So, we got a game in a week ago this past Sunday night. Yay us! It was a bit unexpected actually. I was supposed to be doing a 24-hour endurance sim-race from Saturday morning through Sunday morning. I was not going to be mentally sharp enough to run a D&D session after that. But my “compatibility” with the car/track combination was… not good. So, I bowed out because I didn’t want to be the reason our race – and others’ races – got ruined due to me falsely believing I could handle being in the race.
That opened up Sunday evening for a game session… yay us 🙂
The group picked up right after the fight with the zombies. So, they investigate the little pond and the area where the goblin (their stalker) performed the ritual to raise the zombies.
Bran notes that he hit the goblin with an arrow as it ran away. Some investigation reveals a couple drops of blood. This proves to the group that their stalker CAN be killed.
There might have been a bit of concern about that…
Some discussion leads to a decision to go back toward Piketon Road and camp the nearest wide spot in the road. Further discussion about their stalker compels Theren to reveal a bit more about his awareness of the dagger; it has “called” to him when it was close and in a recent dream.
Bran and Fang are starting to learn that there’s more to Theren than they thought…
Theren agrees to play the part of bait at camp that night. They are hoping that making Theren appear more vulnerable will attract their stalker for a more direct confrontation.
Near dawn – no stalker appearance up to this point – Fang hears something moving through the marsh near them. They prepare for an encounter that does not come as expected.
A goblin (obviously not their stalker) crawls up on the road. It is nearly dead.
Fang decides to aid the stricken goblin in hopes of getting some information out of it.
Theren begins to question Kolk (goblin’s name) about Slythis (stalker’s name) since Theren actually speaks goblin. Kolk was part of the raiding group that killed the travelers that became the zombies for Slythis. Kolk explains that they did the work for Slythis out of fear of his power – Kolk mentions that the dagger is powerful and that Slythis is not all goblin anymore.
The fact that Slythis is changing and more information about the dagger he carries creates more concern about this enemy.
Kolk further explains that his entire village was killed, and the only reason he survived is because he managed to hide after being severely wounded. Slythis was in too much of killing rage to notice. Kolk was crawling toward the road for no other reason than to distance himself from Slythis and the carnage of his village. But in typical goblin thinking, Kolk decides that going back to the village is now possible with his new, more powerful “friends”.
The group decides that it might be worth following Kolk back to his village. Kolk’s explanation that his fellow villagers “did not die right” generates concern and curiosity. So, despite the apprehension of encountering Slythis directly, they trek through the marshes following Kolk back to his village.
Arrival at the tiny goblin village reveals brutal and unusual carnage. Every goblin in Kolk’s village is dead. Looking at several of the bodies shows deep cuts across their throats – the way Slythis murders his victims. Their deaths, however, were not “normal murder”. The bodies look desiccated. They all appear as though their life forces were drained away. Kolk’s explanation holds. These goblins did not die right…
They all agree that the unusual deaths had something to do with the dagger that Slythis carries. The evidence – Theren’s “contact” with the dagger, the apparent changes in Slythis and the undeniable powers of the dagger, itself – is blatant and undeniable. It is also agreed that the dagger, if taken, must be destroyed.
The group helps Kolk clean up the village – they burn the bodies… just in case. Bran and Fang investigate the village shaman’s hut. They find a horrific scene. The shaman had obviously been tortured and disemboweled by Slythis. The shaman’s body, however, is not desiccated like the other goblin villagers. The hut, itself, is ransacked. Every item that even hinted at the shaman being a user of magic had been desecrated by Slythis. What had not been outright destroyed, had been covered in the shaman’s blood and entrails.
Fang notices a small holy symbol on a totem just outside the hut and grabs it. He hopes he can take it some place to be “at peace”.
Bran, Fang and Theren had noticed smoke rising from the edge of the forest just up the road from where they had turned to go to Kolk’s village. They figure it’s a large camp or small hamlet. With Kolk’s village being in its current state, the group decides to go back to the road and seek out the source of the smoke.
Kolk decides he wants to stay in his village partly because he knows he would not be safe at the roadside hamlet – his raiding part had hit the little hamlet in the past – and partly because he feels compelled to try and repopulate the village if he can. The group bid him farewell and head back toward the road and the roadside hamlet. They feel that, at the very least, they now have a contact they can rely on if needs be.
The group travels up the road and leave the marsh lands for forest once again. They arrive at a small road that leads into the forest a short distance where they find the hamlet – the source of the smoke being a smithy and cooking fires burning at a rather nice inn.
As they investigate the hamlet, they discover Jameson, proprietor of the inn, founder of the hamlet, itself, and undisputed mayor of said hamlet. He is quite a large fellow, standing at nearly 7 feet tall. Despite his “padding” from age and slower days, it is obvious he is well-muscled and a strong fighter. Conversation with him reveals his past as a soldier/mercenary and then ultimately settling here to build and operate his inn.
The hamlet exists for the sole purpose of being a place for travelers along Piketon Road to have a place to stay if and when needed. The money made from the travelers for services rendered is how the small group of residents sustains itself. The tiny population includes a stable keeper and wheelwright, a couple of farmers that provide produce and meat for Jameson’s inn and the rest of the hamlet, a blacksmith and a baker.
For a very reasonable fee, the group sets themselves up in the in for a night’s stay, a meal and drink for the evening. They also hope to get any gossip and information they can from Jameson and any travelers staying the night.
That is where we ended the night.
Kolk, for all intents and purposes a nasty, evil goblin might now be a potential ally and/or source of information about the area if or when the group passes through again.
They also get to spend a night in much nicer surroundings than a roadside camping area.
Fang found a shrine to Nira (goddess of nature) at the edge of town in the forest. He placed the village holy symbol on the shrine and said a prayer to Nira asking for the return of Nature’s will over the evil that had been done to the goblin village. Evil or not, as Fang sees things, goblins are part of life in the world and is no better or worse than humans or animals.
I feel like they will make it to Piketon in the next session and begin their search for Mert. Mert is believed to have some sort of knowledge or insight about the sigil that mysteriously appeared on the left palm of each member of the group a few days ago back in Braiton.
This “distraction” from Slythis may or may not be connected to the reason they are traveling to Piketon for, hopefully, some answers.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see 😉
Thanks for sticking with me.