Return to Calamentum
Flight from the Mine
Octorum 23, 887 Af.
The group spent some time organizing the goblins before leaving, but it was quick as they feared another assault. Sancho and V8 were sent out in front to scout the way, followed by the archers and a third of the goblins. Durdeg and Kasret were next, along with Enarzu and Vizla. Enarzu spent much of the time whispering in Kasret's ear, while Vizla openly demanded of Durdeg to know what they were planning. Durdeg's answers were vague, just assuring him that they would not become enslaved again.
Another third of the goblins followed closely behind, to where Sharlot was stationed. She played her lute as she walked along, keeping the goblins marching in time and soothing their spirits. Her bigghest impact came when she played the songs she learned from Kasret and Durdeg. While tghe lute could never replicate the pounding of the drums, she was still able to produce a beat that they could march to that stirred their spirits.
The last of the goblins, the sicker and weaker that struggled to keep up, brought up the rear, followed finally by Faora and Sif. The cleric of Adalci and the cleric of Kolero had little in common - not opposed in any aspect, but also not aligned. They passed the time easily enough, however, as they made sure that none of the goblins faltered.
They traveled without incident, until early evening. They gathered together in the middle as they ate cold rations on the march. They discussed what they would do when they showed up at the town with a battalion of goblins in tow. They worked out a message they could send to Ian that would explain what they were doing, and Sharlot sent it to him. Ian responded happily, saying he would set up an auction for the goblins they were bringing in. Realizing that they had not communicated clearly enough, Sharlot, Durdeg, and V8 left the group to get back to town ahead of them. They would talk to Ian first and explain the situation, and one way or another ensure that they could come back to town without the goblins being forfeit as property.
They quickly left the slow moving goblins behind, and after an uneventful evening, they arrived in town. Durdeg packed V8 away, and he and Sharlot spoke with Daniel at the gate. The goblins that were left behind hand retrieved enough wood from near the river, and were currently digging trenches to plant spikes in, and Daniel was watching over them. Daniel pointed them to the Jewel to meet with Ian, and they set off.
When they arrived, they mentioned the invading monsters, and the mine that they had come from. Swaren seemed very interested in the mine's location, as well as what they were mining. Sharlot told him a little bit about it, but changed the subject to entertainment. She told him of the Kenku and their abilities, and how they could be hired to provide music from different artists with just a few coins. Ian was quite interested in this as well, asking if it would be possible to have a demonstration before committing. Durdeg saw where this was going, and interrupted.
Durdeg pressed on about the urgency of the coming attack, and was able to get through. He told them that the commander of the Duke's cavalry had arrived, and he could introduce them. Durdeg told them he wanted to get back to the others, while Sharlot wanted to check on her house, so they passed for the moment. Sharlot returned to her house to find her goblin employees had cleaned a little and eaten a lot. She resolved to provide more chickens to keep them in eggs, and went to rest from the long day. Durdeg, meanwhile, extended his day a little longer and headed out to meet the others.
The main force was still traveling to the town, several hours out, when Faora heard something approaching from behind. They had just cleared the hills of the badlands and had spread out a bit more in the plains. The sound of something large running towards them echoed off the hills, and Faora turned to watch. In moments, two monstrosities rounded the corner and charged towards them. The beasts were better than ten feet long, running on just their hind legs, their front legs tucked in as they leaned forward. They horned heads were tucked low to the ground, and orcs in tough hide armor were seated on their shoulders. As they closed, Faora and Sif could see the razor sharp claws reflect the failing daylight, and their long, thick tails swaying to balance their charge.
Sif snapped off a shot at one of the orcs, and it grazed a cheek and shot away. They yelled to alert the others, and set to take the charge. With Sharlot and Durdeg gone, they had split the goblins into two groups. Sancho led, putting him several hundred yards away. The archers were there as well, and they held their position as Sancho turned to dash towards the back. Kasret was in the center of the group, along with Enarzu and Vizla. The two goblin leaders waved at the rest to stand down, since they didn't have the weapons to help, and the three began to move towards the back.
As the beasts charged at breakneck speed, Sif called forth mystical colors to enthrall the creatures. Both of the orcs and one of the beasts (which the goblins were screaming about and calling deathclaws) stopped, charmed by the swirling patterns. But one charged through, dragging the orc rider along with it, and came upon Sif quicker than she could imagine. Its roar was horrifying, and only a few of the heroes were able to push through immediately to overcome the terror it brought to the sea of goblins. The goblins cowered, ducking their heads to hide from the ravenous beasts.
It lashed Sif with its tail, then spun back and raked her with its claws. One claw connected solidly with her head, and she went down in a crumpled heap. Faora called on Adalci to give her a holy aura or healing, and went to work on reviving her.
As the other creatures were released from Sif's magic, they resumed their charge. With the orcs controlling their mounts, they crashed into the cowering goblins and began to tear them apart. Sancho was sprinting as quickly as he could, and finally caught the others. He unleashed a few shots with his bow at the closest rider, striking true. Kasret, Vizla, and Enarzu steeled themselves against the horror of the deatchclaw's cry - Kasret and Vizla overcame it first and advanced towards crossbow range, while Enarzu took a few extra moments to regain his courage.
Faora drew on her divine magic, and brought Sif back to consciousness. Sif rached to the deathclaw and channeled magical electricity through her hands, and was promptly knocked down again for her trouble. Faora healed her again, as the deathclaw and orc turned their focus on the goblins. One deathclaw had already moved bast the clerics, and was killing goblins with every strike.
As the second deathclaw moved away from Sif, she staggered back to her feet and hurled a blast of fire at its rider. It cringed against the heat, but kept moving and spearing goblins as it went. Kasret and Vizla finally came within range, and Kasret took full advantage. His hands a blur, he shot three bolts from his crossbow in the span of moments. Each arced through the air as far as the bow could throw them, and the third was one the way when the first found its mark. All three found an opening in the orcs thick armor, leaving blood trailing as it tried to remain on its mount. As it slumped, Sancho's arrow flew just over its head. It had just enough energy to keep the deathclaw moving. Both mounts were curling back the way they had come, smashing at goblins as they went.
The deathclaws exited the mass of goblins, just in time for Sif to send a burst of fire at the wounded orc. It hit hard, flame bursting across its chest. The orc fell from the saddle, hair and blood burning as it slammed to the ground. Kasret, Vizla, Enarzu, and Sancho all switched their fire top the other orc, trying to bring it down before it could escape. While they embedded an number of arrows and bolts, its armor was too thick and the deathclaw too fast, and it quickly disappeared.
The deathclaw that had lost its rider, however, immediately turned on its harassers. It closed quickly on Sif, roaring as it snapped its enormous teeth at her neck. She barely evaded, and Faora ducked around to the other side. Sif delivered another blast of flame, while Faora swung with her mace. Her form was perfect, the weapon striking true, but the beast showed no sign that it noticed. It focused on Sif, slamming her with its tail and claws, and Sif again fell. Faora worried that the amount of favor she could bring from Adalci this day was running out, and hoped they could end the fight before Sif slipped away.
Luckily, the ranged fighters had driven off the other and began to pepper the deathclaw with arrows and bolts. Kasret chipped away, doing small damage with a lot of shots, while Sancho focused and was able to slip a few shots into vital areas. As Faora got Sif on her feet on more time, the wizard shot a blast of fire into the deathclaw. It staggered back, opening itself to a final flight of bolts from the archers, and it went down. The heroes breathed a sigh of relief, and looked to see how bad it was.
They found that they had lost over thirty goblins in the attack - not insignificant, but only a few percentage of the total. There were nearly as many pregnant females left alive as goblins lost. The goblins insisted on burning their dead. The group rested while the goblins went about their funeral rites.
Durdeg returned around the time the were finishing, and relayed what had happened in town. They troop hit the road again, and made it back to Calamentum without further incident.
Unbeknownst to the others, Carta had been healed of his curse and given the package he had to deliver. An eagle that he somehow knew was named Akogi had arrived at his window, and was trying to lead him out of the city. Carta followed, and spent a short day traveling towards the badlands. He followed the direction Akogi led him, camping when night drew close.
On the morning of the 23rd, Carta continued following to the badlands, until Akogi redirected him south. He felt that he was needed and stepped up the pace. He found that talking to Akogi as he walked had a soothing effect, as though he was speaking directly with Adalci. Akogi understood him better than most, even though his only response was a bobbing of his head or the occasional high pitched cry.
As night neared, Akogi froze on Carta's shoulders. Carta stopped to look and listen, and eventually heard something large running towards him. As it closed, he heard the panting of the beasts, and smelled the brimstone. Hell hounds.
They burst from the grasslands, closing fast. Akogi launched himself into the air, and swooped in to fight. The hell hounds focused on him, waiting for him to come closer. The eagle swooped in low and at the end of its dive pushed off with its wings. A thunderous boom cracked out, and the hounds stumbled. Carta charged in, but couldn't get there before the hounds set themselves on the bird. Akogi barely dodged a gout of flame from one of them, his feathers lightly singed, but was snatched from the air and thrown to the ground in the jaws of the pack leader.
Before they had a chance to kill the eagle, Carta arrived with his sword swinging. He called forth all of the power of Adalci he could, energizing himself and his weapon. He slammed into the hounds, cutting brutally. One latched on to him, slicing his arm and ruining his concentration. He fought on, channeling the smiting power of his God into his blows, and soon felled the first of the hounds. Through sheer force of will, Akogi righted himself, and tried to get airborne.
As the hounds snapped at both man and bird, Carta continued to slash out and bring his smiting power down upon the fiends. He took another blow, but in exchange was able to bring down the rest of the hounds. Akogi flew to his shoulder, as they watched the beasts burn away into ash. Carta worried that his friends must be in substantial trouble if fiends are walking the earth, and set off to where Akogi directed him. He walked through the night, and as dawn broke, found himself approaching Calamentum from the north.
Back in Town
The party arrived back at Calamentum shortly after nightfall. They made their way to the Jewel, where Ian was at his usual place at the bar, glass in hand. The day had been quite long by that point, so they put off meeting the leader of the cavalry that had arrived earlier in the day. They all went to their various properties to sleep, and meet up again in the morning.
Octorum 24, 887 Af.
The next morning, Durdeg was at the gate, examining the preparations, when he saw Carta entering the town, an eagle on his shoulder. He quickly overcame his surprise, and ran to catch up with him. Durdeg began to catch Carta up on the events he had missed, while they went together to find the others.
Sharlot was rounding up food and chickens for the goblins, and came across the two as she got to the market. Together, they went back to church and found Sif and Faora, and finally encountered Kasret as they headed towards the Jewel. They all went into the Jewel, to have breakfast and figure out their next move.
At the Jewel, they talked briefly with Ian. Ian pointed out Phames Hawe, the nephew of the Duke of Bandar Philia and last surviving heir. Ian was clearly not pleased with the man's presence, and stared at him with hard eyes while he drank his whiskey. The party decided it would be worthwhile to introduce themselves. Phames greeted them warmly, but showed that while he could be polite, he had as much of a problem with Swaren as Swaren had with him. They made idle chit chat, but eventually asked about the position of the army. Finding out that the cavalry was already camped, and the infantry would be there by the end of the day, the group thanked him and bid him good day.
They decided that more information would be worthwhile, and sent Sancho and V8 to scout for a day and report on what he found. The party headed to the gates to find Sancho and set him on his way, save for Faora. She went to check on her patient, just to make sure that no infection had settled in, then on to the field hospital to make sure it was ready if needed.
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