The Golden Griffons have gathered at the Towershade Inn in Horizon, home to the Imperial College of Magic and the Archmage himself. They await a guide “Marta” has arranged to guide them into the Dire Wood. The guide, a ranger known as Tristan, arrives and they soon depart.
The group leave Horizon and head cross-country towards The Dire Wood. After a hard days march, the Griffons make camp for the night. During Ulrich’s watch a vengeance-seeking ogre looking to avenge his fallen brother attacked. The brute charged bellowing while the paladin set his glaive to receive the giant’s charge. He skewered the ogre.
The next day, the party cut across a large cattle farm. They came across an enraged bull. Penvice drove of the bull with a fiery bolt of magic. Later the noble land owner came looking for whomever set his prize bull ablaze. Tristan convinced the noble of their innocence.
As the party drew near to the Dire Wood, a band of lawless bandits demanded a toll. Snowflake drew them in and slayed them all with one swing of her Greatsword.
Tristan lead them into the Dire Wood, blazing a trail through the thick, thorny underbrush.Hiking across the treacherous ground, Tristan wrenched his ankle in a small burrow.
The intrepid band came upon the ruins they sought.Snowflake noticed that the hillside and the ruins themselves were literally covered in a squirming blanket of vermin. The sorcerer took this as a sign that this indeed is the location of the Hellmouth. The adventurers discussed a variety of plans to bypass the insect plague. Snowflake tied a rag to cover her nose and mouth, and dashed up the hill. The blanket became a swarm of biting and stinging vermin. She reached the actual Hellmouth mostly unscathed. The others followed. Penvice blazed a trail using burning hands, but the agitated cloud of insects put the hurt on his companions. They eventually reached the Hellmouth.
The Golden Griffons entered the Hellmouth. As they progressed downward, the wall sconce torches lighted on there own. The tunnel became a spiral, curving ever downward. They found a chamber illuminated by lava vents. A group of four Gnolls were playing “fingerbones” while a nearby Hellhound gnawed on a rotten arm. The band burst forth from the shadows, Ulrich knocked the Hellhound in to one of the lava vents, it plunged a hundred feet into the magma beneath. The rest of the party battled the savage gnolls, and after a hard fought battle, they were victorious. Amongst the frozen remains of one of the Gnolls, Penvice found a large silver key. On the table they found several jewels, many gold coins, a golden hilted dagger, a magical talisman, and a couple of healing potions.
Delving deeper into the dungeon the Griffons came upon a blasphemous hybrid of Ogre and Cave Troll. The paladin dismembered the monstrosity with his enchanted glaive and set it ablaze. They continued ever downward until the stair cam to an end. Between them and the door was a great abyss. Snowflake fired an arrow into the door. Frank the imp followed his master’s commands and tied a rope to the arrow as he tied the other end to the stair. The adventurers shimmied across.
They entered a twisting labyrinth and came across another hellhound. Snowflake leaped upon the beast’s back before plunging her greatsword deep, slaying it. In the heart of the labyrinth, they found a great treasure. Inside a locked chest that the sorcerer unlocked with his silver key, they found a couple of garnets the size of Snowflake’s fist, 300gp in various coins, and an enchanted leather pouch.