Celebrating over pancakes at the Golden Grain inn, the proprietor Bertram called for a party in our honor! Hooray! With drinking, and fighting, and gambling. Rhabi and Wulfric joined Pixi and me, and introduced us to a rather scary looking lass named Roth. Grey skin, deadpan delivery– I think she’s some kind of mage.
Wulfric, that hardy barbarian from the desert, stepped up for a test of strength against their most stalwart fellow…. er, I mean lady. She struggled mightily, but in the end, Wulfric’s muscles won the day! And I’m glad, too, cause it meant I won a gold piece on my wager! And Wulfric won a special dagger, too!
I bet a lady named “Trip” that I could beat her in darts. I mean, you know I’m pretty good with traps and stuff, but I wasn’t sure my ability to throw forks and stuff at my enemies would translate into victory at darts. But you never know, and it was just a friendly game, right?
Well…. friendly enough, except she wanted to bet on it. I put up my string of bells, but she wanted gold. So I bet 2 gold on my victory.
What people don’t realize is how boring goblin guard duty can really be. Before I left the tribe, I wasn’t *the* best card-in-the-hat player, not by a long shot. That’s got to be Sir Frackas– a blue-skinned fellow who really loves his cards. But I was good enough, and Frackas and me used to play a lot when we were growing up, back in the clutch.
Anyway, I tentatively stepped up to face Trip in darts. She went first, sinking her darts close to the center, including one in the bullseye. I nodded, appreciatively and smiled– she kind of scowled at me when I did that. I pulled a butter knife out of my pouch, but she said I had to use the darts instead.
Okay. Roth was at one of the tables, watching, having placed her own bet on my ability. I lifted a dart and tossed it into the board.
Thunk. Very close to the bullseye– not quite in, but close. I nodded, glanced over at the lady I was contesting with. Rhabi cheered me on, saying something about getting under the tall-belt’s skins. I don’t know about that. I was just glad they put the dart board so close by– it was only about 10 feet away, on the wall. Plus I didn’t have to bank the darts off of a corner or anything!
Thunk. Second one went in, almost sharing a point with the first. Rhabi was counting my points and said something about me already winning, but I shrugged and picked up the third dart.
Thunk. Frackas would have been disappointed in me– no bullseyes in all three of them! Ah, well. I shrugged and went to pull the darts out of the wall.
Thunk. A dart skimmed past my ear into the wall next to me. I turned to look at Trip. “Oh, sorry– I must not have seen you.”
I pulled all four darts out of the board and threw one of them, hitting the table in front of her, inches from where her hand was on her ale mug, with a satisfying Thunk! I grinned wide at her, my friendliest grin. “No problem, Trip. I’m happy to return any darts you care to throw at me.”
I went back to my friends and drank some ale.
Someimes, traps are mechanical devices. But sometimes, they are social ambushes. When Bertram told us to meet him in the cellar so he could pass along information, everyone knew it for a trap. We went anyway. We found ledgers and manacles in the cellar, and just as I was investigating the manacles, I heard something behind a sliding panel door. “Trap,” I called to my companions, still working the manacles. They repositioned, and Roth threw a fountain of flames over the stairwell, effectively keeping at bay the weaker of Bertram’s allies.
Two frog-man bullywugs came in and were met quickly by Wulfric and Rhabi. Between Roth and me, we slid a bullywug into one of the manacles, and I chained him there, then darted away. Meanwhile, Bertram and some kind of shadowy assassin guy came down the stairs to face off against us.
They never really had much of a chance. Wulfric’s very defensive, and Rhabi does a great job of rallying all of us. We took down the bullywugs quickly, then the assassin. I was gratified that everyone chose to subdue, rather than slay our enemies. The authorities can question them later.
Wulfric took a pencil rubbing of the ledgers– very clever! And then we followed the tunnel that the bullywugs had used. It branched off at one point, ending in a large iron, barred door. The other tunnel ended in a ceiling door, which we opened and found ourselves climbing up out of the street in front of the Temple of the Lawbringer! They’re such nice people, and were so good about taking care of the paladin. We’ll have to make sure they know there’s a bullywug tunnel running right up to their door!