Startled by the sound of gnoll warhorns, our heroes scatter towards the treeline east of the road. Before they can get there, however, a Goliath with a huge axe comes hurtling down the hillside over the road after them, being pursued by four gnolls atop giant rats. The newcomer Kuori (and her axe, Chopper) assists the party in dealing with the gnoll outriders and introduces herself as a country-western weaponmaster traveling the world to learn the deadliest techniques. She decides to accompany the group on their quest to find Nyonad Wyndill and the secrets therein.
At that fortuitous moment, however, more warhorns bleat in the distance, indicating further gnoll pursuit. The five champions rode (or ran) hastily further into the woods to escape. Being the first major adventure for most of them, they made a few rookie mistakes. Marukh rode into the trees with reckless abandon to draw off the pursuit, but wasn’t watching and was unhorsed by a tree branch. Kayda conjured a wind to mask their scent, but blew it the wrong direction, directly into their adversaries. Eventually the entire pack of over fifty gnolls cornered and surrounded them, snapping jaws and gleeful howls all around. Their leader, a taller and beefier gnoll, requested their money and their horses. Lukham successfully bluffed them away as paupers with only two gold pieces to their name, so the gnolls took their horses and two gold pieces and left them alone in the deep forest.
They made their way back to the road and continued on their journey until twilight descended. They found a shallow cave to shelter in for the night and settled down to rest. While on watch, Kuori accidentally slays a sneaking gnoll just before a huge gnoll leaps down from the overhang to assault her. She wakes the party and begins a pitched battle against the gnoll, who seems to be a bit of an independent operator rather than part of the other warband. Slaying him, the party finds a few powerful items in his shield and knife, no doubt stolen from other adventurers he previously waylaid in this cave. In the morning, the party awoke rested and ready for the final leg of their journey to the Emerald Jungle.
Level = 2
Bloodclaw Dagger +1