Goblin Tracking

Stephan’s opinion was immediately clear, “We follow the horse tracks.”

While the others offered their opinions, he searched the horses and disgusting bodies for clues and anything useful.

Feldard’s opinion was less clear as he looked over the carnage the goblins wreaked amongst themselves—fighting clan to clan. This was more normal behaviour. By the looks of it the Vipers had lost, with their commander hanging in the trees… but then why did they keep possession of the horses? Could the horses be bait for a trap? And more importantly where did Vlaak go?

“Hasan, any indication of which group the Hobgoblin was with?” the dwarf questioned.

“Aye, We need to follow Vlaak, if possible.” agreed the Cleric turning his head from the carnage.

“The hobgoblins took great care to hide their tracks,” replied the elf. “I have not seen any since leaving the ‘stead.”

Miklos knew nothing of goblin interclan relationships. What he was learning made him wonder if they were viable as a species. He shook his head and watched the elf expertly piece together what had happened. It was watching magic cast for the first time…

Though the signs were clouded by the passage of time and carnage, the elf traced the skirmish’s flow within the clearing and read the signs of the Wolfskull’s victory. He attended to his task for 30 minutes in silence as his companions stood by, wondering at his silent progress.

A clang banged through the hot, airless forest, raising all from their deepening stupor. Feldard had discovered that the mosquitoes were awakening from their afternoon siestas. Still the elf studied the ground. “Blasted elf,” muttered the dwarf, who now questioned his earlier enthusiasm for elvish woodcraft.

Finally, the elf spoke. “A total victory, impressive that these creatures could rally after we first repulsed them at their great cost. I do not believe a Viper survived the encounter.”

“So you read it in the tracks,” Miklos interjected, excited. “It is just as I surmised, the Wolfsku…”

“No, it is not clear from the tracks,” continued the elf, by now unperturbed by the excitable human’s verbal ejaculations. “This is merely a logical deduction. The Vipers had abandoned their fellows and run with the great prize. But they were weak and could not resist when their brethren challenged their claim to it. Then, the Wolfskull separated into two groups, one heading mostly east, the other west. Why west? Why, indeed, horses? Goblins do not ride horses; this prize has no value to them, except as a transactional tool. Why would they go to such lengths for such steeds? I believe they seek the river and the slavers. And that confluence of man and these foul beasts is the great worm under this stone, as Miklos has said. We should follow the steeds, but we would follow not knowing whither Vlaak goes.”

“Common sense dictates that Vlaak would go with the greater number.” observed the priest, “Lords send underlings for lesser missions. Thats not to say that he wouldn’t travel west but my intuition tells me to press eastward with the sunset at our backs. Lead on Hasan.”

The dwarf nodded and moved from his watchpost. “Then east it is.” Once more Feldard fell in position at the rear, letting the elf and Maruc take the lead.
As Stephan used a stick to poke around the goblin corpses, he listened idly to his companions’ discussion, satisfied they were reaching the correct conclusion.

The easterly trail led into the woods. Judging by the distance between tracks, they moved with quickened pace. The trail continued for a few miles until it met and followed an overgrown trackway. Along the side of the path was a sign, in Elvish and Common, nailed to a tree. It read “Miss L. Fyodorll—Equine Entrepreneur—Dealer in Fine Horses.”

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9 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Goblin Tracking

  1. Maruc: 10xp+5xp
    Miklos: 10xp+5xp
    Feldard: 10xp+5xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 18,255/24000
    Miklos: 18,330/20000
    Feldard: 18,335/34000
    Hasan: 17,425/32000
    Stephan: 17,240/32000

  2. miklosdostevar

    Miklos read the sign and raised an eyebrow. “Providence? Am I wrong? Let us see if this…ahh, ‘horse trader’ has to offer. Hopefully useful information about the road ahead. Lets hope she hasn’t suffered at the hands of the clans.”

  3. Maruc

    “Yes, hopefully she is unharmed. But the thought that undisturbed folk in the path of the goblin clans migh mean some sort of collusion?” added the cleric darkly.

  4. miklosdostevar

    “Ahh Maruc, you have a suspicious mind.” replied the mage, “The words are also written in elvish, this suggests an educated human or an elf. And with that surname I’d be surprised she’d be a human. Elves don’t collude with goblins, to my certain knowledge and are very good at hiding in woodland.”

  5. Maruc

    “She is advertising.” said Maucuc simply, “She lives in a land overidden by goblins trading horses? Assuming you are right, even with all that elven magic, also assuming she could protect all her inbound and outbound trade and her stock all at once. If she is still alive she wouldn’t have a great trade here, would she? I suspect we will find her dead or gone. There would be no reason to stay otherwise. Unless you were trading with the goblins.”

  6. miklosdostevar

    “The raids have only occured recently.” said Miklos patiently. “I’d agree with you if this place was in a goblin heartland. She may well be holed up somewhere secret until she feels it is safe to come out. She wouldn’t have much of a reputation if she traded with goblins for stolen horses now would she? Stop being so negative. And lets see if she’s alive and in need of help.”

  7. Feldard

    Feldard was more akin to Maruc’s thinking… he felt it more than coincidental that the goblins, would make track straight away from the homestead to a horse-trader. This was no raid. This was a business deal.

    Yet after a long night of battle, and a longer day of decisions and traveling, the dwarf was for once not keen on another fight with the goblins, but he hefted his axe and kept a sharper watch as he followed the group.

  8. Hasan

    Hasan was intrigued. The name was indeed elvish, but he knew his racial brethren little. While the humans questioned her proprietry, Hasan questioned her flamboyance. He knew outlander elves were more accustomed than he to the hurly burly of relations with humans and beyond, but he couldn’t imagine the kind of elf who would simply hoist a sign on her cottage trail. He led the party down the track, more wary now of the strange elf than of the goblins he had recently hunted.

  9. Stephan

    Stephan eyed the skies through the surrounding trees.

    “There’s no smoke. No major burning currently aflame. At least.”

    He started following Hasan.

    “Hasan,” turning to the others, “and the rest of you, perhaps, one of us, and I think Hasan may be best suited, should not show them self. If the rest of us are in trouble, Hasan could be yet free to act.”

    The group continued down the trail.

    “If the gobs be there, they are dead.” Stephan spoke with a smoldering rage.

    “The horses, or proceeds from them, go back to Pyotr.”

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