DM: Jacob’s Well Occupants
- Jacob (appears to be a battle-scarred ugly human, carries two throwing knives and a long wicked razor) slaps down a glass of wine wordlessly to Maribe sloshing some onto her.
- Gaylord Hightar (A young, scruffy faced man armed with a bow and twin swords) approaches Tanglar and asks “why were you so generous to the gobs and orc?”
- One-armed Ubbi sends Beggley (young Halfling with thread bare commoner’s clothes) to fetch you all some hot water, blankets and towels before returning to the 3 trappers (Shagath, Terth and Xarick) to discuss the strange weather. Xerick invites you all over to join in on the conversation.
- Drenla Era (Haughty faced woman with long white curly hair and expensive magi robes) pours over numerous open books and scrolls with obvious excitement.
- Two hulking barbarians sit sullenly and glance about the tavern suspiciously with tired eyes. More than a dozen empty mugs scattered across their table.
- Perception dc 20, you can hear the gobs upstairs munching/slurping loudly on their feast.
Suddenly a wave of omnipotent peace washes over Thorian and he relaxes from the top of his head to the balls of his hairy feet. Almost as if the most powerful force in the prime material plane has written relaxing into his destiny. Funny, he also feels an overwhelming desire to drink. Even his concerns over the goblins recede into his subconscious. He looks about the tavern and quickly counts the number of empty mugs in front of the barbarians. Deciding that they are the ones to drink with he orders up 9 mugs of ale and very presumptively sits across the table from the hulks.
He makes brief eye contact and sends a message of quite camaraderie and slides 3 mugs to both of his new drinking companions. As Thorian tips up his first mug and lets the ale slide down his parched throat he pushes the last vestiges of concern to the back of his mind. Time to drink. Tomorrow he can get back to fighting.
Thorian waves to Ubbi and politely and excitedly orders a roast boar and plates for everyone. Well, everyone except the goblins up in their rooms. Not certain if Maribe is willing to eat meat he orders a bowl of vegetarian salad. No reason to be exclusive.
DM: The pair of hulks eye you suspisously until they spot the mugs of ale. They both claim a mug with a gracious nod before embiding. What is your passive insight?
Understanding that all things have a place in the world and serve a
purpose. Maribe does not hold it against Thorian about his hatred for
goblins. She completely understands it. And, if it would serve the
necessary balance to nature she would gladly add her staff to the
fight against goblins.
In the meantime, they seem to be minding their business. After
shaking the snow from her cloak, she sidles on up to Thorian: “Thank
ye Dwarf for the thought of the salad. But I believe all things have
a purpose including the eating of meat and drinking of mead” She then
takes a healthy bite of the roast and a swig of the ale. “But I much
more enjoy wine. Barkeep!” With a slam of her open fist on the
table. Bring us some flagons of your finest red wine. The Dwarf be
DM: - Thorian pays little attention to his hulking drinking companions and sits slack jawed as Maribe tears into the boar. (The pair of hulks eye you suspisously until they spot the mugs of ale. They both claim a mug with a gracious nod before embiding.)
- Gaylord - No, friend, drinks are on me then. I know everyone around here is a bit jumpy on account of the odd weather. Avoiding violence is a wise course of action. (Tanglar what is your pasive insight?) (Tanglar turns to Gaylord with a smile "Pleasure to meet you, Gaylord. I been in plenty of fights, friend, and what I've learned is that there are two ways to avoid them...show your bigger and tougher or move one of the parties away. We know Gobbos aren't that smart and probably wouldn't know the whooping they would receive, so I figured a little food makes everyone's night a little more relaxing."
"What about you, a goblet of ale for a weary traveler?" Tanglar taps the bar to get the barkeeps attention, pointing to Gaylord.)
- Maribe takes a seat at the table with Thorian and the hulking barbarians with her plate of roast boar and large goblets of red wine.
- The entire atmosphere in the bar has becomes jovial and carefree (with the exception of the barbarians) as a result of your group's generosity. As you relax, enjoy the heat of the fire, the fine food and drinks...
First- One of the goblins starts down the stairs, with what is either a giant grin on his face or a huge snarl, precariously carrying plates and mugs.
Second- Everyone sits bolt upright. From upstairs comes such an anguished scream of agony and terror that the very sound of it is painful to hear. Your hair stands on end and flesh crawls with chills. Just as suddenly as the scream began it stops.
Everyone is now standing looking at the top of the stairs. A smashing crash like the sound of glass and wood giving way all at once followed by the sound of something hitting the ground outside. Howling winds blow a door open above. The goblin screams, in terror or a war cry, and falls down the steps with mugs and plates crashing down around him.
The two hulking barbarians are the first to shake off the paralyzing effect. They howl “Njal” grab their axes, leap over the goblin and head upstairs.
Thorian, a dwarven warrior, leapt up from his table, knocking over his tankard of ale and intercepted the goblin. No doubt the foul beast had committed murder and mayhem upstairs and was trying to flee the scene. It wasn’t apparent from the Goblins demeanor but Thorian knew that these fouls sub-humanoids couldn’t be trusted.
No doubt he faked falling down the stairs and dropping the dishes and mugs to attempt to mislead the patrons of the bar and give him time to further his escape.
He hadn’t counted on Thorian and his deep routed hatred..... I mean understanding of goblins.
His hammer thudded into the goblin’s head and forced him back up the stairs. Thorian stepped into the stairwell and blocked the goblin’s escape. He worried about the number of people behind him and cast a glance over his shoulder. What if he was attcked from behind. He immediately felt better. Maribe had his back and she and Ithy were protecting him from danger. Maribe was a human druid. Thorian didn’t understand how her magic worked but in the short time they had been together he found her to be just as good as dealing damage as healing it. Ithy was her bear companion. Outweighing even his hefty dwarven physique, few would tangle with Ithy.
The sounds of combat came from above, the barbarians had entered into combat with the goblins and a scrum was ensuing. Further validation that the goblins were dangerous.
Thorian and the goblin traded blows. Clearly a sign of guilt, if the goblin was innocent he wouldn’t be raising a weapon against Thorian. His confused and cowardly look just another attempt to buy time until his friends joined the fray. Alas, it worked. Because It was then that the traitorous Jacob acted. Jacob is the half orc bartender. He pulled a crossbow and yelled, “there will be no fighting in my bar” and fired at Ithy. The bear hadn’t taken any aggressive action he certainly couldn’t be accused of fighting. Thorian couldn’t imagine Jacob was talking to him. He wasn’t fighting either. He was dealing out much needed justice and retribution to this goblins face. Was Jacob involved with the goblins? Was this deliberate murder? The bear engaged Jacob in return, which gave Thorian time to finish the first goblin and run up the stairs. The battle that followed was mayhem. The barbarians, Gaylord the ranger and the mage all joined in with the side of goodness and light. Jacob’s goons worked both sides of the fight alternating between attacking Goblins and chasing after Ithy. while Jacob himself entered into a duel with the bear. The Goblins of course were slaying all within reach. They even had an evil witchdoctor with an unholy aura that negated healing – obviously foul magic granted by a dark god.
I’ll spare our readers the give and take of the battler but I can’t let a few heroic moments go unstated.
All three of the barbarians gave their lives fighting the witchdoctor but they bought Thorian enough time to finish the foul beast – almost costing Thorian his life. Comeback strike and Dwarven Resilience don’t do a lot of good when you are in and anti-healing aura.
Maribe spent several turns going toe to toe with the Goblin leader and gave better than she got. She finally dropped him with a smack to the face with her enchanted staff. For a tree hugging human, this girl’s got spunk.
Gaylord was an awesome ally. Absorbing damage and driving the heroes to higher levels of fabulousness. Some kind of Warlord, maybe. Really he is just some guy we met in a bar.
When the dust settled and the last fiend hit the floorboards, our heroes had been victorious. But at what cost? Three barbarians lay dead, a half a dozen of Jacob’s men were slain and Ithy had been driven back into the spirit world. The spoils of war were great indeed and the plunder was shared out. Several magic items were found. The score with Jacob hadn’t been settled. Once Ithy was gone, the bartender backed out of the fight and the party didn’t have the resources or the desire to stir things up again. A reckoning would come.
Only after a short rest did our heroes go upstairs to find the source of the scream. Another corpse was in the sleeping rooms. His body had been mangled, organs taken and the culprit had fled our the second floor window and into the snow. The goblins were not acting alone. This other creature needed to be found and brought to justice.
The outside was searched for evidence of the unknown creature but nothing was found. Prayers were said over Ithy and Buttercup the mule was looked after.
It was then that trouble struck again. The mage began to lose control of her faculties and started talking in gibberish. She fired spell after spell into the night. Blasting flaming balls around the settlement. She claimed that a Half-devil vampire was on the loose and we were all going to die. No-one believed her but it was worth looking to Buttercup’s safety just in case. No need risking a well trained mule just because your mage can’t be trusted.
While checking on the trusty mule, Thorian discovered a direrat behind the stable. It was not alone. Battle was once again met. This time in the darkest hour of night in the deep snow. 4 great rats were abound and the heroes once again went to work.
2 Dire Rats, a Black Rat and a Cranium Rat (Assuming my memory serves me. Sometimes I feel like I have the same intelligence as Thorian the muscle bound Dwarven Fighter).
Maribe.....Maribe.....Maribe..... Some know her as a kind healer. Others as a ferocious fighter. She is known as fair and kind. But I know the truth. A great slayer of beasts, a regular verminator. The great horned rat himself would fear her. She crushed all 4 rats, nearly single handedly. Her staff whirled like death itself and every blow felled another creature. Thorian was so stunned by her fury he didn’t see the cranium rat coming until it was too late. He was barely scratched when the rat leapt straight up in the air and performed an ancient marital arts moved handed down from liter to liter of cranium rats. It is known as the 4 pawed, whirling, dance of rat infested death. It was artistic and violent. Thorian dropped into the snow dying. 27 points of damage from a single rat attack! That’s a daily power worth multi-classing for. Which Player’s handbook is the cranium rat in? That must be the new PH4.
After the brave and brawny dwarf fell into the snow, unconscious and bloody, dreaming of fast furry feath, Maribe casually swung out her enchanted staff and killed the cranium rat with ease. Just as the final rat died it sent out a telepathic message to Maribe confirming it’s identity as one of the goblins slain earlier in the day. How could the goblins come back as giant rats? Was the witchdoctor some kind of evil totem spirit?
Maribe was able to heal Thorian in time and the encounter ended in a victory.
Already bards are singing the tale of the VERMINATOR.
The heroes trudged through the snow back into the tavern. Morning was approaching and would hopefully be brighter. The settlement of Jacob’s Well was turning out to be much more then the sanctuary it started as. The heroes came here to avoid the unexpected snow and supply for the long trip home. Instead, they found themselves fighting for their lives against unexpected and unknown foes.
The next morning certainly was brighter.
Actually, it was much brighter. Fire bright. The heroes day started to fire breaking out in the goon’s barracks. Everyone grabbed a bucket and worked to fight the blaze. Was this the beginning of another attack? A chance to draw out the party?
Who is the villain?
Was Jacob in league with the goblins?
The mage is losing her mind, is she dangerous?
Who set the fire in the barracks?
How did Jacob know about the body upstairs? He never left the bar?
Why would Jacob shoot at Ithy? Did he fear the justice of the spirit world or just hate bears?
How could Goblins come back as giant rats? If we kill giants, will they come back as giant giant rats?
Would the damage to Thorian’s face leave scars? If so, would they be cool scars or silly ones?
Find out in two weeks!