Xander (Fighter 1, neutral)
Damien (Fighter 1, neutral)
Belyorn the Short (Explorer 1, neutral)
The party spent two weeks recovering from their first foray into the Temple of Aboath. Ghul recruited his first henchman—a foul, ugly little man named Belyorn the Short (Charisma 6!) who claims to be the greatest tracker and navigator in the land. Claymor, who has already lost an eye and several teeth, acquires a heavy helm (from the Players Companion) in an attempt to quite literally save face.
Rather than go back to the Temple, the party decides to seek out the Masandra the shaman, hoping to get aid lifting Ghul’s curse. On their way out, they stop back at the ogre’s lair to stash treasure and check up on Kipper the Gnome.
Kipper’s been busy decorating the former ogre’s lair. He has named it Little Gnomington and declared himself mayor. It’s possible that he’s been spending too much time alone in the wilderness. His loyalty score has been suffering badly, so Destiny makes sure to bring him extra gold and presents to keep him happy.
The party heads out in the morning and makes their way into the mountains. After sveral hours of searching, they discoverer what they assume is the solitary Masandra’s camp—a hut made of skins, fetish poles, and hundreds of crows and ravens watching from the crags above. After poking around for a bit Masandra appears, perched lightly on top of her tent.
“She has to be older than she looks, but Masandra appears as a girl in her late teens with short black hair with a feathery texture. Her large eyes have huge black irises. Her mannerisms are very birdlike. She wears little but a large cloak of black feathers and several bone-and-feather fetiches.”
Ghul explains how he was cursed because he stole a piece of jewelry from a tomb. Masandra explains that Great Raven approves of stealing shiny objects from corpses, “something your stupid Eastern gods wouldn’t understand.” She agrees to help him if he will help her. A troop of goblins (again with the goblins) has been active in the area. They have a new leader who’s been riling them up, causing trouble and ravaging the forest. If the party removes them, she will help Ghul remove his curse.
The parry agrees, and Masandra happily marks the location of the goblins’ lair on their map.
A day later, the PCs locate the lair. Two caves lay in the bottom of a gully. Our heroes are not sure which one hold the goblins. The team positions themselves near the top of the gully and fire flaming crossbow bolts into the first cave. The sounds of surprised goblinoid arguing drifts from the cave mouth. A bat-like face pokes it’s head out of the darkness, blinking in the sun. The party charges, and make quick work of the five guards with flaming oil and steel.
Our heroes scamper off to the other side of the gully and check out the other cave. This entrance leads to a single chamber full of goblin bones and a handful of fire beetles. The beetles chomp Claymor good, but are quickly crushed. The PCs harvest some spiffy glowing antennae, and Claymor ties two to the horns on his helmet, keeping his hands free. Ghul casts his first Cure Light Wounds spell. Since he follows the Fell Gods of old Lemuria, the wounds he heals leave scaly scars. Claymor’s looking rougher and rougher each fight.
Clearing out the beetles, the party returns to the other cave and enters the cavernous tunnels. They smell smoke, and follow their noses to the goblin kitchen. A goblin sub-chef stirs a large stewpot with the help of two assistants. A pile of discarded clothes and small pointed caps sits in one corner. The fight is on as the party charges in! An extra-large goblinoid with a wild mane of hair and a bear-like snout runs in from a side passage half-way through the melee, but the heroes make short work of the monsters. Between the pointed caps and the small skull that bubbles up from the pot when Destiny takes a taste, the PCs determine that the goblins were cooking gnome stew. Destiny fills her waterskin with broth. Her henchmen watch her, uncertain what to think.
Continuing on, our heroes find some prisoner pits. Claymor takes out three guards with one swing in a series of cleaves. Destiny takes a bad hit and goes down. Ghul’s quick medical attention rouses her, only slightly stunned. While unconscious, she saw visions of her dead familiar beckoning her. “I’m at a beautiful farm up north with the other familiar! Come join me!”
Three gnome prisoners sit in the bottom of the holding pits. Dory helps them out, and Destiny offers one of them some broth, which he immediately recognizes as gnome stew (the nose knows). He is gravely offended, as are the other gnomes. “You tried to feed us out brother?! What is wrong with you?!”
The gnomes were on patrol from Gnomesylvania (the vault where Kipper is also from). The PCs determine that the gnomes are too weak to help them with the goblins, so they tell them to get out and go wait outside with their horses and pack mules. Destiny tells them that if they steal their horses, bad things would happen to the gnome they have holed up in the ogre lair. The gnomes don’t seem to take this threat well, so Destiny sends one of the fighter henchmen with the gnomes to watch them.
After the gnomes leave, another group of goblins attack the party, attracted by all the shouting. These goblins are also quickly dispatched, and the session ends.