“I am quite capable of taking care of myself, Cristobol!” exclaimed Genevieve. Those words left a sour taste with him as he evaluates yet another member to the unlikely party of adventurers from Willowford. A party, again working on behalf of the Keeper of the Great Willow Tree and the Priory of Willowford, though he won’t push that point with Cael given her distaste with the Church. A party that just got its knickers handed to it by a pack of goblins! Though in our defense, Cristobol reflects, it wasn’t really the goblins, but the worgs. A mage and roguish type are not cut out for the battles we keep walking into. I did not think that anything would be worse than the twig wolves we dealt with during our previous encounter with the Hamadryad or even the Banned Shee. How wrong I was! It was ironic that the new lady fighter was unable to truly “take care of herself”. If not for Cael’s ability to toilet paper gaping neck wounds, the party of 5 would likely be 2. Cristobol sighs as he considers all the responsibility that he shoulders being the “meat shield” as Cael so “lovingly” puts it.
Yet, here we are running from a virtual army of goblins following the cryptic messages of a vision. A vision that mentions a great evil growing in the West linked to older Gods and their “children”, children that delighted in the infliction of pain. This plight is apparently shared by human and Shee alike. Perhaps the Hill family has been secretly dealing with this old and evermore present danger for longer than we realize. Enough so that deals to annex the lands near Willowford under the apparent blessing of the Bishop of Cubbum have been rumored to exist. It would serve that family right if their dim-witted, bully son was never found. Yet, I find myself hoping that we can position ourselves towards his rescue. Never hurts to keep options open, especially when dealing with was seems to be under-the-table politics involving the lands surrounding Willowford. These lands have provided much for the growing town. The lands, if lost, would mean a 20% drop in the current economy, a fact Prior Bevin was NOT happy to hear about. It should be interesting to see the result of his inquiries into the matter. That is, if we survive the trip we are on…
For now, we run, away from the known threat of goblins and worgs to the unknown threats between us and the Seer of Balerock. Perhaps the goblins are part of the “Test of Worthiness” mentioned by the Hamadryad. This Seer distrusts Man, which makes me assume he/she is other than human. Though it would be nice to know what lies beneath the reason of that distrust. Many questions and no answers, just clues:
One with two mouths to feed will reveal the path to the “Shadow Bridge”.
He with one eye will share secrets of the Old Gods anger.
He has seen his death and it will follow after you.
The rock will break with his word and thus the door will be revealed.
Go north beyond Eden’s Gate. When rocks grow like trees you will be on the threshold.
Cristobol likes to think himself more intelligent than the average warrior, but with information like this, the scope of possibilities is nearly endless. We can only hope that our path northward will reveal more than the cryptic words of a vision. Though hopefully we can pass safely to beyond Eden’s Gate without invoking the ancient “powers” of the bewitched forest once used by the “Old Powers”.
Still urked at the lack of respect the young warrior woman had at his honest attempt to be courteous, Cristobol’s thoughts shift to Darla. Smiling he remembers the information she gathered concerning the disappearance of Bull Hill and 6 knights with him. Her ability to gather information of the bands of mercs travelling through the area lately has proven very helpful. It is nice to know where the “armies” are employed. Yet, rumors of full battles being fought in the Hill lands with no enemy casualties, an enemy that can hurl rocks with out siege equipment. Rumors of a prisoner exchange between the Hills and Bishop of Cubbum. The King’s Conscription team is about the countryside again, which bodes ill for all, should the Kingdom find reason to require an army again. Perhaps the great evil building is the link to all these troubling tidbits. Though Darla’s delivery of this information with a smile a twinkle in her eye and a specially prepared breakfast for him made Cristobol wish he could find other reasons to delay the young woman he has developed a true fondness for. Darla, such a demure and spritely lady. Worth pursuing? Perhaps….
For now, Cristobol and his companions must become the scalpel that needs to root out the evil that has once again gained a foundation in the lands again….for now…run from the goblins and keep his friends from bleeding to death…