Participants: Balthier, Blue,Glanfath, Karn, Lily, Oxalis (that’s me)
I still remember the lesson you gave to me one day, about how most of you “outsiders” are limited in what you can elect to do, how your very nature limits your options, expressing envy at the liberty of choice most of us mortals have, compared to, for example, Fae, devils, demons, Celestials and similar beings. How you warned me both against prejudice against my fellow beings and against being too open-minded and taking a look-see approach when determining the nature of others. And you asked me to report the results whenever I had an experience going either way.
Guess what? I had just such an encounter recently. The proprietor of the local tavern approached a couple of us as we were sitting in the tavern, not expecting much trouble. He hemmed and hawed, asking us whether we could help him with a little trifle. His latest delivery of produce from a nearby farm had been overdue for a few weeks which led him to worry for the safety of the farmers – and for the appearance of the produce, because he needed it to sell to his customers, his larder being almost empty.
So, a small group of us set out towards that farmstead which turned out to be about two, three days travel away. The weather was quite nice, even though it looked as if a storm was brewing when we left, but I was able to discern the weather was going to be better, using that little trick you graciously wrote down on one of the leaves of my crown.
We made good progress, and when we settled down for the night, after we had decided on the spot, we saw a herd of axe beaks, which caused several of us to decide to turn this into a checkup – cum – hunting trip.
The axe beaks were not a rematch first, even though they fought valiantly. Some of my co-travelers then decided to try to turn as much meat as possible into provisions and rations. Unfortunately, this took too long and people settled down for the night in that very spot, not minding that the spilt blood could attract predators.
Of course, during the night, I noticed a couple of small figures creeping closer to our little encampment, thinking that I as a halfling would be unable to see them, not knowing about the special training you had given me.
Maybe you could give me a hint: in such a situation, is it preferable to yell a loud alarum, even though this might notify the opponents they had been spotted and cause them to hurry their attack, potentially able to attack my party while they are still lying on the ground [as it has happened to me earlier, you may remember], or to try to wake everyone as unobtrusively as possible – using my newfound ability to speak silently which I suspect is a result of the recent change I underwent, to be able to surprise the infidels with our full force awake and ready for battle? This time, I opted for the latter – which my new friends then complained about about as loudly as my other friends used to complain about being attacked while still lying on the ground due to my loud alarm.
Our attackers were a group of goblins, armed with blowguns and daggers, which seemed to have been poisoned with some kind of concoction directly affecting the mind. We all defended us as best we could, as long as I could I resorted to what you call “The Warlock’s Spam”, remembering to switch over to the Death Knell when enemies were too close to me. I admit, I still have to occasionally improve on my selection between these two tricks, but I think your teachings will serve me well.
These goblins again were no match for our well-equipped group, even though several of us did go down occasionally, yet temporarily. After finishing our nights rest which had been so rudely interrupted, we continued on our way to the farm.
Part of the farm seemed to be in disrepair when we reached it, with two farmhands tilling the fields and one “farmer” – or at least that’s what he looked like according to his garb.
We all were taken a bit aback, because the trio turned out to be goblins again, which several of us wanted to immediately attack on sight. However, the designated leader of our group decided to be careful and approached the head farmer asking him questions about the farm. At the same time, one of us took a stroll around the farm, deliberately opening an attack option for one of the “farmhands”. And as some of us had already expected – and I had hoped would not be true – the goblin could not overcome his “personality” and attacked him. Which in turn caused the more belligerent of our group to begin a “pointy discussion” with them as to where the real owners of the farm might be found.
During that fight, one more goblin came out of the farmhouse, hoping to settle matters by shooting one of us with a bow, but only succeeding in attracting our attention as well, upon which he was chased through the house – and when he jumped out of a window, right into the arms Glanfath. The two posing as farmhands were hit by sleep spells and quickly succumbed, while the “head farmer” as well as the goblin in the farmhouse perished in the fight.
In the farmhouse we found the final proof that attacking the goblins had been no mistake: the body of one of the “real owners” lay dead on the ground near the bed, with torture marks, though it seemed there had been at least a couple with a few kids living in the cottage.
The “cellar” of the house had been emptied of all stored goods, and turned into the kind of torture chamber. Although we found traces the chamber had been used for its intended use, no trace of the former inhabitants could be found – and also the livestock had gone missing. So we decided – after storing the snoring goblins in an empty chicken coop – to follow what we supposed were the tracks of the raiders [who had used a cart to transport their loot] up to cave in a hillside which had obviously been fortified by goblins with a smallish kind of palisade, even though it was still higher than I was. Before my recent change, I would’ve been able to look over it but now… I was the only one who could not see what was behind it: a number of goblins ready to defend their home, accompanied by a warg. In the goblin caves themselves there were another warg, a few goblin bravos, the goblin boss and enough goblins to fill up a complement of about a dozen.
This was a closer fight, these goblins had a plan how to defend themselves in case of an attack, which mostly failed because we were quicker to the action and less surprised than they had expected. After the dust had settled, we found not only the probable bodies of the missing farm inhabitants and livestock, but also what probably was the missing produce, which we were able to recover using the cart the goblins had used to transport it away.
At the farm, we found that the goblins had either been able to free themselves or been freed. In any case, we were able to procure the lacking delivery and return it to the tavern where the tavern keeper was glad to see us back and give us a little reward.
So you see, I am aware that, as you have drummed into me, creatures from our word do not necessarily follow the personality their race seems to prescribe them – but that should come as no surprise to you, you know who and what I have been before my recent change. In addition, with all the racism I had to endure until I started training under you, I was fully willing to give those goblins the benefit of the doubt, but, aware that “he who hesitates is lost”, I was still able to quickly enter decisive action once they had shown their true colors. And yes, that is one of the lessons I learned under your tutelage.
your old pupil