The Outcasts

Calico's Journal #1
Sandpoint

My family and I have arrived in Sandpoint just in time for the Swallowtail Festival. This is one of my favorite stops on our travels, one we do every year. Such fun! All the booths, with their wares, the packed inns and taverns, all the people mingling about. It’s a shame we’re not allowed to lighten the locals of their wordly burdens. Well… Not too much, at least. The hulking Shoanti sheriff has made us set up camp outside of town, again, just across the eastern bridge. Its like he doesn’t trust us, for some reason.

I have a brand new set of clothes I’m going to wear this year. I bought them from another traveling family outside Korvosa, on our way here. Flashy, but not too flashy. Enough, I hope, to attract the attention of some sap willing to foot my drink tab at one of the inns.

Father says that this year, they’re dedicating a brand new temple to the gods during the festival. That means there will be even more celebration, and even more people celebrating. I think after my turn dancing for the locals at the camp, I’ll take Luca and Eugeno into town to look around the market.

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Calico's Journal #2
Goblins at the festival!!

As promised, I took Luca and Eugeno to the market today, for the festival. Mischievieous little chavs they are, they eventually got themselves into trouble. Eugeno apparently dared Luca to steal something from some baro Shoanti in the square. Of course, they were caught. The Shoanti had a hooded friend looking out for him, and I saw him see Luca move in for the chore. I stepped in between, and clouted Luka, but bumped into the Shoanti in the process. Made me look like I was the thief, it did. It took some fast talking, and the promise of some free drinks, to make amends. Seems that the Shoanti and his friends aren’t such bad gadjes after all. I sent my cousins off to make trouble elsewhere, and sat and had a drink with the big guy and his friends. It turns out that Cohl, the Shoanti, isn’t the dimwit I took most of his kinsmen for. He and his friends, a drunken dwarf named Balthezar and a half elf (looks like drow to me) named Chaff, are all exiles of one sort or another. I can understand that feeling. All us Family are outsiders, each and every one.

Father Zanthus, the local priest, had just started his speech dedicating the new cathedral, when a scream rang out. More followed, and soon something small moved through the crowd. We looked down and saw a goblin killing a dog. Soon a strange chant was able to be heard above the screams. Seeing the goblin, the crowd scattered. Other goblins were chasing people around the cathedral square. Mayhem ensued. Looking up, we saw a goblin cavorting around on a food stall not far away. Not wasting a moment, my new aquaintences and I jumped to action. No sooner than we had made short work of that pint sized menace, than more appeared. First to the west, then to the south. One after another, the goblins were falling. A local Veshengo, who’s name I learned later was Patrick, showed up, out of nowhere, and helped by dropping gobbo after gobbo with his arrows. We collected the wounded from the square, then moved north towards the gates upon hearing what Balthezar said was goblin dogs. There we rescued some dandy named Alderomething Foxsomething (I didn’t pay attention to his name) from another horde of gobbos.

Once we had completed that task, we headed back to the new temple. The boys insisted on stopping at every fallen goblin and cutting off their ears. A gristly sport, but while doing so we did manage to find some decent loot. Not much cutter, but a few nice weapons and some potions. The robes at the temple were treating us like heroes, as did the crowd of locals that had gathered as we left the new cathedral. The Tien lady who runs one of inns even showed up and offered us a weeks lodging at her place. All us heroes headed back there, and a party ensued. Amiko, the Tien lady, and I even worked out a version of “The Usual”. At some point the local theatre director even offered me a starring role in a new play. I got more than a few “Usuals” off him.

I spent the night in my new room, after checking in on Mother and Father back at our vardos, since I didn’t think I’d be in any shape to walk home later. Tomorrow I will do some shopping and take advantage of the 20% discount everyone seems to be offering us now. It pays to be a hero, I guess.

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Calico's journal #3
Bringing home the bacon

The morning after the goblin attack I arose early and found Patrick already up, in the common room. The others seemed to still be sleeping off last night’s excesses. The woodsman and I started talking about my camp, his home, and the surrounding areas. We decided to visit both, while doing some reconnoitering. On our way out of town we spied that greasy ginger from the Feedbag talking to another man. To my surprise I recognized the scarf the other man was wearing. Light green with wide black stripes. That could only be the Gallowed gang out of Magnimar! Some shady passed between the two, so I decided to inform the Family. They’ll be keeping their eyes open for any more suspicious activity. I’ll have to let Jubryhl know as well.

After introducing Patrick to the camp, we headed out to his cabin. When we got there, it was nothing but a smoking ruin! Goblins must have burned it while rampaging toward town. It’s sad. He seems devastated. I know I would be if something like that happened to the caravan. Thank Desna they didn’t get hit.

Upon returning to the Rusty Dragon we found that the rest of the lads from the fight last night were up and about. Patrick went immediately upstairs. I joined the table for some grub. Just then the dandy we saved from the goblins came downstairs. The idiot was overjoyed to see us. He sat down and offered to take us boar hunting as some sort of reward for saving his life. Really? Bore is the right word. We agreed to go along anyways. He said he buy us horses, so I guess that could be considered a reward. Besides, it might be a good chance to scout the countryside for more gobbos.

After breakfast, I took the lads from out of town shopping (where, in the name of Desna, do a dwarf, a Shoanti savage and some kind of half dark elf come from? Sounds like a bad joke my uncle would tell). First we went next door to the stables to collect our reward from the psychopath that runds the place. He pays gold for goblin ears, and he must have paid out a fortune already, as he had a whole wall covered in the things! Plus two whole gobbos, stuffed in glass jars to pickle. Like I said… psycho.

From there we hopped over to Savah’s, the armorer. She bought our gobbo weapons at a premium, and sold us some boar spears for the hunt later today. I think she was eying Cohl, the Shoanti. She’s about his size, so I guess it makes sense. I haven’t seen such a giantess such as her since the last time we traveled north, two years ago.

We returned to the inn for lunch, and found Patrick in the common area. Foxglove, the dandy, was also there. We ate then set out for the Tickwood on our new horses. After riding out there, we tethered the horses and proceeded into the forest on foot. Foxglove was of no use (Foxglove? These Chelish blue bloods have the most ridiculous names), so Balthazar took over tracking during the hunt. Soon enough he motioned us to stay still and be quite. Ahead has a gully, and a huge boar was at the bottom. I borrowed a crossbow and quickly climbed to the lowest boughs of the nearest tree. Let the big boys handle the berzerking piggy. Cohl, Chaff, and Foxglove set their spears below me, while Balzy crept down the gully. He fired that giant crossbow of his at the boar, and got its attention right quick. I’ve never seen a dwarf run so fast, on such stumpy legs. He dashed behind the line of spears, with the boar right on his heels. The dandy could barely hiold his spear, and seemed to be trying to tickle the beast with it. Luckily Cohl is a true warrior and spitted the pig on the first try. Triumphant over nature and beast, Foxglove and I decided to haul the boar back to town to get it cooking, while the others searched the woods for signs of goblins. On the way back, Foxglove seemed depressed. He had wanted to be an adventurer, but felt that after the boar incident, he just wasn’t cut out for it. I quickly stroked his ego, telling him I thought he was prime adventurer material. I offered to nominate him for membership in the adventurer’s guild I invented on the spot. Of course, he would have to pay application fees, membership dues, grease some palms, and such, which I happily offered to do on his behalf, as long as he had the cutter. I think I convinced him to fork over 250 gold crowns! What a chump!

Later that evening, when the boys returned from the forest empty handed, we all sat around the common room at the inn and ate the most delicious roast boar I’ve ever tasted. Again, more free drinks and plenty of flattering compliments came our way. It’s good to be the hero.

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Cohl

It is strange. I was meant to wander in disgrace after being beaten by Dadem, and wander I did but soon found friendship when I deserved the solitude of banishment. Maybe i needed it after i had done or failed to do. It seems my new friends all share a similar destiny, so here we are traveling on the same road.

We arrived at a festival. In a city. All surprises to me but I soon found myself comfortable when a goblin hoard attacked. I was transported to boyhood and my blade drank of their foul blood. Although I am with strangers and can’t share in the lore of the dead of my clan, I feel at home. It seems we were all thrust into the same rapids and all cling to the the same flotsam. We all relished the battle. This is important.

The strangest thing to me is how different this path is from the what I foresaw. I left my home in disgrace, and am now lauded and catered to everywhere I go. All for doing what was seen as a regular chore at home. I’m glad to have monsters to cleave. It feels like home. I may have found a new clan in my companions. I want more.

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Calico's Journal #4
Bursting through the front door of mystery.

While enjoying our dinner of wild boar, at the Rusty Dragon, the door blew open and Sheriff Hemlock walked in. At the sight of the law, my first instinct was to slink off, but then I remembered I had done nothing wrong. The Sheriff came over and quietly asked if we would accompany him to the new temple. There was a matter of urgency that he wanted us to look into. Upon arriving at the churchyard, we were met by Father Zantus. He explained that while tidying up the cemetery he had discovered that the door of the crypt of the former head of the temple was standing open. He was afraid to go inside, but had sent the sheriff to ask us to investigate. We agreed, and upon entering, found two animated skeletons that came lurching out of the dark. We quickly dispatched the undead, and looked about the crypt.

It was empty. As was Father Tobin’s coffin. The only evidence we found was a pile of rags and footprints. Goblin footprints, as well as the boot prints of a human or the like. The tracks led to the wall around the town. Looks like the gobbos and whoever was with them came over the wall during the attack on the town. We gave the robes to Father Zantus and explained what we had found in the crypt, then returned to the Rusty Dragon. 

We hadn’t been back at the inn more than an hour when the door blew open, again. They really need to do something about those hinges. In walked an elderly Tien man, who began bellowing for his daughter. Turns out it was Ameiko’s father. They had a quick argument in Tien, then he tried to grab her. For his effort he earned a soup ladle upside the head. He stamped out, and the bar returned to normal. After a long night of drinking, we finally retired to our rooms. The only other thing of note that happened was that some local tart came in and talked Patrick into coming to her father’s shop to “hunt for rats”. He, Chaff and Balty left for a time, and returned with a story of how the hussy had tried to seduce Patrick, only to interrupted by her father. The entire common room had a good laugh at that.

The next morning I was rudely roused out of bed by Patrick and Balthezar. They insisted I come down to the common room. Over a coffee and a morning beer, they explained they had just met with one of the  Sheriff’s friend, an elven ranger of sorts. She had told them that there had been increased goblin activity recently. Or something. I couldn’t pay much attention, my head was hurting so bad. Anyway, it didn’t matter too much to me, as the was no breakfast to be had. Bethana claimed that Ameiko hadn’t come down from her room yet, so no one was cooking. I promptly made the halfling march upstairs and check on her. I could hear her timidly knocking on the door, so I went up after her and pushed through the door. The room was empty and the bed unslept in. I did a quick search and found a crumpled note. It was written in Tien, so I had to have Bethana translate it for me. It was from Ameiko’s half brother, Suto. He wrote that he suspected their father was behind the goblin attacks, and asked her to meet him at the Glassworks. Bethana explained that Suto wasn’t to be trusted and begged us to go to the Glassworks and investigate. 

When we arrived there, we did a quick reconnoiter. After hearing what sounded like goblins inside, I picked the lock and we entered. Past some sort of antechamber was a large room full of glass making equipment, and about half a dozen goblins. We swiftly engaged the little buggers, and made short work of them, except for two that ran away. We gave chase, but quickly it turned into a cluster-fuck. Running around in circles, we came across a stairway leading down below. Descending into a basement of sorts, we started checking doors. Behind one we found Ameiko, bound and gagged. After freeing her, and returning her top side, we once again ventured into the basement. The next door was open, so I flung it wide to let Cohl charge in. Charge right into an arrow, that is. Oops. The two goblins who had evaded us upstairs were here, as was Ameiko’s bastard brother, Suto. I rushed in to provide back up for Cohl, and doing so placed myself within the reach of the goblins. Not my most brilliant move. The ensuing fight was quick and brutal. I was hit more than once by those filthy little pests, enough so that I was forced to retreat into the hallway. On my last legs, I called for the boyos to take down Suto, but keep him alive. Much to my chagrin, Cohl was in such a frenzy, he must not of heard me. No sooner than I shouted my warning, the Shoanti savage cut Suto down with a mighty blow. The goblins were easy to take care of, with both Patrick and Balty turning them into little green pincushions. 

I am gravely hurt. We must return topside so I may seek healing at the temple. Perhaps Ameiko can clarify her earlier incoherent ramblings. What the hell is a quasit? Damn… Sometimes it is not so good to be the heroes. 

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Patrick's Journal, Entry #1

Along comes this group of outsiders, wandering through town like so many before them. Things may be different this time though. I’ve started to bond with them individually. The gypsy, Calico. I’ve chatted with her in the past but she helped comfort me when I came across my ruined home. The dwarf, Balthus. Gruff and goblin-hungry. At first annoying, but I understand it now. Simplification. We smoked together and he covered for me during the night with Shayliss. And now he’s gone. The drow, Chaff. A blemish on the land, but is he? His soul seems true. I cannot help but enjoy his company. The tribesman, Cohl. Pride in doing what he has set out to do. Something that I’ve failed at in the past, but my bow has never felt so sure in my hands. The arrows pick their way to the hearts of my foes. Things are coming together. Why has it taken so long?

It may be time to consider leaving Sandpoint. I’ve grown up here, I’ve loved these people and helped them to build their lives around this town. But the deeper I look, the uglier things become. I’m losing my connection with the people here. I feel uneasy. What is going on here? The dark stories being uncovered here confuse me. I need to keep it simple if I can. One thing at a time.

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Calico's Journal #5
Once more into the breach

I believe Patrick carried me from the tunnels below the glassworks, but I’m not sure. My head was swimming from pain. I recall something of the events following our fight with Tsuto. Much of this was clarified for me later. Chaff noticed a colossal chunk of glass in the foundry room, and upon inspection found it contained the body of Lonjiku Kaijitsu, Ameiko and Tsuto’s father. Apparently his son encased him in molten glass while he was still alive. The thought of that gives me the shivers. Balty stepped outside for a smoke while we inspected the glass, or so I’m told, and when the rest of us went outside, he was gone! It looks like he was taken, and put up quite the struggle. All we found was a pool of blood, a pile of Flayleaf, and the dwarf’s finger, with his clan ring still on it. Looking back, the whole scene was very disturbing. Unfortunately, we have pressing business, and will have to put off getting to the bottom of Balty’s disappearance until later.

When I had come to my senses, later, I found myself in the Cathedral, being healed by Father Zantus. He has been a true ally and a helpful resource. He sent for more healing potions for the others, and answered what questions he could about what we found under the glassworks. I assumed that a priest would have knowledge of the demonic, but Zantus has dedicated his studies to the healing arts, not that I can complain about that. He did direct us to a local sage named Brodert Quink. We checked in on him, at his house near the Old Light, only to find he is a batty old coot. What little information we got we had to pry out of him, like using a cat’s paw on a stubborn window. He did know something of the tunnels and also told us what a quasit is, in very vague terms….. but what do you expect from a squinty old scholar.

We returned to the inn to eat, rest and divvy up the loot. There was a magic ring that eventually ended up with Chaff, some cutter, and a nice pair of earrings I took for myself. Ameiko was in her room and refused to take visitors. The next morning we did some shopping, turning some gold and silver dust into coin, purchasing a new breastplate for Cohl at that mountain of a smith’s shop, and visited a hairy, old wisewoman to acquire a wand of healing. Once so equipped, we headed back to the tunnels. Following the one long tunnel we hadn’t explored led us to a secret door that opened onto the beach. Another secret door opened to more tunnels. Chaff took the lead and scouted ahead. He came across a couple of small chamber further down, one of which contained some sort of monstrosity. We snuck up to join him, just as it came out of its room to investigate. I immediately recognized it as Sinspawn, an creature of terror out of the stories, created by the most evil of ancient spellcasters. We quickly took it down, even before Cohl and Patrick could catch up. Continuing to explore, we found a red marble statue of a fierce female mage in the next room. In her hand she held a artfully crafted ranseur, which Cohl took for his own. Choosing one of the passages that led off the chamber, we found a strange prison. Rows of small, metal cages lined a large room, with a wooden catwalk above. Two Sinspawn were arguing (I think) on the floor below, an thus failed to notice us. Patrick and I took up position on the catwalk, while Chaff and Cohl drew the monster’s attention. As the Sinspawn clamored up the stairs, we took them down one by one.

Moving on, we continued down another hallway into a large room with many wooden trap doors in the floor. Greeting us was the ugliest, most deformed gobbo I’ve ever seen. This three armed freak hissed and vomited up some narky, tainted blood at Cohl. My wortacha boyos charged in, but Chaff stepped on one of the trap doors and fell through. He would have to wait, though, as we closed in on the green freakshow. Cohl landed a solid blow, but it was my well placed strike with Tickle that dropped it. I quickly grabbed what I could from the goblin, while Patrick and Cohl rushed to get Chaff out of the pit. They found that he was getting cozy with a filthy zombie. Cohl managed to haul Chaff out with his rope, while Patrick flailed around with the ranseur. We spent a few more minutes dispatching the rest of the zombies populating the other pits. Ahead is another dark passage…….

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Calico's Journal #5, part 2
The trouble with flying pests

After we divvied up the loot from the deformed goblin, we decided to backtrack and explore the passages we had skipped. Traveling stealthily down the halls, we came across a strange altar of black granite. In a rough, hollow depression in the top, there was about six inches of fetid, gross water. The boyos examined the pool and the altar in great detail. I stayed back, as the thing stank to the heavens. Chaff determined it was an altar to Lamashtu, the mother of monsters. Not wanting to let it sit, undisturbed, Chaff set about scooping all the water out with his bare hands. I must remember to never to let him touch me.

After the altar we came upon the most bizarre room. Circular, its walls covered in seamless red metal, with numerous odd objects floating about in mid-air! With rope tied about his waist, Chaff entered the chamber, only to find himself weightless, as well. After a thorough, but fruitless examination, he collected the items. A wand of twisted metal, identified by Patrick as one of Shocking Grasp, a scroll of Burning Hands, a bottle of fine wine (a vintage I am pleasantly familiar with), a tome of fell beasts, like a conjurer’s grimoire, and a dead and maggot infested raven. Patrick took the wand, the scroll and the grimoire, while Chaff held on to the raven for some reason. We’ll uncork the wine when we leave these twisted warrens.

Continuing on, we came to a set of large stone doors. While I was attempting to quietly open them, the stone ground on the floor, alerting whatever was on the other side. We heard an ear-piercing shriek from beyond, and threw open the doors. In the large chamber with a macabre pool, and twin staircases leading up to a small balcony, we spied what could only be the quasit. Obviously female, but tiny, with large leathery wings, and the horned head of a demon. She shrieked again, some drivel about defiling the mother’s sanctum, and then used her own fiendish blood to summon forth a Sin Spawn.

We rushed in to take the fight to the little bitch. I stuck her with a throwing knife right away, taking her a bit by surprise, I believe. After that it was a drawn out fight. She could fly, and apparently disappear at will. Fighting a tiny, flying, invisible creature is no easy task. She threw spell after spell at us, mostly trying to scare us or make us flee. It had some effect, but nothing that could take us out of the fight entirely. Cohl and I jumped around the room, attempting to strike the demon in the air, while Chaff lent his divine support and Patrick imbued his own bow with arcane power. Eventually enough arrows and blades weakened her, until she was flapping unsteadily in the air. Chaff then had a brilliant notion, and pulled the dead raven out of his pack. This drove the beast mad! She swooped down on the half drow, trying to bite and claw him. Finally down to our level, it was easy to dispatch her.

Before we could explore the rest of the chamber, I quickly pocketed the quasit’s tiny little knife. It is enchanted to fly back to the wielder’s hand after it has been thrown. I shall call it Stinger.

We did a quick once through of the rest of the tunnels and only ran into one strange beastie. A vargouille, some kind of flying, undead head. It was disturbing, but posed little threat. We also found two collapsed staircases, one going up, the other going down. The one leading further into the depths seemed choked tight with rubble, deeper than we could determine. Below we could hear the faint baying of wolves, or something worse. Investigating that will have to wait. The one leading up turned out to exit onto the streets of Sandpoint, directly next to the old scholar’s house. It was hidden by an overgrown cairn of stone, with only the wind and small birds able to enter. Now it’s off to the Rusty Dragon to rest, relax, and figure out what our next move is.

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Calico's Journal #6
Brambles and Bastards

After a well earned night of relaxation, we arose to find Shelalu, the half elven ranger, waiting for us in the common room. She told us that Sheriff Hemlock would be returning soon, and that she was needed to the south, to deal with some more gobbo issues. We told her what we found below the Glassworks, and about Thistletop. Shelalu gave us what information she knew about the gobbo stronghold, and provided directions. We decided to take the fight to the green bastards, and hopefully deal with Tsuto’s demonic girlfriend, Nualia. If we can take her and her monstrous friends out, perhaps we can end the threat to Sandpoint.

We geared up and rode out east of town. A few hours later we reached the pint Shelalu told us to start looking for gobbo tracks. It took the veshango, Patrick, an hour to find the trail. It lead north into the forest. We followed the tracks through the wood until we came to a huge wall of brambles. Searching around, we found a poorly hidden entrance in to the thicket. A small, gobbo-sized tunnel led through the briars, forcing us to crouch as we went along.

Pretty soon we came across a small chamber, with higher ceilings and a large hole in the ground. From the depths of the hole we could hear the crashing of surf. As we left to explore further I was attacked from behind by a fire-pelt mountain lion! This was a tricky bastard, and hard to put down. I’m not proud to admit it, but it got the better of me and sent me sprawling. At least I wasn’t the only one. Chaff ended up with his ass in the mud, as well. No sooner than we had dispatched the beast, and tossed its body into the hole we found, than we were beset again. This time by some malo goblin shaman, boo-hooing about “Tangletooth”, which I surmised to be the fire-pelt we fed to the fishes. This chav had some fire magic, and was able to control the briars around us. Cohl and I were entangled in the thorns, where I spent the rest of the fight. This gobbo definitely earned my ire. Before my wortacha could end the miserable bastard’s life, he melded back into the thicket.

The boyos freed me, and we started to look around for the shaman. Just then we heard the flutter of a bird taking flight from the brambles. Patrick mumbled a quick incantation, then let loose an arrow through the patchy ceiling of the thicket. Sivahna’s veils! His shot took the bird clean through as it sped off toward Thistletop! Whatever message the shaman had intended never made it. We continued to follow the tracks until we came to a small ledge. Here the brambles thinned out above us, allowing us to stand. Before us was a rope and plank bridge, spanning twenty long yards across the rough waters of the sea, eighty feet below. On the other side was Thistletop Island, and the wooden keep of the gobbos.

It was as we gazed out at Thistletop that the shaman attacked again. He came out of nowhere, launching fire at us from behind. This time he wasn’t so slippery. We laid our blades into him. I vaulted behind him to attack his flank and sank both Tickle and Pinch into his vitals. That was enough to send the gobbo to meet his mangy cat. Now all that was left was to figure out how to cross the bridge unnoticed.

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Calico's Journal #7
Thistletop assault, or how no plan survives for long.

The boys and I thought up a plan to lure some of those narky green bastards out of the keep, and over to our side of the bridge. We would light a small fire, using a broken up spear haft and a pint of oil, and pile on a bunch of wet brush to get a good smolder going. Our hope was that the smoke would draw out the curious goblins, and we could pick them off under the concealment of the briar tunnels. Before we did that, though, we had to make sure we had cleared the rest of the thicket.

Exploring around we found the druid’s lair, complete with a piss smelling area for his kitty. Down another tunnel we came across four goblin dogs, tethered to posts. Patrick and Chaff quickly took to dispatching the mangy beasts, but no sooner than the last dog had fallen then a whole gang of gobbos appeared. There was a choke point between the room we were in and the room the goblins were coming from. Cohl, Chaff and I took position there, while Patrick hung back and started shooting arrows into the gobbos. We easily halved their numbers, and then moved into the room to finish off the rest. The boyos took a few cuts, but no one was seriously hurt.

After checking the rest of the thicket, and finding no other threats, I set about making the fire. Soon a goodly amount of smoke was billowing up through the briars, and we took up our positions for the ambush. A few minutes later the green little idiots took the bait. Two goblins and two of their overgrown rat dogs crossed the bridge to investigate. We quickly took care of the scouts before the really even had a chance to react. These tight tunnels are perfect for the kind of close-in knife work I am good at. Another few minutes after that another goblin and his pet came across. This one was a wee bit smarter, though. He was calling out for his gobbo buddies. None of us speak goblin, so I was forced to fake some moans and grunts. I was hoping he’d think I was one of his fellow gobbos, injured and in need of help. Of course goblins don’t think much about helping each other, so all he did was send his dog ahead. That’s when things started to go sideways.

The dog spotted us and started growling and yapping. Instead of coming to see what his dog was making a fuss about, the green bastard just hightailed it back across the bridge. While Chaff and I dealt with the dog, Patrick and Cohl went after the goblin. Patrick managed to drop him with an arrow, mid-bridge. Now the goblins in the fort knew we were there. Lady’s Veils, this was gonna get ugly, quickly. We spotted a few gobbos in the watch tower, so Patrick sent a few arrows their way. He dropped one goblin, and the rest ducked down. Seeing that as our chance to get across the bridge, we set off as a group. I mention “as a group” because that was our next mistake. I only realized later, but the little shits had rigged the bridge to break if anything heavier than a few gobbos came over it. We were half way across when the ropes holding one corner of each side snapped. The bridge tipped and we all started to slide off. Patrick, Chaff and I all managed to catch ourselves, but mighty Cohl was not so fast. Into the drink he plummeted.

Each in our own panic, those of us clinging to the ropes started to climb across in different directions. I headed towards the fort, and realized once I was across that the others had gone back to the thicket side. Sivanah spare me, this had gone to the abyss. Running to the edge, I spied Cohl swimming toward the island. I started shouting at the others to tie a rope to the end of the bridge, and then cut its last mooring. They got my meaning and did just that. Together, the rope and the bridge were long enough to reach Cohl in the water. He grabbed ahold and started to climb. While he was making his way up, I was a sitting duck for the gobbo archers in the guard towers. I muttered a small prayer and started dancing, twisting and twirling so the gobbos couldn’t get aim on me. Sivanah must have heard my prayer, or maybe I’m just that good, but not a single arrow struck home.

Once Cohl was topside, we tied more rope to an arrow and I fired it over the gap, into the thicket. With the gobbos lobbing arrows the whole time, Patrick and Chaff climbed the rope across. They looked like novice cat burglars on their first job, but they made it over, finally. So there we were. The big, dumb heroes had made it to Thistletop.

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