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The sun hangs high in the sky as your wagon trundles down the well worn roads. Helmsport is over a day behind you and you are set to reach Brindol when the sun is just slipping over the horizon. Wilt drives the wagon, his attendant sitting at his side. Tella sits on a fine pillow in the back, a book across her lap as they travel
On the western side of the road you can at times see how the land grows sparser, and looks as if it could sink into swamp at any time. A reminder of how close you are to the Great Swamp.
As you ride along, you spot something moving through the stands of trees near the road, on the west side. It moves slowly, and seems to be pushing its way through the bushes towards the road. It seems humanoid, and is either short, or hunched over.
(Go ahead and wait until a few people have posted their intros, we'll say that you see it a good three rounds after "game start"
"Thank the gods we aren't goin' through there," The elf says, pointing westerly with her thumb. "Would not like bein' stranded out here..."
Amalody sits uncomforably in the wagon, looking about and absorbing the scenery, if you could call it that. The swamp land seems like a miserable place to exist, and being so near it is throwing her off a bit.
"How can the Hobs stand living so close to this?"
Many thanks to Derjuin for my awesome alhoon avatar!
Ilmarinen rides alongside the wagon, atop a steel gray gelding, sitting in the saddle with the ease of one to whom riding comes naturally. The horse is young and willful, and is prone to trying to nip its rider. It takes most of Ilmarinen's skill and concentration to avoid the constant attempts, and his left ankle still aches from an earlier nip, reminding him of the need to be alert to the horses intentions.
Still, he manages to catch Amalody's comments, and responds "Not a place I would choose to live in ... but perhaps if one needed a place to hide ..." reminding her of a younger Ilmarinen that she once knew, a boy who had proved capable of seeing opportunities in the unlikeliest of places.
Last edited by Stormwind : 08-09-2012 at 12:40 AM.
A hollow thump rocked the wagon, making the robed figure in the back bang her head. "OW! Blasted ruts! Excuse me, Mr. Councilman... but if you could try and miss those ruts, my head would greatly appreciate it."
Shifting her body for more comfort, the lithe form looks at her fellow travelers with her milky eyes. They are the only part of her body visible through the midnight black robes that encompass her body. She carries a tanned hide pack and a shoulder sash of herbs and other medical supplies, the tools of her particular trade. Once comfortable, she closes her eyes again and attempts to fall back into her slumber before reaching their destination.
"Ah Brindol. Such a fascinating city! Over twenty-five thousand inhabitants! Did you know that gambling is strictly regulated there? Oh yes, some games are considered 'addictive'... I know right? Preposterous! Regalos Helmdaf runs the show. I understand his father Regis abdicated after falling ill. Their family has a strong military tradition, quite strong even by hobgoblin standards. I once visited the grand Oglethorp theatre, namded for Oglethorpe Ornsby himself, I tell you, those gnomes have the best theatre. Did I mention that I trained under some wonderful gnomish thespians? If you want to see some wonderful choreography though, you must visit Brindol Square early in the morning. The Colorguard performs some wonderful marching. Speaking of the military, I once met a member of their super secret Special Forces. Amazingly skilled those folks are, experts in stealth and reconnaissance, very humble and secretive though..." Jasper has to stop to catch his breath, looking like he is likely to pass out.
As Jasper concludes his concise dialog of the fascinating elements of Brindol city, Ilmarinen comments wryly but with a certain amount of honest sincerity "You're a bubbling upspring of knowledge, and I must admit to my own ignorance of the most of what you just spouted off there ...", he pauses momentarily and then asks, "... but there is one point in particular that aroused my interest - You mentioned their secret special forces - Is there anything more that you might know about them? Most importantly who is in charge of their secret forces and what - if anything - is known of their political views and involvement?"
Last edited by Stormwind : 08-09-2012 at 12:40 AM.
Something catches the elf's eye, a humanoid figure moving in the woods...
"Hush, everyone. Someone stirs from the swamp..." she says quietly. She points in the direction of the person, keeping her hand low and covered by the wagon, so as not to alert the figure of its compromised position.
Many thanks to Derjuin for my awesome alhoon avatar!
A moment after Amalody informs the party, the creature steps forward. You can see it's green skin is dark, and small fangs protrude from bottom jaw, pressing in against its top lip. Its mouth opens and it gasps, then slumps forward.
The bald headed green Hobgoblin before you seems not to move at all, and it leaks dark red blood into the dirt of the road. Blood is streaked down the Hobgoblins side, and stains into the leather armor he is wearing. The armor looks well made, and the dagger on his belt is of decent quality.
The source of his demise seems obvious: two crudely made arrows sticking out of his side. One of them is snapped close to the wound, the other still whole. Wilt stops the cart, with a grim look on his face and Tella averts her gaze, and hand over her mouth.
"Och, Khrona, see if you can tend to him, the rest keep your eyes open, we've no idea if he was followed. I didn't think we'd see anything strange this close to the trade roads..."
Trusting to his companions to see to the hobgoblin, and knowing that there was nothing he could do to help, Ilmarinen dismounted and stepped forward to interpose himself between the hobgoblin and the swamp as he carefully scanned the swamp for anything hostile, drawing his chakram from his belt as he did so.
(move action) move forward to stand between the hobgoblin and the swamp
You see no other creatures in the scrub brush and stands of trees that separate the road from the Great Swamp. The only thing you can make out is the trail the Hobgoblin took. The leaves and bushes are spattered with his blood. It looks as if he stumbled his way out from deeper into the swamp.
Jumping to her feet at the Mr. Councilmen's request, Khrona hurries to the side of the near-death hobgoblin. Slinging off her sash, she starts talking to herself in a fancy, poking parts here and prodding limbs there. Once done with the examination, Khrona looks around for a vial of dark green liquid. She finally notices about ten feet from where she is sitting and throws forward a curse to the spirits in her native tongue. Rushing to grab it, she hurries back to the ailing hobgoblin and administers the draught.
"Mr. Hobgoblin, drink this and you shall feel better." Khrona whispers in the poor being's ear.
Determining the seriousness of the injuries and best course to follow in treating them.
Heal Check: (1d20+13)
The Hobgoblin is dead. Upon inspection you feel that his injuries would not have killed him, though he does look as if he has lost a very large amount of blood.
As you were looking him over and trying to find any sign of life you noticed that his eyes and lips had turned a slightly off color, a sure sign that the arrow that caused the wound was poisoned with Poisonous Toad venom.
(He died when his constitution dropped low enough to push him to more than -10 HP)
Sweaty and already a little tired from the hard ride she took to catch up with her caravan, Heather is taken aback by the scene she finds. "What the blazes?" she whispers to herself as she kicks her mount forward towards where her companions are gathered.
Finally getting the cart fully stopped, Wilt instructs his young ward to ready his crossbow. Tella does the same, and their two attendants step out and cover the sides of the wagon, peering off into the wooded areas on either side of the road.
Wilt steps down from the wagon and looks at the Hobgoblin, kneeling near Khrona.
"Indeed lass, it does look as if he's had a hard time just making it here. A shame it took him so long. We may have been able to help."
He shook his head as he stood and then looked back to the wagon. He turned and peered out where Amalody did, but is unable to see much of anything at all.
"Once we're sure we're in no danger, we can wrap him in a spare blanket...best to bring him along and turn him over to the guards at Brindol I might guess. Wouldn't do to leave one of their own here on the side of the trade road to rot."
Once she leaned close to whisper to the dying hobgoblin, Khrona realized that he was not dying anymore but already dead. She looked over her shoulder and shook her head no to the rest of her group. Standing, She brushed off the front of her robes.
"Mr. Hobgoblin has passed to be with Lady Pharasma. I did notice that while his wounds were deep, they were not deep enough to kill him. Rather it was a poison that took away the last of his vitae at the end. From the evidence I saw, I'd have to say Poisonous Toad Venom was the poison of choice. Do you know any local tribes that use such a thing, Mr. Councilman?"
Wilts eyes went wide and he shrugged his shoulders a bit. turning he smiled slightly at Tella, knowing she is unaccustomed to such sights.
"Sorry for you to have to see such Tella, but you are more versed in these areas than I...I know much of your studies in preparation for this were on the surrounding areas..can you perhaps shed any light on Khronas query?"
Tella pursed her lips, and her hands sat primly in her lap. She tilted her head and then gave a soft sigh.
"Unfortunately the only tribesmen that I am aware of that would be advanced enough to use such are the Myconids..and the fungus men use no poison outside of the spores that they sometimes emit..."
Wilt frowned a bit and turned back to the body. One of the attendants brought him the blanket, and a couple of rags to clean the blood from his armor a bit.
Jasper and Ilmarinen
The Hobgoblins armor is finely crafted. It is not the armor of a common man, but is well made and functional for hunting and skirmishes. It was most certainly made nearby by in Brindol, as they are the only nearby city capable of producing such fine leather. Such armors are often marked with a Markers mark and the mark of the proper owner.
"Interesting, this armor is of fine craftsmanship. I would say that it was almost certainly made in Brindol. Let me take a look, he might have some identification, or at very least we can take a look at the makers mark. Perhaps they might know something about who he was."
Jasper moves over to the fallen Hobgoblin and looks over his armor, also checking the sheath and handle of his dagger, along with anything else that might have distinguishing markings.
As the others examine the dead hobgoblin, Ilmarinen nods ever so slightly as Jasper speaks of the markings on the armor and weapons, and then he replies to Wilts earlier comment, "As far as I can tell, we are in no immediate danger. An assessment of his trail leads me to conclude that the unfortunate Hobgoblin came from somewhere deeper in the swamp. If we would know more of what attacked him we would have to follow his trail back into the swamp ..." he pauses and then looks at the two councilors, "... something that I am rather loath to do since our primary task is your safety"
Last edited by Stormwind : 08-09-2012 at 12:41 AM.
Tella bids her attendants to get him wrapped up, not wishing to see the body laid out on the side of the road anymore. It isn't long before they get the hobgoblin properly taken care of, and loaded into the back of the wagon. Tella makes her way up to the front and sits with Wilt, while one of her attendants sits as close to them as possible in the wagon with his crossbow at the ready.
Wilt turns and sighs slightly. He regards Heather and Jasper as he checks the horses to make sure they are ready to get back on their way.
"Good to have you here Heather. I was concerned you wouldn't catch up with us before we reached Brindol. Glad to see you were able to ride straight away here. Well Jasper, we were most likely going to be going there before long anyway. The Hunters guild is one of the most prestigious organizations, and many of the cities officials are members of some rank."
Wilt takes stock of the wagon before climbing back up into the drivers seat, and a somber ride the rest of the way to Brindol begins. It starts to lightly rain as the journey nears its end. The great walls of Brindol appear on the horizon, and soon you are making your way up a slight incline towards the western gate to the city.
The Cities walls are tall, and seem to favor function over form. They do bear a regal quality to their adornments at the tops of the crenelations, a great hunting bird carved on every other one. The rest however is bare cold stone.
Upon reaching the gate Wilt stops the wagon at the guards behest and approaches to speak with them. Upon showing the letters with Helmsdafs mark, the guards seem to immediately become much more formal. Wilt returns to the wagon with one of the Hobgoblins, who seems to have a puzzled look on his face as he goes to the back of the wagon. Wilt turns to the rest of the entourage, a strange look on his face.
"Our friends here know Davros Fellblade...however they say he is safely inside the city walls, an instructor at the Hunters Guild. It seems we may have found the mans son..."
The Hobgoblin returns from inspecting the corpse, and with a grim look on his face nods to Wilt.
"Aye, that there is Flargen Fellblade. He and a group of young hunters went out a few days ago to patrol the swamps. His father Davros will be notified of his passing. I'll let him know his boys body is safely returned. The men here will see to the body."
The Hobgoblin seems slightly gruff in his taking in of the party. Who knows what he might think of you having a body. Three others come with a small stretcher to take Flargens body away, and you are allowed to enter the city.
The road you travel is wide, and the largest of buildings seems to be to your right. Wilt informs you that you are headed to that building, known only as The Grand Hall. It is the place where Regalos Helmsdaf sits upon his throne, and where all important matters are seen to.
After two intersections your wagon makes a small turn to the right and you pass before a large green. It is lush and verdant, with a single large tree in the center. It takes a moment to notice, but it is no ordinary tree. It seems to still be lush and living, but there are windows in the upper trunk, and what seems like a small wisp of smoke coming from one of them. Perhaps a cooking fire.
Once the wagon rolls up to the Grand Hall, several Hobgoblins approach to see to the wagon. Wilt and Tella disembark, to be greeted by an older looking Hobgoblin, who wears a pair of glasses pushed high up onto his nose. He clutches a ledger to his chest and has a dour look about him.
"Well met Wilt Badger, and always lovely to see one of the fairer folk..my pleasure Tella Vilron. Emperor Regalos awaits your arrival."
He gave a slight bow to Tella, and and outstretched hand to shake for Wilt, then turned his head to retard the party, his eyes taking in each of them...and perhaps not liking what he saw.
"I understand you had some trouble along the road...one of our boys found dead near the swamp. I thank you for bringing him back for proper burial. His father, Davros is at the Hunters Guild as you know, and has already put forth a summons. Perhaps your vassals here can answer it while you tend to the Emperor hmm?"
Wilt gives a nod to the man, and greets him properly before turning to the party.
"Well met Talkeeg. I am sure that can be arranged. The Hunters guild is just a stones throw from here. I am sure one of the attendants here can show you the way."
Ilmarinen stiffens slightly as the older Hobgoblin refers to him and his companions as 'vassals', but he nods politely to Wilt and replies, "If you don't require our presence whilst in the Grand Hall, then I'm sure we could go and speak to Davros Fellblade. Once we're done, should we return here and wait for you or should we see to accommodation whilst we are in the city?"
Tella turns and gives the group a small smile. She has seemed to slip easily into a rigid and all business attitude.
"We'll be fine here. It may be hours before we seek out accommodations. If you could take care of that for us it would be delightful. I am sure any of Brindols lovely establishments will do. Send a page to the Grand Hall with the name of the Inn you so choose. In the mean time answer this summons and remember that you are representatives of the Conclave on your visit here."
She and Wilt enter the Grand Hall with Talkeeg, who gives the players one last leering glance over his spectacles.
Once the doors to the hall are closed, a young looking hobgoblin, wearing the coat of arms of the Brindol guard steps up, his helmet under one arm.
"Oy, Well met. Bound for the Hunters guild aye? You can see it from here practically. Come on. I'll show you to Davros."
The Hobgoblin waves a hand for you all to follow him at a leisurely pace down the street. You head eastward, and take a left at the first intersection. A long sweeping drive comes up to the Hunters guild. The rustic looking building stands out from the nice homes that are closest to it.
On reason is that they place is surrounded by training grounds. Archery, smithing, obstacle courses, fighting pits, jousting lanes...all right in the middle of this bustling city. A weaved metal fence rides the outer rim of the guilds property, coming to the end at the street entrance.
Your city guard escort makes his way into the building, and comes out only a moment later with a hobgoblin in leather armor. They seem to be speaking, and gesturing out towards the archery range. As they approach he claps the young hobgoblin next to him on the back.
"This here's Gorm. Old friend of mine. He says Davros is out on the archery course..he'll show you. I've got to get back to my post."
The young Hobgoblin gave a smile as his friend departed, a hand raised in a wave.
"Aye as he said, I'm Gorm. Your wagon and such can stay safely here. If you'll follow me?"
He swept a hand forward and then started toward the archery range, where a lone Hobgoblin shoots arrows down range at a target.