The Traveling Menagerie of Idiots

Islands, Goblins, and Secrets

Also a beach bash and a tantrum.

It took Kang and Loralai very little time to break through the dragon’s crystal and free Maesa Sari’s spirit. Somewhat in awe, the party gathered around her — and in payment for their assistance in killing the dragon and waking her from her slumber, the Island used the crystal remains to improve the party’s gear. Harlow, Anvir, and Loralai had crystals embedded in their armour, Lana on her bow, Kang received crystal teeth along the edge of his koloss sword, Charlie on his cane sword, and the twins on their swords.

Wanting to remain on the Island’s good side — since they still needed to spend a few days there, and let’s be honest everyone has had enough of making enemies — the party asked if there was anything else they could do for her, any other way they could help her. The Island responded by saying she felt… unclean.

The party cheerfully agreed to rid the island of the goblin infestation before retreating from her cavern, back to the Predator.

Giddy with victory, Aramis and Arawei decided it was the perfect time to throw a party on the beach. Helped by the rest of the sailors, they began to ferry keg after keg of alcohol to the shore, to the disinterest of Anvir and Lana, and Harlow who went for a walk her own. A bonfire was made, a boar was roasted, and drunken revelries (miraculously undisturbed by goblins) followed. When the music started up, Harlow shyly asked Sly to dance and discovered that she could dance. The two were lost to everyone else for the rest of the evening, eventually falling asleep together in a bed of flowers.

Meanwhile, Loralai, Kang, and Charlie threw darts at trees (and unsuspecting sailors) and Anvir spent most of his time making sure the rest of the drunken sailors weren’t going to hurt themselves. Lana told the rest of the party that she was “going for a fly” before slipping off to the night — but was followed by Loralai and Kang, who watched as she cast a new spell she’d learned, summoning a giant eagle. Naming the creature Helwyr, Lana took off into the night with her new steed, enjoying the freedom.

Having witnessed this sight, Loralai apologised to Kang for all the things she’d said… and the things she hadn’t, promising to tell him more when Harlow and Lana were also present. Returning to the party, Loralai introduced Kang to a type of alcohol that — amazingly — did not give the drinker a hangover the next morning. And that was the end of the night for those two, too.

In the morning, the party and crew slowly regained consciousness, with varying degrees of hangover. (Charlie was definitely hungover. Definitely.) At some point, Lana introduced the party to Helwyr, and Loralai asked Kang about the sunrise tattoo he’d gotten aboard the Siren’s Bane. His responded saying that it was for his friends in Orokai, but when asked where they were currently, Kang walked away.

The next order of the day was to decide the best way to rid the island of goblins. Lana used her primeval awareness to detect that they were, for the most part, hanging out in two of the ruins. But there seemed to be too many of them for a frontal assault to be the best tactic — the party decided to try drawing out some of the goblins by making a lot of noise. As they still needed wood to repair the Predator, they decided to let Kang use his thunderous gauntlets on the trees while the rest of them kept watch.

Soon enough, Lana detected a group of goblins approaching, and the sailors retreated to the water line while the party prepped for battle. Anvir, and Lana astride Helwyr, took to the sky to get a better look at what was coming, and hopefully take the first few attacks.

Unfortunately, even goblins riding atop gelatinous cubes can be stealthy, and Lana and Anvir had made themselves obvious targets. The first volley of arrows went mainly into Helwyr — causing the bird to disappear, and Lana to fall heavily to the ground.

But the goblins had revealed themselves now, and the party opened fire — Sly and Anvir with fireballs, Harlow and Loralai with eldritch blasts, and Lana making use of her hordebreaking skill to take out an entire cube of goblins at once.

Still, the sight of goblins on top of cubes was a new one for all of them, and though the goblins proved easy to take out, the cubes decidedly did not. It wasn’t long before one party member after the other was engulfed – Sly time-skipping herself in an effort to escape when Harlow couldn’t pull her free, Loralai using misty step, Kang simply cutting them in half with the koloss sword and attempting to pull people back out. Harlow also dropped a tree on several cubes, which was then set alight by Sly, but was engulfed twice, falling unconscious both times – just like she had aboard the Siren’s Bane.

Seeing Harlow in danger, Charlie ran in to rescue her — but wasn’t strong enough to break the cube’s grip, leaving it up to Sly to time skip Harlow to prevent her taking more damage. Thankfully, the party was eventually able to take down the last few cubes, and Anvir healed those who had fallen unconscious. Exhausted by this — and in Harlow’s case, permanently afraid — the party decided to take a rest before doing anything else.

During the rest, the party decided that these goblins were decidedly intelligent. Too intelligent. What goblin would think to put glass on top of a cube so that they could ride it? Nope, something suspicious is going on.

They decided to go back to the lighthouse and pay the Island another visit, to see if she could tell them anything more. Heading down, the party told the Island of their encounter and determined that there was a wizard among the goblins. However, the Island could not help them any further, as it was beyond the bounds of her existence, without some kind of… tie with one of the party. A tie similar to the ones that Loralai and Harlow already had — a revelation that came as a shock to the rest of the party. Though Anvir was capable of making such a bond with the Island, he declined. Lana and Kang, on the other hand, did not meet the necessary requirements. At this point, Kang exercised some form of self control and stomped out of the room, returning to the top of the lighthouse.

With the Island unable to offer more assistance, and secrets previously unmentioned brought to light, it was with an uncomfortable silence that the party walked back up the tunnels to the surface where Kang was waiting. They asked why he seemed so pissed off — to which he replied that he didn’t like the idea of giving allegiance to a more powerful being that they didn’t understand. But with no more information forthcoming from the two warlocks, he stormed back to the camp and started logging with the koloss sword, despite Lana trying to stop him. She, too, felt the sting of the warlocks’ lack of sharing, following Kang back to the beach.

Left alone with Loralai and Harlow, Anvir also expressed his concerns about their apparent ‘tie’ before going back to the beach. After a brief discussion on their own about the circumstances and the fact that their secrets had been aired in such a manner, Loralai and Harlow also went back to the camp, where they joined Anvir and Lana in trying to decide what their next move on the goblins should be — as, after all, they had promised the Island that they would get rid of them all. Though several attempts were made to get Kang’s attention… they were unfortunately made by eldritch blasting the tree he was working on. Using the very magic he seemed so opposed to did not make him more receptive to joining the party in their planning.

Eventually the rest decided to send Anvir to scout the ruins and keep an eye on the goblins. Unfortunately out of range of the earrings of whisper, he found a relatively safe cave… but before he could hide there, a goblin scout party spotted him. It quickly became clear that they’d bitten off more than they could handle — Anvir’s light was able to completely obliterate the entire party, and he retreated to the cave before another group could come through.

Back on the beach, with Anvir not returning, Lana flew out on Helwyr to look for him. But she was met by a second goblin scout group, who badly wounded Helwyr — forcing her to return to the beach without making contact with Anvir. Understandably concerned, the party decided they would have to go get him as a group. They called over Sly, Charlie, and the twins to go with them, in case they ran into any more goblins, which seemed likely. So they would need Kang. Who was still savaging trees with the koloss sword, doing enough work that most of the sailors were sitting around doing nothing.

As he completely ignored all verbal attempts to attract his attention, Harlow used her new ability to speak directly into Kang’s mind. But let’s be honest, using mind magic on the one who’s recently revealed a fear of mind control was really not a wise move.

Though what she said was really very nice (something close to “there’s a place for you here next to me. I’d really like it if you took it”). And, if nothing else, it did get Kang’s attention. Noticing Anvir missing — but not coming any closer to them — he reluctantly agreed to stop logging and come with them. Or maybe it was just the promise of violence.

Kang set off ahead of the rest of the party, Loralai and Harlow reluctant to say anything that might potentially make it worse, Lana trying to keep up with the half-orc. After traversing through the forests for a while, they found themselves in a ravine, with the glimmer of a goblin’s arrow just in sight…

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Fraser mollyherb

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