Shattered Realms

Chapter 22: The Hunters Unleashed

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Faced with the image of a city long destroyed the heroes allowed themselves to be taken to the palace of Urus. There they met with Empress Lillia who promised to help with the Gnolls who had invaded her city. Lillia was clearly a cursed shade, doomed to wander the earth and her city a powerful phantasm created by the ghosts who haunt the ruins of Urus. The empress and her guards seemed to live in two times, one where their city was destroyed long ago and another time all together when their city was still alive and well but facing great danger.

Lillia told the heroes that they must light a fire and sacrifice blood to signal the ghosts of the ruins when they are ready to attack the Gnolls. She also told the heroes to use fear as their weapon and to terrorize the Gnolls who already feared the ghosts of the ruins.

Tarik said a prayer to the Raven Queen, praying that the damned would soon find rest and in the moment the phantasm vanished and the heroes found themselves standing in the middle of the ruined palace. The helmet of the captain of the guard lay at their feet.

The heroes scanned the city from a tower in the ruined palace and saw many Gnoll camps across the city. Many were partrol camps, with small fires and a couple of dozen Gnoll warriors. The heroes also spotted a slave camp with a dozen guards and many slaves. The main camp in the middle of the city was thick with thousands of the vile creatures.

Rewards:

  • Horned Helm

Encounter 1: The Heroes Strike
Intent on using fear as a weapon against the huge Gnoll horde, the heroes attacked a patrol camp. Many of the Gnolls were drunk and sleeping while a few sat around fires barking at one another in they barbaric language. A single massive Hyena was near the central fire, gnawing on a human bone.

The heroes crept up on the camp and the killing began. Several fell before the Gnolls were even aware of the danger but even as the heroes carved into the ranks they found more and more of the creatures were waking from their drunken stupor.

In the end the heroes killed them all and arranged their bodies around a central well and marked the well with Gnoll blood with symbols of Urus they had seen in their vision of the distant past. As the heroes watched many Gnolls ran from the city upon finding so many Gnolls killed by what they assumed were the ghosts of the ruins.

Opponents: 20 Gnoll Scavengers, 1 Cacklefiend Hyena

Rewards:

  • 1800 EXP
  • 500 Gold

Encounter 2: The Slave Camp

Creeping through the ruins the heroes came upon the slave camp hidden in an old ruined temple. Caelthal crept close and could see that many of the prisoners were defiant and even crudely armed inside their wicker cages.

Attacking quickly the heroes struck at the temple from several directions, quickly isolating and killing the Gnoll archers. These Gnolls were more prepared (and less drunk) than those in the patrol camp and battle was soon joined with the heroes trapped inside the confines of the ruin while their enemies closed around.

The Gnolls obviously fearful that the prisoners would be released began to try to set fire to the wicker cages. Caelthal saved one cage several times by shooting the hands of Gnolls that approached the cage with a torch. Tarik quickly freed a group of slaves who proved to be both brave and dangerous. With only improvised weapons they swamped and overcame several Gnolls over the course of the battle. In the end the Gnolls were slain and all the prisoners were freed unharmed.

Opponents: 7 Gnoll Marauders, 2 Gnoll Huntmasters, 3 Hyenas

Rewards:

  • +2 Winters Grasp Totem.
  • 1000 Gold
  • 2725 EXP
  • +1000 EXP for saving all the slaves.

The slaves were all women and the survivors of an attack on their village many years ago. They were marked and protected by the Raven Queen. They are driven by pure rage and are ready to kill many Gnolls in the battle to come.

Comments

dbrowder

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