The Long Road

Interlude
Between sessions

Before leaving the keep, the party and the elves burn everything they can. The gatehouse is ruined, the keep is a husk, and the castle is almost unusable. The smoke from the keep can be seen for miles. Scouts can already see hobgoblin forces marching this direction.

The party heads back to the Elves’ camp and finds them packing up to leave. Captain Tanevria is busy documenting as much as she can and organizing her overall intelligence report for her superiors. She looks up as you approach.

“Well done in the keep. We got a lot of valuable intelligence of the forces here. My superiors will decide what to do with this information. We’re clearing out of here as soon as possible. Advanced scouts will be upon us before nightfall and we plan to be long gone by then.”

The party decides to arm the former slaves, all twelve of them, and assist them getting back to civilization. The elves have some hidden river boats as well and agree to escort the entire group as far as Neth.

There are twelve slaves that the party rescued:

  • 3 dwarves, one male and two females who worked in the kitchens as cooks.
  • 2 tiefling men who worked in the kitchens.
  • 7 humans, 2 men and 5 women, who worked varying jobs throughout the keep.

It looks like the slaves spent most of their time in the keep serving the command staff and sergeants. They were kept away from the abuses they would have suffered with the rank and file soldiers in the gatehouse. The old woman encountered in the storage room is called Hetta and is from the fringes of Amaria. In fact, all of the slaves are from fringe groups and minorities of Amaria.

They are quiet and somewhat sullen on the journey back to Neth, especially avoiding conversation with Ah Zhi and Zinon. They are polite and thankful, but definitely wary.

You arrive in Neth and the Elven scouts bid you a good journey as they continue north into the Elven lands. This is where the next group of sessions will begin.

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Assault on Fort Ironshield
The party assaults the Keep and learns some important secrets

After setting fire to the barracks in the bailey of the ancient fortress, the party quickly sneaked to the other side of the fortress. Using the distraction, they quickly killed several hobgoblin soldiers on the western wall while a bucket brigade was being formed. Unfortunately, a hobgoblin sergeant in the courtyard noticed the party as they were dispatching the sentries and sent two teams of scouts to the walls to deal with them.

The sentries attacked, but the elven scouts with Captain Tenevria quickly ascended and aided in the counter-attack. The battle continued along the walls and into one of the wall towers. The hobogoblin commander emerged from the Keep itself and quickly organized his troops for an assault. Seeing the writing on the wall, the party and their elven allies made a break for it, tearing through a squad of hobgoblins and escaping into the massive ruined part of the castle.

The party managed to rest while the hobgoblins took stock of their losses and regrouped. The hobgoblins attempted to smoke the party out, but the party decided to go with a bold plan of scaling the keep while the elven scouts provided distractions with multiple hit and run attacks against the scattered defenses..

The party was able to scale the keep and gain entry into a store room. As they gathered their bearings a human slave entered the store room and was quickly calmed by the group. She told them where the commander was and they took it from there, rushing the guards at the door of the commander’s room before bursting in on him and the Black Tongue, a hobgoblin war priest.

The battle was furious and difficult, as the hobgoblin commander was a skilled warrior. Ser Archibald kicked his shield away from him before he could grab it, which helped tremendously in the combat. Despite Paz being brought to his knees by a vicious blow, the combined might of the party were barely able to defeat the two.

Htaed made sure the war priest was dead, but they took the unconscious body of the hobgoblin commander and many of his notes and documents before reinforcements could arrive. With the commander captured, the hobgoblin forces were willing to negotiate. The commander actually negotiated his own release after discussing things with the elven captain.

The party had run of the keep and the hobgoblins would vacate. The commander commended Ser Archibald’s honor and said that he would likely be ordered to retake the keep within 48 hours. They had that much time.

The party ransacked the keep and escaped, but learned some important information.

Information

  • A delegation from Amaria was on its way to Narazin to discuss or negotiate with Kainis. Zinon Remos’s father will be among the delegation.
  • The party learned some details of hobgoblin culture from the elven captain and from Commander Talin himself.
    • Hobgoblins have a strong taboo against mutilation and branding, never practicing it. It is their belief that a spirit cannot enter the afterlife without being whole.
    • A hobgoblin adult male will always carry a weapon, as it is a sign of his maturity. When forced to disarm, they consider it a personal affront and take vengeance at the first available opportunity. Even having a sheathed dagger will avoid the perceived insult and keep things peaceful.

Experience: All characters advance to level 4.
Treasure: 700 cp, 4000 sp, 1600 gp, 100 pp, 10 gems (100 gp ea), Potion of Greater Healing, Potion of Fire Breath, Saddle of the Cavalier

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Dungeon Crawl
Where the party journeys into the Barrow of St. Cristoff

The party descends through the cave, clearing brush and roots, until they arrive in a worn antechamber, roughly 55 feet long and 15 feet wide. Faded frescos adorn the walls, depicting knights battling all manner of creatures – winged pixies, ogres, giants, and dragons.

A closed wooden door is on the right wall, fifteen feet into the chamber. At the end of the antechamber, an archway leads south. A faint buzzing or humming noise can be heard from the archway.

Ignoring the frescos and paintings, they moved to the end of the hallway to investigate the buzzing. Ser Archibald threw a loose stone down the passage, a long narrow hallway honeycombed with nooks and crannies, but nothing happened. Going back to the original door, Paz cast a ray of frost on the lock and started hammering away at it.

The noise finally attracted the attention of an entire hive of stirges (16), that the party managed to fend off and kill. The investigated the hallway for a short amount of time, seeing two doors precariously holding up a partially collapsed ceiling and promptly turning around.

Htaed used his massive strength to force the door from the main chamber, opening up a treasury. This 55×35 foot hall had become overrun by a greenish moss along the western wall. Faded and rotted tapestries line the walls and several chests, racks, and urns hold ancient treasures. A magnificent suit of plate armor is displayed on the south wall with its gauntlets atop a longsword. There is a fungus-covered stone door on the southern section of the west wall and a second wooden door on the south wall.

The stone floor has a great seal inscribed in the center. The party investigated the seal and determined it was religious, not arcane, in nature. It didn’t radiate any magic and appeared to belong to either the Dorian Pantheon or perhaps some Kthonic incantation.

Crossing the seal to examine the treasure activated the magical guardian – an animated suit of armor. The party had difficulty damaging the creature, but Ser Archibald’s magical blade seemed to do the trick.

From there, the party headed west through the moss-covered door. This 25 × 45 stone room appears to be a small shrine. Decayed and tattered tapestries line the walls and a statue of an armored woman stands proudly against the western wall. The woman wears a dark purple cloak that appears undamaged by the environment.

Two doors to the south lead out of this room, one in the center of the southern wall, the other in the southeastern corner. The party determined this statue was also religious in nature, probably one of the Gods of Doria or a heroic avatar of the Kthonic faith. Ser Archibald discounted Kthon since the statue itself would be idolatrous to their religion. The party decided to rest for a short time here and discovered a secret compartment after Ah Zhi played some music.

After resting, they moved southeast into a 15 × 45 room appearing to have once been a ceremonial fountain or cleansing shrine. Water from a subterranean hot spring makes the room warm and humid. Ancient plumbing moves a good portion of the hot spring’s water up into the ceiling, perhaps to the ancient castle on the mountain. The fountain itself is cracked, spilling water into the room in a steady stream. The eastern wall is slightly lower than the west, creating a sloped, slippery floor. The water has pooled over the years into a dark hole beneath the floor itself. A large portion of the northern wall has collapsed onto a door, making it impassable. A door leads south. The pooled water smells dank and fetid.

They carefully proceeded south across the slippery floor. This open 25 × 45 foot room is slanted down towards the east. It appears to have once been a burial chamber, but the sarcophagus and all tapestries have been destroyed. The sarcophagus itself appears to have been rent asunder or melted; perhaps both. A dark passage leads to the south and a large opening in the north-east corner appears to have once been a door. A shaft of light emanated from the room to the north.

They moved through the broken door to investigate. This 25 × 45 foot chamber was once some central shrine or temple to the complex. It is now almost unrecognizable. The walls are warped and burned. The ceiling precariously sits on an ancient stone door in the northeast corner. A pool of dank, fetid water consumes the entire northwestern corner of the room. A narrow shaft in the ceiling casts a dim light into the murky room. Parts of the wall have large, deep gouges in them. Bones are strewn across the floor.

In the southwest corner is a haphazardly assembled pile of treasure. From beneath the water a wyrmling black dragon had been nesting, trapped by the narrow confines of the barrow and unable to escape. It immediately burst from the water and spat a stream of acid and Paz and Ser Archibald. Paz caught the brunt of the blast and was immediately downed whereas Ser Archibald was only badly burned. The party regained their footing and was able to put down the juvenile wyrm. They saw the broken ruins of a staircase leading up and, after gathering the treasure, were able to ascend into the castle.

Once in the ruins of the ancient castle, the group was able to rest for a longer period of time and spy on the activities around them. The hobgoblin troops had occupied the main gatehouse and the main keep, leaving much of the ruins alone. The party hatched a plan to set the stables ablaze and signal the elven scouts to attack. Htaed sneaked into the stables and was able to silently set fire to them. While trying to escape, he was spotted by the goblin guards. Ah Zhi’s put the goblins to sleep before they were able to warn anyone of the intruders.

Next Game: Assault on the Keep!

  • Experience: 550 XP
  • Money: 3000 cp, 2200 sp, 540 gp, 170 pp
  • Art: Two silver ewers (25 gp ea), a pair of small gold bracelets (25 gp ea), a copper chalice with silver filigree (25 gp), a pair of engraved bone dice (25 gp), a gold family signet ring with bloodstones (250 gp), Platinum Ring (Holy Symbol of a Dorian Goddess, 100 gp), a pair of carved bone statuettes (25 gp ea), a silver chalice (25 gp), a gold locket with a faded portrait (25 gp)
  • Magic: Potion of Fire Breath, Potion of Greater Healing, Goggles of Night, Bag of Holding, Alchemy Jug, Cloak of Protection, Potion of Acid Resistance, Warhammer + 1, Shield + 1, Instrument of the Bards (Max-Fuirmidh Cittern)

The party overlooked the frescoes and tapestries, which had some information pertinent to Ser Archibald. He would have had time to go back and look through them during the long rest.

The Frescoes (Main Chamber)

The frescoes in the main entry appear to be depicting an ancient order of knights with passing similarity to the Knights of the Iron Ring. A lot of the symbolism is either the same or similar, but much older than the Order itself.

Tapestries and Statues from the Shrine

  • Ser Archibald believes It’s definitely a religious statue, possibly one of the Dorian goddesses – Ilsi, Alia, the Black Rose, Shandel, or Magda. The tapestries are covering some ancient story of the Gods, but you can’t make out which one exactly. Unlikely to be Kthonic, as they are against idolatry.
  • Paz believes It’s religious in nature, possibly Dorian; Possibly some Voden spirit or Kthonic knight.

Ah Zhi doesn’t have enough context to make any guess and Htaed simply doesn’t care.

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Into the heart of darkness

The party clears up camp and hides the boat in thick foliage before heading out towards the looming peak of Black Rock. A series of heavily wooded foothills lies in your path and the going is slow. The air smells damp and loamy with a hint of pine. The terrain is muddy and uneven, making travel even slower than normal. A light drizzle peppers the foliage, keeping everyone wet and uncomfortable.

A few miles to the northwest, a dim light shines atop a ruined keep. Thus far that is the only sign of life for miles. Black Rock itself is still some twenty miles distant – maybe two days at your current pace. You crest one of the larger foothills, giving you an excellent view of what lies ahead. The main route of the Hafren river turns into the Serpent’s Tail, a dangerous section of rapids, before dropping off the precipice and becoming a massive waterfall at least 250 or 300 feet into the valley below. Atop the precipice is a city, or at least the ruins of one, nestled right next to the looming black mountain itself.

At the base of the waterfall, sits another city on a large island in the middle of the river. Bridges cross to the shores on both sides and a large road winds up the mountain connecting them. A large cage climbs upward from the lower city to the upper on a massive chain.

A fortress, cleverly blended into the mountain, overlooks both.


The party is moving on a forested path when they hear a noise. Several moments go by before a voice, in goblin, shouts out a challenge. Pek says it’s a patrol and immediately goes into hiding. The patrol, consisting of a mountain goblin scout and a trio of hobgoblin soldiers, attack when the challenge is not answered properly. The party dispatches the hobgoblins, but the goblin escaped into the brush. Htaed tracked the goblin, the party chasing him until he was spotted by Ah Zhi, who put him to sleep.

Having bound the goblin, they interrogated him about all manner of things and learned the following:

  • The patrols, which run every few hours, are searching for a hidden force in the mountains. Many previous patrols have gone missing.
  • The nearby outpost is guarded by a company of hobgoblin soldiers, which surprised the group. Upon recovering the hobgoblin bodies, they noticed they were wearing the uniforms of soldiers. Their insignias indicated they were a part of the 2nd Company, 7th Battalion of the Broken Tooth Legion. This seemed familiar to Ah Zhi and Zinon.
  • The party was skeptical about an entire company or even how many that was. The goblin prisoner said it was six packs and a detachment of goblin scouts (like himself), plus the Captain and the Black Tongue, some goblin workers, two Ogres, and several slaves.
  • The goblins said the entire Legion was in the valley, which was ten Battalions. There was also an Orc mercenary outfit. Everyone was lead by Kainis.

The party bound the goblin and began moving after a short rest. In a small clearing, an elven woman awaited. Her bow and blade lay next to her and a small portion of food sit on a stump. The party approached carefully and she introduced herself as Captain Tanevria of the Elven House Guard.

After a brief discussion about their intent, she invited the party back to their hidden camp. The goblin prisoner, putting two and two together, deduced that the elves were the ones killing their patrols.

The elven camp was in a secluded cavern, far off the beaten path and well masked. The elves, numbering perhaps a dozen, had the bearing and organized discipline of soldiers. Their camp was spartan and simple. Captain Tanevria took custody of the goblin prisoner and then proceeded to ask the party questions about their purpose in the woods.

In the course of the discussion, both sides learned much. More discussion about the hobgoblins allowed Zinon to recall the Legion in more detail, remember their leader, General Morrow, as a fierce and skilled mercenary commander. General Morrow commanded the Legion, but it was not clear whether he was loyal to Kainis or just the contract.

She agreed to send message back to Aquilar and to her own people before embarking on a daring plan to raid the nearby outpost held by the hobgoblins. The elves had discovered a barrow they believe has a passage into the keep. They want to attack the keep, but don’t have the forces for a full frontal assault. If the party can navigate the barrow and gain entry to the keep, they could attack from both sides of the walls.

The elves would wait outside and look for a signal. The Captain gave Ah Zhi a packet to throw into the signal fire that would turn it green. Zinon also said he could duplicate the effect with his magic. Either works.

The party rested overnight and ventured into the barrow. The main entrance of the barrow was overgrown with roots, some of which attacked the party soon after they descended. The party fought them off and continued inside.

To be continued next adventure…

Experience: 275

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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

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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

Treasure:

  • 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
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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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