Ghoulies and Ghosties and Long leggeddy Beasties (A Childs Nightmare)

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LOL. *TOTALLY* reminds me of both our RotRL group (paladin, sorcerer, bard, barbarian) and our CC group (paladin, sorcerer, bard, fighter).

When the CHA 14 fighter is the "ugly kid" on the block, you know life is good. :P

Scarab Sages

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IIRC, Lugh "the homely one" has a CHA of 14. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I had a dream and Sam was dieing, being swallowed by a great blackness.

There was smoke and I was coughing, Sam lay in the bed next to me, he was cool to the touch, he wasn’t breathing. I startled upright, staring at him but the smoke made me blink and cough. What was wrong? I could not think. There was something between Sam and I. He was surrounded by a dark force, it was killing him. Smoke, I couldn’t think, Smoke, Fire, yes but that wasn’t the problem. Sam, black lines raced over his skin, dark energy coursed in his veins. What was happening? Sam’s body convulsed and his back arched and he almost left the bed. I jumped back away from him, naked in the smoke of the room. I looked around and found a long shirt that was tossed away earlier. What had happened? Smoke, Fire, Hot! Demon. A demon was taking Sam away from me. What to do? I screamed “Stop!” Sam’s body fell as if pushed, he hit the bed hard but didn’t wake. I could feel the energy refocus towards me. “Ah, what’s going on?” I asked aloud. To wich I got no response.

I couldn’t see it but it was there in the room, a presence, standing next to the bed with Sam right there. “Be gone.” I said “Go!” Waving my arms as if to shoe it from the room, I ran towards the bed and Sam. There was a pause, I thought it had left. I reached out to Sam and then it struck like a mountain I felt Sam, I felt the bed. And I was buried under a mountain of pressure………

I opened my eyes surrounded by strangers and an Inn on fire. The voices around me were comforting and soothing. They were telling me to relax That my man had gone to help the others. I was safe, alright. There was a sheet floating from the Inn to where we were and people reaching up to the sheet and pulling it off a rope and a body was removed from the sheet. It coughed and sneezed but she was alive. Someone moved in a window on the third floor and another sheet came floating towards us. Then the figure itself came floating towards us and landed softly. Clothed in black leathers, I could see that it was the lady assassin that had camped with us the night before. She looked at us all but stopped when she saw me. She made a move towards me her hand went deftly to her blade hidden within her cloak. She stopped short of reaching me and turned her head slightly to one side as if to get a different view. Her breath was labored and she was visibly tired but I heard her say, “Somehow you survived, without destroying it you survived.” Do you know what you’ve done girl?” There was a scream, it might have been a horse. Then a horn sounded and the woman turned towards the horn and said, “I need to talk to you about what you’ve done” I think she was cursing about something to herself, then “You’re either stupid or brave or maybe something else altogether.” She looked up to the heavens then down and spit on the ground and made a sign then ran into the night.

Sam came and checked on me at some point, I remember seeing him. I was still laying down or maybe I was sitting up at the time, yes, I think I was sitting up. I had just saved his life, somehow, and he was worried about me. I did all the work and he gets to be the Hero. That’s fine he can be tonight and is always my Hero but I must tell him what happened. Something important…..but what? Smoke, Fire……What?


There was an attempt on someones life? This was subterfuge and a convincing one at that! In addition this was an offering of innocence with flame....a dark sacrifice! Goblins and Orcs are not so gifted with forethought to coordinate such a diabolical attack.

Sam....Whose ire have you raised?


First of all Felu, it probably wasn't actually a Demon. It was much more likely a Devil.

Lugh, that would be my Uncle.

Innocence? I doubt that. Uncle? Devil? And you say innocence. There are many dark forces in this world, don't believe that you know what's happening before it happens. What wonders I have already learned and I have just begun. There are countless dark paths, who knows which one you're on. Maybe even someone else, who's to say. Love the chat, gotta go. Bye

Yes, yes, there are many guises that evil wears, Epher. Still the question was, whose ire have I raised, and the only answer to that that I am aware of is my Uncle's.

Now, if you believe that I have wronged you in some way, I challenge you to come and face me. But I think we're all aware that having the courage of your convictions (or any other sort of courage for that matter) has never been your strong suit. Skulk about and play your games; your reward will come soon enough. I promise.

Sam, you have never been anything but a good friend to me. However there are a few that have vexed me in the past. That was many years ago and means nothing to me anymore. I wish the same could be said of my mast, - er, mentor. I really have nothing to do with your current situation. Innocent you once were but not so much now, yea Sam?. As much as you try.

Pretty, pretty women.


As to who's ire may have been raised could be a simple mistaken identity. I think that you were just the easiest target for a scared and hungry dark energy. But that's just my humble opinion. I know little of those ways.

Sorry, sorry!

I was sleepwalking again...



You are most definitely correct in assuming that something most evil was tried. Sacrifice, not of your friends or I'm sure it would have succeeded. But I'm sure there was a death involved. The goblins, no doubt were just a convenient or not so convenient happen stance. There would appear to be a lot of sinchronicity within this group.

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"There would appear to be a lot of synchronicity within this group."????

That would be something you would know nothing of because you made not one bad choice, but many more, over these many long years. I know I am right, because my faith showed the way. You assume so much that isn't true from your hiding place in the dark. While we may have our own paths to follow, none have chosen a path into the dark as deeply as you. I would posit your mentor has been lax in your instruction old friend, as the crime committed WAS against the innocent who by no means called the flames of destruction upon themselves. And do not languish in the comfort of such self assured success any longer, any "sacrifice" will be voluntary and provide solace or benefit for our peers, not to satisfy any dark pact or deed, to that end Sarenrae will not yield! Epher someone far more wise and bold taught me you can count on a thief to steal from you; You can expect killer to kill; But a liar is the most wicked for there is no telling what they are capable of and that ....OLD where you reside. In the dark surrounded by lies. Darkness is simply the absence of light, there is no substance, a void of lifeless deceit. Your friends await your call when you come to appreciate the truth of life once again....The Dawn Brings New Light!

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The wagon couldn't quite make it to the half-way point in one day so we had to camp out. I haven't done that in some time so it was rather nice to get away from the city. Thoughts of goblin ambushes made me sleep light though. I took a turn on watch but luckily nothing happened.

We got to the inn the next day around noon and grabbed some lunch. Bagga was guarding another caravan and joined our table with some female friends of his. One of the "guards" from the other caravan made an insulting comment toward our female company so, mammals being mammals, a conflict was started. I was expecting more of a show but the situation was defused by my group asserting dominance over the lesser mammals with veiled threats and diplomacy. Oh they'd probably explain it differently but lets be honest that's all it really was. After I was denied the entertainment of a brawl I decided to go sit outside enjoy the surroundings and make a few sketches of the inn. I then retired to the room Macer and I rented for some sleep, looks like we will stick with the caravan until it safely reaches Sandpoint.

I woke not to the sound of birds singing in the early morning light, but to smoke, fire, and the unmistakeable sounds of goblins outside. Macer woke about the same time and we both gathered up our stuff. He opened the window and I lept out, gliding safely two stories to the ground. There was fire and goblins all over the place. Most of the people were gathering in the front yard forming a small bucket line, but the sound coming from the stables was awful so I headed that way to try and clear out some of the goblins.

The stables and a few of the horses were on fire, I had no way to help them so I engaged a group of goblins to keep them from lighting any more horses on fire while Macer and some of the others started to let the horses out. Shortly after the horses were free there was a horn call from somewhere in the dark. All of the goblins instantly headed that direction so it must be whoever is leading this attack.

I began running in the same direction as the goblins, a few took swings at me but didn't contact. Hopefully I can sneak close enough to get a look at there leader and possibly catch a name, if nothing else I can remember a face.

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Sam and Felu caught up with us shortly before the caravan stopped to camp for the night. We ate and got everything settled before posting guards to make sure the goblins didn't return during the night. I must have been really tired as I went to sleep early and didn't awaken until the morning. (I didn't intend to avoid guard duty, it just happened!)

The next morning I learned that another caravan had stopped to camp near us during the night. Birgun told me that Baga was a guard with the new caravan, and it looked like some of the thugs who had tried to muscle us out of guarding our caravan were with him.

Baga ate breakfast with us before we headed to the Halfway Inn. He was never my favorite friend as a child, but seems to be a decent person now that he is older. It was surprisingly good to see him as he added another piece to the nearly-complete puzzle of our childhood reunion.

The short journey from our campsite to the inn was uneventful except for seeing goblins lurking along the woods near the road. They avoided us and we passed without any problems.

When we were within sight of the inn, we decided that some of us should go back to make sure that the second caravan didn't have any trouble with the goblins. Sam and Felu stayed with our wagons while the rest of us doubled back. We encountered the second caravan, but they too, had not been attacked by the goblins.

We all returned to the inn together, and found a spot at a table with Sam, Felu, and several "working girls" that were also traveling to Sandpoint. We sat and ate and drank together until a few of the thugs from the second caravan wandered over and complained that all of the "whores" were with us. That didn't sit well with any of us and I shoved back my chair and stood up.

"I'd have guessed that you men would have wanted to keep the few remaining teeth you have in your mouths," I said while staring the leader right in the eye. "I suggest you consider your next words ... carefully..."

Birgun covered his drink and said, "It would be a shame if someone spilled my new drink and I had to beat them to death," in a quiet, serious tone that also got their attention.

While I was confronting the leader and his henchmen, I heard and saw others from our group stand or take defensive postures. During this time, Sam said something quietly to the leader who had made a half-hearted grab at him. The leader seemed to change his tone, and began to apologize to everyone at the table. This, along with the deadly serious looks from our group, helped take his henchmens' bravado away and they also backed down.

Lugh and Oona had some words for the retreating thugs that nearly started the fight again, but the situation was once again defused by Birgun's wit when he said, "That noise you hear is your peckers shrinkin'!" I burst out laughing when I heard that and the laughter spread throughout the room to both caravan groups with the exception of the thugs who continued on out of the door.

We finished our food and drinks, and then Lugh and Birgun and I went out to the courtyard and sparred together. It was obvious to see that my friends were well-trained like myself, although in different styles of combat.

After our practice, I washed up and ate dinner before retiring to the room upstairs with Vex. We talked briefly about the day's events, but I soon found myself falling asleep.

I was awoken sometime during the night by yelling and cries of "fire!" from the hallway. I sat up and immediately breathed in a bunch of hot smoke and started coughing. Vex was also awake, and we quickly grabbed our belongings and tossed them to the ground outside. Vex jumped first, using his wings to glide carefully to the ground. I lowered myself from the window ledge as far as possible and then dropped and rolled upon impact. I grabbed my shield and sword from the pile of equipment and ran toward the stables and the sounds of the horses screaming from the fires.

The area around the inn and stables was filled with smoke and the figures of people and goblins running in fear or excitement. I saw a group of caravan guards trying to make a bucket line to extinguish the fire in the stables. I ran by them and threw open the door where Hickory was kicking at the stalls around him. I was able to calm him enough to lead him from the inferno, and was happy to see that he was physically unharmed. Lugh and some of the caravan guards continued to free the other trapped horses, so I turned my attention to hunting down the goblins as they appeared through the smoke. I killed a few of them before coming upon Atz being harried by a large orc. He was a huge, menacing brute, so I yelled and charged forward to direct his attention to me...

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I was able to follow the goblins to a cave mouth a good ways away from the inn. I could still see the fire burning so I really wasn't too worried about getting back. The cave mouth was shrouded in magical darkness so they still have help from at least one caster. I could hear both the voices of goblins and orcs, but nothing that made me think human. More than likely this cave connects to a network and I'm smarter than to try and follow them through their territory without my gear, or some help. So I waited by the mouth of the cave for about half an hour just in case something were to happen, then headed back to the inn. I told my companions about what I had learned it was decided that we should escort everyone to Sandpoint and then try and handle the goblin threat. I felt it would be better to press them now, but I was the minority.

The rest of the trek to Sandpoint went uneventfully. The town itself was decent enough I suppose. One thing of note was a fair sized statue/monument to "The Fallen Heroes of Sandpoint", a few questions later explained they had defended the town against a couple of raids. The first one was goblins during a festival then a few months later giants and even a dragon attacked the town and the heroes returned to save the town once more. The group wanted to spend the night at an inn instead of head back out today. So I wandered around the town making a sketch in my book here and there, ignoring the usual strange looks I got from the locals.

When I got back to The Rusty Dragon inn around dark most of the gang was already sitting at a large table enjoying dinner. I sat down with an ale and listened to the conversation. For one reason or another Birgun seams to be getting in between a couple of greyscale assassins, he claims the female saved his life during the fire, but its still not the smartest thing to do if you like your throat to stay intact while you sleep. Of course the male greyscale hunting her came into the inn as we were sitting there talking and subtlety went right out the bloody window. First Lugh made a big scene about how someone here had seen the girl he was after, then Birgun stood up and said that while he had seen her he wasn't going to say anything about her whereabouts and pretty much told the assassin to get out of the inn. So now we have that problem on top of getting info on the goblins. I guess low-key is out of the picture with a group this big anyway.

Luckily we were able to sleep in this inn without it burning down, and the next morning we made a quick stop in the market before heading to the cave I had found a few days ago. We were ambushed near dark by a small group of goblins and one orc. I was able to dispatch three of the buggers before the fight was over. The first I took down was rather distracted, he was grabbing his ankle and I could have sworn he said something about a cramp. Oh wonderful, I've spent enough time around them that I'm beginning to understand their chaotic language, pathetic. The second burned to a flask of alchemist's fire and the third was rather focused on Oona who was about to take his head off with her hands. I gathered up the ears and we went a little farther before setting up camp for the night. Tomorrow we hit the cave... hopefully there is some evidence still there since they've had a few days to clear out.

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Last night the troupe finished the fight at the Inn. Everyone that was staying at the Inn made camp among the wagons and stables. The Inn continued to burn all night. By morning it had died down considerably but still to hot for rummaging around in so every one packed up and headed to Sand Point. Still a day and a half away.

During that first morning a male rider [a man known to Sam by discription as an assassin named Foulkhan(sp)"The goblin killer"] stopped and asked of Kaira(sp). He discibes her to a T, and people responded with sure she was here but left following the goblins. He also asked about a man but nobody responded to his question. He then rode off in the direction the goblins took.

The troupe and all the rest made it to Sand Point the next day around noon. The Inn keeper was off to find builders and supplies to immediately start rebuilding the Inn. The troupe took their horses to the stable and went directly next door to the Rusty Dragon. They acquired rooms and had lunch together.

The troupe split up after lunch and returned in the evening. Foulkhan also made it to Sand Point and started his search for Kaira. The troupe has a good time at the Rusty Dragon, with a minor meeting with Foulkhan. (The dialogue between the troupe and Foulkhan was to die for. I hope someone captures the essence because it was great)

The troupe desides to resupply in the morning and go goblin hunting. They are attacked the first night by a small band of goblins and an Orc.

That's where we called it for the night. Vex has already posted and I hope the rest will soon.

I am trying something new with Felu. I'll let her and Sam try to let you in on her secret.

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I just reread Vex's post. At the onset of the goblin attack I decided that they had been sitting in wait for some passer-bys for quite a while and one goblin in particular got a nasty leg cramp and was trying to deal with that has the attack began. No one spoke goblin so his screeching went without anyone in the troupe knowing his folly. Poor guy.
Oh, and the troupe leveled. Woot

What are you talking about? Felu doesn't have any secrets.

It was an eventful evening. Upon gaining proper attire, it was decided that running off into the dark woods would be a bit rash. Felu did a headcount as we gathered to treat wounds and burns, Vex seems to be missing. Scarni drivers had the stable fire under control, and displaced guests were brought in to assist while the able bodied armed themselves for a second attack. No sign of goblins as the stable was saved and horses collected. Vex showed up about a half hour later saying the bugs had fled into some caves a short distance away, but he hadn't seen anyone leading them. With wounded to attend to, it was decided to bring the wagons around the stable and wait for morning. With the help of the new tent, the rest of the night was tolerable.

When morning came, the inn still burned. Most felt obligated to escort the refugees, so we formed up and continued to Sandpoint. During the morning, a man rode up in search of someone or other, then turned off into the forest. There were no more sightings that day, the group turned aside at a likely spot to pass the night. There was some grumbling about pushing through to the safety of Sandpoint. I wished them well on their late-night encounters with raiding humanoids and pitched my tent for a quiet night of rest.

Another beautiful morning, made it to Sandpoint by noon. A large sign(with a mirror!) asked travelers to clean up their act in town. Guess it gets old with grungy adventurers dragging bloody trophies around. Dropped the wagons at the stables, and my nose led me next door to the Rusty Dragon. Secured rooms, a hot bath(much more entertaining with company), and an excellent lunch. Wandered around town while others tended to official business. Talked with locals, found that the morrow is market day, and headed back for evening meal. Over good food and better entertainment, we tried to plot our next move. A guy walked in, and I asked if that was the one from the road yesterday. The looks I got, like they'd all bit into green persimmons. Lugh launched into a rambling oratory, and HUGE finished up with a few pointed comments. The man turned to leave, and I added him to the list of those who want to air out my vitals with sharp steel.

After an early run through the market, we head south in search of goblins. About a dozen fond us, and there was a lively exchange of arrows and disembowelment. Other than some bleeding, there wasn't much of note. This threat must be dealt with, but one hopes something more exciting will present itself.

Grand Lodge

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It didn’t take long to save the horses and there was a good chance that the stable was going to be saved but the inn wasn’t going to make it. Once the horses were safe I returned to the gathering of people outside the inn and quickly began putting my armor on. There was horn and the goblins had fallen back but I was unsure if they were going to regroup and attack again. Atz saw to my wounds as my curative magics were out, and then Lugh, Atz and I moved about the people and tended to their wounds as best we could. Thankfully most of the wounds were minor, most of the people having suffered only from inhaling the smoke.

Once we had gathered up it was obvious that Vex wasn’t with us, but Macer said he had chased after the goblins and was probably rooting out their hiding spots. He didn’t seem concerned so I wasn’t worried. After an hour the goblins didn’t return and I decided to once again strip out of my armor and get some rest. My body was still pretty tore up from the first encounter with the little ankle biters, and I was exhausted. Sleep came pretty easy and I awoke to the smells of eggs and sausage late in the morning. After getting my fill of the food being offered it was decided to push on to Sandpoint and take everyone there. Just as we were gathering up our supplies an individual arrived from Magnimar that was looking for Kiara and the same man that Kiara was looking for. The last time I had seen Kiara she was riding off in the direction the goblins took and told the man as much although I wasn’t sure who he was.

It took a day and a half to reach Sandpoint but there were no more encounters with Goblins. Upon reaching Sandpoint we all entered the first inn we saw which was called the Rusty Dragon Inn and filled ourselves on good food and drink. The owner, an Ameiko Kaijitsu was also the individual whose supplies we had guarded on the trip from Magnimar. Her family owned the only glass works shop in the area and they were very well known for producing beautiful stained glass windows. The rest of the afternoon saw most of the group moving out into the town to do some shopping and sight seeing, the rest of us remained in the inn to relax. After a hot bath I returned to the common area to drink and practice Siege against myself. After a while I wondered if Kiara was here and walked next door to the Goblin Squash Stables.

The stables lived up to their name as the rafters were littered with goblin ears. Each one nailed into the rafter with a name carved into each ear. There was even a large jar with the pickled remains of a goblin inside. Looking at the horses, I found hers and her saddle in a stall. Confirming that she was here in town somewhere, I found the proprietor, master Hosk, and paid the man a silver coin to let the owner of the horse know that ‘a serious looking fellow was looking for her at the Halfway Inn the day before.’ Hosk’s eyebrow raised a little. I imagine to him I sounded like I was explaining myself. With a grin I told him, “Not me. Someone else.” Hosk asked where I was staying and when I told him where I was staying he said, “You’ll probably see her there. That’s where she’s staying, but I’ll give her your message.” With that I nodded and returned back to the inn to enjoy a few more games and drink some ale.

I was surprised when a womans arm reached over my shoulder to move a piece on the Siege board and I didn’t hear her approach. Turning I saw Kiara staring back, blank faced as before. “I got your message,” she said as she sat down next to me turning the board to now play against me. Sam and Felu were both still in the inn with me and had taken note of her arrival but didn’t say anything initially. I described to her the man that had arrived that morning looking for her and individual she had named to me when we first met. That’s when Sam said loud enough for us to here, “Falcone, I believe is his name.” Her shoulders slumped a little at that and there was a small sigh but she continued to play the game. “He’s an assassin, like me,” she replied to the board game. So the rumor was true. She was silent for the next couple of minutes as she quickly beat me in the game. Still don’t get the long game.

When we finished she sat back in the chair, Sam and Felu took that opportunity to sit with us. As Felu sat down, she asked Kiara “why do we need to talk?” This surprised me somewhat as I didn’t know they had talked but stayed quiet and listened, pausing only to order a round of drinks for the table. As it turns out, the individual that Kiara was looking for was staying at the Halfway Inn, and that he was ‘possessed.’ When she had killed him, the possessing demon had died along with the man. The essence of the demon had tried to enter Sam but Felu had done something to defeat it. Kiara was interested to know what, but Felu didn’t know. She described seeing Sam convulsing on his bed and a darkness around him, all she did was confront it, yelling at it to leave. Next thing she woke up in the field near the inn. I complimented Felu at standing up for her friends and fighting against the enemy, whatever it was. She seemed pleased to hear that from me and I would imagine that even Gorum would be pleased even though she didn’t use any weapons of iron in doing so. All of this led to Falcone, an assassin who was in fact after Kiara, since he no longer needed to kill this possessed man. Kiara explained that if he learned that we knew of her, he would ask very hard questions as to her whereabouts. Still though, she saved my life I think, and I owed her a debt I intended to repay. Kiara finished her drink, and left to go upstairs.

By mid afternoon I had talked a little with Ameiko and inquired about the spices she used for her lunch so she took me back into the kitchen to show me some of her spices and little tricks she had learned. We were back there for a few minutes when an elven woman dressed in leathers and armed with a bow rushed in saying, “Falcone is in town, we need to warn Kiara!” She tried to brush me aside with a shove of her hand as she told Ameiko this and when I didn’t move she turned and looked up at me a little surprised. I smiled at her, thanked Ameiko for her help and excused myself. As I sat down at the table with Lugh he was laughing and saying that the elf was ‘checking you out. She was staring at your ass.” I earned a round of guffaws when I replied, “Of course she was, I have a great ass. I work out a lot.”

As a group we then spent the next few hours drinking, eating, and laughing. A local gnome woman came down to the immediate cat calls and whistles of the locals and began singing and dancing about the room. Even though it was hard to catch sight of her at times since she is so small, she made a good impression on the patrons. That’s when I saw Falcone enter into the inn and look around. He saw our group but continued his gaze of all those in the room. Thats when Kelyn asked if ‘that’s the guy you were talking about,’ and pointed directly at Falcone. Falcone noticed Kelyn’s finger and started to make his way over to us. Lugh stood up, moving to intercept Falcone and began fast talking about hearing of someone that ‘had seen this Kiara.’ After a few moments you could see that Falcone was getting tired of Lugh and he asked rather abruptly, “WHO has seen her?” I stood up and said, “I have seen her. I have a feeling that she would not like it if you were to find her and since she saved my life the other night I won’t tell you where or when I saw her. So why don’t you just leave.” It was at this time that I noticed that the patrons of the inn were fixated on this Moxie woman and were oblivious to the seriousness of the situation brewing between Falcone and our group. Even Ameiko was standing near us. Everyone had a very serious expression on their faces and Falcone knew when to retreat. I said, “I don’t want any trouble tonight, not in this inn, but you have to understand I am not going to tell you anything.” Falcone nodded his head and slowly backed out keeping us all in sight. I returned his nod and before he had left the inn had sat back down and forgotten him. That’s also when Macer said, “What in the nine hells just happened. Who was that guy and who is Kiara?” Seems Macer has never seen Kiara and had no clue about any of this, so I spent the rest of the evening explaining everything. Even though there was some discussion of how we could have handled the situation differently, I will not change how I handle threats to my friends and allies. I will not go gently into the night.

The next morning we decided to pool some of our gold from the escort job and Oona’s personal remaining wealth to purchase a wand of healing for Atz to carry. The goblins had taken their toll on us in our prior meetings and healing was scare. Going after their nest means we needed more healing available to us, more than what few divine spells we had. After purchasing the wand we headed back out on the Lost Coast road towards Magnimar. Vex said that he could find their cave entrance easily enough when we neared the area of the former Halfway Inn. Just before dusk a small group of goblins led by a brutish orc ambushed our group. The little bastards are hard to spot so I was surprised by the suddenness of the attack. Quicker on my feet this time I moved to head off the orc who had attacked Felu. Drawing my sword I cursed at him in dwarven, saying “Fight something worth fighting you worthless pig!” I didn’t know orcish, and the dwarves back in the Linnorm Lands explained that dwarves and orcs have fought since time began, so I hoped it understood my insult and would leave Felu alone. It seemed to work, because he looked at me and replied in dwarven, “BATTLE!” That’s when Lugh appeared opposite me and flanked the orc. For the next several seconds the orc realized his predicament and kept trying to move away to prevent Lugh and I from double teaming him down quickly. My great sword, Lughs spear and a revenge shot from Felu’s bang stick ended his threat at the same time as the rest of the group had finished off the goblins. Nothing like a nice little battle before bed.

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Hooray! Moxie has appeared! Woo hoo!

...and, disturbingly enough, "I will not go gently into the night," was my father's absolute favorite poem as he battled to the very end.

Poignant post for me, Useplanb! Well done!

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Some general background information. It's been about four years since Moxie has returned from her great adventure. Along with Xandu, Moxie had the monument of the fallen Heroes built.

They also helped Ameiko get the glass works up and operational. Ameiko wouldn't accept the full amount but enough to get it staffed properly and running. The glassworks is doing well.

The Scarnetti's and their mill are doing well too and they have been a lot nicer and more cooperative these last four years as well. Thanks to some subterfuge from unknown to them, Moxie.

And because it's my story, Moxie and Xandu did get married and live a quiet life in Sand Point. They have a daughter, that's three and the joy of their lives. Moxie and Xandu still enjoy entertaining would be adventures and the locals with music and dance at Ameiko's. When Xandu can't make it to the Rusty Dragon, Ameiko is more than happy to play music for Moxie to dance and sing to.

The scope of their adventure is known to a small few.

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I am still awaken by dreams of fire since the goblin attack on the Inn.

That was a bad night. I woke coughing to a gagging smoke. Kelyn refused to even put anything on but his small close, so cute. Really we had no time to get much of anything on. Kelyn was gathering what he could and tossing it out the window. He dipped a rag in a bowl of water and tied it so it covered his mouth. He dipped a second rag and handed it to me, I did the same and then started tossing items out the window again. Then after assuring ourselves that everyone on this floor was at least on their way out, we both deftly made our escape. Windows were the only means of exiting the Inn from the second floor. The fire had spread so rapidly it was imposable for anyone to make it from the second floor to the first or the third. In my mind that made the biggest impression. I was thinking those people already had succumb to the smoke or had jumped to their death to escape the flames but there were also goblins that needed our immediate attention. The thought of those on the third floor had to sit in the back of my mind, and they did. Kelyn and I ran towards the front of the Inn, fighting goblins the whole way. We could tell the Inn was a total loss but the stable and horses looked as if they could yet be saved. The fire hadn’t spread as quickly there, even though there were several horses with goblin fire bombs that had caught them on fire. Birgun shouted to me that someone was getting everyone out of the third floor. I asked how but he was to busy to answer. Good I thought.

That’s a big Orc.

I saw a couple of our troupe putting them out with water. There was also a water brigade that was doing a good job of putting out the fire on the stable especially after we started killing the goblins and keeping them away from the scarni. There were two huge Orcs as well but nothing scared me like that fire.

It’s been just over a day now and we’ve arrived at Sandpoint, a very nice and well kept town, I was surprised at how home like it felt. Not in it reminded me of Magnimar, far from it, it just felt comfortable. And the smell of food when we were unloading at the stable, was overwhelmingly delightful. That’s where we all headed as soon as we were done at the stable. On the other side of the road from us was a clothing boutique, I’ll need to visit there along with Felu and Oona. Others went on into town but the troupe had no intention on missing out on the food. Even the boutique would have to wait.

The Rusty Dragon with its large iron dragon looking down on us from the roof was where all the wonderful smells of food were coming from. We walked in and were greeted by the owner, Ameiko Kaijitsu, a Tean, by the look of her. Birgun, Lugh, Macer and even Atz had smiles on their faces when they saw her. And I’m sure Kelyn and Sam did too, I just didn’t look at them. Men! After welcoming us to her establishment she introduced herself and sat us at a large table. Birgun inquired about her name and said that we had escorted a couple of wagon-loads of goods for the Glass-works. She indicated that indeed that was her business as well but that others actually ran it, she was the last of the family since her father and brother’s deaths, some five years ago.

We ordered drinks and she recommended different selections off the menu for each of us asking us to try a little of everything so we did. Best meal ever!!! We thanked her and acquired rooms for the night. Kelyn and I went up to our room and ordered a bath. After a wonderfully hot bath with perfumed soap, much to Kelyn’s chagrin, We moosed around a bit before going out. To the boutique, just to look I told Kelyn and that’s what we did. He made me look from the board walk through the window, saying that he knew I’d be back with the girls later and we needed to get “regular” gear first. Spoiled sport. He was right though because I saw the prettiest boots as I gazed through the window. And that short dress would just drive Kelyn crazy. Off to see the rest of this absolutely wonderful town.

Up by the Garrison, between it and the Town Hall, was a stone paved courtyard with monument dedicated to the Fallen Hero’s of Sandpoint. There were eight figures - a Dwarf, a Halfling, an Elf, three male Humans a female Tean and even a half Orc. It said they defended the town from Goblins and an attack by giants and a dragon. Wow, I was thinking this was a sleepy little town, I was obviously mistaken.

We continued our walking and went into a very nice three story tavern and inn named The White Deer but unfortunately because of the owner we didn’t stay long. What a sour puss. It was a pity because I would have liked to stay there, very posh. Kelyn doesn’t care for that kind of place but I think it would be nice to stay at a place like that, especially after being on the road for three days, okay maybe a day but still.

We gathered some necessaries and went back to the Rusty Dragon for supper. Yummy.
The troupe was slowly but surely arriving and we sat at the same large table as before. After we had eaten and drinks started flowing the tavern started filling up with patrons. Then this gorgeous little gnome woman came in and the crowd erupted with applause and cheers. I heard the name Moxie shouted several times as the gnome waved to Ameiko, who grabbed a stringed musical instrument of some sort and headed out into the crowd to join the gnome in song. Ameiko played amazingly but the gnome, Moxie was just over the top with her wit and stories. She played the crowd like a professional actress working them into frenzy after frenzy. There was a time when she was telling a story without Ameiko’s accompaniment and Ameiko was standing closer to us laughing and nodding her head to the story that was being told. Then in walked the man from the road by the halfway inn. I looked around at the troupe and even though they saw him everyone was ignoring him. Except Kelyn. He pointed at him and said is that the guy you were talking about.

Lugh almost spit out his drink and burst out of his chair and walking towards the man and bumping into just about everyone, started talking to the guy. The man was asking about Kiara. The woman who had saved the people on the third floor when the inn had burned. She was known to some as an assassin from the Night Scales, an organization from Magnimar. And this Fhalkahn fellow it seemed was too. Anyway Lugh was explaining to Fhalkahn that someone had indeed seen Kiara and was rambling on and on. It was so unlike him to do so. Then Macer started asking all kinds of questions, like who the hell were they all talking about. Kiara who, when did you see her, he asked Lugh. I didn’t said Lugh but others have. The conversation between Macer and Lugh didn’t go long as this Fhalkahn fellow shouted at Lugh and said “Stop! Have you seen her or not?”

I could tell that things were heating up and thought about the crowd but when I looked at them they were unaware of the shouting match that was at our table and instead they were all captivated by the little gnome, laughing at something Moxie was saying. Moxie was keeping the crowd from noticing anything else that was going on in the tavern. Ameiko, on the other hand, was very much listening to what was going on at our table so much so that she was even facing Fhalkahn and had that look about her that she was ready to spring. It was only then that I realized that she had been armed the whole time. Even when we first met but I didn’t ever feel she was a threat. I could feel it now though. All of a sudden my view of her changed, I think she’s a very capable woman and one that was about to defend her patrons.

That’s when Birgun stood up and said, “I have seen the woman you described. Kiara. She saved my life two days ago so I don’t think I’ll be telling you any more about her. I don’t think she would like meeting you anyway so why don’t you just leave, now. I don’t want any trouble in this inn and you wont get any information from me concerning her anyway.” Everyone at the table and even Ameiko was looking at Fhalkahn like they were about to pounce. Fhalkahn nodded his head towards Birgun and slowly backed out of the tavern never taking his eyes off the troupe. When he was gone I felt a weight lift and saw Ameiko give Birgun a nod as well. That’s when we all found out about Kiara and Sam and Felu. That’s not even the best part.

Later that night, I had another dream about the fire, okay nightmare. Anyway I decided to go downstairs and see if I could get something to eat or drink to settle me a bit. I went to the kitchen and there was Ameiko, Felu, Moxie the gnome, a lady I didn’t know named Shalelu and Kiara. All talking in almost hushed tones. They were to excited to be to quite. They startled at first but smiled when they realized it was me. Kiara and Felu were talking about what Felu had done to defeat the demon that was trying to kill Sam the night of the fire. Felu was nervous and embarrassed for not knowing what she had done. Kiara said she could still sense the demons taint in Felu but that it didn’t feel like anything she had ever known. Moxie was offering to have her husband come and try to figure it out. He was evidently a follower of Desna and very good at this kind of thing. Felu agreed and Shalelu headed off to get Moxie’s husband.

Why not just go to the town priest I asked but Moxie said that Xandu, her husband was better for this kind of thing plus he just loves adventures and this is as close to one as I will allow him right now. Then she laughed. Her eyes were bright with mischief. She could barely contain her excitement. It wasn’t long before Shalelu showed back up with this strange looking Varisian half elf with a wide brim hat and brightly colored clothes, definitely a follower of Desna. But what could he do for Felu that a priest couldn’t do. He came in and kissed Moxie first and thanked her for asking him here. He took off his hat and bowed to Ameiko as if she were a queen. “Who is in need of my services? You all look quite capable to handle any demons that might be around.” He looked around the room and I felt a little nervous as his eyes fell on me. I realized I was not properly dressed for a man to be ogling me, not that he was but I do think he enjoyed our “attire” or lack there of, should I say. His gaze didn’t last overly long. I didn’t get “That Feeling” from him. I was just acutely aware of my lack of proper clothing. When he looked at Felu though, there was a definite pause. “Oh“, he said, “I see. You’re the one.” He then took Felu’s hands in his and said this will not hurt and it will take but a minute, relax, you’re fine. He closed his eyes. After what seemed a long time, he opened his eyes and said, “Whatever you did to that demon is just fine. The important part now is what you do with it now that you have it.”

Felu and the rest of us just sat there in silence. “What do you mean, Do with it now that you have it. Have what?” Moxie asked breaking the silence. Xandu replied “You see, sweetie, somehow this young lady has absorbed a demon. She didn’t kill it or destroy it or even send it back from where ever it came from. She kept it and is holding it inside her and can use it to do wondrous things but she still needs to be careful of what she does with it. Smaller task’s will use less of the essence but large task’s will take more of it’s essence and using it all at once would be most disastrous.”

“Like what? What can I do with it and why do I need to be careful.” Felu asked, letting go of his hands. His voice was calm as if he was talking about sunshine. “You could heal someone or hurt someone but the point is the more of the essence or power if you will, you use at one time, it can change you. And not in a better way. If you were to use it for instance to heal a small cut there would be no backlash or if you used it to be get an edge on a dealing with another, like bargaining, again there would be no backlash but if you tried to do something beyond that like healing a dieing person or a giant fireball, those kinds of things “would” result in that demons essence reflecting back to you. You would take on a more demonic tone and or appearance.”

“You mean I would become a demon?” Felu asked. “Yes“, was Xandu’s reply. “But who knows, what ever you did and I would love to know what is was that you did, but whatever it was, you can still do it again. If you needed to. Do not worry for you have been given a wonderful gift use it. Just be careful. Just because it was a demon doesn’t make you any different. You have to believe me on that point. You are still you.” With that he turned to Ameiko.

“You have kept my wife out late again. What ever am I to do with you two.” Again he took his hat in hand and gave Ameiko a sweeping bow. Then with much more grace and flourish so did Moxie. Saying, “Until next time. Thanks for a great evening.”

“No. Thank you for that quick move and keeping the rest from seeing the trouble that about took place. And you two don’t you have some place to be right now, other than in my inn.” She said with a smile to Shalelu and Kiara.

“Wait!” Felu asked “Why is Fhalkahn looking for you, Kiara?”

“Because I quit an organization that doesn’t allow you to just quit. I went rouge on them and they feel the need to “eliminate” any lose ends. Thank that huge friend of yours for standing up for me. That is uncommon but I appreciated it anyway.” Shalelu punched Kiara in the arm. “Hey don’t even think it. I saw him first.”

“ Actually, I saw him first.” Said Kiara.

“Alright. Out with the both of you. Or I’ll go right up to his room and ask him which one of you is to his liking.” Ameiko said as she shoed them from the kitchen. Giggling we all said our good-nights.

I felt better. I was a little worried for Felu but that little Varisian didn’t seem to be to worried and he warned her so maybe it will be fine, I hope so. Now those two with their talk about Birgun. I’m going to have to wake Kelyn. Giggle, he won’t mind.

In the morning the troupe decided that we should get a wand of healing because we were going after the goblins in their lair so yeah there’s that. It didn’t take long because there was a big market thing happening and it was easy to find just about anything that one could need. Now we’re going to fight goblins when there could be bargains galore right here. Are you kidding me, lets shop for a while. All I got were stares from the troupe. Well, Felu and Oona at least smiled.

Oh! We were attacked on the very first night of goblin hunting, thank you very much.

What does it take to get a little information around here? Demons being absorbed, you can't swing a dead goblin without hitting a couple assassins, and now I hear the girls had a pajama party in the kitchen and the only guy invited is some strange half-elf? Don't care how flamboyant he is, I have questions. And when did our adventures acquire these premium price tags? Didn't know there were uniform requirements, but Nina assures me they are essential. The boots are nice(not real sturdy for goblin lairs) and the new dress........

I'm sure these things will all work out, always do. Forgive the rant, got a pile of bugs to squash and a massive plot to uncover.

Having spent more time on the sea than on horseback the rescuing of horses was mildly uncomfortable but it wasn’t like they were concerned with me or my level discomfort. The greater part of the barn was saved providing limited shelter for the displaced. Luckily no one was grievously wounded to a degree that couldn’t be readily cared for. All able bodied survivors were armed and made ready to for a second attack but none came. We stole what rest we could and made a late start for Sandpoint with the Inn keeper,his folk and patrons, and our caravans, our and Bag’s. Strength in numbers and all!

With the late start we wouldn’t make it to our destination before sunset. So we camped overnight again. This was a less than comforting experience. I do not believe anyone rested as soundly knowing goblins freely roamed the area by night, so between a well-cooked road meal and before everyone retired I spoke to those who wished to listen reassuring them all would be well with the coming of the dawn and attempted to bolster their spirit with a homily and a reminder that Sarenrae saw fit to provide them with strength, noble character, and capable protectors until her return. All was quiet, and the following day we entered the quaint coastal town of Sandpoint over a wooden bridge. As the teamsters and riders saw to the beasts the rest of us wondered about until we were lured to an Inn a stone’s throw away by the aroma of a home cooked meal. The Rusty Dragon Inn was a welcome warm and inviting atmosphere and we quickly decided to acquire lodging and a hot plate of whatever smelled so good! After lunch I excused myself and made for the newly completed local cathedral. There I made written report of my findings and endeavors since returning to Magnimar and requested delivery to my elders. I visited the Pixie’s Kitten to ensure the ladies we had escorted had adjusted well to their new environment and bought time to speak with Amerillea. I laid out a proposition in which she could earn extra coin by keeping me abreast of local gossip and any other information of note. I issued the warning that her collection should be passive in nature unless lives were at stake and even then she should be patient and take great care in assuring her safety. The better the information the more coin was to be earned. After an agreeable price point and a show of well rendered service I took my leave and returned to the Inn.

I decided to make a point of cleaning up after our road battles and smokey overnight at the halfway point. I entered the bath and dropped my load of bags, shield and weapons near the wall in as neat a pile as possible. I drew my own water and disrobed trading my clothes for a towel to a smiling Inn woman requesting they be cleaned. I returned to my bath and was surprised to hear a small voice call from within the room! “They don’t take turns to bathe were you're from or what!?” I was without words as my towel in mid-flight soared towards my belongings. I turned to find the voice and spied a tiny ginger headed gnome sipping a drink in a steaming little tub. I had not noticed her and felt a bit awkward. All I could bring myself to say was “Excuse me maiden, I thought myself alone, though coming from a big family I don’t know that I’d of thought of it to be honest. I can wait till you’re done.” I walked for my towel. At which she protested. “NO-NO… by all means… don’t waste the warm water, my drink is almost dry anyway and I will be on my way in a moment. Whats your name?” The moment had been a bit awkward but that was soon lost in a conversation of my life story. Her eyes flashed with a fiery spirit as there focus changed. She was dangerous and in more ways than I cared to know I’m sure! She was also very funny and bold and easy on the eyes. She excused herself and whisked off as if she was late for a date. I washed up and met the rest of the crew for dinner. We were having a grand time reminiscing when in walked gentleman intent on finding the lady archer who had assisted with the combat at the Inn. He had inquired of her earlier in the day while we were on the street and we had discussed that very subject moments before he arrived. To those who had yet to meet him, it was a curiosity when they recognized him from descriptions walking in the door and pointed at him asking “IS THAT HIM?” Wishing to avoid suspicion or heightened awareness of our affiliation I rose quickly and made a spectacle of welcoming him and revisiting our earlier contact. He was unsure of our acquaintance at first but came around as I told him we had contact with the lady he searched for. I continued with small talk until he was agitated enough to interrupt at which point he asked which of our group knew of her whereabouts. Huge spoke to the hunter telling him in no uncertain terms to pack sand while I tensed to the ready and made it apparent. To her credit the little gnome I had met earlier was an entertainer at the establishment that goes by the name of Moxie, and in a timely fashion distracted the attention of the attendants away from our encounter. Following his weary exit I made sure to leave the winsome spritely Moxie a half crowns worth of silver for her effort. We sorted out the confrontation for those unaware and continued on as normal. We decided to go goblin hunting the following day and retired at the end of the entertainment.

We set out on the Lost Coast Road heading south. We were set upon once again by the little goblins and an orc. Huge and I kept him between us though he tried time and again to move away. I learned to adjust my style with these beasts a bit as I found it difficult to land successive blows. Felu shot him, I speared him and Huge completed the task with large gapping chops. The others were engaged with a half score of goblins and made quick work of them. Now we can attempt to follow a trail….maybe?

After the orc was killed and the goblins fled, we gathered the remaining Scarni and our friends to guard against any new attack, and put the others to work extinguishing the fires at the stables.

Vex was missing for a while, but since I knew his history of hunting goblins in the sewers of Magnimar, I wasn't really worried about him. He did show up about 30 minutes after the fight ended. He had followed the goblins as they ran into the woods and discovered a large hole in the earth that led to some type of underground tunnels. The goblins had jumped into the hole and disappeared from sight.

We spent the rest of the night salvaging what we could from the smoking ruins and loading it onto the wagons. Early the next morning, we all set out together for Sandpoint to make sure the cargo and passengers were delivered safely to their destination.

Sandpoint turned out to be a medium-sized town with many stores and inns. We asked a few of the locals for directions and then located a stable for the horses. The rest of our group went on to secure rooms at the Rusty Dragon Inn while I stayed to feed and brush Hickory after paying the owner of the stables.

I spent some time walking around the town during the day. It looked as though many of the buildings were newer construction or had been repaired sometime in the past few years. The town square contained several notable statues depicting the "Heroes of Sandpoint" or some similar grandiose title. A local told us the story of how the heroes had saved Sandpoint from attacks by goblins, giants, and a dragon.

Later that evening I returned to the inn and paid for a hot bath before joining my friends for dinner in the common room.The food and drink were both good, and we were enjoying the music and stories of a gnome woman who was very popular with the local crowd. I think her name was Mossie or something...

The relaxing evening was interrupted by a man who entered the inn and scanned the crowd. Kelyn noticed him and pointed at him while loudly asking the others at the table if "that was him?" The man noticed the commotion in our corner of the room and promptly walked straight up to our table. He began questioning Lugh, who, upon seeing the man had stood up and moved to intercept him. I didn't hear all of the conversation, but I immediately got the impression that the guy was unhappy about something. He kept asking about some woman he was searching for that had recently come to Sandpoint. Birgun interrupted the questioning and said that he had seen the woman, that she had aided him, and that he wasn't going to tell the man where she was. The man didn't seem to like that answer, but he recognized that our whole table was facing him now and he withdrew to the door and left.

I was completely at a loss as to who the man was, and what was going on that had him so agitated.

When everyone returned to the table I asked them who that was and what had just happened? They proceeded to tell me a story about this mystery woman (Kiera?) who was an assassin from Magnimar. The guy was another assassin named Falcon and he was looking for Kiera. Kiera had helped fight the goblins at the Halfway Inn, so Birgun decided she was square with us and this guy didn't need to know anything else about her location. I guess I had completely missed her during the fight at the inn.

After the discussion we talked about our plans for the next day. It was decided that we should return to the underground tunnels that Vex had located to hunt down the rest of the goblins.

We left the next morning after breakfast, and were promptly attacked by yet another group of goblins led by an orc. These pests were everywhere in this area! We quickly killed the goblins and the orc in a short combat session. This time, we didn't have anyone receive any major injuries, so we regrouped and moved on toward the lair of the goblins.

The troupe woke early and was back on the road for less than an hour when the guys up front spotted a group of goblins crossing the road ahead. Desiding to pursue the goblins they left the road and ran after the goblins keeping an eye on them when possible. Lugh noticed they hadn't topped the next hill. That could mean a couple of things. The may had arrived at their destination or they had spotted the troupe and made ready an ambush.

Knowing they could be running into an ambush the troupe moved forward as fast and as cautiously as possible. No one was surprised when the goblins jumped up an began shooting the troupe. Dispersed throughout the goblins were goblin dogs and their riders and a couple of Orcs. Ahead of the ambushing goblins were a couple of tall humans in black and a fighter in a blue cloak. As soon as the fight started the three humans started running on up the hill. Birgun yelled at the humans but they kept moving. Trying to push past the goblins Birgun finally gave chase towards the fleeing foe. Lugh and Vex also accompanied Birgun in the chase.

As Birgun reached the top of the hill he could see the two in black some 320ft away but had no visual on the fighter in blue. Yelling insults at the two, they stopped and turned toward Birgun as if they awaited his approach. He continued running towards them but as he got within striking distance a blackness erupted around the two. A spell of some kind. Birgun waited just outside the blackness, until a fog cloud engulfed him where he stood. The attack came as the fog surrounded him. Lugh and Vex interred into the melee blindly (well Vex could see). The two in black bested Birgun and Lugh one even took an ear off Lugh as a prise before retreating from the fight, thinking they had killed at least two of this nuisance. Vex quickly got up to the two but could only engage one while the other ran. As Vex killed the tall pale slender human a blinding flash of light burst forth causing much pain but Vex had won and found some useful poison and even Lugh's ear. The other tall human got away. Vex returned to Lugh who was being treated for his wounds Vex gave the ear to Atz and Atz stitched it back on.

The troupe healled a little. Birgun had tracked down the spot where the fighter in the blue cloak had stopped and turned towards the ridge of the hill and vanished. No more tracks where found. The troup then returned to the road. Arriving at the Halfway Inn they desided to rest for a few days, giving Vex some time to figure out the best way to proceed through the brambles to get to the cave. In the morning a group of goblins came near the burnt Inn.

That's where we are for now.


In the morning we headed off to reach the remains of the Halfway Inn and then on to our objective, the goblin warren. Along the way we spied a group of goblins cross the road ahead of us heading inland. They didn’t appear to see us and we even saw a few orcs in along with them as well. As a group we decided to end their threat before continuing on to the inn as the goblins would reach the farming areas in the hinterlands if they continued on.

Finding their path was easy enough, their were about a dozen of the foul little creatures and couple of orcs. We followed it along but after a few minutes it became apparent they had increased their pace somewhat. Either because they knew we were following them, or because they were nearing their objective. Fearing the worst and oblivious to the dangers we pressed on in a hurried pace and found that their group had met up with more of the little bastards and some of them were even riding these dog like creatures. Knowing their hatred for dogs as a whole I was surprised initially, until I remembered Arypp talking about a breed of dog they rode that had a nasty skin condition and could transfer it upon a bite. As I warned the others of this condition I spied three humans far to the rear of their lines. Our arrival surprised them and they immediately began to run.

“Those bastard cowards,” I muttered as I ran forward. With the vast amount of goblins, orcs, and riders they had an advantage over us and yet they chose to flee. Robbing me of any true glory in combat with a worthy foe, or in this case, amount of foes. Incensed and angry at their cowardice I mowed through the goblins that attempted to get in my way and deny my divine retribution for their actions. Even though I called upon the powers of nature to cause the tall grass and bushes to wrap around their feet and hold them fast they were able to avoid most of plants.

With only a small arrow in my right arm, I gave chase. Two of the individuals were wearing lighter armor and began to pull away from the third person who wore heavier armor like me. Because of the delay at having to chop down the goblins in front of me, by the time I had begun my chase they were already cresting the rise of a low hill and disappeared from sight. I ended the spell of entanglement before I too would become entangled and found that both Lugh and Vex shared my displeasure of their fear.

As we reached the crest of the hill, I paused to look for them and could not see the man in heavy armor. The two lightly armed individuals were making good time and had kept running. Knowing that I was going to be denied combat because of their speed I yelled out with all the rage and fury I could manage.


Had they only fought along side their diminutive green skinned troops instead of running we might not have won the fight. Instead, their actions and our skill lost them the fight.

As my words carried on the winds reached their ears they stopped. My eyes immediately widened and a smile crept across my face. They both had stopped and drawn their small swords, but did not reply. The weapons being drawn was all I needed to know that I now was going to face these devils.

I immediately began running down the hill towards these individuals, along with Lugh and Vex. As I got closer I noticed they had darker colored skin similar to Felu and seemed to be squinting because of the suns glare, which was odd as the sun was to their sides and back. Right before I was to engage them a shadowy darkness enveloped them and they were no longer visible to me. Knowing to move into that darkness would be folly I stopped a few feet short of the spell and chuckled.

“I’m not so stupid as to walk into your darkness and fight you blindly. I just gave chase to you two cowards and I can wait out here all day for that spell to wear off.”

Suddenly I found myself standing inside a sudden fog cloud and again I chuckled. “Fog? I’m Ulfen!”

It was those words that was almost my undoing as they were able to pinpoint my location within the fog. Using both their darkness and the fog as cover they both engaged me with a suddenness I was not expecting. The first few strikes glanced off my armor or missed harmlessly because of the fog. Even though I managed a deep gashing cut on one of them they pressed their advantage I could tell they were both more skilled than I was. Both of them used dual short swords and the bastards were using poison as well. Soon after one of their strikes found a weakness in my defense I felt my body fighting against a weakening poison. I continued to attack instead of falling back as I could hear Lugh and Vex doing their best to press their attacks as well. The damnable fog though was making it difficult for all involved to hit which just infuriated me even more. Eventually though the blood loss made my vision blur and I soon lost consciousness.

When I awoke I learned that Vex had managed to chase down one of the two men as they ran off. Unfortunately we would not be able to question the man as he exploded on death. The obvious viscera and blood soaking Vex confirmed that story, unbelievable as it sounded. The man Vex had killed had apparently also bested Lugh in the fog and darkness and took his ear as a prize. Thankfully, Vex was able to find it and with Kelyn and I assisting Atz, were able to reattach the ear. Damnable Atz did it so well there will be minimal scaring.

Once we used what divine magics we had to get ourselves up I began my search for the heavily armored man and found where he had run down the hill, turned to look back up from where he had come and then vanished into thin air. I have heard of powerful magics that would allow a person to move about great distances and it would appear that this one had that ability, or an item. I am finding it all very strange indeed to see all these individuals working with the green skins for some objective.

Gathering up our gear we pressed on to the Halfway Inn. The inn was still smoking when we arrived but the stables had survived. There were even a few horses that had returned after fleeing from the fires. Because of the poison the exploding man used, Lugh was relatively weak. So we decided to camp there for a few days before making our way to the warren. It was on the second night when the sudden bark of Felu’s bang stick woke me up.

Quiet night, early start, a beautiful day for a bit of sport. Within the hour, a bunch of bugs and a couple of orc minders were spotted crossing the road ahead. We weren't seen, but gave chase to prevent harm to local farmers. Even a city kid like me could follow the trail, so we moved at a quick pace. Others noticed a change to the trample after a few rises, so we slowed and spread out.

Seems our quarry had joined up with another gaggle that included some of their "dogs" and a few humans. Can't be the goblins winning personality, must be very easy to coerce them; a useful failing when the two-bit bad guys need to fill the ranks of their stupid scheme. HUGE started bellowing at the leaders, and they promptly turned tail and ran; bad form! He tried to follow, but there were too many runts. We were quite busy containing the horde of teeth and stink, taking hits and holding our own. HUGE, Lugh, and Vex managed to break through in pursuit of the leaders while the rest of us were finishing off the mob. Checking for any fakers, I found a piece of fine black cloth sticking out of a pocket; save for later.

About then, noticed that our three berzerkers had crossed the ridge. Nina and I trotted after to keep them in sight while the others sorted the mess. Topping the rise, spotted our guys closing on two of the humans, the heavily armored one was not in sight. As they met, the area was covered in darkness, but our side didn't stop. Relayed this development to the group and we started towards the new fight. Approaching the darkened(and foggy?) area, could hear combat, but wasn't able to join in. Then things got loud and bright.

I rolled over and helped Nina to her feet, checking that we still had all our parts generally attached. Saw Vex making his way to the prone forms of Lugh and HUGE, and we joined him as the group caught up. Tried to figure what happened while the healing was in progress. The two humans(?) were a bit more skilled/equipped than expected. One escaped in the confusion and the other exploded(?) when Vex finished him; the same one had taken Lugh's ear. Taking bug ears for bounty is one thing, but another person? What a bunch of savages! HUGE and I assisted Atz while he reattached it, he does excellent work, shouldn't even leave a scar.

After getting ourselves together, we collected the bugs and their gear for burning. Don't want others to use this stuff, seems to be alot of them. Moved back to the road and on to the former inn where camp was set by the stables. The inn still smoldered and showed sign of being searched, but didn't see any foes. Most of our wounds are tended, but Lugh was struck with foul poisons that have drained him. We don't have a counter for it, so may remain here a few days to recover. Had a chance to examine the bit of cloth found earlier. It kept unfolding until it was about six feet across, and when laid on the ground, turned into a stone pit. A magical storage device! Not something one would expect to find on a bug, he must have swiped it from the bosses. It appears empty, will have to fashion a ladder to retrieve anything we put in. This is a great boon to our travels, all the camping gear and spares can be tucked away instead of pounding our kidneys into pate. We have suffered some setbacks, but generally things are shaking out and progress is being made. Everyone cleaned up, had a bit to eat, and settled in for a night of rest and a fresh startWHAT IN THE SEVEN HELLS IS THAT BOOMING?????!!!!!

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On the road again but it's an adveture with all my friends. I think it's marvelous that we are all together. Who could have imagined that we would meet up and go off on a real adventure together. Kelyn and I stay alert and watch for trouble. Goblins and orc's are only a part of the problem. We've encountered humans and now what we thought might be Drow (sorry Felu) turned out to be some pale underground humans that explode when they die. How weird is that. I asked Felu about them but she had no answer. She didn't know what they were either.

We've moved on to the halfway inn and decided to rest a couple of days. In the morning I was just getting all snugly with Kelyn when Felu shouted an alarm and BOOM her pistol announced intruders. So much for a nice morning and breakfast. This is actually starting to be fun. Rise and shine, sweetie time to earn our keep. Quickly I kissed Kelyn and jumped out of our nice warm tent.

We rested soon after the encounter with the goblins, and then arose early in the morning to arrive at the burned-out halfway inn around noon. We had only been back on the road for an hour when we spotted another group of goblins crossing the road ahead of us.

When we reached the spot where they had crossed, we found footprints that showed their path after they exited our sight. We decided to hunt this group before continuing on to the inn. Our concern continues to grow as we keep finding more and more of the greenskins presence in the area.

Their trail was easy to follow, and we soon noticed that they had changed their pace and possibly joined another group. We spread out and prepared ourselves for battle as it seemed they were laying in wait for us to appear.

There were three groups waiting for us. The center group had humans(?) with them. There were also several orcs and some of the goblins in each group were riding feral, mangy dogs.

Birgun bellowed a challenge and the fight was on! The humans ran soon after the fight began, hoping to escape while the goblins and orcs kept us from following them. Of course, they didn't know who they were facing as Birgun, Lugh, and Vex all immediately ran to follow them up and over the hill.

The rest of us engaged the remaining goblins and orcs. The goblins fired small bows before leaping into the melee with small blades. Our training gave us the edge over the mob, and we quickly began to cut them down. As we finished off the last of them and took the goblin ears for the bounty, we could hear Birgun and the others fighting on the other side of the hill.

Several of us began running up the hill to aid our friends. It took us a while to reach the top, and when we did, we found Birgun and Lugh all cut up and bleeding. Vex had also taken some wounds. It seems that one of the humans had cut off Lugh's ear after he fell, and tried to take it with him as he left. Vex had killed him and recovered Lugh's ear. Atz arrived and helped treat the wounds, and then used his healing gift to reattach the ear.

After everyone was treated enough to walk, we made our way back to the road and on to the ruins of the inn. We checked the immediate area for threats before setting up a camp for the night. It seems I had just fallen asleep when I was awoken by the "boom" of a pistol shot shattering the night...

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Another opportunity to excel! Weapons in hand, we leap from the tent into a swarm of bugs; I'm beginning to see a pattern. Again battling in the semi-darkness clad only in my drawers, realizing why you read of so few winter campaigns. And the dark is the only thing allowing me to hang on to my dignity as I'm covered head to foot in goosebumps. Need to come up with sturdier PJ's if this sort of thing is to continue. An elven mail union suit may fit the bill, fleece lined for warmth and to prevent chaffing. Make this a top priority, maintaining good form is essential. Now, where was I....ah yes, the fight! Our group moved like a semi-oiled gnome contraption, mowing through them with blade, shot and spell. The fierce skirmish ended with a few of them escaping to the dark woods, we gathered to tend our minor wounds. Vex, who can actually understand their gibberish, said they were calling us "the wrong humans". They must have been here to meet some of the scum who are using them for cheap foot troops. While one hopes to be in the middle of breaking a continent-spanning conspiracy, I'm beginning to suspect some idiot is trying to undermine the Lost Coast company and take over the route. Destruction and death are just incidental if someone can make a few extra shekels. Enough thought for one night, Back to warm bedrolls and good company.

Woke late the next morning, made plans for the clearing of the goblin cave till the wagons rolled in about noon. Bags and company brought in laborers and material to start the rebuilding. There are also militia to keep the the bugs at bay, very prudent. A few hours later, a beat-up wagon and five men arrived from Magnimar. Six wagons and twenty men carrying supplies for Sandpoint had been hit the day before, the opposition is getting bolder. The Inn's owner had been digging in the wreckage and found his cashbox and wine cellar were still intact. Luckily, we're the good guys and didn't have trivial thoughts of free money and booze.

We packed up and headed into the woods, Vex leading. Found game trails through the tangled mess and arrived at a magical darkness. There was talk of spells being cast, but was unable to locate anyone. Sam found and"made friends with" a grey gnome(?) who seemed to be the source. It had escaped the goblin tunnels, seems they had broken into a subterranean gnome city and were bothering them too. Vex scouted ahead as we entered, quietly as we were able. Enemies were spotted and we moved without light, until our tin-mongers alerted them. Macer tossed a sunrod that illuminated a large worked stone chamber and five bird-like creatures who were very unhappy to hear us(very light sensitive). All moved in and made short work of them. Unfortunately, when terminated, they burst in a brilliant light that effectively blinded many. What sort of lunatic creates a dark dwelling beast that explodes in light when killed? Very surprising to enemies, but rather hard on your own side. This sounds like something my brothers would come up with; look into that. Nina and I were both caught in the blast, so had to put backs to the wall while the few who could still see finished a few others that joined us. When all were recovered, some of their slimy(poisoned) blades were jammed under doors and headed for one the gnome(where did she get to, and who's side is she on?) said led to human bosses. Is this really the best idea, or are we walking into another ambush? Heck of a way to earn a living.

Very good Kelyn.
The troupes sleep was broken by Felu's alarm and shooting of a goblin. The troupe fights off the group of goblins. A few goblins runaway. The troupe remains at the inn ruin until a group of wagons arrived from Standpoint. Along with building materials they bring a group of millitia, bent on defending the rebuilding of the Inn.

The troupe heads off to find the cave that Vex found days ago. They are moving slowly but an undiscovered source had tried to cast a spell on Sam. Felu spots and points out to Sam the source. A female gray gnome. She is charmed by Sam and tells of her city destroyed by several entities including humans, deamons, orcs and goblins. She also makes a rough drawing in the ground, showing a cavern than becomes a building of sorts.

The troupe then began its way towards the site. They come in contact with some dark folk.

We are at the end of that encounter and are readying to enter the building.

Kelyn is correct in his approach. There is a conspiracy against the Lost Cost Traders. And Magnimar in particular. We'll see what the troupe can discover next Tuesday. Thanks for reading. And thanks to the guys for writing. Much more to come. Lex

Because of Kelyn's unsolicited comments of a conspiracy against The Lost Coast Road Traders the group (troupe) can level up. I hope all the guys read this and are ready Tuesday. Level three, guys, be ready. And many thanks to Kelyn. Woot!

Wait, wait? Sam cast a Charm spell and it worked?

It's considered the "most useless spell in the game" in our group simply because in 3 years of playing, we have yet to see someone fail the Will save for it.

(Yeah, it's funny; even my fighter with a -1 Will save made a DC 18 save vs. a Charm spell -- there's just something about 'em that doesn't work in our games...)

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It has worked a couple of times for Sam. And it's fun when it does work. I think Sam is as surprised. I like his approach... "what the heck, I'll try this. It worked? Cool"

Sam cheats. He has the Infernal bloodline, which gives him a bonus on DC with spells from the "charm" subschool, and he has a Mage's Tattoo with the chosen focus of Enchantment, so he casts all enchantments (of which Charm is one) at +2 caster level. Coupled with his stupendous Charisma, the save DC is actually pretty good against low-level stuff (assuming nobody is trying to bust heads before he casts the spell). Now we just need to be high enough level that he can get "Charm Monster."

I shot up at the sudden sound of Felu's bangstick, and then felt immediate pain, a flash of light behind closed lids and then blackness. When I awoke I found Atz kneeling over me and tending my forehead.

"Don't move or you'll pull the stitches out." he said with a wry grin to his face. At that comment I think I heard Lugh snort off to the side.

I couldn't see much, not because of Atz's face and curly hair, but because of the low hanging branches of the tree I had used to sleep under the night before. That's when I realized what had happened. In my surprise I sat bolt upright and must have smacked my head something fierce on a branch. I must have knocked myself out as well. It would definitely explain the headache. It felt like a herd of mastodons was running round on my head.

The place I had picked was ideal for camping as the morning dew wouldn't have soaked into my bedroll. Unfortunately, the suddenness of my awakening caused my failure at helping.

"You're probably going to be dizzy for a while. Don't do anything to crazy or you'll start puking again. You have a concussion." Atz continued. I'm pretty sure I heard Lugh guffaw at that moment as well. I also realized that part of my bedroll, clothes and Atz's legs where coated in last nights rabbit stew.

"Sorry about that," as I sat up, slowly.

Atz grinned and just reminded me to take it easy. As he trotted off I could see that the attack was over, and no one save myself was seriously hurt. I could see Macer smiling and shaking his head, but again, everyone returned to rest.

I stayed up for a while, sitting against the tree that had tried to kill me. Thankfully the cool night air felt good on my skin. Eventually I drifted off to sleep and woke the next morning feeling remarkably better, and unsurprisingly dry.

The group decided to head off to the goblin caves that Vex had found while I decided to stay behind for a bit until the world would stop spinning. Just as the group was leaving with Vex assuring me that he would leave a few markers for me to follow a group arrived from both Sandpoint, to work on rebuilding the inn and a small caravan from Magnimar heading to Sandpoint. The latter had been attacked and they looked a little banged up.

Since the group was already in the process of leaving I spent the morning helping get the guards situated. I also talked with the caravan to find out more about their attackers. More goblins and the odd orc. This caravan was also of the Lost Coast Trading Co. and I began to wonder if there was a very underhanded power play at work against them by a rival trading company. Something we may have to return to Magnimar to find out about unless we capture one of the humans leading these goblins and orcs.

By mid-day, I was feeling useless and so gathered up my gear, and with my knowledge of a tree root that could be chewed to numb pain began to follow after the others. I also took my time, not because I wanted to delay my arrival any but if anyone was trailing after the group, I may get the drop on them.

Tonight the troupe entered the temple ruin. They encountered several groups of orcs and goblins. They subdued one half Orc and learned a couple of names of those in charge. One was an ou-deamon "Lelyrin" (and her sister and mom) another "Oric" sp who was called a pawn by the half Orc. UsePlanB recognized the names and started laughing. He didn't spoil the identities of the two. But if you have played the AP ROTRL you may remember them. They weren't connected during that AP but I am including them in my story. Sense these and many more survived the AP I have given them a roll in this story. The troupe also learned of the desicration of a temple of Serenrae in Magnimar. And yes I'm tweeking yet another AP short, of this pre-made adventure.

The troupe is getting closer to the bigger plot but will take a bit more to understand the gravity of their discovery. The troupes main goal is still to end the attacks along the Lost Coast Road and The Lost Coast Trading Company. I'll let their posts tell the story from their point of view.

Took a bit to organize folks, spike doors, etc before we could get to the left door. Someone heard a female voice berating others and leaving just as we were barging in. The usual spell and cutlery display went through some goblins and an orc, leaving the orc to reconsider his career path. There was a free-for-all of interaction skills before the orc(pardon, half-orc) gave up his employer. Seems the female that was overheard is a winged demon(thanks, Nina) and how did I land in the deep end without my pool floaties?

Moved down a hall and heard snoring from the first door on left. Vex opened it to find 25-30 goblins sprawled around the room. While the more delicate members stayed in the hall, Vex, Nina, and I moved in and icepicked the mob. Not a squeak out of any of them. Bit of knife work for the bounty and we moved to the next door. More sleepers, over a dozen orcs this time. With Oona covering us, moved in and started pinning heads to pillows. Smooth sailing till one decided he didn't want to be dead and started bellowing. Kept offing the slow ones as some of the party came in to engage those awake(much less distasteful). Finished up and gathered a pile of loot(fine arms and armor, the other side has a good benefits package). Still no general alarm, keep pushing, enjoy the easy. Next room, said to contain a human, turns out to be a study. Much searching turns up papers and information for later. A door at the rear should lead to a bed chamber, so I open it; that is NOT a human. I ask for guesses on species as the call goes out for Initiative.

I was able to follow the trail signs left by Vex and to be honest, I didn’t need them. Between the markings left by the passing of the goblins and the party itself I was able to find the entrance in short order. Upon moving into the cave system I first came across a room full of a poisonous frogs. They were easy enough to navigate through and only had to knock a few off my armor before they found some exposed skin.

Beyond the frogs was a long passage of darkness so with a prayer to Gorum a small light was cast onto the pommel of my greatsword and I moved down the dark corridor. The further I moved the closer I came to the sounds of battle, although it appeared to be dying down. Soon after I could see light ahead and saw the familiar forms of my friends as they moved about.

When I arrived I came into a larger room with multiple doors. The center and right most doors had been staked shut and the group was moving through the left most door and into an immediate combat. By the time I made it into the room the fight was over and I saw the corpses of several goblins and a half-orc the group had subdued. Sam, Felu and Oona were escorting him into the first chamber to question him while I opened the only door in the room to make sure we weren’t about to be surprised. I only saw a corridor with more doors on my left so I shut the door to wait for the others to return.

I could hear some shouting from Sam and Oona and then the unmistakable sound of a neck being snapped. Not much honor in that but having a threat from behind is far worse so it was understandable. I imagine it was Oona that did the deed as both Felu and Sam do not have the physical characteristics to do it quickly. When the others returned I could see that Sam and Felu both looked a little pale which led me to believe that Oona surprised them with her viscousness.

They learned the goblins and orcs were being led by an alu demon, to which Nina said was a winged female demon much to all our surprise. She was being directed by her mother, whatever that could be, and her sister. Someone named Orik was just a dupe and that we would all die. Typical bad guy talk.

We then entered into the hallway I had checked earlier and found a long hall with multiple doors on our left and one door on the right at the opposite end of the hall. The first door had the unmistakable sound of sleeping goblins. While most of the group waited in the hallway, Kelyn, Nina and Vex moved in and quietly put them to sleep permanently. Not much honor in killing them in their sleep, but goblins are a vile species that deserves to die. The next room contained the much larger greenskins, also at sleep and again the trio moved in to do their dirty deed. It wasn’t long before their approach failed and the orcs began waking up. Soon the bellows would be so large that they would bring the whole complex down on our heads and permanently end our aggressive investigations. I moved into the room as did some of the others and was immediately tackled by one of the orcs as another moved in to begin pummeling at my face with his fists. Being unable to use my greatsword I retrieved my morning star and made short work of the two. Although to be honest, the bastard green skins were stout and the process took far longer than I expected it to. In the end, more than a dozen of the orcs were killed and no alarm had been raised.

The door on the right side of the hall contained the sounds of several goblins, who were awake and moving about so I positioned myself by that door while the rest of the group moved into the last room on the left. It contained a bedroom of some sort and as the group opened another door in the room I heard the unmistakable sound of weapons being drawn.

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The sounds of battle did not immediately follow the sudden sound of weapons being drawn and I heard Kelyn remark, “Thats not human.” I could then hear the sounds of talking between Vex, Sam and some individual speaking a rather broken Taldane. I only made out snippets of what he said but they involved him, I assume a him, just breaking ties with those he worked for and only wanting to serve the ‘queen.’ To which he was referring to Oona. When I questioned that to those that could hear Felu responded with, “Queen of his heart, not an actual queen of somewhere.”

“Well, thats just stupid.” I responded. Don’t get me wrong, Oona has always been very attractive but she has . . . issues. Only now are some of them becoming more apparent.

After a few minutes I heard that Kelyn and Nina were going to search the room they were all in while the others moved to a secret door they had found in the previous room. As they prepared to open the secret door I finally saw the individual they had been talking with and it was the bastard that used the darkness, fog and poison to best Lugh and I. Before I could voice my opinion on the matter the others came out of the room and I received a chiding look from Oona.

Vex stepped out into the hall with me as they entered the room beyond the secret door. “He’s not to be trusted Vex.”

“I know.” he replied.

“He gives me a reason, and I’m going to drop him.” I said while Vex just continued to nod in agreement.

While waiting for half of the group to look through the room that was some sort of study that contained rough architectural plans for the temple we were in the door at the opposite end of the hall opened. Moving quickly down the hall to intercept whoever it was I found them to be a smaller humanoid that vaguely looked like the man now acting as Oona’s new follower. The group had explained that these smaller creatures also exploded upon death but only as a bright light.

The glowing pommel of my sword was causing them all manner of distress as they chattered in some unknown tongue. A rather broken Taldane word of ‘light’ was all I could make out. They didn’t appear to be looking for a fight, but were confused and trying to warn us. Sam and Vex was able to translate out that they had discovered the bodies of others and that something was wrong. After listening to Vex they shrugged their shoulders and left back the way they had come. It would seem they are blind in any form of light and assumed we were the orcs, or their superiors. There was easily a score of the creatures in total and not all of them had entered into the hall because of the light.

Once again I took up the roll of doorstop and stayed by the door in case they figured out our ruse and returned to attack. After a few minutes I heard the door to the room they were in close and it became quiet once again. Moving back down the hall I returned to my old post of the door where the goblins could be heard. Macer had come out and checked the last door in our hallway and found that it had led to a natural cavern with at least three tunnels.

Lugh had come out of the room looking at some of the drawings and a note. He didn’t looked pleased, in fact he looked worried and I could tell he was mulling something over. When I asked what was wrong he showed me the information they had found and there were three names of gods I had never heard of. A Sorshen, Karzoug and Alaznist. I shrugged at the names not being able to offer any help as even Lugh had never heard of them. The problem was the note and the information scrawled on its surface. It would appear that some “lacky” was purposefully destroying the shrine to the Dawnflower, Sarenrae, in Magnimar and converting it to this Sorshen god. The note also explained that the area we were in was a shrine to this Alaznist god and it was also being converted over to Sorshen. I thought about this for a minute and then came to the same realization that Lugh did. What if his mother was this ‘lacky’ and was unknowingly destroying the temple. Getting out of here and back to Magnimar suddenly became very important.

During this time something of magical note was discovered in one of the rooms beyond the secret door and most of the group was in there looking at whatever it was. I found myself standing with Felu, Lugh, Vex and Macer. All of us were looking at one another as if expecting something to happen.

“You know I could open the door,” I said nodding my head in the direction of the door I was guarding. “But someone’s boyfriend might not be happy I took his girl to the dance without him along.” I said while smiling at Felu.

To which Felu responded while drawing her pistol from her belt with a smile and said, “He would be devastated.”

Lugh began preparing weapons, as did Macer while Vex ate a chunk of charcoal and began steaming at the mouth and then immediately drank that vile looking concoction he continually makes every morning.

So with a wry grin, and in a flat monotone voice I said, “Oh no. They opened the door and attacked us.” I then opened the door and walked into a large room with a central pool about fifteen feet across and a smaller glowing pool up on a small rise at the back of the room close to us. The room itself was full of the goblins, there was way more than a score and there was some sort of odd looking creature laying on the floor of the cavern alongside a bunch of dead goblins. Another was rising from the large pool while a few goblins were cackling with laughter near the glowing pool.

As a group we fanned out into the room and Felu scored the first kill when she put a hole through one of the goblins oddly shaped heads. I moved up and cut another in half with enough force that my sword almost stuck into the stone floor. The creature, which looked like some sort of gangly human with no hair and a mandible like jaw structure came right for me. Its bite contained some sort of toxin as I could feel my body fighting against whatever it did. With a war cry to Gorum I brought my greatsword down upon the creature and almost killed it. Then Macer stepped up and in fact did kill the creature.

Soon another rose from the pool and attacked me. Once again a cry to Gorum and a might blow almost killed the creature but a sling stone from Atz who had run in killed the creature. No sooner had it fallen than another rose up and again I engaged it, but once again Atz cut in on my glory. I began to suspect that the others were messing with me, knowing that I would get riled up at their unneeded assistance when there were so many goblins about. The creatures though only attacked me and I can only assume they hated my open display of Gorum’s holy symbol, while in their temple of Sorshen.

A moment later as I was trying to decide what goblins I was going to have to kill, one of which I had just done as they swarmed over Macer, three of the mandible creatures surfaced through the pool and again attacked me. This time though everyone was busy and I was able to dispatch a few of the creatures in glorious combat. Even Oona had arrived, under some sort of spell that had increased her size. In short order the fight was over and the goblins, and these creatures were dead.

Well, that was fun.

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This might take a bit to unravel, many things happening at different locations.

Nina and I moved in to cover the dark "person" who stood with empty hands and two swords laid at his feet. Vex translated that he had just left the service of another(the demon?) and was searching for his "queen". There was talk of who, what, and where when his eyes grew large and he dropped to the floor. I turned to see Oona through the door and the nut at our feet was apparently swearing eternal loyalty to her. That's what I dislike about these mercenaries, their ethics and loyalties are flighty as a gaggle of sprites. That, and he had obviously taken a mace to the bean and all his ducks weren't swimming in the same pond. I secured his swords and we searched the room as Oona toke her new minion elsewhere.

Lugh called for someone with knowledge of engineering, I was the closest we had. Others had opened a secret door in the study that led to another with many papers. There were building plans, apparently for the goblin-filled temple. The originals are good work in a fair hand, but the later ones are much cruder of what is actually being done; typical contractor problem. It is being converted from the worship of something to another, no one recognizes any names. Lugh read a note that says the demon is plotting to subvert another temple in Magnimar. Unnamed people are being tricked into wrecking Lugh's temple in Underbridge, and he fears his mother may be in great danger; time for another road trip.

Meanwhile, Oona and her toy were in a further room and he was making much noise about powerful magics. I trailed Nina, Atz,and Sam in to find an empty space in front of the nut. Much finger wiggling, and the casters agreed a powerful portal hung in the room. About then, boredom caught up, and combat broke out back towards the first hall. Most bolted that direction as Sam cast a spell on Oona, doubling her size. Nina had talked about this sort of thing in her studies, but it was disturbing to be there. Nice girl, Oona, but her stairs have never reached the top floor. Now they had a lot farther to go. She squeezed out, leaving Sam, Nina and I with her flunky and the portal. Not waiting for him to use it, Nina and I moved to take care of him. Had him backed into the corner when TWO alu demons stepped through. Turned attention to them, the nut even took a swing with a dagger(knew we should have searched him) at these obvious threats. They made noises at each other and moved back through the portal, we managed to mark them with cold iron as they left. The lackey moved back to his corner as we flanked the way for their return.

Sounds of combat still carried from the hall, but we weren't going to leave this open for reinforcements. We talked quietly, keeping an eye on the minion, when Nina stated the obvious. The two demons, one of which could have shredded us like old paper, had left to possibly get more help. Why the heck were we still here? Grabbed a chest of loot and filed out, leaving the questionable asset to his own devices. I'm sure he couldn't possibly come back to haunt us in the future.

Caught up with the group and found that they had indeed been busy. The temple is covered with windrows of goblins and several "spawn" that appeared out of a pool(how many gates does this place have?). Some of the bugs escaped and there is talk of many light bombs on the loose; definitely time to hit the road. If we're going to chop down the biggest tree in the forest with a herring(a sardine, in my case), we need to get to Magnimar and find a LOT of help. Guess that's why we earn the big bucks.

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Troubling…..I have made a wreck of this investigation. I question my ability to root the evil from the darkness, but then my tutors said there was always a cost involved. This is a high learning curve and I only hope the price isn’t too high! Our hunt has been lucrative and there have been numerous materials and references to collect and decipher. The diversity of our groups knowledge, training and experience have been invaluable in putting the pieces we have found into perspective. I have come to learn that I have a great disdain for shadow walkers or dark stalkers, whatever their name, I despise them!

In a fight with goblins we noticed what appeared to be human commanders standing to the rear of their deployment. As we broke the goblin lines they ran for the hills…literally. Huge, Vex and I gave chase. Two stopped to engage us while the third continued on. As we approached it became apparent they were not human in the normal sense and then as we set upon them we were engulfed in darkness. That saved their hides. My combat was arduous and perilous. All to late I became aware of the use of poison on their blades as their blows sapped ever increasing amounts of my strength. I awoke to my friend and fishing buddy Atz tending the side of my head. The initial agony was as intense as any of the fishing accidents I had experienced with my father. He explained I had been seriously wounded and one of the darklings had tried to make off with my ear. Not that it was their intent but my companions had retrieved my lobe with the demise of the one who had lifted it. They are my chosen favorite foe to exterminate with prejudice at this time. After A rest and some time at the site of the Halfway Inn ruins a troop of guards and a train of supplies arrived to begin rebuilding. We made off to track down the bulk of the goblin tribe harassing the area.

The group has seemingly many capable trackers alloying me to focus on other nuances of the trail, deducing habits and traits of the terrain and the interaction with the tribe as they moved through it. We happened upon a cave entrance on a low hill and made quick work of the sentries. Doors were spiked closed so we wouldn’t be ravaged by hordes of creatures from multiple avenues of attack. It just seemed the smart thing to do. I took great satisfaction in this fight felling a number of the darklings in their attempt to flee or raise an alarm. Many strange and odd creatures lurked in the darkness in this complex. They could be heard skittering about in the dark behind doors or down passage ways and we quietly slipped through the dark. I do dislike the darkness. It is a void of negative lifelessness. That is an issue I will address as soon as the opportunity presents itself. For now I depend on Oona’s innate ability to guide me through it despite my discomfort in it. A number of the group split off to take some goblins in their sleep, a fine use of their skills. A second attempt with what turned out to be orcs was attempted but open melee ensued. Once the way was illuminated I made my way towards the chaos. My assistance was not required and the ranks of enemy combatants were reduced to zero before my worth could be realized. Still there was no response from the residents to our presence. We moved into a living space for what appeared to be more civilized folk though unoccupied. Oddly a darkling was found and he pledged his allegiance to Oona, who he addressed as “Queen”. That was interesting, and disconcerting to me, however Oona's spirit was lifted and I let her have him for whatever time he might prove useful. I was uncomfortable with him but she could handle him much better than I could at this point so I began to scour the rooms for clues as to the purpose and intent of this strange axis of creatures. Our search came upon rude designs and plans for a repurposing of the temple, all confirmed by Kelyn. There was correspondence with prominent names of Karzoug, Alaznist, and Sorchen. Another note was presented to me in a fashion of hesitance. I read it and found it disturbing indeed. Others were investigating a magical arcane anomaly in another room as I gathered all the paper evidence and made my way out to the rest of the group. I shared the information with Huge who had stood guard patiently all this while.He made no more sense of it than me, except for the disturbing note. It referred to a fallen Dawnflower who would assist in helping repurpose the shrine to Sarenrae in Underbridge. The fallen Dawnflower was female, and to his credit Huge broached the subject I had unknowingly blocked from my consciousness. He questioned if it was my Mother. Short of running off to Magnimar I put the evidence away with a firm but unswerving acknowledgment of his theory. I was swimming form point to point in my mind of what was afoot! Oona’s father, some b&*&@ trio... Lelryn and her siblings!?! I was boiling and ready to leave when Huge spoke up….“You know I could open the door, but someone’s boyfriend might not be happy I took his girl to the dance without him along.” He was addressing Felu, I put my spear and shield on my back and drew my scimitar and grandfathers dagger. Felu drew her blast wand saying, ““He would be devastated.” She is a keeper, a woman of great humor and caustic wit, but I was not up for humor in the moment and said “Open it.” I needed to release some rage! Huge released the latch and exclaimed “Oh no. They opened the door and attacked us.” Huge, Felu, Myself, Macer, and Vex stormed into the room with no idea what to expect other than numerous goblins. That is all I could see, that was all I was looking for. I swung wildly with both blades, and though I was required to whirl about their numbers I dove into them. Fortunately they came to meet us in groups and lines making their destruction that much quicker. Some foul beasts rose from a pool in the room and began to savage Huge. Others of the group came to his aid which aggravated him but it is probably for the best, they looked very deadly! Vex smiled at my inquiry to assist him so I scrambled to the opposite side of the room to run down the remaining goblins figuring the hand full that remained could be addressed by those likely on their way to assist in the outbreak in hostilities. Sadly I was unable to account for those attempting to escape as they ran off into the dark…DAMMIT! The fight at the pool was still on going as I returned. I noticed goblin bodies by a collection font. They had sacrificed their own to summon these creatures from the pool! I dropped my weapons, found a great hammer and began wailing away at the font. Still pounding away, Atz, Huge and Macer, all but pulled me away from it pointing out, I had done no appreciable damage. As the rage began to recede I realized the futility of my attempt, gathered my gear and waited only long enough for Vex to complete his collection of goblin ears. Then the remainder of the group came into the temple room claiming demons had come through the arcane doorway found in the rooms searched earlier and had fled for reinforcements and that we should flee. Fine by me, well not so much as flee, more like attack towards Magnimar…and with the quickness!

I cannot for the life of me understand why my Mother would have abandoned Sarenrae…she wouldn’t! She would fight. What would my Papa do? What of my siblings!?! HOLYLIGHT I MUST GET HOME NOW! Above all a discussion must take place before I/we return to solve this dilemma. With demons named and present nothing is outside the realm of possibilities, so if redemption is possible, absolution will be delivered. If not, no one….NO ONE….TOUCHES….MY MOTHER!!! If it is the Dawnflowers will I will end her….by my hand….myself!!!????

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All three of these entries are great. The troupe is moving carefully and gathering a great deal of important information. Some of the troupe heard one of the major players but just missed seeing her. We'll see what happens tomorrow. We are playing tomorrow. I am using a module that has Serenrae's Temple in Magnimar but tweequing it for this story. Many thanks to those that keep the entries coming.

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Well...this adventure has been exciting so far.

We followed the goblin trail through the woods to the hidden underground entrance that Vex had spotted earlier. We made our way through the caverns filled with frogs(?), goblins, and these shadowy creatures that couldn't stand any light that we used to see our own way through the tunnels. In fact, my sunrod completely blinded them and made them helpless targets. The only drawback to fighting these creatures was the fact that they exploded in a bright flash of light that temporarily blinded some of us.

The room with the shadowy creatures had three doors on the far wall. We blocked one of them that had been used by reinforcements, and moved into the far, left hallway where we had learned the "leaders" were located. In the hallway we found several doors and split the group slightly to investigate the various rooms. Huge and I spent most of our time guarding the hallway, except when our friends found a room with several orcs that needed killed. Sam, Felu, Kelyn, and some of the others found one of the leaders in a back room and used him to get information as much as possible. I never really saw much of him, but Huge said he was one of the creatures from the previous fight that had injured him and cut off Lugh's ear. Huge didn't trust him and I didn't blame him considering their history.

Huge, Lugh, and I poked around in the hallway, opening a few of the doors to see what was behind them while the others dealt with the leader. I found a door that led to several natural caverns which disappeared into the darkness underground. We had no reason to follow these, so we shut the door and continued to wait for the others.

During this time, Huge grew bored and suggested that those of us in the hallway should go ahead and open the door that led into the underground temple where we could hear goblin voices. Never ones to back down from a fight, we all grinned and followed him into the room as he smiled and opened the door.

The temple inside was a confusing, chaotic scene with goblins running everywhere, and some strange, hairless creatures that rose from a dark pool near the center of the room. We all jumped into combat, targeting the goblins first, and then moving on to the center where Huge had engaged the summoned abominations.

The fight continued as more of the creatures appeared from the pool. Vex and Lugh were still hunting goblins, while Atz, Oona, and others began to enter the room and join the melee. Eventually, we cut down the last of the creatures. It seems that the goblins were sacrificing themselves (or their friends) to bleed into a font at the far wall of the temple. As their blood (or bodies) entered the font, more of the creatures appeared in the pool. Lugh was the first to figure this out and had made a point of killing the goblins that were causing the problem.

Lugh seemed almost crazed as he found a hammer and began to pound on the font. The strange stone resisted his blows and we eventually had to pull him back from his futile efforts to destroy it.

As all of our stories came together, we learned that there were plans by the dark forces to destroy the Sarenrae shrine in Magnimar. We decided to leave as quickly as possible to return to Magnimar to try and prevent the destruction of the shrine.

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The troupe finished off the threat in the old temple, there were more threats still in another part of this complex but Lugh and others wanted to return to the ruined inn and then on to Magnimar. We made our way out and healed up using a wand of healing by Atz, then we returned to the inn. It was late afternoon when we arrived. Lugh was quite and somber. The troupe relayed to each other the plans of this temple and another in Magnimar but none of us recognized the names of the gods that were mentioned in the writings. The mention of Lugh's mother possibly being the source of betrayal only made Lugh more melloncally. I fear for his sanity if it is ture. When we talked to Keara she said some of the names we found were of ancient Rune Lords and not gods.

We set off to Magnimar the next morning with a couple wagons in tow. Keara in a gypsy wagon and the inn keeper in the other. The day went uneventful. In the early morning Shelalu came back from scouting and reported that orcs had attacked a caravan just miles ahead of us and returned to check on our safety.

Our final trek to Magnimar brought a wagon headed for us on the road and as Lugh, Birgun and Macer advanced to intercept it I got an odd feeling of a dark presence. I grabbed Sam's shoulder and warned him of something bad was coming. The wagons burst into flames and our three fighters engaged the person on the advancing wagon. I moved closer to the darkness I could feel until I dared not to move any more. I then engaged it as I had with whatever was attacking Sam at the inn. I could feel it's strength but couldn't overcome it's defenses so I reached for the power of the daemon I had absorbed at the inn. I was winning but not by much and this daemon was hungry. It was taking over Lugh and as the troupe was killing it it laughed and reached even harder at Lugh. I shouted that the troupe not hurt it any more, out of fear of what it would do to Lugh. I reached for more power and felt a slimy sickening fealth course through my veins but when I released it I fealt the new daemon scream as I absorbed it into my being. It sits now inside me still wanting more.

I checked my skin and sure enough there are black lines racing up and down my arms. Sam walked over to me and in hushed tones talked calmly to me and as he lowered my sleeves said let's hide those for now. Are you okay? I said yes but I'm not sure of what to do.

Lugh was fine and so was the rest of our troupe but the four horses we had pulling the wagons were dead. We hitched up the horses from the other wagon and used a spell from the dead wizard to summon another for our second wagon.

We made it to Magnimar and went first to the trading company to claim our reward for the goblins we had killed. They wanted us to stay and give them more information but Sam said it could wait until the next day. We then went to Lugh's home but stayed back far enough to watch it. One of his brothers came out and headed towards the market district. Lugh had Kelyn and Nina follow him. They returned shortly saying that his brother had just bought food stuffs. When Lugh brother went into the house is when we all followed Lugh to the front door.

Lugh opened it and stopped just inside for a moment. His whole family was there even his mom and everything was okay. His mom told us of some disturbing news. Followers of Serenrae have been murdered in the early mornings the past few days and also that the old temple has need sat upon by some evil. His dad and brothers have stayed in town watching over the family in fear that Lugh's mother was a target of these foul murders.

We halved learned a little and have talked with Macer's father who is in the city guard. He wants us to meet him this night to discuss what can be done.

After pulling Lugh from the artifact, we made a quick inventory of people and body parts. Some members of the group held a tough-guy contest to see who could travel with the gravest wounds and highest blood loss, but Atz was eventually allowed to heal up most of the carnage. Moved to the door leading to the first hall while another contest was held to find who could hang back the longest and be judged the bravest. Hucked Macer's sunrod in, which scattered an apparent ambush, the squealers bolting down the far passage where the bugs fled. Exited the tunnel after a few close encounters with the "tiny" ten pound poisonous frogs and made it back to the inn by dark. Over dinner, information was shared with input from Shalaelu and Kiara. The plan is to check on Lugh's family, investigate the temple plot, and maybe pick up a bit more equipment now that there are demons involved. Either they are really short of coin, or there is a lot more to this than a hostile takeover of a transportation company.

After a night of rest, we left with a few wagons in tow. A quiet day, many were anxious to push through to Magnimar, but the wagon teams weren't up to it and camp was made. Before dawn, Shalaelu rode in and reported another group of wagons had been attacked by orcs ahead of us. Set off watching for possible ambush and hoping to assist survivors. Spotted a damaged wagon approaching and HUGE, Lugh, and Macer moved toward it. I saw a small red light just as Nina drove me face-first into the ground and a wave of fire engulfed the wagons(and us). I truly love this woman, but it is this kind of thing that makes it very difficult to cut a heroic figure and build a legendary reputation. Kipped up and chased after her to protect her from all this danger as the large ones dismembered the caster before he roasted us again. About then, a large, shadowy form reared up in the wagon and the fight got confusing. Random people would stop as if dazed, then continue fighting. Nina cast and HUGE got HUGER, and Sam felt Macer should follow suit, seriously testing the integrity of the wagon. Finally got to the fight and landed a solid hit, just in time to hear Felu yell that the creature "had" Lugh and our damage would hurt him also. Oona wasn't convinced, and proceeded to pile-drive Lugh with several open-handed blows. Felu's powers and Lugh's thick skull stopped the demon, and it vanished to whatever hole it crawled out of. Patched the wounded, policed the field, and used some captured magic to get the wagons into Magnimar.

Dropped the smelly bags of ears at Lost Road and moved to the MaeGethlyn home. Lugh had us stake out the area in case the enemy was there before us. Nina and I followed his brother, but he only went to the market for food. Lugh took us in and found them all to be okay, if a bit shaken. Followers of the Dawnflower have been ritualistically murdered and the family was laying low. Contacted Macer's father to share information offer our assistance. The Guard is planning to move on the Underbridge area, and he would like us to be part of it. Next move is to talk more with Lost Road, re-equip, and come up with a brilliant plan; child's play!

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I hadn't had the module with me when I've posted before. It's "Dawn of the Scarlet Sun". With just a few revisions and name changes it fits perfectly into my story.

While Vex ran around and removed ears I made my way back over to the doorway leading to where the “demons” might come from and used my bulk to keep the door closed. The gang was worried that we might get flanked by more orcs from the side room where the goblins had escaped and the decision was made to leave here now that we understood what was happening. While the others gathered up treasures, ears and whatnot I began wedging the doorway with pitons I was carrying. Unsure what the capabilities of demons were I hoped it would at least slow them down somewhat.

Finally the group was done and began our retreat back the way we had come. Using the alchemical sun rods to clear any of these darkling folk I waited until the group had moved into the entry hall before leaving the door. To help ensure I could keep up, I had cast a spell that allowed for greater movement and easily caught up to the slowly retreating group.

Other than one of the frogs jumping onto my backpack and biting me on the back of my neck under my helmet, we all departed unscathed. Once outside of the complex, Atz began healing the wounds many of the group had suffered. Knowing that there could be a rather large horde of creatures pouring out after us, I preferred to wait until we returned to the Halfway Inn before I took the time to heal my wounds. Thankfully we made it to the inn without any trouble. A few curative magics from myself and the wand that Atz carried saw to the wounds I had suffered at the hands of the spawning creatures.

It was during this time that we discussed all we had found and learned a great many things. Apparently the pantheon of these gods labels them as runelords. We learned this from Kiara and Shalelu when I shared the information with them. Kiara was giving me an odd look when I was in her wagon, something she wasn’t leaving for fear of being seen. I didn’t understand the look but I wanted to tell her to leave the wagon. Fear of being found is not how to solve her problem. I also related that the individual darkling we found that had sworn some sort of fealty to Oona was here with this Falcone to assassinate Kiara. This news didn’t surprise her in any way but she still insisted on staying within her Varisian wagon.

I spent the remainder of the evening boiling the mandible bone I had taken off the spawning creature so I could begin scrimshawing the trophy. Admittedly the smell was awful and a thorough cleaning of the iron pot with sand and plenty of water was needed before I was willing to cook food in it again.

We left the next morning with Kiara’s wagon and the inn keeper along with his wagon to gather more supplies needed for his rebuild. The trip was uneventful and we debated pushing on through the evening but decided to stop and rest through the night.

Early the next morning Shalelu returned to the group as we were preparing to leave to head to Magnimar. She had left earlier to scout ahead and make sure we weren’t going to run into any surprises. She had found a small caravan that had been attacked by orcs and she was sure there was no survivors. I nodded at the news and offered a small prayer to Gorum for the souls of those killed and asked for his blessing in finding these orcs so that we could exact revenge. My prayers were answered but not as I had expected.

About an hour down the road we were able to see a wagon with a lone rider approaching us along the road. His animals appeared to be injured and their gait was off. Lugh, Macer and I moved forward ahead of our group to make sure there would be no surprises and mentioned to Kelyn and the others to watch their sides. Along the way I again cast the spell increasing my movement speed so I would not be hampered by my armor. As we got to within a hundred feet the man cast a ball of fire that exploded on Kiara’s wagon. Macer, Lugh and I charged forward to end his threat and I was surprised to see that Macer reached the wagon and just stopped. As if he was in deep thought. Knowing that it was going to be difficult for me to reach the wizard in the wagon by climbing in my armor I instead called upon Gorum to bless me with greater leaping ability and launched myself up into the wagon and attacked. The wizard never stood a chance. Even with his protective magics that reflected my blows back at me in the form of magical fire, he dropped quickly. Thankfully though, that was not the end of the fight as there was a sudden appearance of blackness that took shape in the back of the wagon. Not understanding what it was I swung wildly and failed to even come close. A couple of Shalelu’s arrows flew in from the side and impaled the creature which told me all I needed to know.

Before I could swing again I heard Nina cast some spell that resulted in my size growing as well as my weight. The wagon groaned under the suddenness of the increased weight and thankfully did not break. With a well placed strike using Shalelu’s arrows as a marker I struck the creature a solid blow. The blade was coated in a black oily substance when I cast a look at it and then I found myself in darkness. Unlike the fight with the darkling creatures this darkness had a tangible feel to it, like swimming in tar. As quickly as it happened it disappeared and I renewed my attacks in Gorum’s name.

Thats when I heard Felu scream from behind us to stop attacking as it had Lugh. I cast a quick glance over my right shoulder and could see Felu’s face in strained concentration. Trusting her judgment, I yelled at Sam who stood next to her, “I hope she’s right!” Instead of attacking, I held my sword high waiting to bring it down on whatever this creature was when it just vanished. As soon as it disappeared, Lugh shook his head as if waking from a deep sleep and looked around confused. Turning to look at Felu, I could see Sam holding her arms and she looked weak.

The ball of fire had killed the horses of our wagons and thankfully no one was killed by the attack. Using Shalelu’s horse and a spell found on a scroll of the dead wizard, we conjured up another horse to limp into Magnimar. Once there I told Kiara that she was welcome in our home and gave her directions. Ulfen tradition would see to her safety and I was fairly confident she would enjoy getting out of the wagon.

The rest of us stopped off at the Lost Coast Trading Company to drop off our bounty of goblin ears and promised to return the following day to explain what was learned. The MæGethlyn home was the priority and I could see that Lugh was chomping at the bit to head there while we waited for payment.

In the end we found that his mother, and more importantly, his family was fine and we learned that followers of the dawnflower were being murdered in Underbridge. The city guards seemed to be unable to stop the attacks and we used Macers father to learn what we could. In the end we agreed to help the city guards put an end to these attacks, as much for Lugh as for the city.

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