The Party finds themselves on another mission in our next installment of The Northern Menace RPG Campaign, but trouble comes from unexpected places as they travel to investigate a temple of Heronious. Missed the start of the series? Click here to read their backstories, and here to read the first letter from Trilith!
There were a few moments when I had my doubts. And nope, not undead this time, Goblins.
We headed northeast out of town this morning. I have to admit, I wasn’t paying much attention since I was talking with Quenya as I taught him Elvish. He’s just the sweetest, smartest, funniest bird ever! Though I think I might be spoiling him with all the treats. Too many more and he won’t be able to get off my shoulder.
Anyway, about a half-hour out we see a partially covered merchants’ wagon hurrying toward us. They wave for attention, and when they rein in next to us, they tell us one of their daughters took an arrow. Geldion and Robi, of course, rushed to the aid of the 14-year-old girl. It truly is amazing how their God is ready to help at a moment’s notice. Boccob always seems like he has better things to do than listen to me. But anyway, the other driver tells me that the girl was shot by goblins just north of our position. Uh oh.
Geldion makes a professional assessment that her problem seems to be that she was shot with an arrow. Duh! These guys, I tell ya. They remove the arrow and heal her up. The folks are overcome with gratitude. Especially after Antinua notices a pin missing in their wheel. Good spotting Antinua! They might have had yet more problems.
As they fix the wheel, I haltingly explained to Quenya what a goblin is- 2 legged like me, but the color of the leaves, and (I hold my hand waist high) up to here. He seems to get it and I send him out to see if he can spot any ahead of us.
Meanwhile, the little brother of the hurt girl looks at Robi all starry-eyed with his shiny armor, and Robi starts indoctrinating the poor kid. Jeesh! Like Heironeous needs another meat shield. On the bright side, the father offered us a bottle of fine whisky. I mentioned to Robi that it might be cold tonight, just hinting. And low and behold, he took the bottle! Yay! Can’t wait for a sip, or two…
I asked about the acolyte that we’re supposed to be locating. The girl’s mother told me the temple held the christening, so the acolyte must have made it there. Hopefully he’s just sleeping off the after-effects of the celebration or something innocuous like that. They agree to stop at the temple and report that the acolyte made it there and the ceremony happened. Check, that much done.
Antinua seemed to think that the arrow was familiar, but she couldn’t place where she’d seen it at first. As we continued on our way she remembered it was from the Rot Teeth Clan who isn’t usually this far north. Are you familiar with them, Dad? Antinua told us they usually have a shaman and are more violent than normal goblins. Oh great.
Quenya came back quickly. He was only gone for a little while, but I felt almost bereft without him on my shoulder. He reported no goblins, but it didn’t seem like he could have gone far. I asked him to tell me when we get to where he turned around. When he did I sent him out again.
Quenya came back and said he saw a goblin by the path, and near the trees. Dad, you wouldn’t have liked the spot at all. A natural place for an ambush with escarpments on both sides of the road. We headed off the road and up one escarpment to reconnoiter.
I sent Quenya up to look around for others. The assholes tried to shoot him! My heart nearly stopped when two arrows flew past my boy! They must die!
We debated about strategy. Do we go on, and let them kill more people, or do we risk taking them out? We do have a mission, but damn, how can we let them kill and eat children?
You know, Dad, I think more than anything, what our group lacks so far, is not skill or strength, (though we do desperately need to work on our strategy,) but what we need most is confidence. I suppose that will come with time and experience – if we live that long. Antinua wanted to move on, Robi was torn between priorities, Geldion just wanted to follow Robi, so in the end, I pushed us toward taking the little bastards out. I was pissed at them for trying to kill Quenya, and, to be honest, I didn’t think all that much about the danger, I just really wanted to use my new Enlarge Person spell.
We moved south and around to the east to come up behind them. I had hoped we could get close and take some of them out while they were sleeping, but stealth is not at all our strong suit. I need to remember that. Antinua and Robi tried to sneak up, Geldion and I hung back since we were so noisy. Well, you know how it is Dad, a plan is great, until it isn’t.
Geldion and I moved up when we saw two gobs coming to investigate. Antinua plugged one and I cast Daze on the other, but we were too late. They yelled and roused the others. There were nine of them altogether against the four of us. Still, they’re only little guys.
One plugged me with a javelin. Oww! At least I knew I could count on my friends to patch me up again. And it pissed me off further. Robi, hero that he is, stood in front of me, to protect me. Guess I’ll need to talk to him about that whole line-of-sight thing. He threw a spear, but missed. One of the gobs took a potion and grew larger. Of course, that only made him Robi’s size. I laughed at their puny magic. As Antinua plugged two, killing one, I cast Enlarge Person on Robi.
Oh my God, Dad! It was amazing to watch Robi suddenly grow and swell to 12 feet tall, breaking branches and gleaming in his armor. Even more amazing to know I had done that, me and my magic! I actually cackled with glee! And I wish you could have seen the face of the gob in front of us! I didn’t know a gob’s eyes could get that big! I laughed even harder. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to cast more spells I was laughing so hard.
Luckily, Geldion hit and killed the biggest gob after casting bless on us. Robi hit another one with his giant sword, slicing him to ribbons.
Well the gobs were all focused on Robi at that point, I can tell you that! He was a little hard to miss. One tried to shoot him but missed. Robi got plugged with another javelin.
Then the Shaman appeared right next to me spraying us with Burning Hands. Robi and I dodged out of the way, but still got a bit crispy. Geldion took the full force of the flames. I hate to say this Dad, but it smelled a little like pork. Not sure which of us that was.
Antinua hit the shaman with her Morningstar, but he didn’t go down.
Oh man, Dad, I was so pissed at that little shit shaman I don’t think I was seeing straight. I didn’t want to waste a perfectly good Burning Hands on just one guy, but by Boccob I was going to show him what real magic looked like. So, I ask Robi if could take out the shaman. When he says yes, I step up to a whole group of the little blighters and burn the crap out of them. I killed one, staggered one, and watched the other smolder. Geldion, probably worried for my sanity jumping in front of about 5 gobs, stepped up next to me and knocked down the one that was smoldering, putting it out of its misery.
Robi swung at the shaman, smiting him and cutting him apart. Surprisingly, his teeth weren’t quite as rotted as the others in the Rotten Teeth Gang. Go figure.
One misguided little gob stepped up and swung at Geldion, but the blow was easily parried. The others seemed to realize they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in the nine hells. Two remaining ones attempt to run. Antinua shot, but missed one of the fleeing gobs.
I step back into Robi’s shadow and threw a dagger into the chest of the one in front of me. He was barely on his feet, but staggered away. Geldion pulled his crossbow but missed the gob running. Robi ran up, shaking the ground with each step, and lobbed a javelin at one of the fleeing gobs. He hit, plugging the gob in the back. Another one turned to run and Robi, with those giant arms, got in an attack, sticking him in the shoulder and lifting him off the ground.
Antinua swung at the last one with her morningstar and he slumped to the ground dead. I got my dagger back. Thank Baccob.
Antinua and I tracked the one that ran off. He was badly injured and didn’t get far. We traced him to a tree where he was trying to dig underneath. I almost felt sorry for the little guy as Antinua and I stabbed at him until we finished him off.
We headed back to the battle site. Geldion and Robi healed us up and we took a well-deserved break. I have to tell you, Dad. I got pretty hurt in that fight. I was a little shaky on my legs, but I was just so angry at those little gobs it hardly mattered. Guess I need to work on my anger issues. But I used almost all my spells. Hope we don’t run into too much more on the road!
I’ll write more as time allows. Love you, Dad,