A renegade Gnoll named Scrag awakens from a light nap to find that he is being released from Daredurum’s jail cell, on Captain Corizo’s orders, to make his life in the human town, on one condition: He will be constantly scryed upon via two matching irremovable thumb rings, and his Worg mount incarcerated, until he proves his goodness and loyalty to the people and their defenders.
He soon encounters a man calling himself (among other things), “the Jade Fox”. Taking an unusual interest in the out-of-place Gnoll, the Jade Fox had soon succesfully recruited an ally for his own curious quest. After a conversation in the local Bar and General Store, the two town newcomers decide to investigate the rumors of a Wizard gone missing on a journey to the old Crypts in the south.
The Jade Fox invites his friend back to Zoba’s Warehouse, since he apparently has no house of his own yet either, where they find Lucian and Persephone already asleep. With Fox perhaps wondering where Scarfinger was, they went to sleep, only to be awoken in the middle of the night by a curious discovery. A wooden box among the copious junk, containing religious contraband (an astronomical telescope), crashes open before them inexplicably. Persephone and Lucian eagerly test it out while Scrag and Fox discuss the risks and benefits of reporting it. Reasoning that his observers may already know, Scrag convinces Fox that they should report it the next morning. Informing the captain of the watch, Corizo, they are told to keep this discovery to themselves, and that the matter will be looked into.
Earlier the previous day, Scarfinger, scoping out the resident Jewelry shop, had begun to explore the southeast residential district. Hearing whispers from behind a cabin, she was soon privy to a plan to sneak out of town and slay the witch or witches rumored to be living in the swamp. Interloping the ten adolescent escapees at the eve of their ill-conceived exodus, she was soon reluctantly aboard the mission, in return for the gang leader Ricky’s grappling hook. The troop make it past the town patrol, but the next day are attacked by a raging, ravenous Owlbear. Inflicting a critically crippling blow on the foe in the initial moments of the struggle, Scarfinger’s quick commands and hardy resolve inspire the children to fell the beast before it can fully slay it’s ambushed victim. Ricky then concedes to an adamant Scarfinger the wisdom of turning back for all their sake’s. At Ricky’s approval, the bloodied Scarfinger leads the troop on it’s new quest to get the unconscious Timmy back to town in safety, without being ambushed by wild carnivores a second time.
Meanwhile, Scrag and his newfound allies Lucian and the Jade Fox have embarked to the south and are embroiled in their own life-or-death struggle against the formidable creatures of the wilderness. Will our heroes survive long beyond their first forays into the dangerous coppiced wetlands surrounding the town? Find out, next time, on D&D!