The Light in the Darkness

Dragon’s wings, A fairy ring, THE goblin king and no one took a swing.
Just another day in the life of the Unstoppable Goblin Stoppers.

A massive adult dragon assaults Loudwater’s walls, but while all quell in fear at the beast’s roar, Kelgrath hears words being spoken in draconic. Our heroes learn that the dragon has been newly formed in the astral sea in response to the massive magical imbalance in Faerun. The dragon is searching for allies, especially among those with draconic influences, like Kelgrath’s dragon based sorcery. To emphasize to the heroes that a war was coming, the dragon uses its breath weapon on the town wall, turning the entire wall into a black metallic substance that defied classification. Town secure, the dragon flew away, vowing that they would meet again.

The situation seemed to fluster Lady Moonfire above and beyond that of meeting a dragon. She invited the heroes to Moonfire mansion, offering the players the use of her servant’s quarters instead of the inn. The players are heralded as heroes by most, villains by some, talked about by all. The players settle in to their new quarters and meet with Lady Moonfire. She decided earlier, after the players left for the Ogre Barrow that she should take the job of running Loudwater seriously (in part, thanks to the players influence). To do that she would need to enter the family vault and reclaim the necessary items. To do this, she had to pass through a ring of fae that she has always been deathly afraid of. She confronted those fears and entered the ring where she passed into the Land of Fae’s realm of Summer and met with the Summer Queen and swore fealty to her. When Lady Moonfire returned she was altered, now appearing more fae in appearance, with tattoos covering her forearms, pointier ears and narrower face. Harrowleaf and Humpineaous also entered the ring, Harrowleaf was also changed –looking more fae, but Humpineaous remained the same.

Lady Moonfire also collects prophesies from the Lady Saharel, a ghost/lich that occupies nearby Spellgard tower. She has established an organization, Saharel’s Pilgrims, where she offers protection of the Silver Crescents on the journey to Spellgard tower and pays for prophecies. Shortly after she entered the fae ring and donned the circlet reserved for Loudwater lords kept in the family vault she received a prophesy that seemed to involve her directly. Moonfire showed the players the prophesy:

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Here thar be Dragons!
Is it me, or have the elves gotten a bit more elfier?

The players return to Loudwater having vanquished the goblins, cleared the Barrow of the Ogre King and perhaps solved future goblin problems in the area, at least as it pertains to the Bloody Stump tribe. As they approach the walled town, they see that the portion of the wall the goblins blew up is being repaired, and, by all appearances, quickly –as the last large block is being lifted high into the air with a block and tackle system.

At the city gates, Kelgrath the sorcerer sees something that gives him pause. Someone has taken a large legless wooden table and painted several symbols on it with whitewash paint. (at this point the DM hands Kelgrath a piece of paper that Kelgrath’s player reads). The other players know Kelgrath is holding back and start to question him. He relents a bit and tells them that the symbols are a secret code he knows and that someone is trying to communicate with him, trying to tell Kelgrath to meet, but Kelgrath cannot figure out what the final symbol is, a square with a C attached to the side, done in green paint.

Our heroes enter the town wondering (pure DM speculation here) what other secrets the sorcerer holds, and indeed, just how well do they know each other?

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In the Barrow of the Ogre King
Even more goblins and another dead cat!

Our heroes make the decision to go to the Barrow of the Ogre King and deal with the goblins once and for all. They also decide that they will take the magical dagger, half of the goblin artifact Zugzug (which the goblins refer to as a totem) with them, not trusting to leave it in Loudwater.

Finding the Barrow was fairly simple as the small goblin horde made little effort to cover their tracks, not to mention the Ranger, Arraellia’s amazing tracking abilities.

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When goblins attack!
goblin hordes and dancing shamans!

The next day the players woke from a peaceful night sleep in the Green Tankard, ate a meal, discussed what they wanted to do and went out to face the day. The main item on the agenda –retrieve the dagger, the other half of the goblin artifact, Zugzug from Garwan’s shop.

The market square that the Green Tankard opens out on was busier than normal. Today was the day of the Children’s Hayride and all the children had gathered and were in several wagons across the way near the city wall. Birds were chirping, the children were laughing and all was well.

A second later Arraellia suggested something was about to happen. Then the city wall across the square exploded, blowing debris across the square. Goblins poured in through the gap and began attacking the surprised townsfolk and players. Except Arraellia, her preternatural abilities allowed her to sense the attack before it was coming, and while everyone else gathered their wits, she began firing arrows.

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Arrival at Loudwater
The word gets out and the plots moves forward.

The players rejoin Arlo Bosch and his battlewagon caravan and head to river town of Loudwater. There they part ways with Arlo. The players have not decided to become an adventuring group at this time, though the mage, Murdock Bloodstorm and the cleric, Brother Hammond are both leading in that direction. What is also clear at this time is that this is not a trusting group. Teamwork, open communication and the revelation of secrets and life stories do not come readily to this bunch. For now they hang together for convenience sake and the tenuous shared experience of Smiling Bob –a slight thread from which a rich tapestry will be woven.

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Prey for Smiling Bob
A smiling bear, goblins in halfling drag, and a ranger named Tarpoo.

Our players meet each other while working as caravan guards for caravan master, Arlo Bosch, creator and proud owner of the Bosch Battle Wagon, odd, pumpkin shaped wagons designed to repel the most determined foe. Arlo was accompanied by his second in command, the port bellied, dour Harlop, as well as a group of regular caravan guards that have worked with Arlo previously.

The players’ destination is Loudwater, a stop on the way to the North, a place rife with adventure and opportunities to prove oneself or find great treasure.

But a decidedly well made orc wagon trap breaks the lead wagon’s front axle. After some stress filled moments waiting for an attack, a wizened old halfling, Gerrard of Riverslye Homestead, approaches the group. Gerrard is there to help. Explaining in his strong brogue (just don’t call him a leprechaun) that he has the perfect sized cut log to help fix the wagon, if only he could get some help with a little problem of his own.

Arlo suggests the players go, since his regular caravan guards know what to do and they don’t.

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