O’ahu Players Expedition 2, Play Session 4

Adventuring Troupe:

  • Kelvyn the theif
  • Fela the fighter
  • Mugi the Man-Ape
  • Braum the cleric
  • Olg the High Orc

First-day of Week 21 finds the party very hung over. Gretchen revisits the debts from the night before with those that partied the night away, and finds that only Kelvyn can pay his tab in full. Lucia, Mugi, Braum, and Olg are all now variously indebted to her. They will owe her coin or a favor, whichever is more beneficial to her down the road when she calls on them to collect. For now, she is content to see the party off to talk to the Widower Stribe about buying his land for the endeavor with the goblins.

Kelvyn, asking around about rumors of any local nuisances, heard a tale of an abandoned gold mine. It partially caved in about 20 years ago, collapsing on one of the two twins who were mining. The other went mad trying to dig his brother out. He always insisted that his twin was still alive down there.   

Coming back around to the widower Stribe, Gretchen commented that he needed either an ear to listen to his tale, or a strong beating. He was a nasty old man with a  sad life story, so it was hard to tell which.

“I want profit and harmony. Those are my two main things. That’s what everybody wants. I don’t care what happens with the land specifically, since I’d be buying it on behalf of the goblins.” Gretchen offered 700 GP to the party to act as her embassies and buy the land. If Stribe didn’t take the money they should “do what you need to do” to get the land.

“Thank you for the option, but we will not be doing that. Money will be enough.” Braum calmly replied, in the face of his party’s discussion of smothering the old man with a pillow.

Widower Stribe’s Homestead and Outbuildings
Photo by David Bartus from Pexels

Upon arriving at the Stribe ranch, Mugi went inside while the rest of the party went around the back of the house where they could hear someone chopping wood. Mugi riffled through things, trying on most of Stribe’s clothing, but finding that nothing fit except a hat, which he elected to keep. He then settled down to munch on whatever he could find in the kitchen that wouldn’t fit in his sack to be carried away for later.

The rest of the party, meanwhile, talked with the widower. Braum offered 500 GP for the land, which Stribe rejected. “I poured my life into this land. That offer is an insult.” Fela then tried a different approach, sitting on a stump with the old man, sharing a wineskin and asking after his life story. Braum took up chopping firewood.

“I always wanted to see the sea. But my wife wasn’t interested in travel. Her dream was to have a family. Miscarriage after miscarriage, and the ones that drew breath never lived long. This place broke her heart. But it was the only place she was ever alive, ya see? How could I leave her, leave them? Everyone I ever loved is buried here.” Widower Stribe had switched to a harder drink than wine by the end of this tale.

“Your wife would want to see you happy. She’s watching over you. Why don’t you take a memento of hers and go show her the sea?” Fela suggested. Kelvyn nudged her to suggest something, but she shooed him away.

Mugi, growing bored with listening to this tale of woe through the kitchen window, grabbed the heavy sack of 700 GP out of the cart parked out front, and ambled around the side of the house. One hand full of the sack, it was difficult for him to sign.

“She has a very good of talking and talking for hours. I would rather just to give you guys the money. 700 GP is all we have. Enough?”

Widower Stribe knew signed Common, and was several glasses of whiskey into his day at this point. He understood Mugi with no problem at all. “Why didn’t ya lead with that?” He asked the party at large. “Ya can’t have mah horses or mah cows.” He finally said, querulously, “You can have mah chicken, lil fuckers.”

Upon going in the house to pack saddle bags, the party heard him swearing. Coming out, Widower Stribe glared at Mugi as he whistled up his cow dogs from the barn. He saddled his riding horse and his pack horse, and herded his cows off down the road into the afternoon light.

Looking around, the party counted 60-odd chickens, the run down house with 5 bedrooms, a dilapidated barn, two outbuildings, and an outhouse.  One of the outbuildings proved to be a fairly sturdy chicken coop. It might have a deeper foundation than the farmhouse.

The chicken coop out in a pasture. A repurposed old cabin?
Photo by David Besh from Pexels

Braum sent a carrier pigeon with news of the purchase back to Gretchen, signing his note “hugs and kisses”. He then prayed at the little family grave yard, burning a candle on each headstone. “Stribe has left. Please go with him and watch over him. We will take good care of this place. Please be at peace.”

The Stribe Family Graveyard
Photo by Joe Burge from FreeImages

After a quarrel on the porch, Mugi elected to spend the night with the chickens. In the morning, Olg quips, “Who’s unclean now?”

The chickens didn’t seem to mind sharing.
Source: User upload on poultrykeeper.com

Braum drew water from the well and filled the laundry trough with water. The party bathed in the cold water, except for Olg. Everyone insisted Mugi bathe last.

On the way up to the goblin Labyrinth, the party met neighbor Ned Killigun out tending his cows in the pasture by the road. They learned that he bought these cows from the Widower Stribe at what he considered a very good price. They discussed the Goblin King Scrob and Ned commented that Scrob has his head in the sand and wouldn’t hear a bad word about the conduct of his fellow goblins.

Reaching the Labyrinth, the troupe finds Scrob in conversation with goblin painters. They are covering the ceiling of a large room with an epic and bloody battle scene between two dragons and a party of adventurers.

Scrob was puzzled by the tale the party bought him, of purchasing a poultry farm on behalf of the goblins. Nevertheless, he and five comrades agree to go out and see this land with the adventurers. The enlarged party returned back to the farmhouse by the evening of second-day. The goblins elected to sleep in the hay loft, and Braum joined them.       

O’ahu Players Expedition 1, Play Session 3

Adventuring Troupe:

  • Fela the fighter
  • Mugi the Man-Ape
  • Lucia the halfling
  • Braum the cleric
  • Olg the high Orc
  • Princess Giblin the Free Goblin
  • Kelvyn the thief

On seventh-day of Week 20 Lucia, Olg, and Braum arrive at the Hot Springs to find not only Onida soaking in the water, but also several of the companions they had abandoned in town. Fela and Mugi relaxed in the water, and introduced a new adventurer they had befriended, Princess Goblin.

“The goblins need purpose and guidance. They suggested an animal fighting ring. They’re clearly smart. They know how to work in teams. Animal fighting is something that can be bet on, and it could draw attention to the local vendors.” Braum summarized to Onida, trying to secure her aid in this endeavor. “We don’t know how to build stuff and we don’t have any product. We want to see if the community will support this. Will you speak for us in Hullbeck?”         

Onida liked the idea, but not enough to attach her name to it.

Meanwhile, Mugi offered to clean Olg of lice. Olg had refused to bathe since the adventure began, and also would not enter the hot springs. He replied that his lice where “good where they are”, earning him the unofficial epithet of Olg the Unclean.

On eight-day of Week 20, the adventuring troupe set out back up the farm roads towards Gretchen’s place, while Onida returned to town. Reaching Gretchen’s in the late afternoon, nearly every member of the party decided to make some coin by asking for work.

Gretchen’s Place

Lucia acted as bar back, primarily moving barrels and other things up and down the stairs from the cool cellar. Fela and Olg chopped wood, creating a lovely pile of split logs neatly stacked. Princess Goblin put her languages to use, acting as an entertainer by reciting poetry in different tongues. Mugi, the most adventurous of the lot, took up the world’s oldest profession for the evening and consequently made the most profit by a wide margin.

“I see you’re good at finding purpose for people,” Braum commented to Gretchen, after stepping aside with her to a quiet corner of the bar. After some conversation, Gretchen agreed to talk to the local women about the goblin gambling establishment. She pointed him in the direction of Widower Stribe to ask about buying some land for the venture. None of his children survived into adulthood and his wife had recently passed away.

In the morning of ninth-day of Week 20, the troupe headed up north to meet with Goblin King Scrob. In the afternoon they made it to the entrance to the Labyrinth and were met by 3 goblin guards, who escorted them in to see the King.

“I hear you have been molesting my folk,” the King began. The party claimed it was not so, that they just had a strong-armed conversation. The three goblins the party met at the Stein’s farm were sent for and proved to be a sorry lot, beaten and bruised all over. The three goblins insisted that their current state was the fault of the troupe and their war beasts.

Regardless of these accusations, the Goblin King listened to the adventurer’s plans to build a boar fighting pit. Eventually Braum suggested the Goblin King meet with a human community leader, Gretchen, and the King agreed.

During the evening, Mugi showed the goblins a technique for sweetening and strengthening beer with molasses. Braum took the evening to preach the teachings of his god Zhong Kui, to an audience of six receptive goblins.

Tenth-day of Week 20 found the party, with the addition of the Goblin King and two retainers, on the way to Gretchen’s. Lucia and Mugi, hoping to scare up some game in the long grass, walked parallel to the cart trail. They instead stumbled into a mud wasp nest. Mugi, thinking quickly, picked up Lucia and hurled her out of danger and smack into Braum. Mugi then got himself out of danger, running full tilt towards the cart and other members of the party. The mud wasps did not pursue them, but the group decided that was enough excitement and everyone would stay on the trail.

As the day drew to a close, the group arrived at the brothel. Braum slipped inside to ask Gretchen for a private room and to let her know the Goblin King was here for a meeting. Aki sat at the bar, well in to a night of drinking. As the party went up the stairs to the meeting between local leaders, they hear Aki drunkenly shout, “A round for everyone at the bar!”

Though the Goblin King continued to be opposed to prostitution and inclined to see Gretchen as a villain, she was patient and understanding during their meeting. She revealed that anyone wanting to deal with the more discrete side of her business could ask for Gretchen the Good Witch.

“I’m a mouthpiece, happy to help the goblins get what they need. We all live in the same place. There’s no reason we couldn’t be good neighbors.” The Goblin King agreed with what she had to say about community. Gretchen gave him a carrier pigeon to bring back his decision on their tentative alliance. The goblins left that evening.

The adventuring party, heady with potential success and staying at a bar, proceed to carouse with abandon. All except Princess Goblin and Fela, who returned to their previous roles of entertainer and wood chopper, respectively. Braum was pleases to learn he had earned a local reputation as someone interested in peace and willing to put in the hussle to get there.

Aki, well ahead of the rest of the group in number of drinks, somehow managed to procure a fairy dragon. The little thing seems very upset with being held captive. Lucia, not to be outdone, ate something so spicy that she manifested literal fire breath. Olg, much to his subsequent discomfort, found that human spicy food did not agree well at all with his orc stomach.

O’ahu Players Expedition 1, Play Session 2

Adventuring Troupe:

  •     Lucia the halfling
  •     Braum the cleric
  •     Olg the high Orc

Second-day of Week 20 found three of the adventurers going to Onida’s tower to accompany her on her journey. Given that there was no answer at her tower door, Onida did not appear to be awake. The next logical course of action would be to lie in wait until the door opened, and barge in then, which the group did. The door opening took the form of Ollen the Apprentice arriving to complete morning chores. He was swiftly ambushed and the group thus won their way into the tower.

Onida was preparing to walk down River Road to meet an old friend traveling from the Spring at the head of the Gleam. Despite finding adventurers in her tower rather earlier in the morning than she had anticipated, she agrees once more that they may walk down the road with her.

Stopping to camp the first evening, Lucia goes foraging in the trees down by the banks of the Gleam. There she meets a ferocious snake, also foraging for its dinner. They engage in a fierce battle, wherein Lucia breaks her shield to avoid a likely lethal bite. Lucia emerges from the forest victorious, with enough snake meat to feed her party and the merchant caravan sharing the camp.

That night the camp is swamped by mist, save for the area around the two roaring fires set up by the caravan guards and Onida respectively. Braum sleeps the night through, untroubled by the mist. Both Lucia and Olg, however, are greatly troubled by the mist. Or perhaps what lurks within it?

Midday of third-day of Week 20 finds the little company at the Hot Springs, where Onida elected to stay until the next morning. Braum speaks with a traveling knight, telling him of kobolds near Hullbeck and thereby offending the knight by revealing knowledge of the tongue of dragons. The knight is disturbed to be sharing the hot spring with those who so readily consorted with evil monsters, and took himself off to Hullbeck.

Deciding this was a good a place as any to strike up into the hills searching for the source of the goblin rumor, the three adventurers asked Onida if she would likely be here to consult in three days’ time. Given that she was going to walk up and then back down the road with her friend, she allowed as how she might be. Plus that gave her a reason to linger at the hot spring, which was barely a thing that needed justification at all.

Pushing hard, the group traveled north along unnamed farmer cart trails and arrived at a brothel situated at a major crossroads well into the evening. Gretchen, the establishment’s proprietor, was happy to see new faces. This being the fall, most of the farmers hereabout were too focused on harvesting and putting away food for the winter to come get a drink or anything else at her establishment. Fall was always her slowest season.

Lucia took happy advantage of the offered company, hiring the two women currently available and having a lovely evening. Olg was approached for a similar offer by one of the men there, but rebuffed the offered company. Braum focused on talking to Gretchen, asking about where he might buy molasses and if she had heard anything about goblins cattle rustling. Gretchen expressed sympathy for the goblins, trying to set up a Labyrinth among superstitious farmers as they were.

To the east of the brothel the next morning on forth-day the little company found the Birbeckle’s farm just as Gretchen had directed them, selling molasses. Little Sally Birbeckle made a straw hat for Olg, on account of the sun bothering him so terribly. The hat turned out so pretty that Braum and Lucia asked for hats, as well. Lucia asked Sally to weave a ribbon into her hat, understandably neglecting to mention to the child that the ribbon was a token of affection given to her by one of the ladies at Gretchen’s place.

The elder Birbeckles tell the party that Mike Stein is the loudest mouth around for complaining about the goblins bothering his cattle, and the party wound their way across the hills and north to the Stein farm. Lucy Stein greeted them on the porch working on some mending, and agreed to allow the small group to sleep in her field or barn in hopes of catching goblins in the act of stealing a cow.

The first night the troupe got nothing for their trouble but bags under their eyes. The second night, however, on the first watch the party surprised three goblins walking towards the cows, a pasture away. The goblins, very surly after being ambushed by trained fighting beasts and adventurers, largely fell back on elf-like metaphors to stymie the party.

“Who can say how drops of water come together to make the little streams,” they wheedle, when asked about their leader, and other such evasive answers. Eventually Olg used the power of law to compel one of them, and it was found that the goblins are “bothering” the cattle and other farm animals hereabout as entertainment, rather than for food as the party had assumed. It was then agreed that in 5 days’ time the party could meet with the local Goblin King at their Labyrinth, and each goblin was given a cask of molasses as a token of goodwill.

The goblins were sent on their way, much to the later dismay of Mike Stein. Lucy Stein, however, seemed at least open to the party’s idea of setting up a boar fighting pit or some such business to keep the goblins entertained and out of the way.

That morning, habitually short on sleep, the three adventurers again set out for the Hot Springs, to consult with Onida.