Saeglopur

Dead By Dawn

The metal train pulled up to the house, ripped to shreds and splattered generously with demon blood. The guards quickly drew their weapons and dragged the group out of the train, which wasn’t unreasonable seeing as how the train left with a group of handcuffed prisoners, and arrived with a dead balgura and everyone hands free. Will tried to crack a joke to his captors, but was smashed into the ground and given a fierce punch to the jaw, silencing the young mage.

The guards led the group through the floating walkway into the floating house that they would be staying in until Brey decided what to do with them. They watched the party carefully, but let them move about on their own. Eventually the guards took up their stations outside, and the group took turns bathing. Much to the surprise of the party (and Kiris), Bardita struck quite an impressive figure when she wasn’t covered in chainmail and swords, opting to walk about the house naked after her bath. Jean-Loche and Will also bathed, although they drew far less attention than their feral bard ally. Null and Void sat in relative silence, and Kiris spent most of the night following Bardita around while her and Everdeen discussed their current situation.

As it grew darker, the group eventually gave up on thinking of a plan to escape their guarded floating house they were captive in, and opted to sleep instead. The sleep was uneventful, and they awoke only when the guards began shouting for them to get up and get outside. A new train had arrived, and they would be taken (and guarded this time) to Brey’s Courtroom, where they would be given their sentence for what he considered an attempted assassination. Knowing there was little they could do, the seven shuffled onto the train and rode to the courtroom in silence, figuring that an execution would be each of their fates. They were brought before King Brey in shackles, heavily guarded. He gave them their sentence: They would be taken by his ambassador back to Faerun, and would join her in checking in on a temple to Tiamat her group of templars had cleared a week before. Kiris would stay with Bray for the time being, and the two warforged, Null and Void, would be kept as bodyguards, as he had paid for their construction in the first place.

The party agreed, but not before some bickering between Jean-Loche and Bray, as Jean felt that Null was still a person, as he was a soul trapped inside a golem, not a warforged. However, he had little to bargain with and was in no position to make demands, and agreed to his terms. They were loaded into a Skyship, shackles removed, and began a two day journey back towards Faerun. The journey was uneventful, save that another two days were shaved off of Bardita’s contract with Will, and they soon arrived at the familiar town of Waterdeep. Waiting for them was Brey’s emissary, a familiar woman. His emissary was the paladin they had met at the Wizard Tower a few days before, Mazikeen. She was given the reason as to why they had been sent as prisoners to help her, and decided to take a neutral stance on whether or not she truly thought they had been in on the attempted assassination of Brey. She told them that the temple had been cleared out by her and a group of Paladins earlier, but that they needed to give it one last search before declaring it dealt with. She provided each of them with horses, and the group rode out, with Mazikeen using a divine steed that she summoned with a spell, leading out in front of the group.

It took nearly eight hours, but the group finally arrived at the temple. It was Dusk, with the sun setting in the background, as the group entered the crumbling stone temple, with Will commenting on the creepiness of the statue to Tiamat posed in the courtyard. The center of the temple was clear, but severely damaged. There was a single staircase winding down and leading to the basement, and they lined up and headed down, Will positive they would have to fight something.

And he was right. Three long-dead bodies sat cross legged in a strange rune inscribed on the ground, with one wearing a purple gem around his neck. The gem flashed a brilliant purple light, and the three corpses stood and charged the group. Jean and Mazikeen drew their swords and joined the battle, while Bardita used her new crossbow to open fire from afar and provide cover to Will who launched a volley of magic missiles and a single fireball. Everdeen summoned her spirit bear and let it rip apart one of the adventurers, using it’s magic to boost the strength of Jean who had been pinned to the wall by the corpse wearing the gem. The corpse raked a deep cut across Jean’s arm, and he felt a strange, magic poison take hold of him immediately, making nearly any wound he suffered unable to be healed until the poison wore off. They finished the fight, and Jean took the gem from the dead body, feeling a strong magical presence pulsating inside. It was necrotic in it’s power, and the group headed back upstairs while they decided what to do with it. On the way to the front door.. they stopped, and listened. The moaning and shuffling of the undead could be heard outside. They looked out, and each of them recoiled in horror: Zombies as far as the eye could see surrounded the temple, marching in a slow but steady tide towards the temple. Mazikeen guessed that the shard attracted undead at night, and that if they could hold out until sunrise, they’d live. And if they didn’t… well, they’d be dead by dawn.

Will began setting up what ritual glyphs he knew. Which was one. A pyromancy ward. He set up the wards with a piece of chalk along the inner wall of the windows, while Jean and Bardita boarded up doors and windows with spare pieces of wood. Everdeen prayed to the Demigod Elune for protection, which is who the temple used to belong to, and surprisingly found that the room was filled with less panic and more calm. However, eventually zombies began breaking through. A zombie dog viciously mauled Bardita, but was blown out the window by a powerful burst of wind from Everdeen. Will’s wards killed zombie after zombie, corpses piling up. Jean and Bardita fought side by side, taking down several zombies with their impressive swordsmanship and agility, and eventually fought their way to a lull in the combat.

Mazikeen was in fine shape, but both Bardita and Jean were severely injured, both nearly completely exhausted. Everdeen was able to use some of her primal magic to heal the wounds on Bardita, but Jean’s poison made it impossible to treat him on the fly. Even so, he kept in the battle, staying near Everdeen’s spirit bear for protection as the zombies made a stronger push into the building. Will’s wards began to fail, and he had to focus almost all of his attention on keeping them closed so that the group would not be overwhelmed. Zombies began to come from the ground underneath them, and Everdeen set a powerful burst of wind downward into the tunnel to keep them from approaching, slowly growing more frantic, and even having a zombie tear a chunk out of her (luckily, she could regrow it).

Jean was badly beaten, and covered in cuts and bruises, when a terrifying hobgoblin burst through a wall and slammed him into the ground. Bardita hummed a quick spell to boost Jean’s reflexes enough to protect him, and lunged at the Hobgoblin, but was quickly brought to her knees by a powerful swing of a club from the undead goblinoid. Will, exhausted, let his wards go, and the room began filling with zombies. Far more than they could possibly face. Mazikeen took down the Hobgoblin, and the group was slowly backed into a corner, fighting for their life, Jean and Bardita both close to death, when the sun rose from the mountains and into the sky.

The undead hoard collapsed in a shambling heap, unable to continue their push. With terrifying groans they died all around the party who was so close to death, revealing the miles of undead that were approaching. Off in the distance, the carcass of a dragon was visible. Ignoring the disgusting stench of rotting flesh, Will and Mazikeen ripped two teeth from the dragons mouth, with Will claiming they were important in several wizard rituals. Bardita and Jean were both heavily injured, and the walk back would take at least a day…

But at least they were free.

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Et Lux In Tenebris Lucet

The group had traveled far, and decided that despite the night giving them superior cover while sneaking, they would use the time to rest and eat. The dragon, after some flattery from Bardita, was convinced to allow them to stay the night. Will gathered some stagnant water from the baths, and used his limited pyromancy to boil it. The group each broke into their one week of food rations, eating an assortment of dried meats and fruits. After the meal they each slept, with Bardita sleeping under the dragon for protection, while the rest chose to sleep as far away from the ancient reptile as possible.

They were awakened by the powerful rumble of a yawn from the dragon, who told them that they had stayed their welcome and to leave as quickly as they could, reminding them that she would find out if they let the Slaying Stone fall into the wrong hands. Whether this was an idle threat or truth the group did not know, but decided it best not to anger the beast. They agreed to protect it, thanked her, and left.

Once outside, the group consulted their crumpled map of the area and decided the best way to get out of the town would be by going through the old farm fields. Will attempted to create an illusionary fire to distract the goblins.. and set a house on fire. Luckily, a real fire distracts just as well as a false one, and they used it to slip into the fields with Jean-Loche leading the way. At one point, Bardita accidentally led the group into a goblin patrol and they were spotted, but Everdeen quickly found their way back and avoided the confrontation all together. The bridge was visible from the road they were now on, but something rustled in the the bushes.

Orcs.

Five powerfully built orcs lunged from the brush, charging the party. They each drew their weapons, with Kiris commenting that at least he got to leave the city before he died. Jean-Loche quickly pointed out that he had not crossed the bridge was still inside Kiris Moran, and the battle started. Two thick orcs wielding warhammers and shields charged the left and right flanks, while an orc with a sling over his eye glowing orange barked orders. Joining the right flank was a female orc shaman and a smaller orc dual wielding two scimitars. The thick orcs smashed into Everdeen and Kiris, with Kiris being a bit quicker and jumping out of the way in time to return with several quick cuts from his rapier. Everdeen summoned her bear spirit and attacked the heavy orc, but the orc’s shaman had a spirit animal of her own and summoned a spirit of the wolf that lunged at Everdeen, taking her down to the ground in a savage attack.

Bardita had engaged their leader, but quickly found herself on the losing end of the fight as a chain wrapped around her throat and strangled her. She broke free, turning the chain on her attacker, but was quickly punished as he snapped the chain and lunged at her, cutting a deep gash in shoulder with his broadsword and growling orders to his men. Jean-Loche teleported around the battlefield, taking free hits against several surprised foes before eventually ending a duel between himself and the smaller orc, running him through with his blade and idly kicking him off the hilt with his boot. Everdeen’s spirit bear blocked the way for more attackers, giving Will a chance to unleash his most powerful spells. Ice and fire swept the battlefield, knocking the left flank into a position to be attacked by Bardita and Jean-Loche. Bardita was stuck in a losing battle with the Orc leader, and Jean-Loche was being pushed by one of the thicker orcs. Kiris was stuck in a one on one fight against a shield-wielding orc, but was managing to dodge most of the blows with ease. The orc’s shaman spotted Will after his furious attack, and let loose a volley of lighting bolts that struck Will across the chest, but suffered no injuries due to the magical barriers Everdeen’s spirits had conjured. Will soon burned the left flank bludgeoner alive, and the Shaman was overwhelmed by the spirit bear, mauling her to death. Jean interrupted the duel between Bardita and the orc leader and decapitated him, while Kiris finished off the last of the thick orcs.

Jean and Bardita were injured, but they had survived an attack against a well trained, well armed band of orcs. And not many can say that. They briefly considered resting again to tend to the wounds, but decided it best to push on towards Neverwinter. A small imp landed on Will’s shoulder as they trudged down the road, which he recognized as his professor Zaliron’s familiar. It told him that he was to met Zaliron in the nearby trade city of Waterdeep, and flew off. The group agreed to join him, having nowhere else to go, and they pushed through the night towards the infamous Waterdeep.

They arrived to what appeared to be more of a traveling merchant caravan than a city, with the only permanent buildings being a tavern, a wizard tower, and a second unfinished tower close to it. Bardita bought a crossbow from a local shopkeep and loaded it onto her back, then headed to the tavern witht Kiris. Kiris quickly found himself drunk and passed out in a pool of his own vomit. Bardita wearily dragged him up the stairs, bought a room with some gold from Will, and passed out in a tired heap onto a bed, with Kiris laying unconscious on the floor, still spattered in vomit. Jean-Loche and Everdeen joined Will in their meeting with his professor at the wizard tower. He was a tiefling, standing about five ten with billowing robes and an obviously enchanted staff in his hands. He greeted Will quickly, and asked if he had the stone. After some arguing between Jean-Loche and Everdeen, who didn’t want to give the stone away, Will and Zaliron eventually convinced the two to part with it, with Jean promising he would attend the “presentation” Zaliron was giving at the tower tomorrow morning. They left and headed towards the tavern to sleep in the rooms Bardita had already reserved, eagerly embracing their soft beds.

The group awoke, bought a simple breakfast from the inn, and headed back down into town towards the tower. Two guards with an eye symbol on their shields stood at the front door, and the hustle and bustle of a party could be heard inside. Will said he was here to visit his professor, and the guard took a quick look at his conjuring list, telling him he was not on the invited list. Will slipped a bit of magic into his words, and convinced the guard they were on the list, and they headed inside before the enchantment wore off. The party consisted of twenty or so wizards, mostly young, with four or five older ones milling about in a corner. A pale skinned, dark haired human female in plate mulled about, and Jean decided to strike up a conversation with her. All he learned was that she was a paladin of Bahamaunt, and that she was there simply to observe. Everdeen was asked by a rather meek wizard if she was a sort of magical construct, and embarrassed him in front of the entire party with a scolding. Will managed to get a dance with a girl, and Kiris asked Bardita to dance. She refused.

About thirty minutes later, the room darkened and Zaliron walked up onto a small stage inside the room. two stands raised to his left and right, and he introduced his two newest creations: The first working Warforged in fifty years. The one to his left, which he had named Null, seemed very confused and quickly showed signs of sentience, but was silenced with an enchantment by Zaliron. The one to his right, Void, put on an impressive display of magic for the crowd, gathering several “ooohs” and “ahs” from the wizards assembled there.

The presentation was cut short. Suddenly, the window pane into the room shattered and a spew of bullets flew into the room. A cloaked humanoid stood on a skycoach outside, cranking away at a mounted gattling gun. Most had no time to react, being mowed down by the powerful and new technology. And those that did were soon knocked to the ground as an explosion echoed throughout the base of the tower. It began to tilt, and was soon falling towards the second unfinished tower. Will used his cloak to teleport outside at the last second, with Everdeen using her powerful magics to summon a wind to stabilize herself. Jean-Loche burst into sand, becoming nearly intangible. Kiris was sent sliding across the ground, scrambling to grab onto something as he flew nearer and nearer towards the window. Bardita gathered herself from the explosion and lunged after Kiris, tackling him out the window and into the unfinished tower. The sound of snapping wood and heavy thuds echoing throughout.

The dust cleared, and less than a fourth of the wizards attending still lived. The paladin has survived, as well as Zaliron and his Warforged. Null spoke to Will as they searched the wreckage for survivors, and introduced himself as Minsc. He claimed to of been a soul from half a decade ago, and that he had fought the demigod Saverock alongside the Nine. Will gave him a brief history of what had happened since, but the conversation was eneded when Zaliron once again used a silencing command on Minsc. He gathered the group and told them of his theory: The Red Court, a noble court consisting of vampires, had not agreed with the policies and politics of the Wizard Council for some time. He surmised that the Red Court was attempting to soften up the council before declaring war, which would be devastating for both sides, although the general public would most likely hear little of it. Despite this, he had a meeting with King Brey of the Breland’s to give him the two Warforged, which he had commissioned as bodyguards. The group decided to join him, despite the trip being across a continent. Zaliron used a ritual and a piece of chalk to set up a teleportation circle, and the group was soon thrusted around the world into King Brey’s court.

The court was shining with green marble, a dozen guards standing around the spacious throne room with weapons at their side. The king had a tired, creased face, his hair long gone gray and a full beard wrapped around his face. Zaliron bowed, and the two warforged did the same quietly. The king stood, thanking Zaliron for his work. It was then that Jean noticed the Slaying Stone was placed in the chest of Minsc, and he began to worry. Zaliron took the king’s hand and placed it on the stone, and told him to take control of the two Warforged he simply had to say his full name, and they would become binded to him. Jean quickly realized what was happening and yelled for them to stop. The wizard and king both turned, and Will attacked his professor with an ice spell, that missed and smashed into the king. Zaliron gave a wave of his staff and a powerful gale of air crushed the party into the ground, then wrapped his cowl close, and seemingly evaporated.

By the time the group had recovered, everyone including Kiris found themselves bound as King Brey asked who exactly they were. With the exception of Jean-Loche, who’s name seemed to bring back memories, he did not know anyone in the group and had the guards escort them to the Lighting Rail (Sky Train in Breland) and put them under house arrest until he figured out what to do with them. The two warforged were sent with them, and Void quickly adopted Will as his temporary “master”, although he had developed a bad habit of referring to him as “meatbag”. They sat in relative silence, defeated for the day. The group idly chatted with the two Warforged, but not much of importance was learned.

The trip was not dull however, as about fifteen minutes in a large, four armed and six eyed ape monster ripped through the top of the train and attacked the group. Bardita quickly identified it as a Balgura, a summoned demon sent to kill the party. Void unleashed a volley of bullets into the beast with his wrist revolvers, but was soon knocked on the ground and missing an arm. Will was grabbed and thrown down several carts, smashing through the train with heavy thunks. Bardita panicked and reached out for Linkin Park’s chest, her fingers grazing the Slaying Stone as she spoke the word “Balgura.” A terrible pain shot through her body and she collapsed as veiny red etchings shot up her right arm. The stone flickered and the color drained from it and cracked near in two. The Balgura screamed and its chest ripped out with the sickening sound of ripping sinew, and its heart exploded from its chest. Blood splattered the walls of the cart as it fell with one last defiant roar.

They were going to have some explaining to do when the train docked.

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The Slaying Stone: Recovery

Unknown to Jean-Loche and Everdeen, they were being watched. But not by any Hobgoblin hit squad or orcs with arrows trained. They were being watched by a bard and a wizard. The wizard was named Will, a simple practitioner of the art of magic, a student. He had hired the bard that stood beside him to protect him on his journey to recover the Slaying Stone. They used the fight in the slums as a distraction, slipping into Gorzzibad unnoticed and making their way to the mercenaries.

Will immediately began questioning the pair about their purpose in the town. Everdeen, a trusting soul, almost answered but was cut short by a suspicious Jean-Loche. Bardita stood silent, ready to attack the pair if they tried to harm her contract. Speelock attempted to escape during the confrontation, but was stopped with a magical cage from Will. Eventually, the four agreed to say what they were looking for at the same time, and counted to three. Each said “The Slaying Stone”, and decided to team up in their search inside the dangerous city. During this conversation, they had been surrounded by Kobold archers, and were told to enter a run-down building or else they would be littered with arrows. Bardita, adding a little magic to her words to nudge the Kobolds, told them that she was simply an adventurer killing any goblin who she saw harassing a Kobold. They believed her, cheering and beckoning the party inside. Confident that the they were now safe, they moved into the building.

Bardita was surrounded by Kobolds eager to hear her tales as soon as they entered. Jean-Loche and Everdeen spoke with what appeared to be the leader of the Kobolds. He was frail and old, but wore a fairly nice robe, silk lined. He told them that he knew what they were searching for, and could suggest places to look, but only if the group agreed not to attack any Kobolds they saw. Jean-Loche and Everdeen agreed to these terms, reasoning that they would need allies inside Gorzzibad if they were to make it through the night. He told the pair to search the nearby temples to Tiamat and Iou for the stone, and they departed. Will had searched the entire building during this, thinking the Kobold’s had stolen the stone and were keeping it, but found nothing.

They quietly stalked the buildings and roads during mid-day, avoiding goblin patrols easily as they made their way to the temple of Tiamat. Inside, they discovered a group of goblins guarding the wizard Speelock spoke of earlier, and attacked. Most of the goblins were cut down quickly through a combination of spell and blade. Rort, the goblin wizard, put up a good fight, blasting Jean-Loche and Everdeen’s spirit bear with powerful blasts of black lighting. However, eventually he was bested and was decapitated with a mighty swing from Jean’s sword. They searched the building and found a cloth bag. Stitched to the side were three words reading “Do Not Open” in common. Bardita slipped the bag onto her belt and they continued on towards the temple of Iou. Jean was spotted on the way and used himself as a distraction so that the group could clear a lot of ground, taking an arrow in the shoulder before eventually finding his way back to the party and losing his goblin attackers.

The temple to Iou was twice as large as the one to Tiamat. In the center stood a human male, long brown hair draped to his shoulders. He was a haughty sort of handsome, and wore nobleman’s clothes, although they looked to be quite tattered. He approached the group and began to ask them what they were searching for, uneasily watching Bardita, who was walking around in her Werewolf form. They refused to tell him, but he took a guess and began to tell them where he thought it might be, as it was not with him. Before he could finish his sentence the door to the temple swung open a fierce yell filled the room. He yelled “kill the wolf mans” and then, seeing Bardita, yelled “kill all the wolf mans!” and had his group charge. The backdoor thudded and shook, goblins attempting to force their way in from both sides. Will had been caught off guard, as he had been performing a ritual to search for the stone during the conversation. Goblin axes and short swords cut at his flesh and tore his robe, but he stood, a powerful evocation forming on his lips… and lit the entire room he was in on fire.

Blood poured from his wounds as the party charged in to help him, but they were stopped by the sudden transformation of the man they had met. Fur burst from his body and he lunged at the group, feral and savage. A werewolf. Bardita finished off the remains of the goblin forces just as Will managed to sedate the werewolf with a sleep spell, then another score of goblins made their way through the back door. They let loose a volley of arrows, one injuring Jean but most flying about uselessly. Everdeen’s spirit bear mauled one to death, and Bardita ran another through with her sword. Jean Loche finished off the remaining three with surprising finesse, and the fight was very quickly over.

Will recovered a silver blade (now known as Triflik’s Blade) off the one who had been charging, and realized he was still alive. He was bound to a table and interrogated as the nobleman came to, no longer a savage beast. The goblin swore he knew nothing, and was killed by the nobleman with a single slash from his rapier. Jean, angered, told him he had no honor, as slaying a helpless hostage was not his way. The nobleman replied with a smug grin and an introduction, he was Kiris Hoyat, former heir to the city of Kiris Moran… now known as Gorzzibad. His father had hoped that by leaving him to the goblins, they would be satisfied and they would leave the neighboring towns alone. But Kiris has put up a good fight, and was still alive and fighting. Will rudely interjected that his lycanthropy might of had something to do with his being left as well, to which Kiris simply agreed.

They convinced him to stay with their group on the condition that they would take him to Neverwinter after they left, and he agreed, cleaning the goblin blood from his weapon and agreeing not to let his feral nature take control of him unless absolutely necessary. He told him that he had reason to believe a dragon had made its lair in the baths of the city, and recounted that dragons were well known for hoarding treasure. They decided to head there, out of leads.

Inside was a tall, powerfully built Orc woman, searching the building left and right. Bardita decided it would be a good time to discover what was in the bag she had found, and convinced the Orc it was in fact her bag and that she should open it, without even using any magical tricks. Orcs are dumb. When she opened the bag, a powerful gale of wind smashed into her and sent her flying into the ceiling. The crunching sound of bone was heard, and she landed with a thud, dead. Bardita was quite excited about her magical bag of wind, and recovered it off the corpse. The group explored the baths, and Will soon discovered it’s lair. They went inside cautiously, no weapons drawn.

And wandered into the lair of a Brass Dragon.

The dragon awoke from a slumber, and spoke with a tired, irritated voice. Female. They used flattery and good intentions when speaking to the dragon, careful not to anger something that could easily squash each of them with a flick of it’s tail. Through some silly compliments and honest intentions of destroying the stone, the dragon handed it over.. To Everdeen, whom the dragon felt was the most trustworthy. She told Everdeen to keep it close, and make sure it was destroyed. She went on to explain that the Slaying Stone was one of the most powerful magical artifacts from before The Ruining, and that if it fell into the wrong hands it could be devastating, as it had the power to kill anyone the wielder desired.

Will eyed it, a gleam in his eye.

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The Slaying Stone

Sixty years ago, before The Ruining, Faeuren stood strong. However, during these times there were still several evils for the great cities of the west to overcome. Unlike the continent of Khoavaire to the east, Faeuren was infested with scores of monstrous humanoids, such as the powerful orcs and cunning goblins. A band of enchanters known as the Architects banded together and used their combined knowledge to create nine Slaying Stones. When holding the slaying stone, if you spoke the name of another their heart would be violently ripped form their chest and they would be dead within seconds. The nine stones never made it out of their home in Kiris Moran, lost during an invasion from the orc tribe known as the Severed Eyes.

Twenty years later, a relatively unknown wizard by the name of Zalrian Fenfar sent out a group to attempt to recover one of the stones from the ruined city now known as Gorzzibad. He sent a group of mercenaries, entailing the help of a halfling sorcerer by the name of Casey, a (seemingly) human adventurer named Jean-Loche, and a strange plant woman who identified herself as “Everdeen”. Unknown to the group, he also sent one of his students from the Astral Academy, a school for young wizards, named Will. Will spent what little money he had hiring the bard Bardita, who had offered herself as a bodyguard for the young student.

The mercenary band arrived first, during a terrible storm in the night. They were attacked by wolves, Jean-Loche being injured during the ensuing battle, and found refuge in an old wooden tower near the bridge to Gorzzibad. Inside lived an old woman who fed them and gave them a place to stay for the night. She pressed the group, and discovered they were hired to find the Slaying Stone. She told them that the magic was to powerful for one person to control, and asked them to bring it back to her so that she may destroy it instead of the group selling it to their employer. Undecided, they left the tower in the morning with full stomachs and began their search for the stone. Gorzzibad was patrolled by groups of goblins, although not efficiently, and it was fairly easy to wade across a river with a fairly strong current towards what could be described as the “slum” area. Casey and Everdeen made it across, but Jean Loche was swept up in the tide, washing up on a patch of farmland about a mile away from his companions.

Everdeen and Casey pressed on into the slums, and discovered a kobold (tiny, reptilian humanoids) patrolling the street with two dog-golems (mechanical protectors) at his side. Casey attempted to sneak up on the kobold, but was heard and a battle raged. The Kobold had created an oil that attracted ankhegs, a burrowing, furry bat-monster. Casey was hit with the oil and dragged around by an ankheg, struggling to both fight and break free of the monsters grip. Everdeen battled the two defenders and the kobold, and looked to be losing. However, eventually Jean-Loche discovered the group in battle and rejoined his allies, knocking the kobold unconscious which in turn rendered the golems inactive and useless.

Casey lay unconscious and seemingly dead, but the two pressed on. Everdeen binded the kobold in vines and slapped him awake, and began to question him. His name was Speelock and he knew nothing of the Slaying Stone, but knew where a powerful (for a goblin) wizard way living in Gorzzibad, guessing if anyone had it he would. Everdeen insisted he lead them to the goblin, and they prepared for a fight with something nobody wants to go up against.

A wizard.

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