I'm running out of space in my diary, so I'm going to have to make today's entry quite short. Hopefully I can pick up a new blank book from the dwarves later, so I can carry on writing. You've served me well as a diary, and it makes me sad to think that soon I'll be using a different book, but I guess it's the fate of diaries to be filled up and then stored. I promise I won't forget you though.
Today, diary, we rescued a whole vilage of people from slavery at the hands of gnolls. In the end the plan was quite simple. The heroes of Hollow would sneak into the city under cover of darkness, and provide the slaves with an escape route, then cause enough distraction for the gnolls that the army could approach the village under cover of darkness and defeat the rest of them.
Sneaking over the wall of the village, we quickly saw that the layout of the place was very simple. In the middle there was a small wooden fort, where the gnolls slept, with a door in the middle of each wall. Gnolls patrolled the roof with greatbows, prepared to shoot at anyone moving around when they shouldn't at night. Around this was set a ramshackle series of small huts. Running from each wall of the fort was a path to a guard post on the outer wall, with a main gate on one said and a sally-port on the other three. We had snuck over the wall near a sally port, and quickly disposed of the gnolls guarding that exit, to provide the peasants with a way out. We'd set something big on fire as a signal that the army should enter the fray.
Leaving Argent and the boys to hold the exit point, the other three of us snuck into the nearest hut to wake the peasants and explain the situation. It took me a couple of huts to understand the arrangement, but in hindsight it makes sense. Each hut housed about thirty people, huddled together for warmth. In the corner there was a cot with a healthier looking male human asleep. I had naturally assumed this was the "leader" of the peasants in the hut, so woke him first. He was hardly helpful, being very skeptical about our intentions and flat out refusing to believe our story that an army was about to flatten the village, so in the end we settled on having him stay put while the rest of the people in the hut spread through the village to tell the other peasants where the way out was, and what was happening.
The other huts all had the same arrangement, and at about the time we made our way into the third hut, we could heard the leader of the second hut running through the village, shouting "REVOLT" as loud as he could. So much for subtelty. It was about then I realised these people were "minders", not leaders, and had clearly joined the side of the Gnolls for better food and treatment. Marigold crept off to silence him, and Ayeena and I continued to spread the word for a little longer.
The gnolls on guard at the keep were a lot mroe alert now, so it wasn't surprising that we were spotted in fairly short order. One of the gnolls on the roof of the keep shouted at me to stop in my tracks and come into the light, so I responded by setting him on fire. Then I set the flag on fire. Then I ran.
While I was busy running around like a lunatic and drawing attention to myself, Argent set the grain barn on fire to signal properly to the dwarves to move out, Ayeena directed the peasants to the exit, Marigold jammed one of the doors to the keep, and Vincent headed off to scout out the main gate. Terry stayed at the guardpost over the sally-port to cover the retreating peasants. I waved everyone on to the main gate, and in short order we had it open, and all the gnolls guarding it defeated. We set up to defend that point until the army could arrive, and quickly came to the conclusion that the gnolls would reach us a little before the army did. Ayeena and I had the same idea, and both ran from the gate to draw some of the gnolls away in an attempt to distract them. I got quite a few chasing me, but hadn't accounted for the fact that they run really fast, so I was cornered in short order, then I lost sight of the others completely.
Cornered up against the wall, I just about managed to hear that the dwarves had arrived before I chickened out. I was too far away for anyone to help me, so I muttered a quick prayer to Tymora, and scrambled over the wall. I guess my assailants were too surprised to catch me, and I just managed to escape without being caught, but as soon as I dropped down on the other side of the wall I knew I was done for the day, I made my way back to the gate and colapsed in a heap of fatigue while the others went to deal with the remaining gnolls.
In the morning we have to explain to the peasants what'll be happening in the future. For now, this book is full and I need to sleep.