Adventure 2, Expedition 5

Adventuring Troupe:

  • Olg the High Orc
  • Mugi the Man-Ape
  • Braum the Cleric
  • Lucia the Halfling
  • Kelvyn the Thief

Date: Second-day of Week 22, Day 212 of Year 441

During the night of second-day the party sleeping in the barn was beset by biting bugs. The Goblin King and Braum were able to drive them off with a lit torch, but sleeping in the hay loft had lost its appeal. The party retreated to the living room of the farmhouse, where they spent the rest of the night in peace.

The morning of third-day dawned clear and bright, perfect for farm chores. Kelvyn went out to the chicken coop with the goblins and, using their shared nimbleness, showed them how to slight-of-hand eggs out from under the chickens without getting pecked.

Coming in to catch the end of this explanation, Mugi then showed the goblins how to befriend the chickens and charm the eggs out from under them. All in all, however, the goblins decided they didn’t care much for the chickens and only 18 eggs were collected from a flock of roughly 60 chickens. Perhaps the feeling was mutual.

Afterwards, Scrob the Goblin King and Braum discussed the future. “We would like to make a place where we can foster ideas, spread understanding….We can attract travelers from the main road.” Braum expanded on his vision.

Scrob decided to travel back to the Labyrinth, to explain the farm to the other goblins there. He wasn’t much interested in the chickens, but had taken a liking to one of the farm cats. Braum bid him to take a pair back to the Labyrinth, with a caveat to mind “how fast they can breed”.

Goblin King David Bowie
holding a cat

Two goblins, Stad and Fave, elected to stay behind and work on the farm. They set to with Lucia after their compatriots leave, cleaning out both the barn and chicken coop with gusto. The adventuring troupe was impressed with the goblin’s enthusiasm, and excited that some of the goblins are buying into their idea. Stad and Fave will stay on and manage the farm while the troupe goes out adventuring.

The troupe promptly set out for Gretchen’s. There, Mugi asked Gretchen to recommend a farming mentor. Gretchen was a little puzzled by the request, and after a pause suggested their neighbor Ned Killigun. She also mentioned that there was a farmer’s market every eighth-day, a few hours west of her establishment.  

To avoid paying for rooms that evening, Braum volunteered to entertain the crowd at the bar with stories. He talked of the battle between Erlang Shen and Sun Wukong that raged across the heavens. Long into the night Braum depicted their mighty struggle. The tale concluded as Sun Wukong was forced to serve the king of Heaven, and was bound to a monk headed into the west.

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The morning of forth-day the troupe headed over to the Birbeckle’s farm on Gretchen’s recommendation, to see if a few of the older Birbeckle children might be interested in helping out Stad and Fave with the chickens and other farm chores.

The elder Birbeckles were amenable to the idea, and volunteered the middle boys, half-grown teenagers Brosin and Tulver. As a neighborly gift, they also dug up some rhubarb and sent it along with Mugi to be planted. When Brosin and Tulver expressed some skepticism about why a farm needs so many chickens, Olg replied “Chickens aren’t a need. They’re a calling. If you search your soul, you’ll hear a cluck.”

When they arrived back at the farm, Mugi took the gathered chicken manure and plowed it into the garden patch behind the house. He carefully planted the rhubarb in the northeast corner of the garden.

Mugi’s freshly planted rhubarb
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Simultaneously, Braum gathered up Stad, Fave, Brosin, and Tulver. He filled them in on the plan: the troupe was planning to travel to the old caved in gold mine to check it out. In the meantime, the four of them would run the farm.

Brosin was the first to reply, pointing out that they needed a cook. In fact, he continued, his girlfriend Jan is a pretty good cook. Braum okayed Jan the Girlfriend moving in as cook, and gave the group 10 gold pieces to cover any needs or emergencies that arise before the whole party meets up at the egg stand at the eight-day farmer’s market. The troupe decided to leave Legion the pack dog and Julio the mule for farm use while they were away.

The troupe hadn’t make it more than a mile down the road toward the old gold mine when they saw an evil looking storm blowing in from the west. The clouds seemed to glow with light. They hightailed it back to the farm, and settled in to wait out whatever was coming.

Questioning Brosin and Tulver about the apparent firestorm, the troupe heard tales of the spells the mad mage lords inflicted on the world in the last days before the world burned. Some of those spells linger in the world still, the farm boys say, such as the occasional firestorm that sweeps over the area, burning people and animals alike caught outside when it hits.

Kelvyn and Mugi chose to wait it out in the cellar, while the rest of the party sat together in the living room. Kelvyn was at this point the only member of the troop who had not learned any Sign, but Mugi had picked up a few words of Common, so they were able to communicate a bit during their self-enforced closeness.

Braum passed the time with those above ground by telling the story of how three ghosts changed the perception of an old money lender. Ghosts being the main purview of his chosen god, he had many ghost stories.

“The moral of the story is that money and wealth is good, as long as you do good things with it. And you should always value people and relationships over material things.”

The morning light of fifth-day showed that the damage of the storm wasn’t too bad. All of the chickens had been safe in the coop, and the troupe’s animals were all in the barn, so the farm had suffered no losses. The troupe set out to the gold mine, taking a dozen eggs to give to Gretchen on the way past her place.

The entrance to the old gold mine
Photo from article by Janet Keller

Upon exploring the gold mine, the troupe could see that the way was completely blocked and the surrounding tunnel seemed unstable. There had clearly been several efforts made to clear the cave-in throughout the years, but none had broken through.

“We’ll use the timber we brought to shore up the cave in. Olg, you’ll use your architectural expertise. Put the beams up first, then start clearing the cave-in.” Braum efficiently organized their party, and they get to work. The troupe dug rubble and hauled it away in shifts, taking the best rubble out onto tarps for possible later panning. They worked for the remainder of the day, getting up early the next morning for more of the same. In the late afternoon of sixth-day, they broke through into to uncollapsed mine shaft.

They found a corridor worn smooth, as if fingers had traced every inch of the walls for years, looking for a crack or a seam. They also found the desiccated remains of what they assumed to be the miner who was trapped inside the mine at the time of the cave-in, with a locket. Empty supply crates and a few remaining chunks of gold ore were the corpse’s only legacy.

Braum said a prayer over the body, asking his permission to bury him outside and explore the area. The troupe formed a solemn burial party, taking the worn tools to bury with the body. They built a rough holy symbol and left a few chunks of ore to mark the grave.

“You made it out,” Braum intoned over the grave. “We’re sorry we weren’t here sooner. Sir, if you still have family left in their world we’ll get the locket to them and tell them what happened.”

Smelting a single chunk of gold ore
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The morning of seventh-day, the troupe decided to travel to where the farmer’s market will take place the next day. Reaching the empty wooden stands, they occupied themselves by scrounging up charcoal from the remnants of old fires. They knew that a wood fire wouldn’t burn hot enough to melt gold, but a charcoal fire would. Sorting through the bags of ore they collected at the old mine, they selected a likely candidate and threw it into an old cooking pot. Weighing the captured gold later, they found it was roughly equal in weight to 17 gold pieces.