31 Mar 652 – clear skies, light breeze, warm temps
I wandered into Springfield early in the morning looking for the Braying Goat tavern where I heard rumor of a spicy dwarven ale that kicks like a goat. Once I found the place, the crude sign looked more like a yakking yak than a goat. I must have muttered that last part out loud because a couple of patrons leaving the establishment were nearly shouting “Yakking Yak!” at each other between fits of laughter. I may have inadvertently renamed this tavern… whoops. My brethren aren’t really known for consuming ale, which is their loss, so I stand out quite a bit ordering not only ale, but a dwarven variety with more kick than an angry goat. My ale order caught the attention of the only dwarf currently at the bar and he warned me that such a stiff drink might be a bit too much for such a prissy elf such as myself. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!
After the 3rd pint, a small crowd of bar patrons just had to take a gander at the strange, ale-drinking elf. I started challenging them to an arm wrestle for a drink, which few could pass up… and even fewer could best me. A tall, burly human walked in, gawked at me, introduced himself as Galthor (how polite!) and proceeded to best me for a drink. Ho ho! We have a winner! I was having a good time this morning… and that’s when we learned of the slavers…
31 Mar 652 – sunny and warm
It has been several weeks since I was exiled from my homeland. I couldn’t prove Mr. Cobblepot was behind my parent’s death and beating him within an inch of his life failed to elicit the confession I expected. The crime lord used one of his bought-and-paid-for magistrates to convict me of “Illegal Use of Magic” as the only explanation to my bypassing his security (what a joke) and had me thrown out of my home. Since then, I have been wandering the land in a kind of daze trying to pick a direction for my life.
As it so happens, I wandered into the town of Springfield and, more specifically, the Braying Goat tavern for a drink and a bit of gossip. As I entered, there was a burly elf arm wrestling for drinks and a small crowd around the table cheering them on. When the elf won, I introduced myself and learned my opponent was called Roland. I took a seat and proceeded to discover this elf was both dexterous AND STRONG! OMG!
I ended up sipping the pint I won and as we sat there enjoying our drinks, a haggard man practically flops down at our table and goes on about escaping some slavers. Slavers! Something needs to be done about them and I aim to help stop them! My new buddies and I decide to hitch a ride to the RIFT where the slavers were rumored to operate from in exchange for guard duty along the way. We were dropped off near the RIFT without incident.
We spied a small settlement near the edge of the RIFT and proceeded to walk up to it in hopes of learning more about the area… and ferreting out whether or not this place was in cahoots with the slavers or not. The place was being guarded by what looks like a bunch of kids who shout alarm at our approach. A man, Vargus, comes to the gates to meet us and during our discourse we learn they have been raided often and many of the adults and children have been enslaved. Vargus’s son, Temus, was taken and his older brother, Etin, is now out there looking for him. As our party agrees to look for Vargus’s sons, it dawns on me that this guy was involved in Mr. Cobblepot’s crime syndicate and is one of a handful I suspected of being directly involved in the death of my parents! I was fuming so badly that it was all I could do to hold my tongue as well as my sword until we left to go check out the RIFT. I let the others know of my suspicions but that I refuse to take any permanently drastic actions until I have proof… something my exile has taught me.
Roland generously shared a mug of his travelling cask of ale (more of that spicy dwarven stuff from the Braying Goat) and I took a big swallow to calm my fury, as did most of the others. That was probably a mistake because shortly after it was put away and we were gazing down into the Rift, Roland shouts “Behind us!!” and proceeds to arm himself and lunge back the way we came… and promptly missed the Hobgoblin, running straight into the 2nd one hiding just behind it. I armed myself with my trusty longsword and bullwhip striking out with the whip to try and disarm the javelin the first Hobgoblin was holding… only to have the whip latch on and the creature yanked me off my feet forcing me to fall flat on my face! Oh the embarrassment! 🙁 Throck’s throwing axe went wide. The only one of us to hit anything was Jordan’s Magic Missile. I think that ale affected us more than we want to admit.
Roland dropped his rapier during the fight, getting hurt picking it back up; Throck and I fought the first Hobgoblin together with Throck landing the killing blow by severing the thing in two with a mighty swing of his greataxe! The 2nd Hobgoblin tried to escape, but my bullwhip tripped him up pretty badly such that Roland had to stabilize the creature before we could interrogate it. That could have gone better; none of us could speak a language it could understand. I surprised it by using Orcish, but in the end Throck got impatient and tried to stomp its face in… except that instead he proceeded to stomp my hand and nearly broke it!
We split the coin we found on them and will donate the arms and armor to the kids back at the small settlement who are in dire need of it. Since we’re going back to lick our wounds and prepare spells for descent into the Rift, I think I will enlist Throck in creating a diversion so I can sneak into Vargus’s house and poke around a bit.
01 Apr 652
Scribbling this note while I keep an eye on the others while they heal. I dragged them all onto this little ledge near the goblin lair by a rubble-blocked doorway, a metal ladder down and a now-removed wooden ladder up. The goblin sentry was some kind of wicked earth elemental thing that was some hideous boulder with a ton of bitey mouths. If it weren’t for Roland, I don’t think any of us would be alive right now… I see now why these goblins have been such a thorn in the side of this area; there’s black magic involved and that makes it them all the more dangerous! Anyway, back to the matter at hand, last night while Roland and Jordan slept, Throck and I searched the little settlement for Vargus’s house in order to help me find evidence of his involvement with my parent’s death. Bless his heart, he did his best to help, but between his not-so-glib tongue and my not-so-sneaky rogue skills, we managed to bungle the entire op and had the town with fire and pitchforks along with Vargus at our doorstep ready to lynch us. That’s when Roland and Jordan stepped in and managed to calm everyone down… the extra weapons and armor we gave them helped as well. Vargus even admitted he was involved, but I got nothing more from him. Dammit, he KNOWS something! Maybe if we manage to rescue his sons, he’ll be more willing to tell me something I can use against Cobblepot.
After pissing off and then calming the settlement, we came back to The Rift and started making our way down into the gorge via the obvious path. Too obvious, in retrospect… I should have been more wary. About halfway down, the rocks themselves moved of their own accord and came crashing down upon us. If Roland hadn’t noticed something amiss and shouted a warning, we would have been in a very sorry state indeed. He cried out “ENUN-CHUUK” and grew to a massive height! He tried to grab a giant boulder from the small ledge above us and *shudder* that’s when the Thing started to viciously bite him! The boulder was actually something from the Plane of Earth; what was it doing up there but playing guard duty for the goblins? Who amongst them could conjure up such a thing? The warlock might know, once he wakes up from his wounds, I’ll ask him.
Roland managed to knock down that Earth Thing and Throck went to town on it with his giant axe. His mighty blows hurt the thing terribly and allowed Jordan and I to destroy the thing, but not before Throck collapsed due to all of his injuries. We tried to enter an alcove nearby and learned it was the front door to the goblin lair. We tried to talk our way in and managed to instead get crossbows shot at us; nearly knocking out Jordan in the process by grazing his forehead. As we retreated down the cliffside via the ladder, Jordan lost his grip due to the blood in his eyes and landed hard on the ledge below and passed out. The darn fool is lucky he didn’t fall off the cliff!
I managed to get everyone else down the side of the cliff thanks to the wooden ladder nearby down to this seemingly forgotten ledge and I took down the ladder to prevent those goons from up above to easily get down here (and they tried!). I don’t have the healing skills like Roland does, so I stabilized everyone and settled in to watch over them while they slept. Hopefully Roland will wake up soon and we can get everyone back on their feet. Taking care of these goblins is now our top priority and the fact that there’s dark magic involved means we have to be very careful.
02 Apr 652
We cleared the door of the partial tunnel collapse and made our way inside the abandoned tunnel. The door at the far end was trapped with a magic ward that mimicked a ghoul’s touch! The magic these goblins have access to is dark indeed and if I ever meet the necromancer responsible, he will pay dearly, I promise you that!
02 Apr 652 dank tunnel just inside the door Throck broke down
It is with a heavy heart that I write this; our valiant ranger comrade Galthor, after delivering a mighty, crippling blow to the winged worgen man thing, fell in battle with it. Through his sacrifice, we have survived, but… crows take these goblin slavers!!! Throck nearly died as well, but Roland managed to heal him with his divine magic. Roland managed to deflect the thing’s bastard sword the first time, but he wasn’t so lucky the second time. The force of the blow knocked him into the wall which knocked him out cold. Between Throck’s axe and my Magic Missles, we managed to kill the damned thing. I’m spent… need to rest soon.
02 Apr 652 bloody cave
Jordan said I need to write something nice in this here book. Galthor, may the earth turn your bones into stone so that it can hold everyone else up like you helped keep us up in your last moments. My axe will taste goblin blood in your memory tomorrow!
02 Apr 652 goblin tunnels, back door entry room
We are resting here to recover from all the ordeals lately. I have moved poor Galthor’s body out by the cliff door so we can bury him properly on our way back to town. I am going to carry his gear with us in case we need it or can free some slaves that can use it. Galthor, you bested me in a contest of strength; not many can lay claim to that. Your valor was proven to be stronger yet. May Cayden Cailean walk with you on your next journey.
03 Apr 652 Secret Treasure Room
I am taking a breather in this secret room Throck found while Jordan and Throck finish collecting all the gold coins on the ground. Throck estimates there to be 800 or so of them scattered around. 💡 Would that be enough to petition the town clergy for a rez for Galthor? I am doubtful. Thanks to Galthor’s pack I am carrying around, the flasks of oil and torches he carried allowed us to clear out the nasty golden scarab beetles guarding this treasure heap. It would be ironic if this was enough to bring him back to us. Throck managed to build a makeshift barrier at the sliding wall entrance to keep the beetles safely away from us while I tossed in the flasks, followed by the torches, to burn them all up.
There’s a dead hobgoblin in the corner with fancier armor than they typically wear and about a dozen arrows sticking out of his body. Throck tried to lasso it and drag it to the entrance, but that did not work out so well. But now that I am studying that corpse while writing about it… something seems odd about it. I feel like something is out of place… but what? 😕