The dog-girl fighter's name is KIET, and the ranger is JADE. The NPC cleric is SHIRISH. I uploaded my character sheet this time so I actually have notes available. GASP!
During the long journey to the capitol, the party didn't encounter many monsters. They ran across a group of gnolls eating some carrion, and when Kijji's attempt to strike up a friendly conversation was met with hostility...
Kijji: "Hi there!"
Gnolls: "FRESH MEAT!"
Kijji: "Um... that looks more like carrion actually."
Gnolls: "You are the meat!"
... they were forced to kill them all. It was hardly worth the bother -- the gnolls had even crappier equipment and less gold on them than the goblins had, despite being much more dangerous -- they almost one-shotted Shirish! So, figuring that their real treasure must be in their lair, the party took a slight detour to backtrack the gnolls to... their tribe of hundreds of gnolls.
Running away now!
A few days later, just outside the capitol, Kijji and Jade noticed somebody following them, but couldn't make out any details. So, they hid by the side of the road to try to ambush (or at least spot) the shadow, and... they and the shadow managed to completely miss each other. Which left the shadow -- a Dire Hyena -- free to attack the rest of the party. And to die in one swing of Kiet's blade.
Hyena hide wasn't worth much, but Jade skinned it anyway. It wasn't like there was any other treasure, and they were all kind of poor.
The King wasn't willing to see them right away without an invitation, but they made sure that the guards that stopped them got the gist of their message regardless. They were told that they could have an audience in three days.
Jade: "It doesn't really matter since the goblins have already burned down the village by now. It took us a week to get here."
They spent the time shopping or, in Kijji's case, crafting more alchemical fire and copying a few more formulae into his spell... er... recipe-book. On the third day, while packing their things in the inn as they prepared to finally meet the King, they discovered the Writ the mayor had given them and they'd all forgotten about. Oops!
They didn't have a whole lot of additional information to give, assuming the King had been informed of their general errand, but they did get a chance to meet the princesses -- the younger one, Ishtar, falling on her face when she ran in to beg the adventurers for tales of adventure -- and the King agreed to send a few Knights to rout the goblin menace.
Then, a short time after they left, an evil wizard teleported into the air over the city and demanded that the entire kingdom be handed over to him OR ELSE. The party members with bows, and most of the city guard, responded with an entirely ineffective barrage of arrows, which did nothing but draw fireballs. The king stepped out in his armor with his sword and told the wizard to get stuffed, but didn't have any real way of doing anything about a flying target, being melee. The older princess ran out to help with her own magic, and managed to annoy the evil wizard slightly.
So he kidnapped her, swooping down to grab her and then repeating his demands (the 'or else' being changed to 'or else she dies!') before teleporting away. Kijji carefully waited until he was sure the wizard was gone before flying up into the air towards where he'd been to dramatically shout 'NOOOOOOO!'
The party was again summoned before the King, and given a mission -- rescue the princess! The wizard had mentioned that he lived in a pyramid, and there was an evil Black Pyramid just across the mountains from the village they'd started in. It was probably a two week journey. Sin talked the King into fronting the money for mundane supplies, and a few cure light wounds potions. The party pooled the rest of their cash to buy a cure light wounds wand.
Then they set off back the way they'd come, and once again noticed that they were being followed. Kijji said 'screw it' and hid to try to identify the tracker again, and this time actually saw her as she rode towards the party, not trying to hide at all. He leapt at her from behind, planning to grapple her since he wasn't sure she was evil, but managed to completely miss her with his lunge.
It was Ishtar, wanting to join them on their quest. Kijji complemented her on her ninja-like dodging skills while the rest of the party interrogated her on her skillset... and gathered that she was basically a first level aristocrat. Despite it being an obviously horrible, horrible idea, they agreed to let her tag along.
Because they were pretty sure they were being sent to their deaths in the hopes that they'd draw fire away from the real rescue party (SURELY the King had better adventurers available than their 1st level motley band) and were a little bit spiteful.
last session | next session