After rousing a terribly hungover Ragnar, and engaging in a short debate, we chose to return to the Inn, in hopes of being able to finish our explorations there. In the end, however, our only progress towards that goal was to traverse 2/3 of the day-and-a-half’s journey.
During our night’s rest, we were beset by a band of goblins of the Green Iron Fist. Though our watches had time to wake everyone whilst they surrounded our camp, once we made to act, we discovered the true measure of our adversaries and found ourselves greatly outnumbered.
While some of our group (this scribe in particular) were prepared to concede the inevitable and parley with our foes, others were unwilling to give way without a fight. In the erupting hostilities, both of our wizards were felled and similar for twice that number in goblins. Nonetheless, their 4 to 1 advantage ground us down and the goblins ultimately prevailed. Our only consolation was that we were able to hold Death from overtaking Parabellum and Ethal.
The victorious goblins were unusually disciplined and peopled with leaders. The main of these spoke to us and – rather than ordering the robbery, slavery, or beheadings we envisioned – merely demanded we deliver a message. Grimthack, chieftain of the Green Iron Fist, required a meeting with the leader of the humans, one fortnight from now.
We promptly returned home and delivered Grimthack’s message to Yinivax and Marshall Roen. These entrusted us with the advance scouting of the meeting site (being the abandoned monastery of St. Eggix), which we commenced, after a suitable recovery period for our pair of wounded comrades.
There we found an unpleasant fog clinging low to the ground and signs of great battle – a battle of goblin against goblin. Half of the slain were of the more typical strain of goblin and festooned with the insignia of the Green Iron Fist. The other half were quite unusual – reddish in skin and feral of feature, armed with crude weapons and wearing the 3-fingered medallions.
We returned to Enonia again to report this development and were tasked with the recovery of bodies for study. This was accomplished with no difficulty and we returned yet again, well compensated for all of our recent efforts on Enonia’s behalf. (2nd in command at the temple) found the proto-goblins most peculiar and beyond her usual powers of divination. We were also visited by Asgrim, a local bookseller and hedge wizard, unknown to me, but not to certain of my comrades. Parabellum negotiated some dealings with him, involving a tome of St Eggix and other sundry items.
Our final trip to the monastery was a half-day in advance of the Meeting. We encountered some advance guard of Grimthack and found all to be in order. Roen and Grimthack arrived, with their respective retinues, and then conversed, with Aramin providing translation. The thrust of Grimthack’s concerns were that he wished humans to know that he controlled not the feral goblins, and wanted not to be blamed for their depredations. This was readily acknowledged, and our side further verified that Grimthack would have no complaints with us reclaiming the monastery for humanity.
As both sides returned to their own lands, we remained behind, augmented by a handful of the Marshall’s foot soldiers, ready to enter the monastery once more. Our destination was the former living quarters Melkrit, beheaded, evil ex-priest of the Light. Finding a slight error in our drawings, we inadvertently entered a collapsed and empty room, where I sensed a good and familiar energy drawing me near. I followed and passed through to a beautiful devotional room of St Eggix, with frescoes and a glowing bowl. Touching and making offerings to the bowl produced no discernable outcome, but examining an old skeleton yielded an iron key. When we did reach the room we sought, the key was indeed a match for the warded and locked door. The merits and risks of opening the door were contemplated. Eggix had used the monastery to seal up a great evil and we feared we might release it. Yet, it would also seem that an evil force was already awake and operating – that of the 3 figured symbol and its devil-goblins. We ultimately declined to act at this time.
We explored a bit elsewhere, resulting chiefly in the deaths of some spiders, the acquisition of a few potions, and the knowledge that our makeshift barrier over the floor crevasse appeared undisturbed. A foully inhabited chapel sent us retreating home for nonce, vowing soon to return and right that wrong (and mayhap fulfill my vision of reclaiming the fountain as well!).
Mazlor, beacon of the Light