Some time after our return to Sandpoint, we met up with the mage, the big guy and the dwarf. We traded stories of what we all did over the last few days, and oh were they impressed with the riveting tale of my battle prowess! I AM something to behold, that is for sure. They spent their time searching some old catacombs looking for hidden stuff. They didn’t find any. Probably because I wasn’t there, but I was humble enough not to say that to them.
The dwarf wanted to go talk to the sheriff for some reason, and of course the gnome wanted to go. /sigh That was met with a loud resounding “NO!!” from the rest of us. He stayed put and let her go talk to him. No word has been heard back from the missing ranger, and this Thistle-place kept coming up again. We’re starting to think that maybe there’s just a bunch of hostages there. So the decision was made: We were going to Thistle-whatever.
Preparations were made, items were sold and bought (I traded my well-worn trusty short sword in for something more dashing and befitting my roguish countenance, a rapier), and just as we were headed out of town, a merchant caught up with us and asked if we could guard his wagon (all the while staring the bard’s clothes from her body, what a lech). It just so happened that he was going in the same direction, so we agreed as long as he understood that about halfway through the journey, we would be leaving him for more important business. All was agreed, and we head out.
The journey with the merchant was uneventful… unless of course you count his pitiful attempts at wooing the bard. That guy needs some lessons in how to get a woman. I could help him of course, but I have other things to take care of.
We parted ways with the merchant, and headed north into the brambles. It was about this point that I noticed that the kid wasn’t with us. I’m thankful for that. I really didn’t want to be responsible for his getting himself killed out here. The brambles were thick enough to slow our progression north, but nothing to really complain about. The bard got stuck a few times by them, and it seemed to affect her a bit. Once we got through them, we were at the shore and got our first glimpse of Thistle-something. It was basically a head shaped island about a quarter mile away, and there was a single rope bridge as point of entry. Great.
The mage sent his crow up to scout a bit, and the only information he came back with was there was a clearing with a hole in it that contained one Goblin and a cat. We started to move in the direction of the clearing, thinking that taking out this goblin would be one less to have to deal with in the long run. During the walk, we discussed how to handle the goblins of Thistle-thing. One idea I liked in particular; have the bard shoot flaming arrows over at the island. Ultimately, that should catch the whole thing on fire and kill a number of them, and what that didn’t kill, we could pick off as they ran. Of course, the goody-two-shoes of us didn’t want to do that because they might be holding hostages and they weren’t too keen on collateral damage. Whatever. The discussion ended when we got to a clearing with a number of “caves” branching out from it.
Funny thing about the “caves”… they really appeared to be the brambles woven together. That can’t be natural, and doesn’t bode well for us in the long-run I think. We chose a path based on us hearing a growling or roaring or something from one direction, and those of us that aren’t short crawled through, while those of us who are short simply walked. Eventually we found the source of the sound, more goblin dogs!
Once again I dashed to the forefront of battle, eager to bloody my new blade. One by one, the dogs fell as I tumbled and stabbed left and right to dispatch each while everyone stood back watching and cheering me on. I was impressive. I even think the bard swooned a little. No, I’m sure she did. As the last of the beasts fell with a stab of my rapier, I heard the gnome mumble something hurriedly about a problem while pointing through another bramble path, and the mage said something about “fire”. My work is never done.
Since everyone was in front of me, as I dashed ahead to take care of the dogs, they went through the path first. I saw the ground and brambles come alive and grab each and every one of them! This was going to be a good fight! I don’t know what was over there, but it was going to die, that was for sure. The first chance I got I rushed through the brambles, and stopped a moment to take in what I saw. There was a goblin holding a flaming sword, and a large cat with one of the most unusual coats I had ever seen. Both looked at us all menacingly, and I knew right then that the goblin was the source of the writhing bramble patch we now all stood in.
One by one, we walked through and engaged the cat. The goblin in this time ran into the brambles like a coward. It is somewhat important to note that the brambles seemed to part for it like they were controlled by it or something. Unfortunately for me, the sun got in my eyes while I was fighting the cat (everyone else decided to help with the enemies this time), and it took advantage of my temporary blindness to bite and claw me, knocking me to the ground. It hurt, and I had no choice but to back off from him so that I may get back up and rejoin the fray. While I was getting my sight back, the big guy managed to take out the cat, and it was about that time that a loud roar came from the hole next to me the bard and the dwarf. Seeing something out of the corner of my eye, I dropped my rapier and ran towards what I thought I saw, then seeing something by the gnome, ran that way as well.
The goblin was hiding in the bushes and knocked me to the ground while I was distracted, the sneaky bastard. I admit, I did black out for a bit here, but I then heard the gnome say something which brought me back. I then got up and walked over to where I could regain my senses properly.
It was about this time that I heard the big guy yell something guttural, and then heard a loud slicing and squishing noise, which I believe signaled the end of our goblin friend.
It seemed that everyone was a little worn out from that bout, so the dwarf said something I couldn’t understand and I felt a ton better. The mage looted the body of the goblin while the big guy skinned the cat to keep it’s pelt. Can’t say I blame him there. Dried out and made into something nice, and that may fetch a pretty silver.
Standing over the hole, we looked down and couldn’t see the bottom. There seemed to be evidence of someone clinging onto the ledge, but nothing else really useful that we could see. The gnome dropped a stone down, and after a few seconds we heard the “plop” of it landing in water. Not knowing much else, and having other things to do, we chose to leave the hole alone for now, and continue towards the rope bridge… we still had to come up with a plan to get onto Thistle-whatever though….
(… to be continued…)