To Serve and Protect?

Session 10

When are we going to fight the god damn gnolls ?

After a lengthy discussion of the potential for arresting Lavinia with Kraye the party decide that the best thing to do was to head to Green-nest (AKA Greenlight , AKA Greeness AKA Greenmass AKA Green-whatever) to continue looking for Furnock . Skirting the foothills of the Lortmils the group neared Green-nest where Max spotted a four people hiding in the underbrush looking nervously the other way . Jak crept into position near them, where he saw they were hiding from a wicked looking fellow with three dragon dogs sniffing about . Max approached them to parley while Hathor and Crow took up sniping positions . In the meantime several crossbowmen and a couple mercs joined their commander talking to Max . At this point Jak revealed himself to people hiding which startled them and they tried to run , prompting the dragon dogs to be released on them. One of the mercs hacked a prisoner in the face. In response, Hathor fired at that man. Max was sliced to pieces as the crossbowmen began trading shots with Jak and Hathor while Crow and Shadrack charged into melee . Shadrack was briefly charmed but the spell was ruined by one of the dogs spewing flames on his belly and groin . Many of the party were badly hurt , but they prevailed , one dog sneaking off and one merc being wrestled into submission after trying to surrender .

The merc was variably threatened , beaten , tricked , and argued over . He revealed that he had been hired to attack Green-nest by some Tiamantic type people . The survivors of the people they were chasing, told them that Green-nest had been assailed by a large force . They were sent on to Briarwood for safety and to get help . In the end the merc agreed to help the party and was instantly beheaded by Crow . Max took up the robes of the spellcaster while Jak disguised himself as a crossbowman and Crow as a merc . They proceeded on the road to Green-nest trailed by Hathor , trailed by Shadrach . As they approached the town they came under fire from Green-nest partisans who assumed (reasonably) that the disguised members of the party were the people attacking their town . Jak sent his messenger raven back to get Hathor and Shadrach . They charged up to find that Max had convinced the people firing from the trees that they were not enemies . The husband and wife duo (Linan and Adda Swift) informed the party that many people in the town had been captured by the attackers but that the rest had fallen back to the keep and were resisting the invaders . They agreed to lead the party on a daring rescue mission to the temple via secret tunnel – many people had taken to the temple for shelter and it had been breached just as they were leaving .

Jak adopted his disguise again and exited the secret tunnel saying that he had found it while taking a piss outside of town , spinning tales of fabulous treasure within . To the disgust of the dragonborn commander several of his men ran into the tunnel looking for treasure . They were waylaid by Shadrach and Crow . The commander called down to his men and when no answer was received Jak stuck him in the kidney sneak attack style and the battle was on . One of the dragon dogs unleashed its fiery blast on the captives who went down in a crispy heap . Shadrach and Jak massacred the dragoborn while the rest of the party took down the dogs and crossbowmen . The priest (Haroun) was unfettered and with Max’s help was able to save most of the burned captives . They evacuated out the tunnel while the party barricaded doors , crept around , fired out windows , looted , decapitated dead bodies , and looked for magic items . It was revealed that the dragoborn was wearing a cursed amulet and was likely being mind controlled . No one felt bad about killing him or desecrating his corpse .

Once the church was on fire the party retreated down the tunnel , jamming it full of debris to the best of their ability . Crow stayed behind for a suicide mission while the rest of the party escorted the refugees to Briarwood . Jak tried to get Lavinia to put up the refugees while warning her and other rich folk about the attack on Green-nest . Meanwhile Crow watched as the dragonborn leader of the attackers faced off with the champion of the Green-nest defenders and killed him , after which the attackers left . Crow trailed them . Jak headed back to Green-nest to gather intelligence while the rest of the party caught up to Crow . Jak discovered that a goodly number of Green-nesters had been taken prisoner and when it became apparent that the invaders would not be able to breach the keep they offered for their leader , Cyan to face one of the defenders in single combat – if he was defeated they would let the prisoners go . Jak caught up to the rest of the party and they trailed the Tiamat force for several days and argued about what to do . Thinking that the hamlet of Bluffside might be the next attacked , they road ahead to warn them . Upon finding that the tiny settlement did not have a massive army to fight the invaders Crow beat their one guardsman senseless while the rest of the town evacuated . While milling around the town a large force was observed approaching from the northwest .

It was revealed to be a mercenary force from Imir of Thenolian pit-fighters hired by the Spicer’s Guild to head south and help fight the gnolls at Fort Bradenton . Hathor bribed their commander a princely sum to have them divert to fight the Tiamat force instead . Upon facing a superior force the mercenary contingent of the Tiamat force retired from the battlefield , resulting in an easy victory by the former pit-fighters . Cyan and two other dragonborn were taken captive and transported back to Briarwood where Haroun and his fellows broke the curse that prevented the amulets from being removed . Free of their mental domination Cyan revealed they had fallen prey to a scam perpetrated by the cult and while they would have liked to have pledged their blades to the group for helping them they felt they had no choice but to head north to save others who had been taken as well . The party discovered that as Hathor had suggested Lavinia had used the mysterious absence of the mayor and guard captain to install herself as the mayor (and guard captain) making her first act to rob all the rich folk in town and bring in thousands of fighting men to protect her city against the Tiamat worshippers . Informed they were no longer coming she figured she might as well take over Enstand as long as she had all these soldiers . Everyone said (for the 700th time) they wanted to go south and take on the entire gnoll army but Ace turned up at this point and persuaded them to head back to Lantona instead to try and retrieve the mask he had given away in the Deklo Grove , for he did not realize its die power . Perhaps more persuasive was the map Shadrach had found in his used armor that promised treasure to the north (FAR to the north) as well .

Arriving in Lantona they were immediately dragooned into a city-wide manhunt for a duelist who was using the Claw Runesword that Shadrach had sold to cut a bloody swath through his competition . In the course of this manhunt they happened across Anders . In catching up with him they found they his wife was pregnant again and Anders was in need of money , he unveiled a money-making scheme that seemed pretty promising . Ace went off to search for the mask while Shadrach spread the word around the city that he was the new duelist in town and none could defeat him .

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