Grudges, Gifts, and Goblins
The group leaves Raniel manor at the end of the festivities and transport their prisoner, Rose back to Doyle Manor. After some discussion, Sir Boros takes the girl in and gives her into the care of Marrion Rivers. After a night’s rest, the heroes once again leave their horses with the villagers and set off into the Forest of the Mists.
While traveling the group stumbles across a vicious troll. It ferociously attacks Porter and Athar but is soon dispatched by the group’s counterattack. It is apparent that their recent training has paid off.
After the battle with the troll Ward challenges Zale to a fist fight. It seems he has a bone to pick with the half-elf wizard. He wants to fight over Zale’s actions weeks earlier when he was dealing with the riled up peasants back at Doyle Manor. Zale refuses, but Ward punches him anyways and Porter and Athar step in to intervene. Ward then threatens Athar. At this point his brother pulls him aside and speaks with him privately. The two brothers speak a long time alone and when they come back Ward apologizes to Athar, but not to Zale.
Porter then speaks with Zale privately to try and smooth things over a bit. He does point out that although he went about it the wrong way, perhaps Ward did have a point in that the group’s more eloquent spokesmen should be the ones to deal with angry mobs and with Lords. Zale states that he doesn’t mind having a group spokesmen or set leaders, but he refuses to give up his right to speak when he wishes or thinks he should.
Meanwhile, Dorious and Ward begin to exchange words too. Dorious flatly states that if Ward ever hits Zale again he would put him in the earth “permanently”. Once again Porter intervenes, but Ward takes the opportunity to bring up the question of leadership and calls for a vote. The others agree and a vote occurs, but it does not go as everyone perhaps would have expected. With three votes, Victor Raniel is chosen as the group’s leader. He then selects Porter to be his second in command and Zale to be his first adviser.
Leaving both the troll and perhaps a few tempers to smoulder the group moves on to Bein Asëa.
It is as this point that Ward uses the cover of the mists to slip off and leave the group. The others discover his absence when they arrive.
Porter stoically except his brother’s departure. “We will see him again,” he says.
The group meets with Celebor and Zale presents him with the sword. He is exceptionally grateful and he presents them each with a magical item in exchange for the great service. Victor, Dorious, and Zale each receive a +2 cloak of resistance, Thurenz receives a set of +3 bracers of armor, Porter receives a +2 shield, and Athar is given a +1 shocking short sword named Ninn Mor Faun or “Slender Black Cloud.”
Celebor then asks a favor of the group. He reveals to them a prisoner they caught trespassing near the village. He asks that the party deliver the man to the Mist Warden in Ruorven. The group agrees and they set off a short time later.
Victor removes the man’s gag and he identifies himself as Rhedwyn. He tells the group that he had come seeking aid against the goblins who sacked his “village”. The party suspect however that he is a bandit and the man confesses that the people of his “village” had done such before but that they hadn’t in a long time. He tells the tale of a large goblin force that overran his people, and how he survived. He apparently had gone to the elves for aid, but was captured before he had ever had a chance to tell his tale.
The group decide to lend their aid, since it sounds as if the goblins may have taken women and children prisoner, although they promise severe punishment should Redwyn try and run.
They all travel to the ruins of the tiny woodland hamlet which had been Redwyn’s “village”. There is not much left. But Athar is able to determine the direction the attackers came from.
Heading that way for several hours the group finally come to a stream and to some sort of panning operation. Several goblins stand watch over human slaves panning in the river.
Athar and Thurenz sneak up on the group. Thurenz reports back while Athar dimension doors up to a tree stand and removes one of the sentries. The rest of the group arrives and a fight ensues. The goblins, both large and small are taken out efficiently, but one of the large fellows is able to blow a warning horn before he is slain.
The group tell the slaves to flee across the river and then they charge up the hill. Thurenz begins flying. They hear a bell in the distance.
From Thurenz’s vantage point he sees four worgs with riders charging down the hill. He hits them with a fireball which kills two riders and injures two worgs. The worgs and goblins scatter.
At the top of the trail the rest of the group finds a cave entrance and four sentries. Zale hastes several of the party members, Athar, Victor, and Porter charge. Athar drops two, Dorious shoots one, and Porter drops one.
Porter drives his pick deep into the chest of the last little goblin who screams and falls. But as he falls a gust of wind swirls around the warriors and a charge of electricity seems to jump from the dying goblin’s wound.