Storm King's Thunder

With their goblin captive, Tob, safely strung up in the temple bell tower, the four intrepid adventurers set out to sweep the town for dangers … and loot!  Making straight for the local store, as any reasonable creatures might, they moved stealthily enough as to spy upon a rather hopeless goblin rabble collecting in a nearby pumpkin patch, wherein two unfortunate goblins were not so much out of their gourds as in them.  Retreating into the ransacked shop, the adventurers looted a few odds and ends, crowbars and caltrops, and managed to stand about dithering and deliberating long enough that the goblin onslaught began without them.

The goblin warriors charged the square, screeching to a halt as they spied the adventurers in the shop, their bepumpkined companions ricocheting off their backs.  The fight that ensued was quick and brutal, with half the goblin forced smashed to bits, one burnt to a holy crisp, and the final one, Flak, taken captive.

The adventurers continued their sweep, taking in the full devastation of the town of Nightstone.  Bodies lay crushed under rubble, homes lay smashed, destroyed, and plundered.  But, a little sleuthing turned up some helpful healing items and a modest sum of gold.  Unfortunately, it also turned up two surprisingly adept goblin archers hiding in the rafters of the town windmill.  One long ordeal and two near-deaths later, the party took a rest and finally went to confront the mysterious female goblin mind-imaged by Tob.

The figure ended up being less than imposing, tossing down its treasure and prostrating itself to beg mercy.  What she lacked in threat, however, she made up for in useful information.  Gwerk, as she called herself, spoke exceptionally passable common.  She could shed no light on what had caused the chaos and destruction, but she did know that some of the villagers had survived, and last time she was home in the caves, they were captives of the goblin chief, Boss Hark.

Gwerk was not fond of Boss Hark, and upon hearing Dor'Kath blurt that the adventurers might kill him, she made them an offer.  She would show them to a secret cave entrance and enlist the aid of Snigbat, a dissident underling of Hark's, in overthrowing him, thereby making Snigbat the new goblin chief.  Ceilid, securing the promise of additional aid in clearing and investigating the town, stuck a deal with the captives, and, much to their delight, Dor'Kath finally shared with them all a loaf of delicious bread.

Things did not go altogether smoothly, though, as Gwerk attempted to track down the last two goblins at the Nightstone Inn.  She discovered her companions slain and was nearly taken down herself.  The adventurers discovered a lone human female in the upper story of the inn, shooting down goblins through a huge boulder hole in the floor.  Clearly not expecting the adventurers' presence, she was extremely cautious allowing them in, and in the end, Torgal, who would not put down his weapons, was left outside guarding three very nervous goblins.

Ceilid, Dor'Kath, and Althaea formally met Kella Darrendale, a self-professed worshipper of Mielikki, and her "pet" flying serpent, Ziggy.  When asked what happen to Nightstone, Kella described to them, with perfect honesty, a scene too bizarre to be believed.  A flying castle in the clouds?  A barrage of boulders?  The Nightstone itself mysteriously ripped from the earth?  Before they can make full sense of this story, or of Kella's part in it, they are interrupted by the sound of approaching hoofbeats.  Riders enter the town, and call Kella's name.

The adventurers may have leveled up, but will they ever earn their long rest?  Do these riders come bearing good or ill?  Will poor Ceilid ever get to investigate that damn keep?  And will Gwerk live to see her goblin friend Snigbat win the day?  Only time will tell!

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Rizabel

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