Our fearless party finally takes leave of Lady Winthrop, with a crude map to help them navigate their way through the underdark to the Drow city of Mesodrak’socar, and replenished supplies (rations, water, and lantern oil).
Once they cross the lake, and are out of obvious earshot/sight of her keep, the debate begins on the future of Aurus. Aurus begs for his life and swears that he would never attack or harm the party, and that his most fervent wish is to return to his humanity, and undo this heinous dark gift (though his occassionaly exclamations of “Oh yeah, BEST SEX EVER!” make more than a few in the group question his sincerity).
After much discussion, the group decides to let Aurus live (a few have serious concern and hesitation, but he is their friend, and confident the group can destroy him if necessary, and he is not able to make new vampires, which was a concern).
After several days of uneventful travel, the party comes to a massive large underground cavern with a large keep, surrounded by a few hundred stone huts. The Keep is large, made of stone, solidly constructed, and has a massive three story tower. And it is full of goblins.
The party decides to send Aurus in to scout, since he is the most powerful, and with his mist-form, the sneakiest. Aurus makes his way through the keep, and takes inventory of what he see’s, as well as counting numbers of troops and armaments. On the second story of the tower Aurus finds what is believed to be the goblin “nobles”. On the third floor, is a powerful looking human, older male, with obviously magic gear (his chain mail glows a powerful, but sickly, green). Also of note, are a few human slaves being kept.
Aurus quickly returns to the party, where they decide to attack (Goblins, it can’t be a good thing, especially coupled with slaves). Aurus will sneak back into the top floor of the tower, and unlock one of the shuttered windows, where Dorian will shuttle the group up, on a summoned magic disc.
Aurus goes back into the tower, unlocks the window, and hesitates in killing the human male (the slaves are in bed with him, they are all asleep), when he hears a female voice hissing his mind “KILL HIM.. KILL HIM”. (Seriously.. emo vampire much?). The rest of the party is in the room and starting to take inventory of their surroundings when the old man wakes up.
It turns out he is the king of these goblins, and the master of the slaves. He is not a very nice person, so the group kills him (what kind of host doesn’t even offer apertifs?). Aeyo has just taken the golden circlet the man was wearing, and put it on, to which the slave girls immediately start licking his hands and kissing his feet. A Goblin Shaman then enters the room, see’s the carnage, the dead king, looks at Aeyo with the circlet and exlcaims “WE HAVE A NEW KING!” (it turns out the Circlet was a magic item that bestows unquestioned loyalty and obedience from this tribe of goblins to the wearer.. It also bonds with the wearer, so no one else can ‘use’ it so long as that ruler lives).
Aeyo is introduced to his new ‘people’ as Aeyo the Destroyer. He is given a quick briefing on the status of his new people, and their conflicts. It is mentioned that there is a dwarf held prisoner in the dungeon. Aeyo, Dorian, and Brother Johnathan visit the Dwarf. The dwarf’s name is Stonefist, and he is quickly healed. It is explained that Stonefist was tortured by the goblins at the behest of the old king, and he is brought up to the keep as an honored guest of the party (and the king).
Meanwhile Willow, our trusty rogue, has picked the lock on a chest in the king’s room, and found some lovely and useful magic items the party can be used, alnog with a key carved from solid bone, that opens the king’s treasury.
The party visits the treasury and finds some very useful magic items, and piles of gold, copper, silver, some valuable gems and a few sets of very well made noble attire (Drow craftsmanship). Dorian and Aeyo lay claim to the attire (A King and his First ADvisor must look the part). There are also hundreds of practical items (weaponry, backpacks full of gear, shields, armor, etc) for the army to use. Which is handy since plans for war with a neighboring tribe of Hobgoblins are already on the table.
Aeyo and Dorian make a deal with Stonefist (the Dwarf) to build a tunnel back up to the surface that can be used by wagons, to open trade routes to the surface world, and establish this little kingdom as a new and rising power. To help in this effort, the use of the newly found “Golden Spade” magic item is offered to Stonefist to speed these efforts along. In exchange for his work, he is offered 5% lifetime share of the value of all items sold, that travel through that tunnel, with that share passing to any blood heir he may designate. Stonefist accepts this offer, but does ask the group escort him back to his people as soon as possible, which the parties agree’s to. When this happens, the party is going to try and recruit some dwarves to come back with them to re-build the keep.
Plans are made to set out for Mesodrak’socar immediately, to buy supplies for the keep, and for this war with the Hobgoblins.. after all.. freedom never waits, and there are always evil tribes waiting to be led to the light! ;)