I pushed the gate open and noticed a yellow greenish mist covering the ground of the plague cemetery. The mage sent his bird up to reconnoiter. He reported that the cemetery was a large rectangular area, with a wooded slope on the back side. As we watched the mist slowly expanded rising to cover the headstones. The rising of the mist was followed by the sounds of creaking and cracking, familiar from our recent fight with the skeletons. Woodsy observed that there were eight of the foul beasts, maybe. I decided to fight them in the opening in the gate, so I began banging the hilt of my sword on the edge of my shield, to no avail. We briefly debated moving on, but we could not leave this pit of evil, so we would stay and fight.
I entered the grave yard and immediately began to cough. I engaged two skeletons; they returned the favor, but despite the furor, there was no effect on either side. I took a step back and was followed by the pair. I crumble one while the other swung and missed. I took another step back, the beast followed and we exchange swings, I missed he did not. As I stepped back two more emerged from the mist. We exchanged swings again, also to no effect. I crushed another as it stumbled, and his compatriots missed me. I destroyed another as his last comrade took a wild swing. I stepped back again and lost my foe in the mist. I stepped in again and found them again, shattered one, step back. On my way one took a swing but missed. I attacked and missed as two more move in from the mist, swing and miss. I stepped back again, thru the gate and the skeletons ground to a halt, just out of my reach. We discussed how to proceed and came up with no better solutions. I took a swig from a potion and stepped back into the fray.
I shattered one with a massive swing, the other two swung and missed. Two swung at me one of whom hits, I failed to connect in reply. Another round of fighting lead to one more down, and none touched me. With a yell of “back to hell” I destroyed the last. My shout was followed by an answering shout in some guttural language. I answered the challenge by moving forward to engage the summoner. In a fit of fairness, I issued a warning to my foes to run; as if they remained I would destroy them. They apparently did not understand as they continued to spew their filth. My comrades followed me as the mist receded back into the ground.
Woodsy loosed an arrow, terrifying the surrounding woodlands, but not overly disturbing our foes, a goblin wizard of some sort with two bodyguards. The elf girl went left as I went right. Woodsy shot again and missed. The elf girl engaged her goblin and skewered him. I, for my part dueled with mine. Woodsy managed to put an arrow into the shaman, while I continued to fence with my goblin. The mage evoked a bolt of flame, striking the shaman soundly. The elf girl having dispatched her foe came to engage mine. I continued to distract him, helping the elf girl to approach him unnoticed. The shaman engaged Woodsy and missed. Woodsy responded with a stinging cut to the shaman felling him. The elf girl moved to get into position. My foe missed me opening a shot for me.
I was then convinced a protective spell was upon my foe, rendering him mystically invulnerable as my sword flew from my hands into the tree behind me. The elf girl further proved my supposition, swinging her blade at the goblin and lodging her weapon soundly in the same tree as mine. The mage searched the shaman madly for the protective talisman preventing us from dispatching our foe. Woodsy grabbed his bow. I continued to dodge blows from my devious foe. I used the opportunity presented by his clumsy swing to kick him in the ribs, obviously the mage found the talisman. The elf girl swung and missed, Woodsy shot and missed, my foe missed, even both the elf girl and I missed with our kicks. Woodsy ended the fight with a well-placed arrow, the spell broken by the mage’s actions. I retrieved both my and the elf girl’s sword from the tree. Woodsy looted the guards while I stood guard.
We headed back to the building to rest and recover. Having the least to do and the most needing of rest, I took a nap. When I awoke hours later, the mage revealed a letter he recovered from the shaman indicating a trap for us and a camp further up the hill. We discuss how to proceed, and decide to push forward. We proceeded back up the hill, Woodsy recovering his arrows and the raven feasting on eyeballs. We continue the long trek up the hill, eventually hearing voices from ahead. We took cover and the mage sent his bird up to scout. The bird reported thru the mage that the camp contained four human sized tents and four hobgoblins arrayed around a fire.
We planned our assault. I would circle to the right, being the loudest of the group and the best able to survive a head on assault. The mage would follow me, backing me up with mystic force. He would send his bird up to distract the hobs with squawking. The other two would circle left, the archer laying down fire while the elf girl would jump into the fray. We executed our plan, but the bird immediately drew the fire of the laughing hobs. The mage ordered him off and we sprung into action. The elf girl lit them up with her strange glowing effect. I moved in, defiladed by the tents. The mage shot a mystic bolt into one in the rear and Woodsy shot another. These beasts are the luckiest I’ve encountered as I trip on a guy wire as I moved in.
The elf girl missed her swing, the mage shot another bolt of force. Woodsy shot at some target far off in the distance, despite closer targets. The one on the girl dropped his sling and pulled his sword. Another loosed a bullet at Woodsy while another slung lead at the mage. The one in front of me kicked out and connected with my helm. The elf girl managed to penetrate the hobgoblin’s defenses, bleeding the hob as a result. I stood up violently, burying my head in the hob’s groin. The mage loosed another bolt of force at his target and downed him. Woodsy continued to engage another, unseen target in the far distance, with unknown effect. The one in-front of me swung, weakly from the pain in his manhood. The remaining hobs attack, each attacks us but failed to connect. The elf girl received a blow, not fatal, but significant on her frail frame.
In response the elf girl hit her foe, giving it a major wound. I thrust my sword thru the hob’s body and moved on to engage the elf girl’s foe. The mage moved forward to help. Woodsy shoot his target, further weakening it. The elf girl swung and missed, the mage stabbed and his hand slipped onto the blade of his dagger. Woodsy finished his foe with a shaft between the eyes. I reached to spin the hob around to face me, but did not get a firm enough purchase on his rough garb. The hob hit the elf girl and she fell, already weak from her previous injury. It followed thru with a vicious cut, and scored another mark on me. We flailed ineffectually at the surviving hobgoblin till the mage delivered the killing blow.
I immediately stooped down to lay hands on the fallen druid while the mage feed her a potion. I stood guard while they searched. Woodsy found a human corpse in leather armor under tarp, the mage came up with a bag of mystic internal dimension and a small vial of oil. The human corpse had an exceptional shield which I secured for myself. The others arrayed the armor and hobgoblin equipment around my pack. We searched the area and found a steak with a rope attached descending down the cliff face. No sooner had we made this discovery than we heard the sound of an approaching troop of goblins coming up the trail in our direction.
(To be continued)