The Forgotten Ones

Resolving the Wolves of the Wildlands

Lilith unhemmed

There was a growing need for a militia with the recent unrest in the formerly sleepy town of Veenin. Lilith was in negotiations with the local half-orcs to join the town’s forces. They liked her: she spoke their language and treated them kindly. She was unlike a majority of the other townsfolk who turned their noses up to most anyone who wasn’t human. Her open heart created a form of humanoid solidarity.
Lilith had seen her share of prejudice as well. Most of Veenin’s half-orcs worked in the farms, helping do physical labor because everyone thought they were only good as glorified farm tools. Lilith took an afternoon to head to the farmsteads and speak with her acquaintances.

En route, the tiefling noticed a familiar figure, in an unfamiliar situation: Thyorn, the elven scout she’d been working with in recent battles was fending off a pack of wolves. Thyorn looked like he was holding his own, but not without difficulty. He was outnumbered, and gaining distance from the wolves to play to his advantage with a bow and arrow was looking less likely.

The wolves spotted her on her path, and a handful of them divided from the group puruing the elf, to focus on Lilith instead. She sighed and hitched up her hems, taking a brief moment to allow ease of movement and more importantly, avoid any more damage – she’d been stitching up more holes than she’d like of late. Though by then the wolves had gotten close, she was still able to cast a radiant flame.

The burst stunned the wolves for a moment, one of them yelped. The white flare caught Thyorn’s attention as well, and seemed to have given him some extra gumption. Lilith smiled briefly, that her clothes were undamaged. If she was able to keep the wolves at a distance herself, they should not pose a threat to her or her precious garments.
She kept a firm grip on the quarterstaff and used it to fend off the wolves, gingerly holding onto her cape and sash with her free hand, balling the extra fabric by her side. She was unable to consistently fend the onslaught of her multiple aggressors off, as one of them took a leap and tore into her forearm. Her leather bracer and her sleeve were no match for its teeth, and the wolf’s grip on her was painful and persistent enough that she let go of her clothing, and tried to fling the wolf off but to no avail. She summoned a Sacred Flame in frustration, aiming it at the wolf and finally getting it to release its grip. In turn Lilith felt a surge of energy despite the damage the beast had done to her arm.
This pattern went on with a similar ebb and flow as the tiefling continued to fend off the wild wolves. She’d glance around every few seconds to make sure Thyorn was in good fighting spirits. Every now and then she’d see an arrow fly by her, and strike one of the wolves that had his teeth bared at her. Between the two of them they were able to wear the wolves down, and eventually, one by one, the beasts fell.
Lilith took a moment to adjust her cloak, skirt, and sash to the best of her ability despite the battle damage, before she waved Thyorn down – checking to see if he had been injured and offering him a healing spell before she moved on with her journey to the farm. Hopefully the half orcs would understand her delay and disheveled appearance considering the circumstances.

After the small engagement with the wolves down the road from Grixus’ tobacco farm, Lilith made her way onward to the farm in hopes of talking with the half-orc farmhands, while Thyorn continued to track the wolves back to their den. After about half a mile, Thyorn came across unfamiliar tracks. While the tracks were vaguely lupine in nature, the distance between marks suggested bipedal creatures of closer to seven feet in height. Looking at the depth of the imprints Thyorn suggested it more closely matched something weighing in excess of three hundred pounds! At this point Thyorn knew he would stand no chance if it came to conflict with both the wolves and these new uninvited guests, and while given a choice he would rather drive the wolves back to their more familiar hunting grounds, the priority would have to be learning the identity of the creatures responsible for driving the wolves towards Veenin, and removing them. For this, Thyorn was going to need back-up.
So Thyorn headed back into town and recruited Dalras, Atilius, and Serafina to help out. When they arrived at the mystery tracks, Atilius took one look and his face paled. Drawn back in time to the Orc Wars, Atilius could literally hear the demonic howls in the distance, the rumbling thunder of hundreds of clawed feet scraping furrows in the dirt and the line of deep red eyes seemingly floating in the darkness. The engagements with these creatures were some of the bloodiest of the entire war, even more so given that as a race, they delighted in death, butchery, and carnage.
Atilius slowly came back to the present and practically whispered just one word…
“Gnolls!”
After tracking the wolves over several days, there was a bloody encounter. The party was beset on all sides by the large pack. Shouted commands from Atilius guided the party to maneuver out of harms way for a time, but eventually the group became cornered near the mouth of a cave. Standing at the mouth of the cave was a grey wolf two hands taller than the rest, the Matron. After several tense moments Thyorn was finally able to use his animal affinity to convey a general message of peaceful intent. After winning over the wolf matron the immediate threat passed. While the group was successful in convincing the wolves to find greener pastures away from the farmsteads, the mysterious tracks still haunted their thoughts.
Dalras and Serafina then suggested the group return to town and bring up this discovery to the Orc Chieftain before tracking the Gnolls down in unfamiliar territory.
….It seems like there may be more to this side adventure than originally thought.

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