The party finished the first session by defeating Warden Norton and recovering the key to the prison cells. They quickly freed all of the prisoners and finished searching the prison for any extra equipment. After stocking up on supplies, they decided to escort the newly-freed prisoners to New Thistlewood. This seemed a logical choice, since New Thistlewood is known as a haven for refugees from the war. The party was headed there anyway, because of the mysterious note they found during their escape. One of the prisoners, a Halfling named Barris, volunteered his farm as temporary housing for the refugees. His farm is near New Thistlewood.
As the party prepared to leave the prison, Groth appeared and offered his services as a guide. Shado seemed very excited to see Groth, and after some inquiry from Howler, Groh explained that he had met Shado previously. Groth indicated that he had been around the prison prior to his capture, and had encountered Shado, who was also wandering around the prison area.
Groth led the party through the wilderness to a cave that he was familiar with. The party, along with the refugees, was able to sleep there through the night and resume their journey in the morning. Around midday, Groth indicated that the outskirts of New Thistlewood were not far off, and that he would leave the party to finish the journey without him. The Halfling Barris recognized their location, and was able to guide the party the rest of the way to his farm. His wife Briel was very excited to see him home, and while she was unprepared for such a large number of guests, she welcomed the refugees to stay at the farm.
The party left the refugees there and continued on to New Thistlewood proper. Upon arriving, they encountered some guards, who were polite and welcomed the party. Deacon offered a Karrnathi military salute, much to his own surprise.
The Inn of the Welcome Wounded was very easy to locate, due to its tremendous size. It is a very nice inn, with room for at least 100 guests, and a tavern to accomodate them. The party was greeted by a friendly, excitable Halfling who introduced himself as Francis Thistlewood. He informed the party that his father had founded New Thistlewood. Francis bore a large, obvious Dragonmark, which the party easily identified as the Mark of Hospitality. This certainly explained the large and prosperous Inn.
Francis called over the waitress, Darla, who brought a round of drinks and several plates of food for the hungry party. During their meal, the party noticed a Half-Elf observing them from a few tables over. After the party finished their meal, the Half-Elf approached and introduced himself as Anton. He asked about Eiluvial’s absence, and seemed distraught upon hearing that she did not make it out of the prison. He indicated that he was responsible for aiding the party’s escape from the prison, and that he had a business proposal for the party. The party chose to relax a few days before discussing the business deal. Anton offered to pay for their room and board.
After spending three days in New Thistlewood, the party returned to speak with Anton. He asked the party to investigate a group of Halflings that has recently been ambushing his caravans. Since he himself had not been on any of the caravan runs, he suggested that they speak with Mason, one of his caravan drivers. The party decided to speak with Mason before accepting the job.
The party spoke with Mason at his home, where he answered the door wearing a large hat and his arm in a sling. He described the raiders as a group of Halflings, sometimes riding dinosaurs (clawfoots) and often wielding strange powers, controlling and throwing rocks as weapons. The party asked where the last ambush occurred, and he gave them directions. The party decided to investigate this location.
The ambush location was fairly obvious when the party arrived. The were some very large rocks blocking the road, with a forest on either side. Ideal spot for an ambush. The party decided to investigate the rock, and were immediately set upon by a group of Halflings. Two of the Halflings were riding clawfoot dinosaurs, and two were hidden in the forest throwing rocks at the party. Two earth elementals also joined the fray, along with a number of smaller Halflings.
The party was able to defeat the Halfling ambushers, and will now consider what to do next.