The Tourney of Jammermeet brought many folk to that same village, an swelling it with merchants, warriors and monks from the Duchy of the Green Giant and beyond.
Amongst the excitement a merchant, Jakelon Moonspice, searched a the heaving Cute Minotaur Tavern for likely takers to find strange amulets lost when one of his shipments was ambushed upriver.
After several drinks and pleas the following were found
- Muzol, a halforc soldier from the duchy belonging to the Order of the Cleansing Blade who used his body as a weapon.
- Varis Nailo, a wood elf tracker of the Forest of the Lakes, who served as an acolyte of the little known god Mandark
- Jimanxi, a tabaxi warrior from the more civilised Southern Jungles, making money any way he could
- K Lee, a human of the eastern lands across the ocean, skilled in alchemical arts and searching for lore of a famous gnome alchemist
- Klek, a killer from the caves below, a bugbear who joined a circus after fleeing after leading a failed rebellion of the slaves he grew up with.
After agreeing on a reasonable reward, the newly-formed group left the next morning on a boat piloted by Shaumer “Gemblossom”, a half-elf servant of Jakelon, making progress as Klek aided in the rowing and the others swapped stories of the homelands.
That night they camped on the river-shore, posting a watch as many do in dangerous lands. With Muzol and Jimanxi on watch, they spotted a dog-headed humanoid watching the camp and then leave. The two rushed off in pursuit, followed by Varis and leaving their companions oblivious to it all.
Their quarry lead them straight into an ambush by a half-dozen gnolls, archers from one side and a warleader attacking with more gnolls from the other. Jimanxi and Muzol put up a fight as Varis aided from afar, but their howling foes proved too strong, Jimanxi falling before them as Muzol and Varis returned to camp.
Their companions had woken from the shouts and now everyone crammed onto the boat to find somewhere else to finish off the night´s uneasy rest.
The next day saw the group sneak upriver after spotting a gnoll and circle round, finally creeping up on their foes as they gathered at a riverbank….