That went horribly wrong.
Yesterday morning we started out for the Churlwood to find the goblins that were holding the dwarves hostage. We made it just outside of town, I could see buildings still, when we were attacked by some small form of sinspawn. They went straight for Shen. We made short work of them, but not before they’d roughed her up pretty good. I got her back on her feet with my kit and we decided to continue. Once we got to the ferry things didn’t go so well.
Seems the roadkeepers decided to try and toll the ferry, and they wanted quite a bit. Now I’ve swiped a coinpurse or two in my time, but I’ve never understood the need to threaten people for their money. This worthless batch wanted ten gold off each of us! Who goes into a wood with that kinda gold on them?
I was mid-step when I discovered Keldormu actually hates bandits worse than I do. I couldn’t get my mouth open before he took that huge axe of his and charged the bandits. Worse, seems the leader of these thugs was expecting it! He nearly split open, but she stepped back and made herself invisible. I called on Ashava for mist to cover us all and maybe stop the fight, but I could hear the other bandits taking swings at the rest of us. The fight took a little time with the mist, but eventually the other two bandits passed out. Then Lullaby ran from us while still invisible. I made sure the other two were going to survive their wounds, but left them unconcious. We placed their comatose bodies in a rather memorable position. Hopefully they’ll realize that messing with the Cove is a bad idea and go somewhere else.
After about half a day’s walk into the Churlwood, we found a trailgaunt, and three bodies of missing guards. Someone was keeping the trailgaunt suppressed inside a circular gravel path, but the three bodies would join the poor soul if we didn’t do something about it. Fighting it wasn’t all that bad, beyond how disturbing seeing a corpse walking could be. We burned the gaunt and buried the three guards inside the path. I gave the best last rites I could think of and asked Ashava to watch them. We took some of their guard gear so we could provide evidence proof when we told the guard. Evening was approaching, so we looked for a place close by to make camp.
Treya, the masked woman, and Shen were discussing something when I got back to the camp from walking about and dancing for Ashava. Keldormu had found food and was cooking it. The moon was full so my hair caught them off guard. I told them it’s a family thing. I wish I knew if that were true. I ate a little, took the first watch, and then went to sleep after switching with Treya.
That was yesterday, not terrible. Hard and a bit more frightening than helping defend a caravan, but we were at least as good as caravan guards I’d stood beside, it seemed like we’d do okay.
Today proved that thought totally wrong. We came to a place where the trail split two directions to go around a hill. We went around the east side, no one knew where we were going, so it was a guess. It was a bad one I think, we came upon a camp. It didn’t take long to realize it was the roadkeepers main camp. They weren’t happy to see us, I don’t know where Lullaby was, but the three men outside seemed just a tad more murderous than the group at the ferry. They threatened us, we offered to leave, stating we were looking for goblins. We were getting ready to go around when they said something too threating to Keldormu, and in he charged. Again.
This fight was well, bloodier, and really scary. I asked for Ashava’s strength, but couldn’t keep up with Keldormu’s charging into people. These guys weren’t using saps either, Valyrius and Keldormu took a lot of cuts and stabs. Keldormu was quite lethal however, and soon there was three dead bandits, but not before they tried to get help from the stone building the camp was built around.
After what seemed like an hour of posturing near the door, a cranky old voice told us to go away. Someone asked about goblins. “Go away” was the only answer we got. No one wanted to attack the building thankfully, and the crone didn’t seem willing to come out. Valyrius started picking over the dead bandits. I got them to help me drag their bodies to the bonfire pit. I told Ashava where to send them, and lit a candle. Then used the candle to light the oil I dumped on them. I’m not sure Ashava would call that rites, but I was tired, and angry.
We moved on, somewhere along the way Shen and Keldormu had picked a few things out of the carts the bandits had collected. Probably while I was draging bodies and saying less than plesant prayers for the dead. They left me with a wand of glitterdust. To bad we don’t know where invisible lady went. We made it around to the other side of the hill, and Treya spotted a cave. She and I decided to creep forward and look, she went into the cave.
She explored a bit, from the smell I was pretty sure this was the place. I poked my head around the corner to see what she saw. She was walking back to tell me something when a goblin jumped out from behind her and stabbed her in the back.
My turn to charge I guess. In I went to kelp Treya with a pair of uglier than usual goblins. I got a good slash off on one of them to start with, but all that did was make them mad. They’d really cut into me and Treya before the other two could get to us. Keldormu came charging in only to get kinda beat up himself. We got one of them, but the other yelled something and dove into the cave.
At this point Shen really wanted to leave. I was calling for Ashava’s healing while she was insisting we were in over our heads. Funny that, she was the only one that hadn’t been stabbed, bashed, or generally hurt at this point. I was still going over the fact that we were here to rescue some dwarves from goblings in my head when we heard those thrice damned giant rats coming.
Goblin dogs aren’t nearly as scary as goblins with armor and obviously a little experience with fighting, unfortunately before we could kill the giant rats and get away two more goblins came at us with their shortbows. Everyone was ready to run, I wasn’t really expecting to make it. So I made my peace with Ashava and told Shen to run with the rest. I tried to kill the rat that was closest to us while the not all that stupid goblins kept shooting at me. Someone, probably Keldormu, threw something and beheaded the last dog in front of me. Everyone else was gone, so I used the last of my strength to run as well.
After a few minutes I found the very obvious trail Keldormu makes when he doesn’t care where he’s going. I caught up him breathing like he was about to fall over. I called for Ashava one more time, knowning she’d provide me no more help today after this. Then had Shen and Keldormu bandage me up. I bandaged Keldormu as best I could after that, and everyone gave into Shen’s talk of getting back to town.
So did I. We had failed to rescue anyone, all we’d done is put a few souls to rest and kill some bandits, oh and probably garrantee that the goblins killed the dwarves before anyone who could have actually saved them had a chance to make an attempt. Some defenders we are.
We managed to make it back to town that night. Everyone was exhausted, we saw some creepy giant seagulls that Shen explained were Cyphergulls, appearently they can eat scrolls and then regurgitate the spell effect at someone. Shen seemed even more upset with the idea of being anywhere but in a library at this point. Treya ran off as soon as we were within sight of buildings. Keldormu and Shen went back to Creekside.
I decided to go to the Temple, I could hear Miesalo’s music. I lit the lantern in the shrine kept for Ashava and told Miesalo about our blundered rescue. He took it about as expected, from the occasional humming I think he’s going to write some kind of funny didy about it.
Then I went off to tell Audrahni what happened. She seemed surprisingly accepting. She still wanted us to look into Roderic’s old house. I asked if she’d go along with me and whoever was still willing. I didn’t expect anyone of the group we gathered to go with. She agreed, and left me with some vials of holy water as well. I told her I’d find out if we were going alone or not, and let her know. Then I went to the circle market. I figured I’d try one more time to talk to Roderic himself there. Then I came back to my room and started writing. I’m exhausted, but hurt too much to sle