The Ballad of Toki Robinson

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notes to be turned into a story later

Finrik StammKo IronfistNorlat (Cinel Oisso)Steelhand FarthingToki RobinsonVetkin

Begins with party attempting to rest in Forge of spells

But the denizens of the cave are very curious after the cave collapse

Party takes a short rest, get’s 1 hour benefit but only 30 minutes actually

Female drow and bugbears come to investigate the cave-in

Scouts hear them inside and peek in, Toki, Steelhand pretend to be the Defender of the Forge/Cave/I am the Cave

Kill bugbears and chase drow

After hilariously bad monk fight, Ko catches her, she surrenders briefly and says “You’ll never stop TBS he is ALL powerful” and then breaks free of his grasp and then jumps off the embankment into the rocks and water below

Steelhand makes an icebridge, and we do one final “ready” check as they wind down the hallway

Vetkin fight goes well, Ko, Toki get inured, Finrik hurt, Vetkin pulls a few punches and tries to telephathically engage them

Fight ends with Vetkin killing his own spider and then they start talking and it’s a shitshow

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Waving Goodbye to Wave Echo Cave

Finrik StammKo IronfistNorlat (Cinel Oisso)Steelhand FarthingToki RobinsonVetkin

Quote of the Day: Finrik- “My family is no longer with me, my village was attacked by giants. I’m the only one that survived, they all died- because I was the best at living.”

Begins with Vetkin killing his final spider and dropping his guard

Parley with the main villain

joining uncertain forces

bubears cronies put in their place

Vetkin leads them out safely using his recollections and map/notes, using steve groupie of lights

just before leaving the tunnels they see a familiar…face?

Ko has a flashback, and throws the dwarven thrower right into the gel and into belguard’s skull

toki panics when he sees belguard and a wayware ray of frost misses, gel turns the corner

otw out, they take in the scene, steve is dismissed and Tharden’s corpse is carried by Ko

outside it’s 10pm or so, back to phandalin

on the journey, campfire moments, steelhand and co question vetkin, he tells of his past, finrik then relays his past, vetkin is confronted, toki makes a stand

they arrive at the olive goblin with no key, break the door down

bodies piles up and drinks had, ko takes a nap

Huey Long now owns the Olive Goblin (deed changed)

Ko has a dream and leaves

toki raises gundren and finds his brothers, argues with toki and it gets tense

finrik attempts to diffuse the situation

gundren relents and takes his brothers away

ends with the party spending the night at the olive goblin

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Congrats on level 6

The looks on your faces.

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The look on Toki’s face.

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Toki Robinson and the gang flee triumphantly.

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Dodging a Bulette
The Ruins of Conyberry

1/3/16 The Conyberry Incident (began camping at Conyberry, ended speeding away on an augmented one-horse cart as the ruins crumbled behind them) (lv5 → lv6)

Finrik StammToki RobinsonVetkinDorashMordekai Baines Granville Brightblade III

After putting the horses away, setting noise traps, and pitching a decoy campsite, Finrik and Toki tucked themselves in to their makeshift beds in the ruins of Conyberry. Meanwhile, Vetkin, wide awake from his day spent resting in the cart, climbed to the second floor of a burnt-out house to begin his shift as nightwatchman. The only thing Vetkin noticed through the night was its stillness but he remained ever-vigilant all the same. Hours went by without a single sound- it seemed the larger world and even nature itself had forgotten Conyberry.

As the sun began to rise, the watchful Vetkin spied several glowing orbs of light flittering across the tree line to the east. As they pulsed closer to the ruin, his brief feeling of alarm subsided when he saw that the lights were merely a large group of fire beetles, just passing through. He didn’t see this as a reason to rouse the party, and returned to the final hour of his watch. Minutes later, his keen elven senses detected something else coming from the same forest. It was a sound, for sure, but he couldn’t get a bead on it. It was a hollow grating noise, a humming that seemed far off, yet close- was this the sound of the forest waking up? As it slowly moved closer, the source of it became no more apparent. It soon became louder, and he was certain he wasn’t the only one to hear it when the horses began to stir.

General in its location, yet specific in its ominousness, the sound continued as the sun slowly brightened the ruins. Vetkin continued to watch the horses from afar, even as his eyesight blurred. A minute later, the gentle stirring of the horses became all-out panic, and they neighed and whinnied and started to kick the walls of their enclosure. Suddenly thrown from his slumber by a dream of his nags in trouble, Toki leapt from his bed to investigate. Just then, Finrik woke and jumped down from his perch after taking in his surroundings, an arrow already knocked in his shortbow to provide cover for Toki. Toki carefully moved closer to his horses while observing the area. He was overcome with horror as the ground underneath the cart suddenly began to pulse, then shake, then break. All that could be heard over the horses and the sound of breaking earth was Vetkin, as he yelled, “Move the horses, now!”

Just then, the party watched in quiet terror as two long, dark appendages burst from the ground of the horses’ crumbling stable. The two spiky arms bent as they returned to the ground, clutching a screaming horse in its spiky grasp and rending its flesh as it was pulled into the mix of debris and earth. As quick and sure as if it had been fired moments earlier, an arrow loosed from Finrik’s bow pierced through the dust and rubble and struck one of the appendages. A second arrow followed it just as certainly. Bloody, but alive, the horse was released from the creature’s grip and its silhouette disappeared back into the earth as quickly as it appeared.

The party, a little rusty from the rigors of combat (indeed, their most recent adversary was their new friend, Vetkin) sprang into action. In the space created between the cart and the wall, the second horse attempted to escape the chaos, but a quick-thinking Vetkin grabbed onto its bridle and flung himself on top of it, and attempted to steer it around the ruins. Then, Toki quickly rushed forward and used all of his weight to push the cart out of the way to clear the path and he began to assess the injured horse’s wounds. Before he could calm the horse, Finrik’s great spirit bearpig sprang forth from the space behind him, and brought with it a bounty of resolve for the poor horse. Now, no longer clinging to life and determined to not become just another one of “Toki’s dead nags”, the unnamed horse climbed to his feet, as the bearpig let out a fierce roar.

Toki then hastily hitched his suddenly healthy horse to the wagon, and with a forceful crack on its behind, the cart lurched forward, but directly into the path of Vetkin, still struggling atop his runaway horse! Though Drow are quite unaccustomed to horse-riding (indeed, many more horses have been killed by Drow than ridden by them), Vetkin was able to steer the runaway horse back towards the ruins and narrowly avoid a collision with Toki’s cart with an astonishingly graceful jump for such a frenzied beast.

Meanwhile, Finrik’s bearpig attempted to sniff out the vile ground-dwelling creature, digging into the broken ground as Finrik readied an arrow for the second sighting of it. Just then, three more of the creatures burst out of the ground: two in the center of the road, and one to the west where Vetkin had just clumsily ridden the horse. Made furious by their acrid stench, the bearpig smashed through the destroyed wall of the makeshift stable and immediately clutched one of the creatures by the neck and pinned it to the ground. As the full body of the creature came into view, Finrik recognized it as an ankheg, an insectoid monstrosity with a long, slender body and a tough, scaly carapace that has often been the bane of woodland farmers and their livestock.

As the two ankhegs tore into the center of the town, Toki passed by high upon his cart and threw wild blasts of fire and frost at the ankhegs, but missing each time. Unhappy with either the errant results of his sorcerer powers or the lack of favor Tymora had shown him, he jumped from the cart and ran closer to get a better shot. To the west, as if summoned by the sudden commotion in Conyberry, the party saw Mordekai and Dorash running down from the hills and engaging the lone ankheg in combat. It appeared as though they had signed themselves up for Toki’s peculiar brand of adventure after all!

At this time, Vetkin found his out-of-control horse galloping full-speed towards the two ankheg, and threw himself (and the horse) to the ground to avoid running directly into their oozing maws. The horse struggled to get to its feet as Vetkin did the same, but it wasn’t quick enough to escape the hungry ankheg. The ankheg rushed forward and wrapped the horse in its legs and closed its cruel mandible across the horse’s neck, severing its head with little effort. Toki watched only a short distance away, but somehow kept his composure enough to see the party through what was to come.

In the west, Dorash, though badly wounded by his underestimation of his insect foe, and Mordekai finished the ankheg off with some ranged assistance from Finrik and they moved to join the party in the center of town. Nearby, Vetkin steadied himself on the ground in front of the decapitated horse and let loose a blast of web to slow the horse-killer. Undaunted, the ankheg returned fire with a projectile of its own- a putrid jet of acid! Vetkin shielded himself with his long cloak just in time, and narrowly avoided taking the acid to the face. Instead, a small amount of acid splashed onto his forearm, causing his bandages to melt away and disintegrate.

As the final ankheg was brought down, Finrik’s bearpig, still clutching his proud kill in his mouth (in spite of the taste), is overwhelmed as three more ankhegs spring out of the ground, surrounding him. The bearpig fights valiantly as the party retreats and Toki brings the single-horse cart around the south edge of the ruins. Then, the bearpig dematerializes, still fighting even as he phased out of the material plane. The confused ankhegs quickly turned their attention to the fleeing cart piloted by Toki, and it appeared he was done for, but he was able to swerve around them, nearly capsizing the cart in the process, as he made his way toward his awaiting cohorts.

Suddenly, the ankhegs stopped dead in their tracks as all of Conyberry began to shake violently and the party all jump onto the cart as it passed, one after another. The ankhegs nervously looked around for a moment before all at once the smell of the earth being turned inside-out hit the party and an ear-splitting “boom” rang through the hills. A gigantic shadow leapt from the earth, occluding the sun with its shape and its herald of dirt, and landed on top of the three ankhegs. As the party pulled away from the chaos, they witnessed a massive grey-skinned beast devour one of the ankhegs whole in its gaping jaws before swinging the other two away like the insects they were. The ankhegs attempted to fight it, but the beast proved far too powerful and its thick coat of armor-like scales disregarded their attacks one after another, until they were soon after torn apart, the acid spewing from their abdomens like geysers of filth. As if it needed to announce its presence to the Neverwinter Woods a second time, the towering beast let loose a tremendous bellow over his victory as the party escaped in the distance.

As the party wildly careened away from the disaster that is Conyberry on their one-horse cart, they all slowly began to notice that:

A) Toki and Mordekai have peed themselves.
B) They forgot Dorash. “Wait, where’s Dorash?”
C) Vetkin is crying, and he makes no attempt to hide it.
D) Finrik is wearing a horse-head cap.
E) The sun is up.

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Between a Roc and...
AKA "CAWW, CAWWW, CAAAAAWWW!!"

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1/18/16 Roc Attack pt. 1 (began after fortifying old gnoll camp, ended on cliffhanger with Toki having chained the roc up) (lv6)

Making you guys fight things just so I can write puns is really working out.
Next up- “Don’t Hate the Flayer, Hate the Game” –DM.

Vetkin’s recap: So there’s some bones right? easy pickins right? Nah, big ass bird happened because the group was dragging ass…Toki practically tied it to our cart full of stuffs. Now what?

Finrik StammVetkinToki Robinson
( Dorash , Mordekai Baines Granville Brightblade III )

After spending some time fortifying the deserted gnoll encampment (henceforth “Dragon Bone Bluff” until the party starts naming things), Toki and Co. began to plan their next step. Should they continue further into the canyon to end the gnoll menace once and for all? Or seek out the mysterious Laugher’s Gorge- rumored to be the site of an unholy temple dedicated to the goddess Beshaba? Should they fortify the camp further and go back to Phandalin for additional supplies and seek help from the townsfolk? Or should they try to extract some of the dragon skeleton now while they still have the manpower (while Dorash is still alive)?

Vetkin, Toki, and Finrik debated all of this and more for some time. Mordekai and Dorash, being newcomers to the group, kept their opinions to themselves, if they had any. Eventually, the midday sun had fixed itself directly above the canyon walls and the party continued to deliberate as the sun’s hot rays beat down on them. A few of them had noticed an eerie quiet to the canyon when they first arrived, but now their discussion was interrupted by the faraway squawking of a bird.

At first the party thought nothing of it, but then it became louder and nearer. Eventually, the party looked up to see the silhouette of a winged creature directly above them, its details obfuscated by the sun’s glare. They observed it long enough to tell that the squawking bird was getting larger as it approached. Finrik called out to it in birdspeak, but received no discernable answer. Thinking it could perhaps be a buzzard or some other canyon scavenger, the party held its position- until it became clear that this creature was much larger than they could have anticipated and that it was diving down on their position with incredible speed!

Toki, Mordekai, and Vetkin scrambled against the walls while Dorash and Finrik readied their ranged weapons and tried to get a bead on the creature. Before they could blink, the creature had breached the 100 foot height of the canyon and was heading directly for them. Both Finrik and Dorash let loose their missiles, both striking true. Finrik didn’t stick around to see his land however (he didn’t need to- his shots always land), and quickly jumped under the cart to hide. Dorash stayed put and saw his crossbow bolt sink deep into the giant bird’s chest, causing it to let out a piercing screech. Dorash attempted to prep another bolt but before he could do so the bird was already upon him.

Seeing the large dragonborn target standing on the fortified wall would have been enough to attract the mammoth buzzard, but Dorash’s stinging shot had earned him all of its ire. The bird landed on Dorash with its full velocity- first with its talons, pulling him off the wall, and then with its beak, dealing an incapacitating blow to him. The great bird now clutched Dorash’s unconscious body in his left talon and his party could see the blood pouring from his wounds as Dorash’s free hand dangled loosely, still managing to hold on to his greatsword.

The bird crashed on top of the party’s campsite with a thud, and when the dust settled they got their first good view of the beast. The monstrous bird looked much like an eagle (if eagles were the size of taverns) and as it stretched out its enormous multicolored wings that were nearly the width of the canyon and let out a squawk, the party realized that the monstrous avian predator before them was none other than a roc. These birds of legend were rumored to have been bred thousands of years ago by the giants to aid in their war against the dragons.

The party didn’t have time to concern themselves with legends, however, as they had a real live roc towering over their campsite and in its clutches was their party mate Dorash, who with each passing second slipped closer to death. Each of the party members attempted to fend off the roc in their own way. Toki and Mordekai flung magic at it to little effect. Vetkin rushed in with his summoned sword and slashed at it, and was met by a damaging blow from the roc’s beak. Finrik, perhaps hoping his newfound druidic powers would give him kinship with the beast, attempted to communicate with it. Finrik squawked and squawked as the roc raged on and Dorash lie bleeding in its grip.

After fighting the roc for a short time, they soon realized they were no match for it and began to make alternate plans. Vetkin shouted at Finrik to cease squawking at it and use his deadly bow, commanding,“Finrik, shoot the talons!”. Finrik barked back, “Thanks Vetkin, but I’m going for the goddamn throat!” and instead he sank two arrows deep in the roc’s chest. Only seconds after landing, with his meal in hand, the roc had had enough and began to beat its wings furiously to attempt to achieve flight.

The quick-thinking Toki (perhaps too quick) then braved the roc’s tantrum and pulled his newly minted masterwork chain from the back of the cart and slung it around the roc’s right talon while Vetkin made a few distracting strikes at it. Toki wrapped the chain around itself several times and then clasped it together with one of his daggers but not before anchoring it firmly in place with the Immovable Rod.

As the roc attempted to gain flight, it failed to notice it was now chained to the canyon floor. It heaved itself upward with several thrusts of its wings, only to be halted and yanked back toward the ground. The party quickly tried to evaluate this new situation Toki had created as they remained stuck against the canyon wall.

A macabre waterfall of blood continued to stream from the roc’s talon that held Dorash. Seconds after Toki’s maneuver, he succumbed to his wounds in the roc’s fierce grip. The party watched as Dorash’s clawed hand slowly released the grip of his greatsword and it fell to the ground with a loud clang that echoed throughout the canyon amid the chaos.

With no time to process the death of their teammate, the party continued their feeble fight as they looked to their leader for guidance. It was Toki’s turn to act and he and his friends were trapped- between a roc and a hard place.

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Mistakes Aren't Always Regrets
Wherein Toki misses his chance to play "Freebird"

1/24/16 Roc Attack pt. 2 (began chained next to an angry roc, ended with a rest at Starmetal Hills hobo camp) (lv6)

Finrik StammVetkinToki RobinsonMordekai Baines Granville Brightblade IIIDorash

Last time on “The Ballad of Toki Robinson”, the party found themselves trapped between a roc and a hard place, and Toki Robinson faced one of his most important decisions yet. Should he pull out of whatever plan he had made before he chained the roc right next to his friends? Or should he not pull out and doom them all to certain death? In the end, he decided to go against his nature and managed one of the greatest pull-outs of his adventuring career.

Toki saw that his friends were in trouble, and perhaps, regretted his actions (if Toki Robinson knew the word “regret”). Perhaps he had a plan, perhaps he didn’t. If he did have a plan, his party would never know it ahead of time and if he didn’t have a plan, he would just say he had one all along. After he slapped out a few notes with his bass lute and imbued himself with the Spirit of the Bear, Toki daringly rushed towards the roc and removed the dagger that fixed the chain in place around it. It took several seconds for the gigantic bird to realize he was now released and several more for him to shake free of the heavy masterwork chain.

In the meantime, Finrik hid underneath the cart and continued to whisper words of “calmate” to the stirring horse, while Mordekai stared on in shock at his friend Dorash, now limp in the crushing talon of the roc. The roc then began to beat his wings furiously in an attempt to take off from the ground. Vetkin saw this and sprang into action, scooping up several potions that had fallen from the knocked-over cart. He quickly tried to ascertain their contents as the roc squawked overhead, and after making a gut judgement, quaffed one of them down and bounded around the cart with his sword outstretched at his side.

His party watched on in amazement as the brave Vetkin made a leaping attack against the roc. Their amazement turned to quiet horror, however, as Vetkin’s blade fell not upon the roc, nor his talon, but at the outstretched hand of Dorash! As the fleeing roc ascended into the sky, Dorash’s bloody stump rained dark dragonborn blood down upon Vetkin, as he landed on the ground with the severed hand nearby. With one final squawk and several thrusts of its giant multicolor wings, the roc disappeared from view over the top of the canyon, headed east with his hard-fought meal.

The party then attempted to gather themselves after the harrowing encounter. Finrik was able to reassure the scared horse that no combat had ever occurred. The horse then shared with him that he has been lonely ever since the other horse was violently killed, and that he felt he had helped the party so much, he surely had earned a name more regal than “the horse”. Finrik agreed and christened him with the name “Mr. C”, short for Mr. Champion, because he was a champion in Finrik’s eyes.

Nearby, Vetkin used his newfound surge of strength to set the cart right again. He and Toki then walked over to the gaping chasm where the dragon bones rested and for the first time Vetkin could see why Toki had been so consumed by them. Glinting just barely from the little light they received, Vetkin saw the massive skeleton splayed out amid the crevasse. He climbed down to take a closer look and once he reached them, Vetkin could see that the glittering bones promised not only immeasurable wealth, but power as well.

Back topside, the party then discussed what their next step should be, and it was suggested that if they wanted to enlist the help of others on such a dangerous task, it may be helpful to have proof of their find. Just as Toki argued against disturbing the bones, Finrik plunged himself over the edge and before they knew it he was tugging at the dragon’s claws. After thoroughly testing the individual claws, he found one that was loose enough to be pulled by two hands (identified by its gnarled and withdrawn “cuticle”). The cheeky halfing then returned topside and showed his quarry to a shocked Vetkin and Toki, before smugly stuffing the claw into his magic quiver for safekeeping.

In the corner, Mordekai quietly wept to himself, and upon noticing this, Finrik approached to comfort him. “It’s all part of the Circle of Life, good Mordekai, that’s all- people die, and the world keeps turning,” were all the words of comfort Finrik had to offer. Mordekai felt a little bit better after being acknowledged by his team, but definitely not by Finrik’s words. It was clear he was shaken over the death of his friend, but it would take some time before the party discovered something else was troubling Mordekai.

The party then decided to rest a short while but didn’t feel safe in their previous encampment. Indeed, the barricades and traps they made previously did little to stop the roc’s aerial assault. They decided to build a small fortification that blended into the surrounding cliff face and camouflage it from above. Vetkin used his remaining surge of strength to quickly cobble together bits of wood to erect the frame, and Finrik dismantled the old, fetid gnoll bedding to make the roof. After it was suitably camouflaged with rocks and sand, the party crowded together and relaxed under their decrepit hovel as Toki treated them to his newest ballad, “Man of Constant Sorrow”.

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Mammoth Problems
Wherein the mammoth has the problems...

1/31/16 Gnoll Patrol encounter; and headed deeper into canyon (began at end of 1 hr rest at Starmetal Hills camp, ended at entrance to Laugher’s Gorge) (William sat in and played Mordekai) (lv6)

Finrik StammVetkinToki RobinsonMordekai Baines Granville Brightblade III

After taking an hour to mend their wounds, catch their breath, and generally collect themselves, the party climbed out from underneath their makeshift shelter of reclaimed wood and rotting furs with vague plans to head deeper into the Vaesnir Badlands to seek out the mysterious gnoll threat.

Before setting off, Vetkin and Toki gathered what provisions they thought they would need as Finrik tended to their newly-named horse, “Mr. C”. Finrik left the horse the remaining gallon of foraged cactus water, and once again draped his Elvenkind cloak over him, and left him with tender words of reassurance. Meanwhile, the distraught Mordekai received none of the same comforts and continued to struggle with seeing the violent death of his companion, Dorash.

It soon became clear during their journey that Mordekai was having second thoughts- about his new adventuring lifestyle, his choice of traveling mates, and even about his identity. But these would have to be issues that he would have to wrestle with on his own, he thought, as he watched his party heave themselves one after the other down the grease trap they had set for their enemies- slipping and sliding down the oily mess into the bottom of a canyon of uncertainty.

Knowing full-well how dangerous it can be to walk around covered in grease, Toki was happy to immediately prestidigitate his companions’ clothing into cleanliness once they reached their landing. For what seemed like much longer than an hour, the party navigated their way through the hot and barren environment, along the serpentine path of the canyon, as they watched the walls ascend higher and higher. Along the way, Finrik shared some of his expertise about the Badlands, and shared what rumors he had heard about “Laugher’s Gorge”.

Eventually, the canyon widened a bit, giving the party more tactical room, and as the walls began to stretch hundreds of feet overhead, they felt safe from aerial attacks. But before this newfound feeling of safety could fully settle in, they heard it. Echoing through the canyon was a deep and haunting voice- the laughter of Laugher’s Gorge. It seemed to come from all around them, as if it originated not from some focal point, but from the land itself. Soon after the laugher faded, Vetkin and Mordekai felt uneasy, but they declined to share this with the group. Instead, Mordekai let out a single stifled, awkward giggle.

The booming laughter still ringing in their ears, the party began to hear another sound- the sound of something big, and it was headed their way. They split, and rushed to press themselves against the rock walls as the thudding footsteps grew louder. Finrik stayed put, however; preferring to dig himself into a dent in the canyon floor from where he hoped to spring an ambush. Just then, the source of the noise came clearly into view- a hulking mammoth flanked on all sides by a pack of gnolls. Riding atop the mammoth were two more gnolls, plainly wielding ranged weapons and ready for a fight. The gigantic mammoth would have seemed strangely out of place in the narrow desert canyon, if the party hadn’t already seen several other strange things on this day.

It was clear the patrolling gnolls had yet to see the party, giving them a rare advantage. Having never needed advantages in his life, however, Toki began to prepare a fire bolt and let it loose wildly as the mammoth came into his view. As usual, it was a spectacularly bad shot but frightened the mammoth so terribly that it reared up on its hind legs, and sent the gnolls on its back crashing into the ground. With the fight fully-on, Finrik then sprang from his spiderhole and quickly dealt two surgically-accurate arrows into one of the fallen gnolls, killing it before it could rise to its feet. The mammoth then charged wildly in Toki’s direction, and Toki took this as his cue to run, but not before releasing a blast of Shatter from his bass lute toward the gnolls, scattering them.

As the gnolls grouped back together and rushed forward in the opening chaos of the fight, Vetkin seized this opportunity and pulled a scroll of Fireball from his pack. Though he was unfamiliar with this variety of magic and he struggled to hastily read the arcane script, he was relieved at its completion when the scroll crumbled to dust and sent forth a huge fireball directly in the path of the gnolls. Three of them were immolated completely and the rest made easy targets as they attempted to put out their flaming fur. Mordekai’s Magic Missle and Finrik’s arrows quickly picked off the survivors, and soon only the mammoth and his lone rider were left. The mammoth abruptly changed the direction of his charge after Vetkin’s blast, and Vetkin steeled himself for a fight.

As the mammoth trampled towards Vetkin, Finrik announced to him that they should have no qualms about killing the mad beast. Relieved, Vetkin cracked a smile as he summoned his blade and then leapt towards it. The two forces met simultaneously, and caused tremendous damage to each other; the mammoth weaved his tusks directly into Vetkin’s torso, just as his sword lopped of the beast’s trunk. Finrik then dove underneath the mammoth and in one fluid motion carved up its stomach with his swords and then flung himself on top of it with his final cut. Eager to contribute in this animal torture, Mordekai affixed a magical Light to the mammoth’s face, effectively blinding it and sending it into a panic.

Then, the one remaining (albeit very injured) gnoll moved in and loosed a javelin at the distracted Mordekai. Toki, for once, was watching out for his friend and loosed his own Cutting Words toward the gnoll, causing him to narrowly miss with his incessant mockery. Nearby, Vetkin and Finrik continued to cut piece after piece from the mammoth, and upon seeing this, the gnoll again hurled a vengeful javelin at Mordekai that found its mark, critically wounding him.

Before the mammoth, fully in the throes of death, could attempt to flee, Finrik plunged his swords into its shoulders and attempted to take control of the lumbering beast, proclaiming, “Now I got…HANDLE BARSSS”! The mammoth succumbed to these crude controls as Finrik wrenched his sword deeper into its back and it turned a half-circle back towards the party. A well-placed and merciful Fire Bolt from Mordekai then went right into the beast’s bloody, gaping nosehole and directly into its brain. The mammoth instantly went limp and slid to a stop as Finrik rode its collapsing corpse down to the dusty canyon floor.

The dust settled and the party unceremoniously squabbled over what they would do with the body and who would get the mammoth’s undoubtedly valuable tusks. Vetkin and Finrik each claimed a tusk as trophies, as Toki finished off the remaining fleeing gnoll with a heart-stopping Ray of Frost. The group then collected themselves (and their grisly loot), and said nary a word of the gruesome bloodbath they had just brought to the patrolling gnolls, for this kind of activity had become the norm for Toki’s band of misfits long ago. Undaunted, they pressed on, deeper into Laugher’s Gorge, as the shadows overhead stretched longer into the canyon.

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