So the heroes were tired, injured, and in some cases had been eaten by frogs for a short while… and then the rescued locals made demands. The frantic baker wanted his wife rescued. The pretty girl wanted to be safe. The farmers wanted to go home. So the heroes went after the wife, took the pretty girl along, and here we go.
The Gnoll trail led to a ramp descending into the ground in the ruins, and came under archery attack from slits high up on the wall surrounding a wooden door. The heroes crashed the door, slew a one-armed Gnoll, wiped out the gnoll archers, and stormed across a rope bridge while a large group of Gnoll archers fired volley after volley into the PCs with some seriously insane melee fighting Gnolls tearing into the heroes' ranks. All the while, the pretty village girl April wasted no time cleaving to the human wizard, who seemed to her the most cash-rich of the heroes.
Low on healing surges, the heroes pushed on and interrupted a ritual where a Gnoll witch was busy implanting one of those worms into a human victim… the baker's wife!
Sadly, the heroes failed to stop the implantation, and the baker's wife rose as some kind of gaze-attack powered evildoer… they were forced to strike her down in self-defense as the baker screamed her name in vain. She was taken alive, but suicided much like the dwarf Ankheg master before her.
While the heroes tried to calm down the distraught baker, the local master of ceremonies entered, and tried to telekinese a box of writhing worms that had been left behind by the now-dead cultists. An epic battle, Gauth Telekinesis versus Mage Hand, took place, with the heroes eventually gaining the upper hand… the box in their hands, and the Gauth dead as dead.