last Asta regained control of herself and, united, the party worked to save Frufire… in spite of all of this, it seemed to be only the divine act of a God that saved the gnome. Unable to continue, the party ran to each other and used their magic to return home. Once more the guild was destroyed, the new wall fallen in several places. Their victory was ash in their mouths...
Frustrated, angry, and perhaps ashamed of his guilty actions?, Jahrik Elassidil called for a meeting to discuss a different means of entering Hammerfast. A scouting mission was proposed, then grew an argument between the lovers Chloe and Loeven and the Countess of Aeval. The cleric of Selune proposed summoning a demon, a chasm, for information about activities surrounding Hammerfast. It was suggested that a devil would be wiser, as devils hate demons and would be less likely to spread false information. The countess was against both, later stating that before attempting to summon anything they should have pooled their knowledge. When she left, in spite of the taunts that were aimed at her, the meeting failed for not all the knowledge they had was pooled at that time.
Ulric took the lovers to task for their disrespect of a noble and then they got on with their business. They discussed what they knew, made some proposals... then Chloe left a moment. Nobody can say what she did, but this bard suspects that she cast her spell, summoned a little demon, then came back to continue the chats. Loeven gave Chloe a 'seductive' look, then took off. Within moments of his departure, a group of dwarves led by Bargroir entered the tavern with news of Hammerfast. They took to Jahrik, a former friend and ally of the city, and shared with him some information... and several tablets recovered from an ancient temple.
Jahrik, having proposed an expedition, returned to Aeval to speak with Ceriza and get her up to speed on events. After comparing notes, he prepared for their journey. Many met up to go, but in the end, it was Two Rivers, Chloe, Jahrik, The Dugderan, and Cathbad the human whom went forth to scout. They found a few places to set up for the assault and went to investigate this temple. It was 'disgusting' as they had to practically wade through vermin to get there. The remainder of the dwarves, dead alas, were found here. Rivers investigated and they came to life, nasty worms coming out of their skin! Jahrik prepared a spell, leaped down, and touched both Rivers and Ulric, leaving the cleric and druid to make their own way. It seemed that the cleric also had a means of teleportation and the five were reunited in Aeval.
Time passed, their hard-won information coming to the fore of things. Frufire translated the tablets, but the information... I've copied what remains and hope none was lost since. What was recovered is the following:
...and the man that stepped onto our shores was followed by a small legion of vile beasts. Each of them once a man or woman now were beings beyond the realms of life and death…
…”...and I am a servant of the mighty Kyuss, Pavir Shaask! Those who assist me in fin-...”
“...shall be granted the honor of immortality by his right! Once freed, the impure will be purged, and he will transcend even the god who gave the gift of divinity to him!...”
...legions fell victim to him and his minions, fallen allies rising as foes, and vermin eating away the flesh of the living and the dead faster than new warriors could arrive…
...destroyed by the ghaele called to aid, but even they died to the aftermath…
...sealed for all eternity, as the evil that slumbers in his consciousness shall never see the light of day again; for the Age of Worms is dawning, and who knows if even the gods could stop it...
Forewarned, our heroes assembled to make war once more upon the enemies of Rhoaven. Boldly did they arm themselves and set forth to bring battle to the foe... Many remained to guard Aeval from further attack, such as Rose and Jahrik Elassidil, but the attack never came. The band advanced as a team, Ceriza Elassidil once more at the head of the charge, Chloe Evenstar, Vanion the Elf, Rey another Elf, Cathbad the druid, Vincent the strange little halfling that used to be a gnome restored to life, Tesi the bard and many others. A giant purple worm-thing, so my source called it, was there at the head of things. The group split, the more experienced adventurers making war upon this worm, the others holding off the worm-zombie-things and various bad guys.
This fight began with several large meteors striking the worm... In retaliation, the worm ate Frufire, but the gnome refused to remain eaten. He appeared seconds later near the elf, Vanion, and was healed. Then did Rivers unleash a flurry of blows upon the beast and, for his sins, was he eaten. The monk was made of sterner stuff than the worm, however, and cut himself out even as the worm was petrified. More spells came and, of a sudden, the head of the worm was gone. Victorious, our allies charged into the ancient temple once more, Vanion casting protection vs evil upon the leaders... all for naught. They made their way past a series of traps and confronted three mind flayers.
That was when things took a turn for the worst. Everything was wrong, suddenly, and the mindflayers died in an instant. A worm-zombie-thing and an ancient evil strode forth, laughing. He tossed some paltry 'treasures' at the party and dared them to defy him. The elf, Vanion, sought to make war upon these abominations and was halted by the wizard Frufire. Chloe and Rey gibbered in terror, unable to move... stalking past our heroes, they met the party upstairs. Cathbad was nearly killed with a mere wave of it's hand, and the worm zombie thing took on the appearance of a most beautiful woman.
And so our tale concludes, not ended by far yet at a pause as our adventurers refresh themselves and make ready to face their most dangerous enemy to date. The dead are buried, the injured healed, and the danger walks the lands. So prepare yourselves, adventurers, for the enemy is at your gates and he comes for your children, your wives, your husbands, your lands. Make ready for war.
*appears some information may not be included or was not collected*
The Lunar Plains Battle
A collection of records from different heroes and commoners around the isles had been created to write a small book. It would be bound in simple, brown leather. A simple one, really. The handwriting within it would be clean, yet elegant, but the author's name is nowhere to be found.
The Prologue of a War Submitted by Stryke.
Twigs and his own hair stuck the young man's face as he drove the heels of his boots into his horse's sides, urging it to push onwards even as he could see the foam around its mouth. His mind was moving even faster than his horse, pictures of his friend and family slaughtered repeating themselves as if they were still right in front of his eyes. It so came that he almost fell as his horse suddenly stopped. He had arrived, though he didn't quite know where anymore. A group of adventurers stood before him, and he barely stuttered a few words, breathing heavily in between. "T-the R-R-Ranch... is being.. attacked!". It's all that came to his mind. A simple stable boy, the scenery inside his mind still held him captive.
He didn't know how lucky he had been. Ulric Dugderan, Ancestor Rurik Kraghammer, Asta Dugderan and a number of other famous adventurers, heroes and notable people had been under those he encountered. They did not yet know to which extend the events would unfold as they rushed onward, seizing wagons to rush towards the Rhoaven Ranch.
Just a few minutes later, they could see the structure rise on the horizon. It was at this point the events spiraled out of control faster than they could react to it. Pillars of thick smoke could be seen rising from the Ranch. Screams were heard all the way to their location. And with all of this going on, a loud snapping sound ripped them out of their thoughts. A carefully placed trap snapped the axle of one Wagon in half. In horror, the three adventurers on the other wagon - going by the names Cathbad, Aminata and Asta - saw how their companions were flung through the air from the impact of the fast wagon on the floor, the vehicle flipping around violently. Simultaneously, shady figures charged at the adventurers even before they could come back to their feet. Yet, the first wagon pushed onwards, putting their trust into the competence of those they left back. There was no time to lose.
As they arrived at the ranch, the first thing they noticed was the bodies. Easily a dozen of the workers had been slain, their remains - or rather, pieces of them - painted the floor red. And at this moment, they got a first glance at an enemy that would haunt them for the weeks to come. A small group of gnolls stood amid slain guards of the Ranch, leading war horses away from it. And so, a bloody battle started. The two groups clashed, nearly resulting in the death of Cathbad. However, they forced the gnolls to retreat at the least, killing about half of them in the process. The last remaining enemy, a huge gnoll that had battled them relentlessly, was the last one standing in front of them. His body was beyond broken, yet he stood on his feet, proudly fighting to the point where no mortal being could survive the onslaught of the enranged adventurers. He died standing on his feet, his massive body toppling over.
During this time, the other group fought a bloody battle of their own. As the other cart vanished out of their sight, they gathered next to the broken cart, an assortment of beasts rushing towards them. Ulric Dugderan, Rurik Kraghammer, and Rose Elassidil were the names of those three brave souls, each wethered heroes of the Night War. Yet, their spirits were tested as the monsters that threw themselves at them were barely recognizable as gnoll anymore. One stood taller than even Ulric, red spots on his fur and a wildfire in his eyes giving away demonic taint, something the adventurers would come to struggle within the battles to come. Three more gnolls charged at them with the demonic beast, a wild rage shining in their eyes, almost crazed by it, demanding nothing but blood and suffering. The heroes dispatched them in the brutal battle, but even so, the creatures left them wounded in body and beyond, the first of many curses during this war finding its victim in one of the heroes.
This day marked the beginning of what should come to be known as the "Battle of the Lunar Planes".
The Attacks Submitted by Poly.
Rey sits down to write, thinking it a good distraction from recent events and an opportunity to practice. Her handwriting is neat, though stagnant as if she were taking her time with each letter. Once finished and pleased with the result she would scrawl her name at the bottom and drop it off at the ranch as she flies overhead.
The gnoll attacks were spread all throughout Rhoaven. Here in Aeval we lost many to the gnoll mages and the thorns that would creep around a person’s legs and up their body and rip them apart. They were very resilient. Not even the Court Wizard’s highly powerful spells could keep them at bay. We waged war when the Earl of Fangstford’s daughter was kidnapped and imprisoned in the gnoll slave camp. I had been in there before though it seemed completely different when we scouted it out. The plains were crawling with gnolls, many with red demonic eyes. We had to secure a crossing at the river south of the camp, though it proved much more difficult than expected. Right up to the river, the woods were teaming with those creatures. No birds dared to cross over there anymore. They said that something was wrong with the trees. After we found a suitable crossing point, our attempts to take out the lookout failed. It fell from the tree and Nienna had to carry it off in her claws though was pursued by other, smaller gnolls.
When we chased after her to intercept the gnolls, others caught sight of us and flanked us. Rurik and I fended them off just long enough for the others to take care of the small gnolls, but then they were joined by the big one. It was twice as tall as us and it carried a giant axe that gleamed evilly. It had demon eyes, and it walked slowly toward us as if it knew that we could not escape it. Together with a gnoll cleric, they caught up to us and knocked us down. Rurik died then, but it was as if he were still there, somehow. Nienna lit up his corpse and what followed was a deafening explosion which left my ears ringing. I’m certain you heard it too; it may have spooked your horses, but it was what we needed to kill the gnolls. It left a smoking crater in the ground which we quickly fled to avoid any more gnolls that would be sent our way. After chopping a tree for a bridge, we retreated.
Two nights later we confronted the gnolls on the plains. The first battle was successful and we drove back their forces. Small advances continued in the next couple of weeks before we pushed into the camp. The main force went through the front gate while we snuck in the slave’s escape tunnel to create a distraction. While we took out the smaller forces of gnolls, the others took out the demon and the leaders and rescued Asta. While the battle was a success, some gnolls managed to escape. They would have fled in small numbers though, so you should not be expecting another attack from them soon.
Submitted by Omega
The following story would have been told on the bar of [Ranch Inn], after several drinks had motivated the large individual to retell how he was tricked and majorly screwed over by a bunch of physically underdeveloped Gnolls.
Y'know, Gnolls are insuff'rable pieces o' shit anyway, but things escalated when they took Asta as a hostage. I mean, what'd yer think would happen if yer taketh' Earl's Daugther anyway?
A short pause happens, whilst the storyteller chuckles over his rethorical question and gives people time to chime in.
See, we've been goin' out 'cause som' kids in Fangstford were missin'. That hobo bard livin' there, y'know, that dude who had this one hit song in Waterdeep like decades ago, he told us 'bout 'em goin' into th' plains to play with som' fairies. An' we found a bunch o' trapp'd kids in th' bushes. Or their corpses, rather. Turn'd out 'ts been an illusion all along, an' we fell for it. Quite lit'rally too, since they dug out pitfalls b'low th' illusionary corpses. One second yer tryin' to pry off a bear trap from a dead girl's ankle, or what was left o' it, th' next second th' ground under yer feet disappears an' yer fall into a trap.
The large face of the greenskinned individual forms a grimace, clearly showing disgust and annoyance. More so than usually, even. Ev'rythin' after that happen'd pretty damn quick. Asta split up from me an' Killian b'fore, so she fell into her own trap. Th' moment we made it out o' our 'ole, she's been nett'd an' knock'd out already. We try to get to her, but th' thrice damn'd beasts had her in a metal net an' went away on a 'Orse. My throat's gettin' uncomfortably dry 'ere, lads.Yer see, I might be pretty quick, but surely not quick 'nuff to catch on to a galloppin' 'Orse.
There is another pause, caused by a free mug of ale placed in front of the Storyteller, whom proceeds to empty it in a long draft, followed by an almost as long burp. I always hated Gnolls. Ever since that day where I-.. .well, that's 'nother story that'll cost'cha 'nother drink, I'm 'fraid, heh. Anyway, I didn't go anywhere near there after what happen'd. I'm at least two decades too old to die in a heroic rescue attempt, an' I had a stockpile o' my own to protect from plunderin'. 'Eard th' things were beaten up an' scatter'd pretty severely, an' I hope that's th' last time Rhoaven gets harrass'd by that o'ergrown demon filth.
The Last Battle Submitted by Jahdyil
I sincerely tried not to yawn, listening to the merchants whine and complain about the costs of doing business. You don't make money by giving things away for free, what were they thinking? I was just about ready to change things to the tune of a proper sermon when we heard the herald.
"Listen up you lot," she was shouting, "Our lady, Lord Dugderan's beloved daughter, has been kidnapped by filthy, stinking gnolls. All fighting men are required to sally forth to make war upon those bastards... So get your asses in gear or so help me, I'll kill you myself!" Funny how the merchants were suddenly quiet, acting like children. I laughed at them, "Come lads, this is men's work! Are you saying petty trinkets are worth more to you than the life of Lady Dugderan?"
No, no, noooo, they told me, but crying like children, the merchants fled. With a small grin, I'd just had my satisfaction at their expense, I found my sword and went forth to do battle upon these gnolls til none were left standing. I'll grant you, it wasn't so simple, nor so easy as that but... come on! They're filthy, stinking, thrice damned gnolls! I wasn't even expecting a challenge... and I'm not exactly the martial type.
Okay, a confession.. when a priest girds himself for war, a priest not in service to a warrior deity, times may be dire... but we needed to teach this lot a lesson. Nobody is allowed to take our people from our fair city. Nobody. With a prayer to Naralis Analor, and the promise to send a dozen stinking gnolls to the next world, I joined my Lord in preparation for the battle. Those merchants? The gods know where they fled, I've not seen them in all these years since.
We'd hints that the gnolls had her in a specific encampment. Our plan: to scout the area in two parts, dividing our forces yet prepared for the possibility of an ambush. One force would draw the enemy off, the other would try a thunder raid... Basically, we would ride hard and fast through their lines and attempt to rescue her quickly. Of course, I rode with Lord Dugderan, joining a force designed to penetrate their lines. As the first force made contact, we rode past, heads low... then we began to lose folks. Horses murdered by stinking gnoll arrows, some to poison, others disease... the gnolls didn't clean their equipment, often reusing it.
Then, Ulric's horse took a spear... we came crashing to a halt, unwilling to trade one Lord in the hopes of rescuing his daughter, though he seemed keen that we continue. His daughter is very important to him. I dismounted, slapping my horse's flank and sending it back the way we'd come. Many had continued, but the gnome Frufire, the human Killian, the Countess of Aeval, and the monk of dual Rivers were all with me. I do believe that cute elf was there too... what's her name... the druid with the parrot... And of course, the Court Wizard from Murkwell. She's a fiery one... At any rate, we rallied to the banner of our Lord. I removed both poisons and disease, then sent Ulric's horseback with the others, even as we were attacked more closely.
I'll not lie to you, I was a little scared, but my God is with me always. I knelt a moment behind my allies, praying for guidance and aid in our upcoming battle... and Naralis Analor answered me, a feeling of peace coming to us all... but the enemy was praying as well, and suddenly it was as though the two gods were stalemated, the effects gone. Things got fuzzy for me... I was stunned, then a wall of slime appeared before me. I saw the gnome, Frufire, being swallowed by this wall... I rushed him, pushing him through, and for my sins was rewarded with a paralyzing numbness... I watched in horror as Killian fell in battle and there was absolutely nothing I could do to save him.
Angrily, we fought, magic for magic, my healing my allies and just trying to regroup. Time and again we got close... then Killian rose to his feet and for a moment we knew hope that the one-eyed paladin lived! But yet... his movements were jerky... He punched Ceriza of Aeval in the face, then the bastard crawled over to me and tried to eat my legs! I turned him so fast it made his head spin.. then Frufire was upon us, his prismatic wall keeping most of the enemy away, and we were gone.
Time passed and we regrouped once more, going over our information. We managed to revive Killian, or some fool of a Wizard paid for it and were more prepared... our scouts had learned much in my time away. We'd found a means of entering the encampment largely unseen. There were... complications, however. We still needed to distract them as well as a means of drawing off a large part of their force long enough to make war upon their leadership. So plan in mind, we set out, this time on foot.
We found the camp same as before, but the sentries seemed... tired, hungry, fighting for scraps. We snuck past them, leaving them to the rearguard to mop up. We found a small encampment at the top of a ravine. Carefully, so very carefully, we stalked into this camp. We did a cursory examination of the tents but saw nothing of note. As we were browsing, however, our rear guard found the enemy.... we know, an alarm was sounded. I watched as the gnolls began climbing the stairs set into the far side of the cliff. We waited until they nearly reached the top, then we all touched the Sorceress, Rose Elassidil, and floated gently the ground below.
As we fell, with a delightfully impish grin, the fire Elassidil cast a spell just behind the gnolls, killing many and blocking their path back down. Then we were past them and on the ground before I knew it. Immediately, I rushed to the aid of two prisoners, hanging from the wall. As I worked on them, Ulric and Frufire took charge, and just in time. We were... attacked. We had minutes before that army up top got back down to us and yet... there were trolls and gnolls playing nimbly with the corpses of their frenemies. Rose was charged, smashed into a wall, then used like a club. She was then tossed into the building with most of the rest of our people and... it ignored me. I was insulted. I sent my spiritual weapon to do battle, then helped the injured into the cave/building.
We met our foe in combat, but... things were rough. Rose had landed inside a wall of fire. I went to retrieve her, then set about healing the Lady Elassidil's wounds. The battle raged around us, several people dying... I watched Killian fall to the ground once more, Frufire was in danger, I ran toward him... and knew no more. Several hours later, they woke me. Frufire seemed fine, Killian was revived, and I had a bad time of things. And that's the story of how I got the worst hangover in all of history.