Lets go lawn gnolling

Surging forward into the gnoll lair, our heroes rescued two prisoners, a human warlord and an eladrin avenger who were being tortured by the gnolls.  The gnolls stranded by the falling brazier were climbing across ropes to engage our heroes.  Kane and the ranger managed to cut the ropes with arrows and arcane blasts sending another fiery brazier into the gnolls living area effectively cutting off all reinforcements.  After finishing off the guards at the temple entrance, they ventured inside.  They were greeted by a large, ape-like demon who proceeded to pummel the party.  He was joined by a few very vile demonlings who caused the party to wretch in agony.  As Varis drove his sword into the demon, it exploded scorching the party and destroying any remaining demons.  The party had finished off the demon.  They could rest easy… or could they?  Did anyone remember to lock the door?

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Brad’s Basic Pasta Sauce

Here is the recipe for my basic red sauce.
½ lb of ground beef
½ lb of spicy Italian sausage meat (out of casing)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 diced green pepper
1 diced onion
4-5 diced stalks of celery
4-5 diced mushrooms
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of dried parsley
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Brown the ground beef and sausage in a deep skillet or saucepan (I use my wok).  Be sure to remove the sausage from the casing.  Once the meat has browned, drain fat and add the pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook on med-high heat until the veggies soften (about 10-15 mins).  If your veggies are sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, add a few tablespoons of water to your pan.  Once the veggies are semi-soft add the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir everything together.  Add the remaining ingredients and let it simmer on medium heat for at least 15 minutes.  The longer you let it simmer the better it tastes.  Remember to stir everyone few minutes.  Be sure to taste it and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
This is a very nice and simple sauce.  It works well on any pasta.  Also you can drop the meat and add shrimp and/or scallops for seafood pasta.  You could also leave the meat out, bake some meatballs and have classic spaghetti and meatballs.  This is just a great alternative to cracking open a can and dumping it on noodles.

There’s a gnoll in my bucket

Our hungry heroes drove a little further into the Ettercap’s lair only to find the last group of them fortified near a fire.  After fighting their way through sticky webbing the heroes managed to vanquish the horde once and for all.  Among the bones and flesh of dead animals, the heroes find the body of Halfling with some alchemical devices on his corpse.  They surmise that is must be the Halfling they were looking for.  They break camp and head back to Craigfoot Keep to re-supply.  They are rewarded for finding the Halfling and defeating the kobold and dragons but the heroes know they have a long way to go.  They still have a population of gnolls to contend with and they still can’t find the secret monastery.  After supplying up, they head back into the mountain.  As they approach the end of the last unexplored tunnel, they come to a huge cavern.  It is lit with 5 huge braziers suspended from the ceiling.  There are 4 earthen towers that form 4 huge platforms.  The platforms are connected by natural stone bridges.  This is where the gnolls are based.  The heroes rushed into the stronghold to engage the enemies.  While the melee fighters engaged the first wave of gnolls, the ranger and wizard severed the lines of one brazier causing it to destroy a bridge preventing gnoll re-enforcements from joining the fight.  Moto the rogue dove valiantly into the fight but was cut to pieces by the savage, demon-possessed gnolls.  Gnoll archers rained down arrows on the party as huge hyenas charged across the other bridge.  One gnoll, commanding a legion of vermin and crows, almost sent the cleric tumbling to his doom.  While Varis held the bridge, Kane blasted the enemies off the bridge to their death.  The first wave of gnolls has been defeated and the heroes have a head start but they lost a great comrade and still have a long way to go.