We arrived at Mahara after out last adventure and were <joined_rejoined> by our fourth companion. After speaking with the hostess of the tavern we arranged to pay for a 4-person room every evening for tasks around the tavern, The Murky Vixen, chopping wood, tending the bar, etc.
Over a meal Archibald spoke to the barmaid about any rumors that might be circulating around town. Two came to mind; something about treasure in the local ruins and gnolls having taken a hostage. We learned that we could speak to the city’s constable, who was also the self proclaimed leader of the city. Constable Thryi [three].
We went to the noble’s district of the city where we were told we could locate the Constable. We were able to locate her after asking directions from a noble and spoke to her about the two issues the town was facing at the moment.
A magical staff had recently been stolen from one of the local city vendors and is thought to be taken to the ruins of the marble scar about two hours outside the city.
Gnolls have taken the child of a local noble hostage. More information can be found by speaking to the parents.
Given that difference between an item and a living person we decided to see the parents and the child and learn what we could about her and what may have happened to her.
The family’s house was beside the large fountain in the noble’s district. We entered after knocking and being invited in and spoke with the mother. The girl, Susie, eight years old with long brown hair often kept in a ponytail and a red dress, was taken yesterday. She was playing outside the city walls and went missing. A scouting party later discovered that gnolls had taken her. The mother said her father was supposed to be watching her.
We spoke to the father again, who seemed like he could really care less about the whole ordeal. He shoo’ed the wife off back to her room and answered a few more questions. He claims the mother was supposed to be watching the child and that her missing was simply an inconvenience. He was mildly shocked at our request for a reward in which his words were repeated back to him, “this is an inconvenience, it’s just business.” We were promised a total reward of 1000g and after a bit more sniping with him, given 600g to collect any armor or weapons we might need before heading out after the gnolls.
We stopped to speak to the stall vendor out in front of their house, Edith, and spent an absurd amount of gold on some nuts and an apple before the woman would talk to us. The old lady running the stall said the family had owned this house for nearly 80 years. That the head of the family, currently the father, owns a mineral mine. She said the girl was very well behaved so it was strange that she would be playing outside the city walls at all.
We left headed in the direction we were told the gnoll’s lived and discussed what we knew about them as we did.
Muscular, nocturnal, evil humanoid creatures, they have a high intelligence, some high enough to speak higher languages. Most seem to speak their own language, though some speak Orcish and other monstrous languages. They often form tribes and live in encampments, they are known to post guards and have patrols. They have a hunting society, though are more than happy to be scavengers and thieves. They are known for creating ambushes to capture food and slaves.They are carnivorous and enjoy eating intelligent creatures because they scream more.
They are often ruled by a chieftain, the strongest and most fearsome among them, their deities are the gods of fear, strength and intimidation. They are smart enough to kidnap for ransom, though they would likely ransom for food rather than gold or items.
After half an hours journey to the east we begin to see signs of gnolls and decide to leave the main road least we run into a trap or ambush. We circle through the woods and follow a tree line pausing to look and listen. We see a patrol of 3 gnolls pathing down the road we’d just left and to our right a rock that two gnolls hide behind guarding the road. We crossed north over the road after watching the gnoll patrol continue off the trail and north into the woods. We discovered the encampment and moved around behind the gnoll tent where we could hear the girl crying.
One nights stay paid off at The Murky Vixen