The Archive > Dungeon world (Adam) Jan 2012

Marlow's side of things.


 So, we have three targets, get treasure, defeat the evil and get the goblins out of Sawtooth Hall, one way or another. Having turned a comfortable profit back at the Trading Post, and picked up a nice rapier to boot, I am happy to concentrate on dealing with the goblins and trying to keep the rest of my fellow travellers in one piece as they attempt to cleanse the area. Won’t be easy, no-one else has had the sense to bring any bandages, and they certainly are not carrying enough food to make it to the next settlement. You cannot rely on prayers for everything, the Gods help those who help themselves!

After skirting some nasty traps, I found the entrance to the goblins underground lair, and one by one the others cautiously followed down the steeply sloping tunnel. We found ourselves in the goblins living quarters, and I expected these animals to cower or fight, but instead they wished to parley. Their home was more civilised than I expected, and included several shrines, even one to Lady Luck. Their spokes-goblin had a reasonable grasp of Common, and invited us to sit and eat a meal with them, whilst they explained the situation.

 They looked strangely embarrassed. Their food was rancid, although they seemed to eat it with all enjoyment, so we stuck to our own supplies without apparently giving offense. The spokes-goblin had just started to get down to business, when Jerik wandered in, looking unnecessarily heavily armed and as irritatingly smug as usual. I had heard he was in the area, selling dodgy jewellery on a stall back at the trading post. A stall that he suspiciously packed up and left just before the trading post was hit by lizardmen and pretty comprehensively destroyed. The Black Gauntlet are known to be operating in this area, and he is part of this nasty gang. The spokes-goblin goes quiet and indicates by this and his body language that Jerik is part of the problem he was trying to get us to resolve.

Jerik swaggers around, saying how hard he is and that he has _friends_. Obviously he is the most dangerous person present, and if he calls for back-up... Also, we’ll never get the full story out of the goblins while he stands there. So I decide to take him out, fast, with my last dose of oil of Tagit. Normally I would put gloves on before applying it, but Jerik would notice that. So I applied it barehanded, in a handshake. Knocked him out nicely, although I got a side dose and felt a little dazed. It was too much to hope that the others, including the goblins, would have the sense to slit Jerik’s throat, but I did assume they would know enough to tie him up and disarm him. Nope, they just had the sense to leave the room. Could have been worse, they could have just sat there till he woke up...

Walking though the door we found ourselves on a wooden terrace high up on one side of a massive cavern. On one side were further wooden terraces, mostly badly damaged. Below were a group of goblins hiding behind barricades. On the other side of the cavern were lizardmen, behind another set of barricades, taking potshots at the goblins. Oh good, Hawke needs some arrows. In the middle of this battleground was a massive statue and a well with some sea creature in it, with tentacles whipping around attacking anything in range. This is a little more than I signed up for, no wonder the goblins were willing to ask for help!

At ground level, behind the goblins, were a couple of doors sealed with religious symbols. Including Lady Luck. Right. Not touching them. We climbed down carefully, and the Paladins tried to organise the goblins into an efficient fighting force. Well, everyone needs a hobby. Given we were asked to get the goblins out of the area, personally I would have settled for leaving the goblins and lizardmen to kill each other.

I think Xeno wandered over to have a look at the statue at this point, but I was more interested in hunting around for another way out. About 30 foot up the cavern wall there was a hidden door. So I swiftly climbed up, dealt with some simple traps and opened the door. Inside the dust was inches thick, and collecting the items of interest was a simple matter – however there was no other exit. I climbed back down with three nice swords and some other random stuff, including a wooden wheel that appeared to be on fire without being consumed.

Whilst I had been investigating, the goblins and lizardmen had got enthusiastic, and the smoke of battle and bodies made seeing what was going on difficult. Then some idiot summoned a demon. Wesley shouted at it, handy distraction thank you. So I stabbed it with one of the nice swords. Hurt it badly too, the demon screamed in pain and seemed to bleed fire. Unfortunately the nice sword melted.

Obviously this is a religious situation, so I offered to rent one of the remaining swords to Wesley, but he claimed to be completely flat broke. I gave him the strangely burning wheel instead. I tried to take the demon down myself. Got in a few blows, but then Wesley got over enthusiastic, and hit it with the wheel. Didn’t seem to bother the demon much, from what little I could see as I frantically climbed up the wall away from the flames. Then the demon picked me up and started ripping my clothes off. Fortunately at this point Hawke ran past and decapitated the demon. Best 10 gold I ever spent.

The battle was by now was destroying the cavern, the massive statue was shaking and rocks were falling from the ceiling. Hawke and I ran to the wooden platform we climbed down from originally, hoping the others would have enough sense to pull out of the cavern too. I mean, rocks falling from the ceiling? Surely even these single-minded chaps would take that as an indication to leg it, right? We were going to check they were following once we reached the platform, which would give us a good vantage point to shout helpful advice if necessary.

A lot of the ropes were looking really tatty by now, but my original one was fine, so I started up that one. I got to the top before Hawke, unsurprisingly as I’m wearing leather and she’s in metal armour. And I discover why the other ropes are looking tatty, Jerik is chopping at them. Great, had hoped he’d moved on by now. Fortunately he’s still a little sleepy from his unscheduled nap earlier.

We have a nice dance, him trying to convince me to go back into the unstable cavern to sort out the evil, me haggling over price whilst trying to edge closer to the door and stalling for time, expecting the others to be joining me soon. During this conversation he tells me of the other two exits, an underwater one used by lizardmen, and another by the damaged wooden platforms  over there. After a long while with no sound from Sanguinous, Xeno, Wesley or Hawke, I have to regretfully assume they have all fallen prey to lizardmen or rocks, and make a dash for the doorway, throwing some paper rubbish at Jerik to distract him.

Unfortunately there are a fair few goblins still in the living quarters, with several standing guard by the sloping exit. Fortunately the room is mostly lit by the poor light from the central fire. I dive into cover behind some barrels before Jerik can follow me back into the room, and quietly bandage my leg injury from the earlier fight with the demon.

Jerik wanders back into the room, puts his feet up, and sends some goblins to look for me. Of course to no avail. They give up and start packing up to leave. Fantastic, getting rid of the goblins was part of our goal. Unfortunately the room starts filling with lizardmen from the caves below. Jerik seems to cut a deal with them and the goblins, resulting in most of the goblins heading up the sloping corridor to the surface, but a few, notably the ones with swords or shaman sticks, stand with the lizardmen. And start forming up into a military square. This is not good, and Jerik looks increasingly overdue for a tactful meeting. I’m not sure if they are mustering before heading up to the surface, or before going back down into the cave system, but if they’ve got any sense they’ll be heading down. Given the less combatant goblins went up to the surface,  and the only nearby settlement is the already destroyed trading post... They’ll be going down. Which is actually good news, as that means they think the rest of the gang are still alive. And a threat.  Oh dear, someone ought to warn them.

I climb up the wall, further into the shadows, and no-one ever looks up, and skirt around to the exit, where I merge with the leaving goblins – a decent cloak and hood covers a multitude of sins. I follow them out of the room, then take the other fork back down to the main cavern.

The rocks are still falling from the ceiling, but are lessening. There are still tentacles writing out of the well though, and the statue is moving slowly. Turns out the others took shelter in a side cavern, a strange room with four shrines in, including one in the shadows to that god, you know, the one only the dangerous and paranoid pray to. Seriously, these chaps are insanely oblivious. Mind you, they’d probably be really useful professionally as decoys – if we get out of this alive.

I warn the chaps about the lizardmen threat, explain about the three exits, and go to check out the exit on the far side. Up the ropes and wooden platforms, not quite as damaged as they appeared to be from the other side of the cavern, and there’s a nice corridor sloping upwards. And...  no-ones followed again. Climb back down to discover Xeno is now swimming with the fishes, although Sanguineous assures me that as he’s a wizard, he can breathe under water. And Wesley has dived in after him. Oh good. Sanguineous has found a corridor that slopes down, and apparently Hawke’s sword can act as a locator, so we are going to follow the corridor to find the two missing swimmers. Given we know where they are, since they dived into the well just over there, I find this incomprehensible, but given the wisdom of not arguing with heavily armoured people who outnumber you, I give up and go down the corridor, keeping an eye out for traps, if only to stop these two joyfully charging into yet more danger.

After a healthy and uneventful walk down this corridor, Hawkes sword swings back the way we came, and we head back up to find the two swimmers back out of the water, and staring into each others eyes. Oh wonderful, lovebirds. Common sense right out of the window, guaranteed. I ask Sanguineous to bless the cavern, might at least get the statue to stay still, but she won’t or can’t.

Since no-ones had a decent sleep since we left the Demon’s Entrance tavern, I make a well-hidden camp just past the entrance of the sloping down tunnel and get everyone to have a rest and eat. Give the lads a chance to dry their clothes too. Meanwhile the lizardmen from upstairs start climbing down into the cavern. We can hear them in the main cavern as we break camp, or rather as I break camp, Wesley admires the elven art on the walls, Xeno continues trying to dry out his spell book, and Hawke and Sanguineous buckle on what armour they didn’t sleep in. Suddenly the lizardmen go quiet and start heading our way – they’ve clearly got our scent. So we start heading down the sloping corridor sharpish. Fortunately the fools errand earlier means we had scouted a fair distance already, allowing us to move pretty fast until we reached an unexplored area. I was in the front with Sanguineous, Hawke guarding the rear and the lovebirds presumably huddled in the middle. I spotted a lizardman sentry, partly hiding behind a rockfall, I got him right in the middle of his forehead with a perfectly thrown dagger before he could give the alarm.


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