Ever so quietly, Ignacio crept along the cave wall, clinging to the shadows. The chattering of the kobolds was enough to mask the sound of his footsteps, and he quickly devised a plan. Picking up a small stone, he threw it toward the entrance to the previous room, causing the kobolds to snap to attention and one of them to go investigate the sound. But before it discovered the source of the diversion, Stevil leapt into action. Firing a shot from his bow (and missing), he engaged the kobolds in combat, and the fight was on!
A mere 18 seconds later, the party found themselves standing over the mangled corpses of 3 kobolds. They began to search the room, but were forced into action by the sound of children screaming from the next room. Very carefully, Lanth crept up to the entrance to the next room and peeked in, where he was greeted by a horrible sight.
Five scared children huddled close together guarded by a growling gnoll, the chamber illuminated by the flames of a large cooking fire which was boiling water in an enormous cauldron. The cauldron was tended to by a very large beast which stayed in the shadows while a few remaining gnolls and kobolds made the final preparations. The party knew they were greatly outmatched, so they quickly devised a plan to lure some of the lesser beings out in the hope that they had a better chance at victory if they split the force up.
With great luck and some crafty hiding places, they party put their plan in to motion, drawing out the 3 kobolds from the large chamber. The first kobold continued through the chamber and outside the cave, oblivious to the party’s presence. However, the remaining 2 were not fooled and they turned to where Lanth was “hiding.” But Ignacio and Stevil got the drop on them, and moments later, Ignacio had an unconscious kobold in front of him as a body shield, and the party advanced into the large room.
With horror, they found themselves face to face with a Troll! As the crew attacked, one of the gnolls tossed one of the young children, screaming, into the boiling cauldron! Fighting like wild things, the party managed to beat back the monsters and snatch the poor young lad from the cauldron. The children were safe for the moment, but they still had a vicious troll to handle, and it was proving to be quite the challenge.
But at that moment, reinforcements arrived in the form of Rolph (having so rapidly dispatched the single kobold who walked outside thanks to the clever rouse of the Trio), who upon seeing the troll lunged forward, torch in hand, to deliver the fire damage that would ultimately cripple the troll!
However, just as the troll seemed to be ready to flee, its baser instincts of survival directing its reckless and flailing actions, something…changed. The trio noticed it suddenly straightened up, launched a series of quite overly-sophisticated attacks, and 2 of the party noticed (and later confirmed with each other) that the beast’s right eye seemed to flash with some sort of arcane light. The sophistication of the trolls movements didn’t last long, and as it came closer to death, found itself torn between the weight of nature telling it to flee for its life, and the sudden composure to stay and fight, despite becoming aware of its own mortality.
But as the beast struggled with its internal conflict, the killing blows were delivered and the great monstrosity dropped, lifeless, to the cave floor.
A quick sweep of the cave yielded little in terms of material treasure, but the children were all alive! Rolph swept the burned boy up in his arms and lead the rest of the frightened kids out of the cave. Upon returning to the camp of Madame Wanderjoy’s Traveling Cavalcade and Minstrel Revue, the party witnessed emotional reunions of parents with their children, and were greeted and thanked by Madame Wanderjoy herself. Of the gifts she offered, the party accepted a wonderous and magical jug which could produce various amounts of a selection of liquids.
Madame Wanderjoy offered them to join their convoy on the way to Stonehaven, 8 more days to the northeast. Set up with what seemed to be a cushy ride to their destination, the party relaxed, ready for a well deserved rest.