Erastus 4-6, 4713
On a fine evening in early Erastus, folks enjoying a meal or a drink at the Rusty Dragon Inn were surprised by the arrival of a panicked, bloody horse, carrying two badly injured people.
The couple, Jorid and Maya Selniski, were soon brought back to consciousness by Koya Mvashti and Shine, and shared a tale of a goblin attack along the Lost Coast Road. They also said that Rhondar, one of their drivers, had stayed behind to buy them time to escape, and were quite anxious that he had not made it to town.
Several townsfolk, Winthrope Van der Saar, Doctor Roffalo Wallerbobber, PhD, Shine, Samantha and Wendy volunteered to look into the situation, and before too long found Rhondar, unconscious and pinned beneath a dead draft horse. After seeing him back to town, they resolved to investigate the goblin attacks further, and set off to the Brinestump Swamp the next morning.
Resolving to find the self-proclaimed “warden” of the swamp, a halfling named Walthus Proudstump, the fledgling heroes set off the next morning. After trekking through the thick, eerie swamp, they eventually found themselves at Walthus’ tumble-down house, and the halfling himself badly wounded and sick from snake bites.
As the listened to Walthus’ tale of an attack by the Brinestump Terror, and Shine used the power of Sarenrae to heal his physical wounds, Winthrope grew more and more suspicious that Walthus didn’t seem to recognize him, despite a relationship that went back to his childhood. When challenged, “Walthus” transformed into a horrible, faceless monstrosity and attacked, quickly laying the other halfling low.
Whatever the thing was, it couldn’t withstand the combined fury of the party, and it was soon defeated. Shortly thereafter, the real Walthus Proudstump revealed himself. Apparently, he had been holed up in his safe room after a vicious fight against the creature, one in which he lost a great deal of blood, and the monster was badly bitten by his pet snakes. They had been engaged in a game of cat and mouse for the past few days, both too hurt to risk attacking the other.
As thanks for the party’s assistance, Walthus shared his knowledge of the swamp, and extended his hospitality for as long as the party wished to explore the swamp. He also shared his knowledge of Winthrope’s background, including the fate of his parents.
After recovering their strength, the heroes set off for the Licktoad goblins’ village. On the way, they saw more signs of the Brinestump Terror, horribly mutilated animal remains missing their skulls.
The Licktoad Village itself seemed deserted at first glance, with a large breach in the palisade surrounding the rough huts, and a heap of blackened goblin bones that suggested a massive funeral pyre. However, as the heroes investigated the buildings, they encountered small groups of goblins, who started off seemingly terrified, but grew more and more determined in their defense of the village. They wielded fireworks as weapons, often to little effect, but occasionally hurting the villagers at least as much as themselves.
Their explorations eventually led them to the stronghold of the goblin chief, where a cunning plan to attack from two sides was thwarted by a particularly stubborn door. Eventually, however, thanks largely to Doctor Roffalo Wallerbobber’s explosives, the chief was defeated and the party stood triumphant.
Some mysteries still remain, however, such as where the goblins acquired their fireworks, and who or what attacked them.
400 XP Story Award: helping the Selniskis, finding and saving Rhondar, and taking the first step into the adventuring life by agreeing to look into the goblin attack
400 XP Relationship Award: Samantha’s friendship with Ameiko has encouraged the normally reticent young woman to occasionally share tales of her brief time as an adventurer
600 XP Defeated a giant boa constrictor lurking near one of the bridges in the swamp
135 XP Defeated an overconfident goblin using fireworks to ambush those crossing one of the bridges
600 XP Defeated the monster impersonating Walthus
600 XP Story Award: rescued Walthus before the monster finished him off
2025 XP Defeated Licktoad Goblins
600 XP Defeated goblin chief
800 XP Story Award: ended the goblin threat by dispersing the Licktoad tribe
Each PC has earned: 1540 XP
This puts you a bit shy of the 2000 XP for level 2 that the Medium progression track calls for, so please keep your level 1 stats handy. Since the plan was to head back to town to report, and possibly raise relationship scores (which could net up to another 3600 XP), it is possible that you will hit 2nd before venturing back into the swamp.