JOURNEY THRU THE SEA OF FALLEN STARS

Chapter 24

CHAPTER 24

Unfortunetely for the Company, the sight of Ondlespur´s outer wall , doesn´t mean rest , because , as they are entering it , they see approaching Took , the Halfling leader , with a group of adventurers behind.
As soon as he sees them , he smiles promptly and stops near them.
“Greetings Heroes ! The luck of Tymora truly shines on the path of those that befriend you. I was going out on a urgent summoning of help , from the Mayor of Klandle , along with this brave , but I fear inexperienced group of adventurers to his aid , and , here you are , safely returning from your errands in New Sarchel , and I see with new inhabitants for our village.
The task that I feared was too much for us , should be adequate for your bravery and skills.
Please , let me relate what is happening in Klandle”, says Took.
Getting off their horses , the Company agrees to listen, so Took goes on.
“Waldor Blackwood,Klandle´s Mayor , sent a messenger to us , asking for our help in dealing with the growing Goblin problem they are facing. These goblins, however, are different from those one might normally find in the region. According to the report they are more organized and the force consists of bugbears, goblins, and hobgoblins, which is never a good sign. Also, if reports are accurate, they have powers that regular goblins do not have. Rumors suggest they some of them have the ability to spontaneously create fire. The “Council of Freedom”decided that we should investigate these matters. Determine if the goblins can be negotiated with. If so, see if we can stop them from attacking. We really don’t want organized goblins rallying against us, particularly considering our continued struggle against demons.
We should like to know how many goblins are around, where they are from, and the nature of their new powers, if possible , also we want to know if there is a leader and what that leader might be planning. If there is a new enemy in the works, Impiltur , and especially Ondlespur , needs to be prepared for it. So , we decided that we should head there as soon as possible, before the goblins disappear or do some great amount of damage , and with this , we will be getting the thanks of Klandle , and their support in our struggle.”
With such strong arguments , the Company has no other alternative , then to agree to investigate , leaving the Sergor´s entourage to the care of Took , asking him for personally see to their well-being and to arrange for a location for their shop in Ondlespur.
Nermathed ,assures Kara that they are safe in here , and then departs with the rest of the Company.
Took´s directions take them to a farming community, hardly more than a village, some hours travel outside of the Coast´s Highway between New Sarshel and Lyrabar , and in between Ondlespur and Dilpur. The village is one of the last bastions of “civilization,” if you can call it that, before entering the wilds of Impiltur and the mountains of Earthfast. Most of its buildings are little more than hovels, and it is clear that eking out a living is not easy. Thin, weary Halfling men and women stare at the Company with a combination of suspicion and fear. All are ready to bolt at the slightest threat.
The group quickly finds Waldor Blackwood , and after saying that they are from Ondlespur , he relaxes visibly, starting to relate everything he knows and offering to help in anyway he can , as well as all of the town´s population. He tells them that all the village is being sacked , but the goblins strangely are avoiding to kill , at the exception of a small militia that Lyrabar sent , and that was easily dispatched by the goblins force.
Nebin , who all Halflings think to be the leader of the Company ,with the help of Aethan, Gonsarth and Nermathed, goes around town and outskirts ,gathering information from it´s various proeminent figures ,like Alethra a female Halfling smith , Zeneka, a male halfing farmer and Zora Harov, a middle-aged female halfling, priestess of Chauntea.
Eventually , with the help of their combined skills ,they discover that there is a traitor in town , that is feeding the Goblins information of wich better and safer locations to strike.
The traitor is Kosef, a Halfling boy, and pupil of Alethra , whose mother is being held captive by the goblins to ensure his help.
The Company of the Swift White Dragon , decides to go to their lair , following Kosef in it´s next encounter, and lay an ambush on the Goblins , assuring Waldor and Zora , that they will put Kosef and his mother well-being above everything else.
They follow Kosef thru a trail that will take them towards the goblins’ lair. The path takes them into a small rocky valley covered with several patches of bushes and trees. They immediately note some kind of roofless ruin, likely an abandoned shrine, next to the trail, overlooking both the road and the valley below.
There are 1 Brikklext barghest, 3 bugbear wardancers and 3 Brikklext bugbear dire beast hunters inside the lair.Almost all of them have a kind of blue fire dancing along their arms.
Approaching stealthly , they see Kosef´s mother inside the ruins, and so they lay out a plan , in wich Mindartis teleports himself to her side , protecting har , while the rest of the group chooses and individual target and focuses on it , trying to dispatch them quickly before they can harm the Halflings.
The battle goes accordingly to the plan , and they easily defest their enemies , that fought savagely and without remorse , but in the end the Halflings are safe.
Neverthless , a prisioner is made of the Bugbears , and they manage to know a little of their enemies , and that the leader of this raiding group , is a Hobgoblin named Grilog , that has it´s hideout further inside the ruins. Determined to get to the bottom of this , the Company departs to the hideout.
The ruins were apparently part of a larger complex, and the path takes them past another set of ruins. These are in bad condition.
There are no signs of goblins here, and the imprisoned goblins mentions that the ruins are too far away to the back of the valley to be of use as a guard post. These are also not as comfortable, due to the terrain.
The wind shifts and a chill overcomes them , and also they sense voices coming towards them. Suddenly, a large humanoid insect-like creature appears out of nowhere. It wields an enormous trident. It stares at them with alien, multifaceted eyes, its hatred palpable in the air.
He is accompanied by 2 large Neldrazu , to whom he turns and says , “Look! There are some of those pesky goblinoids! Kill him and the rest of the group because they reek of goblin,and we’re hunting goblin. Maybe we’ll start with them for sport , the Fraternity didn´t told us that we couldn´t have some fun while catching goblins , right?!”
The battle turns out to be more difficult , due to the ability of the Neldrazu to summon 3 Evistro and 6 Abyssal skulkers. Some members of the company go thru a bad time , but the combined might of them all prevails in the end.
Now that this threat is dealed with , as well as the prisioner killed in the meantime by the demons, they can continue.
The trail leads them , finally, to a cave opening with a set of stairs going down. Judging by the smell that wafts from below and the tracks around the opening, the goblins seem to have made their home here.The entrance is not guarded.
The Company proceeds down the stairs. Below, a long room narrows towards the back to a raised area. There are a small number of hobgoblins in the room. One is on top of the raised area, wearing chainmail and wielding a wicked looking glaive and a bandolier of darts. He is apparently the goblins’ proud leader. Blue flames dance over his skin. The other goblins wear scale armor and are equipped with longswords and light shields , and also have some , minor, blue flames.
The Hobgoblin in the raised area address them.
“Welcome warriors, you are in the presence of Grilog, and i´m the leader of this fighting group you now see before you , and of the Bugbear group you defeated earlier.
Although they were operating outside their orders , in using extreme violence against the population , they were under my care , and the only reason you are now standing before me speaking , and not fighting , is because you skillfully defeated the demons that were hunting us , thus having our gratitude. What are your names warriors?”.
The Company ,carefully , engages in conversation with the hobgoblins , letting Znog , whom the hobgoblins seem to respect more, speak for the group.
They learn that the goblins come from the city of Brikklext beneath northern Impiltur and that they are ruled by a bugbear named Ekrilliek who has great magical powers. The goblins are here to prove their mettle in combat,and to acquire loot anf food.
They are a bit displeased about the raid. Most humans and Halflings are weak, and not worth attacking since doing so neither provides glory nor worthwhile loot. They want to get closer to Lyrabar, but Grilog is holding them back because of his orders. They had a clash with armed humans of Lyrabar recently, but there was not much loot and the fight was not particularly satisfying.
In a more direct talk with Grilog, where they lure him into talk some more with praises to his prowess in battle , they also learn that the leaders of Brikklext have been interested in the effects and limitations of spellscars and their powers for generations. They have been performing experiments in this regard, but he does not know the details.Virtually all goblins of Brikklext have been blessed with a spellscar. Ekrilliek has been especially blessed, though Grilog does not say how. Grilog’s orders are to scout the region surrounding Lyrabar and test its defenses. He already gave one report to his superiors. Things look promising. The humans of Impiltur are weak and divided. They are easy prey. He finally tells the group that there are other groups of goblins scouting the city of New Sarshel and its surroundings.
For their part , the company tells him that they are not part of the main cities forces , but they are an independent force in Impiltur , that is interested in mainting peace with the hobgoblins force.
Grilog accepts the peace offer , and agrees to retire from the region.
The company, then accompanies him and his goblins to the outskirts of Klandle , thus assuring the peace in the region. For now.
When they are back in Klandle , the group relates this to the Mayor , and with this great feat , manages to gain the trust of many inhabitants of the city , that decide to go and live in Ondlespur. As to the Mayor , he offers the city alligiance to Ondlespur.
When all of the problems are settled , the Company heads home , finally.
All of this ordeals , took up 7 days , so , on the 29th of Ches , the Company of the Swift White Dragon finally arrives at their home in Ondlespur.
The next day is passed relaxing from their journey , and at the end of the day , the company meets up with Frestil , that had arrived in the meantime with Andhova , from a voyage to New Velar in The Dalelands.
Frestil tells them that all is peaceful there , and that the Stone of the Sisters of Selune is prepared , by Raistfin in Prespur , to be brought into Ondlespur , by portal , at the time of the ritual, on the Greengrass day. The preparations in here are all made , and everything is peaceful in town , except for the lower fields , where the demons are still at large. But , unfortunately , the Stone from the Fanglight , that was to be brought by boat by Axe, Tyrah ,Erevan and Vermahel , is still not here. This troubles Frestil , because he can´t seem to locate them , and he knows that they left Aglarond with it , and that they should of already be here.
Since not a lot of people knew of their plan , and this particular stone is, by itself , of no interest to the Abolethic Sovereignity, he´s worried , that Flistarius isn´t the only traitor amongst his ranks.
Along with Nermathed ,Mindartis and Andhova , he will be scouting the shore for clues, but , in the meantime , something should be made of the Demons below, so , they agree that the rest of the Company will be given the task of cleaning the area, letting the other inexperienced groups of adventurers guarding the town . Neverthless , they will have some help with this difficult task , and so , Frestil calls for someone that was waiting outside the chamber, and the Company sees Zaknein Du´bren entering. He courtesly greets them all , and Frestil tells the Company that the Drow is the Leader of Thieves Guild of Lyrabar that offered it´s help to Ondlespur in exchange for a legal tradepost in town where they could sell and buy items for , and from the Underdark. Since he made a point of doing this , also for repayment of his debt to the Company , Frestil agreed to test them , being the cleansing of the lower fields the test.
After Zaknein leaves , a short while later , Frestil tells them that he , and the town council doesn´t know of their plans for the ritual yet , and this only serves to prove that the traitor must be from within the Swift Dragon upper staff.
On the 2nd day of Tarsakh , they all begin with the assigned tasks.
The Drow force of 12 males ,proves to be an effective allied , and dispatches as much of the Demons as the Company.
But , as they both start to make their way into the shore and harbour areas , they notice that a lot of demons are already dead, with signs of battle between them and aberrant creatures , although their corpses aren´t found anywhere.
This are more troublesome news for the Company , that serves to further prove that the Abolethic Sovereignity know of their plans.
It takes the rest of the week to finally clean the lower fields, but with the menace of the Aberrant threat , the town council decides to keep the gates closed to that area , keeping an eye on the horizon in search of the boat where the foursome group of members should be.
Frestil , Nermathed ,Mindartis and Andhova return from their travels also , but with no news of them. Not wanting to give up, they all have to keep searching for clues on their location.
In the meantime , the town of Ondlespur continues on it´s growth, with the Dwarves of Clan Hammerfall finally extracting wealth from the mines , and with more and more Halflings and humans arriving to settle in town and the surrounding fields.
On the 22nd day of Tarsakh, the town already doubled it´s population, with even some Elves of the Gray Forest,Dwarves of the Earthfast Mountains and a few Orcs of Narfell amongst them. And more and more commerce is settling in Ondlespur,drawing increasing attention from the major cities of New Sarchel and Lyrabar , and their rulers.
But , still there is no sign of the missing foursome……

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