Farlon drew out his flint and tinder above the oil he had spread out in front of them, switching back to shouting in Bugbear. Before Farlon could take any action, Cham leapt over the liquid to attack the large humanoids bearing down upon them and their new goat friend. He bravely hacked away at the middle of their advancing line.
Link, from the cover of the trees, joined
the fray with their bow. Toki circled around, splitting his foes attention. The
troupe’s adversaries seemed to take exception to being hacked and shot at, returning
the favor by striking at various party members with their enormous clubs. BB ran
from the cover of the trees, hurling a dagger into an adversary. Cham took
several hits from their opponents and was felled, much to the horror of his companions.
The troupe continued to whittle down their adversaries, with Link finally killing one of the large humanoids using his bow. Seeing that Lady Luck was not on their side in this fight, two of the remaining three enemies turned and ran. They would rather live to fight another day. The remaining foe was quickly felled, finished off with a killing stroke from Toki.
Poking through the fallen foes carrying sacks, BB found many things. The parchment they used to light a fire, over which they cooked a giant rat from one of the sacks. Everything else was discarded, such as a book they couldn’t read and a troll arm they didn’t want to eat. Off to the side, Farlon and Naarvi each butchered one of the dead adversaries, collecting one heart a piece. Farlon also gathered blood in his temporarily empty oil flask.
BB, Link, and Farlon looted the corpse of their slaughtered companion, stripping it of everything of value before the party buried the body. Farlon and Naarvi each took sips of the foes gathered blood, pouring out a similar sip to honor the dead party member. The mangled enemies the party left where they had been taken apart, staining the hillside.
BB’s shield had splintered in the fight, and they spent part of the evening fashioning Cham’s breastplate into the beginnings of a new shield. They estimated that it would take roughly two weeks of work in camp every evening to make themselves a new shield from this material. They bedded down in a tree, while the rest of the troupe found or made shelter under the cover of the trees. The goat wandered off on its own.
Seeking their fortunes, adventures, or more arcane things the
adventuring troupe coalesced on the road in the Holding of Henovell. There was
much debate as to where the troupe would head, but none were inclined to strike
out on their own. As Bimbo Baggins, known as BB put it, “I didn’t join you all to
go there by myself.”
After much debate, but little actual dissent, the troupe decided to investigate rumors of a red dragon flying above the mountains to the northeast. The group could not agree on the approach they would take once they actually reached the dragon: seeking friendship, stealing treasure, killing the dragon to eat its heart. Plans were suggested and discarded with abandon.
Upon the road much was discussed. A boisterous topic of conversation was joining various cults. Several of the members of the party loudly proclaimed their enthusiasm to join, when they were able.
And so it was that the troupe found themselves in the hills
above the headwaters of The Gleam, the main tributary to the Coral River. The
tracks they traveled on dwindled, and then dwindled further. On the fifth day of
Week 24, they came upon a goat and El-Nhuilna,
known as El, decided to try and be friends.
Finding that she could not
actually speak with the goat, she settled for having a steed. Upon attaching
herself to the goat’s back, however, she discovered that a goat’s startled gait
was a bit more rocky than she had anticipated. Given that disappointment, she
gallantly allowed Friend Link d’In to carry her once again.
About this time, the troupe noticed four humanoid creatures coming
towards them over the hill from the east, the way they had come. Each of the creatures
was much larger than any of the party members, and each carried an enormous
sack. The creatures approached the party as the troupe discussed things among
When the creatures had drawn too close for BB’s comfort, the
free goblin retreated to a nearby copse of trees to make a stand. El, Link, and
Naarvi followed suite, hustling slightly further into the copse than BB. Farlon,
on the other hand, drew a line in the dry grass at their feet with oil. The
party members tried in several languages to converse with the looming, gangly humanoids.
The only language that seemed to cause a reaction was Bugbear, to which they responded
by pausing cautiously to look about.
Creeping closer, ignoring the burble of Goblin as Farlon tried a new language, the hulking humanoids had nearly reached Farlon, Cham, and Toki at the oil slick.
Farmers began arriving in the light before dawn to set up their wares. Fave, Brosin, and Tulver also turned up, with Julio the mule pulling a cart full of carefully packed eggs in straw-filled crates. The other farmers eyed Fave the goblin uneasily, but continued setting up.
Lucia, Braum, and Olg strolled through the rapidly filling farmer’s market, noting items of interest. They learned that there are milk goats for sale, and that a goat can produce up to a gallon of milk a day. The eager salesman assured them that goats can lactate for up to 420 days a year, which made them a phenomenal investment. He had Landrace goats for sale, which were of note both for their superior milk production and their wonderful fiber production.
The troupe was interested, but their farm boys told them there was another goat seller of superior quality that was strangely absent at the market today. Asking around, the troupe learned that he had stayed home to gather his goats back up after something fell out of the sky, landing in or near the lake at the back of his property. The goats, predictably, had taken impact as excuse to run amock.
Noting that folks seemed too busy rubbernecking at the troupe’s goblin coworker to buy any eggs, Braum decided to give the crowd something else to look at. Buying sheep butter, leaks, onions, chives, and garlic, Braum began to cook eggs.
There weren’t any other meals being prepared in front of the crowd, and the smell drew people in. Just as Braum had hoped, buying omelets to order from him had broken the ice for most of the customers with Fave the goblin. Farmers were buying and bartering for their eggs almost immediately.
Continuing to circulate in the market, Lucia and Olg overheard an old human man saying that his weather toe was predicting a storm in the next half-week. When they mentioned this to their farm boys, Brosin and Tulver immediately launched into gossip about Willy and his weather toe, knowing exactly who the two adventurers were speaking of.
“I think he’s a witch and calls those storms just so he can feel important,” Tulver grumbled.
Around noon the farmer’s market was slowing down. The party agreed to go their separate ways, with Fave and the boys taking Julio the mule back to the farm to make charcoal and the troupe going to investigate the possible meteor at Karl’s goat farm.
Around dinner time the troupe arrived as what seems to be Karl’s farm, though no one was in sight. Not wanting to startle anyone or give the impression of sneaking, the troupe decides to sing as they rode up the winding lane to the farmhouse.
“Hi ho, hi ho…We’ve come to see your goats, yo,” Lucia began.
“Have you some goats for me to buy? Have you set some wool to dye?” Braum continued.
“What would you like to trade? We’re all looking to get laid,” Olg joins in, perhaps thinking about Gretchen’s.
“On the road for coin and love, until we travel the roads above,” Braum sung in reply, easily shifting to accommodate the new theme.
“Here we are on a tale of woe, all because of a weather toe,” Lucia finished.
When the troupe reached the house, they found that it was presently deserted. Their couplets, passed back and forth one to another as they sang, had been heard by no one but themselves.
Following the freshest tracks coming out of the back of the house, the troupe traveled over a hill, towards the back of the property. After traveling over several such rolling hills, they came upon a family, strung out in a line, herding a number of goats in front of them. The troupe joined the line, with a nod of thanks from the adults.
Reaching the farm buildings once again, they were able to make a firm count of the goats. The troupe and farm family had managed to wrangle 18 of the missing animals. The family was very appreciative of the help the troupe volunteered, and Karl was happy to tell them about the meteor that landed in the lake a few nights back.
The farm family invited the troupe to join them for dinner. Braum volunteered their remaining leeks, garlic, and chives for the meal. Braum then spent the last hour of daylight chopping firewood for the family.
After dark, Karl showed the adventurers where he thought the meteor came down into the shallow side of the lake. Casting Detect Magic into the water, Braum saw a glow on the lake bottom. The party estimates that it may be 40 feet down to the glowing item.
Olg revealed that he was a master swimmer, and dove into the water with one end of a long rope clutched in his hand. Olg found a sword hilt to be the glowing object. He tied the end of the rope to it, and swam back to the surface. He then was able to easily pull the sword hilt out of the lake.
A quick consultation with Karl found that none in his family were swordsmen, going back at least 6 generations. In fact, he did not know of any in the surrounding farms that might be. He bid the adventurers keep what they had found, with his blessing.
The family left the next morning before dawn to comb the other side of the lake for the remaining wayward goats. They were happy for the troupe to accompany them out to the shallow side of the lake. Olg dove with the light of day, to see if there was anything else of interest on the lake bottom. The party reasoned that it was unlikely that the sword hilt was the meteor that spooked the goats.
Walking back with the family after searching the lake bottom once again, the troupe asked about buying goats. Karl offered six of the “beautifully spirited” goats they just rounded up, for a discount. He was willing to let them go for 150 gold, total.
Braum offered the lump of smelted gold worth approximately 17 gold pieces, plus 16 chunks of ore. Karl jokes, “Oh, you want to pay me with more work?” Braum offered an additional 20 gold pieces of actual money, and Karl accepted.
As soon as Braum had offered the ore, Karl had realized that the troupe had succeeded in clearing out the cave-in at the old gold mine. Braum confirmed that they had indeed found the old miner’s brother. What was left of him. Karl wasn’t able to tell them where the old miner was now. The troupe parted from Karl and his family on very good terms, making the long trek back to their own farm.
On the way, Braum tried to coax secrets out of the sword hilt they had found on the lake bottom. “I know you’re magic, sword. We both know you’re special. Are you a sword with a will of your own? If a princess kisses you, will you turn into a prince?”
Partway through the day, the troupe came upon a person stumbling up the road towards them. As they drew closer, it became apparent that they were very, very sick. The troupe swung their wagon as wide around the person as the road would allow, and they passed each other without exchanging a word.
After reaching the farm that evening and locking the goats in the barn, it is decided that the entire party will work on fixing up the barn and house for the next several days, until the storm Willy’s weather toe predicted blows over.
Braum, Olg, Brosin, and Tulver spend tenth-day making boards from the pile of logs in the yard. Lucia, Fave, and Stad focused on making an area in the barn specifically for the goats.
Braum suggested that the party fill their evenings by teaching each other any languages they do not have in common. Braum could teach Draconic, Olg could teach Orc, Stad and Fave could teach Goblin. The group agrees.
Everyone works on the barn on first-day. The work is cut short on second-day when a heavy rainstorm moved in just before noon. Braum spends some time sitting on the porch singing rain songs.
“I’m never going to stop the rain by complaining….”
Olg, Lucia, Stad, Fave, Brosin, and Tulver study language inside. Eventually, Braum joins them.