In feels like ten years since we left our little village in the forest. By “we”, of course, I mean me (Elwyn), Ezekiel (the “Cleric”), and Mikael (the Druid). Though both Ezekiel and I both came there later in life, the people and the familiarity make it feel like home.
Which is why it made me so mad when goblins attacked! It’s more than the goblins, of course – my Ranger master discovered bugbears in the caves, and other nasties just waiting to burn our poor village to the ground.
We had no choice but to evacuate the people for their own safety. I had lived there only five years (since I was fourteen) but it felt like home. (More like home than the crowded-to-bursting family estate.)
Well, Mikael, Ezie, and I aren’t the types to take goblin invasions lying down. In the larger town of Hochoch, we heard rumors of a gnomish scholar who might throw some light on the goblins’ actions.
More than that: some of the locals agreed to accompany us to the gnome’s town (Orlane), and give us some direction along the way: Lancell the Paladin, Lefty the Fighter, Jill the Magic User, and Kelsier the (Halfling) Fighter.
If your head is spinning right now, I don’t blame you. Ranging in the woods for fun is one thing; following a road and trying to get somewhere is another.
Even Lancell, who assured us he knew how to get to Orlane, got us a little off-track…meaning we started out heading east, but somehow circled around and entered the town from the east side.
And then…well, then’s when things really started getting weird.
The first thing we saw was the local Temple of Merikka, goddess of harvest, set on the hill above the town. Judging from the amazing farmland around the town, she’d been generous to her faithful worshippers…and besides, Merikka is probably like a friend of my own patroness, Elohnna.
Long and the short of it, our whole party headed for the temple for information, direction, and encouragement.
What we found there…Look, my head is still ringing, so I might not have all the details right.
We talked to the priestess there. Everything seemed to be in order…some of us might have paid our respects briefly before the jade statue of Merikka in the main sanctuary.
Lancell decided to try out his “Detect Evil” ability or whatever paladins call it – and discovered an aura of evil emanating from the priestess. A “palpable stench of evil” he called it!
Evil or not, the priestess was ticked off. In here is where I don’t remember everything, because y’see, we had a big battle. Somehow or other, the monks of Merikka were attacking us, and so was the priestess. I think we would have been wiped out if some guy hadn’t shown up and thrown lightening around, but at any rate we escaped from the temple courtyard and headed for the nearest inn we could see – the Slumbering Serpent. (Inviting, huh?)
After healing our wounds there, we snuck back to the temple at night – only to be attacked by the gardener, some temple lay-men, and some wolves. (Not like you can blame them, of course.)
I know I was hit on the head at least once. Somehow or other, we were staggering along the road, heading back to the inn. Lancell the Paladin and Jill the Magic User were both badly hurt, but behind us was a pile of dead bodies. (Also, I was wearing the priestess’s chain mail, which we looted off her body.)
We didn’t come here to be typical looters. All we wanted was to find this gnome, and uncover what was happening.
Maybe after some rest, my head will stop pounding, and we’ll be able figure out what we should do next.