The parties newest nemesis, the young black dragon of the mire, returns to assault the parties vulnerable supply caravan in vengeance. Cursing the heroes for their theft of his goods and trespassing of ‘his’ claimed region. Amidst the acidic storm, many of the refugee Bullywugs are wounded or killed and despite the efforts of the adventurers to save the supply carts, roughly 80% of what was brought to trade to Durnhal has been destroyed.
Warning and vengeance delivered, the as yet, un-named black dragon disappears into the night’s murky blackness (weather) leaving the party to deal with damage control.
Salvaging what they’re able, the party pushes on with the dawn, making the next two weeks of travel safely to the borders of the area of Durnhal, once bustling trading post between Dwarves and men. To their dismay, the horizon is filled with columns of fire smoke from the town.
Arriving in Durnhal the adventurers discover the towns people reeling from the savaging of a Gnoll war-band. Moving to assist the town in putting out the remaining fires and dig through the embers and collapsed structures looking for those poor souls who perished in the attack, the party’s hands are full for awhile.
As the counts come in, and news of those who were pushed out of town to the mines for safety returns, the party finds the township divided in opinion, but in need of the parties help.
Durnhal seems to be missing 5 of its people, with another number of unidentified dead as well. Amongst the unknowns, the town mayor, a town ‘seer’, and some children, likely captured by the Gnolls for either food or sport, or both. Also, many of the women, children and elderly that were able to evacuate to the nearby abandoned mines appear to be trapped due to a collapse at the mines entrance.
The party opts to pursue the folk who were captured and taken by the Gnolls. The parties rangers quickly make for the road, hunting Gnoll tracks and leading the pursuit. The path leads out into the desolate badlands, a rocky, dry, treeless affair of gritty dust and hazy horizons. Some many hours later, the party discovers a convergence of additional Gnoll tracks and what looks to be evidence of a violent meeting. The tracks of the captured appear to now moves off in a different direction, away from the flat badlands up towards the rocky broken hills. The party gives chase.
Moving through the night, the party carefully approaches the camp lights of this gnoll war-band. Delicately seeking a position of overwatch, the party hunkers down to observe…