d20play house rules toren campaigns 01/23/02

TOREN 2000 - Stories
Goblin Crawl

It has been a long time since my last entry but for good reason. I have spent the last month studying the magic arts from Lakran, the mage who originally commissioned the search for Jane Clover. My training was intensive and still not complete, but at least I now have an understanding of the fundamentals of the mystic arts, and will be able to continue my studies under Zandor's tutelage. During my hiatus the others chose to journey to Arngrimnir's home in the Zulkar Mountains, where they brought back tales of high adventure. They spoke of meeting a young Bronze Dragon and battling a fierce bull with skin of iron, who's very breath turned living creatures to stone. Had I heard the tale from anyone but Arngrimnir I would have thought it pure fantasy, but his stories, no matter how outlandish, carry certain credibility. In any event they returned to Tathan about the same time I completed my training, and we traveled to Vintagar Castle to meet with its steward, Lord Usilar; who, it was rumored had designs that included the exploration of Lanacar Castle. The very locale that brought us together for the first time when we were initially lured by the promise of untold riches buried with the Ninth Legion in its ruins.

When we arrived we soon discovered that there had been a slight misunderstanding, Herzog Stornbol would not be arriving for another month and the expedition into Lanacar would not be commissioned until then. However, we discovered that expedition may be postponed indefinitely as Lord Usilar spoke of a missing key, a key constructed of blue sapphire that would be required for this particular mission. I suspect the very key we used to gain access to the Fire Lord's lair. We told Lord Usilar that we had seen the key and knew of its location, and could recover it before the Herzogs return, however our conference was interrupted by a group of heavily armed adventures entering the chamber. Suddenly the room lit up with magical missiles, a mage hiding outside the room cast them at Zandor, while the mage's companions drew arms. Suddenly we faced a heavily armored priest bearing a red spear of Inviktron, a large warrior, and a hobgoblin mercenary. The battle was fierce but brief; we slew all but the mage who was captured, but could tell us little. We were unable to discern the reason for attacking Lord Usilar, but in his dying breath the priest of Inviktron spoke my sir name, Tivor. The rest of the group did not perceive the significance of his words, but I believed myself to be anonymous to the Order of the Red Scourge, and can only assume that the priest knew of me through my father. Ill tidings indeed, as their actions are paramount to an act of war with the Crundoric Empire, though I cannot imagine my father cavorting with the Scourge Lords, as my views of the group are a reflection of his own. While I would like to speak with my father on this matter, I fear it will be some time before I am able to return to Vikon, especially now that Lord Usilar has commissioned us to regain the Crystalline Key.

On our journey to Osterhaus we heard devastating news, the Osterhaus had been raised by goblin raiders only weeks before. It looks like we will be facing goblins after all. The others seem less distressed than I but they probably have never visited a city with a Goblin Quarter. The creatures themselves are not as dangerous as the filth they live in, fighting goblins is not any more noble a task than cleaning a slaughter house, everywhere flies, dung, and blood. If the Key were not so important I would leave the goblins to rot in their own filth. We arrived at the Osterhaus and as we expected nothing remained, why they would attack we could not fathom, unless they have been encouraged by the hobgoblins of Jravkla (Hobgoblin Hold), and how they could know of the existence of the key is another mystery. Without delay, we tracked them back to their lair, a miserable underground cavern, created naturally by the unstable landscape. The place was filled with narrow passages and low ceilings that made movement and combat difficult. These goblins were far fiercer than any I had ever seen, but goblins nonetheless and we swept through their ranks with little difficulty, determined to find the key. Eventually we found the location of their leaders and slew them, and regained the key. Then disaster struck, a small earthquake collapsed part of the cavern, nearly crushing several of our group, and worse, eliminating our only means out.I think the others are beginning to see why I was so reluctant to track down the goblins; hopefully we will live long enough to have the opportunity to not do this again. After several frantic minutes of searching we found a possible new route, but it would have called for a treacherous climb had Zandor not been prepared with a fly spell. I was the fortunate recipient of the spell, and ferried the rest across. I told the others I would explore the vast fissure separating us from freedom, but in truth I did not want to waste as second of this wonderful ability, and could hardly wait for the day in which I would be able to command such power. I did not let my mind linger too long however, we stilled need to find a way out of the warren, and I spotted what I suspected to be a possible exit. I closed in on the area and found the remains of several goblins, though not slain by our hands. I landed and examined the bodies closer, a fierce combat had taken place here and the attacker had taken great pleasure in disemboweling his victims. Suddenly I was taken unawares by a hidden attacker, its fists slamming into my back like a maul. For a brief moment my knees grew weak and may lungs failed to bring in air, I became dizzy as if intoxicated, unable to react initially. But the sensation passed and I regained my senses and I turned to face my assailant, a fiendish goblin, huge bloodied fangs and a heavy boar spear in his bloodied clawed hands. It was a goblin, but unlike the others it held a malevolence about it that unnerved me. I turned to face the beast, but my movements were slow and hindered as if I were fighting underwater. Fear began to creep over me, and though it scored my pride to do so, I retreated to the safety of my companions with the aid of the flight spell.

Dylon attempted to cure me with his healing magics, but the effects of the goblin's corrupt touch were undiminished. It appeared time would be the only cure for this wound, and that was something we did not have. I began my search anew and eventually found a rope bridge crossing the chasm, but it lead perilously close to the location of my fight with the goblin fiend. Although still weakened by the creature I lead the way across the suspension bridge, testing its integrity while still under the influence of Zandor's spell. The bridge held and the others began to cross when the goblin leapt at me from out of the shadows, this time I was ready and deflected his blow with my shield, and countering with a strike of my own. The creature was mad with rage and bloodlust discarding his spear in favor of his bloodied claws. I retreated flying across the expanse, hoping to draw him onto the rope bridge and ultimately tumble him into the endless crevasse below. Fortunately Dylon stepped forth to save me from my own heroics, his initial suspicions realized, he recognized the creature for what it truly was, a vampire. Calling on the might of Arksorn he cast the fury of the Sky Lord upon the creature forcing it to flee. Once again I took advantage of the flight spell and flanked the fiend, confronting it at the site of our initial battle, where I was able to slay him, but to my surprise hid did not die like a mortal creature, but exploded in a gaseous cloud and continued to flee down the side of the fissure. I was able to follow him to a mortared up cave opening where it disappeared through small cracks in the stonework. I tore down the wall as the others caught up and began descending the cavern wall, soon we gathered around and ancient stone coffin where we dispatched the creature within. With that final victory we left the goblin caves forever and returned to Vintagar Castle to prepare for our exploration of Lanacar.

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