After freeing the captives, the party was informed by the elves among them that there were strange happenings in a small village to the east. With a group of helpless humans in tow, the party set off to check it out, hoping to find a safe place to stash the refugees once they arrived.
Approaching with caution, and gathering some questionable info from a farmer on the outskirts, the adventurers made their way to one of the two inns in town – the Golden Grain inn and were treated warmly… well, everyone except the dwarven cleric they had rescued along with the humans who wandered into the Slumbering Serpant Inn and promptly passed out from one strong drink. They picked up some more clues, leading them to suspect the Mayor’s recent visitors were involved with the sudden changes around town – including the disappearance of some townsfolk. They collected the cleric and headed to the Mayor’s mansion. The Mayor was easily distracted which allowed the party easy access to his residence where the stealthy ones found a notebook referencing two old friends of the Mayor.
The brash cleric then busted through the front door only to trigger a powerful mindtrap that left him huddled in a quivering heap in the corner. The rest of the party chased two figures out the back of the house, still unsure who or what they were up against.
During the battle, the party was able to get a good look at their adversaries and they were unlike anyone or anything any of them had seen before. Tall, lanky, with long golden beards and unnatural golden skin. Mid-fight, these obviously powerful beings made a surprising proclamation- they were the old friends with the mayor, and they were here to help. Brief explanations followed and the new friends then went back to stake out the Golden Grain Inn.
The Inn emptied out without any obvious abnormalities. The bartender was a bit anxious to close up, but due to the parties earlier generosity, he allowed them to stay while her retired to his quarters. Throwing on his clock of invisibility, the kobold was able to easily follow the innkeeper to the secret passages under the bar where he discovered some giant beast known to be a tool of slavers. Quickly returning to inform the rest of the party, they all ambushed the formally friendly bartender. Once again, the party was shocked mid-fight as the innkeepers face split open and a sentient brain-like creature emerged, controlling the shell of the innkeepers body like a puppet. Seemingly searching for a new host, the brain-thing attacked the cleric who was having a bad day. The dwarf struggled against the creature’s mind-control, but ultimately lost, leaving him a drooling idiot (again), even after the rest of the party smashed the parasitic-brain into oblivion.
The golden-skinned gith had their suspicions confirmed by this turn of events. The party must now decide what to do next- both with their dumb-founded cleric and with the town as a whole.