Saturday, August 23, 2008

The rescue

It all started when our caravan set up camp for the evening. I was sleeping soundly when suddenly, our watch called out that we were under attack. I leaped into action and all around me I saw Hobgoblins. We were surrounded on all sides, but the Hobos did not expect that we would respond with such ferocity and determination. It did not take long before they were routed, though in several of the other wagons circles, they did not fare nearly as well. We spent some time putting out the fires that were started before taking stock of the situation.

It seems that the Hobgoblins stuck, not to kill, but to take captives. A number of humans and halflings were taken away, though we were able to locate a few that had simply run off in the midst of the confusion and brought them back to safety. The caravan master asked us to bring the others back safely. I, along with a Dwarf warrior, Alvin, an Elven Archer, Erawin, an Eladrin scout, and a Human spellcaster curiously named "Octane" all agreed. It was a diverse group, but I knew enough about battle to know that being adaptable and flexible would be paramount in recovering those hostages from the Hobgoblins.

We waited until morning for better light, with Erawin following the Hobgoblins. We eventually came across some sort of ancient Minotaur city. Octane gave us a history lesson about what went on there, but it wasn't too interesting to me, since it wasn't about battle or conquests. The only thing I remember was something about the Minotaurs not being evil enough, and their god destroying them in retribution. How amusing.

Anyway, we followed the Hobos into the city, which was curiously empty, and eventually underground. Octane explained that it probably lead into the Underdark. All was going well until all of a sudden, the trail simply disappeared. Erawin couldn't really understand what was going on, and Octane suspected that maybe they had some sort of magic at their disposal. We wandered the caves a bit, and eventually came into a cavern, with some sort of large...bug. Our Eladrin quickly tossed a throwing star at it, splitting it in two. I wasn't sure about attacking random things we come across, but the bug did give a satisfying squish as it left a stain on the walls. However, our victory was quite short lived, as in no time, we felt rumblings, and several far larger ones emerged from the ground, followed by one as big as a horse. I called out for us to flank the beast. I landed a solid blow on its back, and though it did not kill the beast, it threw the thing off balance and the Eladrin was able to dig her rapier into its head, whereupon it collapsed and quickly dissolved itself into a stinky pool. With the "mother" dead, the other bugs quickly burrowed back into the ground, to not bother us again. Several of us were burned quite badly by the thing's acid, but I told them to walk it off.

We continued to a large undergound city. It was quite an interesting sight, and we were first greeted by an ogre that told us to stay out of trouble. Along the way, we found another Eladrin who had been wandering the tunnels. He looked like some sort of spellcaster too, and I didn't think all was right about him, but any help we could get after that encounter with the bugs was welcome. The city was filled with all manner of creatures I didn't quite like or trust, but we were able to find a place to stay in an in run by some halflings. The proprietor was quite friendly, and we learned that no Hobgoblins had passed through the city. We talked with one of the mages of Saruun (don't trust), Orontur, , who apparently run the city. I don't know why he told us, but he said that he was the only mage there to watch over the city, and that one of the members of his order, Paldemar, had gone rogue. I guess that in a city full of vile creatures, he had to place his trust in complete strnagers. He was helpful in telling us that the Hobgoblins were known to have a lair not too far from the city. We agreed to tell him if we find anything about that rogue wizard, figuring that we'd earn some gold, and it wouldn't cost us anything to keep our eyes open.

We set out the next day. We passed through the Dragon Door on the way to the Hobgoblin camp. Our wizard tried a bit of subterfuge to trick them into opening the door, and when they saw through his transparent bluff, we decided that the only real way to fight was in open combat, through strength of arms. We were able to quickly cut down a number of them, but one managed to escape through a back tunnel, warning the others. We were quickly facing a battle on two fronts, with a number of Hobgoblins, Dark Dwarves, and even a huge wolf.

The situation looked dire, but I knew that there would be no retreat, no surrender today. I called for everyone to stand and fight, for the glory of Kord. I helped the two Eladrins and Earawin hold one of the fronts, while by some miracle, the Wizard was able to hold off the Wolf and a Dwarf all by himself. By the power of Kord, we vanquished enemies several times our number, and basked in victory. However, the captives were nowhere to be found.