(Bad news, guys. Thanks to my stupid brain, I misread my schedule. No game 6/6 or 6/13. I thought I worked 4-11… Which I do, but it’s PM instead of AM. Oops. Well, here’s Chris Trueheart’s version of the game so far.)
The company’s return to Svaro goes, mostly, unremarked by the people therein. A cry comes up from the tavern shortly after you pass into the city proper, though, and a passel of dwarves, young and old, make their way outside to greet Granite, thrust mugs of ale into your hands and demand stories of your journey – though mostly, they just want stories about Granite’s adventure. Chris, with skill only a bard possesses, takes the ale from one of the dwarven women and proceeds inside to take up a corner of the Walking Cockerel with his story: a tale of a journey spent aiding the hapless against the Hobgoblin menace, with much dramatic license.
“T’was short of a fortnight ago, we left to brave the wilds and many things have we seen! Sit, let me tell you a tale, and I swear it is true, for I have seen it with mine own two eyes, or my name isn’t Chris Trueheart. Valiant Krecklore and Dutiful Kenpachi bore witness to a plague upon the land and swore vengeance for blood spilt and lives lost, all to the name of Bane and his Hobgoblin soldiers in the World.
“They came up with a plan, you see, to travel to meet with the elves first, for the elves are wise and know things they hide from those not of thier kin. They recruited a guide, the best guide to be found in seven kingdoms, the Sure-Footed and Canny Aiden – and I, Chris Trueheart, overhearing, could not bear to let these events go unwitnessed and so begged leave to follow. The mysterious Kat-Ri appeared, then, offering her potent skills and sharp blade. From counsel with Master Warhammer, did Steadfast Granite come to join the Company, and six set off from Svaro.
“But Bane is a god and Knows things; he set his minions in the Company’s path that they could not rise and send challenge to his champion, the powerful Hand of Bane, Hobgoblin Warrior-King. They lay in wait, setting a trap on the sacred roads, a horde of goblins and bugbears, hidden from view, to pounce on any who might try to pass: merchant, traveler, hero.
“But! The gods of good Know things as well, and sent their own servants… To spring the trap first! With foreknowledge and unflagging bravery did Rook and Logain charge forward, tearing the goblins from their hiding places by claw and steel and showing their faces to the world, that the Company might snuff them out. And the day was won! So, Six became Eight.
“The Hobgoblins are not our enemy because they worship a different god, but because they are wrong in the things they do. Take, for example, our poor Lucius. The goblins attacked him on the road, and though his powers are mighty, there is little one can do against so many. They strung him up from a tree, to punish him for those he’d slain to resist them. They began to torture him, and, believe me, there’s nothing a goblin loves more than to torture. They are good at it, but Lucius would never break. He didn’t need to, because at that moment, the gods sent their light and the Company appeared, Rook and Logain leading the charge. Kat-Ri’s katar burst with green fire as she thrust it into the goblins, purifying their foul spirits with flame each time she struck. Under Krecklore’s direction, Granite and Aiden moved around the back, cutting down any who tried to escape, as Kenpachi smote them in the name of his goddess. Lucius was set free and, as is the way of his kind, swore his service to the creatures who had saved his existance.
“Thus, there were seven who found themselves at the edge of the Bearast Forest, seeking counsel with the elves of Onelideshiron. The floor of that dark wood is littered with the bones of those the elves have not deemed worthy to trespass, but Aiden knew the way and took them carefully through the undergrowth as only elves know. The woodland elves appeared to block the Company’s path and the Company was refused admitance, for none not of elven blood may see the city and live to speak of it. Left alone with orders to never return, their spirits low, the Company did depart – until a scream split the evening.
“Without waiting for permission, and to the Nine Hells with the consequences, as one the Company charged deep into the forest. In a clearing, they came upon a gruesome scene: Hobgoblin soldiers with bloodied weapons standing over the remains of many elves, torn to pieces, their bodies cast about like leaves. At the far end of the clearing stood their leader, pressing an elven maiden to a tree and demanding to know where her city was. Though tears streamed down her face, she would not break, for too much was at stake. The Company rushed forward, making quick work of the Hobgoblin guard. His soldiers slaughtered, the cloaked leader at last cast his captive aside and turned to face the Company. They were set to make fast work of the creature when, to their very great surprise, he summoned a winged angel, bound and weeping, to the field between us. Held hostage by the cloaked man’s dark magics, the servant of the light was unable to resist and was forced to stop the Company in their tracks! Unwilling to harm the angel, they were forced to stand by as the cloaked figure made his escape, then made to help the elven maiden.
“She gave her name, Birel, a princess of the elven kingdom and bade us to enter her home! Thus, we were granted admission to Onelideshiron, and though their council would send no soldiers past their own borders, the elven princess herself was moved by our struggle against Bane and snuck away in the night to join us before we left! Now, Ten, we return to the hospitality of this hearth and this ale and I give my thanks to Avandra and Erathis that Svaro and the Trade Road still stand to let me partake of them.”