3- The Fall of Faroth Mal
“Silence! The bones have spoken!” Seeress Bloodhackle demanded upon her perch in the Splitpaw Den. “The threat below has grown and could reach out into and beyond Splitpaw if it's not held in check! You must gather your forces and invade before it's too late!” With a clang of weapons and a roaring cheer, the members of Ascendance had heard enough and were ready for battle.
Small bursts of glowing blue light shined as each adventurer appeared within the terraporter ring. After time enough for their eyes and orientation to adjust, they peered out into the adjacent cavern. An army of Underpaw gnolls was gathered below their commander, readying themselves for war. After a thunderous speech, Commander Spliteye and his army began their march to the halls above, but before they could make their exit, a shadowy figure plunged a dagger deep into Spliteye’s trusted dreadsnout Scald. The war was on. Flashes of steel and fur danced above the bloodied floor as Ascendance parried wave upon wave of the Underpaw until the Commander himself lay facedown in a shallow pool of red.
As the dust settled and Ascendance started dividing their treasures, a muffled clap grew louder in the cavern. From the far side of the cavern came the largest gnoll anyone had ever seen: Faroth Mal, leader of the Underpaw gnolls. Faroth Mal eyed the adventurers with a quiet smirk as he strode up the ramp to stand in front of his throne.
“How dare you enter my realm and insult the true children of Brell!” Faroth Mal spat with a maniacal hiss. “We must purify Splitpaw by cleansing it of the cannibalistic filth that lives within! Your presence is an affront to our purity; you must perish as well!”
Faroth Mal sprang forth, and in the same instant, gnolls erupted from the niches among the cavern. Holding their own, Ascendance began to mince their foes intrepidly. Through teamwork, organization, and a strange clue brought forth by a scout in the guild, Ascendance slowly worked Faroth Mal down until his energy failed him. Rothgard was there to ensure that revenge was served for the death of Cheeb.
The walls bellowed, futilely attempting to stay in tact. The ground began to shake furiously and the walls to wrench apart. Rocks cascaded from above, threatening to crush and skewer the triumphant adventurers. As soon as Faroth Mal fell, the caverns began to collapse. It was now a race to get out--a race for their lives. Ascendance began to scale the collapsed rocks and broken tusks towards the surface with desperate haste. As they moved through a final chokepoint, the ceiling let out its last shudder and buckled. With daring resolve, the remaining members of Ascendance leapt into an open cavern while the rocks filled in behind them.
The tremor stopped, and the guild looked around at each other, stunned. “So much for loot,” Kumek laughed and began dusting him/herself off. “Not funny!” Jedette scorned, “I’m sick of risking my skin for…” “Look!” shouted Drave. A mysterious glow surrounded them. Salvatorre reached forward to touch it in disbelief. “It’s gold! Wagonloads of it!” Ascendance had stumbled upon the fabled treasure vault of the Underpaw Clan. The rest is history.