A group of five seemingly unconnected travelers found themselves killing time at the Friendly Arm Inn, a haven just on the eastern edge of the Cloaked Wood, between Baldur’s Gate to the north and Beregost to the south. Farmers were baling hay in the fields nearby, and the first fruit of Autumn’s harvest were just coming in. Merchants and day laborers would stop in from time to time and grab a pint of the inn’s famous Tar Ale before continuing on their way. As the days passed, the group began to grow restless, and started to ask around for anything noteworthy that might be happening in the area.
According to rumor (and confirmed by an obtuse barkeep), the small halfling village of Riverslye had reported several disappearances of late. Enticed by the offering of a reward, Lucan, Fargrim, and Vulpin the Wiley were eager to set off immediately. Seraphina, the Holy Warrior agreed to go, but simply to protect the innocent. And a loudmouthed bard, Nathaniel also offerered his “services”, so long as he got be the important one… and tell everybody afterward that he saved the day. Grudgingling, the party agreed. And they were off!
The village was exactly where the barkeep instructed them, several miles to the south, and over a hill to the southeast. It was a village much smaller than the party had expect (Pop. 31), and Vulpin asked to speak with Gerrad, the village elder. Gerrad approached them, a kindly and frail halfling reaching his golden years. The adventurers asked him where the halflings had been disappearing to, and who this “Smiley Bob” they keep hearing about is. Gerrad reported that Smiley Bob, a bear, moved into their region five years ago. After a run in with a halfling adventurer, Reed Tinderfoot (and his shortsword), he received an ugly gash across his face resembling a lopsided smile. Ever since he’d left the community alone, preferring a diet of white trout to halfling, and resided in the old abandoned windmill. Then, beginning last week, he started attacking Riverslye again — first making off with a halfling named Happy Shoals, and then most recently, their very own Punkin Rockhucker! The adventurers asked Gerrad to repeat Punkin’s last name. So he said it again — Rock. Hucker. “What are ya, daft?” he asks.
Armed with this information, and their wits, the group set off down the path toward the ancient windmill. They could see it from a mile off, looming tall, and completely still after years of neglect. Fargrim, the group’s outdoorsman, held up his hand for the others to stop. He sniffed the air and confirmed his fears to the group — “Goblins.” His pet wolf wimpered a little, and he pat its head for reassurance. The party decided to discreetly sneak forward and surprise the goblins. Unfortunately, Seraphina (preferring honesty over deception) was no good at this “sneaking thing”, tripped knocked over three others and fell with a loud clang in her plate armor. The goblins turned, cried out in surprise, and drew their crude bows.
Fortunately, the goblins were no match for our heroes. They easily dispatch a couple of the scouts within moments, and the rest panicked and ran (50 XP for the two killed). Fargrim, a bounty hunter by trade, dropped his axes and went sprinting full speed toward one of the scouts. He overtook it with ease, tackled the wretched creature, and then proceeded to interrogate him. The group found out about the goblin’s leader, Tarpoo, and how he’d been using Smiley Bob, the bear, to kidnap halflings for their “fish and halfling stew”. When asked how many there were, the goblin was cut short as an arrow flew from the woods slaying him instantly.
The adventurers agreed to investigate the windmill for signs of Tarpoo or Smiley Bob. They didn’t have to look very hard, because they instantly spied an enormous bear sleeping at the foot of the stairs. Throwing caution to the wind, Fargrim leaped forward and flung an axe with his full strength at Sleepy Smiley Bob. The bear awoke, and was suddenly very cranky. Three goblins cutthroats sitting around the millstone sat up, and drew their swords!
The fight was hard won and long fought. Vulpin was climbing on walls and swinging wildly, and the Bard was insulting the bear with every crude phrase that I dare not repeat! Fargrim’s wolf boldly launched itself at Smiley Bob, but he was no match. In one ferocious swipe, Bob bat down the wolf, breaking his back and killing him instantly. Seraphina shed a single tear. For what seemed like hours, the group dispatched goblin after goblin, sliced and stabbed Bob repeatedly, and felt the bear’s claws as he fought to survive. In a climactic scene, Lucan the Manipulator summoned his psychic abilities and short circuited the bear’s brain. The bear’s eyes went bloodshot, and he slumped the floor. (500 XP)All was quiet in the windmill once more.
With the great beast slain, the party took a brief rest before heading upstairs. There they found evidence of Tarpoo’s plans to impersonate halflings, and a real-life halfling as well. Punkin Rockhucker! (Nathaniel muttered “Your mother was a rockhucker…”). The “heroic” adventures agreed to arm the helpless injured damsel with a dagger, and told her to fight to the last breath. Punkin started crying, but said she’d try her best. You also find 300 sp and an Amethyst (valued around 100 GP).
The adventurers set up an ambush inside the mill, and waited for Tarpoo to return from his fishing trip. About 10 minutes later, the goblins came gallivanting back, laughing and singing ugly goblin songs. Tarpoo called out to his scouts, but when he heard no response, he knew something was amiss. He sent four guards forward and they snuck toward the entrance to the mill. Then, on Fargrim’s order, the party leaped from their hiding spots. Fargrim (apparently slow to learn a lesson) bounded straight into the middle of the goblin cutthroats swinging wildly. The goblins, sensing weakness in a surrounded foe, struck at him from all sides, bringing the courageous dwarf to his knees. Seraphina gasped! Nathaniel shouted “That’s why I stayed in the back!” Eventually the group sliced through the goblins at the front door. Fargrim was healed enough to jump back into the fight. Finally with a brutal mind thrust (Nathaniel giggled) from Lucan, Tarpoo’s stare went blank and a small trickle of blood started to ooze out of his nose. Not taking any chances, Fargrim took the opportunity to slice the villain in twain! (575 XP) The face of Tarpoo was branded with a strange slitted eye scar, just above his left eye. On the body of the goblin leader you find a short sword and a short bow of unknown magical properties. Nathaniel picked one up, and after some divining, announced to the group “I think…. they might be magical!” You already knew this.
Gathering up Punkin (huddled and sobbing in a corner) and their barrel of white trout, the intrepid explorers head back to Riverslye. The village, grateful for the safe return of Punkin, gives you the 150 GP as promised (500 XP for “dealing with” Smiley Bob, and 250 for the safe return of Punkin) . Feeling a little guilty for taking the village’s entire life savings, you give them the barrel of white trout.
You head back to the Friendly Arm, laughing and recounting your adventure. The phrase “mind thrust” was spoken many-a-time. Once you arrive, you head to the nearby temple to perform a ritual to return Wolf-y from the grave, and identify the two magical objects you found
“Aftershock Weapon (Shortbow) +1)”
“Fleshseeker (shortsword) +1)
In conclusion (out of character):
You gained a total of 1875 XP, partly due to taking the “difficult route” on a few choices you had. That comes down to 375 XP per person.
Decide amongst yourselves who will get the sword and the bow. Make sure your character can equip it. Once you know, go to the character creator, go to Equipment, Shop, and then “Add” that weapon. Don’t “Buy” it. Make sure you equip it before you print out your new character sheet.
Make any final changes to your character, and then you have to stick with them!
You guys made that very fun, thanks for playing, and see you next week!