From the Ashes of The Great Convergence
Recon of the Hobgoblin City of Tior-Ted
1st of Alfmother, in the year 112 AC…
While the rest of the citizens of Shrike’s Perch enjoyed the Festival of the Alfmather, and Author Penrose rode his Icing-Spooging Water-Dragon Float to the Chagrin of all; three brave souls journeyed accross the desolate snowscape of the Swan Valley towards Danger. Aeron Vortrix the Huntsman, Misha Penrose the Witch, and Councilman Thomas Ebers of the Order of the Shield; moved quickly towards Hobgoblin Territory under cover of Darkness. They had been equipped with the best gear Shike’s perch could offer them: Experimental headbands laced with Cold Iron to ward off Mental Domination, Sleep Gas Grenades and Aerosol Spray to aid in infiltration, Vryflagan’s own crystal ball to gather information, and special sleep capsules to emulate death should they be captured. They even carried a trio of heavily shielded pre-convergence radio headsets to keep in contact; though these devices were unreliable at best… Their Mission: To Survey the Hobgoblin City of Tior-Ted, and to determine the current relationship between the Absolutes and the Hobgoblins…
During their first night camped in the foothills, they encountered a terrible mutant abberation of churning flesh that randomly budded eyes, and teeth. It’s maddening gibbering kept at bay only by the power of their cold-iron headbands. Though Thomas (via his armor’s Glamer) and Aeron were able to sneak away, Misha quickly found herself ensnared by the creature. While it tried to digest her Aeron struck the formless terror with arrows enhanced by Thomas’ Bane effects. Thomas then used a mighty charge with his electrified lance to drive the creature off of Misha! Acting quickly Aeron armed a Claymore Mine and threw it into the creature, bidding Thomas to shock it with his lance. Smiling grimly the Cavalier zapped the creature as it oozed up his lance to engulf him, triggering Aeron’s Claymore and destroying the beast at the cost of his weapon… Having been blooded for the first time as a team, Misha saw to their wounds and they took turns at watch.
The next few days the team played cat and mouse with Fish Tribe and Goblinoid patrols. A bugbear sniper was dealt with via Thomas’ .38 Special, as he shot the rope that secured the Beast’s tree-stand. He then demonstrated his knowhow of crime-scenes by recovering his bullet, and healing the tree where the round struck! Misha used her Crystal Ball and Kakuro’s alertness to detect the enemy; and Aeron used his stealthy skills to ensure that they were not detected in turn. Their skills allowed them to ambush a Goblinoid patrol consisting of ten goblin light cavalry on mutant dogs, and a Hobgoblin Cavalier riding an intellegent Mutan Wolf that could breath icy sprays of deadly frost! As their riders were killed, the dogs ran back in the direction of Tior-ted! Acting quickly Aeron took Ebers’ barded Soldier Ant, ‘Panzer’, and used the mount’s twin mortars to make short work of then retreating canines! Thomas then spread a few Fish Scales harvested from Gus, and left one of the Fish Tribe Nets captured by the expeditionary force on the corpse of the Winter Wolf… Aeron Gained a Mighty Composite Longbow, and a quiver of Aluminum-Shafted arrows for his trouble; Thomas found an aluminum-hafted, sheel headed lance to replace his damaged Lance of Lightning; and an accurate accounting of common enemy equipment was made. This intel was logged for their later report!
Goblin Light Calvary Riders are equipped with lances, Crude Light maces (Iron), Boiled Leather Armor, and small metal shields (Steel reinforced with Aluminum).
Hobgoblin Cavalier was equipped with an Aluminum-hafter, Steel-headed lance; Longbow, Quivers of 20 arrows, Broadswords, Large Metal Shileds, and wearing Scale Mail armor. (Examination of Quivers reveals 12 regular arrows, 6 Fire Arrows, and 2 Star Shells). Bows are constructed of light metal, and are ‘mighty’ composite bows! The Armor and Blades all appear to be mastercrafted; and have been ornamented with a series of spikes and blades making this ‘Spiked Armor’ and Shields.
Star-Shell Arrow that provides light as the light spell for 2d4 rounds.
Summary: Hobgoblin troops are VERY well equipped, but seem to lack in supportive Battle magics. Primitive alchemical items are prevalent. Suggests possible vulnurability to battle magics?
The team moved on and set up a forward base within 5 miles of Tior-ted, using Ants for excavation, and destructable camo-netting brought by Ebers. A separate section was created for Misha to do her scrying in case of interference-backlash, or if Thomas had to collapse the position to secure an escape for Misha. Thomas made it clear that no matter what happened, the information gathered here was more important than their lives: ONE OF THEM MUST RETURN TO SHRIKE’S PERCH TO REPORT!!! Misha sent Kakuro with Aeron to allow access to her magic during his infiltration while she monitored his progress via the Crystal Ball; and Thomas used a spyglass to keep a lookout for anyone that approached their position.
The operation began at 0300 hours. Aeron found that the Hobgoblins had cleared and flattened the area for a quarter-mile around the city. The outer wall was 30 feet tall, and had guard postings every 50 feet. Every 500 feet on the ground, a calvary team at least a dozen strong patrolled the ground! He decided that the best way in as to set a pair of claymores along the calvary path as a diversion and sneak in near one of the two great gates. Misha aided his every action with a guidance cantrip through kakuro. He was ready to go over the wall by 0430, and Thomas advised that accoring to his Farmer’s Almanac sunrise was expected around 0615. The mines went off without a hitch, revealing gas-fired spotlights that lit the injured calvarymen like daylight. Other patrols moved to aid their fallen brethern as Aeron scaled the spiked North gate, using his acrobatics to secure the top of the 20’ tall 10’ wide door. As he acended the door, he found the corpses of many races, including Alfar NOT from Shrike’s Perch! The last 10’ were sheer, rust-colored stones. As he pondered his next move, a Great Steel Battle-Tank moved through the slowly opening gate, prompting him to climb up or be skewered on the gate’s spikes! Misha tried to cast a Bull’s strength spell through Kakuro, only to meet interference that caused a dazzling display of multi-colored sparks to illuminate Aeron! As fortune would have it, the sparks blew away on the wind, and were fired upon by eight flaming ballistae bolts from the area above Aeron! After climing the rest of the way up the wall, aeron IDed an AA-Balistae, and two Napalm-Siege Catapults guarding the North gate, each with a crew of half-dozen goblins and a Hobgoblin Overseer. A Cyber-Bugbear with a Harpoon-cannon patrolled the Barbican as it’s commander…
Looking over the wall: Inside the first wall and in sight of a second is an area of mud and rock huts, cesspits, and general sqaulor. Hundreds of Goblins and their foul mutant dogs can be seeing here sleeping, drinking, eating, fighting, and even fornicating in the filthy streets. The air here is nauseating with the overpowering stench of fecal matter, and rotten offal. Ripples can be seen moving beneath the largest cesspools, and occasionally and unlucky goblin is drug beneath the churning brownish-green slime, unheard for again but for a thin beading of red droplets that float to the surface…
Aeron quickly made passage over the wall, avoiding detecting by skill (and occasionally by Sleeping gas) to the second wall when he was signalled by 3 red flashes. Aeron sent Kakuro to investigate, and observed that there was a very orderly township behind the second wall featuring excellent architecture very much at odds with the Goblin Warrens he had just observed. Rising from the center of this area was a tall watchtower seeming out of place in the twonscape… The Aurucana quickly retruned with a piece of parchment affixed to his left leg by a small leather cord. It read: “You’re too early! You’ll give us away, fall back!”, in fluent Alfar, and was sealed by the image of the dark moon over a cityscape! Aeron then exfiltrated while Thomas used the remainder of Panzer’s 40mm mortar rounds to create a diversion; and Misha lit the magnesium rods that destroyed their campsite. It took almost three days for them to meet up in the mountains. Thomas compiled a quick report which was sent back to Shrike’s Perch via Misha’s Feather Token:
…to City Council.stop. Hobgoblin city separated into 4 sections by three walls.stop. Outer wall 30’ high, crenalated, watchposts with gas searchlights every 50’, 2 gates – North and West.stop. West Gate has the Iron River flowing out, river seems to originate from spring within City.stop. City protected from magic by strong magnetic field, origin unceertain.stop. Fell back due to unexpected contact, will move on to river basin.stop…
Misha attempted to use the note as a focus for the Scying Crystal, but her attempt was blocked by someone who knew what they were doing!
The Team moved on to follow the Iron River in an attempt to observe any interaction between the hobgoblins and the fish tribe at Lake Swan. They intercepted a barge crewed by at least 30 Goblins, 3 Hobgoblins, and a Bugborg. Also aboard were 12 Goblins, 6 Hobgoblins, 5 Alfar, 3 Wolf Tribesmen, and a Raven Tribesman in chains! Aeron made the call to rescue them, saying that he needed to talk to the Alfar prisoners as he did not recognize them from Shrike’s Perch; Thomas stated, “…and I see innicents that need rescuing!”, and Misha agreed. They charged forward on their Soldier Ants towards th river, and were met by bowfire from the Goblins, and Cannon-Fire from the Bugborg! Thomas seemed to be a magnet for the arrows, and was bleeding from several punctures by the time they made the shore, and was them blown off of his mount by a cannonball! Aeron attempted to use the momentum of his mount to leap the 20’ gap between ship and shore, and nearly made it; smashing his starknife into the hull at the waterline to avoid going under. The water smelled like blood he noticed!? Misha sent Kakuro over to help Aeron, and Summoned a Dolphin to get her across!
The Battle began in earnest as the hobgoblins led the prisoners below, and ordered their smaller comrades to attack! Thomas fired concealed jets in his armor’s boots to leap into melee against the Bugborg; striking out with his enchanted Glass Longsword and calling a Goblinoid-Bane enhancement upon it’s gleaming edge! Aeron leapt to the deck and lashed out with his starknives, diembowling the nearest of the Goblins; while Misha channeled a Chill Touch spell through kakuro, allowing the Rooster to dispatch a second foe. The Bugborg revealed elecrified blades from it’s vambraces and tore into the Cavalier, while Panzer and the other soldier Ants kept up with the Barge on the Shoreline. Aeron primed a Claymore, and used a ripcord to detonate it among the Goblins, slaying 9 of them in an instant; as Kakuro Pecked another to death; several Goblins lost their footing and fell into the stinking waters and were swept away by the current. As the battle intensified, Thomas’s sword struck in his dying foe and fell into the crashing river prompting him to dive in after it. He activated an enchantement on his helmet that provided a life-bubble effect as he went under. Seeking to build on his success, Aeron threw a sleep-gas grenade among the goblins, only to have it strike him as well – He dropped unconcious at the mercy of his foes! Misha desparately tried to reach him, and Kakuro struck over and over again to no Avail as three of the tiny beasts threw the hapless Huntsman overboard!
Thomas struggled to retrive his sword in the raging current, while an irritated Dolphin retrived Aeron’s lifeless form and delivered him into the mandibles of the Soldier And Panzer! Panzer quickly shook Aeron awake! The disoriented Alfar huntsman found himself on the Armored insect’s saddle, and could not remember anything before he boarded the barge – Noticing that he was missing one of his Gas Grenades, he realized that he had fallen victim to the memory disrupting effects of the weapon, and gave a simple, “oh…”. Misha and Kakuro stood Side By Side and dispatched the last of the Goblin Warriors as the back end of the barge exploded! The Riverboat began to sink, and the Hobgoblins were abandoning ship using oilcloth kayaks… Aeron asked Panzer to throw him back to the barge, and the great Soldier ant tried his best, but only succeeded in tossing the Huntsman into the roiling waters!
Having finally recoverd hs precious sword, Thomas Ebers again fired his boot-sters, nd leapt back onto the suddenly listing barge. Misha recovered Aeron with her grapnel, as Kakuro revealed that the prisoners had been chained below to die! Aeron quickly unbound the prisoners, and many bolted to saftey. One Alfar prisoner hurled a cloud of choking gas back into the belowdeck that caused most of the goblin and hobgoblin prisoners to pass out, but also claimed the life of the Raven Tribesman, and one of the Wolf Tribesmen; while another Alfar summoned a hideous beast that killed another Wolf-Man! Aeron and Ebers convinced the Alfar to stop the killing, but not before a flying creature was summoned and sent downriver after the escaping Hobgoblin Kayakers. Ebers threw a rope to Panzer, creating a line for the prisoners to escape to shore; though the stress of it tore Eber’s muscles terribly.
Having escaped the Barge, the Alfar revealed that they were from the city of Darkmoon, and that they venerated the God known as The Devourerer; as the Guardian who had saved them from the fires of the convergence! Their leader nominated an Alfar Sorcerer named Zurai to accompany the team to the Moot at the High Pass to represent the interests of Darkmoon. (The Seal of Darkmoon matches the Coins that the Expedition found in a Gargoyle cave in the valley of the second falls!) They also discover that these captives were to be given to the Absolutes for an unknown purpose, revealing at least a working relationship between Lake Swan and Tior-Ted… The three adventurers and their companions now head for the High Pass to Join the Spring Moot.