Matts Forgotten Realms

The Game is Afoot
Goblins? Near MY town?

In the northwestern part of Faerûn, near The Spine of the World, lies a bustling city of Auckney. Normally, this town is fairly sleepy: it’s not the trade hub that Baldur’s Gate or Waterdeep is, and it’s not the cesspool that Luskan has become. However, recently, the surrounding farmlands have been suffering attacks that are goblinoid in nature.

The Mayor, Beggoty Nornthornon, has recently instructed one of the guard captains to find some able-bodied adventurers and set them about investigating this menace. The Guard Captain happened to find a motley crew that fit the job in the local bar, the Black Stallion Pub. The group consisted of a Half-Elf that made residence in the town by the name of Varis, an Eladrin wizard named Azariel, a wandering swordmage Genasi named Le-Lani, and a noble Dragonborn Paladin named Zarn Kallor.

He offered the group 100 gold pieces to investigate the attacks and stop them. They were also instructed to bring back evidence of their job’s completion. They did some digging around for info and got a fantastic lead: A farmer in the bar had lost everything the night before to one of the raids and led the adventurers straight to his farm, where they discovered footprints leading north to an old outpost.

Meanwhile, a Teifling Rogue by the alias Caenith found himself near Auckney looking for a farmer that supposedly had some information regarding a magic ring. His contact had been murdered and his estate pillaged by some goblins and Caenith had tracked them to the same outpost.

The two parties descended upon the outpost looking for vengance, fame, loot and a good story…

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Melee #1!
Where metal, spells and flesh meet!

The four adventurers spied the goblin camp and made plans to sneak in and get a jump on the fight, but Le-Lani had other plans. When the goblins were alerted to the foursome’s presence, they joined in the fray. Azariel’s spells were put to good use, shaping the battlefield to keep the goblins from swarming on Le-Lani and Zarn while Varis kept the pressure on with his arrows.

Near the back of the outpost a few more goblins – one with a crossbow – joined the fray. Luckily, Caenith joined in at that moment, flanking the goblins and breaking their ranks. Once the small squad of goblins had been demolished, the five heroes conversed and decided that it would be mutually beneficial if they joined forces for the time being. They discovered more goblins below the tower and a new goblin, a Hexer. The fight was joined again, only this time primarily by Zarn and Le-Lani. They wiped out the goblins below the tower, gathered whatever goods they could (such as good vintage wine and some of the farmer’s person effects) and the set off towards town to inform the Guard Captain of the goblin’s eradication.

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Melee #2 (and #3!)
Goblin, goblin, goblin, DIRE RAT!

After explaining the situation to the guard captain and receiving their payment, the party went to rest at the local inn. The next morning, the party woke to go check out the second outpost. The goblins were again, no match for the group as they were destroyed in the ensuing melee. When the basement of the tower was searched by Caenith, he found nothing but smashed wine bottles below. The team headed back to town with the second bag full of ears.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, the group of adventurers took off to the south to find the last outpost. Along the way, they ran into an ambush party of goblins and a dire rat. The Heroes quickly sprang into action and obliterated the opposition, but not before Zarn took some nasty hits. After taking a short rest, the party set off to the south again. When they arrived at the encampment they found many goblins, including a Goblin Hexer (which they fought earlier). Luckily, Le-Lani was fed up with the goblin shenanigans and brought down swift retribution on many of the goblins. The other members played their part as well. Caenith flanked with Zarn to give the dragonborn better advantages and Azariel caused a Goblin Sharpshooter to plummet to his doom from his sniping point atop the last tower.

The loot proved to be great beneath this tower: once again a large stockpile of wine was discovered, but so was a nice magical set of leather armor! The party rejoiced for having such great fortune and returned home. They were rewarded by the guard captain and given medals all around. They were even promised to be kept in mind for future jobs that the guard was unable to take on.

That night, however, the dragonborn paid a visit to his old buddy, the farmer that had his land sacked. Also, Le-lani fetched a listing for a new job for them to take on…

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Adventure #2! (and Melee #4!)
They keep rollin' rollin' rollin'...

The next morning, the adventurers met for breakfast. There was a sudden bacon shortage, however, since a certain dragonborn decided to eat almost all of it, so the crew had to settle for house specials and – in Le-Lani’s case – special orders. Le-Lani presented the new job to the group: escort a merchant wagon belonging to Max Ahriman to Windvale. It was easy enough, and the pay was good. After finishing breakfast, they headed over to the Queen’s Inn to find Max since that was where he was staying.

Instead, they found out that he had already gone to eat breakfast. Le-Lani took that opportunity to storm back over to the Pub in search of him. The rest stayed and gathered that he left for breakfast much earlier and was probably already in the Merchant’s district, peddling his wares. Le-Lani got the same information from the owner of the pub. They all met up in the Merchant’s district and were greeted by a cacophony of sounds: merchants shouting and selling their wares, people bartering and animals – ones on sale or otherwise – making noises! Luck was with them, however: the first merchant they came across pointed them to the right direction whilst selling Le-Lani a beautiful scarf (at this point, she wandered off into the market to admire the wares available).

The rest of the group met up with Max and were directed to meet him that night in the Pub and they’d talk then. When the appointed time came, they did meet Max in the pub. They also met his wife, Mirriam and his son, Phillip. They agreed to help the merchants out and decided to meet up at the east gate at the end of the tenday. When that day came, they gathered up and set out.

The first day’s travel was fairly easy. It was a cool day with no troubles. That night, however, disaster struck. While Caenith and Varis were on watch, they heard a loud animal noise and went to investigate. A few minute’s walk from the camp led them to a pitiful sight: a bear had its leg trapped in a bear trap! Varis acted quickly, removing the bear’s leg from the vicious iron contraption while Caenith scouted the area. It was apparent that humans had been here, but no further searching was deemed necessary. Varis cleaned and dressed the bear’s wound and provided it with some food. The two adventurers then let the bear go about his way and returned to the camp. The rest of the night passed uneventfully.

The next day saw the adventurers earning their pay. About midday a bandit stopped the caravan and demanded pay for him and his band for clearing the roads of giants. He demanded 300 gold pieces, but the group didn’t want to pay that much. They talked him down to 175 pieces, or almost did until the bandit lost his temper and demanded the full 300. At this point, Le-Lani did a little negotiating of her own with the business end of her sword. The adventurers were outnumbered and beginning to get pressed when the bear from earlier joined the fray on the adventurer’s side and began mauling bandits! The day was won and the group made it safely to Windvale, where they recieved the rest of their pay and a little extra, too!

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Into the Dungeon
Yipping Kobolds and Powdery Traps

The crew split up once they got into the town: some went to get dinner, others to shop, and some to just explore the town. Varis and Caenith overheard some juicy gossip while they were wandering: apparently the night watch had seen some small, shadowy forms darting about just outside of the perimeter of the wall’s lights. When they asked the guard captain about it, he told them that the leader of the city was going to make a formal request to local adventurers to clean up the pests before it became a problem.

Caenith, Varis and Azariel were led by the guard captain to Sherman Gaff’s mansion in the middle of town. Sherman met with the three and shed some more light on the situation: apparently the small creatures were Kobolds, little lizard-like creatures with a penchant for worshipping dragons, and they hadn’t caused any trouble – yet. However, like goblins and orcs, Kobolds were seen as a bane on nature. Sherman offered the party 500 gold pieces to eliminate the threat and even provided a 200 gold piece advance (which didn’t seem like enough to a certain rogue). The adventurers agreed to take on the task and set out to find the two missing party members.

Le-lani was found walking around with Phillip in the market area and Zarn was found later. They gathered, shared their findings and agreed that it would be a fun way to pass the tenday until Max would be ready to go. The party decided they would leave first thing in the morning.

The next day they gathered at the northern gate (Varis met them outside of the gate with his bear, Grizz). Phillip caught up to the group and explained that he wanted to go along, as helping his dad sell scrimshaw was not nearly as exciting as fighting. The party at first had no desire to babysit but Le-lani convinced them otherwise. Begrudgingly, the other members agreed and they set out.

Varis searched for the trail of the kobolds for a few hours before picking up on it and tracking them down. They got to a clearing and faced off against a small scouting group of the creatures and their stormclaw scorpion pet. The advance group were put down handily, and the party found the trail to the cave the monsters were making their lair.

They carefully entered and let Caenith take point. Hubris befell him and he stumbled directly into a simple Kobold trap: he was covered in a bag of flour which made him much easier to hit! However, quick-acting Le-lani used a new ability and switched places with him. After a few terrifying moments of combat, the attacking Kobolds and their pet stirge were put down, leaving the adventurers in a large cavern with two paths ahead of them…

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Kobold Home Cave
Where the Kobolds hide...

Nothing tastes worse than death.

After searching the cavern for loot and lopping off the Kobold’s heads, the group had a choice ahead of them: either take the left path or the right path. After a short deliberation, they chose the left path. A few moments later and they had a marching order with Caenith leading the way.

Caenith is an adept trapfinder (although the characters would probably tell you differently. He was scouting about 20 feet ahead of the party and was around a bend in the tunnel, looking out for traps when he heard a soft click. Moments later, the party heard a loud crash, like the sound of rocks falling hard, and then silence. They rushed ahead to see what had happened and found a large pile of rocks with a tail poking out of it and a cavern just up ahead with a dim glow emanating from it. Caenith had been caught in another Kobold trap, only this time he wasn’t so lucky! The rocks had crushed the life from his poor body.

Le-lani, Phillip, Varis and Zarn immediately began digging him out, and when he was exposed, Zarn used his Lay on Hands ability to bring the teifling back from the brink. A few minutes of rest (and a handful of healing surges) later, the group was ready to go. Up ahead, a few of the adventurers spotted kobold shapes skulking about in the dim light. They rushed in an engaged the monsters in combat.

The battle went well with Azariel using his flaming sphere spell to herd kobolds around the cavern and Phillip using one of his abilities to smash a kobold into the rolling ball of fire at one point. Everyone performed admirably and the battle was soon won. When the group searched the room they found that the kobold that Phillip had knocked into the flaming sphere was wearing magical bracers that caused a wielded melee weapon to catch fire and deal extra damage on a particularly well-placed hit. Zarn was voted the person most needing the bracers and he donned them.

The party moved on into the next room (keeping an eye out for traps along the way) and found a low, dug out room crawling with kobolds and the fight began again. This battle moved a little slower than the previous one had due to many of the character’s daily abilities being exhausted. One kobold managed to call in reinforcements and alert whatever was in the next room. When the monsters were put down, the group gathered at the back of the room to look into the next area.

In that grand room were five creatures: two dog-sized green drakes with orange fins on their backs, two Kobold Dragonshields and a cackling Kobold Wyrmpriest. Zarn, able to speak the language of the kobolds, attempted to parlay with the wyrmpriest. While mostly unsuccessful, he did uncover one troubling bit of information: these kobolds were worshiping a White Dragon by the name of Innyophet! And as soon as Zarn relayed the information to the rest of the group, Le-lani again decided that the time for discussion had come to an end and it was time for action. The party charged into the fray with the plan to keep the wyrmpriest alive long enough to discern Innyophet’s location.

The guard drakes lived up to their roll as guardians and took down Zarn a few moments into the battle. Phillip dispatched one Guard drake and, after being revived by Varis, promptly slew the other guard drake. At that point, all bets were off and the melee was joined in full. The Wyrmpriest ended up being cornered and drew in a huge breath of air which it fully intended to use to unleash its dragonbreath power. Unfortunately the only thing that came out were coughs and sputters. It was promply stabbed to death.

The adventurers searched the cavern and found wrapped up in a sack on a stick several gold pieces and a gem. Upon further investigation they found a crudely drawn map of the area depicting the Settlement of Windvale, the cave they were currently in and to the north of the settlement another area. Zarn deciphered the runes on the map and determined that the dragon Innyophet lived in the northern mark. Also, he discovered that the beasts were going to descend upon the town at the end of the tenday which was only 7 days away!

The party decided to clean up the other branch of the cave and then return to the town to warn Sherman Gaff and maybe pick up another job…

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Glossing Over What Happened
>>|

The Characters cleared out the cave and went to alert Sherman Gaff about the dragon problem. He contracted them to kill the dragon. As they left, they found that Phillip was in too much trouble with his father to join them, so they had to do it without his help. They started systematically clearing out the old manor’s basement where the beast made it’s lair until they were three rooms in. Then Phillip ended up joining with them anyways. They met up with the White Dragon Innoyphet and began the fight. Caenith took a nasty blow that sent him into a near-death experience, but Zarn brought him back. They slew the dragon and got Sherman to send his men out to bring back the corpse. They used scales and teeth from the corpse to adorn their weapons and armor.

They escorted Max Ahriman back to Auckney (and tangled with an odd hobgoblin troupe along the way) and parted company with him when they arrived. A few days of rest followed and they were called upon by the Mayor of Auckney to do a service for the kingdom. Recently there had been a growing number of reports of odd sightings and odd sounds coming from the nearby graveyard used by the town. They were told to just observe and see if they could locate the source of the disturbance.

They found a break in the fence surrounding the graveyard and fresh tracks near it, and they saw a specter appear in the graveyard and leave through the break in the fence. When they went back to report to the Mayor, he sent them to the King. He told them that they were to investigate further, but had to take an expert with them. They were to go and request a brother from the Order of Kelemvore in the nobles district. They arrived at the Order which was nothing more than a decrepit-looking house in the fancy nobles district and talked with the Order’s leader who assigned the greenhorn Accolyte Mark to them. However, Brother Dessent had an objection to that and demanded to go. Being the senior in the order next to the head of the Order, he was granted permission. Dessent Saint Bertrow escorted the team to the crypt. When they got inside they immediately fought some skeletons and a spider that were waiting to ambush anyone unlucky enough to enter the crypt. As soon as they were finished, a dwarf named Thoris who worked with the guard approached them and told Zarn that his presence was needed with his order and that he would be taking over. Thoris and the group descended lower into the crypt, cleaning out the roaming undead and destroying summoning circles until they got the the last room where the kings and royalty of Auckney were buried. There they found a large group of hobgoblins worshiping an entity called Araunt. Dessent distracted the leader and was knocked unconcious by him, but his act allowed Le-lani, Caenith, and Thoras to take him down. Varis pelted the enemies with arrows until he was taken down by a hobgoblin archer, but he was revived by Azarial. Azarial’s Flaming Sphere spell proved to be the MVP of the fight, systematically cooking hobgoblin after hobgoblin. Once the battle was won, the group reported to the king and he explained what Dessent had found in the crypt: the Eminence of Araunt had caused the disturbance and new seals and wards needed to be placed on the crypt to keep this from happening again. Meanwhile, the party was to escort Thoras on the road as he delivered a message to The Open Lord of Waterdeep, Dagult “Dagger” Neverember. The journey was going to take 15 days and the party split up to make preparations. A significant act of kindness left Le-lani with a pretty new ring…

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