Dead Hobgoblin King

The snow has finally cleared and the peasants are pruning the vines. Let’s hope the grapes will grow large and fat and we’ll be drinking wine in autumn. For the moment, however, we’re making our way through the Elderberry Forest. The leaves are but tiny green dots. Wild garlic grows on the forest floor. It makes us hungry.

We arrive at the ruins of Castle Greyheim and talked to the lookout of the Band of Brothers. He’s nice enough. He says that the harpy hasn’t shown itself much. Is it hurt? Time to investigate. Eldakkar has hired a deserter. We call him Desi. He is sent into the southern courtyard, up the walls onto the wall and told to look into the Great Hall from above. He does that and is charmed soon enough. We tarried for too long.

Sascha and Delina take up positions on the wall, the rest move towards the front door of the Great Hall. And then the singing starts! Oh, this voice! Sweet mindlessness overcomes most of us. And then she rises, the most dazzling of all harpies, like a phoenix from the ashes, a goddess among men. And then Delina’s stone hits her smack in the face and she drops like a sack of potatoes. Dead.

We loot the harpy lair and find a few thousand silver coins and two small gems.

Time to descend down to the Dungeons. From the central staircase we went east again. We found two dwarf skeletons, picked clean, underneath a slide trap. When Delina investigated, she found that it led up to a room full of boring beetles. Not again! She broke her shield arm as she tried to get away.

Entering the abode of the hobgoblins proved to be easy. A pit trap was quickly discovered and the four giant carnivorous apes were befriended using standard rations. After having gorged on rations for fourteen days (!) the apes didn’t feel like defending the hobgoblin lair and so we continued. Soon enough we stumbled into a gelatinous cube that had recently eaten a hobgoblin king. We killed the cube and took the wonderful insignia of power: a spiked crown, a glorious bracelet and a gorgeous necklace.

Aurora managed to coax the giant ape called Stupid forward and so we all followed the ape upstairs. But as soon as we heard hobgoblin voices, we decided that enough was enough and that we should bring back the treasure we found instead of fighting hobgoblins.

On the way out, we met the The Free Roamers again. See The Harpy Song for our previous encounter. They seemed friendly enough. Perhaps because they had seen how many we are that we had both a war dog and dwarven combat bear with us. They wanted to loot the hobgoblin lair. We told them about the pit trap and they were grateful. In return, they told us that a temple dedicated to the demon lord of madness Demonarch is supposed to exist in the south west corner of the Deep Cellars.

Oh, and we had also heard that one of the crypt inhabitants was a creature from another star. Sadly, we don’t know where the crypts are and neither did the rumormonger.

Maram pays a lot of gold for expensive wines and tobacco to get access to the books at Lady Kyle’s keep but all she finds are lists of poisonous animals and a lot of folklore but nothing about poisons. Apparently she is the first to research this in Greyheim.

At the Haversack, she learns that the wretched souls of Greyheim that have nothing else to loose will travel south east and meet the Mother of Set in the Walking Forest. There, they make unspeakable promises in exchange for bloody revenge. The demon lords are as likely to sacrifice you as they are to help you, so tread carefully!

When Maram asked around, wanting to learn more about poisonous animals, she learns that the true masters of the forest live in the Dark Forest to the east: the evil woodland elves of Aredhel. To learn more about poisonous animals and where to find them, ask them. The trip there will be dangerous.

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Eldakkar spent the week reading about various subjects in the castle library. Instead of bribing his way inside in secret he made the attempt to purchase the privilege of access to the library for only 500 coin. It worked, for now.

Sascha caught up with his buddies from the Temple and talked about many things. What they had to say about our target, Brekk, was most interesting.

Having analyzed the situation more closely during downtime, Sascha and Eldakkar approach the party: “Brekk obviously has nothing to lose anymore. There is nowhere in the civilized world where he can turn to because of his crime spree. Wanted in six Kingdoms and outcast from society he turned to beastmen for protection. Brekk is now hiding on the third level below ground surrounded by a bodyguard of Gnolls of unknown size. Fear of the consequences of his actions will likely force Brekk to fight to the death to avoid capture, ruining our plan of bringing him before the Lady alive. The only solution at our disposal would be magics. Eldakkar is prepared to attempt to charm the dwarf leaving us time to take out his guards and restraining him. Any backup-charm-spells would be appreciated as Brekk will not go down easily.

What we also discovered was that on the fourth floor vicious fighting pits await us. Only the cruelest scum or beasts could find entertainment in pit-fighting to the death and we should beware.”

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Alternatively, if you all wanted to play a new party, I would allow Maram to offer a reward which this new party could claim. The only condition is that nobody earns XP twice for gold. So, if Kim finds gold and spends it, Kim gets XP. If Kim gives the gold to Maram instead and Maram spends it, Maram gets XP. Maram could spend it by offering a reward for people bringing her poisonous animals. If Kim does that, however, Kim is simply getting back money she gave Maram, so no XP is earned. If Maram gives the gold to a new character, Maram gets XP. If the new character then spends the gold, that character also gets XP because it was gained in a new adventure.