Where Is Xitaqa?

With the battle over and done with Feldard scoured the room – what he was looking for? – he had no clue. “Maruc you’d best interrogate this lot. I would be apt to kill them outright if they so much as sneer at me.”

Maruc glanced over questioningly at Feldard. “I fear you must question them yourself and hold your ire Master Dwarf. I cannot speak their tongue.” He returned his attention back to Ludo.

Puss seeped from the claw mark but his colour was returning. “You’ll be fine in a few minutes. Miklos and I had a similar experience and Stephan’s place.”

Stephan wearily treaded over to the paralyzed Ludo, sheathing his sword and setting aside his shield as he did. Kneeling, he repositioned the rogue to at least be more comfortable. It was clear the thief yet lived.

“Nasty stuff, those hobs,” he spoke falteringly. He turned to look for Maruc who was already approaching to see what could be done for Ludo.

Hasan approached the hobgoblin ensnared in the web and spit out a few harsh words in the unforgiving tongue his grandfather had taught him long ago. “Your life hangs in the balance. What you say in the next few minutes will decide whether you live or fail. Where did Vlaak go with the prisoners? Where is Xitaqa?”

The hobgoblin, that seemed not quite a hobgoblin, hissed at the elf like a wild animal.

Ludo slowly regained the feeling back in his body, He examined closely the captured Hobgoblins’, these were no ordinary Hobgoblins, of that he was sure. “Seems Vlaak has left the building” he announced, “I wonder if he left any loot or clues as to where he went. Personally I believe we should stay the night here, rest a bit and then move on after him. After battling through an entire Goblin stockade I could do with a bit of a rest”.

Feldard nodded at Ludo’s suggestion. “As much as the stink of goblin and hobgoblin revolts me.. I agree with you.”

Seeing Ludo revive with alacrity, Stephan stumped heavily around the complex, ensuring they would be secure for the night.

Upon seeing the old woman, he spoke gently to her in his Traladaran accent. “I think it best you not leave till morning. We can find a comfortable a place for you to rest.” Proffering some meager rations, “Take this. And here is some spring water.

The woman ate and drank but with a plodding sorrow. Stephan was overcome. The sight of the woman reminded him of his own mother. Perhaps it was the weariness of battle. Perhaps just the sad visage of the woman. Whatever the case, the big fighter now felt tears welling up. He wiped them quickly, looking around to be sure none of his companions noticed.

Maternal compassion took over and the woman patted Stephan’s cheek — giving his arm a comforting squeeze. In a grating voice, “Halav will guide us. He brought me here more a purpose and I suspect you as well. Come, let us rest and shed this sorrow. Tomorrow well deal with practicalities.”

Stephan assisted her with finding a secure and somewhat comfortable place to pass the night. Not requiring as much coddling, he eked out warrior-suitable bedding for himself at a respectful distance but close enough to allow him to protect her if necessary.

Feldard bound each of the held hobgoblins and led them back to the prison area, chaining them up in place of Bushka.

The dwarf then carefully left the compound in search of his tossed aside crossbow and their still trussed up and gagged goblin-guide. As soon as the small warrior saw that he was about to be imprisoned with the hobgoblins, he began to scream.

It was obvious that though the strange hobgoblins were of no use for information, they would make for excellent tools in the interrogation of their smaller cousins. It was not long before they knew all the information that the goblins had to give.

The man in the yellow robes was named Golthar. He was a Master of the Iron Ring. Vlaak was the clanhead of the Bloodhead (Vlaakag) Tribe of hobgoblins who were headquartered in the old ruins of Xitaqa. The rank-and-file goblins were largely in the dark as to its exact location, but the king had a map hidden in his treasure stash located under the stone throne in his room.

Ludo explored the compound, scavenging for equipment including rope, lantern, oil flasks, arrows and anything else that he thought could be of use in the pursuit of Vlaak. Miklos joined him. He was particular in his search for writings, maps and scrolls such as might be out of place in a goblin lair.

The Wolfskull bounty was easily obtained. Along with the map there were 500 crona, a broken coronet with all but one of the gems removed and a very handsomely crafted human-sized shield. In Vlaak’s room, a small compartment was found in the trunk of one of the petrified trees. Ludo was able to disarm the trap, which would have dropped a giant tree branch onto them from above. Inside the locked chest was more crona, double the amount found in the goblins’ quarters, a collection of 5 gemstones and a quiver with 5 arrows.

As the party settled in for the night using Vlaak’s own room, Feldard took first watch. Keeping awake was difficult, but to do any less might mean being caught unawares should any escaped goblins return.

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Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Where Is Xitaqa?

  1. 6:00am, Soladain, the 18th of Thaumont, 1001AC
    Partly cloudy, cool and windy

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

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 21,695/24000
    Miklos: 21,770/40000
    Feldard: 21,895/34000
    Hasan: 20,970/32000
    Stephan: 20,825/32000
    Ludo: 20,365/20,000

  2. Hasan

    “Well, our mysterious Vlaak continues to elude us, but it is good to have a name for Golthar — though Skinny Legs had a ring to it,” laughed Hasan as he discussed the day’s events over some trailbread and tea he borrowered from Miklos the next morning. “Should we know pursue the remaining goblins of the Dymrak. I would free this forest of its horrors. But there is no telling what has happened the prisoners who were taken. Our first duty is to them, and so onward to Xitaqa, I think.”

    The elf stretched his legs, at ease despite yesterday’s gore. He idly fingered the five fine arrows they captured yesterday, then handed a pair to Stephen and one to Ludo. “I have made some arrows, but none such as these. Guard them well, and use them carefully. These are elvencraft, if my eyes do not deceive, and will fly long and true.”

  3. Ludo

    After munching down his breakfast, Ludo thought to himself that after yesterdays events he was surprised that he felt as good as he did. A few scratches but overall he felt good, fresh and keen to get back on the trail. He couldn’t believe that they had broken the back of this Goblin tribe. He felt elated and even though Vlak and skinny legs (he liked the name) had eluded the group, they had a good lead as to where they were heading. Time to make up some ground.

    Nodding to Hasan “thanks, I think I will save this for Vlak” as he took the arrow. Glancing at Stephen, “what are we going to do with the old women, a pursuit of Vlak and his cronies is no place for her”?

    Ludo idly wondered what Fledard would do with the prisoners, thinking what was likely to happen, he packed his kit and goes outside to the main gate and awaits the others.

  4. Stephan

    Stephan asked Bushka, “Do you know where this Xitaqa is? You had said in the moors. Can you tell us what direction to go?”

    After hearing her out and questioning further to ascertain what she knows on the whereabouts of Xitaqa, Stephan asked, “We will be traveling fast. Is there a place we can take you so you can find your way back to your family?”

    “Thank you, Hasan, for the arrows.” Stephan marveled at the craftsmanship. “I’ll save these for special use.”

    He eyed the shield, glancing back to his own tattered one leaning against the wall. It was clear he desired it but did not want to make a claim when it was equally won by all. He took a few glances also at the ornate, ceremonial shield carried by Maruc. Then back at the new shield. His hand flexed. He could almost “feel” it on his arm. His left arm instinctively raised as if warding off an attack. All this, while just looking at the beautiful shield.

    He shook off the covetous feelings and got to work readying for another journey.

  5. Feldard

    The dwarf woke from his sleep unwillingly. His muscles ached and his wounds, though cleaned now, were still quite sore. If he had an honest choice, Feldard would rather have slept the day away than prepare himself to trek onward. The there was no choice.. not really.

    Equally, there was no choice in what do to with the prisoners. One by one, while the others did their morning preparations, Feldard dealt with the hobgoblin and goblin prisoners. There was no pleasure taken in killing them, bound as they were helpless. What the dwarf did was necessary for the party’s safety as they journey onward toward Xitaqa.

    Splitting up the booty that morning was rather easily decided – at least according to the dwarf. He had no bow -therefore would not need any of the elven arrows that Hasan handed out. Though he would make a point of trying to salvage any of his bolts used yesterday on their way out of the stockade – it had been too dark to see them last night when he retrieved his crossbow. And the shield – well that was obviously meant for human warriors, not to mention his axe required both hands. “Stephan, you might as well take the shield. Maruc, I suspect is content with his and our new rogue – he can make do with your old old if he feels the need for a shield.” Perhaps some might think, it unfair. But the dwarf still held some reservations about the convenient appearance of the human just outside the goblin encampment.

    As for the cronas, those were divided evenly – yes even with the new rogue. The gems however Feldard was adamant that Maruc carry until they could be assessed and sold to a jeweler.

    Afterwards, Feldard ate some jerked meat while peering at the map Miklos that was studying. “So which way is it to Xitaqa?”

  6. Stephan

    Upon seeing Miklos and the others examining a map, Stephan craned in to look. “Ah, it’s just as Bushka says. The moors must be those hill-like markings on the map. She said from here to travel ‘with the moss’ which would be [ northerly ]. [please substitute whatever direction it should be – you can remove the moss thing if needed]

    “Can you locate where we are now on the map?”

  7. Ludo

    Ludo trooped back inside the compound, “it’s as quiet as a grave yard and the sun is well up. We should get moving before any Goblins return to reclaim their home” he said to Marac. “I think we should travel with speed, before Vlak and Golthar knows what has happened here, we have some surprise on our side and we should use it”. He grinned, “Feldard did you catch any fish yesterday”?

  8. Hasan

    “Yes, let us go,” agreed Hasan. “We can follow the same trail we took here to leave the forest to the north. We’ll then head east, away from the gnomish mines. It looks to be a journey of three days. Let us hope it passes swiftly.” The elf walked away swiftly, setting an agressive pace in the brooding forest. He worried no further about the Wolfskull, but he was sure danger still lurked in the Dymrak. Still, he was glad to leave that petrified wood behind. Even this unhappy ground allowed the ocasional shoot of crocus, as the land began to emerge from winter. Hasan fingered the jade ring of Elyas as he walked and wondered at the evil that wrought the changes they were rapidly leaving behind. He had much still to learn about the land beyond the Radlebb.

  9. Hasan

    Ugh, some typos, redundancies – use this one pls …

    “Yes, let us go,” agreed Hasan. “We can follow the same trail we took here to leave the forest. We’ll then head east, away from the gnomish mines. It looks to be a journey of three days. Let us hope it passes swiftly.” Though he worried no further about the Wolfskull, the elf set an agressive pace in the brooding forest. He was sure danger still lurked in the Dymrak. Still, he was glad to leave that petrified wood behind. Even this unhappy ground, as it emerged from winter, allowed the ocasional shoot of crocus. Hasan fingered the jade ring of Elyas as he walked and wondered what evil had wrought the changes they were rapidly leaving behind. He had much to learn about the land beyond the Radlebb.

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