2018-05-14 - Welcome to the Red Steppe
Neville Chamberlain (and rat), Misericorde (Missi), Tarkilar, and Zook Wiggins were tasked by Quartermaster Luther (Head of Humanoid Resources) to escort a group of researchers to the ruins of an old mining town. The group accepted the mission and traveled to the town of Ashlot on the edge of the Red Steppe, a massive swathe of red, flammable grass. There, they met the researchers, assisted with preparations, and departed from the town.
On the journey, they learned the Steppe is difficult to inhabit because of harsh conditions and orc bandit tribes. The researchers wanted to determine why the mining town collapsed in hopes of creating a better town later on. On the second night, a group of bandits assaulted the camp. Through Winston, Neville was able to warn the group of the attack, and the goat-riding kobolds were quickly dispatched. One (Karl) was turned into a frog, while another (Ivan) was spared. In exchange for his freedom and Karl's life, Ivan offered to lead the group to the ruins and warned them of the Red Raiders, a band of militant female orcs that roamed the Steppe.
The next day, the party arrived at the ruins, where the researchers began setting up camp. While they did their work, the party went into the mine and killed some badgers that had burrowed into the tunnels. Following the tunnels deeper led them into part of the Underdark, where two drow in spider masks were pushing some kind of mechanical drill through another tunnel. They didn't last long, as the party killed them in a surprise round.
As the party returned to the surface to discuss their findings with the researchers, a band of Red Raiders approached the town on horseback. The researchers pushed their cart into a nearby hiding place while Neville used polymorph to turn Zook into a stegosaurus; this decision led to the deaths of many an orc. Meanwhile, Missi helped capture the orcs' priestess, who'd snuck around the back of the ruins to catch the group from behind. With the foes dispatched and/or tied up and the researchers secured, the group teleported back to HR to collect their pay.