With the arrival of the militia came our friends. Much to our surprise we did not see Milo alongside Lillian and Runyasar. Instead there was a half-elf who looked very familiar and very much like a thief. We were quickly told that this was in fact Milo. Milo they said! We asked what happened but he said he didn’t want to talk about it. Of course though we pressed him on the matter. Even Lillian and Runyasar have no idea how that it happened except that they know for certain that it is indeed Milo. It certainly seemed like the self-assured, roguish Milo. All that we could get out of him had something to do with a witch, a drunken dwarf, and a potted flower. That just goes to show you that you can’t trust a rogue. They’ll always get into something.
However, with the arrival of the militia and our hands freed of the bandit we turned our attention to heading for the fallen object. Lillian and Runyasar decided to stick around and help the militia with some difficulties they were having. We went on our way ahead of them. The horses would certainly come in handy. In picking our horses I found myself drawn to a black stallion with a white patch on its chest shaped like a diamond. I have already settled on a name. I shall call him Silmemor, which in elvish means Moonlight Black. It seemed fitting with his dark, shining coat.
We traveled in the general direction of the fallen ship or crystal, whatever it may be. We were careful to be on the lookout for any bandits. As we got closer to where the bandits were supposed to be located, we heard some strange groaning noises. The newer and bigger Milo offered to check it out and dismounted. He disappeared silently into the trees and within a few moments returned. He was still just as silent, I have to admit. “Its a couple of Kobolds. Looks like they’ve been eating something.” Curiosity struck us. Aiden, Elf, and myself decided to try and talk with the Kobolds. Elf and I can both speak draconic so it might help in reasoning with the little creatures. Hammer would stay with the horses and Milo would go around and flank the Kobolds through the woods.
The Kobolds had apparently gorged themselves so much that they failed to even notice our approach. Elf and myself spoke out to them as we approached with arms raised, telling them that we meant no harm. We only wished to talk. Upon finally noticing us, they all four quickly jumped up, at which point they all groaned from the effort. As they recognized we spoke in Draconic, they relaxed somewhat.
“These are our radishes. You go find your own,” one of them spoke. He seemed to be the leader of the group. We told him that we didn’t want any of his radishes." That helped even more. Concern left their faces. “We want to know if you saw the big stone fall from the sky.” He paused for a moment. “Yes, we saw that thing falling from the sky. It was big. It beyond the other big people.” We asked him who he meant. “The big people over the water that have taken our statue. They are bad.” We asked about the statue and they told us of how it was stolen by the bandits. “Would you be able to take us where it fell?” The kobold thought for another moment. “We don’t know where it fell. But our chief knows.” In other words, the kobold wanted us to help them in exchange for them taking us to the chief.
We discussed it amongst ourselves. We could go on without helping them, but we would hardly know where we would be going. With the help of the kobolds, it would certainly be easier. And wiping out another band of the bandits would certainly help the region. So we three agreed. “We will help you,” Elf said. “Can you tell us about the bandits?” They said the numbers sometimes changed but there were usually more than there were of us, I guess because he couldn’t count that high. But they could take us right to them.
They did just that and were even willing to help us attack them. The four kobolds would join Milo and sneak around the camp, where they would come up from behind as the rest of us attacked from the front. From Milo’s estimates there are about eight bandits in the camp. What could possibly go wrong? Hammer, Aiden, myself, and Elf would only be attacking enemies outnumbering us two to one and we’d be trusting in four kobolds and a scraggly rogue to take their flank in time. For whoever finds this journal, I would like my body taken to Thaliost to be buried. That is of course if my body is in any shape to be buried. Perhaps I should have more faith in Milo. We shall see.
When everyone was in place, Hammer and Aiden simply rode right into the camp. Elf and myself stayed back to provide support. Forming our right flank, Elf let loose a crossbow bolt at the nearest bandit. Caught unawares, the bandit took the blow in his thigh. On the left side, I drew my crossbows and shot at another one of the bandits. Only one of my bolts struck him, scoring a hit in his left arm. Aiden meanwhile was charging down one of the nearest thugs. But, perhaps due to his unfamiliarity with his mount, barely managed to stay on as the horse reared up instead. Hammer, in even worse shape, couldn’t maintain his mount and fell off.
Fortunately, Milo and the kobolds might have actually been our saving grace. the kobolds attacking in pairs and busied two of the bandits while Milo managed to sneak up behind what appeared to be the leader. She had been shouting out commands to the others. But as Milo plunged his shortsword into her back, her shouts turned to a shrill cry as she fell, choking on her own blood. This drew the attention of the rest of the bandits. They became exasperated after that.
As Aiden and Hammer recovered, Elf used some sort of Psionic blast, launching the wounded bandit back into a tent, which collapsed around him. Summoning my own magical talent, I cast Scorching Ray at the other wounded bandit. The blast enveloped him and he was finished. The kobolds meanwhile had managed to bring down two of the bandits in the rear. The bandits were in a panic. One of the bandits near Aiden rushed him and swung, but met only Aiden’s longsword. Another bandit amongst the tents drew a bow and let loose at Hammer, but the arrow only glanced off his thick adamantine armor.
Another blast from the right let me know that Elf was still busy. I saw Milo ahead struggling with a bandit. I pointed at the fellow and cast a bolt of Magic Missile, which struck him square in the back, causing him to stagger back, till Milo finished him off. Hammer strode up beside Aiden and together they pressed the bandit hard. The bow-wielding bandit noticed Elf and let fly an arrow towards him. It struck Elf but only barely. Aiden cut the bandit’s arm and as he recoiled, Hammer struck him soundly in the head with his hammer. This left only one bandit. He dropped the bow and drew his weapon, pointless as it was. I cast Scorching Ray once again and felt the heat as the ray left my hand and struck him, knocking the fellow on the ground. Aiden put the crisp villain out of his misery and that was the end of it.
With the bandits dead, Milo and Elf quickly began to search the bodies. The excited Kobolds also began rooting around through the littered camp; most likely, they were looking for that statue they mentioned. Milo, checking the woman who I must assume was the leader, apparently found what they were looking for because they began crowding about him screeching excitedly in draconic. The kobolds, though, would not go so far as to touch the thing. Apparently, they were cursed because of it. They needed it returned to the tribe’s chief. So that is where we would go.
However, we did find some weapons and other items of some monetary value. As I seem to have become the groups unofficial scribe and banker, I noted what we had gathered, how much I figured the items to be worth, and began calculating the amount per person. Though some of the party still likes to call out “mine!” like children, we are becoming somewhat more democratic about it all. An improvement no doubt. It is somewhat humorous that around valuables, Elf’s eyes get every bit as round as Milo’s own eyes. I am beginning to fancy myself as the stingy mother guarding the sweets from drooling children. At least the others show proper decorum. It is rather difficult watching both sets of their hands, let alone anyone elses.
After finishing with the camp, we followed the directions of the kobolds towards their tribe’s caves. As the evening descended, we began considering a spot to make camp. Finding a suitable one we set up our tents a ways off the main road. I brushed Selmemor’s coat and then spent some time to work on dividing our spoils. Elf sat nearby and played with a few of his daggers. Aiden and Milo tried to kill a deer and came back with some sort of rodent instead. Hammer simply stood by, looking out, as he often did. Aiden tried to get me to eat some roasted rodent but I was happy to eat some dried meat and some berries I had found earlier. We slept through the night without any trouble.
The next morning as I went to retrieve my spellbook, I found that none of my gear was in my bag. Instead I found Aiden’s stuff. The others checked their own bags and found someone else’s belongings in their bags. There were no tracks, no magic auras, nothing. We asked Hammer who had stood guard through the night but he said he saw nothing. The kobolds had also taken turns standing guards but none of them had seen anything either. They did notice however that a few of their Moon Radishes were missing. They blamed the statue. With nothing else to do, we fixed our packs and continued on. We moved along all day till evening approached. Suddenly, all of the gear on our horses fell off. I cast about trying to see if there was any magic at work. The others looked about as well. But we saw and found nothing. We did however hear the faint sounds of giggling. Now we began to realize that perhaps there were some particularly mischievous fey running about. Aiden shouted out “Thanks!” and after we fixed our packs once more, we continued on. Day turned to night and we began searching for a campsite when we noticed that up ahead, several floating orbs of light shown eerily in the night. They danced and bounced through the air. They seemed to urge us to follow, which we did. We didn’t have anywhere else to go anyway.
The lights led us of the main trail and took us down a little path which led to what appeared to be an abandoned temple. The lights hovered about and we realized that this would be a perfect spot to camp. Looking about we noticed a little fey dragon and some sort of insect-like creature giggling and smiling at us. “This place is safe to make camp. No one will bother you here,” They told us. We thanked them and Aiden asked, “Were you the ones that switched our gear?” They laughed again and said, “Yes you fellows are quite fun. Thank you for being such good sports.” We asked them what they knew about the kobolds. They told us how the kobolds had been fighting some little creatures called Mights and that they were losing. They also talked of the strange purple shaman that led the kobolds. “What do you know of him?” The two said that there was something off about him. “Do you know anything about the Shard that fell from the sky?”
“We saw it, but we know not what it is. If you are heading there though, you should know that there are a pair of wyrms that nest near a river in that direction. You should be careful around them, for they are very sneaky.” We thanked them once more for the information. Milo was especially kind to them. I asked him what was going on. He basically said that since they were fey they worshiped his chief deity in the Sovereign Host and he was morally bound to be kind to them. I had been washing my meal down with my flask of water when he said this, at which point I nearly choked. The rogue said something about morals! I didn’t know he had any of those.
We had a good time that night. We told stories and made jokes. The kobolds shared their Moon Radishes, which were actually quite good. The fey dragon and the crig really enjoyed them. Even Hammer was in something of a humorous mood. As we all began to turn in for the night, I grabbed several of those Moon Radishes, for safe keeping. They were quite good after all.
- from the Journal of Galadriel Ly’istrel