27 Mustering, continued
Trosk, Cyrel, and Didymus escorted the surviving goblins from the mine. Sir Didymus allowed the goblins to take their mules, ponies, and supplies. The nine remaining goblins could not take all the animals, so three mules passed into our possession. Didymus also gave them a little gold for their journey (which Cyrel though an absurd move). Meanwhile, Brinn, Cora, and Faust searched the remaining rooms, starting with the ones nearest where the battle ended. One room contained correspondence with the goblins’ original homes in the Yan Elanon Mountains. Another contained a locked chest and some traveling gear, including a pretty bag containing magic items. Yet another held a conference table and plans on the wall for work in the mines. There was also a room for the mules, and an armory. It was in the armory that Trosk, Cyrel, and Sparkboom rejoined the searchers, finding Brinn loading up a wheelbarrow with useful items (including the large locked chest). Cyrel had the various keys we had collected in the mine, one of which fit the lock on the chest, which contained a significant amount of coins and a potion which Sparkboom identified as Cure Light Wounds (it was pale blue and smelled minty). Cyrel, Trosk, and Faust searched the Great Hall (finding mostly burnt rat stew), while Brinn, Cora, and Sparkboom searched a room holding little more than tattered goblin clothes. Regrouping, we found the larder (unsavory goblin foodstuffs, and some fresh venison), a cavern with an unstable roof, and finally a room holding disgusting trash (which we quickly moved on from, ugh!).
We finished searching the mine by mid-afternoon, and returned to the exit. There, those who had not yet left the caves met Aslynn, a druid whose concerns about the goblins in the caves mirrored Xan’s. She was an acquaintance of Trosk and Luhluh, and accompanied by a badger. It was drizzling, with the look of worse rain on the way, and several of the party were injured from the long fight, so Brinn proposed we return to the first chamber of the cave and rest for the night. Glad that we had dealt with the goblins, Aslynn offered to give us a hand. Cora led the way back to the stable cave so Aslynn could recommend what foodstuffs we should collect for the animals, and along the way explained our mission. We healed each other as best we could, and claimed what armor and weapons we had found which we might use. The night passed quietly.
In the morning, Faust identified some of the magic items we had found. A bracelet found in the pretty bag proved enchanted with Tongues. Cora put it on and attempted to read several pieces of parchment from the same bag, but it was no help. This confirmed that they were scrolls of spells, requiring Read Magic to decipher. Faust determined that one of them was a high-level divine spell. Meanwhile, Brinn had organized the large number of coins upon the three new mules. When all was ready, we headed back out toward the place where we had spoken to Xan.
It was Faust’s 111th birthday. Cora sang the elven birthday song in celebration, but was interrupted when something bit her. Trosk spotted a snake slithering away, and assured her that if its venom had not immediately taken effect, she would experience no further harm.
A short while later, Sparkboom, Trosk, and Luhluh began to hear a chittering noise. Looking for the source, Sir Didymus spotted glowing things beneath the trees up ahead. We walked closer until we could see the that the lights were about six inches from the ground and moving in pairs. Trosk identified the source as cat-sized fire beetles. With some thought and a little reluctance, Brinn and Didymus decided that we should go around (considering our still-injured states and the urgency of our mission).
The rain began to pick up. Avoiding the beetles brought our path somewhat closer to the lake. In the distance, Luhluh and Sparkboom spotted a white fox staring intently at us. Suddenly, ahead of us appeared a slender, dark-haired woman, facing away from us. Cora called hello and she answered, welcoming us if peaceful, but warning us to leave if not. Realizing the situation, Trosk asked if we may look upon her, and she said yes and turned around. She was a nymph named Thelia. Cora reported our intentions as peaceful. Thelia offered to heal our injuries, and healed Brinn and Trosk. Cora explained that we seek her father, and described him. Thelia may have seen Cardor wandering in the woods about five days before. He was headed vaguely toward the plains, but seemed unlikely to keep going in a single direction. Brinn asked generally about the area. She warned us of dangerous insects and parties of slavers, and said “don’t eat the orange berries.” It turns out the fancy bag is hers, so we returned it with all but the coins (Brinn had sorted all the coins from various sources together onto the mules, and Thelia was not particularly concerned about it). She was very grateful to have the sentimental items inside returned! So much so, that she offered us a boon: she will act as a muse for Cora, inspiring her bardic performance.
Soon, Xan appeared again (he claimed he had been there all along, and enjoys walking). We asked him about the white fox. Xan says he has seen white foxes around recently, they don’t belong here. He says they are silly; a white fox will likely be eaten right away (possibly by him)! As promised, he tells us about Cardor: he saw a party of goblins taking him away from the direction of the mine a few days ago. He will show us the path they took.
Suddenly, a menacing sound approached! An ogre lumbered toward us, with beady eyes devoid of wit or kindness. He held a club aloft, and gestured with his other hand as if desiring something from us. He did not respond to Cora’s hail in several languages, so we prepared for battle. After Trosk, Brinn, and Didymus charged the ogre, he tried to run away. But Didymus disemboweled it with an evil-smiting blow as it turned, killing it. It was carrying nothing of value; there was a metal spoon rolled up into a ball which Cora found hilarious, and some dried dung which Trosk identified as coming from a deer.
Shortly after, there was a clap of thunder and with it appeared a fey. Xan reacted with “Oh, here we go” (said telepathically, of course). The fey invited us inside his home for a drink; Xan let us know that there was nothing to fear from the offer but over-long conversation. We were lead to a well-hidden door and into a cozy underground home. The fey introduced himself as Voldor, and his wife is Lema. Lema offered us stew. Cora identified the two as Brownies. They offer to let us stay the night, and promise to accompany us in the morning (which will speed our travel). We agree, and join in food and conversation for the rest of the day. The two brownies complain a lot about their great nephew (by marriage, they are careful to point out), he seems to have joined some sort of gang. They’re glad that we took out the goblins. Lema teases Xan about his weight. They also know Thelia, and tell us some stories about her. Trosk asks them about the white foxes. Voldor has seen them (just a little), he finds them suspicious. He also tells us his theory that a werewolf has moved into the area; he’s seen some large bucks which were mauled. He says that if we find “the poor bastard”, we should take him to Thelia. When Lema hears that it is Faust’s birthday, she gives him three goodberries as a birthday gift.
“I feel like I’m larping now.” -Jimmy, muttering
“We are the church of the cleared mind” (which means that we kill 2/3rds of you, and give the survivors money.)
“If something was horrible, the Heroes of Yelden are there.” -Mike
“Leave it to the ranger to think about excrement.” -Mike
“Goblins don’t have the best penmanship.” -Kara
“Think of all the wishes we can make in fountains!” -Meghan, upon finding a chest full of copper pieces
“Why are you bandaging my anus?” -Cyrel, when Brinn fails a heal check badly
“Wait, are we rolling initiative?” -Melk
“It’s an ogre! It’s a horrible, horrible thing.” -Brad
“It’s got layers!” -Meghan
“And I’m going to peel them all from his body.” -Brad
“You wouldn’t poison a guy on his birthday, would you?” -Faust
Rules note: while sleeping at Voldor & Lema’s house, we will regain 4hp rather than 2hp; players may have already recorded this.