Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (57)
We are finally ready to move on in to the stronghold
of Kadar Gravning. I will be distracting the guards while
everyone else clatters by. I point out that if Hosei is to use a
fireball to build a fogbank, then it must coordinate with my
actions. To my (humble) delight, Miyara likes the idea. It
would be obvious it would be a fireball, but I could pass it off as a
trick long enough to disrupt the crossbow fire. The signal for
the fireball would be me throwing a light pebble into the river.
It is time to go. I march up the valley
towards the entrances at the end, while the others make their way up
the other side of the river.
I keep marching until the guards notice
something. Unfortunately they do so as soon as I enter the
valley, but they don't seem to be reacting as yet. I keep going,
bringing out a light pebble and tossing it from hand to hand. It
soon becomes obvious that they are intentionally ignoring the
others. I put the pebble in my mouth, shining from it, and do
some acrobatics on the way up.
About half way up, one of them goes inside. I
continue. At about 40 yards the guard seems to go from nonchalant
to ready. He has his crossbow loaded and ready.
I announce the show. I carefully place one
pebble on the ground. The other guard has now returned, crossbow
at the ready. As I straighten up, I overbalance and fall over,
and the Clown Fighting approach begins. It is perfect physical
humor in the barbarian style. I hope that Clown Fighting works
I am now about 15 yards out, and the crossbows come
into firing position, aimed at me. I stop advancing and go into a
sequence of humorously incompetent martial poses. One of them
flicks his view briefly to the other side of the river, but both bows
are aimed at me. I advance a little as part of my act to keep
their attention, but it's not really working. I can see the light
from the stone of air near the entrance to the tunnel.
Elaborately I throw a pebble into the river,
pointing out visually and verbally to the guards what I'm doing.
I hope Hosei will take his cue and launch his fireball.
The fireball flies through the air to exactly the
right point. Steam pours from the water and fills the area, but
not before a bolt flies towards me. I take the bolt straight
through the chest. I run for the river, steam, and the tunnel
beyond, noting that the other guard had fired his bolt at the
others. The two guards retreat into the gateway.
I make it to the others. We all move under
cover. Rabenna starts to treat me and I no longer feel like I
might pass out. I say we should go in pass the blockage.
Pireseri tells us where the two guards are, and that they are clearly
on alert now, arranged in a position of ambush. These are clearly
not dwarves and thus by far the easier option. They are armed with
makeshift clubs or rusty short swords. They are the most
emaciated putrid goblins Pireseri has ever seen -- Nurgle, he says, a
mere scratch from their weapons might give us a deadly disease.
We need to get through and not show a light on the other side, so the
dwarves may think we went somewhere else.
The blockage is about ten feet into the tunnel and
ten feet long at the base. It apparently used to be complete but
had been cleared enough to pass through at some point. Miyara
says I am to go among the last; I protest briefly but defer.
Miyara goes first, then Ashu, Goru, Barake, myself, Rabena, Carimera,
Pireseri, and Hosei.
We all pass through safely. The goblins remain
behind their blind corner ready to ambush us. We have some time,
and so Rabena works on treating my wound properly. The goblins do
nothing while she brings me almost to full health.
It is time to fight. We advance into the
ambush that has been prepared for us. I Clown Fight tumbling and
tripping past the two goblins, and while they laugh the others will
kill them, turning the ambush back on them. They don't come out
to fight and look surprised, so I check behind me to see what nastiness
might be there, and as I do so they come out and attack. Battle
is joined, as the others run to come in behind the goblins. I
connect with a solid blow, and as the others arrive the goblins slip
into their side passage. There is only room for one person, and
of course I pursue the fight. It is very clear now that these are
not goblins but ghouls -- they may once have been goblins, but if so I
would have been centuries ago. The first finally falls, and I
engage the other. It too eventually falls.
I return to the rest of us in the main
passage. They have moved past the side passage by now, and we
would seem to be well into the place by now. Up ahead the passage
curves around, meaning that we are clear to use light without the
dwarves seeing it. Pireseri tells us that there are around ten
more ghouls waiting where the passage opens up. Most of them are
similar to (and armed like) the first two, but one is much larger,
better armed and armored with plate and a warhammer.
Suddenly a polite coughing noise comes back from the
tunnel. There's a well-dressed dwarf standing there. He
says "Greetings" in common, then asks for Lady Miyara. She moves
to the back, and I accompany her. They greet each other politely.
(He says he brings greetings from Lord Mendri (this
is correct spelling!).
-- my lord is nearby and seeks the pleasure of
your company at some not too distant juncture when it is convenient for
R: -- Where is Lord Mendri right now?
-- I don't know that exactly. I left him some
-- so you've been following us how long?
-- some time.
-- how did you get past the guards out front?
-- they have retreated into this place. I see
that I have concerned you, ma'am, how may I be of assistance?
-- how long would it take us to see Lord Mendri?
-- perhaps some days
-- then we should finish what we are doing here.
-- I expected that. I shall follow you.
My name is Alex.)
We continue with our plan. Alex appears ready
to take orders from Miyara. He is dressed in leather, armed with
a short sword. Miyara explains the situation ahead to him.
Hosei and Barake will guard the non-combatants,
while Miyara, myself, Goru, Ashu, and Alex fight. We will go in
and fight as a line of five across the room. We advance
cautiously, Miyara, myself, Alex, Ashu, and Goru.
We move into the doorway, and we can see them
grouped ready to attack. We move in quickly and take up a line
formation as three until we can push the ghouls back and widen to
five. In response, the ghouls spread; one comes to meet each of
us three in the front line, but the remainder all back away. The
big fighter -- backing away -- is apparently a dwarven ghoul in good
plate, and seems to be the leader here.
We engage, and give good account of ourselves.
Clown Fighting continues to work against these, it seems. I am
the first to take one down, with Miyara's following shortly
thereafter. None step up to take their place. Pireseri
destroys the fallen ones with the special dagger. Alex continues
to fight well enough that I do not feel that I should insult him by
stepping in to help. Alex looks a little embarrassed, and glances
behind him at Ashu as if to imply that it would be ok if they traded
places. Ashu steps up to take over and quickly dispatches the
third, while Pireseri destroys the body.
The remaining ghouls have collected at the other end
of the room by the exit. I suggest we could try talking to
them. After all, they are not fighting us yet. They do seem
not scared but waiting.
Miyara speaks to them, saying we only wish to pass
by. There is no reaction.
We advance as five. As we come out, they
divide with half on the pile of garbage that occupies half of the room
while the others move out of our way in the other direction. As
we form between them to allow the non-combatants to pass between the
fighter lines, the seven ghouls attack. Alex and Ashu are on the
trash side, with Miyara and Goru on the either. I run back and go
for the non-trash side where the large ghoul is fighting.
The ones on the trash side are trying to get by Alex
and Ashu to the non-combatants. Barake takes cover behind Ashu,
but gets hit hard. Barake fights back. Pireseri too is
Miyara and Goru take the fight to their ghouls, who
are also trying to get around the front line.
I have two: one who is trying to get around, while
the other is happy to fight me, being the dwarven ghoul. I try to
kill the one who is trying to get past first. The big ghoul steps
up and swings the big hammer at me, but I dodge the blow.
One of Miyara's falls.
Alex and Ashu continue, Ashu clearly the better of
the two. Barake and his opponent miss each other. Pireseri
throws his opponent to the ground, stunning it.
Miyara demonstrates her skill, easily mastering her
opponent, but it stays up.
I knock down the little ghoul, while I have to dodge
a blow from the larger.
Ashu's opponent falls. Barake stays in a parry
contest, while Pireseri's remains stunned.
Miyara strikes her opponent with two mighty blows,
but it continues to persist.
Pireseri steps between Barake and his opponent to
try to settle the stalemate.
Ashu seeks another opponent, and chooses to come and
fight the large ghoul with me, landing a heavy strike.
Barake's opponent happily takes the short elf
instead, and comes at him but is thrown by him. Barake slides his
knife into the previously stunned ghoul, dispatching it.
Miyara chops hers yet again, but takes a hit in
return. Finally it falls to the ground.
I hit the large ghoul, painful as it is, and dodge
his return blow.
Alex continues to fight his.
Pireseri's lands heavily, but not stunned.
I strike the large ghoul again, hurting from landing
Miyara moves up and asks Alex if she can join him,
and he gracefully allows.
Pireseri's stands up, and Barake moves in to attack
Miyara gives Alex a lesson in swordsmanship.
I dodge and strike again, while Ashu also lands a
Miyara is hit hard, wincing with the pain, but
returns the strike and takes it down.
I dodge again and hit hard -- my hands are starting
to hurt a lot now. Ashu hits again.
Barake is attacked, but Pireseri tries to step in
and throws the ghoul.
I dodge and lash out with a kick, but the large
ghoul dodges. It fails to dodge Ashu's strike.
Pireseri's lands on the ground, not stunned.
Miyara moves into position to fight the large ghoul.
I dodge and kick back, while Ashu lands a heavy blow
too. The plate ghoul goes down.
Eventually the thrown one is dispatched, and
Pireseri takes the special dagger to them.
Three minutes from now I will be retching