In the aftermath of the battle wit the Wolfskull Goblins the Lame Ones found in one of their makeshift cells of iron bars and hollowed out tree a woman of great age called Babushka, taken in the raid on Cherkass. She was much distraught, but the Lame Ones freed her and offered her water, and soon had the gist of the tale.
It seemed that Stefan had indeed been taken by the Wolfskull, but had mere days ago been taken by a party of goblins wearing iron collars to some place called “Xi-Taa-Quah”, to be questioned about something called ‘The Great Map.’ Nodding grimly they took the woman along, and made their way deeper into the lair of the Wolfskull.
It was Shing, riding the mind of the last of their direwolves, who fell victim to a cunningly placed trapdoor in a log spanning the river. The great beast was soon swallowed up in the sluggish current, and bitten by the sweetwater fish that lived therein. The black waters grew crimson with blood, and the last of the Direwolves was no more. Warily, the party trudged on.
In the guest-quarters of the Hobgoblin King they encountered his trained ferrets, many in number, but they fed them with ample supplies so that these were mollified, and gave no further thought to these. It was deeper into the quarters that they discovered his more sinister retainers. Three Thouls, with glassy eyes, and sallow, thick skin that would soon knit over any cuts inflicted upon it, these three hammered away at the Lame Ones, inured to injury, the wounded ones falling back and healing grievous injuries in mere heartbeats. Doggedly, the Lame Ones traded blows, and haggard, bruised and bone-weary were they ere the three unthings were overcome.
As they picked apart the room, finding within some artfully concealed hollow, trapped with a deadfall found and disabled by the Burglar Sarah a great wealth of coin, gemstones and five arrows carved from a dragon’s teeth, they heard from outside the camp a frightful scream.
Rushing back, across the river they met with the dreaded King Vlackk and his elite fighting men, riding the wolf of winter. They had learned of the depredations of the Lame Ones and ambushed their rear guard, taking Mardek and all the horses captive. Belligerently, Great King Vlackk asked for all the treasure in the den. The Lame Ones debated it briefly, caught on the other side, before Shing, still hidden behind the spell of invisibility, smote them with the spell of sleep, and with only the king still awake, and Mardek uttering a womanish scream and scuttling into the forest, the Lame Ones started to rush across.
Doom all but struck then, as they formed up on the shore, and the King, scratched and wounded by sling and arrow-fire, awakened his wolf. Hummingbird was on the hobgoblins soon, dispatching one of the slumbering retainers with a blow of his fists, and crossbow and slingstones felled King Vlackk afore he could awaken yet another retainer. The Beast of Winter put up a great defence. Only by luck were the lame ones saved from the worst of its icy breath. With regret, Niffa drove in her sword, and Merkull and Lucius also, and the great beast was purged from the world.
Thus they marched back for Susikyn, their backpacks laden with coin, the lone prisoner huddling among them, the white pelt of the great wolf stripped from its steaming carcass.
2 Mountain Lions
1 Goblin Leader
9 Viper Goblins
3 Rock Pythons
5 Giant bats
36 Wolfskull Goblins
11 Dire Wolves
6 Goblin Bodyguards
1 Ice Wolf
4 Vlackagg Hobgoblins
The Book of the Living.
[B] Niffa (Elf 3, 19 hp)
[E] Shing the Golden (MU 4, 12 hp)
[F] Hummingbird Twiceborn (Mys 4, 11 hp)
[G] Edmin Os Traytor (Clr 3, 12 hp)
[NPC] Sarah (Thf 4, 16 hp).
[NPC] Merkull (Ftr 4, 25 hp)
[NPC] Lucius Sulla (Ftr 2, 13 hp)
[NPC] Mardek (Ftr 1, 5 hp)
[NPC] Thorbin Stonefist (Dwr 1, 5 hp)
The Book of the Dead:
[A] Ilyanka Pjottrsdöttr (Clr 1) – Beheaded by Giant Chameleon
[B] Liliath the Elf-maiden (Elf 1) – Skull-split by the horrid Bugbear
[C] Cold-Souled Fenrig (Thf 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[D] Balan the Lame (Dwr 1) – Cut down by the Orc menace
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 4, 24 hp) – Throat ripped out by a Cave Bear
[B] Earendil (Elf 1) – Struck down by vile Orc Sorcery
[G] Azalesh Slyly (Clr 1) – Shanked by common robbers
[NPC] The Wardog Biter (Dog) – Cut down by the Orc Menace
[NPC] Aziz the Impetuous (Ftr 1) – Struck down by an impostor’s hand
[NPC] Hyacinth the Fair (Ftr 1) – Felled by an Arrow
[NPC] Kellhus (Mys 1) – Drained by Stirges
The Rolls of Honour:
[A] Egil Soft-pate (Ftr 1, 18 Str) – Long may he Reave!
[C] Sir Ioric (Ftr 3, 17 hp) – Retired in glory, long live the Duke!
[NPC] Erren (Thf 3, 10 hp) – She wanders the roads, looking for who knows what.
[D] Rallo the Bastard (Thf 5, 25 hp) – Refused to leave the tavern and preferred to keep drinking