Bridge to the Gnoll Stronghold

The Troupe’s journey to the Gnoll Stronghold has been fraught with hordes of xvarts and ogres. They recently came across the soul of Marina, who confirmed her fiancé, Aaron was taken to the Gnoll Stronghold. Their mission now is to rescue both Aaron and the witch, Dynaheir.

20 Mirtul, 1368

Before we continue our trek, Jaheira notices something in the waterfall – it is a lifeless cat.

The druid insists on bringing the cat with us. While I would typically protest, I respect her instincts and believe she may sense something we don’t. Jaheira suggests we ascend to the top of the waterfall.

On our way up, we come across an ogrillon. Could this creature be a friend of the ogres we previously dispatched?

Jaheira attempts to Entangle the ogrillon as Imoen and Khalid shower it with arrows.

Vines ensnare Verr’Sza, rendering him immobile, while the ogrillon manages to break free.

Jaheira readies her quarterstaff as the ogrillon charges her.

Before it can strike, I crack it’s skull open with a sling bullet.

We find a Scroll of Identify in the ogrillon’s belt, reminding us of the unidentified items in our Bag of Holding. Edwin offers to use his magic to rectify that.

He discovers that Jaheira’s armour is the Chain Mail of Transgression.

This armour has no penalty for spellcasting – I could actually equip this on a mage to give them some decent armour.

He identifies the large halberd we find in our Bag of Holding as the Chesley Crusher

As none of us are proficient in wielding such a weapon, we stow it back into the Bag. The club, however, possesses a simple enchantment.

Jaheira feels she can fight better with this weapon and a shield, so she attaches it to her belt and hands her enchanted quarterstaff to Edwin.

As we navigate the path around Jaheira’s vines, she engages Imoen in conversation.

Imoen: Yep, and we’ve always been pals. Well, we do sometimes get on each other’s nerves, but we’re always there for each other when times are tough, and there’s nothin’ we won’t do for each other… erm, I hope I am not being too gooey and sticky, and that I haven’t nicked everything from the cliche store!

Jaheira: Nevermind that!

Imoen: Huh? Did I say something wrong, Jaheira?

Jaheira: I am sorry, Imoen, but I need to know. I don’t know how to ask this delicately, so let me put it straight. You are the only person besides Gorion who knows Aegon well. Have you ever noticed anything especially different about him?

Imoen: Eh? What do you mean?

Jaheira: I am interested in certain aspects or behaviours that seem… out of balance, or haunted.

Imeon: Yes, sirree, definitely! Aegon has this annoying habit of leaving his clothes all over the place! That’s just so rude and… haunted! But I bet you’ll find out other weird stuff about him as we go along.

Jaheira: You are right, Imoen. There is plenty of time and opportunity for us to get to get to know Aegon. If only Khalid and I could have visited Gorion more often… But what’s done is done. We will acquaint ourselves with Aegon now.

What was that about? I don’t think Jaheira realised I was listening. Out of balance? Haunted? Well yes. Less than two tendays ago I watched my damn father get murdered by a giant armoured man. That’s haunting me enough to put me out of balance.

At the top of the waterfall we find a young girl sobbing. Jaheira approaches her.

Jaheira silently offers her the dead cat.

She gives us 23 coins as a token of gratitude. We leave her to grieve alone.

21 Mirtul, 1368

After a full day of travel, we arrive at the bridge that leads to the Gnoll Stronghold. Two ogrillons stand guard on the other end.

Hairtooth: Yeah, you pay… 200 for all heads, or lose heads!

Edwin: Tell me, creature, who taught you the words ‘two hundred’? For I am entirely sure that you cannot count it out. If you wish to prove me wrong, please do so out loud, and we should pay you the whole thousand for your efforts. But under one condition: you and your companion should all close your eyes, while you’re counting.

Hairtooth: Oh… yeah. Close your eyes!



Edwin: And what are you waiting for, Aegon? The countdown?

Hairtooth: Four…

Yeah, you smart! We take heads anyway, and get lots of gold!

Dammit Edwin. You’re not as smart as you think you are.

Edwin uses his magic to cover the bridge in Grease.

Khalid Charges Gnarl and I cast a Chromatic Orb at him.

My Orb hurts the ogrillon. Jaheira Summons Weasels to try and distract Hairtooth.

Verr’Sza Blinds Gnarl.

Khalid knocks Gnarl down and slashes at him, while Hairtooth starts killing the weasels.

Khalid finishes off Gnarl and switches to his bow. Hairtooth, who has finished with the weasels, charges toward us.

Imoen and Khalid fill Hairtooth with arrows, bringing him down before he can reach us.

After the ogrillons are defeated, Edwin realizes that someone is lurking nearby.

Jaheira brandishes her club and engages the would-be assassin while Edwin, Imoen and I fall back.

Jaheira’s club crushes the assassin’s chest.

We find a note on the assassin. It confirms that, as usual, I was the target.

They are even tracking me this far out? How? Whoever is paying for this really wants me dead.

The assassin has a light crossbow and a short sword. He wears studded leather armour that is enchanted.

Verr’Sza takes it to replace his unenchanted armour.

The assassin also possessed poisonous bolts.

Gnarl has a few coins on him, an iol gem, and some potions.

Hairtooth has some gauntlets that are enchanted according to Edwin, though he can’t discern their properties. Jaheira decides to try them on. We still have Gellana’s Curse Removal Soap if things go wrong.

She claims to feel more agile when wearing the gauntlets.

Khalid is exhausted, so we opt to rest before we proceed into the Stronghold. We set up camp but are attacked by xvarts during the night.

These things again…

One of them manages to wound Jaheira.

But otherwise they die quickly.

Jaheira casts Regeneration to heal herself.

We return to camp and manage to rest undisturbed this time.

During breakfast, Jaheira and Imoen engage in a conversation.

Imoen: Well, I was thinking of studying magic… Hey! How come you never ask Aegon that? I’m not much younger than he is!

Jaheira: I doubt that Aegon will have much choice in what he wants to do in the future. No, do not ask me why… But you’re right, if I don’t think of him as a child, then I’ll try not to think the same of you… providing, of course, that your behaviour matches the desired maturity.

Imoen: Hah! Look at Ms. Wanna-be-party-leader-who-sulks-if-she-has-to-stay-in-the-back talking of maturity!

Imoen giggles.

Imoen: And I’d bet you have some advice ready for me that very minute on actin’ grown-up, wouldn’t you *auntie* Jaheira?

Jaheira: Not asking everyone for stories about ‘trolls and heroes’ would be a start.

Imoen: But… but they’re the best kind of stories! See, it’s just that you haven’t heard any good ones. Let me tell you about the one ‘Puffguts’ told me, which happens to be of trolls…

Jaheira: That’s enough, child.

Imoen: Sheesh, you’re not my mother and you never will be, Jaheira! Heh, I just got a swell idea! Maybe if Khalid and you have a kid, you will have less of your, erm, maternal frustrations.

Jaheira: Perhaps, my aggravations indeed root in not having a child of my own. Hmm, definitely something to ponder upon.

While they continue their conversation, the rest of us pack up. It’s time to finally cross this bridge.

Imoen scouts ahead and spots a human with protection spells readied and a heavily armoured dwarf. Are these more assassins?

Since Imoen is using the Adventurer kit, she can’t backstab here. The mage has Shield, Ghost Armor, Stoneskin, and Protection from Divination. Physical attacks are probably the way to go here.

After Imoen reports back to us, Edwin and I prepare some Armor for the upcoming battle. Imoen tries to lay a trap but is unsuccessful. Verr’Sza creates a Reflected Image of himself.

Edwin and I also summon some help to engage the enemy before us.

Our summoned monsters are spotted and the mage moves in to attack.

Jaheira attempts to summon some weasels, but the Weave isn’t kind to us.

Ah, so there is a limit on how many summoned creatures we can have. I’ve kind of just wasted all my summon spells now…

Edwin summons Grease around the area where the assassins are fighting. The dwarf moves out of hiding and engages the slimes.

The mage seems to be unprotected now, so Imoen swallows her potion of speed and starts firing arrows at him.

She kills him quickly, but it turns out to have been a magical clone!

Jaheira attempts to entangle the ambushers. The dwarf whom downs a potion of storm giant strength. He might be a more immediate threat than the mage.

Edwin uses Larloch’s Minor Drain to sap some health from the dwarf, and we switch our attacks to focus on him first.

I curse the assassins. The Weave reveals that there is another here that hasn’t revealed themselves yet.

Shit, they’re going to try and backstab someone…

I cast a chromatic orb at the dwarf and ready some magic missiles.

The mage turns invisible as the dwarf eats more missiles.

The dwarf dies. The mage is visible again so we take aim.

He throws up more protection spells.

I try to charm him with Lord Foreshadow’s Ring of Human Influence, but he resists.

This was a stupid move. He has so many magical protections, but I was panicking and trying to figure out what I could use to hurt this guy.

He turns invisible again.

The mage charges the currently entangled Verr’Sza. Jaheira draws her new club and rushes to support him.

Verr’Sza is taking hits, so Jaheira casts regenerate light wounds on him to try and keep him alive.

The mage charms Khalid and he takes aim at me.

I put Khalid to sleep before he can do any harm. Jaheira drinks a potion of hill giant strength and attacks the mage.

The mage casts a cone of cold on our party. Imoen and Khalid are frozen to death.

Edwin is killed by a backstab. Damn. The Weave tried to warn me there was an assassin in hiding!

I throw a magic missile at the assassin.

I draw my hammer and charge the assassin. Verr’Sza is critically injured.

Verr’Sza falls back to try and recover. The mage color sprays Jaheira. She is confused by the colors.

I am hurt, so I heal myself and drink a potion of invulnerability.

The mage uses burning hands and Jaheira burns to death. It’s Verr’Sza and myself left now. he attacks the mage again, while I focus on the assassin.

I pull out a scroll I’ve been saving and cast a lance of disruption. The assassin is seriously wounded by it.

But it’s not enough. The assassin’s blade sinks into my chest. Everything starts to fade as I slide off the bridge and into the waterfall below…

Okay, that’s a pretty tough battle the modders have put into a low level area. I did make some mistakes here.

The mage has a shield which protects him from missile attacks, so I should try using more melee rather than relying on ranged weapons.

I could also stagger out the summons – I actually wasted three summon spells in this battle. They don’t do any damage, but they can be a good distraction.

Lastly, I used the ring of human influence on the character that is protected from magic!? I totally forgot I had that – I might try charming the dwarf instead next time. If that works and we can take out the mage then this battle will be a lot easier.

For now I’m gonna rage quit and come back to this battle later. Worst comes to worse our party will just decide to do something else first.

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