Storm King’s Thunder: A Great Upheaval, Part One
Temperance Foundling. A loud half-orc paladin.
Sterrin Blackhand. A human rogue and far traveler.
Valandrien Dezlentyr. A half-elven sorcerer from Waterdeep.
Ilamayil De Pauw. A vain half-elven bard who dresses funny.
Intermission in Parnast:
Azzam gave Valandrien a note from the Lords’ Alliance urging him to go west and grow up with the country. Other people were told similar things, along with cryptic advice, such as “Beware the Giants,” “Investigate and aid those in power in the town of Nightstone,” and “Don’t eat the yellow snow.” More info magically appeared, including the fact that Lady Velrosa Nandar, the steward of the town of Nightstone was looking for someone to mediate the town’s relationship with the Elvis of the Ardeep Forest. The heroes said they would “Take care of business.”
So they set out. Somewhere along the way an elaborately dressed female bard asked to accompany them. Temperance said something loudly. Everyone else welcomed her.
Nightstone is Full of Goblins
After several days and even more nights, they found themselves in the vicinity of the town of Nightstone. They could hear a large bell ringing and correctly supposed that it was the town church’s bell. Sterrin and Ila scouted ahead. They saw the front gate of the town was open, the drawbridge was down, nobody seemed to be occupying the gate towers, and there was a hint of stinky cheese smell wafting on the breeze.
Further investigation revealed lots of booted feet and some child/kobold sized tracks leading away from town, north into the Ardeep Forest. Also, there were many smaller bare feet tracks and some big dog prints leading into the town.
Soon enough, the entire group was sneaking quickly into town. Across the main square they saw two big wolves gnawing on a couple of bodies. They killed both and took the time to give both bodies proper temple rites (lasting six hours) and a burial in sacred ground. Then they entered the church.
It was a place of worship for both Lathander, God of the Dawn, and Mielikki, Goddess of Forests and Stuff. There were a few large rocks directly beneath large holes in the ceiling and/or roof. Draw your own conclusions. We killed one goblin and took his sack. It was full of awesome loot: a roasted chicken; five pounds of pocket lint; special churchy toilet paper; and a mile-long spaceship. The group kept everything in the sack.
Upstairs, they found two particularly attractive goblins ecstatically pulling the bellrope. They snuck away and left those goblins alone… for now!
An Innocent in the Inn
They entered the inn. It had holes in the roof and a few large rocks casually strewn about. It also had a female human with a crossbow holed up in one of the rooms. She was wary at first, but soon became best friends after being given the roasted chicken. She seemed confused by what had happened, and her pet winged snake—aka her familiar—refused to talk. She was just visiting the town, she said. Her name was Kella Darkhope Blooddrinker, or something like that. Nobody was suspicious of her at all. She opted to stay at the inn.
Going from building to building, the heroes heroically picked the goblins off one or two at a time. A particularly smelly goblin named Gumgum revealed that the goblins looted the town after the capturing the locals—who ran away from the rocks that fell on the town. She said that the goblins lived in some caves to the north, near the water. That was mildly helpful.
The group advanced widdershins, killing some goblins and letting others live in a casual display of pointedly cavalier attitude. They tied up and locked up the few surviving goblins.
Some loot was found, including a winged cat/tressym named Rillix. Ila spoke with him and he seemed very nice, although concerned for how long his wizardly master was napping underneath the big rock.
Temperance’s First Suicide Attempt
After completing most of the circuit, the group paused to decide what to do next. The half-orc failed his Intelligence check and stepped out into the open, loudly proclaiming free candy to anyone who could hit him with a projectile weapon. Several arrows found his torso, loosed from the high windmill/tower across the way. The group ran to the tower while Temperance stood in the street and nearly died.
He’s not smart.
Eventually Sterrin, Ila, and Val entered the tower and dispatched the archers within. Then they told Temp what a dumb thing he had just done. Let me tell you, there was some impressive role-playing thereafter, full of arguing, spitting, and grumping.
The heroes took a short rest in the windmill tower, then made their way toward the center of town into a trading post. Some things were borrowed.
The heroes inspected the town, debating whether to try to cross the broken bridge to the keep, or go kill the goblins who were still ringing the bell. But at that moment, fate intervened. A gaggle of seven riders on seven horses rode up to the gate. They had theme music! The heroes ran to the towers to try to raise the drawbridge.
Did they succeed? Only time and the DM will tell!