Only weeks after The Crypt of the Eternal Flame episode, the Heroes of Kassadin were summoned by the Mayor once more.
Gathering at the Mayor’s house they were greeted warmly by the Mayor and introduced to a beautiful human woman who had been sent to retrieve the Adventurers. The Guild of Arbiters had summoned them all to Trinity. With little more to go on aside from the good name of the Guild and the Mayor’s personal assurances, the adventurers set off with the woman taking up the position of guide.
The first day of the jaunt was mostly uneventful, the adventurers using the time to discuss their previous exploits while keeping the casual look out for any dangers that occasionally befell travelers in the wilds of Oskalon. They made camp, some taking note of how their guide was apparently a religious sort. They proceeded to take their customary watches. It wasn’t but a few hours into the night that the group heard something outside the camp moving about.
Remembering the wolf attack during their previous journey, the adventurers were on edge, waking those who had gone to sleep. Attempting to shed some light on the darkness beyond the camp, one adventurer managed to daze the intruder who proceeded to walk into a tree and fall over.
Much to that adventurer’s embarrassment, the intruder didn’t appear to be anything more than an old man who was just looking for a warm place to stay before continuing on his journey in the morning.
The adventurers were a little curious as to why a lone man, who appeared to be wearing the clothing of a monk, would be found on the road this late at night all alone. Not getting too much information from the man, the night continued on uneventful.
The next morning the man had already left camp and the adventurers continued along the way to Trinity.
During this second day, the Heroes of Kassadin began to see more and more farms along the way. Noting how the sun was getting low in the afternoon sky they decided to see if they could seek shelter on one of the farms.
They picked the wrong farm.
A haggard woman with no less than nine children greeted them. The woman said she’d provide shelter for the travelers provided they do something for her.
It turned out to be a challenge far greater than any previously faced by the adventures. Watching and ensuring that nine children did not escape their combined sight was quite the task. But with several hours of magic tricks and other displays of skill, the children were called back in by a now very grateful woman. They passed the second night in the barn and awoke the next morning to continue on.
It was about midway through the third day when things started to seem strange. The farms had become more frequent. The city was getting closer. But they had been passing fewer and fewer travelers on the road. Not long after that, they began to hear screaming and what sounded like the sound of a skirmish. Only a little further down the road, just beyond a hill, they found the cause of the commotion. A hobgoblin and its hounds were harrassing what appeared to be a merchant who was desperately fending off the trio from atop a cart.
The Heroes of Kassadin knew what someone in need looked like and so they sprung into action.
The details of the fight that ensued varies from teller to teller, but the name remains the same no matter who’s mouth it flows from.
The Battle of the Botch.
Many have wondered at the reason for why the heroes were in such terrible fighting condition. Some mused that the fight happened too soon after the adventure in the crypt. Others think that the adventurers were just not accustomed to working together. Still others think it was divine intervention.
Regardless of the actual reason, the facts remain the same. The heroes managed to injure one another and various inanimate objects in the area more frequently than their tiny adversaries. After some time attempting to heal the injuries occurring all to frequently to her charges, the Guide decided an attempt at diplomacy was quickly turning out to be a very good option.
Shocking everyone on the battlefield, she began to speak to a goblin in its own language. The goblin explained the situation to the woman who related its words to her companions. The goblins had been sent after this man who had kidnapped their village’s children. It was a tragedy in the making and why many suspect divine intervention for so many missed blows by both sides. These goblins were just trying to get their children back.
Asking for a cessation of hostilities, the group agreed to lay down their weapons while they all talked out a solution. After a discussion with the goblin, who’s name turned out to be Grobble, the group agreed to follow the goblins to their village. It was there they hoped to discuss a possible solution to a multiple generation long problem that had been plaguing both the humans and goblins of Oskalon. They also wanted to find out if there was any way they could free the human children the goblins had taken.
Upon arriving they met with the head Goblin who was quite surprised and happy to see the children and his hunters return, especially with so many tall ones! The tail that Grobble related obviously was enough to earn the party some semblance of trust. The chief approached each and examined them all in turn.
When he reached the merchant, Zrent Shelton, the chief ordered him splattered. And splattered he was, likely not even getting a chance to feel anything. Some of the group was a little uneasy after this show of brute force while others felt as though justice had been done. The chief began to discuss the situation with the Guide who, upon learning of a single surviving child who had somehow managed to kill several goblins, decided to see if she could at least negotiate his release. She was separated from the rest of the group who were herded into a small pen so they could be watched easiest by their goblin hosts.
It was a lengthy discussion that the Guide had with the head goblin. Her goals were not the easiest she had set out to complete in her life. But after some time an agreement was reached. The goblins didn’t want to keep a child in their village any longer than they had to as this one had a knack for killing their people. They agreed to release him so that the adventurers could use the boy’s knowledge of Varalon to get the bottom of this complicated issue between the Humans and Goblins. It came at a price however. They group was asked to give up two of their weapons, a katana and a short sword. They did so with little fuss, mindful that they could likely be killed at any moment by their hosts.
In what some consider today to be a show of faith, the head goblin sent Grobble with the adventurers in the hopes of having his own set of eyes along with the group when they would enter Varalon.
Parting ways with the goblins of the village, they were lead out of the forest and back to the road. They then continued on the route to Varalon with two new additions to their party, the boy from Varalon and Grobble. The Heroes of Kassadin were determined to put their best efforts towards solving a feud between species…