The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 4


The Missing

Part 4

Life and Death

Earlier Chapters here

Guido puts Jonno down by me and the mule, and looks at me and says he is dying. I have a mental battle, should I as a believer in balance allow nature to take its course or should I try to save Jonno for the party, I decide to try my healing skills and leave balance up to the gods. I get out my healing equipment and look at Jonno it is obvious that he needs surgery to seal the gash in his throat. This is not going to be easy but I set to and sow up the gash and apply healing herbs, I am successful and seals the gaping wound. Jonno is unlikely to die now although he is still very weak and his future is still in the hands of the gods. However he might never speak again due to the damage but that will not be known for months as it will take a long time for him to fully heal if he continues to get good care.

 

While Jonno is being saved James moves the tied up goblins into the cell Jonno was in and hobbles them there with some food and water, Thorn decides to try to save the dire wolf and pulls Guido’s spear from it and casts cure minor wounds on it to stop any further damage. James with the prisoners secure heads over to the mule and the lifesaving action going on there. They talk plans and how to keep Jonno warm, so James casts Warmth onto Jonno and carries him to the cave while keeping the spell up Guido and I come along with the mule.

 

Now we are all back at the base of the tower we settle Jonno by the fire in blankets and James drops the warmth spell. I heal Arnost’s right arm but can do nothing for the damage to his abdomen so for now he cannot walk anywhere. I then settle down to cast Animal Friendship on the Dire Wolf to make him a companion. While I do that the others decide to deal with the goblins in the roof and form up an assault party Thorn casts Barkskin of Guido who leads the march up the stairs with his shield if front of him and his death to goblins sword in hand.

 

As Guido reaches the top of the stairs in the roof, he sees two goblins ahead of him which he charges and two more off to his left which he hopes Thorn and James will deal with. Guido’s charge and swing takes a goblins head off. The remaining goblin moves away readying its dagger as it drops its sling the other two also ready their daggers.

The goblin moves back to Guido’s side while the other two move to attack Thorn at the top of the stairs.

The goblin attacks Guido but his dagger has no effect on all his armour reinforced by barkskin. One of the others attacks Thorn who parries the blow and counters with a stunning blow to its head.

 

The last two goblins soon fall to Guido, Thorn and James and the roof is secured. Guido and co come back down to the basement and set up a guard ready for some rest. Meanwhile I have finished my spell and now have an injured Dire Wolf as companion. I use my healing skills on my new friend and save its leg. I curl up by the wolf near the entrance as we settle down for rest.

John 21 Jesus on the beach video talk for church


Today [17th May] I did a video talk for Ascension church for their online service. This is it it’s on John 21 Jesus on the beach

 

Review of ‘Abiding’ by Ben Quash


I was given this book for Christmas, I am not a great reader of theology books as often I find that they make the Christian faith more complex than needed. This was true while at Church Army college as well. Anyway as this was a gift I have been reading one chapter every week or so.

This was the Archbishops Lent course book for 2013. It was about abiding in Christ in different times and needs. So in body; mind; care; relationships; exile; wounds and peace. Some of these made a lot of sense and spoke to me some were just confusing and some went right over my head. To many cultural examples I had not heard of, not enough bible reference for me.

Abiding is something I dio and encourage others to do, it is spending time in the presence of God. Just being with him as you would a good friend or spouse. That can be done and needs to be done in all places and activities. That is effectively what the book was getting at but in 250+ words rather than straight and simple.

So would I suggest you read it? No.

Rather you would be better of spending the time in God’s presence chilling with Him day by day.

Review of ‘Cold Iron’ by Miles Cameron


‘Cold Iron’ is a interesting book but not an easy read. I say that because the book has no chapters, a modern writing style I personally do not like. Add to that the story is broken up as we only see scenes from the view of Aranthur which is ok but there are time jumps where you would expect him to try and find out what’s going on but instead he apparently just goes back to his studies and work. He is a student and works in leather to support himself. It seems to be set in a pseudo Byzantine world due to the use of some terms in the book. However the book has a spattering of italiatised words which are meant to mean something but in general fall flat unless you have any knowledge of the Byzantine world. Some I knew others I didn’t.

The blurb at the back says that he is looking for answers to the changing world around him. However I felt that he was rather just plodding through what was happening till the next encounter gave him more info or not. As a student I would have expected him to be asking questions and trying to work out what was happening around him and why. Instead he just plods on falling into different situations.

The best parts were the start and the end I think as both had some order and Aranthur at least asks questions of those around him. Also the book has a map at the front but other than the city no areas seem to be in the story or those in the story are not on the map. Very odd.

In some ways this reads like one of the stories from my friends roleplaying experiences falling into a adventure and never asking questions about what and why.

Not his best book in my opinion however I did like this line ‘the worship of power is close to the worship of evil.’

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 3


The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5

The Missing

Part 3

The Goblin Raiders

Earlier Chapters here

With Arnost still in combat and enraged our options are slim at the moment.

 

Thorn falls back outside of the cave while Arnost smashes another goblin into a smaller size. James decides that his paternal passion means he both needs to protect Jonno and Arnost which might be difficult. He calls on the goblin leader to call off his warriors as he starts to cast Magic Missile. The goblin chief says fine but you must call of your giant. As he can’t communicate with James and his men his men continue to defend themselves. The four slingers let lose two hit Arnost one hits a goblin and one misses, the dangers of firing into s fight.  The hit on the goblin has the most effect. Guido falls back outside the cave.

Thorn starts to cast Hold Person, Arnost splats another of the goblins leaving just one in the group he is fighting. James continues to cast and the goblin leader calls out ‘stop or else’. The last goblin in front of Arnost falls back while the slingers start to reload and the spears stand.

Guido advances back towards the goblin leader.

Thorn continues his casting and holds it, James also holds his spell while the goblin chief puts his knife into Jonno’s throat and shouts ‘your choice’.

 

Thorn advances back to the cave mouth alongside Guido. Arnost moves to engace the other block of 4 goblin spear. James who is still invisible has his line of sight blocked by Thorn and Guido. The goblin chief finishes the cut and slices Jonno’s throat open. The 4 slingers release at Arnost again with 2 hitting him in the right leg and right arm both areas being stunned by the blow. The four spear thrust at him and he takes impales to his right leg and right arm. Arnost now has 5 spears in him. Guido moves to engage the goblin chief.

Thorn casts his hold spell on the goblins holding one of them holding a spear. Arnost can do nothing with his arm and leg numb. James releases his magic missile at a slinger and spear taking down the spear. The goblin chief stabs at Guido with his dagger which is swatted away by Guido’s shield. The 2 goblins with spears in Arnost pull but fail to extract the spears while the other one stabs at him but fails to do anything. Guido uses his Delian blade for the first time in anger and hacks the goblin chief down.

Thorn starts to cast cure serious wound while James now visible activates his slider cloak and moves behind the goblin spear in a puff of grey smoke.  The goblins continue to attack Arnsot with yet another impale in to his right arm. Guido picks up Jonno and moves quickly to Thorn.

 

Thorn forces his cure spell as he fails at it’s casting to stop the boy Jonno bleeding out. However he is very weak and appears as good as dead. Arnost decides to throw his hammer left handed as his right is still out of action.  It misses the goblin in front of his and fly’s past James to clatter on the wall behind. James draws and readies his sword as the Goblins try to pull spears from Arnost failing while the other goblin stabs at him with his spear which Arnost tries to parry with his arm. Instead he ends up with the spear stuck in his left arm that is now 7 spears stuck into him. Two of the slingers turn to face James and draw their daggers. Guido starts to run back to the mule with Jonno.

 

Thorn readies his mace and Arnost readies a axe in his left hand. James hits a goblin chopping it’s leg off and prepares to counter any impale attempt with a damage weapon move. The last two spear goblins try again to pull their spears free and fail, the two slingers attack James with their daggers but James parries the only attack which gets close.

 

Arnost swings his axe at the goblin but with all the pain and spears in him make it very hard to continue fighting. James chops another goblin down while the two with daggers fail to hurt him as his armour is two tough. The other goblins manage at last to pull their spears free causing more injury to Arnost. James asks the goblins to surrender which the last six do.

 

With no enemies Arnost drops out of his rage and collapses to the ground with 5 spears in him. They are in his left arm, right arm, chest, right leg and head. James finds rope to tie up the goblins while Thorn uses his first aid to remove the spears in Arnost. After all the spears are removed and Arnsot’s wounds patched he has serious wounds in his right leg and right arm with minor wounds all over him. As Gnoman sees Guido running past he heads to the cave still invisible while I see Guido coming and await him.

 

James having finished tying up the goblins uses his pearl of power to recall and cast locate object focusing on the jade the children found, even though he does not have it with him. He senses that the rest is below a flagstone in a cell next to the one Jonno was in. He pulls up the flagstone and can see a worn old satchel, he draws his dagger and rips it open throwing up a cloud of dust and mould. As he does a bunch of coins roll out and he can see a mouldy cloth which seems to be wrapped around something. Again he uses his dagger to pull it slightly open releasing more spores into the air however he can see what looks like a necklace with jade fittings. James retrieves the necklace and then the coins, 30sp and 10gp of general type he thinks the necklace might be elven but is not sure so shows it to Gnoman who has dropped his invisibility. Gnoman has no real idea about the necklace.

 

‘He Never Lets Go’ Youtube video


May 4th 2020 Thoughts on Philippians 4 ‘do not be anxious’

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 2


The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5

The Missing

Part 2

The missing Shepherd boy

Earlier Chapters here

Thorn, James, Errath and Gnoman are in Greymoor city having wintered here. With thoughts of a new year of adventure they buy items and a mule and think about what to do with spring coming. Were will adventure take them this year the last two have been eventful. Thorn receives a message in the Month of the Wave week four via the temple in Greymoor from Arnost their companion of old.

 

Message

To Thorrie Oakenleg Cleric of Hombel of the Hammer and Rose in Greymoor.

I am in Longreed in the Blue river valley, Duchy of Betheny.

It would be good if you could join me here I came north looking for adventure I will wait for you till the month of the Rose then I  will head further north.

The Blue River valley is kind of a hidden gem: the farming here is really good, and the trade in Whitesand is really good and Longreed, too. These valley-folk have it easy, but that doesn’t mean life is perfect – there’s plenty of strange happenings here, too, mostly down in that Great Marsh. There have been some strange deaths of late in the town. I am working with the sheriff and the local blacksmith at the moment.  Sir Poldark is also interested in seeing you.

Hope to see you soon Arnost.

Thorn is happy about going there as it might allow a side trip to see his family in Boskenland after visiting Sir Poldark in the Whitesand area where he can explain about Ron to his patron.  We can get a ship which will take a couple of weeks or walk which will take more than a month. We decide to take a ship cheaper and faster. We join a merchant ship going that way from Greymoor city @ a cost of 100gp sleeping in a common covered area with rations and drink served by a steward. We will also be expected to defend the ship if needed. The journey will take one to two weeks depending on wind and stop offs. We leave Greymoor by sea on Herday week 1 of the Satyr heading towards the Northern Borderlands to meet up with Arnost. The spring voyage is fast due to good winds and uneventful.

 

We arrive in Longreed midmorning on Bleday of week 3 of the Satyr and wonder where we will find Arnost. We unload our mule and gear onto the quayside and look around. Longreed seems to be an unwalled town although we can see a walled building near the centre of the town. The harbour area seems to be full of mainly small fishing boats with ours and another merchant ship docked.

 

James eventually asks around and hear that the sheriff and his men are to be found at the sheriffs weekly court as most locals will be there dealing with town business. So we head off to find the court and Arnost.

 

Thorn, James, Gnoman and Errath enter the sheriff’s court along with and older man and what looks like his son. They appear to be farmers. You recognise Arnost standing intimidatingly by the sheriffs chair, with another big human sat the other side keeping records. There are also a couple of other guards in the hall and two at the door checking people as they come in.

 

The Greybark’s, Timson Greybark and his eldest son Pengle, ask for a hearing before the lunch break and are given it. They report to the Sheriff and all assembled, that three days ago their son Jonno disappeared: he was out walking the extent of their grazing pastures, and did not come home. The family mounted a search, and did not find Jonno; what they did find was the head of one of their sheep on a stake at the edges of their farm. The Greybarks took this as a sign that Jonno had been made off with by raiders or bandits, and came immediately to personally request the assistance of the Sheriff in finding and returning his son. ‘ I am sorry’ the sheriff say’s ‘I just does not have the men to send so far from town on a wild sheep chase as they are busy looking for a missing person in the town.’ However he asks the assembled people if anyone will go and help the Greybark’s. There is a stunned silence as all heads turn to look at the Graybarks and the strangers, obviously adventurers as the four consist of two mages a cleric and a bard and two of them also seem to be members of the fighters guild,  stood near them.

 

With no one saying anything, the tall man by the sheriff stands and asks the sheriff to let him go as his honour requires him to help people against bandits. The Sheriff, Sir Viktor Haag, looks over at Arnost and says you had better go with Guido as well. Thorn says ‘what is the payment?’ as James says ‘the company of the Hammer and Rose will go as well.’ Timson Greybark offers you all the coin he has it comes to 20gp, ‘this all we have as a family I hope it will do?’ James says ‘only if we succeed will you have to pay’.

 

Timson says we will need to head back to Three Roads village and stop the night there and continue to his farm in the morning arriving around midmorning. The party of eight walk mainly in silence until Pengle gets close to me, next morning, and says he believes that Jonno may have disappeared around “the old tower”, a place where all local farmers forbid their children to go, because it’s an old ruin and thus dangerous. Pengle believes that Jonno may have done this because he saw Jonno hiding a treasure in his things: a piece of worked jade. Pengle has brought this with him as proof of Jonno’s activity, but has yet to reveal it because he’s afraid of how his father will react. He shows me the jade and it looks like such as might appear in a necklace, this one might even be elven. I tell the others and we continue on our journey.

 

We arrive at the farm and are welcomed and given hospitality by a worried but conscientious family, wife her parents and their daughter and 2 neighbours, a couple from nearby. They are all happy to have Timson and Pengle back home but, all the same, everyone’s attention is focussed on Jonno’s fate. The Greybark’s graze sheep and have around 200 and 2 sheepdogs on the moorland.

The farm is a walled enclosure with all the windows facing in towards the courtyard and only a double farm gate as access.  After a good midday meal Guido and I give 3sp to them to cover it. ‘You do not need to’ she says, Guido says ‘we want to’.

 

With the meal over Timson says I will show you where the sheep head is and he and a neighbour leads us onto the moors. It takes about an hour to reach the site of the gruesome marker. It is at the edge of the Greybark’s grazing land, in a nearly direct line between the farmstead, and a line of hills. The sheep is undeniably one of the Greybark flock – the left ear of the sheep is tattooed with a Greybark mark – while the stake is, in fact, a short, roughly made Dagger Spear. Guido recognises the dagger spear as a cheap goblin weapon a dagger tied onto a spear shaft. Gnoman and James look for tracks and find quite a lot I then help Arnost to id the tracks and we see where they lead. The tracks are of a bunch of Goblins and a human presumably Jonno the tracks lead towards the hills. I ask, without thinking, is this the way to the tower and Timson says, ‘Yes’. He tells us that In ages past, the tower lay at the top of a round hill, but sometime in the past (before the time of any local, or their memory) a seismic event tore a rent through the top of the hill, causing a ravine to appear along the part of the ridgeline that stretches down to the lower lands where the farmsteads are. A shallow creek bed now runs at the base of this ravine; the creek runs during and after heavy rains, but for the most part is intermittent or dry. The earthquake that split the hill top also caused the collapse of one side of the tower; a full third of the roof collapsed into the ravine, and a fifth of the first floor.

 

We follow the tracks in a line with Arnost and I in the middle following the tracks, leaving Timson to go back home. The tracks lead towards the hills, the ground is soft from spring snow melt and rain and so the tracks are easy to follow. We walk for about 4 hours always getting closer to the foothills of the mountains in the distance.  As we get closer to the hills the moorland changes to a more hilly terrain and the grass gets much longer about 2-3’ high there are also small groves of thick thorn trees with nasty barbs.  Eventually we can see the broken hill with the broken tower on it.

 

We can see smoke coming from the building, and we think we can see movement around the roof area. Gnoman casts invisibility on himself and says he will scout ahead and into the gully. We move up close to the gully mouth and he goes off, at first we can see him moving through the tall grass then he must enter the rocky gully and we can no longer follow his progress.

 

Gnoman moves up the stream bed and once level with the tower he can see a cave like hole in the gully wall. Keeping away from it he climbs the gully way and enters the ground floor of the tower.  He sees smoke coming from what he assumes is a chimney the smoke slowly curls up and out the roof. There is a stair case in the far corner leading up to the roof area; there are some high barred windows in here 2 each side. These are high being 5’ up, but let light into the interior. The ground floor has rubble from the roof and other rubbish, bones, bird nets ect, lying around. The front gates are iron bound and shut. Gnoman moves quietly across the floor to the stairs and slowly goes up them, as he pops his head over the top step he can see four goblins sheltering in the shadows with one popping its head out to see every so often.

 

Gnoman goes back to the ground floor and climbs back down the gully side, dislodging some stones as he goes. He then hears a low growling like from a wolf coming from near him. He casts an illusion of a rabbit and has it run past the hole which brings more growling and then a small voice says something and the growling stops. Carefully he returns to the group and throws 3 stones to announce his arrival.

 

He explains to us what he saw and heard we then start to plan what to do. This seems to take a while and suddenly four sling stones fall around Guido, not close but in his area. It seems he has been seen by the goblins in the roof. So with no more planning we have invisibility on all of us and James, Arnost, Guido, Thorn and Gnoman head off well I think they do as I can’t see what they do. I stay with the mule.

 

Gnoman stops at the beginning of the gully to cover the rear in case the goblins in the roof come down. Arnost, James, Thorn and Guido mange not to trip over each other getting to the cave entrance, not easy to move as a group when you can’t see each other. I will take the story on for each of them separately as they explained it to me later as they could not see each other enter until they became visible.

 

As they reached the cave Thorn, James, Guido and Arnost can see a fire with what looks like a sheep roasting but little more in the gloom of the cave.

Arnost went straight into the cave and the wolf growled as it scented him as the goblins started to scatter one with the wolf heads off to the side towards a cell. Arnost goes into a rage and although he would like to have charged them he goes slower due to the rubble on the floor and heads towards the main goblins in front of him.

 

Guido went in and seeing the goblin and very large wolf, looked where they were going an saw a child in a cell and assuming it was Jonno throw his spear at the wolf. The spear lodges into the wolfs left front leg smashing it and the wolf falls. He then starts to advance on the quickly organising goblins that are forming groups of four in front of him and Arnost. He does hear James cry and starts to back away.

 

Thorn stopped and cast Barkskin on himself but arrives in time to see the goblin entering the cage and attacks him with his mace. The goblin parries with his spear then strikes back but Thorn parries as well. Thorn then attacks again misses and the goblin parries and trips him down. The goblin then goes into the cage and holds his spear over the boy, calling in goblin stop or he dies. However none of those in the cave speak goblin. Thorn stands and sees the goblin with his dagger at the boy’s throat and backs off.

 

James reached the area of the cave and stopped to cast Shield on himself then enters the cave to see the goblins an injured wolf Arnost moving to engage 4 goblins and Guido also moving towards 4 goblins. He starts to cast Colour Spray but when he hears the goblin say stop or the boy dies, he knows goblin, and calls out to the others in common to back off he drops the spell. Her calls out 5 sheep for the boy and we will help your wolf.

 

Meanwhile Arnost and the four goblins in front of him exchange blows, he hits one a glancing blow with his mighty hammer which knocks it out however at the same time two of the goblins hit him with their spears. He parries one but takes the other in his head; the spear gets past his armour and catches in his cheek. The other two both thrust again getting a spear stuck in his right arm and abdomen. None of the blows are life threatening, mainly due to his raze, but he is in trouble with 3 spears impaled into him and another group of 4 spear armed goblins nearby along with 4 more nearly ready to release their sling shot at him.

 

End of session

Guido, Thorn and James are just inside the cave facing the goblin leader with the boy. Arnost deeper into the cave has 3 spears stuck into him with another four goblins with spears and 4 more with slings nearby while he is still in a rage.