The Long Road

Shadowy Dealings
Where the party receives a quest

The party gathered supplies and rested prior to setting out back into the Carlinwood to go after Black Rock and the source of the goblin raids. Since their victory at Greywater Keep, goblin raids have increased across the region. News has spread quickly, especially with Ah-Zhi’s rousing anthem, Rage Flows Like a River. They also took the opportunity to turn some of their loot into money – they sold the tapestries and silver place settings for a grand total of 52 gold crowns.

Htaed handles his new found dubious fame well, but notices that the city watch, the Red Cloaks, are keeping a careful eye on him wherever he goes through town. Joseph Forester met up with the party again to trade information – when he discovered they were going after Black Rock, he indicated that traveling without a guide and perhaps some additional information would be difficult or impossible.

He gave them information on finding Glep, in the Undermarket. Glep was someone whose name they came across before in a letter from the bandit leader, Kainis, to a hobgoblin. The entrance to the Undermarket could be found in the Mole tavern in Neth, guarded by a large man named Magrin. There was a price to enter the Undermarket, however – something stolen must be given freely.

Ah-Zhi tried to cheat by buying a penny candy and passing it off as something he stole from a child, but Magrin ate the candy and said it was not stolen. He offered an alternative – to play the knife game with him. Htaed immediately slammed his hand down, fearless. Magrin put his meaty hand over Htaed’s and began the game. After five stabs at the table, Magrin slammed the knife down hard, severing both men’s right pinky finger. Magrin picked up Htaed’s finger and ate it before regrowing his own. He then waved the half-orc through. The rest realized they could give some of the silver they stole from the goblins at Greywater, and were let in.

Magrin explained the rules before they passed the door:

  • No drawn steel
  • No stolen blood
  • All exchanges are final
  • All trades are freely given and freely accepted.

The Undermarket appeared to be an underground cavern with a small village and market built into the walls. A stream ran through the center and a spire, from top to bottom, dominated the center of the cave. A veiled soothsayer beckoned them for their fortunes while a debtor’s auction took place in the market center. A young woman’s beauty was being bid – the final sale was well over 500 gold crowns to an elven woman. Merchants sold stolen and hard to find cargo from across the region.

The soothsayer told fortunes in exchange for offered truths.

  • Paz was told he would see his boat again, but not in one piece. He revealed he hated the confines of the mountains which was why he left to become a sailor. The soothsayer was not impressed with his offerings.
  • Ah-zhi learned he would receive the fame he deserved, and revealed he was of noble blood and disowned. Also the only woman he ever loved was in love with another woman.
  • Zenon learned his father was not in good health and he would see him again. He revealed the reason he left Amara was because he did not agree with the religious beliefs of his clan and he doubted the power of the entity they worshipped.
  • Ser Archibald and Htaed were not interested, although the woman warned Htaed that his blood would find him. He shrugged the warning off.

They finally went to the spire to meet Glep. Glep was some sort of dark fey goblin who knew more about them than the group did about him. He offered help in exchange for something he wanted.

After much questioning, they agreed to return the obsidian dagger in the possession of Kainis in exchange for a way to find him. He gave them a small box with a obsidian needle floating in shadow. He told them it would lead the way to black rock, but not to open the box in direct sunlight. When the group asked about the consequences of breaking the deal, Glep told them that deals are sacred in the Undermarket and they would make enemies of the market and the fey by failing to live up to the bargain.

The group left the Undermarket and, once back in Neth, met with Joseph Forester once again. He told them that a guide to the deep forest would help them avoid some of the deadlier areas and offered to find them one. He returned with a goblin from a local tribe named Pek. Pek hated Kainis and his clan of hobgoblins and was happy leading the party to find and kill him.

The party set out on the river, winding through the narrow channels of the various rivers in Carlinwood. After several nights sailing, including besting harpies and a manticore, the group finally beached their craft and made camp before making the final journey overland to the looming spire of Black Rock.

Experience: 300

Dramatis Personae
Where some quick thinking avoided a lot of danger

The party set out from Neth to find a goblin camp that would lead them to the main culprits behind the raids. Traveling upriver in a 40-foot riverboat, Paz was able to navigate competently through the maze of waterways.

All was not well with the group, however, as several hours into the trip, Htaed came down with a terrible sickness and spend the journey evacuating everything in his system into the river. The craft happened upon some goblin fisherman traveling via outrigger and managed to flag one down.

Some basic communication (mostly about a certain boat lost gambling), they were able to get a basic path to take to the goblin camp – located in an abandoned ruin in an area called Greywater.

They went down a narrow branch of the river, fairly shallow and no more than 120 feet across at the widest point, when a monstrous creature burst from the mud underneath the boat and stabbed Ser Archibald Stoneshield with its’ giant, hook-like claws. The creature, a Bog Fisher, hooked the boat with one claw and continued to stab at the party. After getting through the initial onslaught, the group tightened up their defense and were able to stab the beast to death.

Although they defeated the Bog Fisher, it didn’t come without a cost. One of the mammoth creature’s claw’s had punctured the hull of the ship and it was slowly taking on water. The party kept moving, while bailing water, and soon came to a small clearing near Greywater Keep.

Ser Archibald Stoneshield and Zinon Remos, conferring on their history of nobility, recognized the area as the ancient seat of House Penrose – a noble family back in the days of the Empire. The land was overrun after the fall and has since been swallowed by the surrounding Carlinwood.

Htaed and the retainers of Ser Archibald remained with the boat, to recover and repair, while the remaining four members of the group ventured through the forest towards the ruined keep. As they approached, one of the group tripped a trap that rang bells and pots to alert the goblin sentries.

Three small groups of sentries fanned out, eventually finding the group. The battle was hard fought. The heroes were victorious, but not without sustaining injuries. A larger party of goblins followed upon the heels of the first and found the boat, Htaed, and retainers – taking them all into the Keep and prisoners.

After some discussion, the remaining group decided to hide for the night and try and rescue the prisoners in the daylight, where they would have an advantage. The party then came up with a cunning plan. Using his disguise kit, Ah-Zhi made up Ser Archibald to appear as a ghost. Paz used his dwarven knowledge of stone and masonry to find a weak wall on the backside of the partially sunken keep that led into the catacombs.

In the catacombs, the group encountered the last remaining member of House Penrose, Ser Courtney Penrose, now a ghoul – trapped for hundreds of years in undeath. The group quickly defeated the former knight and added his rusted armor and clothing to the disguise. They also found the remaining treasure of the noble house and some ancient books. Among the treasure was the ancestral blade of House Penrose, Thorn.

Armed with Thorn and Ser Courtney’s ancient armor, Ser Archibald Stoneshield entered the goblin den from below, accompanied by pyrotechnics and various mystical effects courtesy of Ah-Zhi and Zinon Remos. Focusing on the Goblin Boss, they quickly cowed and subdued the leader while the remaining goblins fled in mass hysteria. The prisoners were saved and the goblin boss was interrogated before being executed.

The questions were about the location of Kainis, the mysterious author of the hobgoblin raider’s letter. The answer was “Black Rock”. The party cleaned out the keep, repaired the boat, and returned to Neth to prepare for a longer journey deeper into the Carlinwood after the mysterious Kainis.

Experience: 520


  • Rusted breastplate (House Penrose)
  • Thorn – +1 longsword (additional powers)
  • Penrose Jewels – 8 rubies
  • 4 tapestries in poor condition
  • Books (good condition in a watertight chest)
    • Histories of the Dorin
    • Myths and Fables of the Dorin Empire
  • Tarnished Silver – Plates, Cutlery, Serving Dishes, etc.
  • 600 silver coins from the old empire
  • 40 gold coins from the old empire
Fall Market

The days leading up to the fall market in Green Hope are busier and livelier than any other time of the year. Crops are harvested in all of the surrounding farms and brought into town where king’s men take their taxes and merchant inspect and buy their wares.

The Attwater, Green Hope’s only watering hole, is overflowing with patrons. Revelers dance to music in the streets and the town bursts with merchants, entertainers, and neighboring townsfolk. Cows, pigs, and other livestock add to the already overpowering noise and smell.

The crowd this year is also more heavily armed than in recent memory. The eastern byway has been plagued of late by bandits. Even river traffic has been affected. Mercenaries and soldiers move through the crowd with a precision at odds with the jovial atmosphere. Another new element this year are the refugees.

All manner of travelers from the eastern freeholds, as far as the fringes of the distant Amarian Empire, have found their way into the kingdom. A tiefling preacher stands on a box, telling all who would listen of the coming apocalypse.

A cry goes up from eastern gate of the wooden palisade that makes up the wall surrounding Green Hope as a particularly retched group of Amarian refugees limps into town. Bloody and beaten, they look to be the latest victims of the bandits.

A group of young men, mostly from surrounding farms, crowd the town’s bulletin board outside of Attwater’s. Constable Clifton is nailing a new proclamation to it while two of his deputies look disinterested.

This mostly goes unnoticed as the famed bard, Garnet the Red, is gracing the village green with his presence. A throng of well-wishers and admirers surround him as he holds court.

  • Paz had just lost his beloved river boat in a high stakes card game to an all-around scoundrel and cheat named Errol Beck. Errol strode out of the game with his boat and his crew, who were more than happy to work with the newly minted Captain Beck.
  • Zinon Remos approached the Amarian refugees who were led by a merchant named Arnal Roose. Arnal relayed that they were ambushed by goblins several hours east of Green Hope and that the goblins approached from the south. One of the refugees speaks goblin and said a boat was mentioned.
  • Ser Archibald Stoneshield was asked by Ser Preston Ironheart and Baron Ashworth to look into the problem for the good of the realm.
  • The party was set to venture out in search of the goblins the following morning. Before dawn, Htaed was found by a frantic mother, Masha Tanner, who said her boys set out with their friends to find and slay the goblins for the posted reward of 200 gold crowns. The party set out after them quickly.

The group quickly found the trail left by the boys, soon coming upon Billy Stone – injured and near death from a goblin arrow. The boy was patched up and sent back to town. They continued tracking the boys until they came to a small copse of trees. Suspended from a snare was another one of the boys – Gregory Smith. A pair of hungry wolves were nipping at his fingers. Htaed mindlessly charged in to help the boy, but missed a bear trap. The trap snapped around his foot and was immediately followed by two quick goblin arrows. The goblin arrows dropped the barbarian, but quick actions by Zenon and Ser Stoneshield were able to save him and dispatch the goblins.

The wolves were scared off and the boy freed. He told the group that the rest of the boys were captured and taken down a gully. The party moved down into the gully and saw a campfire. A hobgoblin sat by the fire with half a dozen goblins and the three captured boys. The hobgoblin said he was willing to negotiate, but Htaed wanted nothing to do with it. The half-orc charged and killed a goblin in a blood rage.

Ah-Zhi cast a sleep spell that immediately put the majority of the goblins out of commission. Ser Stoneshield charged the hobgoblin, who immediately realized he was overmatched, dropped his gear, disengaged from the knight, and dove into the murky water. One goblin escaped during the melee. The rest save one were slaughtered, the last one left for questioning.

The goblin was questioned briefly and let go, despite Htaed’s protests. The hobgoblin, Nezzar, had a note from someone named Kainis. Kainis was demanding sacrifices, either from raids or from the Undermarket. A goblin named Glep owes Kainis a debt, and Nezzar should make use of him to acquire the sacrifices.

The party returned to Green Hope to rest and then acquired a small river boat from the Baron to explore the river in search of the goblins. The group traveled for three days without incident before arriving in the trading town of Neth.

The group met the Mayor and Constable of the town before finding themselves in the Provision Shop, in search of a trapper named Joseph Forester. Joseph was able to pinpoint the location of several goblin camps for the party.

The next morning, the group set off south into the marshy forest of Carlinwood.

XP: All characters advance to level 2.


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