Harbinger of Battle

The Mushrooms They Are A Callin'
The party is too loud, and nearly fries an old lady.

After a big reptilian battle, our intrepid adventurers took a moment to clear their heads. Garil-Kai went glassy-eyed for a few moments and started looking paranoid, saying something about someone dying in a ring of fire. They made haste through the door in the side of the mushroom chamber and beyond lay a room containing a withered old crone who looked to be suffering from hunger and dehydration. Surrounding her, drawn on the floor, was a circle.
Gunnar strode into the room purposefully, but not as fast as their intrepid councilman companion Eoffram, who dashed forward shouting the name “Zerriska!” and looked very concerned for this woman who he apparently knew. Gunner, not to be outdone, ran forward and directly into a magic circle which stopped him in his tracks, flaring with flames. Zerriska the crone screeched in pain as the fire burned her severely, and Gunnar ceased trying to breach the barrier. Eoffram had no time to react to this sight before Garil-Kai lashed out with his whip of sand, grabbing him and pulling him backwards. Eoffram choked on stray sand, and stopped his rush to the circle when he saw what happened to Gunnar. He and Garil-Kai spoke to the old woman and Gunnar lost interest and began searching the room for concealed devices or doors. They learned from Zerriska that a boy named Thurann was brought before her, still alive, and the hobgoblins threatened to slice his throat if she did not cooperate. Another man they had shown her was already dead.
Gunnar succeeded in finding a secret panel and pried it open, receiving a sharp needle to his arm in the process. A small wave of nausea swept over him and then was gone and he flicked the poison needle aside. Inside the alcove were a money purse and a long black bag. It contained a decorative sword made of platinum that Eoffram confirmed was one of the lost relics of Brindol; the purse contained 200 gold pieces. (More to come…)

Who Puts Dragons in a Crypt?
More hobgoblins, fireball-spewing braziers, and very angry miniature dragons.

The party (and Eoffram the town councilman) enter the bronze-bound doors of the crypt at Rivenroar and slowly descend a set of stairs, led by Garil-Kai and Gunnar. Eoffram stayed well behind the rest of the group. Halfway down the staircase they were noticed by two flail-wielding hobgoblins in the room below, they moved in position to protect their charges, two goblins armed with crossbows at the end of the room.
One of the goblins moved to open a double door at the far end of the room, causing two braziers flanking the sides to begin moving north to south, spewing balls of flame across the room as they went. Gunnar charged into the room and Garil-Kai once again bugged out (hah!) and flowed up to the hobgoblins, attacking them in a swarm of fury. Tira hung back with Eoffram, playing a drum beat which seemed to take a hobgogblin by surprise sending him staggering backwards and Eoffram watched awestruck.
Gunnar punctuated the battle with swings of his father’s great axe, fanning the hobgoblin he had engaged with furious near-hits and expletives. Garil-Kai was hungry in this battle, taking many insect-sized bites out of the second hobgoblins and the goblins behind him; Tira surprised everyone by closing in on one of the goblins behind and pulling out an actual weapon! She took on the goblin with her scimitar in hand, forcing it to abandon its crossbow and draw a short-sword. Eoffram entered the battle heroically by tossing a vial of oil at the hobgoblin Gunnar was fighting and succeeding in causing a small mess on the floor half the room away, mattering little because he hadn’t lit it on fire first, at which point Gunnar shouted at him to use his sling instead. He did so and managed to smack a hobgoblin directly on its temple, causing almost as much damage as Gunnar had done the entire battle raining down miss after miss on his less-than-terrified enemy. He made up for it though and buried his axe deep into goblinflesh, killing the hobgoblin mercilessly. Garil-Kai dispatched his hobgoblin as well and they both killed the goblin crossbowman that Tira hadn’t engaged. Tira’s foe, sensing the battle was going to end badly for him, tried to escape by running down the flight of stairs beyond the north door. Tira tried to stop him but the slippery goblin almost got away when Garil-Kai sent out a whip of sand that wrapped around his throat, simultaneously pulling the goblin back into the room and twisting its head off. Eoffram didn’t land another hit for the duration of the fight. Miraculously no-one was hit by the roving fireball-spitting braziers.
After the battle they found that the three exits from the room marked the burial crypts of three well-known families. They chose to exit through the northern door, marking the crypt of the Rivenroar family, and descended a long staircase. At the bottom they heard reptilian sounds byond the door ahead, and stealthily opened it. Beyond lay a vast chamber covered in ruined architecture from years gone by. It was dark and musty and groups of large mushrooms dotted the floor. Against the right wall, flanking the only exit, were two large lizards, looking like small dragons guarding the door.
The party was noticed almost immediately by the drakes and they closed in for battle, one of them stepped on a particular mushroom, causing spores to burst forth in a cloud and obscure the battlefield. No-one caused any damage the first few rounds as they struggled to see through the cloud of spores. Garil-Kai entered the room and investigated a shaft that led upwards from the room, seeing only darkness above. Tira rattled one of the drakes with her drumbeats of fury and Gunnar swung his axe mightily, though he couldn’t see a thing in the cloud. It was Eoffram who finally got the battle going, lighting a flask of oil aflame and throwing it into the cloud hoping to score a hit on a drake. It exploded and ignited the cloud of spores, burning it up in a flash of flame, and everyone could finally see again. The battle went quickly after that. Gunnar was bit and clawed many times, and Tira had to use her bardic healing aura to great effect, but he hit just as many times. Garil-Kai wore away at the drakes with close ranged attacks. Tira pushed one of the lizards backward and into a mushroom which began screeching loudly. Gunnar charged the other and it stumbled into another mushroom, which covered the drake in viscous green fluid and poisoning it. It charged back at Gunnar and raked him with vicious claw attacks, it looked bad for the barbarian but then from behind whizzed a sling stone, lodging in the lizards’ windpipe as it hissed menacingly at Gunnar. Eoffram had managed to make a heroic shot, finishing off the drake and possibly saving Gunnar as well.
The party finished the other lizard, Gunnar killing it by cleaving off its head. Immediately the warrior ran and picked up Eoffram in a bearhug, spinning him around and congratulating him on his first kill.

The Hand at the Marooned Schooner
The party is introduced to the city of Brindol, Scumble, and a fiery group of hobgoblins

Gunnar, Garil-Kai and Tira travel to the city of Brindol, whose council are hiring militia to protect from recent hobgoblin raiders. They are pointed towards The Marooned Schooner, a local tavern/inn where the council has been sending envoys to meet with any likely adventurers that arrive in town. Gunnar went straight to the bar and ordered a large glass of their most potent spirit, which was called Scumble, it was distilled from apples and would give paint thinner a bad name. He handled it well though and slowed down on his drinking when he felt the effects of the brew almost immediately after his first mouthful. After a few drinks and a meal (complimentary due to the promise of a few stories or songs from Tira, the party’s Bard) they are patiently waiting for an emissary to tell them the council will meet with them when the ever-watchful Garil-Kai notices an impending assault by groups of hobgoblin raiders, one of which is directly outside the tavern door!
The hobgoblins smash down the doors and pour into the room, followed by goblins with torches who begin trying to light the bar on fire with torches. Due to Garil-Kai’s observation they save the life of a farmer who certainly would have died on a hobgoblin longsword were it not for his warning and the protection of the party. The bartender also escapes a fiery death with the assistance of an uncharacteristically athletic Tira, who leaped onto the bar to help him towards the back door and then catapulted herself onto a nearby table. Gunnar cut a swath the the hobgoblin attackers first with thrown hand axes and then with hid father’s greataxe; both Tira and Gunnar were unnerved to say the least when Garil-Kai first transformed in front of them into a swarm of scarab beetles, stripping the flesh off of several hobgoblins. The goblins succeeded in setting the bar ablaze and then scampered from the bar, escaping and running away.
After the fire was put out by a bucket brigade and the party was being questioned by the town watch they barely had time to catch their breath when a huge ogre pulling a wagon loaded with pitch casks and two bow-wielding hobgoblins rolled into town. The ogre began throwing flaming casks at the party and nearby buildings. After an unexpectedly short battle in which the ogre succeeded on lighting on fire only himself, Tira played a drum beat which confused and disoriented the breast, and after throwing a cask at Gunnar and missing (again) He toppled over, pulling the wagon; casks, hobgoblins and all; down with him. The casks began to ignite, both hobgoblins panicked and made it worse, a building lit on fire, and the ogre was set ablaze. The hobgoblins escaped from under the cart before it exploded and as they were putting themselves out Gunnar, in a display of staggering awesomeness leaped into the air, brought his greataxe to bear, bellowed “Gunnaaaaaarrrr” into the evening sky and sunk his axe clean through the ogre’s chest, burying the blade in the ground beneath. Covered in the ogre’s steaming blood, he turned to the hobgoblins and shouted at them to flee. One was unimpressed but the other, mouth agape, tore off his red hand tabard and ran from the scene. The other was dispatched soon after.
The party were then sent to the Arrow and Thistle tavern and in short order were taken to meet with a member of the town council, Eoffram Troyas. After a period of question and answer in which the party tried to convince Eoffram they were worthy of a special task he had for them, he revealed that several townspeople were kidnapped by the hobgoblins, and several relics were stolen as well. The party accepted their mission to retrieve the prisoners and if possible the relics as well, but Gunnar, unimpressed by the leadership qualiies shown by Eoffram, would only take the job if he himself would accompany the party on their quest. He eventually relented and agreed to join the party, under Gunnar’s supervision and tutelage.
They slept and in the morning were able to question a hobgoblin captured during the attack. The very one Gunnar had frightened off. Tira kept her foot firmly in her mouth during questioning and Gunnar nearly had the town watch called on them, but eventually with much hardship they were able to coax a rough map out of the captive. They set out immediately towards the nearby ruins of Castle Rivenroar, where Sinruth the hobgoblin had been amassing a horde to attempt to overrun the region. The trip was mostly uneventful, despite Gunnar’s horse injuring its leg, and they arrived at the ruins quickly, discovering a large set of bronze bound double doors leading into a crypt underneath the castle.


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