The Divine Scepter

Chapter 1: Fending Off the Hoard

Seeing the town in distress, the party quickly armored themselves and headed into the streets in time to intercept a pack of hyenas headed toward the inn with a gnoll archer. The hyenas quickly swarmed the defenders, but they were able to cut them down to one, leaving the last to scurry away in fear. Contemplating where to head next, they rushed to the mayors house, where a pack of gnolls were nearly through the barricaded door. They cut them down at the entrance, thus ensuring the mayor’s safety. However, he urged them to go to fairgrounds and protect the citizens there.

As they arrived, it appeared that many of the gnolls were in retreat from their raid, including several that came out of Liara’s house. It appeared that the golem had been boarded onto a carraige being reigned by two young behemoths. As the gnolls escorted the carriage away, the party notice that standing atop the golem was a male, blonde, eladrin, carrying a spear and looking directly their way despite wearing a blindfold. The several other gnolls joined up with the raiding party as they headed into the tablelands.

Though the party was able to save the mayor, they were not able to rescue everyone in the small town. Liara, Abbot Costello, and Maxamilian the stableboy died in the raid. Similarly, all the horses were slain save for one that Maxamilian died protecting, who he called Gertrude. As the town attempted to recover itself, Harper investigated in Liara’s house for any clues about the golem while the others did what they could.

The mayor said that he had heard rumors of a gnoll encampment somewhere to the north, but because of the vulnerability of an exposed raid, he hardly expected an attack. Curious about the Eladrin that was with them, he requested that the adventurers investigate the gnoll camp to: a) find out if they were planning another raid and b) learn what the motivation for the raid was. Gnolls do not seem intelligent enough on their own to know much about golems or even being able to harness one, if that’s what their intent ever was.

Just after noon, the party regrouped and followed the behemoth tracks into the tablelands. Eventually, they spotted the carriage resting atop a natural rock formation. As they approached, it appeared that the escorting gnolls and hyenas were all dead. Also, the golem, behemoths, and Eladrin were no where to be seen. Curiously, the grass all seemed to be facing away from an epicenter atop the hill, and Harper sensed the dim, fading presence of arcane and planar magic. Niem determined that the behemoths had wandered off, or fled from the site in different directions.

Tobrin found high ground to search the surrounding area. First noticing a distinct rumble in the ground, Tobrin spotted both Behemoths as the rampaged back towards the rock formation. He warned his allies and they all climbed to the high ground. As the behemoths approached, they pushed the cart down the slope, blocking the only ramp up to their location. Using a combination of ranged attacks and focus firing, they took out the two Behemoths one at a time as they thrashed apart the cart and surrounding boulders in attempt to reach the humanoids.

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