III

Session 12: Goblin Alchemy

13 March (Continued)

“Shall we get to it then?” Bhavik asked of his new companions. Aramis nodded, slowly growing accustomed to the shifter.

“Since I quite failed at leading us through the other areas, I could possibly help us sneak into these doors,” suggested Azal glumly.

The warden patted her clumsily on the shoulder. “We should head south first. I’ll listen at the other door, just in case,” he said, indicating the eastern exit. Then he walked over to it and putting his ear to the wood. He heard something moving around, a kind of squelching noise, muted by distance and the door itself.

As the tiefling crossed the mulch chamber, Bhavik whispered, “A creature stirs within the chamber beyond.” Aramis and Azal looked back at him, the former pocketing the bright sunrod, and plunging the large chamber into the dimness of the violet light from the glowing fungus on the walls. The shifter continued, “I still say south first.”

Azal nodded and tried the stone door, finding it to be stuck fast. She frowned at the door and Bhavik asked, “Is it locked?” She shook her head, and stepped aside as the two men moved up to try to force it open by main strength. It gave after their first shove. “Be on your guard,” suggested the warden as they gazed into the darkness beyond.

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Session 11: What Lies Beneath
Character Roster Shifts

13 March (Continued)

Owen and the hobgoblin Maelgrek headed out, leaving Erky alone in the violet luminescence provided by the strange fungus with two desperate adventurers. Azal bit her lip worriedly. “It doesn’t matter. We’ve still got to go after Talgen!”

Erky said, “Auch…I don’t see thaht’s the best idea, lass… Suren he hahd his…quirks, but Owen was the only seasoned warrior among us…”

“I want to go to the surface first,” asserted Aramis. “Maelgrek, the hobgoblin, told me about what’s down there.”

The dwarf muttered, “It had a name..?”

“Yes,” said the priest, nonplussed.

“But…what if we’re too late..?” insisted the tiefling. She slumped to the floor miserably.

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Interlude: Avenger
In Which Aramis Makes a Decision.

by Darth Krzysztof

Aramis moved through the door back to Goblintown, seeking the source of the moaning that Owen had heard. There was no sign of the mystic who’d fled this way – no sign of anyone. Good, he thought. Let that be a lesson to any goblin who’d rather fight than talk. Whoever’s still alive that’s strongest will take over now; I just hope they remember –

The moaning came from behind him, above the doorway. The cleric held up his sunrod, illuminating the hobgoblin he’d questioned before, hanging upside down above the door. Blood ran from both of his feet, pinned to the wall with a single, massive nail.

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Session 10: Hail to the Chief
Breaking Company

13 March, 103 CY

The adventurers awoke the next morning refreshed from their battles with the goblin elite, knowing they still had to face the chieftain Durnn and Belak the Outcast after that. They made their way back through the rat-infested goblin territory to the “target practice” room, before they encountered any of the yellow-skinned menace. The single goblin scout squeaked in surprise when it noticed the door open, and fled around the corner more swiftly than the adventurers could react. Assuming it had gone to warn what remained of the rest of the tribe, the party moved swiftly but cautiously ahead. “It’s not like we weren’t expected anyway,” Aramis commented.

“Let’s head straight to this chief,” asserted Azal. “The faster we deal with him, the faster we find out if Talgen is okay.”

“Off to the breach, then is it?” said Owen, as he walks toward the northern exit. He paused in midstride, turned and asked, “Er…where is the breach?”

“It’s, um…that way,” answered Aramis, indicating the western door. “Terribly helpful,” Owen said cheerfully, reorienting on the correct exit.

Azal sighed and said under her breath, “How can he forget the way we came just last night?” Erky grumbled wordlessly as he followed along behind the rest of the group.

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Session 9: Goblintown
The Brutality of Hobgoblins

12 March (Continued)

Erky Timbers grumbled, “Bloody hells. Are they gettin’ tougher, or did getting cut open just give me some perspective?”

Aramis nodded in agreement, “Those berserkers are the worst we’ve faced so far.”

Azal’s eyes fell to the floor, and a sad look crossed her face. Quietly, she said, “We still have to push forward and find Talgen…or what they might have done to him.”

“Agreed,” Aramis offered. “Somebody wake up Owen.”

Erky muttered, “Aye, and I dinnae mean to imply we should do otherwise. I’m ready. I’m just…more cautious now.”

Azal popped Owen lightly in the head with her tail, and he kicked awake shouting, “Beavers and ducks!” He blinked slowly and rubbed his head absently as he stood and looked around at the others, “Ah. We’re ready, then?” Azal looked like she wanted to ask him a question, but then she changed her mind. Aramis nodded and moved to the door to the great hall, and the others followed.

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Session 8: The Dragon Returned
One Step Closer

12 March (Continued)

Calcryx accompanied the adventurers, Meepo, and Erky Timbers back to the kobold’s section of the ruined citadel. Upon arriving, kobolds poke their heads out of various doors lining the hallways in surprise and wonder. Owen smiled and winked at the onlookers, while Erky scowled openly at all of them. The wyrmling’s posture was one of defiance, but Meepo seemed strangely serene and confident. Aramis and Azal stuck near one another and wondered what might happen next.

When they returned to the room containing the broken cage in which Calcryx used to be imprisoned, Meepo spoke. “We musst sspeak with Yusdrayl,” he said. Erky took an audibly deep breath, and then gave the adventurers a dubious glance.

“It’s all right, Erky,” Aramis assured him. “We’ve spoken to her before.” The dwarf simply snorted and shook his head, while Azal and Owen stood quietly nearby.

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Session 7: Strength

11 March (Continued)

Aramis blinked at the caged dwarf, “Um, no.” The adventurers set about releasing the prisoners, though the kobolds were reluctant until Meepo walked in the door and explained what they were about. No keys were evident, but Azal and Owen made short work of the locks. The dwarf introduced himself as Erky Timbers, and thanked the group for their help and for dispatching the goblin guards.

After speaking with and releasing the captive kobolds, Meepo told the others that he was going to escort his tribesmen back home. He offered to meet up with the group the next day and took his leave of them. Erky gratefully accompanied the others back to the entrance of the Citadel, where they all took refuge in the secret chamber. Once there, Owen crashed out against the wall and the others started speaking.

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Session 6: The Body
If You Die First...

11 April (Continued)

Owen entered the Nightmare Stance, putting an end to the rat that had wandered into the nest after most of its brethren had been slain. The sinister look on his face quickly faded as the threat to the party was ended. Coming back to himself, he glanced around the room at the others before something in the northeast corner of the room caught his eye. He cocked his head to one side and asked, “What’s that?” The others’ eyes were drawn to the object at Owen’s question, and as recognition dawned, Azal covered her mouth as if she were about to vomit. Meepo, sensing the tension, excused himself and moved back out into the fountain chamber.

It was a human body.

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Session 5: Fate of One
Casualty

11 March (Continued)

The adventurers stood over the bodies of slain rats yet again wondering if there were a more numerous species in the ruined citadel. Meepo poked at the nearby corpses, making sure that they’re fully dead. Owen shoved his book back into his pack and promptly fell asleep in the corner of the room. Azal, too rested her head against a wall after closing the door leading to the hall from which the rats had come. “We should really go back to the fountain room to see if we can figure out where Talgen and the others went,” she asserted. “Maybe if we look harder, we can learn more from the prints we found there.” It sounded like she was trying to convince herself.

“Agreed,” Aramis responded. He gave his friend what he hoped was an encouraging look, and settled in to catch his breath as well.

After they’d rested for a few minutes, the cleric rose and walked over to the eastern door, listening for any sounds of more rats lurking outside. “Hear anything, Aramis?” Azal asked, as she walked up behind the young man and touched his shoulder. “I can listen if you need me, too,” She offered with a small smirk. “We both know you have the world’s worst hearing.” He scowled a bit at the jab, but moved aside to allow the tiefling to place her ear to the door. She heard no more than he had, and nodding to Meepo as he readied his sling, she slowly pushed the door open to find the hall empty. The kobold nudged Owen, who snapped back to consciousness, rubbed his eyes, and made ready to follow the group out the door.

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Session 4: The Dragon Hunters
First Contact

11 March (Continued)

As Meepo led the adventurers away from the Dragon Throne, several scaly heads poked out of various doors looking inquisitive. He ignored them all, and since there was an escort from the tribe, these kobolds seemed content to let the group pass unchallenged. In moments, they had returned to the chamber where they’d first found their new companion – where the dragon had once been kept. Meepo went to the bench near the cage, and gathered a few personal belongings, including a sling and a couple of bags of what sounded like small rocks. He also belted on a pair of daggers, turned to look at the group and nodded once, determination evident in his stance.

Aramis crossed his arms, “We’re ready if you are.”

Meepo nodded in reply, “Thisss way.” Then he moved to a door in the northeast corner of the irregularly shaped chamber. Azal smiled uncertainly at their new companion, but she followed along with the others. Owen looked ready to draw his sword in an instant, seeming to take note of his surroundings in preparation for an attack.

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