After a brief rest, the band of heroes set out towards Guyarde, not really knowing what to expect. Not too long ago, they themselves had dispatched with the ruling lord of Guyarde, when he and his allied Orcs had attacked Espoir. Now the prince and his son were both dead, and they were headed right towards their home town.
Several hours of riding later, nearing the time to set up camp, they spotted a group of rough-looking men on the road up ahead. They spotted a second group too, halfway hidden in the shadows from the nearby trees. As the party approached, a dwarf stepped up and ordered them to halt, declaring half-heartedly that this was a robbery, asking for their food.
|Deren Strongsmith – Dwarven Rogue, level 4|
Hit Points 43; Bloodied 21
AC 18/22 vs op. atk; Fortitude 15; Reflex 18; Will 14
Saving Throws +1
Action Points 1
|Sickle (standard; at will)|
|+7 vs. AC; 1d6+5 damage|
|Sly Flourish (standard, at-will) light blade|
|+6 vs. AC; 1[W] +10 damage. (PHB 118)|
|Bait and Switch (standard, encounter) light blade|
|+6 vs. WILL, 2[W]+6 damage, switch places with target and shift 4 squares. (PHB 119)|
|Trick Strike (standard, daily) light blade|
|+6 vs. AC, 3[W]+6 damage, slide target 1 square. Until end of encounter, slide the target 1 square every time you hit it. (PHB 119)|
Alignment Good Languages Common
Str 15 (+5) Dex 17 (+6) Wis 10 (+3)
Con 11 (+3) Int 12 (+4) Cha 13 (+4)
Skills: Thievery +11, Perception +8, Nature +8
Carries a sickle, leather armor.
Adarra had noticed at this point, that those hiding among the trees were mostly women and children and had concluded that these people weren’t truly evil, but simply desperate. Instead of drawing their weapons, the heroes fed these fugitives and asked about their story. Deren Strongsmith, the dwarf, had been a guard in Guyarde until recently. After the prince’s failed attack on Espoir, the township was left without a ruler and soon the guards were reduced to nothing more than another gang fighting for control.
While the factions with the power to effectively take over control of Guyarde tried to agree, crime ran rampant and many good people gave up. Some sailed out towards the Civilized Lands, ignoring the rumors of war there, while others took their chances on either the Wild or by going to Espoir.
Deren and his gang of rag-tag fugitives had found a nearby cave, where they settled and were prepared to stay. The only problem being that several from his group had gone missing in the night. Still, this was a chance they would rather take, than risk any of the alternatives. The gang of beggar bandits invited the party back to their cave, to camp there as a thank you for the food they had shared. The heroes accepted this invitation and continued their discussions with Deren and his followers into the night.
It was then, seemingly out of nowhere, that three strange, transparent blobs appeared. No one saw them until they were right on top of the group, causing everyone to scramble to get into position. A long, bitter struggle against these slippery enemies ensued, during which several party-members were completely engulfed and swallowed by these gelatinous cubes, and had to claw their way out of the acidic goo. Deren fought alongside the heroes, taking commands from the warlord Draven. Together, the group eventually beat down these oozing opponents.
After the fight, it was concluded that the gelatinous cubes had been the original inhabitants of the cave Deren’s group was staying in. Their transparent nature made it easy for them to prey on stragglers. Or maybe they were trying to force the group out and reclaim their home. Whatever their motivation, they were done taking fugitives in the night.
DM’s Note: I printed Deren Strongsmith’s stats out on an index card and handed it to Nick, who plays Draven the warlord. I did this for two reasons: Nick had previously mentioned that he would like to do some more warlordish type of stuff, such as commanding others in battle. Secondly, one of the other players was unable to make this session, so the NPC could really benefit the group in the fight vs. the Gelatinous Cubes.