Our intrepid band continues to march away from Cauldron to save it. Following the ancient map on the relic we picked up on town from the elderly halfling and continuing on based on the clues we picked up from the Chisel members in Red Gorge, we set forth down the river towards adventure and our destiny. I strikingly stood at the front of the raft pointing my sword towards the horizon, but unfortunately Linderath doesn't sing as well as Chesterfield.
As we sailed down the river, we saw some gnolls fishing. Chesterfield and Darkboon talked them down, and we kept sailing. Eventually we found the demonic statue that showed us we were still on the right track, despite our temptation to keep looking for a demonic statue with the head still attached since, of course, the statue on the relic had a head and this one was missing it's head.
During the trip, Linderath decided that Sir Albert needed to be indoctrinated into the ranks of adventurers, so he began to . . . test his perception. Mainly by calling him names under his breath and then coming up with elvish phrases that sounded similar to what he just called him, and while Darkboon found this quite amusing, Chesterfield was wondering why Linderath kept calling Albert various strange non sequitur elven words.
Eventually we ran into a band of gnolls that was less likely to stand down and fish. The gnolls weren't from around here, but they claimed the area was sacred, and as we had reached an impasse, we dove into the fight with relish!
Our elemental human druid locked down a band of gnolls with entangle, while some other gnolls came from behind us to attack. The gnolls were competent, and didn't go down quickly, but they didn't do much damage to us. However, this was our first combat together since the reboot and with some of our new characters. Even though the gnolls weren't much of a threat, I tried out my tactics of boosting my attacks with magic and ensuring that I wouldn't miss. It felt good for a melee type character to know I could do what I could do with my sword.
Our cleric of Helm also got to try out his Mace of Odo, as well as summoning his spiritual bastard sword. The force weapon array was pretty effective, and the Mace of Odo leaves a nice taunting light spell right where it drops a bad guy.
After the fight, further down the road, we found a cave, filled with rotting corpses (or at least the smell of them). Darkboon scouted ahead and saw a giant dire sloth. Chesterfield and one of the druids attempted to calm the thing down, but it charged out at the group, and Darkboon kukried it in a very sensitive spot. Then the sloth sunk it's claws into some of Darkboon's favorite organs.
I charged it and did a respectable amount of damage, but the cavalier got a chance to charge and show what he is good at in combat. He did a phenomenal amount of damage that still didn't kill the sloth. Eventually it went down . . . right on top of the dying Darkboon.
In order to get the dire sloth corpse off of Darkboon, I carefully tied a rope to the sloth, then asked Sir Albert to hold onto the rope. When he asked why and looked at Linderath funny, Linderath tied the rope to the horses military saddle and slapped it's rump with my bastard sword, and it darted away until Albert got control of it and it had pulled the sloth off of Darkboon.
In the cave we found some nice shinny stick that used to belong to the paladin that we have been chasing after.
We rested, kept traveling down the path, and ran into a loud noise, apparently corresponding to the Voice of Vaprak, so loud that we had to stand right next to one another and yell just to be heard. Eventually we entered a new dungeon complex and started looking for "things that should not be."
Darkboon scouted ahead and left notes for us and the rest of us followed behind trying to find the notes. Eventually he wrote a warning outside of a pool that had something swimming in it. Then he went further into the complex, did some climbing, and found a hill giant.
Darkboon "snipered" a rock at the giant and got sneak attack damage with bleed. Then did it again. The giant called out for help, but Darkboon was wedged into a hole the giants couldn't get into.
As this is going on, our group found the pool and was attacked by a steam mephit, which we managed to dispatch pretty quickly. We caught up with Darkboon's location, and eventually saw the hill giants that showed up to aid the bleeding, "snipered" giant, and Chesterfield magically confused them, at which point we got to watch the jotun version of a three stooges skit as the giants took each other out.
In order to call off the help that the giant was calling for, Darkboon attempts to mimic a giant accent and yells in giant to call off the help. Which is where we ended the session, waiting to see if Darkboon's bluff is called by giants.
We have an interesting set of dynamics developing in the group. Our human druid is a misanthrope that likes sloths more than the rest of the party. Our goliath druid is a worry wort that keeps scrying on the city to make sure nothing changes after we leave. Linderath and Darkboon are professional adventurers that kind of "know" how each other operate, and both of them are keen on hazing the very upright, professional Sir Albert. Chesterfield (our bard) and Enoch (our cleric of Helm) have a bit of a rivalry over the direction of the party, as Chesterfield has a flair for the dramatic and a more general adventuresome bent, and Enoch is a more down to earth "let's not make waves and get the mission done" kind of guy that has worked with adventurers enough to be pragmatic.
It's a fun dynamic so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses. It's nice to have a better grasp of what we are doing and why.
Side note: due to the furry population on the internet, even googling images of gnolls is a scary prospect. That is all.