The adventurers included:
- Othric. A dwarven pharmacist.
- Thorgrim. A dwarven mercenary.
- Sevn. A dwarven slayer, beyond redemption and seeking a good death.
- Kurt Semmler. A human outrider, messenger and courier for the College.
- Marise Devereaux. A Bretonnian noble, training to join the musketeers.
- Ozmont “Ozzie” Kel. A saucy bawd.
Marise got a mission from her musketeer contact. Turns out a woman named Mellria lived in a small village on the river Aver named Watersedge. Mellria was the unclaimed child of someone important, who kept an eye on her and protected her anonymity; even Mellria herself did not know one of her parents was important. The village was under threat from goblins, and Mellria’s patron wanted to make sure she was safe, without appearing to take an interest at all.So, Marise was sent to pretend to be family to Mellria, and see about thwarting the goblin menace to the village.
Marise went to the Sprocket, the ramshackle tavern on the College grounds, and recruited some people she’d worked with before. She had a war chest for the mission, and authorization to pay them 50 gold each for their (discreet) help.
Meanwhile, they had bought various supplies; mostly more armor, but Sevn bought a bandoleer of healing draughts, and Thorgrim asked others to chip in, so he could buy a cart horse named Sparklestep and a cart for the horse to draw. Watersedge was only a day’s ride away, so they headed out bright and early and got there as darkness and snow fell.
Looking Around Town
After a young teen let them in past the ramshackle “palisade” they went to the tavern, the Gauntlet. There they saw a road warden deep in his cups after a days-long bender, and they met the mayor and tavern owner, Gladstock.
They asked after Mellria’s whereabouts, and he was suspicious of that, so they switched over to asking about the goblin troubles. Apparently goblins attacked the north pasture, trying to erect a totem pole. They were surprised and chased off, but their shaman was distracted, and they captured him. He was a troublesome captive.
They went to see the captive goblin shaman. Four children were helping guard him, smashing the spiders he attracted as they came in. He was hanging upside down with a “disk of shame” to keep him from chewing through his restraints or captors.
Apparently a kid named Savellek saw goblins doing something at the bank of the river bend, but no one was interested. The newcomers were, so Savellek was called in to meet them back at the Gauntlet. The dwarves and Ozzie would go check out the river bend, and Marise and Kurt would go check on Mellria.
The River Bend
They snuck to see the river bend, and saw a few spider riding goblins and other forest goblins, and a shaman. They had a hole in the riverbank, and they were dumping in baskets of fish, then crooning and crying and singing into the hole. Weird.
It occurred to them that nobody knows where trolls come from, not really. Could this be a summoning? They snuck back undetected.
She ran a clinic/knacker’s yard, and when they dropped in she was skinning a pig corpse. Marise told her that she was on a research mission to find a lost Bretonnian questing knight who moved through here decades ago; she guessed Mellria’s age at early 20s, so aimed for that time frame. Any legends or mysterious burial sites?
Marise figured she was here representing someone named Flint, and turned her down; she was baffled by that implication, and stuck with the knight story. Marise didn’t know of anything, but referred her to the mayor.
The adventurers got a good night sleep, standing watches and squishing spiders, and figured their next moves in the morning.
Showdown on the River Bend
First things first. With the mayor’s permission, they executed the captive shaman and burned the corpse and all its spiders.
Then they purchased the town’s supply of lamp oil through Ozzie’s generosity. They put some in bottles, for Kurt to carry.
Then they headed to the river bend to scout it out by light of day. They found a rupture in the earth, where something big pushed out, just inland of the tunnel. The hole smelled foul, with fish pressed in the mud here and there.
Following the tracks, they came to a shallow shoreline, where the river troll squatted by the water fishing, looking like a boulder until he moved. They also saw the shaman in the woods, his arm in a sling, looked after by some spider riders; apparently they summoned the troll, but negotiations for alliance were…ongoing.
Sevn charged the troll, with Ozzie and Thorgrim trotting along in his wake, and the others in the safety of the tree line. The troll leaped at Sevn, but didn’t connect with its attacks, and he mauled it fiercely. Thorgrim finished the troll off with his hammer, but broke the hip bone, rupturing the belly hide; acid sprayed all over the two dwarves, ruining their gear and threatening their lives.
Still, the troll was down. It tried to crawl into the water, but Thorgrim’s mighty thewes helped him prevent its escape. The containers of healing draught across Sevn’s chest were melted, and the magical liquid boiled with the foul acid, and healed him somewhat even as they ran all over the powerful acid and his torso and his melting armor.
The rest of the adventurers moved to help, Othric lighting the bottle firebombs and handing them to Kurt, who threw them at the troll; several missed or bounced off before one burst and set off a merry flame. They managed to drag the troll out further, and use the rest of the oil to spread the flame. The troll would not rise.
Wrapping It Up
While Thorgrim and Sevn both wanted to make lewd and challenging gestures to the goblins in the trees, the others restrained or prevented that activity, not wanting to turn this into a direct confrontation.
Ozzie approached the goblins, and told them more dwarves were coming; the shaman concluded that this was not an ideal site after all, and they would find another place to winter.
Victorious, they burned the troll corpse some more to be sure, then sold the rest of the lamp oil back to the village. There was a pathetic celebration for a day; the town was too poor to offer much. They stayed for a few days to make sure the goblins weren’t just outwaiting them, and they put some effort into offering suggestions for how to “fix” some of the fortifications.
Then they headed back to town, victorious, and got paid.