Xitaqa, Somewhereabouts In The Moors

Feldard cursed as the goblin made it through the north door – that way he knew led back towards the hoard that greeted them initially. Rather than run headlong into a dozen or more goblins on his own, Feldard closed the door and sought about for a means to bar it shut until the others were done with the old woman.

“Maruc, bar that southern door!” he yelled.

Feldard grumped as he piled some crude goblin furniture against the door, and then jammed his eating knife into the door to make opening the door even more of a trial.

“Be well, Bushka. We will return for you,” promised the elf. “But for now, stay safely here.” The elf handed the woman small tin whistle. “If the goblins return, sound this, and we will return as well.”

Hasan then left the cell and followed his comrades into the next room. It was clear there was little space left in the goblin hideout. Old Skinny Legs surely was near. The elf quickly prepared his ventriloquism. A little confusion in their enemy just might save his battered crew.

After the suddenness of the ambush, Ludo leaned against the wall, and took stock of his light wounds that had started to sting. He bandaged them up as best he could.

He was disappointed, “seems that Vlaak has flown the coop” he said no none in particular. He wasn’t sure where Xitaqa was, but hoped Stephen might. Looking about Ludo surmised that there could not be that many Goblins left within the compound considering that a large potion of the compound had been explored. Still he was worried, the party was small and could easily get overwhelmed. ‘Surprise’ and speed were their best weapons, the longer they hung around this warped place the more organized the Goblins would become. Still if Vlaak and his cronies were traveling with prisoners that would slow them up and may allow the party to catch up and spring their own ambush. With that happy thought on his mind, he sprang into action, bounded over to the door with the Goblin crude painting.

“Bushka, can you tell us where Xitaqa is? In what direction did they go?” asked the warrior. The Traladaran had made a home of the Dymrak for much of his life, and had never heard of the place.

“Somewhereabouts in the moors I gather,” she replied.

The moors. A wide swath of uncivilized hill lands inhabited by all manner of creatures. If they could not get any more specific information about the whereabouts of this Xitaqa, it could prove to be even harder to find than this Halav-forsaken petrified wood.

After speaking with Bushka, Stephan joined Ludo at the southern door. Maruc was barring it but Ludo sought to enter. Stephan stood ready for onslaught from either door. Feldard, thankfully, seemed to be securing the north door.

Stephan walked quietly over to the piles of ragged bedding. Using the tip of his sword, he poked around at the larger piles to be sure no goblins were hiding. He returned to the southern door, thinking the other goblins were probably routed out of the complex.

Maruc nodded curtly at the wise words of the dwarf and started to brace the door as best he could. He took advantage of the lull in the assault to tend to Ludo’s wounds.

Looking a the pitiful captive Miklos felt ashamed at his initial view of her. He considered how the woman’s words would fit into the actions of the goblins so far. On the face of it it felt like a series of raids within the confines of the Dymrak itself. The yellow robed man seems to have intelligence that the map he was seeking, or clues as to its whereabouts, were held by its human inhabitants. Hence the raids, a somewhat blunt instrument because bribery would have got his answer more as quickly and probably more cheaply than paying goblins raiders and bandits for their services. Miklos doubted it would take much to convince a goblin warband to raid human settlements – if they were advised of the advantages of co-ordination, most likely provided by him.

Still despite the little the woman knew it showed interesting insights to the foe they faced. The goblins and bandits appeared to be relatively expendable, the higher echelons of command were using hobgoblins as their veteran warriors, perhaps a heavy infantry with the reference to the iron collars? Or perhaps a tribal affectation?

One good aspect though was the lack of divination demonstrated by the foe. On or two well cast incantations would have had the map in their hands without any trouble. It was the only evidence so far the man was acting more like a noble rather than a mage. Another was that they appeared to be time constrained, hence the frustration of Vlaak, also the balance of power between them wasn’t clear. Miklos was convinced that the mind behind the intrigue was human, not hobgoblin, but he was being forced to use goblinoids to achieve his ends.

By his question to the old woman the woodsman clearly hadn’t heard of the map until now and ancient ruins peppered the land from Specularum to Threshold and beyond so the others were right the only recourse was to rid this compound of its evil and see what clues could be found.

Suddenly he felt strangely alone, snapped from his thoughts he looked up to see Maruc waving him to follow into the room beyond.

“This isn’t over yet Miklos.” grunted Maruc, “Lets help the other before they get themselves killed. Any bone guardians in there Feldard?” Maruc called ahead. Despite his souring humour, Maruc couldn’t help grinning as he followed the others into the next clearing.

“Can you hear anything through the door, Ludo?” A hush fell over the chamber as the rogue strained his ears. He heard nothing but still silence. Stepping to one side, Ludo slowly opened the door.

As Ludo began to make his entry, Stephan braced for battle. He stood a bit to the side in case any of the goblins burst through the north door but his main attention was on the southern door.

The door opened into a dark, damp 5-foot diameter tunnel running through what was a large hollow log. A closed door was at the end of the tunnel.

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11 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

11 responses to “Xitaqa, Somewhereabouts In The Moors

  1. Ludo +3 hp

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp+10xp combat
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp combat
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp+10xp combat
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp+10xp combat
    Stephan: 10xp+5xp+10xp combat
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp+10xp combat

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 20,475/24000
    Miklos: 20,560/40000
    Feldard: 20,600/34000
    Hasan: 19,735/32000
    Stephan: 19,560/32000
    Ludo: 19,085/20,000

  2. Ludo

    Ludo stood back to allow Feldard to go first, damp dark tunnels he figured would be a natural place for Feldard, grinning “Feldard, after you he whispered – age before beauty”.

  3. Feldard

    A hollowed out log was not much of a tunnel and the sound of running water just on the outside of the petrified wood did appeal to the dwarf. Still he wasn’t about to back down from taking the lead in this. Feldard stepped into the tunnel, not needing to crouch… but the low ceiling meant that his axe would be difficult to maneuver, if it came down to a battle in there. Again, he mentally chided himself for leaving his crossbow behind.

    He moved across the tunnel quickly, certain that at any moment, the log would be dropped into the stream that it crossed. His footsteps echoed loud in his ears.

    Within moments, the dwarf was across and standing before the other door. He listened as he tested the door handle and tried to open the door.

  4. Stephan

    After Feldard left the north door to lead the way through the tunnel, he kept an eye on the north door. Mutter mostly to himself, “It’d be a bad thing should we get plugged in that tunnel from a rear ambush.”

    He held back taking up a rear guard as the party moved into the stone tunnel.

  5. Hasan

    “Well, they were looking for a dwarf and elf. We might as well give them what they want.” Hasan followed the dwarf through the tunnel. “Give us a second, then follow,” he hissed back at the humans. “Just us for now, Feldard,” he smiled at the dwarf. “Let’s do this.”

  6. Feldard

    Feldard, glanced over towards the elf at his words. Recalling not that long ago, when it was Hasan who was the untrusted newcomer. ‘Bah, I must be going daft, to travel with companions such as these,’ he thought to himself. But if truth be told, he knew he would lay down his life for any one of his travel companions.. well he still had his doubts about the new human but the others he trusted and knew they would do that same for him. Feldard nodded.

    He pushed open the door.

    (if locked) Finding the door locked, the dwarf motioned the elf to the side of the tunnel and took a run at it with his broad shoulder.

  7. Stephan

    Stephan watched the dwarf and elf progress into the strange petrified tunnel.

    “Good thing that hardy dwarf is at the lead,” he thought. “He’ll give those gobs a fright, I’m sure…..And if he goes down, well, there should be a little less bitterness in the world.”

  8. Ludo

    Ludo, stood at the back of the group, keeping watch on the door that Feldard had blocked, no sense in being ambushed again within the spate of a few minutes.

  9. Maruc

    Maruc listened to the quiet banter between his friends. A smile played across his lips at Stephans concern they’d be caught and held in a five foot bough. He seriously doubted it would accomodate one axe wielding dwarf.

    The darkness opened out before Feldard. Maruc awaited the cries of battle.

  10. miklosdostevar

    Leaving Bushka Miklos stood by the door next to Stephan and watched the lithe elf follow the stoic dwarf into the shadows the the doorway. He held no fear for his friends, in many respects he felt a sad inevitability in the bloodshed that lay instore for the rude inhabitants.

    He followed the bulky armoured priest as he stooped through the tunnel after the others.

  11. miklosdostevar

    Whilst he waited he tried to recall all he knew about the name Xiquata and the pertinate facts of the moors.

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