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A big magically infused Power Pylon hums beside me as I walk for the last stretch of road before turning eastward to climb the hills of Clearbrook, a small mining village that sits four days of travel from Galan Fjord. The morning air is chilly, even if it is already past spring, and it makes me shiver as I stand to look at the techno-magical wonder born from the collaboration of Rhylian engineers and the Saffirae Arcanum, invention that enabled us to travel by airship. This allowed the peoples of Duunvald to traverse the great distances of our continent avoiding the many perils found on the roads that cross the untamed wilds between the major cities, thus creating a golden era of prosperity for trading and expansion. At least for the guilds with enough money to afford it.
As I ponder on how techno-magical progress can radically change our lives, my guide and escort urges me to resume heading towards the village, as standing there could attract wild animals, goblin ambushes, or worse. I didn't travel by airship this time, although I have the means to acquire a passage on one, as my destination doesn't have a landing station, being too small of a settlement to make the construction of one a viable undertaking. So we resume our trek towards Clearbrook, now the road getting steeper as it climbs on the hills that grow into the Eastern Dunkhor Mountains, the mountain range that along with their Western counterpart delimits the Lake Linna valley, a place of rocks, pine trees, goblin tribes, and generally not so hospitable.
When we come to a bend on the road, the right side delimited by a rocky outcrop dotted with evergreens, the sound of water rushing down an unseen brook tells us that we are almost at our destination, and surely after some minutes Clearbrook comes into view, its stone walls and squat buildings clearly visible in the orange light of the morning sun.
Excerpt from the Travel Diaries of Malag D'esta, Vol 3
The Hearty Trout is a very welcoming inn, especially after your recent days of travel. Vryssa and Valde, the owners, were especially happy to have some new faces in town, and treated you like honored guests, serving you their famous spiced roasted trout along with some fine imported beer. Exhausted from the long day you all retired to your rooms quite early, and collapsed on the clean beds, falling asleep almost instantly.
You instead fall into a restless sleep, dotted by nightmares of frozen corpses walking towards you. You try to scream, but..
A loud explosion and flash of light suddenly wakes you all up. As you rush outside to check what happened, the night sky is illuminated by a bright column of magical energy erupting from somewhere down the hills, towards the main road. As you stand bewildered looking at the scene, an eerie laugh fills the air, coming from all directions at once, yet nowhere in particular.
Suddenly screams all around the village bring you back to reality. Strange blue tinted goblins are swarming Clearbrook and attacking people indiscriminately! They seem to appear out of thin air and completely caught the militia unprepared. It takes you all some moments to process all of what's happening, when suddenly four of these creatures appear in front of you, screaming in a guttural yet ice-like voice and preparing to strike!
Please everyone roll a Wis (Perception) check and then roll for initiative! Welcome to The Blue Sword! :)
Nedquin had recently felt forced to leave his home. A very odd feeling of dread was plaguing his thoughts even now and The Elders themselves hadn't known the origin of it. He was currently spending a few days at Clearbrook to figure out why it felt far worse here.
These couple of days that Nedquin had been at the Hearty Trout had been odd to say the least. The people of Clearbrook were being as nice as he could have ever hoped. It felt like he hadn't been outside the forest for 50 years, so he was quite happy that the first few he had met were being so welcoming to someone so different. After getting a room and filling his belly with a surprisingly tasty dish, he decided to start asking questions about this feeling of dread. But no one knew anything. Nothing had changed around these parts. He kept asking, he NEEDED answers and soon some villagers began thinking he was losing his mind. That was almost a worse feeling than when he noticed people being afraid of how he looked.
But even with the "proof" that this was indeed just a normal village with tasty fish, the feeling never stopped. It had plagued his thoughts for what seemed so long now and he just wanted it to end. The nightmares were terrible and they were becoming ever more lucid. If he could just remember the details, then everything would surely make sense?
The night came and he was trying his best to sleep once again, but he then suddenly awoke to the sound of an explosion. He had been having one of the worst nightmares by far and he could almost puzzle together what had happend in it this time, but there was no time for that now. He got geared up and ran outside, where he quickly came face to face with the weirdest goblins he had ever seen. "This.. This must be another of my nightmares" he muttered "Or have my nightmares become real?" The increasing sounds of screams snapped him out of his bewilderment.
"No time for this!" he yelled as he readied himself for battle. Perception: 15 Initiative: 3
For a moment Ash stands in the road with a puzzled expression on his face. Dressed in a fine cotton tunic, long dark brown coat and black boots, his grey hair and beard neatly trimmed, he appears woefully unprepared for any kind of combat. Koffol, Jars and Bork, his three servants, stand nearby, concerned and seemingly worried by his inaction in the face of danger.
"I thought this was such a peaceful place" he murmurs to himself.
"Good thing I was wrong!" He draws his dagger from his side and prepares to launch himself at the nearest goblin foe! Perception: 12 Initiative: 13
"Whu... huh... snfffghh... ya basta..." Gulrom startles awake, his sheets kicked to the floor and thick meaty fingers wrapped around his favourite cosh. He jumps upright from his bed, with eyes darting back and forth trying to process exactly what was happening in the few moments since having returned to the consciousness. The myriad swirling blue lights streaming through the small rickety window finally becoming the focal point of his attention, and he steps forward leaning into the casement, naked but for a long red-ginger beard. The scurrying forms of the goblins striking at any and all who get in their way cause his eyes to narrow into small holes of ire and fury.
"Oh no, not tonight boyos. Not tonight." he growls, slamming an angular fist into the slab of his palm. He pivots on his heel and charges with a guttural roar towards the stairway, grasping up his weathered falchion from it leaning by the doorpost. A moment before he crossed the threshold his face slips into a visage of surprise, realisation and momentary embarrassment. His hand flicks out and grabs this fallen bedcover wrapping it awkwardly around his midriff as he continues his charge.
Perception: 4; Initative 8
And there's the first Nat 1 of the campaign!
DM: I'm naked(ish), and therefore don't have my shield, so my AC is 15, not my listed character sheet's AC.
The man on the bed opened his eyes instantly, waking up from a troubled sleep, instinctively reaching out for the dagger under his pillow, fearing the worst. "No, too much noise, its not them." Relaxing the hold on the dagger, just a tiny bit, his eyes start scanning the room frantically, for a moment, just before determining that whatever's happening is happening outside. The man quickly gathers his meagre belongings and rushes out to the streets, his emotionless eyes darting left and right, trying to register every detail on what's going on. When the creatures appear his mouth curls for a second in the faintest smile as he prepares for the fight..
The surprise of seeing goblin pop out of thin air prevents you from reacting fast enough and the creatures are free to act before anyone of you can move a muscle. As they move something catches your attention. Behind them, small passageways are open mid-air in the fabric of reality itself, like curtains flapping in a strange chilly wind that seems to be coming out of them. Patches of ice instantly form on the ground directly below these passages, as they quickly close before you can do anything.
Horkohm, Marsilius, Ash
You catch a glimpse of what's behind the passageways: a thick blanket of lush vegetation completely covering a ruined stone structure. Everything seems to be covered in ice.
One of the goblins in front of you barks an order. He is dressed differently than the others, wearing a long tattered robe, some sort of horned headgear, a staff with a decayed animal head on top in the left hand, and grasping something shiny in the other. While chanting some sort of spell in his harsh language, the horned goblin quickly moves towards one of the villagers that is standing stunned nearby, followed by one of the other goblins. The unfortunate victim cries for help as the goblin stabs him with the shiny thing directly in the heart! A blue flash blinds you for an instant, and when you look back the villager stands motionless, completely covered by a thin sheet of ice, a bluish metal spike protruding from his chest.
At the same time the remaining two goblins jump at Gulrom and Horkohm wielding a small rusty scimitar ready to strike!
Attack on Gulrom: 23 Damage: 4 Attack on Horkohm: 20 Damage: 5
G4 to Y5 G2 to Z6 G3 to AC12 (attacks Gulrom) G1 to AC15 (attacks Horkohm)
Ash throws himself at the nearest goblin that has just struck out and seemingly wounded a Dwarf, still desperately holding onto a bed sheet that just about covers his midriff. Aiming for the goblins face, Ash also gut punches the goblins at the same time with his free hand.
The faint smile on his lips quickly fades away as his body springs into action almost without any conscious effort from his part. His movements are graceful, a type of gracefulness due to experience, intensive training and innatural talent, but not a single emotion could be glimpsed off his face. After a split second of hesitation after he saw briefly the other side of the portal Marsilius moves to melee range of a goblin distracted by one of the other inn's customer and attacks him with both his daggers..
Ash attacks are hampered by his currently not really combat ready attire, and the goblin evades them easily, however at a cost. Being distracted by Ash's last punch, the creature doesn't notice Marsilius approaching fast! The goblin is dead at the first dagger strike.
Gulrom's eyes flare open at the speed and lethality of the strikes from the human who had just stepped up next to him. He didn't even remember seeing the blades before they left their mark on... or was it in the goblin that now lay before.
"Impressive!" a wry grin creeping across his face. "But, old sparky fingers is mine!" The grin now contorting into a sickening face of malice, as the dwarf sets off at a pace. He sucks in lungfuls of air as he charges across the open ground, and levels his sword for a strike at the nearest goblin as he tries to reach his quarry.
Movement : AD12 to Z7
Bonus Action: RAGE!
Action: Falchion strike at G2: 22; slashing damage:10
Gulrom's powerful strike with his weapon cleanly cuts the poor goblin weapon arm! He's still alive though, and in his moments before the inevitable death by the hands of the mighty dwarf, he prepares to shield the goblin leader with his body.
As Nedquin does a quick scan of the current area his eye catches quite a few goblins and what seems almost surely to be their leader. He looks at the dwarf who's currently cutting an arm off and let's out a small sigh "I'm so sorry good sir, but that sparky prey will be mine" A smile soon appears as he starts explaining; "Solving this little problem is a duty that will not be taking away from me" Nedquin grins slightly and starts running towards his target at an ever increasing pace, "and in this case it's a duty I quite enjoy carrying out"
He hurries towards the corner of the building and prepares himself to do something that he haven't been required to do for a little while. "Oh and watch out, this old dragon doesn't want to hurt you." He sends a humorous wink and takes a deep breath. There's a blink maybe two and then a torrent of violent green liquid is suddenly sprayed out towards his prey.
Movement : AD14 to AB8
Action: Breath Attack at G2 and G4. Damage: 5 Saving Throw: Dex 12
A shriek of terror from the one armed goblin is cut short as the acid fully hits him, leaving a partially corroded body on the ground in front of Gulrom. The dwarf reflexes are fast enough to stay just outside of Nedquin's breath weapon, which then proceeds to splash on the goblin leader.
The goblin right in front of Horkohm doesn't even notice the fast movement of the Dwarf. As he's moving forward to attack again, his momentum helps Horkohm's blades to do their work, cutting cleanly the unfortunate creatures throat. He falls down on the floor, dead.
The magic using goblin is the only one left of the group that attacked you, with a snarl he utters something, his voice a weird mixture of guttural sounds and eerie icy tones.
"Ghurahg yeek na mhrak ogul do bjrek!"
Pointing a finger at Gulrom he shoots a ray of frost towards the dwarf. Then he runs off, out of sight, behind the building of the inn.
The language that the goblin speaks is a weird mixture of goblin and sylvan, that you never heard before. Some words you understand though:
".. resist.. useless.. end.. near!"
G1 is dead G4: Attack on Gulrom: 5 Damage: 2 cold damage. (miss)
G4 moves behind the inn. The last position you see him is at AB2.
Ash quickly moves towards the ice covered villager, and starts to examine him.
The poor villager, an elf male you saw at the inn earlier, doesn't actually seem completely frozen. Rather a thin ice sheet completely covers him, emanating from the ice-blue metal shard stuck directly in his heart. His expression is dull, absent, and small puffs of condensed breath somehow come out of the ice covering. He doesn't look like he would not be able to move, it's more like he's just standing there, however it's difficult to tell without touching him.
You cannot recall seeing or reading about anything like this before.
Freeing the dagger from the goblin corpse the man glimpses at the dragonkin that just dissolved the other wounded goblin, briefly raising an eyebrow and thinking "Huh.".
He never saw a dragonkin doing that, but that definitely wasn't the moment to stop and think about it. "Let's see.. " Marsilius runs behind a barrel sheathing his daggers and hides, preparing for a sprint "... what are these guys up to?"