Call to Arms

Into the Wilds, part 2

Seeming and Being

At the farmhouse the group meets a Dunsaro woman named Arna and her son, Scoot. (The father, Clovis, is a merchant away on business for month at a time.)

Dorn stays outside and keeps an eye on the farm while the others have dinner. After dark he spies a small figure on the roof of the house and shoots it with his longbow, then sounds the alarm. They find he has killed a naked goblin, but it’s body dissolves into a black mist as they watch.

They search the property and find the boy’s lost dog, half-eaten and stashed in the woodshed. The goblin’s tracks suggest it might have been hiding in the barn.

Setting a strong watch, they bed down in the farmhouse. Scoot tosses and turns all night. A few hours before dawn, everyone (except Dorn) awakens to the whinny of the family’s draft horse. Anselmo and Ander search the barn for another goblin and find one hiding in the hay. Also naked and black-skinned, it’s has only the leather apron and hatchet it snatched in the barn. Combat ensues, with ten normal rats fighting on the goblin’s side. The rats swarm Anders and bloody him, but he knocks the goblin senseless. They disperse the rats.

Summoning Dorn, they revive the goblin and ask questions in it’s own language. It doesn’t seem to understand any speech. The goblin struggles to escape and they kill it. A few moments later it dissolves into black mist. Dorn confirms the goblin tracks begin in a corner of the barn as if it just appeared there.

Convinced this must be a magical conjuring, they search the property unsuccessfully for any kind of idol or object that might be summoning goblins. They do find a stash of strong whiskey in the barn. Clovis likes to drink.

Finally they get Scoot to admit that corner of the barn is “a bad place” where “he hurt mommy”. It seems like the boy’s terror is summoning or creating the goblins. Anselmo purifies and blesses the barn, and they do what they can to calm the boy’s fears. The next night passes peacefully.

In the morning the group sets off to check on a ruined tower about two days away that Arna though might harbor monsters. After just a few hours travel, the pixie Loolaa reveals herself and excitedly thanks them for helping the boy. She led them there, hoping they would prove themselves heroes. She’s glad to think she was right.

Loolaa is bursting with curiosity over Dorn’s curse, and greatly amused by Anders.

Every fey knows the difference between seeming and being. Humans are so good at seeming they don’t even recognize it. But you, poor dwarf, yours is a curse of being.

And she confirms the goblin was spawned by fear.

That’s what you’re best at: turning dreams and fears into reality. It’s what humans do.

Loolaa asks, if they are truly here to fight evil, could they check on the nearby village of Cornwell? She can feel something terrible happened there last evening.

The party reaches the village in late afternoon, but everyone is locked inside and avoids them. They question the barkeep at the only pub, who is cool but polite, and the blacksmith, who is openly hostile. Finally they visit the constable who assures them all is well, but the villagers are justly afraid of armed strangers. The constable lets them spend the night in his father’s old abandoned house.

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greymorn

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