Ashes: Chapter 2

Goblin Diplomacy

Taking the advice of Nero, the group heads south along the Stormroad towards Stormspeake in search of Dumarc Lessan, the man who may be able to lead them to Quenza. Knowing the frequent unpredictable storms ahead of them, they decide to make way for Lawson Stables about halfway between Bemwood and Stormspeake to purchase a horse to speed up the trip.

However as they near the destination they come across an overturned cart belonging to the aristocrat Connor they had met previously. Despite the late hour, the party isn't willing to wait to rescue any potential victims of the attack and follow a trail discovered by Oskar into the forest. After several hours, the group comes across an unusual ruin, white columns at odd angles singled with lightning strikes.

Oskar recognizes the ruins from his experiences studying them in the past, although no one, not even Aethelfirth with his knowledge-granted by Oghma, is able to figure out the secret of the ruins. They identify the ruins as a religious site and locate a silver amulet with a seven-pointed star and a sapphire at each point and agree to hold on to it for further researcher.

Finally, they come to a clearing with a sign pointing to "YERMA-GOBLIN GOBLIN STORE FOR SHOPPING AND INN FOR RESTING." Following the sign they come to a cave with Yerma sitting atop it. He claims to be a salesman, although none of his wares appear to be more than scattered trash, and warns the party that the cave is dangerous. They proceed anyway and begin to explore.

The cave is full of goblins which are easily dispatched by Vasnor, Cyrus, and Telrand. Eventually they come across a hobgoblin attempting to train a Grick and dispatch both and later a grick devouring a hobgoblin. Cyrus, seeing this as a desecration of death, attacks and kills the grick. Following the continued path they meet Bree-Yee, the captain of the hobgoblins.

He explains that he's attempting to secure leadership of the goblin tribe in this cave system, led by Gerblin, the "Stormy Lord." He tells them that if they help him by killing the Stormy Lord's champion in combat, he'll take the goblins here to Nur-Adad to wage a war against Orcs on that continent. The group agrees and after a brief rest is led to the shrine of the Stormy Lord.

Vasnor agrees to fight the champion. A single goblin approaches and fires an arrow at the plant-covered wall behind him, which comes to life as a monstrous living plant. Despite a the plant managing to engulf Vasnor, Cyrus calls upon his holy power and leads the group to a sound victory as Bree-Yee kills Gerblin, taking control of the goblin clan. Yerma appears and informs the party that he would come down to the cave and dig through the monster after it devoured people, taking the inorganic material as his "inventory" to sell later. This time, he finds, and gives to the group, several items, including a masterfully made elvish rapier and a breastplate that grants the water the ability to fight safely in water while wearing it.

True to his word, he frees the two captives, including Connor. The group continues south, finding Lawson stables and in repayment for  their work with the goblins is given five horses. Now equipped and ready to move to Stormspeake the group, along with Yerma and Connor, brave the Stormroad south to their destination.



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