Thursday, September 5, 2013

Goblin Wars: Session Alpha (reposted to give context for this week's session)

We were down a player last night, and, except for the killing of a hydra, had important plot stuff to do. So I ran a one shot in Morachi.

Jeb and George were down on their luck. Half the population of Threshold was an adventurer, it seemed, so pickpocketing was not a safe profession. But they weren't the sorts to be any good in a fight, either, so dungeoneering was out. That is, unless they found some mooks to do the fighting for them. That was where Reginald and Gilbert came in.

Jeb spotted Reginald in a corner of the Wailing Whistle. The imposing paladin was hard to miss, and seemed to be the perfect mark. He sent his younger brother George over to propose a plan. "Pardon sir. My brother and I are experienced treasure hunters, needing only a couple of strong men like you and your manservant to aid us." Jeb had gone to the Sheriff's assistant, Karolina Nmec, about jobs only a few hours before. "The law of this town has tasked us with driving out some goblins who seek to establish a spawning den near this very town! With your aid, this evil will not be able to stand against us." Standing behind his brother, Jeb's eyes glinted with the thought of the treasure they would have once the goblins and the men of faith killed each other.

And so the four men (and a mule) found themselves standing in front of a narrow cave mouth, looking inside. The cleric, Gilbert, lit a torch and led the way. The cave, only being recently occupied by the goblins, was merely dank rather than fetid, and fairly dry. The torchlight flickered, and as the group explored it revealed two exits from the chamber. Jeb heard some noise from the right-ward corridor, and the party decided to move that way to head off any trouble that might sneak behind them.

The next room was large enough that the torch could not illuminate its entirety. The two thieves fanned out, hoping to catch any potential residents in a flank, when an arrow bounced off Gilbert's armor. Goblins! cried Reginald, and the men of faith charged forward as the thieves lobbed arrows from behind them. The goblins fell quickly before Reginald's blade.

Exploring the room revealed nothing more than a set of roughly hewn stairs. The room felt danker and closer near them, and George grew apprehensive. Using his ten-foot pole, he prodded at each step before he would put his weight on it, but each step held. As the party edged into the room below, two arrows leaped from the darkness, and this time the goblins aim was truer -- Gilbert was hit. Fortunately it was only a scratch, and battle was joined.

For whatever reason, though, this battle was not as smooth. The first swings of Reginald and Gilbert failed to give the goblins more than superficial injuries. And without the precision necessary to fire into a melee, Jeb and George were forced to engage the goblins in hand to hand. This was when tragedy struck. A massive goblin the size of an average human appeared from behind his minions, and struck George down with a single blow to the head. Reginald turned to face the champion as Jeb and Gilbert tried to winnow the ranks of the remaining goblins.

Reginald managed to thrust his blade clean through the chest of the goblin champion, but not before one of the archers put an arrow through Jeb's heart. The last goblin squeaked as Reginald turned towards him, and with a desperate blow, slashed Gilbert across the eyes.

Reginald rushed to the side of his friend. Life was leaving Gilbert swiftly, but with a swift prayer to Fayon, Reginald laid his hands on Gilbert, bringing him back from the edge. But noise coming from a corner of the cavern reminded them that these were not necessarily the last goblins here. The two men of faith gathered the goblin's coins and hurried out of the den the way they came.

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