August 22 – 28
Travel to Umbria
morning of the 29th after much traveling we cross into Umbria thru rubble and ramparts
as we move into the city we see a fort a ways off with smoke plumes we leave the horses in a secluded area and begin investigating the surrounding buildings. We find what looks like it could be a type of temple with a number of daises that look like they may have had statues to the gods here. long since removed.
After much searching we find that there is a) a complete absence of magic and b) the threshold has been removed to …where? Dom finds goblin tracks…and we follow them into the hill.
We head down the stairs, they were once ornate and richly built, but have since fallen into decay. We pause on our way down, Dom warns us of a trip wire part way down. We hear rustling and movement up ahead and brace ourselves for an attack.
I pause for a moment to invoke the rod, I hear Kuni behind me break out in song while Cilka whispers
her familiar phrase that adds speed to our limbs. Coy expands, nearly cracking his head open on the
ceiling above, as we all move forward to the attack. I can’t even yet see what we are threatened by, this routine has become so familiar we all know our roles. We faced only two roughly clad little goblins and a hobgoblin, they don’t have a chance against us. Gertie opens the door on the far side of the grand room we have entered at the bottom of the stairs.
The room before us is a large pillared space with old, battered frescos along the walls. They must have been beautiful before they were defaced by the current inhabitants of this space. More goblins appear at the door at the far end of the room, Coy leads the way. Alaric alone moves through the door, I follow him, not wanting him to be caught alone and surrounded. More goblins and hobgobblins pour out of the rooms lining the short ends of the room, my companions come through the door behind me. They are conveniently arrayed in front of me, I wind up (missing my companions on either side, see Alaric, it is possible) and take out two and wound another in one massive swing. Arrows cloud the air, more of a nuisance than anything else. A few land, stinging like bees, I brush them off and focus on the dwindling enemies before us.
I move over next to my cousin to offer her what protection I can. Coy does one better and reaching over her head, smashes the goblins threatening her. As we finish off the rest of the hobgoblins, a few take off toward the stairs heading down on the far side, Coy and I take off to block their escape while the rest of the ones left in the side rooms are dealt with. Alaric takes a few moments to check out the small room off the pillar room, right across from where we entered. It is shrine-like with statues that have been smashed and a tiled ceiling with crystals set in the pattern of constellations.
The stairs lead us down into a crypt, the walls lined with buried dead and sarcophagi aligned up the
center of the room. I move halfway into the room, my companions moving along behind me. It is quiet
and restful in here, we may have ventured down here for nothing. Then an arrow flashes by, grazing me on its way. A horde of goblins and hobgobblins shimmer into sight surrounding us, here we go again!
We quickly deal with the beasts facing us, there are two archers ahead, taking cover behind a
sarcophagi. They lose their nerve and duck out, conveniently revealing the location of the secret door.
Alaric runs forward and reaching down just as the archers had done, opens the not so secret door. One of the archers hiding behind the door is surprised by Alaric, I move up behind Alaric and lunge past him with my sword, kindly relieving the goblin archer of any further worry and stress. The stairs continue the general downward trend, curving around and opening up into another room.
This room is octagonal with alcoves all around, except for directly across, there it is another door set in the wall. This room has something different, instead of more goblins and hobgobblins we are facing a troll.
A huge bearlike creature suddenly appears at the door across from us. It roars and a ball of fire comes racing directly toward me, enveloping me and those near me in a quick, but fierce conflagration. Once the flames subside, we are suddenly facing a wall of massive bugbears. Coy lobs a fireball of his own in retaliation. We are hard pressed against these great beasts, and even though fortune is guiding my blade this day, I fear it may not be enough. We take a couple of them down, but Dom falls to the troll as a wall of fire bursts up from the floor surrounding us. I am at the center and so do not take much by way of damage, but the fire blocks us from aiding Dom. Coy takes a deep breath and staggers through the flames, then shoves aside the troll that is menacing our fallen comrade. He shouts to Alaric for help to heal Dom.
A fiercesome demon appears, stepping through nothing right behind me. It is a similar to one we have
faced and fought before. Alaric shouts out a warning to me and attacks, I turn to defend myself as I
hear Keth’s voice shout out, “don’t attack that, it’s one of mine!”. I spin again and lash out at one of the last bugbeasts remaining. Gertie races through the wall, and is taken down by the troll. Alaric braces himself and steps through the wall, he is visibly shaken, but still up. Coy feeds Dom a potion. Alaric touches my shoulder and says, “Fly!”. I feel lightened as my feet lift off the ground, I wobble a bit, find my balance and shoot up and over the wall, attacking the troll. It spins and lays a solid blow into me, hitting me so hard a spin out of control, hitting the ceiling, my vision growing dim as I settle into a heap on the floor.
I come to, not much has happened since I went down, everyone still seems to be in much the same
positions. We are looking like a haggardly bunch, many of us are having a hard time just staying on our own two feet!
The Troll finally goes down, Cilka deals that fatal blow. Thankfully Lady Luck seems to have turned
away from both sides, as many attacks go astray, ours and theirs alike. I am flirting heavily with
unconsciousness, staying upright is almost beyond my ability, never mind actually doing anyone any
damage. The blasted beast is equipped with a nasty shield of fire, even not hitting it hurts! My head spins as that blasted shield takes its toll yet again, and I briefly lose my battle with gravity and fall senseless once again.
I wake again to much the same, bracing myself, I stand keeping my weapon ready. We are all surrounding these last two monsters and making little to no headway against them. We keep hammering away at the monsters, this is certainly a test of stamina.
A black rift opens up, the beast turns toward it attempting to make it’s escape, as it turns it exposes itself to our weapons and we finally cut it down before it can make good its escape.