The guild members on hand decided they want to get a map to an arcane tomb so the spellcasters can pick up more new unique spell scrolls. Kitain and Ochrek went shopping for a map. The seller ( a scout with only one leg left) wouldn’t let them look at the map he picked out for them until they bought it. They spent 550gp on it.
With the map in hand, and no luck having found his cousin up to now, Aukam decided he must sign on with the guild in order to make ends meet. Arsinoe came down from her room for a moment to help sign him onto the guild charter.
They loaded up an expedition to leave the next morning and headed out before first light. Several dozen citizens of Blanos noticed and followed them to the gate, stunned to see an adventuring guild heading to the desert in the blaze of summer. The guards were too stunned by the appearance of an adventuring caravan to stop them or ask for bribes.
On the morning of the second day in the Velvet Road, the shadow of a wild griffon appeared above them, spooking the camels and causing the donkey to attempt to flee.
Blix was forced to web it to keep the animal from fleeing right into the claws of the beast. The griffon landed and attacked, failing to carry the web-laden donkey off thanks to the binding webs that kept it from fleeing.
Quickly, the party members mobbed the creature, but before they could fell it, its beak and claws laid Aukam low, nearly killing him until they could finish the griffon off and save his life.
Realizing the griffon was a female and the summer is the breeding season of the creatures, they decided to backtrack, ascend out of the Velvet Road canyon, and seek its nest. After several hours of searching, they located the nest.
Kitain cast a flight spell on Aukam to help him fly up to the nest and look for eggs. Soro demonstrated her agility and climbed the cliff and up the rocks to get there almost as quickly.
However, just as they found a single griffon egg, a horde of jheblin with three ogres appeared and attacked!
The party managed to fend off the ogres and jheblin, creating a web to hold the ogres and then set it on fire. Soro fired down from above, and Aukam descended in flight to deliver an amazing blow that felled an ogre with a single mighty swing, using the might of his golyatih muscle and the power of his faith together.
While they fought off the last of them, Gemed had taken the wagon away, but a number of the jheblin raided the wagon and the camels during this time. The scavengers escaped with a bunch of metal objects, including valuable pieces of Natan, Ochrek and Aukam’s armor!
Ochrek marked one of the creatures and allowed it to flee, so that he could pursue them back to their lair.
After taking a short rest, the party waited while Soro snuck into the cave to scout the locations of all of the jheblin. She got near the back of the cave, but stopped when she heard the sounds of ogres in a large chamber in the back.
Sneaking in again, this time to begin the slaughter, Soro took point, silently and efficiently killing the first six with only spell support from Kitain and Blix. Their spellcasting narrowly avoided alerting the remaining creatures until they reached a good chokepoint for Aukam, Natan and Ochrek to set up in. One jheblin fled back into the back of the cave to warn the others, while the rest charged forward and died on the party’s blades.
Delving deeper, the party faced an ogre that recklessly crashes forward and smashed the cave opening, knocking debris into Blix while Soro and Ochrek took better cover.
They worked as a team to quickly dispatch the first ogre, but Aukam was shot by an arrow from several jheblin archers, forcing the party to advance.
More ogres began to pour out of the room while the jheblin chieftain had the rest of his scavengers form up around him. Not willing to deal with the cluster, Kitain dropped all but the chieftain with a well-timed blast.
After felling one ogre in the tunnel to the large chamber, what looked like a painted jheblin shaman fled through the rest and blasted a magic missile at Ochrek. The remaining ogres charged forward, knocking the auruk warrior prone. The one leading the charge never made it any further, killed in passing by so many adept heroes.
The last two ogres had broken out of the bottleneck, and one fought the spellcasters while the other fought the front-line warriors. Aukam faced off with the jheblin chief and grappled, throwing the creature all the way over into the back of an ogre. Not one to risk it, Kitain put a pair of eldritch bolts into the already lifeless corpse.
While the shaman escaped through a small hole in the back of the cave, going deeper underground, the fight against the last two ogres grew desperate. While Soro stuck one ogre like a pincushion, Natan used his lifetime of combat skill to deliver an upward strike to the jaw with his maul. Finally the creature was slain.
Meanwhile, Kitain and Blix, back to back, were able to fire twin witch bolts into the face of the last one in the middle of the cave.
Aukam waded into the fray, calling once again upon his mighty goliath strength to deal a fantastic blow. At last, the final ogre was brought low as Soro and Ochrek came upon it from behind.
The melee came to an end, allowing the heroes to call upon more light to see the last chamber at the back of the cave. Here they found that the jheblin kept a giant pile of shiny metal objects and coins. They were growing their young in little pods ringing the chamber, and in a hut underneath the pile of shinies were a number of female jheblin that chittered and shrieked but would not come out.
Despite some discussion to kill off the rest of the creatures, Natan left, refusing to be party to slaughtering women and children, bringing the rest of the group to their senses. They claimed their own possessions back, along with all of the coin from the pile and 5 healing potions that the jheblin had hung up in the room as decorations.
With a pile of coin, potions, and a griffon egg, along with damaged equipment and a wounded donkey, the party opted not to pursue their journey further into the desert and instead return to the city for now, and take the map out on a future journey.