Characters: Bjorn, Dagmar, Dudek, Elynnia, Jarvan, Olaf
Having defeated the goblin forces that were menacing the road, shut down a dwarven protection racket, and discovered a goblin fortress in the wilderness northeast of Dwarftown, the party had returned to Jutland and reported their findings to their superiors. After receiving commendations and bonus pay, the party took some well needed leave. After the leave, the party performed a number of guard duties, helped their captain assess some potential recruits for the guard, and spent time training in new tactics and skills.
One morning, Dagmar is getting ready to duty when she notices a pulsing glow coming from one of her money purses. Opening the sack, there is a red stone that is flashing rhythmically. Strangely she also has a feeling that this flashing gem reminds her of something she has seen before. Asking Olaf what he makes of this gem, Olaf realizes that this gem taken as treasure months ago is actually a stone that will fit in the magic presses they captured from the goblins.
Placing the note in one of the presses, suddenly a red light emits from the edge of the press and when opened, Olaf removes a note.
Tunnels into King town finished.
Attack Jut town at new moon when
Zirn one hand up in sky.
- Rimnik take east gate
- Garm take south gate
- Zird take west gate
- I take north gate
Hold gate, do not go in. Do not let
human out. King town must not
know attack come.
The two of them quickly gather the rest of their party together and discuss what they should do. It seems obvious that the goblins are up to something involving "Jut town" which is likely Jutland and "King town" which might mean Fredensborg where the King lives.
Not completely trusting the note or understanding how the magical presses and gems work, they are wary of how much to trust the message. Who was it sent to? Why is this the first time the gem has flashed in the months they have had it.
Olaf can decipher the note enough to understand that the text "Attack Jut town at new moon when Zirn one hand up in sky" must be referring to a time and date. The new moon is an obvious date and Zirn is an obscure reference to the red eye star of the constellation Drako. Working out the celestial math of when that star would be one hand high above the horizon would make it just after midnight on first day of next month - just a few days away!
The party does have two blue stones so they try sending a test message between these stones and paper disappears from one press and reappears in the second. However, Olaf does notices that the red stone is a different cut and quality from the other stones so they might work differently.
In any case, they decide that this note must be shown to their captain. They go to Captain Mors and tell him about how the received the note. After examine it for a few minutes, Mors asks about Zirn at which point Olaf launches into an explanation of how the constellation Drako has been known by many names and its stars also have many names. Mors interrupts him to ask when this star would be that high in the sky. Olaf explains that the stars shift positions about a finger a day which would place the time just after midnight on the first. Mors nods and returns to the paper as Olaf explains how he was looking for the tail start of Drako two nights ago so he could predict when it would next rain. Mors seems to have ignored that part of Olaf's talking when it suddenly interrupts.
"You must leave a once. Take this note to Fredensborg and show it to the King. I'll be the road is already guarded if they are attacking that soon so you better start off overland," says Mors. "I'll use the remaining guards to watch the gates and to fortify the city but word must make it to the King that the goblins are invading from the north." Mors dismisses you after wishing you good luck and Dwarlin's speed.
The party leaves to pack their things even as Mors is already sending orders to other guards to call the lieutenants for an urgent meeting. After gathering food, water, supplies, they leave the down as the sun begins to set. Heading east into the farmland and then south, the party hopes to move carefully without be noticed by any goblins under the cover a darkness.
Last in the evening, the party creeps into an empty clearing and is about half way across when suddenly they see goblins entering the same clearing. Having lost any change of avoiding the goblins, the party rushes forward to kill the goblins.
The lead goblin rushes in among the party and begins directing attacks. Bjorn engages the leader and ends up being the main target for the javelin throwers as well as the leader. Bjorn is knocked down at least twice but each time manages to rally back with the aid of Jarvan healing. After a bloody battle, the last goblin falls and the party members search the bodies. They find another of the magic presses with a red stone and another copy of the note they received earlier.
After catching their breath, the party continues quietly through the woods and manages to avoid any other contact with the goblins.
Late in the day, both red stones begin to glow and the party receives two copies of a new note announcing that Jutland is surrounded.
Jut town held. Rimnik, Zird and I
march on King town. Garm hold
Jut town. Attack King town on first
moon when Zirn two hands up in sky.
- Rimnik use tunnel near broken oak
- Zird use tunnel near round lake
Once inside, capture gate and open.
In the afternoon, the party reaches Fredensborg and asks to speak with the head of the guard. They are taken to Captain Georg. They explain their mission and had Georg the two notes. Georg looks them over and asks about this Zirn. Having learned his lesson with the other captain, Olaf explains that it means around midnight.
Captain Georg looks up from the notes with a grave expression. "I doubt you truly understand the magnitude of this situation. I am captain of the reserve garrison. The main garrison is away from Fredensborg dealing with a goblin attack on a boarder city to the south east. That city is over a week’s march away so even if I were to recall them now, there is no way they would be back before this attack your note speaks of will come."
"I can hold the walls with my forces but there is no way I can defend the city if the goblins make it inside the walls. We must find these tunnels and destroy them. If we don't, the city will fall," he says. "I will need your help. I can maybe spare a squad to search for one of the tunnels but I will need every man I have to get ready for an all-out attack on the city."
The party quickly agrees to do what they can so a plan is formed were the party will look for the tunnel near the broken oak and the other squad will look for the tunnel near the round lake. Each group will be given a keg of alchemist's blasting agent to collapse the outer tunnel section. The two groups are directed to set the charges which have a quarter hour delay and then follow the tunnel into the fortress so the defense forces can secure the openings inside the walls.
Fredensborg is a large city and it takes several days for the party to find the right spot. Given they don't know how far out from the city the tunnel extends, they search the same sections over and over. Late on the third day just as they were about the return to the city, they notice in a protected valley an oak tree with its trunk cracked in two. This little valley is hidden from the city walls due to the other trees and topology. Following the dry river bed, they quickly find a wide cave diving into a hill directly toward the city wall.
Bringing out their torches, the party slowly advances into the tunnel. Knowing they need to set the blasting keg 100 yards inside the tunnel and they also need to make sure that no one will move or disarm the keg after they set it, they creek deeper and deeper into the tunnel.
Suddenly their touch light reflects off of some metal reveling goblins that are rushing toward them. A battle quickly ensues. Having learned by numerous battles the tactics of goblins, the party makes short work of this force. Deciding they want to make sure there is a second exit before setting the charge, the party creeps along the tunnel until they find a ramp ending in a set of large double doors in the ceiling above them. They make sure the doors are not locked before sending Olaf and Dagmar back to set the charge.
A few sparks for Olaf's flint and steel has the long cord from the keg sending out sparks as it slowly creeps toward the bung hole where the cord enters the keg. If Dagmar had not pulled him away, Olaf might well have sat there watching the pretty sparks wondering what kind of magic it was until it was too late to escape.
When the charge goes off, the doors are blown open and the party charges up into a large warehouse. Sitting around a large table 80 feet away from the doors are 5 guards. Bjorn announces to the guards that they are under arrest but the guards ignore his demand and charge into battle. Between the magic of Olaf, the arrows of Dudek, the flashing swords of Elynnia, and cunning blade of Dagmar, the battle is quickly over. This time instead of killing the guards, the party just knocks them out and ties them up. On the lead guard, the party finds a note.
Make sure our guests are well taken
care of after the long journey. There
is food and drink for them. Make sure
they are not disturbed or seen so their
surprise entrance will not be ruined.
Hauling the prisoners and the note back to Captain Georg, he informs the party that Byrum is the King's chief rival. He is concerned that the other search party has not returned but remembers that Byrum has a factory that is closed for renovation on the other side of town. Georg dispatches the party to search the factory.
Like before, the party finds guards and a tunnel entrance on the factory but quickly deals with them. Creeping down the tunnel, they surprise and defeat another set of goblins. They recover the bodies of the missing searchers before setting the blasting charge and returning to the factory. They return to Captain Georg with the new prisoners and news that both tunnels are sealed.