Chapter 4 Stolen Crown
Dex decides that although he wants to everything he can to retrieve the crown, perhaps he shouldn’t be accompanying the group in the outskirts. He is worried that his mentor will notice his absence and become suspicious.
After Dex leaves, the party continues to explore. The next room explored contained a giant toad, giant frog, and a collection of rats. The rats were inconsequential and the party is able to swarm on the frog and toad and dispatch them fairly easily.
In the next room, the party is surprised to find a collection of small crystal creatures and, at the far end of the room, a dark gnome. The party tries to speak with the gnome, but the crystal attack. While the party easily shatter each of the crystal creatures, the gnome attempts to use magical tricks to confuse the party and escape. Eventually, the party has the exit blocked and the crystal creatures easily defeated. An imp also appears, but is easily killed by Max (the imp disappears, indicating he was a familiar). The party demands the gnome reappear. The gnome negotiates for his freedom and his life in exchange for information they need about the crown. Reluctantly the party agrees and begin to ask questions. The gnome answers the questions, but remains invisible and eventually the party recognizes that he is heading for the exit while invisible. They demand he stops, but he doesn’t respond and attempts to flee. The party catch him and ask more questions.
The gnome, Snaff, tells the following story: he stole the crown (with a suggestion?) spell from Dex and brought it to a room to the north in the outskirts in order to deliver it to a pair of hobgoblin brothers. However, after he arrived, a bugbear appeared with a squad of goblins and demanded the crown (without payment). Snaff retreated to south where he met up with the party. The hobgoglins promised him 800 gp for the crown and he wants the money.
The party follows Snaff to the room to the north. After some searching they are able to find some evidence that a bugbear was there and see some tracks to follow. They demand that Snaff remain in the room for one hour and then leave to follow the trail of the bugbear.