Clovis has been hard at work these past few weeks, returning from evicting the goblins with little a few bruises, but no worse for wear. The rats were his worst foe, and though they almost took him out, his friends bailed him out swiftly.
With their mission completed, the party returned to Frontier with a bit of loot, though they left the pile of coppers behind, deeming them not worth the effort to haul up and out of that deplorable, fetid hole in the ground.
Upon returning to the town, the party went a number of ways, each searching out clues to what their next steps would be. While there were a number of trails that we started exploring, at the end of the day, sifting through all of them and picking out the best ones, we decided on a plan.
Garret had checked in with his mentor, a powerful wizard. He was seeking information on the bauble. He spoke with her at length about its meaning, and who would have more information once it was revealed to him that it was, essentially, a mark of fealty to a Drow leader. It may have belonged to the goblin tribe as a whole, a specific individual, or even only a family. regardless, it was a sign that the goblins, those irritating grates, were aligned with a more sinister and terrible power. Having finished their discussion, Garret graciously excused himself from the restaurant where he had found her, interrupting her dinner and allowing her to continue her date. Compared to the other information we’d found out – Omens of goings on in Greatkeep, and rogue druid up in hills, we decided this was clearly both the most pressing and the most ominous. Garrets Mentor had pointed us to an elven wizard, one who is a sage of types on the dark elves, and told us that we could likely find more information on this specific bauble and its portents to its future, by traveling to Starstream, nearly 10 days into the elven territory.
Travel on this trail is perilous. Starstream is the first of many outposts in the elven lands, and frontier is the last of the humans. We were, however, adventurers, and I was pretty sure that while I found some flowers, some mushrooms, and a bit of carrion crawler venom in the goblin cave, there would be more exotic poisons in the elven lands.
It was going to take us some time, however, to prepare for the journey, so I commissioned a bracelet made from one of the green gems we found ( I can’t remember which one, but it was pretty!) and some of the gold coin, turning it into a Snake-head armlet for Clovis. His love of snakes will know no bounds. Mamadune, with a similar thought, upgraded his armor but most everyone was satisfied with where we were. We had defeated menacing goblins. How hard could a trek into the wilderness be?
We left out the first day, following our amazing leader, Garret, with Tag, Mamdune, Urath and I in tow. The path quickly turned rugged, and our pace slowed. What was assumed to be a trivial trip to the elven village of Starstream (which Clovis refused to remember the name of and now calls it all sorts of different names) actually turned out to be a flurry of perils. While we rose to the challenge of a all of them, there was at least one time where the fate of the party as a while looked dire.
The first day out, while camping for the evening, we were all settling down when I heard a noise. I snuck out to see what was there, in the dark, but at the same time Garret also listening heard the noises. He is much less subtle and I and simply shone is Light Stone towards the voices, engulfing Clovis in a nimbus of light and revealing his position to all the bandits and the dogs they had on leashes. Standing as tall as I could with my diminutive frame, I told the would-be waylayers to be on their way, that they should just pass on by, and that this encounter would not go the way they imagined. The bandits, i assume, were amused at the small, unarmored and unarmed gnome standing in a glowing halo of light telling them that they should be the ones to flee. They decided that we would be the ones to back down, and made the first aggressive move, attacking as once. Urath had been listening. His his magical crossbow, summoned from eatherstuff and starlight had been trained on the closest of the bandits from the start of the conversation and at their first move, he unleashed a surprise bolt on the lead bandit. The tree next to the bandit suffered grave wounds from the conjured weapon. I am fairly sure it was slain outright, but the bandits pressed on unperturbed.
The battle was swift, as tag was enchanged with acid breath by Mamadune early on and proceeded to spew acid over many of the bandits, while Garret blinded them with color sprays. Urath and I had less pleasant fortunes. One of the dogs, though, was unharmed as its master and packmates were being slaughtered, and I commanded him to flee, which he did. Lastly, in a moment of pure, untamed chaos, Garret tugged the strings of reality to hard, and reality tugged back. A spell he went to cast instead went awry and, through a fluke of fate and chance, Clovis was granted the ability to fly, which he took as a blessing from his god. Though the fight did not last long after that, I did use the power of flight and the strength of my animal connection to chase down the dog and quickly befriend it, as gnomes do. Landing, I then walked back to the camp with my newfound companion, Ludwig.
That night, though it didn’t seem it, was the beginning of a string of eventful encounters over the course of days, until we reached Deepgreen, our current resting spot. We were ambushed, very successfully, by giant spiders that nearly slew us all. We were attacked by Bugbears as we came around a corner along the path, and we stayed in a roadhouse with a number of characterful fellows, one of which was found dead in the morning, seemly dying in his sleep – though I know better, as an assassin friend visited me in the night to warn me of possible dangers back home. We’ve only a few more days to Starstream, and there we will learn the secrets of the bauble and likely more about the drow, but until then, there is a murder to solve in Deepgreen!
Until next time!