The dwarven rescue party returns to Copperknight Hold after freeing their friend and trading partner, Willie the Carter [as several of you pointed out during the session, you did indeed Free Willy. That was not an intended pun, but good job finding it anyways. Could have been worse, I could have made him Jimmy Carter instead…]. Kaval Copperknight graciously gives the traumatized human a fine meal and a warm bunk for the night; Inga Herdsfriend, an expert in animal husbandry and medicine, has been mending and caring for Willie’s bloodied ox, and the next day it is hitched to the cart in preparation of a trip down the mountain.
“Ah’m not lookin’ forward to makin’ this trip alone after last time,” Willie says nervously. “Any chance of hirin’ a guard from this here dwarfhold?” [the humans from the village have Germanic names and Texan accents. No, I don’t know why.]
Clank, clank, clank, clank, clank – up the path comes six short, green, armored figures – one bearing a tall pole with a tattered fabric banner hanging down from the crossbar at the top. As dwarves raise their weapons, the party of goblins stops and one steps forward a stride ahead of his fellows.
“I, Grakon, Herald of the Warlord of the Gray Mountains, bring a message. It has come to the attention of the Most Illustrious Warlord that the mountain roads are no longer safe. In his benevolence, he is willing to protect all travel along the mountain roads. In return, he asks only a small tribute of 1000 Gold Pieces each month to support his patrols. Please know that His Greatness cannot guarantee the safety of travellers along the roads without this payment.
“The first payment is due at the Warlord’s tower in five days.”
The goblin makes a short military bow, the whole company turns on their heels, and they march orderly back down the trail. As they disappear around a bend, Kaval throws his hands in the air.
“Fantastic! First a kobold invation, and now goblin extortion…I’m beginning to think that Copperknight Hold is cursed! What are we going to do?”