A small note is slipped into the front of this tome in neat delicate handwriting, it reads as follows:
Well, this is the second volume of my diary. One of the Dwarven Loremasters presented it to me "to celebrate our victory over the gnolls" Apparently the tome will "automagically" record our adventures, and save me having to write out everything we've done by hand, allowing me to concentrate on "strategy" and other "things befitting a hero". If only I can figure out how to work the thing, we should have an accurate unbiased account of everything we do, rather than my terrible ramblings. If only I can figure out how to work the thing.
Auto-bard active. Engage heroic fable.
And lo it came to pass that the hamlet, freed of the chains of its dark oppression, was brought into the light. And the people did thank their liberators. And their names would be known for all history. Piccolo, the brave, honest, beautiful Maiden of Ice. Her companions, Ayeena, gentle angel of light; Argent, intrepid mistress of magick; Marigold, tenacious nimble and friend to all; Terato, wise sage of the forests and Vincent. They marched at the head of the thunderchild legion - stout companions of the maiden of ice. Sweet Piccolo looked upon her people, (for these were her people - she had freed them,) with sympathy and affection, for her love was great enough for all, and in her wisdom advised them on the ways of farming and worship. And so it came to pass that the village was brought into the worship of the goddess Chauntea, patron of farmers the world over.
A war council was held, the heroes concluding to split the forces of liberation into three parties. The bulk of the legion would travel north to the next hamlet, and bring it into the light of freedom as it had done here. The heroes of hollow would bravely press onwards to the city of Yare to confront the Malevolent King. With no leader the kingdom of Yare would be sure to fall into bickering and infighting, as such villains are wont to do - and the army would be free to manouver without interference. A tear came to the eyes of tender Piccolo as she thought of abandonning her people, and such she detailed several of her finest warriors to remain and protect the village from any threat. As the sun reached its highest point the delegations made their farewells and started out to their new destinations.
By the time the sun had set the next day, the heroes had reached their destination, the city of Yare was unlike the hamlets, being split into four sections. In the middle of the city rested a great longhouse, crafted into the upturned hull of a looted greatship, the gnolls too lazy to create their own civilisation had simply fashionned their palace from plunder. It was here where the heroes were headed. Surrounding this long house were two layers of gnollish housing, a wall seperating them, with the rich houses in the centre and the poorer housing around the outside. Surrounding this whole arrangement was a great wall, and each wall contained only one gate, on opposite sides of the city. Finally, outside of the walls rested a slum of slave huts, with its own wall. It was here where the shrewd heroes planned their entry.
As mighty and courageous the heroes were, they were also contemplative and wise. Keen-witted Argent knew that no mortal would be able to face the combined wrath of Yare alone, and so the heroes fashioned a cunning plan to disguise themselves as slaves and join the workers returning from the fields in the evening. Shining Ayeena faced a greater challenge, as no amount of mud would be able to cover up her graceful poise and divine presence, so she resolved to conceal herself within a magical storage device carried by resourceful Piccolo. Upon entry one of the guards scooped up a stone from the ground and threw it straight at the lion-hearted leader of the heroes. Dutifully, she declined to avoid the assult, and dropped to the mud, feigning injury. It was all she could do to prevent herself displaying her fury that the heinous slavers would treat people so, but as a true hero should, she controlled her emotions vowing that vengeance and justice would be brought to her tormentors at the proper time.
As silent as a shadow, fleeting and stealthy, the diminuitive Marigold scouted ahead, while the heroes made their way to the longhouse. This was guarded by four of the foul king's most trusted lackeys, which the heroes disposed of through quickness of with and strength of arm. The oafish guards failed to discern the difference between the delicacy of legendary hero Piccolo's slender frame and that of a small timid human peasant child. As a result of her canny deception and their slow wits, they fell unprepared into the might of her allies. With the way clear, the heroes prepared to enter the longhouse and confront the iniquitous king of the gnolls.