Chapter #5

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  Here is part 5 of the stories; this is the start of their second
adventure, basically.  I have skipped the part about training; the
city of Courwood is a fairly good-sized place, and those who needed
to train were able to train (at a hefty cost, of course).  Since the
party didn't stay in Courwood for long, I didn't bother to include
the dialogue with the various NPC's who trained the characters.
Perhaps next time I will...the new levels are shown below.



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THE PARTY THUS FAR:

Alindyar, 2nd level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 1st/1st level high elf fighter/mage (CN)
Ged, 2nd/1st level grey elf priest/mage (NG)
Halbarad, 2nd level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 2nd level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 3rd level human thief (N)
Peyote, 1st/1st level half-elf fighter/druid (N)
Rob, 2nd level human priest (LG)
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                           V.  Belgar & the Mine



  The party is in Courwood, in southern Celene.  After completing their
previous mission, they have been resting and/or training for the last
three weeks, to good effect.  Some of them are now more proficient in
their occupations.  They have been wondering what they will do next,
but life does go on, as we shall see...

Mongo:  (inside the Shiny Shield armor shoppe, looking at several suits
  of plate mail)  Hmm.
Clerk:  Those are fine, fine armors there, sir.  Our armorer built
  each one by hand, and labored long and hard at the forge.
Mongo:  (possesses the armorer proficiency)  Some of these are good,
  but others are shoddy!  Maybe you have more than one armorer, eh?
  What I am really interested in is a suit that will fit _me_.  Do
  you have any of those?
Clerk:  (thinking)  Give me a minute here.  (goes into back)
Mongo:  (tapping foot impatiently)
Clerk:  (returning with a wheeled cart that holds a smaller suit of
  plate)  Here is just the thing, sir!  It is a finely crafted suit
  of plate, and just your size...
Mongo:  (examining it)  It seems okay...wait!  This won't fit me!
Clerk:  Alas, we may have to custom-design one for you.
Mongo:  Whatever.  Just get a start on it.  I don't have all day.
Clerk:  Well, I never!
Mongo:  Never what?
Clerk:  (grumbling)  Let me get your measurements.
Mongo:  Hey!  Watch it there!
Clerk:  Okay...we'll need two weeks, and that will run you...let's
  see here...three hundred gold coins.
Mongo:  A WEEK?  I need it in days, man!
Clerk:  Well, we could rush it, for four hundred, and have it done
  in a week maybe...
Mongo:  Okay, fine.  Just do it.  I'll be back.  (leaves)

  Outside the armorer's shoppe, Mongo is approached by a cloaked man.

cloaked man:  Hey, aren't you one of those adventurers who came into
  town recently?
Mongo:  None of your damn business!  But, why do you ask?
cloaked man:  I am Belgar (shakes Mongo's hand).  I know a place where
  you can find treasure, riches beyond your wildest dreams.  Do you
  think that your group might be interested?
Mongo:  Hmph.  Dunno.  Let's go ask them.

(later, at the tavern)

Halbarad:  So, Belgar, why don't you go to this treasure trove all by
  your lonesome?  Why do you need _us_ to do it?
Belgar:  Well, I think that there are some nasty creatures hiding out
  around that area.  If I go there by myself...well, I don't think I
  would last too long.  I was thinking of serving as a guide for a
  party strong enough to survive.  I am not afraid to go there, as
  long as I have help in case of attack.
Peyote:  Sounds killer.
Belgar:  So, are you interested in this?
Ged:  That depends.  What do _you_ want out of all this?
Belgar:  An equal share of anything found, that is all.
Mongo:  Can you fight?
Peyote:  Nine ways, then?
Peldor:  Maybe less, before it's over...
Ged:  Quiet, you greedy, murderous fool!
Belphanior:  Where is this place you speak of?
Belgar:  'Tis about one day's journey to the southwest.  It is an
  old mine of some sort.
Halbarad:  What do you all think?
Mongo:  Shit yeah!  Let's do it!
Ged:  Of course we'll go.  There will surely be much evil to be
  vanquished there.
Peyote:  Good deal.
Belphanior:  Sure.  What else do we have to do?
Rob:  Uh.
Alindyar:  Fine with me.
Peldor:  Treasure?  Riches?  Of course I'm in!
Belgar:  Okay then.  When shall we leave?
Mongo:  I've got some new armor on order that's gonna take a week
  or so to be built...
Halbarad:  So be it.  We leave in one week.

  The next week is spent in preparation for the exploration of the
mine.  This time, the party members have sufficient money with
which to buy equipment and weapons, and they arm themselves well,
buying plenty of rations, water, oil, rope, torches, etc.  Ged,
somewhat unraveled by his recent experiences with undead, makes
a stop at the local temple of Boccob and procures several flasks
of holy water, leaving a most generous donation in return.  Rob
spends most of the week praying for better luck than he had last
time.  Belphanior works to transcribe the spells from his scroll
into his spellbook, with some success.  Alindyar stays indoors
and behind a locked door for practically the entire week, to
avoid drawing attention to himself and the party.  Halbarad buys
the raw materials necessary to fabricate himself a score of fine
arrows, and does so (he has the bowyer/fletcher proficiency).
Peyote spends the week in the wilds outside of Courwood, stating
the need to commune with nature.  Mongo anxiously awaits his new
suit of plate mail, and samples the best food the city has to
offer in the meantime.  Peldor scopes out a number of potential
homes and temples to rob, and tries (in vain) to find out more
about his new magical sword.
  After a week and a day, they are ready to go.  They leave one
morning on horseback, and travel across the plains, stopping for
a midday meal and supper.  They finish the latter meal near dusk
and are within an hour's ride of the mine (according to Belgar).
However, before they can mount up and ride on...

DM:  A group of small, about four-foot tall green-skinned humanoids
  is approaching you with weapons drawn.
Mongo:  (to DM)  Being a dwarf, do I recognize them as goblins?
DM:  (to Mongo)  Yup.
Halbarad:  How many are there?
DM:  About a dozen...
Belphanior:  Ho there, goblins!  Yes, you!  What do you want?
goblin:  (speaking in broken common)  You trespassing!  Kill!
Peldor:  Us?  Traspassing?  You must have us mistaken for someone
  else!
Belphanior:  But won't you give us a chance to surrender?
goblin:  (in goblin, to its comrades)  Nice adventurerses...
  lotsof money.  Lotsof FOOD!
Mongo:  (understands goblin language)  They mean to EAT us!!!
Belphanior:  Screw this.  I hold my sword above my head and goad
  them on.
DM:  The goblins rush the campsite...Round 1...

Belphanior:  (steps out to meet a goblin, hits it and kills it in
  the blink of an eye)
Peldor:  (retreating into the shadows, with the party in general
  between him and the goblins)
Peyote:  (slipping on his ring, turns invisible, goes to lead the
  horses away from the battle before they freak out)
Halbarad:  (slices a goblin, killing it)  Foul things!
goblin:  (attacks Mongo, but its small sword bounces off of his
  plate mail)  Cursesss!
Mongo:  It's good to know that it works...
goblin:  (attacks Belphanior, missing as the agile elf dodges away)
goblin:  (attacks Halbarad, scratching him with its sword)
Peldor:  (easily backstabs a random goblin in the rear ranks,
  slaying it)
goblin:  (attacks Mongo, misses)
goblin:  (attacks Belphanior, inflicts a minor wound)
goblin:  (attacks Halbarad, misses)
Alindyar:  STOP!  (pulls back his hood, exposing himself as a drow
  to the group of goblins, as he casts a wall of fog behind them)
Belgar:  By the gods!  A dark elf!
goblins:  Aieeee!
Alindyar:  (in goblinese...he and Mongo are the only ones who can
  speak and understand it)  Small ones!  Surrender at once or my
  smoke demon will come and eat all of you!
goblins:  (making a morale check)  (half of them flee, the closest
   ones, the rest, throw down their weapons in terror and lay down
   on the ground)
Belgar:  (silently commending himself on his choice of a party)
Belphanior:  I'll be damned!
Alindyar:  Let us take their weapons and tie them up.
Halbarad:  Fine by me.  (starts collecting shortswords and daggers)
Belphanior:  No!  Kill them instead.  They attacked us!  (he raises
  his sword at one of the goblins, who wails in miserable terror)
Mongo:  Yeah!
Ged:  (interposes himself between the goblin and Belphanior)  These
  creatures, miserable as they are, are under Boccob's protection.
  Leave them be.
Belphanior:  I can kill them if I want!
Ged:  There is always hope, even for the evil.  Even for such as you.
Halbarad:  They're more use to us alive.  They can give us valuable
  information about their lair.
Peyote:  Besides, they did surrender.
Alindyar:  Truly so.  Let them live.  They are incapable of causing
  us further trouble.
Peldor:  (going through the dead goblins in search of loot)
Belphanior:  (grumbling)
Mongo:  Oh, whatever.  I'll tie them up.  Tight as hell, though,
  that's for sure.  (gets out rope, begins binding them in pairs,
  back to back.  Peyote and Ged help.)
Rob:  (uncoiling rope, gets it all knotted up)  ...
Halbarad:  We can question them later.
Belgar:  Ask them about the mine.  Maybe there are more of them in
  there.
Mongo:  (in goblinese, to goblins)  This is your lucky day, guys.
  We'll let you live, but I want to talk to the leader.  Which one
  of you little punks is the chief?
goblins:  (all point to a certain one of their fellows)  Him!
chief:  (yells out after a few seconds)  I is chief Gork.  What you
  want from me?
Belphanior:  (starts advancing on Gork with bloody sword drawn)
Gork:  Aaaaa!
Mongo:  (still in goblinese)  Okay pal, here's the deal.  Tell me
  where your home is, how many more of you hide out there, and if
  there are any guards, and where they are, and...
chief:  Wait!  Wait!  Too much for me tiny mind.  Home in old mine.
  Near here, yes.  Many goblins there, no hurt you nice peoples.
  Talk to guardses, work deal, yes.  (obviously proud of his skill
  at negotiation)
Alindyar:  (snickers)
Halbarad:  Well?  What does it say?
Mongo:  There are other goblins in the mine already.  We will have
  to fight them, probably.  (looks around)  What are we going to do
  with all of these goblins?
Peyote:  Leave them here, man.
Belphanior:  I still say we should kill them all.
Alindyar:  (has been watching Peldor pocket coins)  You, rogue!  How
  much have you pilfered?  I think that you should share your loot
  with everybody!
Peldor:  Oh all right.  Here, they had a grand total of sixteen coins
  of copper and three of silver.
Ged:  These are pretty weak goblins.
Mongo:  Pretty poor goblins, if ya ask me.
Belphanior:  If any more goblins attack me, I'm going to kill them
  no matter what the rest of you say.
Halbarad:  Let us go.

  They leave the goblins scattered about the area, tied together in
pairs, and ride on.  Soon they find the object of Belgar's tale:  an
old, run-down mineshaft in the side of a rather big hill.  As they
dismount and approach, a number of goblins charge out, brandishing
spears and swords, howling...

Peldor:  So much for a suprise attack.
Ged:  (begins spellcasting)
Alindyar:  (in goblinese)  Stop!  We wish to talk, not fight!
goblins:  (ignoring him)  Die!  Die!
Mongo:  There must be twenty of them!
Alindyar:  (ponders the goblins)
Rob:  (to DM)  Is there any chance that they won't attack us?
DM:  Doesn't look that way, does it?
Ged:  (launches a sleep spell at the mob; seven are put to sleep)
Belphanior:  I draw my sword.
Mongo:  Hey!  Me too!

DM:  Round 1...
Belphanior:  (kills a goblin)
Peyote:  (to right of Belphanior)  Dudes!  (swings, hits, wounding
  a goblin)
Mongo:  (to left of Belphanior)  I'm so slow.  I always go last!
Peldor:  (wounds a goblin that tried to sneak around the side of the
  three-person wedge)  Take that, snakey!
Rob:  Snakey?
Halbarad:  (hits and kills a goblin)
Alindyar:  (casting a spell)
Belgar:  (meleeing a goblin)
Ged:  (pulls out mace, bashes a goblin over the head, wounding it)
goblin:  (misses Mongo)
goblin:  (wounds Ged)
goblin:  (misses Peldor)
goblin:  (wounds Belphanior)
goblin:  (misses Peyote)
goblin:  (misses Mongo)
goblin:  (hits Rob)
goblin:  (hits Peldor)
Alindyar:  (casts color spray toward one cluster of goblins, dazing
  about four)  There you go.
Mongo:  (hits and kills a goblin)  Hah!  Last but not least!
Rob:  (misses a goblin with his flail)
goblin:  (misses Mongo)

DM:  Round 2...

Halbarad:  (kills another goblin)
Belphanior:  (kills another goblin)
goblin:  (hits Halbarad)
goblin:  (misses Mongo)
Belphanior:  (to DM)  I sneak over to the sleeping goblins.
Peldor:  (wounds a goblin)
Mongo:  (kills another goblin)
goblin:  (misses Ged)
goblin:  (misses Belgar)
goblin:  (hits Mongo)
goblin:  (misses Rob)
Rob:  (swings his flail, rolls a 1, trips and falls)
Peyote:  (kills a goblin)
Mongo:  (second attack kills another goblin.  The battle comes to an
  end all of a sudden.)  Whew!  (drinks thirstily from his wineskin)
Belphanior:  (cutting throats of the sleeping goblins; no one notices
  until most of them are already dead)
Ged:  Hey!  What are you doing?
Belphanior:  What does it look like I'm doing?  (kills another)
Peldor:  I'll help!  (kills the last)
Ged:  Slaying opponents in battle is one thing, but killing helpless
  and vanquished enemies is quite another!  You, sir, are definitely
  not in for a pleasant afterlife!
Belphanior:  (grins)  Ain't I a stinker?
Peyote:  Hey Ged, lighten up.  We tried to parley.  Besides, war is
  hell.
Halbarad:  And Peldor, put their money in the treasure sack.

  The party flees back about four miles, tired and wounded and not
really in any mood to fight more goblins right now.  Halbarad makes
sure that they are not pursued.  They have the priest-types heal
their wounds, and Mongo cooks a delicious stew to warm up the cold
autumn night (it is approximately 39 degrees F outside).  Halbarad
and Peldor, working together in a rare moment, make several forays
to the mine entrance, to make sure that the goblins aren't sending
a scouting party out after them.  They observe that the creatures
don't seem to want to venture out into the darkness.  Also, the
goblins set up a large bonfire in front of the mineshaft entrance
and post four guards to watch for enemies.  The two scouts return
and inform the party of these things.  Belphanior wants to borrow
Peyote's ring of invisibility and go bombard the goblins' bonfire,
and lair, with flasks of oil, but he is talked out of it.  The
party sleeps and rotates two members on watch every four hours.
They plan to formally raid the lair in the morning.
  Alindyar wonders to himself what right the party has to invade
the goblins' very home in search of treasure.  Even if they
fight, he surmises, they are only defending their home from what
they must surely perceive as an attack.





NEXT TIME:  Inside the mine, and a deadly suprise...

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NOTES:  Alindyar and myself, the DM, had a discussion about the
goblin issue during a dinner break.  The irony of a drow having
regrets about attacking someone's home, even if they are evil,
is great.  He concluded that many surface dwellers are as bad
as the drow, who they would condemn in a heartbeat.
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