I woke on the floor in a makeshift bed of skins. My last memory is of a goblin’s pock-marked sword roughly pushing into my abdomen. I know I screamed. Then? Then, I was here in Temple Hearthstone with Priest Drakehammer chanting over me. I’m writing these thoughts quickly, while we wait for Alexey to return. He is scouting around Hammer Hill to see if Konnor Hale needs any assistance.
The whole encounter, right at Hammer Hill’s front door, shocked us. We were at The Bludgeoning Ogre Inn. Drinks flowed nearly as freely as Alexey’s bold retelling of our various adventures. He held the entire inn rapt. During a dramatic pause, while waiting for the story worg to run up the hill at the hapless wizard, we suddenly heard the bell. It took several rings before we realized it was the town alarm.
Aimon and Alexey were first out the door. I followed immediately. Gledrick finished his ale, and Alexey’s, and my mead before coming out. We found Konner, and he directed us to the gate in the walled field. Several groups of guards made their ways to various positions to hold against an attack. As we set up in the field, the old iron gate burst off its hinges and flew into the field. Even the low light of dusk couldn’t mask the seven foot tall creature that charged down the path toward us with a howl. A bugbear, well-known for their incredible strength and ferocity. It brandished a crude morning star and shield, but its size was the true weapon.
As usual, the battle raged quickly. Four goblin warriors, two dogs, and the bugbear poured into the field – a small party merely meant to disrupt, not conquer. One swing of Gledrick’s hammer finished one of the dogs. That’s the third time I’ve seen him do that.
In quick succession, arrows from the right and left lodged deep into the bugbear’s hide. It shrieked and fell, and stirred no more.
A sharp yelp showed Ilirithil to be hit by an arrow. But, hastened by the sting, the great dog pounced and took down the goblin archer.
At last, my Dormireus spell was ready. I looked for my target, sensing Alexey’s misstep at the last minute, and sent my magic whisping toward a tall corn tassle beyond Gledrick. I tore the rose pedals through the middle, and two goblin warriors fell to the ground. Amid the chaos, I think I heard Gledrick say, “Damn wizard!”
Gledrick and Ilirithil flanked the last goblin dog, working in tandem to kill it.
This is when I let my guard down. I walked toward Gledrick, thinking the immediate threat was over. Suddenly, a goblin closed to within striking distance of me. I’m amazed at the speed of the mind during dire situations. Thoughts reeled through me. I can step back. I can duck. Alexey can take him down. Where is Aimon? I’m close to town and could limp back. Aimon can heal.
My panic led to no useful action. I stepped aside, trying to force the goblin to face Alexey, a bigger threat to his life. I swung my quarterstaff to knock out the goblin, but he deftly stepped aside. Aimon was suddenly there, and the goblin quickly dodged the lunging rapier. Then, it happened.
I first realized it when I felt my body double with pain. In slow motion, I looked down to see this pitted steel blade disappearing into my robes. The ground rushed up, but I didn’t feel it stop my fall. The dusk filled my eyes and cold seeped into my body. I saw nothing more.
And now, I’m here in the temple. Alive. Alive and wondering what else happened. Drakehammer told me he used a healing scroll. I shouldn’t be consuming town resources. I told the town council, I’m not a hero. I cannot even save myself. Maybe I should stick to magic research and let the others fight.
Alexey is coming back now. I hope he has good news.