The Scales of War

Goblins and Ghosts?

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Having won the entry hall to the mausoleum the party regrouped between the three doors seemingly leading further in to the crypts.

“It looks like each family got their own wing down here.” observed Chenia pointing to the lintels above the three doors, each bearing a family name inscribed into the stone. “Which one should we investigate first?”

“Well, this is Rivenroar Castle, so perhaps the Rivenroar section will be the best place to start.” replied Gladys, pointing at the centre door.

“Maybe not,” piped up Okidoki with a glance through the open western door, “there is a torch lying on the floor out there that looks like it has just been pulled off the wall and thrown on the ground. I’d guess after being waved about as a signal. And I think I can hear voices coming from down there, though I can’t make out what they are saying.”

Heeding the gnome’s warning the rest of the group took up positions to either side of the door waiting to see if they were about to be attacked. All except for Vetch, who stood across the room with an arrow aimed through the open door.

He did not have to wait long either, as moments later a small goblin scout poked head and shoulders around the corner to peer into the room. It only had long enough for it’s beady little eyes to widen in shock at the sight of the waiting elf before Vetch’s arrow took it in the throat, knocking it backwards and tumbling it to the ground.

“Quickly now!” cried Chenia, “That will have alerted them!”

With a rush, Gladys and Thomas led the way around the corner and down the corridor a short distance before finding themselves at the entrance to an open room. And sure enough there in the middle of the room were a pack of hobgoblins milling about and looking rather less ready than they might have wanted to for the arrival of a group of adventurers. In addition to the main mob, there was a slightly larger looking hobgoblin at the back of the pack and a single hobgoblin on the far side of the room just in the process of opening a door as the party charged in. Seeing the arrival of the adventurers the hobgoblin turned from the door and rushed back across the room to join it’s brethren in the attack.

Fortunately however, many of the hobgoblins proved to be rather less than a threat to the party. Several of them fell rather easily although their Phalanx Soldier tactic could make them difficult to hit. What was making the combat rather more troublesome than it might otherwise have been was the steady stream of crossbow bolts that were flying out of the darkness through the door on the other side of the room. The party were forced to adjust their tactics to keep them out of line of site of the door as much as possible which did occastionally make the fight a little awkward. Eventually, all of the hobgoblins, even their leader, were felled and the party was all taking cover from the darkness and wondering what to do when Vetch solved the problem by dashing across the room and slamming the door shut.

After a couple of tense minutes of waiting to see if whatever was shooting through the door would come bursting in, the group decided they were safe to take a brief rest.

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Ready to move on, the group decided that the other door out of this room was more in need of investigation than the door with the darkness and the bolts. Opening the door, the group were greeted with the sight of yet another unlit corridor, this one leading only a short distance from the door before turning to the north. Moving cautiously up to the corner, the group discovered that the corridor continued for but a short distance before opening out in to a dimly lit room. Leading the way up to the entrance, Okidoki was able to report back to the group that the room was a curious shaped thing. almost triangular in shape with an exit at each apex. Running along the far wall from the entrance used by the party and suspended from two faintly glowing poles, was a large tapestry. The tapestry depicted numerous knights, all bearing the arms of the Von Jallach family, performing various deeds of valor.

In front of the tapestry stood a low weapon rack of a size to hold a single sword and lying on the floor about half way to the right hand door, was the corpse of a goblin, from the look of it, having been there for some time.

Leaving the rest of the group lurking at the doorway, Okidoki skulked forward to check on the corpse.

“This one’s been dead a while … it’s not one of ours.” he reported back to the group.

“No kidding? We could tell that from here.” came the reply.

However, before the conversation could go any further two spectral figures swept out of the tapestry, seeming to flow out of the images of of two knights depicted there. One floated across the room and attacked the gnome while the other swept in to assault the main group. Once again, battle was joined.

Fortunately for the group this battle was one where they actually outnumbered their opponents, and although they took a few hits it did not take long before the first of the spectral knights was defeated, fading away into wisps of ectoplasm with a final outraged scream.

Once the entire group was able to focus on the remaining ghost warrior, but curiously after only a brief time the warrior suddenly put up his sword and spoke, and in a faint, whispery voice spoke.

“Hold! I yield!”

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“You … uhh … yield?” All of the group were taken aback by this turn of events but Okidoki was the one to voice that surprise.

The ghostly warrior’s sword faded from view as he replied. “Yes, I yield. We attacked thinking you were those filthy goblins come back to steal again. But I see now that we were mistaken. You are clearly not goblins and don’t look like tomb robbers either. I am Sir Mirtanius von Urstadt, Knight of the Vale. And I apologise for assaulting you like that.”

The group exchanged surprised glances for a moment and then Chenia spoke up.

“Umm, forgive us for being a little puzzled sir Knight, but we have never seen had anyone apologise for attacking us before.” Chenia looked a little uncomfortable to be holding a conversation with a ghost but pressed on, “How did you come to be … in … this state, in this place?”

“I came to be here in the normal way. I died, old age sadly rather than in battle, but you can’t have everything, and was buried here by my sons. The crypt seems to choose two knights from the family to guard it from thieves and such. Used to replace them as members of the family were buried. Of course, nobody from the family has been buried here in long long time. I don’t know if that means they have moved on or all died out. So there won’t be anyone to replace Sir Cellan,” Mirtanius gestured towards the spot where his ghostly companion had fallen, “so I suppose it is just me now. Not that we did any good this last time. It’d been too long you see, we were too slow waking up. Only managed to catch one of the thieving vermin,” this time he gestured to the dead goblin on the floor.

“They stole the sword! The filthy, thieving scum! Been in the family for over two hundred years and it ends up stolen by some goblins. Please, can you recover it. The goblins were yabbering something about giving it to some vile undead creature to seal a deal or something. I cannot bear the thought of Banid’s Blade in the filthy rotting hands of some gods forsaken undead filth.”

Seeing a puzzled look growing on Okidoki’s face and rightly deducing that he was about to question the knight’s status as undead himself, Gladys cut in quickly to forestall the inevitable gaffe. “I am sure we can do this for you Sir Mirtanius. We are searching this crypt for captives taken from Brindol as well as some artifacts stolen by the goblins. We will retrieve your sword for you as well.”

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