Just outside the little village lies a small hill, and atop the hill is a small stone circle where the children often play. One of them said they could feel a strange low rumble coming from the stones, so the druid known as Decius decided to investigate further. After spending three days and nights in rigorous druidic ritual, he felt the deep, low rumble moving through his body. Then these feelings took voice:
_ Your presence here has stirred us from a long and deep slumber. Once we sang of sand, rocks, and minerals, to the cold moon we sang, and she answered. We rumbled our good mornings to the Earth Mother, and she welcomed our song with rain and sun and healthy soil.
Long ago, we fell into a deep, dark sleep, and all trace of memory, all trace of earth and moon left us. Now we wish to sing again, to fully awaken and rejoice. We cannot, not until all are reunited in this circle of Mother Earth.
You who have stirred us from our slumber, know this, we awaken fully when we all stand tall in the circle of all. Without a united voice, we can only murmur each to each, and to one such as yourself. Without all, we cannot sing our earth song. Without our earth song, Mother Earth will not bring the rains and healthy soil back to these lands.
Unite us all once again under the moon, standing tall on this hilltop, and_
Decius felt the stones return to their deep slumber. Having gleaned all he could from thw stone circle, he returned to his companions and discussed the experience and what it might mean. More important, they discussed how they might continue to solve this “missing stone.” They met a beardless dwarf in Mog’s Mug." When they approached where the dwaf was sitting, they immediately understood why he was called “Stinky.” He reeked of two week old sweat, stale urine, and a hint of vomit. His constant loud belching and farting didn’t help matters. In short, he reeked, which was why he sat apart from the rest of the pub.
Wading thru his stench and drunken stupor, the party was able to glean a few bits of information. One, he wasn’t a dwarf, but a stone dwarf. Though related, in many ways quite different from mountain dwarfs. More to the point, Stinky told them about “Stonerollers,” the members of his clan that carried the history thru oral tradition. He also told them about his home village about 60 miles due west in the foothills of Una’s Braes. Perhaps one of the Stonerollers living in this village would have information about the stone circle?
But first things first, there were still those slavers operating somewhere in the area. The party decided to seek out their trail, follow it to wherever it might lead, and dispose of the slavers (and garner some information and treasure to boot).
The party traced their steps back to where they first encountered the slavers. Having found some footprints going up into the foothills of Una’s Braes, they followed. This led them along a ravine leading further up into the jagged black hills. They arrived upon a relatively flat plateau of sorts with some trees and other wild growth due to the thin layer of earth in this area. Shortly, they came upon a clearing in the somewhat wooded area that contained a makeshift camp. Two goblins, with bandanas pulled partly down around their eyes, where busy digging a hole in the ground, while another was busy pounding a stake into the ground. The hole was for the latrine, as the existing one had reached its fill. Two hobgobllns were moving around the perimeter of the camp, clearly on guard duty.
The party—wisely—spent some time observing the camp and its occupants. They came up with a battle plan that had them moving quietly towards the camp when suddenly, Grundle found herself falling into a pit lined with jagged rocks. The bard then triggered a crude yet effective trap that caused a branch to swing violently into him causing some minor damage. Worse, this commotion alerted the enemy camp. Since surprise was no longer an option, the party boldly charged.
A brutal & bloody fight ensued, with the Decius swinging his shillelagh clubbing one goblin after another. In the end, the remaining enemies surrendered, though one hobgoblin tried to run away but was felled by a mighty throw of Grundle’s ax, splitting the runner’s skull.
All told, each member receives 545 XP