One of our 3 main players couldn't make it for the 2nd session in a row, so having been prepared for this with a group of npc adventurers who just so happened to be passing through. The assassin and druid return back to Hommlet, wearing tarp ponchos and word spreads of their sound defeat at the moat house and what they encountered. The village elder summons a meeting and it is decided that the 2 visiting adventuring parties if they are willing to work together can split a 500gp reward to clear out the moat house, plus any treasure they find. After meeting with the other adventuring group which consisted of a elven fighter/mage, a cleric of st. cuthbert, a ranger, and a burly fighter they all got on the same page that they could return to the moat house and clear the place out.
The druid had some gp stashed on her horse and was able to buy some leather armor for the 2 of them as well as a bow/arrows for the assassin. They also acquired some pints of lamp oil, just in case. They then went to speak with the head druid and learned that the beastial creatures they met were not in fact werewolves but sounded more like gnolls, viscous brutes that delight in killing their prey. He was quite amazed they was allowed to leave with their lives as he has never heard of this happening before and that they should consider themselves quite lucky. He offered his magical abilities if they require them but he cannot leave the grove un-attended.
The group then decided to head off to the moat house, the trip being for the most part uneventful until the ranger noticed something was amiss in the bushes, and out sprang a young giant praying mantis (about 1/2 the stats of the giant version from 0E reloaded), looking for an easy meal. The party won initiative and they did some damage but it was not scared off, in fact it grabbed the ranger off his horse and began to bite him soundly. The Clerics horse got spooked (critical fail) and he fell off his horse and got knocked out cold. The assassin got behind it and drove a arrow deep into its back, while the rest of the party finished it off.
They got the cleric back to his senses and healed up the ranger and decided to head off still to the moat house. Once there its night time and they can now notice a roaring fire in the middle of the court yard. The ranger and assassin decide to sneak around and see if there is an alternate entrance. They thought about crossing through the swamp nearby but over heard some heavy croaking that sounded to be some frogs but of giant size. Not wanting to deal with these they move around but find nothing but more moat and for the most part solid walls. They return and the Druid goes and investigates the gateway and found the courtyard is empty short of the fire. They decide them to move in and investigate however they pour 2 pints of oil right at the entrance so should they need to escape they can throw a torch behind them to possibly slow down persuit.
Once inside they check one of the doors they didn't investigate last time and find the room is empty short of a pile of rubble in the corner. The druid wants to check it out and starts moving some of the rubble and catches the gleam of something under the rocks. She points it out to the fighter and he reaches in and pulls out a finely crafted bejeweled dagger. He is examining it in the torch light when a giant adder pops up from the newly created hole in the rubble and bites him soundly. He failed his save and dropped the dagger behind him. The druid and cleric beat the thing senseless and it hid back inside the hole(failed its morale save). Now the group has to work quickly before the venom has a chance to kill their new found friend.