Accidental Heroes©

Unbound by Thorns

Mudwig, “Jewwee”, a gnoll named Snaggletooth, and several other humans are captured and bound by a large group of gnolls. They are taken hostage and lead to a labyrinth made of 10 foot high walls of thick overgrown thorny briar bushes. The gnolls set the party loose within the labyrinth and the snickering gnolls inform the captives that they have one hour before they come hunting after the them. Mudwig and Jewwee team up and strike off together, and they hear a man scream in the distance. Traversing the maze of thorns they are come upon by a swarm of possessed thornbushes that lunges out and attacks them. After dealing a devastating surprise attack against Mudwig, the duo quickly dispatches the briar demon. They travel through the opening the demon left in the thorny walls into a vast open area. There the duo sees a stream that leads to a wooden bridge. As Jewwee crosses the bridge a large minotaur barrels out of the bushes and notices Jewwee’s standing upon the bridge. The minotaur asks Jewwee why he is in his home. As Jewwee tells the minotaur that he was captured by gnolls the minotaur roars his hatred for the invasive gnolls. Jewwee attempts to offer the minotaur a truce and asks for aide in escape of the labyrinth but the minotaur demands a payment of treasure. When Jewwee declares his goods were stolen by the gnolls the minotaur draws his battleaxe and charges him. Jewwee is able to dodge the attack and Mudwig rushes forward to assist his archer companion. They both overwhelm the minotaur and render him unconscious. Jewwee bandages the minotaur and rouses him long enough to ask him the direction of the exit of the labyrinth. The minotaur points west and falls unconscious once more. Mudwig confiscates the minotaur’s weapon and ties him to his back and drags him along with them. They successfully find their way to a gateway to the east. As they near the gate they are come upon by two small gnoll hunters, who attacks the group. Jewwee and Mudwig quickly dispatch the furry pair and begin to approach the door. Suddenly the gnoll named Snaggletooth is revealed and asks the duo to take him with them. At first they decide to attack him, but then they quickly change their minds and allow him to join.
Mudwig is able to pry the gate open with a crowbar he found in his traveling pack and the group successfully escapes the labyrinth of thorns. They all rest about a mile away from the labyrinth and Snaggletooth informs them that the gnoll den is only a mile away and that he has a blood feud against the leader of the gnolls who took his mate and cast him to death. The party agrees to help him with his mission and head towards the den the next morning. Snaggletooth leads them to a secret entrance that leads to a small pool that streams down into a central cavern. The party repels down the watery tunnel with help of a climber’s kit. The minotaur still strapped to Mudwig’s back comes conscious and condemns the party for taking him form his home, and when he sees Snaggletooth he reaches for his weapon but it has been taken by Mudwig. Snaggletooth reassures him that he is on his side against the gnolls. When the party inform the minotaur that they have brought him to the lair of the gnolls he goes frantic but is calmed when Jewwee promises him much treasure. The group travels easily up a set of slippery stairs.
At the top of the stairs is a large chamber that contains about ten gnolls in deep sleep, and a prominent statue of a cross-legged gnoll holding a spear. Jewwee frantically scrambles up the statue quietly after he notices two large rubies representing the eyes of the statue. He attempts to pry a ruby loose but fails. At the same time, Mudwig notices several hanging cages behind the statue and makes his way towards them. He jumps up and latches onto one of the cages and pries it open with his crowbar and loots the skeleton occupant, making enough noise to rouse two gnolls from their slumber.
Seeing the treat, Jewwee climbs to the top of the statue and unleashes four arrows in a skillful strike. Two arrows land in each respective gnoll’s head and they fall back to an eternal slumber. Jewwee scans the room and notices a tunnel that leads into another gnoll lair…



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