Prelude: You all get back to the eastern side of Fallheim and meet up at the tavern to talk and drink (feel free to keep that thread going, people can enter/leave the tavern whenever and talk about whatever they like in there). Meeting with Theodore briefly, he orders himself a drink but seems to be both excited and upset. At your questions about restoring Dark Etherium, he lowers his head a bit, "Not exactly, I've somehow managed to change a small amount of the Dark Etherium to an inert state. It apperas like any other non-magical crystal, but it is definitely not what we know as regular Etherium. It no longer eminates the dark, necrotic-arcane energies that it appears originate with Dark Etherium, but I am unsure if I will be able to complete the process of reversal." Outside of the tavern, hiding in one of your rooms on the upper level of the Inn, Slink the kobold strums a serenade on a very small but finely crafted lute as he chitters an old draconic song.
He offers you all his services as an alchemist, it turns out he's quite skilled in it, and can concoct select potions and mixtures if provided with raw materials or gold to account for their cost. (I will have a list soon of items that may be purchased from Slink) The Fallheim Soldiers eventually come to notify Istarya that Captain Justinian has sent for him, the hobgoblin prisoners are being taken to a cell beneath the keep and he'd like Istarya to eavesdrop on them and hopefully they can learn what they know without resorting to interrogation right away.
Recap: Returning from the Western Tower, the party found Captain Justinian who informed them that some hobgoblin prisoners were found, that Klar had surrendered himself to them back when he was taken prisoner, and that Theodore had succeeded on reverting Dark Etherium. Gwrtheyrn heads off to investigate the hobgoblin prison that was found, sees some hobgoblin prisoners being pulled towards town, and finds a pile of magic weapons left in the building, while the rest of the party returns to the Inn. Lel and McGwyver spent time investigating the properties of Dark Etherium and a piece of Inert Etherium that Theodore had managed to convert from Dark Etherium.
Meanwhile, at the request of Captain Justinian, Istarya heads to the keep prison and eavesdrops on the four Hobgoblin prisoners that were found left behind by the army.
At the highest point in the town of Fallheim, the Moonstone Keep sits overlooking the surrounding lands above the town's defensive walls. Beneath the keep, in a large prison cell a few down the row from where Klar was held, two hobgoblin prisoners crowd around the slumped form of an unconcious hobgoblin and whisper to each other in the goblin language. The fourth is also unconcious, but sitting upright against the wall.
Two guards stand watch, one next to the cell and the other further down the hall, standing next to Istarya who listens intently…
?: "I think they drugged him Bax, he will not wake for days…"
Bax: "Possible, but why?"
?: "To throw us off, make us think he gone sick or dying. Bet they come and offer to help him if we make friendly! They tricksy like that, humans."
Bax: "Nox and Mar both? You are paranoid, they not breathing like they poisoned."
???: "Okay, smart gobbo, what you think they do? Why put here and guard us? We been tortured plenty by bastard gobbos following that damned Dragon! All we wanted do is leave this place and find own home, stealing home from humans no seem right to us…"
Bax: "Quiet Wogg, Nox is moving…"
Wogg: "You think they just going to leave us here?"
Bax: "No." some rustling can be heard in the cell "Look…"
Wogg: "Nox! We thought they drugged you…"
Nox: "Urrrgh…my head… killing me… where…where hell are we? This not look like prison but I am still chained."
Wogg: "We in the human prison now, they came in and took all the humans away first, now they moved us here."
Bax: "Gobbos and dragonlings too."
Wogg: "Yea, from what we saw on way over here they took them prisoner too. Good thing, weakling usurper dragonlings deserve death!"
A faint scraping sound of wood against metal can be heard inside the cell
Wogg: "What we do, Nox?"
Nox: "First thing first, how is it we became unconscious, is Mar okay? Next we must figure out way to prove to humans that we are friendly to them and on their side before we even try to get them to notice us."
Bax: "Mar is out cold."
Wogg: "We were in prison cell when word spread outside that someone was assaulting the tower. Before we knew it a wave of energy flashed through the camp, and everything went black. Bax woke me afterward, all the traitors had left. Then humans came in, there was one armored dragonblooded with them, we carried you and Mar with us they led us by their spears to this Keep. It looks like all tribes left in hurry, good riddance!"
Nox: "They will not believe us unless we can help them, or prove to them our worth and our word."
The scraping sound stops ubruptly, there is a sound of wood clattering against the wall
Bax: "They won't believe us."
Nox: "Patience Bax, only a calm mind will work. We have to think like fox, not like badger. Acting like the badger will get us no where, especially without our gear, do you guys know where they put it since the traitors had it thrown in the corner? We must think, what do we have that can be of use to the humans? Or what do we know that can help them trust us? Think damn it!"
The cell goes quiet as the three goblins seem to rest and ponder their discussion, eyeing the guards wearily.
Lel & Istarya strike a deal with Nox Arg-Belkord to help them track the fleeing Hobgoblins from his tribe. Gwrtheyrn returns with Nox's equipment from the prison and gives it to him.
Lel talks to Captain Justinian about plans to keep the town safe in the future, and asks if he trusts the Serathis Heralds. Justinian does not trust them, but he fears they may have no choice.
The party goes to Theodore's tower and learns that he has been testing Etherium, and has managed to change Dark Etherium to some sort of inert state of "Neutral" Etherium, but that he cannot change it back to the way it was. The party is given horses by the Fallheim guards and head out to the north-west, towards Winterhaven and the path that Klar took on the red dragon.
Two days later the party catches up with the hobgoblins camping a few hours to the south and west of Winterhaven, they spot more camp fires across the road in the ruins of an old, haunted abbey. Observing one of the remote camps of hobgoblins, the party spots a group of kobolds watching the goblins also. Sneaking through the camp, the kobolds seem to be trying to rob the camp but are caught and an alarm is raised amongst the goblins. The party joins the fray, taking out the hobgoblins, goblins, bugbears, and kobolds all at once.
Arriving in Winterhaven the group finds a small farming village with rudimentary defense and a small piece of etherium overhead so that they can safely rest for the remainder of the night.
761xp – Carric, Lel, Gwrtheyrn, Teodora, Istarya, McGwyver, and Nox Arg-Belkord