Zippy says: This is Theren’s account of events. For the TL;DR version, without Theren’s blather, see The Joust – Matt’s rough notes
Everyone in town was admiring my new weapons and armour. I have to admit they do make me look even more strong and handsome than I actually am – which is a difficult task! Anyway I had decided to come to Harkenwold‘s famous jousting competition to see what funny little things the humans were up to. Naturally I wasn’t going to participate myself because that would be unfair to everyone else. There were lots of people I recognised from the village, and a few out of towners who had come all the way from Fallcrest to admire me and the lands that I protect.
There was one guy who came into town on a big wagon that was all covered up. He was wearing the stupidest wizard hat I ever saw and calling himself ‘Stormy’. PAH! I wasn’t taken in for a second. As if someone of my intellect would ever believe such nonsense. Unfortunately the humans were all besotted, and were buying his dubious wares. So as not to arouse suspicion, I too pretended to be taken in by ‘Stormy’, perusing his wares and talking loudly about how amazing he was in the hopes of finding out more about him. I should remind my readers that I was pretending even though my acting is so amazing that even I am sometimes taken in.
‘Stormy’ was not only selling wares – he announced that he had a champion to compete in the Joust. This so called champion was pretty big. He was wearing a huge cloak to cover himself and swaying around like he was drunk. When that Cloaked Wonder got in the ring though… even the dimmest of candles could have told you there was something wrong with him too. He was far too aggressive in his first fight – snapped the baker’s leg as though it was a twig. These fragile humans seem to break so easily. The only person in the Joust who could stand up to him was the cleric from out of town, Ercullum.
Ercullum and the Cloaked Wonder went at it, and for a while it even looked as though Ercullum might win. In anger, the Cloaked Wonder started to attack with his full might, striking at his opponent with intent to damage, until finally he had Ercullum down on the ground, and stabbed the stricken cleric right through the chest. It was in the aftermath of this shock that the Cloaked Wonder revealed that he was none other than Moosook, a hobgoblin and chief of the Rock Roller Clan. He was there for revenge on Ercullum who had lead a raid on the goblins some time earlier. Other goblins began to pour into the arena, armed to the teeth. There must have been hundreds of them. Moosook demanded tributes from the villagers, who were too cowed to rise up against the goblin army. I was not intimidated by the odds, and would have slain them all myself then and there if I had not feared that innocent people might be caught in the crossfire.
As it was, there were a few others that I picked out in the crowd. There was a lad from my village – he is young and foolish, but one day I fancy he would like to be as strong and mighty as me. There was a dragonborn that didn’t look like they would be easily subdued, a mage who looked indignant to the point of rebellion (you know how delicate a mage’s ego can be), and an elf. I share an unspoken bond of kinship with elves, so I knew I could count on her help. We met up in secret to form a plan of attack. From there I snuck into the caravan from which the goblin army had spewed forth, with the hope of finding something to use against them.
It was black in there like the depths of an outhouse pit, and it smelled about ten times worse. This was very trying for my preternaturally keen senses, but I investigated as best I could. All that I could find was a smelly pot with some kind of mashed up mess in it, an array of weapons, and a medium sized trunk surrounded by gobbledygook symbols. It looked too heavy to move, and when I went in for a closer inspection an alarm went off. Naturally they were aware that they would need a powerful spell to keep me from stealing away with their treasure… unfortunately they had one. A few people, turned evil through greed or fear, leapt in to pull me away, but I struggled free. I grabbed the smelly pot, thinking that it must be some kind of potion – after all, potions usually smell like dung, and they taste as though you are licking a pig’s armpit.
When I got back with the prize, I was told that it was just food stuffs but personally I think it was just magic that was too advanced for our mage to understand. Knowing he was of the temperamental variety, however, I did not say anything. Thinking that it could be used to lure the goblins into eating narcotic laced meats, however, someone popped off to a herbalist to get the recipe and then went out to the woods to get a few of the herbs. I don’t care too much for this flower picking business, even though (as an elf) I am fantastic at it, and incredibly in tune with nature.
Well it worked – the stupid goblins fell for the trick, and I must have been right about the herbs being a magic potion because the goblins looked extremely ill once they were done eating. Only a potion could make you look that bad. We used the opportunity to climb up one of the stands, hoping for a surprise attack on our foes. There were snipers hiding in the area, but we could only see a few of the stupider ones, who hadn’t quite managed to conceal themselves.
Our elven paladin charged down to our enemies, graceful and sprightly as elves always are. Trying to get down from the stands she fell face first onto the ground. I was confused at the time as to how this might have happened, thinking that perhaps the goblins were using magic to defeat us. I have since come to realise that she was trying to lull the opposition into a false sense of security – how clever! I truly have a way to go before I can call myself an elf. A small way, not too much of a way, but a way never-the-less.
The dragonborn was about to attack when they heard a cry from their mother and had to rush off to defend their family. I can understand the sentiment, although my family does not understand me. Even though they are mere humans I would defend them with my life. It only goes to show that this dragonborn is loyal and dependable – I hope that we will journey together later.
We were mysteriously joined by a dwarf cleric. He is a funny sort, wearing shoes that are so tall he can almost speak to me eye to eye. I don’t trust him much, he’s a suspicious looking fellow – but I suppose that is because I am an elf, and he is a dwarf, and traditionally we would not like one another. It also might be because he has a suspicious looking beard, is he trying to hide something?
I got in the first shot, sinking one of my bolts right into Moosook’s neck, and drawing the first blood. He looked at me, and would have roared in anger if he had not seen my fearsome visage and trembled instead with fear. He and his fellows were stricken with sickness and looked to be quite sluggish for the first part of the fight, allowing us to find our places, and for the less experienced fighters to get their footing.
During the battle our main party wallowed about in the mud while I tried to make sure the stands were free of snipers. Alas the snipers were too well protected, no doubt by some sort of powerful magic. In the end I was forced to join my fellows on the ground where I could do more damage. The dwarf cleric stayed up in the stands, foiled by snipers, or perhaps dawdling because he was too afraid to enter the proper fight. Our mage took a number of arrows from the snipers, and was looking poorly by the time the fight swung in our favour. We surrounded Moosook and threatened to reveal his family’s past scandal if he did not order his forces to lay down their weapons. Utterly defeated, he prostrated himself before us, begging for us to spare his life. Thus we defeated Moosook and his army of goblins, and saved the humans. Unfortunately the carriage drove away. Using my keen eyesight, I saw that the driver was none other than ‘Stormy’ who had been mysteriously absent during the battle. He managed to get away, but not before our mage struck him a near mortal blow. ‘Stormy’ cried out to our mage, saying that one day Zephyr would work for him, but it was clear that this was a desperate bluff. The elves of the Woodsinger Clan attempted to follow ‘Stormy’, but even their valiant white steeds were unable to keep up with the foul carriage, magic’d as it was for speed.
While we were interrogating the goblins, that dwarf cleric healed our enemies. I am not sure why he did it, but I strongly feel that he is working from within the group to take us down. I will be keeping an eye on him. I managed to coax Moosook into giving us information on ‘Stormy’ who shall now be known as Fenstrom. He is indeed a wizard, and a treacherous one at that. Fenstrom has taken over Daggerburg Keep, and the Rock Roller Clan who live there. The group decided (unwisely) to allow Moosook to go free, largely at the behest of that dwarf. The group also decided to follow Moosook back to Daggerburg Keep to finish off Fenstrom before he could ready a retaliatory attack.
On the matter of Ercullum. His uncle (who was at the Joust) begged us to take the cleric’s body to Fallcrest to get him revived. I honestly do not know if we will have the time to do that. We must defeat Fenstrom and his band of goblin lackeys to make sure they do not attack the villages of Harkenwold in search of retribution for their defeat today. We cannot truly venture forth from home before we know that we have made our home safe from those who wish to hurt us where we are least protected. I am sure the dragonborn would share these sentiments, even if the out of towners like that dwarf do not. It is a shame that the cleric Ercullum has died, but he will be only the first of many if we do not succeed. We will do all that we can to see him revived but it is unlikely that we will succeed in this particular task.