The Valley

On to Greyholme

As the party recovers from their first taste of battle, Stent is approached by Jasper, the caravan master and thanked for his service. He mentions that the caravan should be safe since the goblns have a history of only testing the defences of caravans to Greyholme once, then giving up if their losses are too high. The rest of the party return to their routines.

The next morning, Cop notices that he is being watched by young Gorse. This leads to a conversation in which Cop agrees to teach Gorse how to fight using stealth. Gorse is sent off to try and craft a short bow and displays some measure of natural raw ability. While his first efforts produce less than satisfactory results, he shows remarkable eagerness and he heads off to hunt the most dangerous game – his sisters. 

Most members of the caravan avoid Stent, perhaps still intimidated by his rousing introductory speech. Likewise, Artur is avoided as his companion is a seemingly dangerous animal. Dougoon is laid up as he spent too much time in the sun and developed debilitating migraines.

Another raid occurs two nights after the initial raid. The night scouts perform admirably again and the party arrays themselves to confront them. The goblin leader answers Stent's request to parley and demands that the caravan turn over some of their cattle in order to be allowed to pass. Stent refuses and as Cop prepares to strike from the shadows, a group of bugbears do the same. A quick battle ensues in which the goblin archers manage to strike Stent down. As the battle turns desperate, a mysterious dire wolf joins the fray and allows the party enough time to rally and kill the bugbears, scaring the goblins away en masse.

In the aftermath of the battle, Freya, Gorse's mother comes to lend aid to the wounded Stent. He recovers and they decide to discuss healing methods soon. Jasper is quite shaken by the raid, particularly by the appearance of the bugbears, whom he has never seen before and the appearance of the dire wolf. Despite the group's assurances, he remains fearful and pledges to assist Stent in whatever extra guards and speed that the caravan can manage.

The following day as Artur and Nor are scouting around the caravan, they spot a mysterious object that seems to be spying on the caravan. Their investigations reveal a palm-sized magical/mechanical beetle that they try to capture. After some difficulty, the pair manage to wrap the beetle up in Artur's cloak where they attempt to capture it in a jar, unsuccessfully. Only with the aid of Cop and his magic hand are they able to keep the beetle from escaping, but damaging it into lifelessness. Artur realises that the beetle is of a similiar construction to a Netherese mage that his father had been researching before his disappearance.

As the caravan nears Greyholme, it is approached again by a group of goblins. This group seems to be led by a hobgoblin and is the largest group to date. The parley between the captain and Stent seems to be a ruse as Cop spots a group of shadowy figures approaching the caravan while negotiations are taking place. A desperate battle ensues with the ninja-like hobgoblins proving formidable foes, but Cop's quick thinking and the assistance of Gorse, they are able to stop the initial assault enough that the rest of the party is able to assist. The objective of the shadowy hobgoblins seems to be taking prisoners as Freya and a young human girl are grabbed. A desperate struggle results in the deaths of the hobgoblins, but a unfortunate turn of fate results in the blinding of one of Freya's eyes. As the party tries to come to grips with this turn of events, the larger goblin force retreats…

Comments

As the caravan is attacked again, Stent becomes suspicious – particularly as the group attacking appears to include some of the same types of goblins as the last attack. Why would they attack again when they took such savage losses last time. They had said in the parlay that they wanted cows from us, but they did not seem ill-fed, so the desperation that starving brings was not there.

Then again days later another force of goblins approaches. Again they claim they want cows. This force is too big and Stent recognises that the chances of survival are low. He goes back to warn Jasper to give over the cows just in time to hear a cry go up. The greater force was a feint as some shadow hobgoblins snuck into the camp. One grabs a young girl, but another goes directly for Freya. That idiot Cop, in attempting to shoot the hobgoblin shoots Freya directly in the eye. The hobgoblin drops her, thinking her dead, but when Stent arrives he is able to use his healing kit to remove the arrow and revive her. But she will be permanently blinded. He tells her to play dead and takes her ‘corpse’ back into her wagon.

Now he will find out what is going on – these troops have obviously been after her the entire time.

On to Greyholme
 

Jasper the caravan master is starting to show his true colours.
After the first attack he says,“You sure put them in their place. That should keep them from coming back.”
Two nights later another attack, this one with giant goblins trying to extort food. Gorse’s mum came and stabilised him. So then Jasper says “They don’t usually come in such a big groups. They usually only come once and then leave.”
Maybe it’s crazy but I’m starting wonder if he hasn’t planned this whole thing – lead us out here and get everyone killed, so he can take the caravan money and return to waterdeep.

I’ve been helping Gorse with his bow skills. We made a practice bow and practiced during break time. He sure is keen to learn and actually a bit of a natural. I didn’t intend for Gorse to need to use his skills so soon but these goblins sure are persistant.
Another attack and this one got serious. While Stent tried to negotiate and arrage for some cattle to be handed over, I noticed some sneaky bastards trying to creep up on the camp. I opened fire on them but they were not typical goblin pissants. These ones were highly trained and could teleport. Gorse and I came close to being overwhelmed when Artur and Stent rushed over to help. One of these creeps grabs Gorse’s mum and tries to run off with her.

Then it happened. I had blood dripping in my eyes but took the shot anyway. I don’t know how but Freya, Gorses mum took the hit. Right in the eye. I almost killed her, right in front of Gorse. I feel awful. She will recover but lost the eye.

On to Greyholme
 

After two more attacks on the caravan I’m starting to get suspicious – guard duty’s not usually my thing but surely this doesn’t happen on every trip? The first one almost ended in disaster as we were well out-numbered, luckily my ‘friend’ decided to make an appearance and tipped the balance back in our favour again. Nor was particularly happy to see her.

The following day Nor detected something suspicious while we were scouting ahead. We carefully approached the offending bush and easily managed to surprise a large mechanical insect, though catching it was a different matter. After a struggle and a good team effort between Nor and myself we managed to temporarily subdue it and ran back to camp with our struggling bundle. There we tried a more permanent method of containment but it managed to shatter the jar and a second struggle ensued. We eventually had to damage it to stop it flying away, at which point the mechanisms failed and it fell limp. It looks like the workings of an arch-mage my father knew, though we can’t be sure. We are pretty confident that it was watching the caravan, though I’m not sure if this is a bad thing or not as we don’t know who or what it was reporting to.

The second attack started as yet another attempt to procure a ‘cow’, though this time it was led by a particularly nasty-looking hobgoblin. A large group brazenly approached our camp and we attempted to negotiate. We were trying to find the caravan master to get permission to finally hand over a cow or two when a shout went up from the far side of the camp – it turned out the negotiations were just a distraction! An unknown number of unusually stealthy hobgoblins were attempting to sneak into the rear of the camp but luckily Cop spotted them. A short fight followed, with Nor and myself managing to subdue two of the assailants and saving a small girl in the process. However, Cop and Stent were not as lucky as Freya, the caravan’s healer, was caught up in the struggle and lost an eye with her assailant making a clean break.

On a brighter note, I think I’ve finally figured out how to fight with both my long-swords – I don’t feel nearly as cack-handed as when I started and haven’t cut myself for a while!

On to Greyholme
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