Back story: There is trouble in the county of Corbais – monsters are making unusually aggressive attacks on towns and villages. In defending Corbais, you have met many interesting characters: a gnome innkeeper named Findle Wimrocket, a capricious pixie known as Mistlethrush, a mysterious swamp witch and a retired half-orc adventurer, Reis Uleka. In order to combat the monsters, Reis has put together a fighting force called the Silver Company, of which you are all members. Two of you are Lance Corporals stationed out of the Eastern Outpost, under the guidance of a half-elf named Ingrid. The rest of you are Privates who have just been dispatched to the outpost. From there, you will all proceed to investigate rumors of a disturbance in Dunsmere ruins. Located just outside of the tiny village of Vervaine, the ruins were once the summer castle of some long-dead noble who had too much money and not enough sense. Now the villagers, a superstitious and solitary bunch, have reported some kind of disturbance in the ruins.
We had a strong showing to this session - a total of six 8th-level PCs and two observers. Here's the party line-up:
Silver Company PFCs
Aranelle (Rachel) the eladrin wizard
Elora (Carly) the halfling rouge
Marianna (Maggie) the human cleric
Shun Wei (Kelly) the dragonborn paladin
Silver Company LCs
Aukan (Alex*) the goliath barbarian
Iriena (Katja) the dryad ranger
The party sneaked into the courtyard of the ruins and found a sleeping guard dog... well, Cacklefiend Hyena. To-may-to, to-mah-to. When they attacked the hyena, it yelped awake and alerted the Gnolls within the ruins to attack. I did a big dramatic entrance for the HBIC - a Gnoll Demon Scourge. I was standing up out of my seat, swinging an imaginary flail over my head, and making (a very ominous, I assure you) "whum... whum... whum..." sound. I rolled my big light-up d20 - critical hit! I felt like the Universe was rewarding me for good flavor text.
The PCs progressed into the upper level of the ruins, only to be trapped in a corridor by a Harpy and her minions. But the rolls were not in my favor in this encounter, and soon the Gnolls' numbers were so reduced that they could no longer use their pack attack feature to do extra damage. No one fell unconscious, though I think I brought most of them down to bloodied at one point or another. A couple of my PCs dropped Daily Powers - which is completely appropriate, since at this level you shouldn't be able to save everything for the boss fight. Speaking of which...
Next time, on Silver Company: Dunsmere Ruins Boss Fight!