Tag Archive: Sunshine Stonecask


51st of Spring, Year 256

After the Goblin horde left, we did comb the elven city for survivors or usable items. There were a handful of books that survived from being in a closed cabinet, they are a little toasted but otherwise in good shape. An enchanted long bow that Azurei has laid claim to, of our party she seems the most able to use it.

There was also the Arch Druid’s staff.

It would seem that he died when the Goblin’s lord first offered to take the elves into his empire. I am told that the Arch Druid dueled Eebaku one on one and held him off long enough for a warning to get out. The staff did not seem magic at first, though the elves have assured us that it is. It looks like a walking stick, nothing more. They were glad that no one in the party wanted to keep it for themselves though, it would seem that this staff has been passed down by many Arch Druids and will continue to be passed down as soon as they appoint a new one.

And, predictably, Eclair has been treating the corpses like her own personal butcher shop. The elves told her that eating the bodies of the fallen was acceptable so long as she did not waste anything, so at least this habit of hers is not offering offense. Chonck helped.

52nd of Spring, Year 256

When we returned to Caskfire Churt was outside. Outside in the sun. It was concerning to say the least. She said she needed to see us as soon as we arrived.

The Obcobra has been cursing dwarves within the fortress with little provocation. Made one fellow’s entire beard fall out when he took a bit of food from her. Turned another handful into a mix of dwarf and boar when they complained about not being strong enough. Then a fair number of other more temporary curses. Churt wanted us to talk the Obcobra away from all the cursing, unfortunately she is unwilling to stop.

Given that and that we want to keep her close enough to be helpful once the fight against the Goblin horde starts in earnest, we convinced her to move into one of the nearby empty Goblin warrens. We even had a crew of dwarves help clean it out for her. She seemed to like that idea well enough.

Problem solved for the time being I suppose.

50th of Spring, Year 256

That was bad.

Most everything was burned. There was no one to save.

The only thing that still lived was a tree, tall and unmarred by all the horror around it except for the piles of dead Goblins surrounding it. Some kind of advisor tree according to the elf.

Chonck, of course, of course, licked the advisor tree in an attempt to communicate with it. It would seem that it had killed the Goblins surrounding it itself somehow. More importantly, it informed him that the Goblins’ leader was to the south with the bulk of the force he attacked the city with.

Silly as it may seem now, I think it wanted to keep fighting the Goblins that harmed its people, its home. When Chonck asked it for a twig so that he could keep talking to it, it lowered an absolutely massive branch into his hands. That branch was at least as big as his maul and I would swear thrummed with enough power that even I could feel it. Chonck seemed excited at the prospect of fighting Goblins with his new friend, so I can hardly complain.

[The next several pages contain a great deal of scribbled out text. A small number of pages are missing.]

The Goblins’ leader, their Lord Eebaku, claimed to be my father.

I would not have believed it from a creature that looked like his disguised self, a Goblin twice the size of any others wearing a finer version of the same black armor as the rest of his army. Having seen him take on a demonic form though. Having seen myself in the mirror. I cannot help but believe that he could be my father.

Why did I never ask mom more about when she found me? It never seemed important. It never seemed like it could be important. But to have something like this just show up, I want him to be lying. I want it to be a matter of some demon who looks close enough to right, or can shape shift to close enough, just trying to get me to turn on my family. That would make sense. That would be reasonable.

The things he said about my youth though, about trying to find me when I was growing up, and his claims to know more still. I can’t help but wonder.

It makes me feel a little ill honestly. He claimed that he had burned down the elves’ city and slaughtered so many of them was simply that they refused to join his empire. It seems certain that he would do the same to Caskfire.

I cannot let that happen.

We have something that might be useful. Chonck asked him if any books had survived the fires. The answer should be obvious, but Eebaku’s response to Chonck’s follow up request for a book interests me. He threw one to Chonck. Between all the talk of blood making the grass grow tall in the ruins of his enemies’ homes and the claims of tremendous power it looks like it might be his personal journal. It could be another resource for finding out more about our enemy, but as easily as he turned it over I doubt that it can be trusted.

I will work on a full translation once we have returned to Caskfire.

49th Spring, Year 256

Elven emissaries arrived today.

Churt called us to the tavern to talk to them. That might have been to save herself from dealing with them further.

I should avoid being so cruel.

They were seeking help from “the small folk” in saving their home from an army of Goblins lead by yet more Goblins in black armor.If they came to a Dwarven fortress, they have to be desperate. I would have thought that their pride would keep them from it. Their leader promised that their generosity would be near endless if we succeeded. So there is that.

Chonk seems very much back to himself and immediately asked after the library. So did Azurei, for tales and music, and Eclair, for recipes. There is no telling what the elf wants. Never is. Though I admit, I am also unsure as to what I would want from our visitors. I should figure that out after we return.

We left as soon as we could gather our arms and half of the Regulars. They and the elves last five warriors will be joining us on the journey. I think the elves might be regretting the choice to join us though. Between Eclair’s poisoned cookies and wondering about ways to cook elf meat and if that would be cannibalism for her and Chonck’s asides about the Eater of the Dead and the screaming Goblins in his head, they seem quite disturbed.

We had barely convinced Chonck to eat some salted pork and a handful of herbs Eclair had pilfered from the apothecary before running into a group of these black armored Goblins. They put up much more of a fight than we have seen in the past. If we run into a large group of them we might be in trouble.

We might be in trouble any way. Based on the Goblin Chonck ate out of this group the elves’ city is already burned. We may be to late to save anyone. I can only hope not.

42nd Spring, Year 256

We had been back just long enough for Chonck to disappear into the library, presumably to pull himself back together, when Churt ordered the party back topside to deal with an invasion of wild boar that had been eating their way through the fields and destroying any fences in their way.

The vast majority of the militia dwarves were already out dealing with their own assigned fields. There were waves upon waves of boar rushing in. Most of them just seemed lost or desperate to find food. The last few seemed driven forward.

Were driven forward. I do not know how we wound up dealing with the only dire boar in the lot of them. Thing is bigger than Chonck and so battle scared that I had a hard time telling the difference between the arrows that he’d been hit with and the ruff of fur down his back. Smart too. After Azurei used one of her brain melting spells on him and failed to kill him, he avoided her. But then when Eclair used one of her last eldritch blasts on him, he saw she was tired out and charged.

The elf managed to calm him down enough to catch him. There were remains of a Goblin harness on him with his name inscribed on it, it translates to something like “Bear-render.”  So not only is this dire boar strong and smart enough to run off a celestial warlock, though an admittedly exhausted one, but he also earned a name before we ran the Goblins out of the area. It seems that Bear-render is going to be a good addition to the fortress.

That said, this is going to put us irreparably behind on growing crops for winter, I fear. At least we should have enough salted pork and mushrooms to keep the fortress fed. I am also a touch worried that the other animals that the Goblins were eating will have similar population explosions that we will have to deal with.

For now though, I have to clean the hog droppings off the crossbow I borrowed before the quartermaster will approve repairs to mine.

38th of Spring, Year 256

It has been a most strange few days.

Chonck has remained upset about the name situation and continued to insist that he would slay the Eater of the Dead himself and claim his name. He kept circling back to Eater of the Eater.

I feel like that has likely changed.

The door to the Eater of the Dead’s lair felt like it was miles away from the rest of the Eebakuzi Goblin pit, behind a set of distinctly not Goblin made doors. Huge doors with Goblin skeletons piled up around the sides of it.

Chonck raged as soon as we got to them and slammed belly first into the room beyond.

The Eater of the Dead was an enormous spider, intelligent enough to communicate and big enough to make Chonck look small. The room was lit by strange blue lights that, as soon as Chonck hit the Eater of the Dead, rushed in to surround it. Like a protective spell of some sort. Azurei and Eclair’s spells seemed to have no effect until they began to use more advanced magics. Even with the elf having cast a spell to enhance everyone’s weapons, it seemed like physical attacks did little to it either.

But we beat it, some how, we beat it without losing anyone.

I am worried about what happened after though.

Chonck made good on his threat to make his name by eating the Eater of the Dead. As soon as it was dead, he ripped off one of its legs and tore into it. Then the lights that had surrounded it for the entire battle surrounded and flowed into him. The lights were spirits, the spirits of every being that the Eater of the Dead had consumed. It granted him what seems to be the knowledge of all those spirits and the Eater of the Dead itself.

He can count much better now and read and put ideas together better. He has an idea of what makes something contextually appropriate. But it left him badly shaken, sitting in a corner trying to process what was happening to him. I don’t know how this will effect him or how he interacts with the party going forward. It seems like the kind of thing that could break some one quite easily. Here’s hoping he comes out of it well.

The good news in all of this, we did find what I think was the weapon the Obcobra was talking about. When the spirits attached themselves to Chonck, the only thing left glowing was the Eater of the Dead’s fangs, which suggests they hold some power. We harvested those and its venom sacs. Once we get back to Caskfire I want to have one of the craftsdwarves put hilts on them. They should make fine daggers.

 

39th of Spring, Year 256

Even with Chonck in a bad way, we are making good time back to Caskfire.

I find myself thinking more and more about what the skeletons outside of the Eater of the Dead’s lair meant. They were worryingly clean, like something meant for display. While the Goblin corpses within its lair were still covered with bits of meat or even hair and armor in some cases.

It seems possible that this is where our friends in White Hall were getting the Goblin corpses they were sending after Rikke’s bandits. I don’t want to borrow trouble, certainly. But if we have cut their access to bodies it could result in any number of reactions. It might be worth keeping an eye on them for the next while.

33rd of Spring, Year 256

I come down with a little case of being poisoned and variably conscious and as soon as we get back to Caskfire I’m ordered to rest until I can walk to the Inn and back without falling over. Not as if I needed it. Worked through worse more than once. More than twice even.

Not like making notes for an improved map, or even improving an existing map, would tire me out so badly the poison would take me and I would waste away.

But the elf made herself useful and figured out what the poison was. Some root the Goblins grind up.A paralytic of some sort, apparently. The elf also kept saying something about it being fun if it can be diluted enough. I question that, but between her and Eclair it seems likely to turn up again sooner than later.

Hopefully not in my morning beer.

Couple of issues with Conck since we got back. He has been determined as of late to grant himself an orcish last name. Neverminding that those are earned rather than given, the issue is that he wants to name himself after his favorite word and an orcish folk hero. He has dug his heels in on this one, is not willing to listen to the other party members when they say that his using profanity like that makes them uncomfortable.

Makes no sense to me why he would want to change from being a Stonecask, his mother raised him as one. Best I know the only other half orc he ever met was his brother.

At least for the moment we have him convinced not to use his favorite word again until he has earned his name. Which has him swearing to eat the Eater of the Dead. Or to fight it all on his own. I would be tempted to let him if there was not the worry of it killing him. Given that he has decided that I hate orcs, and that the elf is supporting him in his quest for his chosen last name, it seems like a good idea to keep an eye on Chonck.

Which leads to the Goblin Chonck claimed back at Yoyabo. It would seem that Leaky escaped sometime while I was recovering. Made it all the way from the Library to the forests without being noticed, despite leaving a trail the whole way. It could just be that Leaky paid good attention to what was going on when he was brought in, but it seems more likely that he had help. When given the chance, I want to ask Tusk about it. It seems like she should know something one way or the other.

No time to take care of that now though. Tomorrow we head out to the Goblin pit of Eebakuzi and the Eater of the Dead. I need to pack what I can and finish restocking before the morning.

28th of Spring, Year 256

Can not let the others see my hands shaking like this. Poison has mostly run its course, but the tips of my fingers are still numb. It looks bad that I passed out in front of everyone from it. Worse that Chonck expressed concern over it and I waved him off. That makes me seem careless.

At least the elf was elsewhere. No one is certain where she got to, but it was away from our last round of fighting.

We wiped out or chased away all the Goblins who were still in the side passages. I assume most of the ones who escaped were dealt with by the infantry dwarves. The passages are blocked to prevent more Goblins from returning, that should make the area safer.

There was something to that final fight though. The Goblins were better armed and armored by far than the others in the pit or the ones that have been out in the field. It seems we may have found some kind of outpost throne room for their King, possibly some kind of shrine to him given the amount of food and shiny things stacked around the throne. It seems like the armored Goblins would have left us alone if I hadn’t knocked over one of the baskets of offerings while checking for traps.

Further, this could tell us something about the Goblin’s tactics. They struck with poisoned javelins first, presumably to weaken their enemies. Then they attacked in small groups. I would have wanted to see how they reacted to more opponents than just Chonck and I being fully in the room for most of the fight. They were definitely some kind of honor guard.

Hopefully, I can learn more about that from the one we captured before anything happens to him. There’s a hole in his lower torso the size of a whiskey bottle, so there’s no telling how long he can last even with it patched up by Azurei. Chonck has named him “Leaky” and intends to make him do chores for him.

Eclair has already offered Leaky a knife. Twice.

I feel like we have also learned here just how little the elf does. She left shortly after we met the Obcobra and, even with the Obcobra doing nothing to help, the final battle went just as well without the elf as it would have with. Something to bring up with Churt that.

I should stop here though, the numbness isn’t getting any better and I worry that the poison took more out of me than I expected.

27th of Spring, Year 256

The confrontation with the Yoyabo Goblin pit has, so far, been a slaughter. Between Azurei and Eclair’s magics and the heavy infantry’s martial skills we’ve wiped out the entirety of the Goblin’s surface forces and fought our way into the pit itself. That has slowed our advance down a bit, due to branching pathways and closer quarters, but we reached what seems to be the central hub of the pit and Chonck as sealed the entries to most of the main branches so that we can deal with stragglers more safely.

Unfortunately, despite the damage we’ve done to the Yoyabo Goblins, it doesn’t seem that they would be willing to surrender. I offered the option to a group we found headed by a Goblin called Clever, he used the opportunity to attempt an ambush on the party. A few of them escaped to further down the tunnels, but for the most part. For the most part it’s just been killing.

We did find a source of information on the Goblin King Eebaku though. A rather strange source of information, but still.

The Goblins had imprisoned one of their own at the bottom of a well as punishment for trying to trap Eebaku as a source of power. This Obcobra claims to have been down there for nearly a  year, sustained by her magics. She’s willing, to a limited vengful extent, to help us fight Eebaku and his Goblins and has what I can only hope is information on where we might get a weapon capable of harming him.

It would seem that there is a creature called the Eater of the Dead and that it may have or may provide materials to make a weapon we could use to harm a demon lord.

It’s a ways off, probably several days travel, so we would need to finish driving the Goblins out of Yoyabo and return to Caskfire to report and restock. There will need to be guards at the pit to prevent Goblins from returning to bother Caskfire while we are away. That would also require a change in scouting patterns. And above all that we will be relying on the Obcobra’s directions, so we should plan for extra days out or some manner of trickery.

I will need to talk to Churt about all of this. She may not want to put a guard detail at the pit or maybe she would want to try caving in the side tunnels instead. It would be for me to advise and her to worry over.

(Several paragraphs have been started and aggressively scribbled out.)

The Obcobra said that Eebaku was looking for someone in the area some time before our builders struck the earth. The time line seems to have coincided with when we were first scouting for a good place to start digging. Who would be important enough to a demon lord to bring him into the Plains of Burning?

Should I warn Churt that there might be cultists in Caskfire? It seems ridiculous to think. No one in the family would worship a demon lord. Would they?

Could the Obcobra be lying to try and secure our trust more securely? She is our only source on this. This and the Eater of the Dead too. If that were to be a trap, it could be a way to wipe out the fortress’s protectors and leave everyone else open to attack.

(A number of pages have been neatly cut from the journal.)

I don’t like any of this.

21st of Spring, Year 256

In light of the recent Goblin attack, information gathered from our new captive, and general sense given our current situation, the day was spent having an impromptu tournament.

Chonck wanted to spar with the elf and it spiraled out a bit from there.

Never let it be said that I don’t want to see the elf get hit, but I could have told them that Churt was going to win as soon as she agreed to join in. Dwarven heavy infantry is nothing to joke about, especially when they’re in full stone armor.

Not sure that we learned much of anything from this.

Chonck gave a fair effort against Churt in the first round and beat the elf to take third place. Azurei can sprout wings at will, something of a shared trait for Azamaar I think. Chonck has responded to this by insistently calling her a “ghost bird person” in much the same vein that he refers to me as a “devil person” and Eclair a “child”. Regardless, she did a good job against the elf and as well as could be expected against Churt.

I suspect that we’ll be requesting a number of the heavy infantry dwarves to help deal with the Yoyabo pits now that the party has seen what they can do. So at least that came out of this. That and some new armor requisitions.

Going to need to remember to also request a more solid lock for my room’s door. Chonck refers to people with descriptors because he doesn’t know better. The elf, uncaring and a pain as ever, uses Chonck’s descriptors and argues for using them with the people they describe to the point of making Azurei uncomfortable. Let’s be honest, to the point of frustrating me enough to finally attack her. I aimed for her knee, but apparently the previous two fights had taken more out of the elf than I expected.

I’ve been doing my best to rein this in, my temper isn’t usually this bad, but it wasn’t enough.

Churt is the expedition leader and I should have brought this up with her before acting myself. The elf clearly has no respect for anyone in the fortress and I’m concerned that that will become a problem for more than just me. As it is, that’s something less immidiate than the new lock, given that after being seen to by Eclair the elf suggested that she would likely kill me in my sleep.

That’s one thing I believe her on. Ability or not, I’m sure that the elf will make the attempt. That doesn’t mean I’m going to make it easy for her or lose sleep over it.

20th of Spring, Year 256

I would have liked to have left the Goblin issue until we knew how the situation with the Black Hand and Whitehall was going to work out. I would have liked that, but here we are.

A force of Goblins attacked the surface farms. By the time we were alerted and the militia was formed up and ready, the fields were on fire and the Goblin forces were advancing. The farms are, for the time being, mostly a loss. We can replant and the food we get from our trade partners and the mushroom farms will hold us. Well, will hold us at least until we can get the surface farms operating again.

The Goblin attack force was thoroughly routed. Between the adventurers and the militia, most of them were dealt with before they could react. Eclair, Chonck, and I followed the ones that managed to retreat. Albeit, we followed them separately and with no planning. Something to work on later perhaps. Regardless, I managed to track them to a hidden tunnel and flagged down Eclair. She wiped out the lot of them. With any luck, we also destroyed any supplies they were using.

There was, it turns out, a survivor back in the fields. One of the Goblins caught in the back swing of one of Chonck’s attacks was knocked out and away from the battle.

From what I understand, she speaks common and went willingly with the guards. Importantly, that might mean that we can get more information out of her than the last one. A healthy, calm Goblin has to be easier to deal with than a panicked or injured one. I hope.

Give that the storage room we’d been keeping the other captive Goblin in is still a mess after it died, this one will be staying in the library room. It’s cleaner and largely unused, since Chonck keeps all the books with him. Maybe if she speaks common she can read it too. That would be helpful, have another way to keep Chonck distracted when we aren’t adventuring.