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The Protector

Some familiar faces, even if they have yet to be seen.

Characters

  • Tamen
  • Shimmel
  • Chip/Mildin

In the prior adventure, the party managed to free Serrin from his curse – albeit by promising a favor to the trickster god, Tikki. However, as part of his “helping” the party, Tikki revealed an upsetting vision to them: Qhosan Alios, their supposedly imprisoned employer, was secretly in league with Yorek Salandas. Alios even had an indeterminate role in Ortella’s situation. Part of Tikki’s vision showed how her lamassu carving was stolen by Formians on the mountain back in the beginning. This jolted Podrick, since he assumed the party had her focus for the bound creature. If they wanted to save Ortella’s life, they had to get the carving back – even though the Formian lair was in the opposite direction of Ortella.

(In the backs of their minds, they still need to get revenge on Salandas with the chalice and they still wish to help Arberius by defeating the necromancer Calvor.)

A rough-hewn underground lair (from https://www.artstation.com/whinbek)

Serrin opted to sneak into Seene and retrieve the ship, leaving the party and Podrick at the campsite after the attack. But, thankfully, he ran into Chip, whom he sent to help the party. After explaining the situation to him, the party accepted Chip’s help and set off for the Velion mountains to get Ortella’s carving back.

Part of the vision from Tikki showed that the Formians accidentally activated the carving. The bound creature was summoned, but since its friend wasn’t nearby it flew into a rage and slaughtered the entirety of the Formian colony. Once the party arrived at the lair, though, they didn’t find the expected pile of Formian bodies. Instead, they discovered that a sizable troop of goblins moved into the space.

Goblin horde, swarming (from https://www.manticgames.com/news/expanding-your-goblin-army/)

After a surprisingly tough fight against about twenty goblins, several hobgoblins, and a very skilled hobgoblin captain, the group won out: Chip got some sneak attack strikes in, Tamen used his fire magic to take out several enemies, and Shimmel’s wild magic proved very helpful in teleporting him around the battlefield to drop opponents. Chip then revealed himself to be Mildin in disguise.

When the group pressed further into the cave, they came upon a clear ambush point: A cliff with a single ladder to the top, about thirty feet up. With no clear way to get Shimmel up, Mildin used his stealth to climb the ladder enough and see what awaited them up top. From his spot on the ladder, Mildin was able to see a huge, open cave with alcoves full of treasure. He also counted at least sixty goblin troops, some hobgoblins mixed in, and some dog-like animals in a far-off area.

Mildin and Tamen opted to approach the goblins and use some magic to make it seem like they were holding the head of the hobgoblin captain they killed, and claim their servitude since they defeated their leader. However, their real leader – a formidable-looking goblin named Grishnak – revealed himself and bargained with the group. He gladly handed over the carving so the group would leave, indicating it was giving him awful nightmares. He also explained that while he was angry at them killing his best captain, he respected their power. Tamen used some persuasion on Grishnak and the goblin king indicated a strong dislike for a person called Kherria Rievnareous.

A powerful female soldier (from https://www.dotaverse.net/artifact1)

With the carving and their safety secured, the group left the lair and sped back toward Seene. As they got within a day of the city, they observed a fight in the distance which stirred up a lot of dust. From that dust, a cart approached them, carrying Gaerros, Arberius, Podrick, and Ortella. The group then saw some of the heavily-armed and armored Seene guards fighting. The guards fell, and one tried to flee. However, from the cloud of dust, a tall woman emerged and struck him down with a powerful leaping attack.

The woman introduced herself as Whysen, a paladin of Faris, sent on a quest by her master to locate some warriors to help with an upcoming conflict. Since Podrick needed three days for the ritual to save Ortella, the group heard Whysen out. She explained that her master is working with Jerall Korliss, and that they suspect there is a plot against Queen Ainverra from the western border of Andrissar. They can’t prove such a conspiracy, but that’s why her master sent her to locate a group of adventurers.

When Tamen indicated that the group’s next stop was to take out Yorek Salandas, Whysen promised to help them fight him – if they helped her master first. After some debate, the group agreed to help Whysen and her master. She departed to inform him and let the group know that once Ortella was recovering, they should head to Coeur. Once there, they should seek her or her master, Curobin Cabaras.


Header Image Credits

Three-panel image with a goblin king/warrior, a necromancer commanding an undead army, and a sahuagin baron on its throne (images from https://dnd-angel-grove.fandom.com/wiki/, https://www.artstation.com/muhammedfeyyaz, and https://www.worldanvil.com/w/hijr-sudaj/a/sahuagin-species, respectively)