In the Footsteps of the Damned; Chapter 2

Our first taste of combat! We still joke to this day about the forest fire that Zani started, that is still probably burning away merrily… Apparently the goblin tunnel that we opted to ignore was actually a micro-dungeon with a boss and everything! oh well.

Chapter 2

The Clearing

As Brother Bejard approached the cart, arrows started to fly – I was right, a trap! Bejard was able to close the distance safely and started trying to find a way instead to dissuade the attackers, whilst Zani panicked and somehow set fire to a log that I was trying to use for cover, useless gnome!

After moving to better (and fireproof) cover, myself and Fi started taking potshots at the fortified wagon, though we were hampered by a magical fog summoned by Rake, that obscured things. Fortunately this worked both ways and helped keep us safe from the arrows. With a crash, Bejard was able to get into the structure and found the cause of our woe – Goblins! Between the collapse of their fortification and the fury of our Monk, they did not put up much fight and either died or scarpered down a bolt hole. Not wishing to go looking for trouble or diverge from our mission, we left the hole and carried on our way.

It didn’t take long for us to find the tree that marked our path off the road and head into the mountains. At the end of the valley was a curious site – two caves arranged vertically in a way that did not look natural. In order to preserve our rations, Fi, Rake and Smoke went off in search of some game or other edibles to bolster our rations, meanwhile myself, Bejard and Zani investigated the caves.

As suspected, not natural at all! The lower cave featured oddly smooth walls, like it had been bored into the cliff face. There was a little standing water in the bottom of it, but there was an arrow marked onto the back wall pointing upwards. Brother Bejard was able to ascend to the upper cave and found evidence of earlier access; a piton with rope dangling into the darkness. Using this rope we were all able to reach the cave, and sent Zani down on the inside. Being a creature of the underground she seemed the obvious choice to scout and tell us what she could see. This worked well, right up until she drew the attention of some rather hungry rats. In the ensuing kerfuffle, Zani went down for the count, but I was able to sustain her with some of my magic.

It looks like we were on the right track – there was a well used campfire that looked only recently disturbed by some steps descending deeper into the caves. Following the steps down, we came across a large underground fortress. Was this the “Sóllaus Virkith” that Egil had scribbled about?

Strengthening my suspicions on following the Jarls’ son, we saw signs of battle, with dead goblins strewn around the place, one of which seemed to have used his dying moments to scratch a word into the ground, but none of us could make it out.

Presented with two doors out of this starting courtyard, we had the proverbial fork in the road. Whilst deliberating, Smoke was sniffing around and found a third door hidden amongst the brickwork adding more options to our choice of direction. This will take some pondering.

Into Sóllaus Virkith….

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