They’d lost nearly half a day.
They’d been fine, maybe a few minutes behind schedule, but overall, they’d been okay on the High Road. But since turning onto the Triboar trail everything had got to pot.
Willie couldn’t blame the Dwarf for making them stop. The wagon was marked by the blue eye of the god helm and it was obvious that the Helmites were having trouble with a broken wheel. Perhaps if they’d brought more than one priest who was not well past their prime they’d have had an easier time.
As it was only their escort, a human priestess who by the way she spoke was from the north, was able to help Kildrak replace the broken spoke. The two decided, without asking Willie, that it would be safer for the two wagons to travel the bandit heavy trail together. Again, it wasn’t the worst plan.
Unfortunately that left them a good half day’s ride behind schedule. Mr. Rockseeker would be less than pleased.
Kildrak and the Priestess, Pryat Kathryn Mastra she’d called herself, were taking the lead on foot. It was amusing to watch him trying to keep up with the very tall woman.
The Driver’s mirth was muted when she reached back for her supplies.
“Hey! Kildrak! Where are my rations?” – Willie, in Duergan.
“I don’t know what yer talking about you mad Elf!” – Kildrak
“Don’t think I didn’t see you eating not fifteen minutes ago!”
“ Ken, so what, I’ve got my own rations?”
“Oh, you’re rations, eh Kildrak? Everyone in all the realms knows that the Dwarves can’t help’n eat more’n their fair share!”
The wagon had come to a stop so that the two could argue face to face, as the gods intended.
“Gundren’s not going be happy if’n we don’t start moving, Willie, we’ve got to get to Barthen’s before he loses it!” – Kildrak
“Now you’re worried about the time? We’d’ve had more’n nuff time to get there if’n you’d have thought better of stopping to help the damned monks with their wagon!” – Willie.
“They’d’ve died had’n we not stopped, between the highwaymen and the goblins not even the Helmites would’ve stood’n a chance!” – Kildrak
Willie knew that the Dwarf was right, but she’d be darned if she was going to admit it.
“ Olet parrakas äijä” – Willie, in Elven
“Was that an insult or a challenge!” – Kildrak, in Common
“Of course it wasn’t an insult, Kildrak, merely a fact that needed to be stated.” – Willie
“Excuse me, I do not mean to interrupt, but it seems that your cargo has a small infestation.” – Kathryn
The tall woman held, in her right hand, a very small woman, at first the Sun Elf took it to be a child, perhaps the Pryat’s sister, by the shade of red that their hair shred, or the green of their eyes, but where the woman wore the vestments of a Helmite, polished armor emblasened with her deity’s great eye, this tiny thing wore black clothes of some quality from head to foot.
The pretty little thing was being held off the ground by her hood, forcing her arms to remain at her sides.
“ Hyi, it’s a Halfling.” – Willie, stepping back.
“I do believe that’n you owe me an apology, Driver.” – Kildrak
“Not now, chump.” – Willie
“ Helo.” – The Halfling, waving halfheartedly.
“All right, Halfling–“
“I’m not a stowaway.”
The driver and priestess exchanged a bemused look.
“Then what are you doing here, little Halfling?” -
“ Dydw i ddim yn ychydig, Dwarf! I need a ride.”
“What’d she say?” – Kildrak
“You need a r… you didn’t even bring your own provisions.” – Willie
“Yeah, I did, it was just easier eating yours.”
The Elf stepped forward, slipping the leather thong off of the dagger she kept on her belt.
“Kildrak, do you think we should make her pay for whatever she took?”
“I’ll get the hammers.” – Kildrak, slumping as he headed toward the back of the wagon.
“Do you even know what you’re carrying? I’ve been riding in the back this whole time, it’s actually rather interesting. And one would think you’d want to know you were carrying something like that.”
Kildrak paused, but only for a moment.
“They’re supplies, Chump and I loaded them ourselves.” – Willie
The Halfling hung her head.
“Fine, it’s just supplies, but there are a lot of them, kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?”
“You’re changing the subject.” – Willie
“Of course I’m changing the subject; I don’t want to pay for provisions.”
“Excuse me, but wouldn’t it be easier if we got back on the road and dealt with this in Phandalin? I’ll take her back to sit with Bishou Cogni and the others. They’ll keep her in line.” – Kathryn
“No. no, no, no.”
“It’s that or I smash you.” – Kildrak
“No, no one’s smashing her. But she can sit up here with me, where I can keep an eye on her. When we get to Phandalin she can pay us or deal with the consequences.”
The Priestess dropped the Halfling, who smirked at her naiveté before noticing the gentle warmth rolling across her skin. She looked down to see that her normally fair skin was radiating a crisp white light.
Her skin, and hair were aglow, their natural hue enhanced by the light pouring off of them.
“What did you do?”
“Look at that, if it gets dark, I’ll just have you open your mouth. We’ll be able to drive straight on through.” – Willie
“Think of it as a gift, the god of Watchers has marked you so that he can better protect you.” – Kathryn
“No! It’s not like I was going to cause any more trouble!”
But the priestess was gone, she’d already returned to her own wagon, where she sat comfortable beside her own driver, a crossbow in her lap.
“Let’s go. We weren’t paid to babble.” – Kildrak
“What an unpleasant disposition.” – The stowaway.
“You’re an unpleasant disposition!” – Kildrak
Willie just smirked.
Kildrak had moseyed ahead, he’d taken this trail a half dozen times and knew that the path grew particularly narrow ahead, a perfect place for an ambush by bandits… or worse.
So far, though, it looked as though they’d gotten lucky. There were no sign of action anywhere.
Boring was goo–
“Woah!” – Willie, from a ways back.
“What now?” – Kildrak.
“Are you blind?”
Kildrak turned around and sure enough, about fifty feet ahead of him were the bloated corpses of two dead horses blocked the path.
“How’d I miss that?” – Kildrak, to himself.
Kildrak slid his hand-axes back onto his belt and drew his warhammer as he approached the bodies. He didn’t even have to get close, though, to see that they’d been felled by a handful of black feathered arrows.
The Priestess had leapt from her own perch and was passing the Elf and her bright passenger on the right
“It’s as good a place as any for an ambush, don’t you think.” – Willie, to the priestess.
The girl nodded whilst drawing her own mace, evidently she’d left the crossbow with her own driver.
“Can you take this light off me now, please?” – The stowaway.
The priestess ignored her.
”I can help you know!” – She yelled after her.
The Priestess paused for just a moment and the Halfling felt the warm tingle fade from her skin. Even at mid-day the world seemed dimmer somehow.
A moment later the Halfling was gone.
“Fantastic.” – Willie to no one in particular.
Ahead of them the Dwarf was beside himself. He knew these horses, he’d seen the smaller of the two carry his rider into battle.
“They’re Gundren and Sildar’s horses!” – the Dwarf called back
They’d been sacked and raided, and they’d been dead about a day.
“Great.” – Willie called back, it seemed she wouldn’t be joining him.
“Any sign of their riders?” – Kathryn
“Not that I can see.”
“Can we move them?” – Willie
“We?” – Kildrak
“…Can you move them?”
The Dwarf laughed.
“Can I get a hand?” – Kildrak, to the priestess.
“Yes, of course.” – Kathryn
“I can help too.” – The stowaway seemed to materialize beside them.
The Dwarf took one of the bodies by their legs, the other two double-teamed the second.
“Well, I’ve got my good deed for the day out of the way.” – the Stowaway.
“You know this doesn’t make you a good person.” – Kildrak.
The Halfling, straining from the weight of the beast, nodded emphatically
With a mighty heave the Dwarf pulled the larger of the horses off the road, but in an instant knew it was too easy, that the beast seemed to be too light.
From beneath where the horse had lain sprung a goblin, it stood just over three feet, and its sallow yellow-green skin glistened with curdled blood and from the sound of the yelp, it appeared that another had been hiding beneath the other horse as well.
The Halfling heard a familiar whistle and leapt back as she felt a strange wind upon throat; she raised her hand and felt the sting of where an arrow had just grazed her, leaving a long thin cut.
Maybe Helm was looking after her after all.
She smirked to herself as she drew two daggers she’d hidden under her cloak.
She heard the priestess yelp in pain, and saw that the blood drenched goblin that had surprised them had slashed at her, and that she’d just barely blocked with her mace.
“This is why I hate goblins.” – the priestess, through gritted teeth.
Willie leapt to her feet when she saw the ambush, only to feel a dull thud in her side. She looked down and saw a grimy black arrow sticking out of her. Her linen tunic was fast darkening with her own blood.
This would not do.
Though the Halfling’s first instinct was to flee into the safety of the trees, to leave these fools to their fate, she instead put her weight into her back foot before rushing forward, sliding one of her daggers between the ribs of the goblin who was attacking the Dwarf.
The Goblin spun on her, his red eyes wide with pain and rage before crossing, the goblin fell bonelessly to the ground, a large gash covered the back of his hairless head. The Dwarf’s warhammer was held at the ready, its iron head wet with the goblin’s blood as he stepped forward, using the unconscious monster’s body as a step stool to survey the battle.
Willie saw the goblin that had shot an arrow at her, and on the other side of the trail, she saw his partner taking aim at the stowaway.
The sun Elf planted her feet and, placing her elbows against her sides, she gestured towards the archers, three fingers were pointed at her assailant, two towards his partner.
“ Éna vélos sta gónatá tous!” – Willie called out in the Dragon Tongue
From somewhere behind her three bolts of soft blue light str eaked out towards the goblins, two of them struck her assailant, taking out both of his knees, while the third struck the other’s right knee.
Unfortunately this did little more than allert him to her presence and he spun towards her, loosing another filthy arrow at her.
“Me prostatév̱ei!” – Willie, holding out her left hand to protect herself while clutching her wounded side with her right.
The arrow didn’t reach her, rebounding off of a wall of brilliant blue energy.
Kathryn wasn’t having such an easy time, the goblin and she’d traded a number of blows, parrying each other again and again. It was like she was training with Pryat Gibbons in Neverwinter Abby all over again. The goblin was evidently just as frustrated as she, as he’d begun to swing wildly looking for an opening, so she gave him one.
Dropping her mace to her side she lifted her right hand, whispering a prayer to the vigilant god.
She could feel him respond, she felt the fire of his glory well up beneath her feet and a gout of orange flame erupted from beneath the goblin, but he reacted to her movement and leapt back, landing safely away from the flame.
He smirked but his mirth was short lived as Kildrak’s hammer slammed into the side of his head, sending him flying into a tree just off of the trail.
“Thank you.” – Kathryn.
“Anytime.” – Kildrak
Before they could rest though, the Goblin leapt to his feet and rushed the priestess screaming bloody murder as he swung his axe. There was a burst of blinding light and by some miracle the goblin missed.
The stowaway swung her dagger but the goblin’s own clumsiness saved him from her blade, Kildrak connected with the goblin’s ribs, but in his rage the monster didn’t seem to notice.
But he noticed the fire. The Priestess raised her hand once more and a small gout of flame erupted from beneath him, igniting his greasy armor and searing his flesh.
Suddenly the air was filled with the sound of more screaming, and the three turned to see that an archer, no doubt the one that had taken a shot at their Halfling friend, was on his knees, his dingy armor engulfed in flame.
They looked to see the source of the flame and saw Willie, her face pale, fall back into her seat.
“ Maiṁ, mērē prabhu tuma prārthanā karanā, unhēṁ dayā dikhānē.” – Kathryn, in Celestial.
The arrow in the driver’s side began to glow with a warm golden light, the light and warmth growing more and more intensely until suddenly, the light was gone, and the warmth was but soft tingling. All that remained of the wound was her torn and bloodstained tunic.
Though she hadn’t realized it, the stowaway’s wound was worse than she had thought, but no sooner had the priestess prayed that she too found her wound closed from within, bathed in the same glow.
Kathryn rushed to the goblins laying at their feet, kneeling down and laying her hand lovingly upon their brow.
Kildrak could hear her whisper something but couldn’t make it out. When she was done with them she went to the archers and did the same for them, resting her hand upon their heads.
“Okay. They’ll be okay. You might want to tie them up, I’m going to go check on the others… maybe I’ll take a rest too.” – Kathryn.
The dwarf could see that she was utterly exhausted.
The girl leaned against her wagon when she reached it and her legs buckled. The priests within rushed to her aid, as did her new allies.
The one she called Bishou Cognis lay his hand on her head and put his fingers to her wrist.
“She’s fine, she simply fell asleep.”
Kathryn came to in her wagon with Pryat Timmon watching over her.
“How long was I asleep?”
“Only an hour or so, Pryat Mastra.” – Timmon, between sun-dried figs.
The Priestess jumped out of the wagon and rushed to the site of their skirmish, sure that the others had done away with the Goblins.
“ Ken, Pryat!” – Kildrak, waving beside a particularly large tree beside the trail.
Kathryn rushed over to find the four Goblins disarmed and bound around the tree, their wounds cleaned and dressed.
“ Možda nas i ubiti, jer mi ne govorimo, budale.” – It was the Goblin that Kathryn had burned.
“With the way that they’re acting you’d think that we were the ones that ambushed them.” – Willie
“We should just kill them, why haven’t we killed them?” – The Stowaway.
“I kept them alive because it was the right thing to do. It’s also how we find where they took their boss.” – Kathryn, pointing at the dwarf and elf.
Kathryn stepped close to the burnt Goblin.
“So, where did you take the riders of these horses?”
The Goblin spat in her face.
“Gross!” – Kathryn, sneezing the spit out of her nose.
“That’s why we don’t get close to the prisoners.” – Kildrak, kicking the Goblin.
Kathryn wiped her brow with a kerchief.
“We ain’t telling you nothin’!” – the Burnt one.
“Maybe we should break his knee or something.” – Willie.
“I don’t know if that’ll be –“ – Kathryn, cut off by a loud and very wet Thud.
Kildrak heaved to free his hammer from the tree behind where another Goblin’s head had been.
“How about now?” – Kildrak
The Goblin froze; he turned to look at the ally to his left, the only one he could see.
“No?” – Kildrak, crushing another goblin skull.
Willie and the Halfling were speechless.
“What are you doing?” – Kathryn.
“Getting answers, Goblins are cowards but they care much about pain; death, on the other hand.” – Kildrak, heaving his hammer as he rounded the tree.
“Umm. Wait!” – the other surviving Goblin.
“ Umukni, Furt!”
“ Idi jede svoju djecu, Rik.”
“I think it worked.” – Kildrak
“Of course it worked, Chump.” – Willie
“I’ve heard just about enough out of you tonight, Elf, and the name’s Chu- wait.”
Willie and the Halfling broke out into raucous laughter.
Kildrak, the name’s Kildrak.” – Kildrak
Even Kathryn, despite the situation, couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I’m sorry, friend Goblin, you were saying?” – Kathryn
“We took them back to our Hideout, it’s a cave and it’s not far from here.” – Furt
“Shut. It.” – Rik
“You’re not going to get me killed!” – Furt.
Kildrak buried his hammer in the side of the tree just inches above Rik’s head.
“ Hej, hej, I see you’re point. We’re good, čovječe.” – Rik
“What’s with sa njima?” – Furt
“I don’t know čovječe.”
“I did see a footpath over there.” – Willie, pointing northwest.
“How many more of you are there?” – Kildrak, nudging Rik with his foot.
“Maybe twenty, probably less.”
“Are they expecting you?” – the Stowaway
“Not until we find something, we were going to bring them your wagons and your women.” – Furt
“Yeah, Klarg told us to bring back some ladies!” – Rik
“Who’s Klarg?” – Kathryn
The two goblins shared a look.
“He’s the Bugbear that runs the Hideout for King Glor.” – Furt
“Where’s Glor? Why doesn’t he run the Hideout?” – The Halfling.
Furt laughed, then flinched.
“He’s our chief, he’s not going to run no hideout. He’s laired up in Cragmaw Castle, some twenty miles from here through the Neverwinter wood.” – Furt
“Wow, they’re helpful. Good work Kildrak.” – The Halfling.
“Should we be afraid of the trail? Are there any traps?” – Willie
“No.” – Rik
Willie’s eyes narrowed.
“Are you sure?”
“Nah, no need, its not like anyone ever checks out these woods.” – Furt.
“Can we go now?” – Rik
“No. Why do we keep asking about stupid crap about chieftains and castles and stuff? I want to know where Rockseeker and Sildar are, and I want to know now!” – Kildrak.
“Woah, okay, uh… I don’t know which was which, but we were given orders from King Grol hisself to watch out for a Dwarf and send him to the castle along with everything on him.” – Rik.
“What about the Man?” – Kildrak.
“What? ljudskih? Klarg told the guys that brought him in to throw him in the jesti pećina.”
“The what?” – Willie.
“The eating cave.”
The Dwarf surged forward, Hammer drawn but Kathryn stopped him.
“Calm yourself, Kildrak, we’ll get him back.”
The Dwarf stomped off.
“Do we go to the cave?” – Kathryn
“No, not yet, we can’t leave the cargo or your brothers and sisters alone while we go gallivanting blindly through the woods. We can leave Kildrak and the Halfling here while we get them to the town. Come back rested and with some fresh supplies tomorrow morning.” – Willie.
The Dwarf nodded.
“Agreed, we can’t abandoned all of them on the trail. But you two better be back tomorrow by noon or I’m going without you.” – Kildrak.
“So it’s settled.” – Kathryn.
“The heck it is. There’s no way I’m staying here with the Dwarf! I only wanted a ride! I don’t even know these guys, why would I risk my life for them?”
“It’s a bandits’ hideout.” – Kathryn.
The Halfling crossed her arms and dropped to the ground, her legs crossed.
“You better be sharing your rations, Dwarf.”
The Next Morning
The Halfling gave them quite the list when they left her behind, and she’d given them fair payment for the supplies, enough to make Willie wonder where she got that kind of coin, but in the end it didn’t matter.
Elmar hadn’t taken the news well. He and Gundren went way back and he cared more about the old Dwarf than he did the provisions but he understood Willie’s plan and paid her the money owed and opened his doors early for her so that she could head back out before sunup that morning.
“I didn’t know Gundren had brothers.” – Willie to herself in elven.
“Oh?” – Kathryn
Willie gave the human a long hard look.
“You speak my language?”
“I do, and Duaren and Celestial besides.” – Kathryn
“Impressive. I was just saying that old Elmar mentioned my boss having a pair of brothers out prospecting somewhere around Phandalin, which means that the old man was keeping things from us.”
“Was he keeping it from you, or did he just never bother.”
“Fair enough, did you see anything out of sorts when you took the old guys off to the shrine?”
“Should I have?”
“Nah, I guess not, it was just something that Elmar said, something about thugs trying to drive people out. It would figure that they’d leave a shrine alone. I told the old goat Kildrak and I’d look into it.” – Willie.
“That’s very charitable of you, Willie.”
They’d just arrived where they’d left their allies and prisoners.
“I brought food for our Goblin friends.” – Kathryn when she saw Kildrak
The Dwarf blushed and looked into the trees.
“ Ken, about the Goblins, they, uh, they didn’t make it through the night.” – Kildrak
“What do you mean? They were stable when we left. I know they were.” – Kathryn
“Yeah, the dwarf crushed their heads like melons once they fell asleep.” – the Stowaway as she stepped out from behind the Dwarf.
Kathryn glared at the Dwarf.
“You murdered them?”
“Look, I didn’t want to do it, but they’re Goblins and you know as well as I do that the moment we’d released ‘em they’d’ve come after’n us. We had to make sure that they’d not given us away.” – Kildrak.
The Cleric’s eyes glistened in the sunlight, but she only turned and walked away.
“Smooth, Chump, real smooth.” – Willie
“We gave’m proper burials, said the words’n all that.” – Kildrak
The Halfling found Kathryn standing over the gravesite, she seemed to be in prayer.
“Are you going to be alright?” – the Stowaway
“I’ll be fine. I understand why Kildrak did what he did – It’s just – I promised them.”
“We have to move, it’s already past midday.” – Willie, from behind them
Two Hours Later
After some argument, the dwarf had finally ceded the forward position to Kathryn, acknowledging her superior tracking ability and agreeing that, perhaps, having their best fighter taking up the rear was a sound strategy for navigating the Goblin Trail.
In the end their order turned out to be fortuitous, as not a half hour into their march the Pryat caught sight of a snare trap that none of the others saw until she purposely tripped it. It seemed that Helm had known what he was doing when he chose her for his champion.
Since then they’d been walking for more than an hour, with nothing but the occasional mark used by the Goblins to mark the way. Kildrak had taken to watching the birds and, every so often take a bite of poorly salted pork. In fact he’d been digging in his sack for more of it when the others stopped suddenly, causing him to nearly step on the Halfling.
“Watch it!” – She hissed
Kathryn was on her knee, lifting up a bit of underbrush to reveal a cunningly hidden pit trap.
“Pit.” – The Stowaway.
The Dwarf just looked at her, clenching his hammer too tightly.
It wasn’t long after that that they reached a large clearing split by a small stream. The stream’s source was cave hewn into the hillside and was all but buried by a heavy growth of thickets.
“There.” – The Stowaway, pointing out a small, dry and heavily traveled path into the cave.
“That thicket looks like a good vantage point for an ambush, Halfling, do you think you could get across the stream without making too much noise?” – Kathryn, pointing across the stream.
The Stowaway nodded and began to cross, shivering as the water crested over her knees.
She drew her dagger and sword as she did so.
The Halfling couldn’t believe it when she peered around the bramble to find two Goblins lazily eating a meal of fish and cheese upon wooden planks that had been used to press the briars down to create a fairly spacious blind.
The Stowaway motioned to the others, noting the number of guards before turning and readying her own attack.
If they were quick and very, very lucky, they could silence the guards before they could warn anyone inside.
After what seemed like forever the three began their crossing, making as much noise as they could. It took the Halfling a few moments to realize their plan and immediately stood up, thrusting her rapier over the bramble and into the underside of a Goblin’s chin.
“ Bil? Bil! Ne, ti si ubio Bil! Ti čudovište! ovo je bila njegova posljednja smjene na sat!” – the other Goblin, raising his crossbow.
Before he could fire the Stowaway swiped at him with the dagger in her left hand, slicing his throat wide and splashing herself with a great deal of her own blood.
“ Oh, this is so… ffiaidd.” – the stowaway wiping blood from her face.
“That sucks.” – Willie, in Halfling.
“Well at least we aren’t announcing ourselves.” – Kildrak making his way toward the cave.
The path into the cave was wide and well-trod, with signs of cart tracks etched into the weathered stone.
As they stepped deeper, it was Kildrak and Willie who took the lead, their natural propensity for the dark making them excellent guides.
“Do you smell that?” – Kathryn
“Yeah, smells like dogs.” – the Stowaway.
As if they were bidden, the baying of dogs and the rattling of heavy chains filled the cave and it took no time at all for their source to be discovered.
With a glance, Willie saw three filthy and mange-ridden wolves were chained to a large stalagmite on the far end of the chamber.
The driver removed something from her pouch
“ Täällä, pojat, tule tänne, sain jotain maukasta sinulle." – Willie, in elvish
“Was that a spell?” – Kildrak
“Better.” – Willie, taking a bite of smoked fish.
The Dwarf stifled a laughed.
It didn’t take long for the elf to win the wolves over, though it did take up all of the rations she had on her person and half of the Dwarf’s besides.
" Hyvä poika, joka on hyvä poika , oh, I wish I could keep you." – Willie, nuzzling the biggest of the wolves.
“Gross.” – the Stowaway, slipping into the chamber.
The wolves’ hackles went back up before she tossed him a bit of pork.
“Where do we go next?” – Kathryn
“There’s a bit of a chimney over there. I noticed it when I was making nice. I think it’s why they chose this for the kennel.” – Willie.
“Who’s going to go up there?” – the Stowaway.
“I got it.” – Kildrak, approaching the wall.
None of them expected him to make the climb so deftly, to move so nimbly. But he reached the top after only a few moments climb.
It was a few moments before he reappeared and tossed down a rope.
Kathryn followed next, practically flying up wall before being joined by the Halfling.
Unfortunately, Willie wasn’t quite so deft with the rope, and slipped more than once as she tried to make the climb.
“Sorry, sorry.” – Willie, when she finally reached the top.
“Quiet. We’re not alone. There’s a Bugbear over there by the bonfire, he’s talking to a couple of Goblins.” – Kildrak
“Look at this.” – The Stowaway, holding up a white canvas bag marked by a blue shield and lion.
“What is it?” – Kildrak
“It’s the more of the Lionshield, it’s kinda like a merchant’s guild, if we get this back to them I bet they’ll pay us plenty for it.” – The Stowaway.
“Can we deal with the Bandits first?” – Kathryn
The Dwarf and Halfling drew their weapons, while Willie drew her wand.
They were ready.
The Stowaway slipped between the various crates and barrels until she was standing directly behind the Bugbear who sat upon a Throne built from boxes.
“To je razlog zašto ne možemo imati lepe stvari, Nals." – Klarg
“Gospodine, siguran sam da to nije tako loše." – Nals
“Đavola to nije. Ovdje Theed će nam napraviti lijepo ljudsko paprikaš s tim povrćem.” – Klarg
The third Goblin only nodded.
Klarg tossed something down at the ground before him.
“Mi ćemo morati da ga jede pržena. Mi još uvijek imamo začinima. Tako je, Theed." – Klarg
“Da, gospodine." – Theed
The Halfling jumped out of the shadows, thrusting her rapier into the Bugbear’s side. Unfortunately the blade hit dead center on a bit of his armor.
The Bugbear leapt to his feet bellowing in his surprise.
“kápsei!” – Willie, stepping out of the shadows.
A bolt of flame flicked out from the edge of her wand and struck the Bugbear square in the chest, lighting his oil stained armor fire.
“I shall tear the flesh from your bones!” – Klarg, batting at his armor.
“Mērē prabhu usē harānā!” – Kathryn, holding her gauntlet in front of her, holding the symbol of Helm before her.
The blue eye erupted with a beam of white light that followed the Bugbear as he leapt to the side, striking him in the back.
The Bugbear roared in rage and pain as he turned to face his attackers only to find the Stowaway’s rapier buried in his stomach.
Without another sound the brute fell to his knees, before collapsing, the light that had enveloped him dimmed.
The two Goblins raised their arms.
“Stand down, Goblins, if you want to live.” – Kathryn, holding her mace over her head.
“Uh… oh – okay.” – Theed.
There was a growl from where Klarg had been sitting and suddenly a great gray blur crossed the chamber, leaping towards Willie.
“Me prostatév̱ei!” – Willie as a disk of blue light appeared between her and the wolf.
The beast rebounded off of it, chipping its teeth before scabbling against it.
The Dwarf dropped his hammer on the thing’s skull, killing it.
“No!” – Willie.
“I’m sorry.” – Kildrak.
One of the Goblins, the one called Theed, made to run only to find the Halfling behind him, her blade at his throat.
“I don’t know where you’re heading, we’ve got some questions for you.” – Kathryn
The Goblin began to cry.
“I’m just a cook.”
“Were looking for someone, a Human and a Dwarf.”
“I found a chest!” – the Halfling.
The Dwarf glared at the Halfling.
“The Dwarf was sent on to Cragmaw Castle, but we still haven’t gotten to the Man, Theed here was just deciding how best to cook him.” – Nals
“Thanks, Nals.” – Theed.
“He lives then, good, now we want the two of you to go and get our friend, and if you bring him to us quickly and quietly we’ll pay you for your services, but if you betray us we will do to you and everyone else in this cave what we did to Klarg here.” – Willie.
When the Goblins left the Dwarf and Priestess began to throw the various bags and barrels down the chimney, grateful that they were able to use the natural slope of the crumbling wall to quiet their fall. Leaving Willie to make an accounting of the chest of treasure the Stowaway had found.
After some time, just as they were beginning to wonder if, perhaps, the Goblins were braver than they’d thought, Sildar Hallwinter stepped through the doorway. Kildrak immediately relaxed, but before he could embrace his old friend the retired soldier motioned, warning him of trouble.
“What’s the meaning of this Klarg! You said I could get the best cut on the human!” – it was a Goblin, larger than the others, with tuffs of green hair coming out of his ears
Without a word Kildrak launched a handaxe at the old Goblin, burying it in his chest.
The Goblin fell dead, landing hard on his long, twisted nose.
“We’re sorry, please don’t kill us, he insisted on coming along.” – Nals
“You kept your word, Goblin, you can have whatever this one carried, and so long as you promise to take these forces out of here by the next new moon, we won’t come back for you.” – Kildrak
“Deal! I get his teeth!”
“Go eat your children, Nals, We’re splitting them halfsies!” – Theed.
“Well met, Kildrak.” – Sildar
“And you, Aumarr.” – Kildrak, clasping his friend’s arm.
“Have you found Gundren? Where is he?” – Sildar
“No, we don’t have him.” – Kildrak
“He had with him a map to the Wave Echo Cave, but the Goblins took it when they captured us. Was it on the Bugbear?” – Sildar
“No.” – Willie
“It went on to Cragmaw Castle just this morning.” – Theed.
“I don’t know where that is, but if we’re very lucky, perhaps Iarno, my contact in Phandalin, will know. If he’s still there, maybe we can still get Gundren back.” – Sildar
“If he’s still there?” – Kildrak
“I’ve not heard from him in months, its why I came.” – Sildar
“We should get going, it won’t be long before someone comes up here and finds us out.” – the Stowaway.
And with that they fled the Cragmaw Hideout and made their way toward Phandalin.