Summer is well on the way and with the lengthening days the foulspawn threat of the White Star is gaining a foothold. Broken by the stalwart defence of the Griffin Order earlier this year the foulspawn have halted their push south but threaten the settlement of Nelfarig and the Dwarven Kingdom of Dun Mhurdo. With this threat at the forefront of the adventurer’s minds, the news that prices for arms and armour are rising has been met with dismay. The reason? The Blacksmith’s stocks of ore and coal seem to be running dry.
And whilst the foulspawn threat may be blockading the usual shipments of worked ore from Dun Mhurdo and the mines to the west of the country may be a cause for a shortage, there are rumours of abandoned workings, of dwarves being paid to not work, and adventurers have found mine entrances collapsed or infested with creatures. The scale of this, and the lingering possibility of a call to muster by the new Thane Luyton, has set the resident adventuring blacksmith on the warpath. With the Mithamese down at the “Mithamese” docks proving to be slippery to catch in a lie, obtaining a sample of their “oluthen” ore has led to the suspicion that the Mithamese have gotten their hands on Berwickshire resources and selling it back masquerading as something else. But without proof nothing can be done.
And so, once a long discussion was had with the head of the local blacksmith’s guild, Wren was sent off on an excursion to the mines near Dun Mhurdo to see what was going on. Another group, led by Captain Christo, went hunting the Golden Goblin to strike at the leadership of the White Star.
I blame this title on my OH, who for the week prior to running this mission would hum, whistle, sing and mutter “I am the Goblin King” to the tune of “I am the Pirate King” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. It even included a rousing rendition of hurrahs.
Player Mission: The Mines of Dun Mhurdo
With a hiring made by Morris the Gaffer, head of the Newcroft Forge and Wren’s boss, Wren was sent out to Carlech to meet with bold adventurers willing to “go behind enemy lines” and scout out some of the mines that had stopped producing ore. Travelling via ship from Carlech up the western coast were:
- Wulfric, First Scout of the Berwickshire Medium;
- Geezer Smough, Tillian Smough and Thurwulf Aethelson of the Mercenaries Guild;
- Dr Leofrick Kyle of the Physicians Guild;
- Wren of the Blacksmiths Guild;
- Elspeth of the Alchemists Guild;
- Squire Talon of the Templar Order;
- High Father Andre and Father Jeremiah “Seeker” Bristleback of Rolbor;
After landing on the beach the adventurers encountered a group of Mithamese with slaves, and through the gifts of Rolbor Wulfric was able to communicate with them. It seems they were taking ore from a mine further up the mountain down to the coast and a ship at the instruction of their master and were unable to say anything further on the matter. More slaves said similar but spoke of a mine that had stopped producing that was nearer than the one from which they toiled. There were dead orcs on the road, appearing to be killed by poison which alerted the adventurers to the presence of a group of elves that were known assassins, but before moving on the adventurers removed one of their ears to prove to the Gaffer of dead foulspawn to earn a little extra coin from the Dwarves.
On the road they were approached by a pair of elves who, when greeted by Wren, asked if she was aware she had a killer of elves in her group. She informed them that they were passing through and that she took no part in the killer’s actions and was let by, but Wulfric was stopped and informed that their Elders wanted him dead. He spoke to them, trying to arrange a mutual agreement to return to that place to await their punishment after completing his mission, but this they would not allow. One was knocked out, the other escaped into the trees. The unconscious one was roused and given a message before he ran off into the woods – all the while Wren neither helping nor hindering them.
Travelling on they met with a larger group with their “grandfather”/elder who demanded the death of Wulfric. Wren, again, declared she had no part in the matter, and Wulfric approached the elder without weapons to try and reach a mutually acceptable compromise. The elves attacked him, the others dashed to his aid, and after a brief scuffle that resulted in many being wounded, the elves allowed the survivors to tend to their brethren. Wren palmed Leo a purge poison for Wulfric as several weapons were coated in an evil smelling slime, and as the rest of the party pressed on with their attacks, Leofrick and Wren set to healing their leader.
Wulfric permitted the elves to heal their own wounded and made a deal with the Elder – that he would do what he could to kill the Black Prince and the matter would be considered settled. They then disappeared into the woods, and the party continued on.
At the dying remnants of a Rolborian shrine they found a grisly sight – bodies strewn around the main altar with its relic, and a skeleton deliberately placed on a cloth with elven script in a pool of blood. As the Rolborians investigated the Shrine, Leofrick examined the bones and Wren translated the cloth. As she read it aloud, Wulfric had a sudden thought – the message related to the Black Prince. Perhaps a way to find him? Or perhaps a way of finding the means to destroy him?
They climbed down the mountainside to the mine and fought with the foulspawn guarding the entrance, before venturing further into the mine. Here they found a pair of dwarves “not” making alchemy, which the alchemist confiscated. It seems the dwarves had made a deal with a mithamese merchant, but they had been grabbed by the foulspawn who’s “King” wanted the mine for his hall and they had been unable to make their quota as many of their number were slain. They asked the adventurers to guard the mine entrance so they could go fetch more of their brethren from the nearby mine without the foulspawn claiming the tunnels for themselves. The adventurers agreed, though not before fighting off more foulspawn foolish enough to come into the tunnel.
Through the help of a holy candle the adventurers were able to take their ease and prepare for the fight ahead – repairing armour, checking weapons and taking on supplies. Then the fight began, with foulspawn arriving ahead of their “King” – who did declare himself the goblin king. An ogre and troll began to break down the edge of the tunnel to widen the opening beyond the protections in place and Wren, fighting her fear of the tunnels and underground, leapt into the fight with her blessed sword drawn and coming to High Father Andre’s aid.
This went on for a while before the dwarves returned saying their mates were on the way and there was a great number of foulspawn coming, but the general congratulations for a job well done was marred by the arrival of the merchant expecting delivery. As Wulfric and High Father Andre tried to come to a reasonable conclusion of the tangled mess – the merchant believing the dwarves owed him, the adventurers believing that because the mine owner was dead he’d need to renegotiate his contract with the Under-king of Dun Mhurdo, and many circular arguments where the Mithamese merchant declared them and the dwarves to be thieves and vagabonds, the dwarves were able to escape into the tunnels when the merchant tried to have them arrested for theft.
Alas, the adventurers were not able to come to a reasonable agreement with the merchant, who called for his caravan and guards to come to the tunnel until a new contract could be agreed with Dun Mhurdo, just as a group of foulspawn was spotted coming over the hill …
But it has strengthened some of Wren’s suspicions, and redoubled the efforts of many to end the reign of terror of the Black Prince in this land of Berwickshire.
Monster Mission: Hunting the Golden Goblin
This mission was the last hurrah for one of our local refs, tidying up the last pieces of his plot and downtime that people had been interacting with for the past year or so. With Thanemouth free of the influence of the Shadow Master, members of the Berwickshire Medium decided it was time to hunt down one of the White Star leaders – the “Golden” Goblin.
The adventurers who set out on this endeavour were:
- Ranger Finn of the Scouts Guild; Conchobar of the Berwickshire Medium;
- Captain Christo Eadronhart and Ronan Eadronhart of the Berwickshire Medium;
- Ember of the Alchemists Guild;
- Albrecht Crow of the School of Enchantment; Daniel of the Mage’s Guild;
- Sir Peter Sabloir-Flessan and Man-at-arms Thomas of the Knightly Griffin Order;
- High Mother Anne Turner and Father Finwe of Longstor;
Setting out the adventurers encountered a quartet of scouts who brought them news of the region they would be travelling through – warning of holes in the ground, infestations of roden, wandering automata and rumours that the goblin had a pet sorcerer, that he kept strange wolfy creatures and other nonsense like him owning a snakehaired creature. It was this that the party really sought, but this information was kept from the Knight and his retinue until much later in the mission.
Following the guidance of the scouts the adventurers came upon a “broken” automata and much undead which they fought off until they came to Roden which they disturbed in their hollows. After fending these off they fought against the Roden necromancer and his diabolical circle of bone which raised the undead in the area to his bidding. Eventually High Mother Anne was able to cleanse the necromantic taint from the area and all was quiet and still.
Four lizard men approached to exchange some information with Christo as part of a deal – showing him a way into goblin town with his promise of returning with the gorgon for them. Their true intentions revealed the adventurers were dismayed (particularly when their entry point seemed to lead to the latrines), but they pressed on.
The tunnel eventually led to a cage of slaves – several humans, a pair of wendigo and a creature eventually revealing itself to be a Scarahai. They freed the slaves who wished it, killed the wendigo that tried to kill them and learned that the Golden Goblin had been doing terrible things to many others, particularly since the arrival of the Fixer, a hobgoblin that took a great deal of interest into how things worked. Scandalised, the adventurers fought their way out of the cages past the guards and found the Fixer as he was working on an autopsy of a dead wendigo, only to be forced back by his companions and a protective automata. They eventually got rid of him via a potion of invisibility and continued on, fighting off the odd sentry and goblin. Alas, however, the griffin man-at-arms succumbed to his wounds as he scouted ahead and was found dead in a bush by another of his adoptive guild.
They rushed to the aid of two slaves taking part in a knife fight at the bidding of their goblin masters and eventually came to the high place where the Golden Goblin waited – with his enchanter and his gorgon “pet”. The Longstorians also met up with a reoccurring ally of theirs, known as “Troll”. He amused himself by picking off the members of the party when their backs were turned to Father Finwe’s frustration, but the rest of the adventurers piled onto the two goblins – killing the one in gold robes and knocking out the one wearing a golden crown. However, after looting the bodies they neglected to kill Golgrom as he lay unconscious and he was able to flee the scene as the party tried to capture the gorgon.
Eventually the adventurers got the creature to the waiting Lizard Men as per Christo’s agreement and returned to collect the freed slaves and Thomas’s body before the long trudge back to the city.