With the Eye of Grok secured, we part ways with Ricky Vallish and return to Mine Town. Captain Bridgemans men were there trying to investigate the magic shop incident but the locals are less than helpful so we aided the guards in their investigation. After they are satisfied that they have all the information they need they travel back to Three Rivers to report their findings. We are to return as well in one months time to testify in Chandras trial.
After a rest we continue on to the goblins. I am hesitant to return such a precious artifact without knowing its true nature. However, we gave them our word and if we dont have that, what do we have. At the very least, we know where it is should the time come that we need it.
The goblins, surprisingly, have been true to their word as well. There have not been any raids on Mine Town nor have they increased their fortifications since we were last at their village. Upon our return we are greeted with what I can only assume is a goblins best attempt at hospitality. Their chief reassures us that, as long as the goblins are not attacked, they wont attack Mine Town.
Back in Mine Town we seek out Stonebeard and tell him our news. Ever the pessimist, he is reluctant to believe that peace can be found with goblins. He would much rather they had simply been eradicated. But, he acknowledges that the attacks have stopped over the last two weeks and agrees to give Cole his prize, the dragons head sword. It is a beautiful thing but I am suspicious of it. We have yet to learn of its true abilities.
With our businiess with the goblins and Ricky Vallish complete it is time for us to return to Blackstone. Cole has to see that Bertha, the child who was tortured, is returned safely to her family and I must report my findings to my church. We leave in the morning.
We left Mine Town to track down Ricky Vallish. It was said that he was going to Three Rivers, a village that is about two weeks travel by road. Being in a bit of a hurry we decide to take a more dangerous path which should only take us three days. This path is seldom taken as there is a tribe of orcs that has built an establishment along it.
On our second day of travel Garruk notices a giant plume of smoke in the distance. As we get closer we encounter a band of four orcs and their chief. It is clear that they want nothing to do with us as they run right past. The smoke turns out to be coming from the orc village. Someone has set the whole place ablaze. There are orc corpses everywhere. Nothing in this place remains standing.
We arrived at Three Rivers on the third day to find a great celebration. All through the town people are praising the name of Ricky Vallish, destroyer of orcs. As in Mine Town, the women of Three Rivers are smitten with, and the men want to be just like, Ricky Vallish. Vallish was telling the tale of his conquest every hour at the Charging Goat.
After one of Vallishs increasingly embellished telling of the the battle with the orcs Cole confronts him. He demands that the orb that was stolen from the goblins be returned. Vallish says he will make a deal. He will trade the orb for the necklace and pendant that kept Chandra under its control. This was not an option. Under no circumstance will I allow that evil to be used again.
Our party felt it best to notify the captain of the guard, Nathaniel Bridgeman of what happened below the magic shop in Mine Town. We couldnt bear to see the same thing repeated in another city. The captain summoned Vallish though we were unable to compel him to confess to what he had done. His silver tongue can get him out of anything it seems. Bridgeman did agree to send someone to Mine Town to investigate our claims. Unfortunately that will take days and Vallish has declared he will be leaving in the morning.
In the morning we decide to leave with Vallish and his silent companion Weblar. As long as he has the orb we will be with him. The day is spent traveling down an uneventful road as we are told many tales of their adventures and grand accomplishments. Weblar, who also wears a diamond pendant says nothing the entire journey. He is clearly the brawn of the group and we are no match for him.
We set up camp for the night and again Vallish offers the trade, orb for pendant. We reiterate that this is not an option. Cole goes on to explain that we need the orb to prevent the goblins from attacking Mine Town. In a strange twist of events, Vallish shows compassion and hands over the orb. He doesnt want people to suffer from his actions and will find another way to bring Crinton back. The next morning we journey back to Mine Town and the Goblins to return the orb.
Our business in Mine Town seems to be coming to an end. Bertha is now safe. The goblins have stopped attacking. Chandra is no longer under the control of the pendant. All that remains is to see the giant mural for our selves.
A day is spent touring the mine. Sector B has long been abandoned. There is only one other set of foot prints which certainly belong to the bard, Ricky Vallish. Upon reaching sector B there is an eerie aura emanating from the giant glyph on the wall. It is exactly as the towns people described, six giant diamonds made of metal with a fist sized recess in each. There is no doubt that a great and ancient evil placed this here. We must stop Vallish from doing whatever it is he intends to do with the orbs.
When we returned to Mine Town after our encounter with the goblins, Cole had an errand to run so Grim, Garruk and I decided to find out what is going on with the old magic shop. Tim and Tommy explain that it is haunted and no one has entered it in a very long time. They have even heard an increased number of moans and screams coming from within the last two months. When we tell them that we want to explore it and see what is happening they are taken aback. “What if there are giant spiders in there!” After a little while they agree to let us investigate but we have to promise not to let whatever is in there out.
The main floor of the magic shop is full of empty display cases and covered with dust. There is a noise coming from the basement so we head down. Down below we find a room full of cages. The cages are occupied by all manner of creatures ranging from goblins to children. They appear to be dead with the exception of one small child in a corner cage. The walls are covered in blood and appear to be some kind of ancient writing. There is one glyph that I recognize. It is the union of 6 diamonds. It represents the gods that lived before there was time.
As we are taking in the horror of this torture chamber a woman comes in the room and asks what we are doing. Before we are given a chance to respond she blasts us with some magical fire. Grim falls to the ground and I tend to him. Garruk engages her and she runs off. Just then Cole, enters the basement and helps Garruk capture the woman. After they subdue her I notice she has a pendant much like a portion of the ancient glyph on the wall. I take it from her and make it safe. Grim regains consciousness and the little girl is let out of her cage. This is without a doubt the evil my superiors sensed in this area.
The child in the cage turns out to be Bertha, the girl Cole was hired to bring back to her uncle. The woman was the redhead from the bar, Chandra. When Chandra regained consciousness she had no memory of the last two months. Apparently, the bard Rickie Vallish gave her the necklace and it took over her mind. She has spent the last two months conducting ancient rituals and unspeakable acts in an attempt to bring “them” back.
When I showed the pendant to the local priest and described the glyph on the wall he mentioned that long ago the miners had seen a similar shape in sector B of the mines before the collapse. There were giant metal diamonds shaped just like the pendant set into the walls of the mine and each had a hole, roughly the size of a fist in them.
My theory is that 75 years ago, the adventurers came to investigate the giant mural on the wall. Whether deliberately or by accident they collapsed the mine. There the symbol lay dormant for generations, until the bard arrived two months ago. He stole the orb (which I theorize will fit into one of the 6 recess), did something in the mine and then gave Chandra the amulet which then bewitched her.
It has become clear that nothing is more important than learning about this symbol. The bard must be tracked down and the orb and any others like it must be recovered. Additionally, we must learn if anyone else has been possessed in the way Chandra was and free them of their burden as well.
In the morning, while Grim, Cole and I are discussing our plans to visit the goblins, the ranger we had been told about comes into the tavern. He introduces himself as Garruk and offers his assistance. Apparently the goblins have an establishment about 3 miles to the east and he can take us there.
As we approach the goblin settlement, it is obvious that they are waiting for us. This band has been fortifying their home over the last two months. Primitive towers and walls surround their village. The towns people and our ranger friend mentioned nothing of this. Clearly it is a new development. When we enter bow and magic range Grim and Garruk start picking off the Goblins on the towers. Their leader comes out and offers a challenge. Cole accepts the challenge and engages him. I approach to help with the others while Grim and Garruk cover us. The goblin boss quickly realizes he is no match for Cole. Cole offers a Parle.
After some discussion with the boss we learn that the goblins have been attacking so consistently because about two moons ago a human in fancy clothes came and stole their sacred orb, The Eye of Grok. It is a beautiful glowing orange globe that the goblins have had for generations. We tell them that we will retrieve their orb and they agree to stop attacking the city. However, if we do not return in three moons the deal is off.
It would seem that the bard who came through a few months ago did more than just spend time in the mines. There is very little doubt in my mind that he is responsible for the theft of the orb and the resulting raids on Mine Town. When we return to Mine Town Stonebeard isnt happy about the arrangement. But then, he isnt happy about much.
I have been assigned to investigate a disturbance in Mine Town. I departed with a team to escort Bobby and his son Little Bob and their shipment of ale. A mercenary named Cole and a wizard named Grim rounded out our party. There was supposed to be a fourth member but he never showed. Along the way we encountered some goblins but they, as goblins always are, were little threat and we quickly dispatched them.
This poor town, once a thriving gateway into the great maze of the mountain, has been reduced to little more than a place to drink bad ale and hope to catch the eye of the barmaid. (Which our companion Grim managed to do.) The city walls are in ruin. Most of the building are in shambles. Even the church, lead by Father Shamus of the Moridan order, has seen better days. There is one building though, an long closed magic shop, that stands strong. Though, it to has long been boarded up.
After spending some time at the Gold Nugget Inn we learn that a bard called Rickie Vallish came through about 2 months ago. He seemed to have quite an effect on the women of the town, especially a redhead called Chandra. He was here looking for a gem. No one could recall what it was called but they all said it had a funny name.
An old dwarf, Stonebeard, told us of the old days when the mine thrived. You could find anything your heart desired in this mine. Especially in sector B. That was, until 75 years ago, when a group of adventurers came through and the mine collapsed. Since that day things were never the same. He went on to tell us about how the bard had asked for a map to get to sector B. When he returned from the mines he bragged about having found what he came for and was on his way.
Everyone has noted that since the bard left the goblin tribe just outside of town has gotten much more aggressive. Stonebeard even promised to give Cole an old sword that was found embedded in the stone in sector B 75 years ago if we take care of the goblins for him. It truly is a beautiful sword. Long and sharp with a hilt that had a dragons head on the pommel and wings for the guard.
Cole and I agree that in the morning, after Grim has had his fill of the barmaid Sandy, we will head out to find the goblins and see if we cant take care of this problem. Rumor has it there is a ranger in the area that might be able to guide us to their lair.