After a week off for Halloween the Sunday Night DnD group resumed play this past weekend minus Rich and Joette. They were in North Carolina for the weekend, but unfortunately they were not able to join Mark when he called in this week. The general rules for our group is that if two players miss the remainder can accommodate, but when the number gets up to three it's probably time to skip a week.
During the last session the players had entered the Well of Demons and were promptly greeted by ghouls, cavern chokers crawling down from the ceiling, and a phalagar that exploded up through the floor. This session was a lot of fun as the players were being hit from directions they weren't used to and if the DM could have rolled a little more consistently he might have been able to put down a player or two.
With the monsters defeated the party took a five minute rest and discussed which of the two passageways to take. The south hallway led maybe 50 feet or so before it turned off, but the eastern hallway had a closed door maybe 20 feet down the way. East was the decision, so the party got organized and started moving down the hall. No noise could initially be heard, but once the door was open the smell of rotting food (and likely worse) was overpowering. Also, in the distance, one, then two, and then more high pitched laugh-like dog barks could be heard. The hyenas could heard to be running in the near distance somewhere ahead, but at least for the moment they did not appear to be moving toward the party from wherever they were.
The party moved ahead cautiously, spied a hallway to the left and then just beyond another hallway to the right. In the darkness ahead there was a darkened room, but before any further exploration could be attempted several gnolls moved to attack from the room up the leftward hallway. This room appeared to be some sort of mess hall as it included several tables and a bunch of chairs. Two large gnolls moved forward waving their hand axes while two smaller gnolls hung back with the intent of pelting the party with their arrows.
The party was quick to respond and one gnoll was bloodied before he ever got in a swing. The party was able to avoid being bottled up in the entrance to the mess hall, but just as the fighting got serious another gnoll appeared in the darkness up the hall only to seemingly run away, back into the darkened area ahead. Several party members broke off to follow, only to see the gnoll releasing four angry hyena's from a cage. Bogar tried to pin the gnoll to keep him from opening the cage, only to find the gnoll and all four of the hyena's were now available to attack him.
Back in the mess hall the two fighter gnolls proved to be quite resilient, including the bloodied one, and while one of the gnoll bowmen was quickly dispatched the other bowmen proved to be impossible to hit (DM Notes: It's OK, the party is used to the concept of the "unkillable minion" by now). Krstic kept the bloodied fighter tied up, while Renny and Eldred took on the other. Akta was able to help out Krstic and finally killed the unkillable minion, but not before his arrows and blows from the other gnoll bloodied Renny.
Oester and Jenneth soon arrived to help extricate Bogar from his predicament, and with the tide now turned in both rooms the party soon found themselves victorious again. As the party looked around they saw:
2 Gnoll Minions, each wearing leather armor, wielding a hand axe and a longbow, and carrying 30 arrows
2 Gnoll Marauders, each wearing leather armor, carrying a light shield, and wielding a spear
1 Gnoll Huntsman, wearing leather armor, wielding a hand axe and a longbow, and carrying 30 arrows
The room from where the huntsman had emerged was found to have several beds in it but was otherwise empty. The party found no secrets in this area, but 64 GP and a set of dice were found on one of the tables in the mess hall and a +2 Cloak of Resistance was found to have been stashed inside the hyena pen. Akta took possession of the cloak and passed his Safewing Amulet on to Oester. Each member of the party earned 170 XP for the encounter and accrued an Action Point.
After another five minute rest the party moved down the hallway to the south until they came to a set of west-facing doors. The hallway led on maybe another 80 feet or so, but for now the party wanted to investigate these doors first. Oester could hear the obvious hyena barks from inside the room, plus there was an indeterminate high pitched animalistic squeal coming from something.
With more hyena's to be taken out the party burst into the room only to find themselves more-or-less pinned in the doorway because of the presence of a large cage in the room with a pack of six hyena's surrounding the cage. The hyena's reacted viciously to having been interrupted from their snapping at the beast inside the cage - the absolutely, positively largest "pig" anyone in the party had ever seen. The dire boar had several arrows sticking in him, plus if he got to close to the edge of the cage the hyena's could easily snap at him. The dire boar was tired, injured, panicked, and generally mad. Jenneth had been looking for someone's pet pig, but surely this couldn't really be anyone's pet could it?
Krstic, of course, was at the front, and somehow Akta, normally never at the front, found himself fending off the snapping jaws of several hyena's. Several ranged attacks did some additional damage, but with nowhere to go Oester and Renny took off down the hallway to see if there was another entrance. Oester found a door that could conceivably lead into the same room, but when he opened it and peered inside he saw four gnoll huntsman hiding behind a row of hay bales focused on the hyenas fighting at the other end of the room. Oester considered the possibility of a sneak attack, but since there were four of them he instead opted to step back and close the door behind him.
Unfortunately he had been detected and two of the huntsman quickly yanked the door opened and commenced with their attacks. A third huntsman stood back to provide aerial support with his bow. Renny got off a yell and Bogar "quickly" responded by trudging down the hall to jump in the fight ... and we'll pick it up from there next week.
Score Card: With the completion of this encounter the party had accumulated an additional 64 GP and 0 GP in gems. With the 170 XP earned during this encounter the party had accumulated 7850 XP (10000 needed to reach Level 7). Including this encounter Renny was sitting at 4870 XP (5500 needed to reach Level 5).
Game Night - We will be at Rich and Joette's next week. Brian will likely be late, Dave may have to miss.