Leaving the Troll and Maiden
Sure enough, the next morning, we were set to go.
As we readied ourselves at the gate, Tia came rushing out. "Eddard, I have something for you and your friends." She handed me a small wrapped parcel, it was warm and smelled delicious. "Pies, not long form the oven. Thank you."
"No. Thank you," I replied, "I know my friends and I will enjoy them very much." There was something more to the look she gave me, and I think it was mirrored in my own eyes. She already meant something to me. I'm not sure why or what, but my pulse quickened in her presence.
I handed them out, one apiece. They were greeted with smiles of approval from the party members.
Naturally, both Sir Garrus and Logan were mounted. Fine armour. Fine weapons. Fine Horses. Must be nice to have money. I knew as a paladin I wasn't permitted to accumulate wealth, and most of the wealth I would gather would end up property of the Temple. I also knew, though, that fine equipment, a fine horse and certain other fineries were expected of paladin. And in my work, I may have need of some variety. I knew this, yet, I was envious. The two days I had of relative relaxation were gone, and it took a couple of miles to get the road rhythm back in my stride.
So my first duty was to my equipment. A horse, armour and weapons.
We spent the day marching along the main road. I took the rear of our little group. Naturally the knight and his adviser, on horseback, took the lead. Wren made a complaint bout having to walk around periodic piles of manure, and the smell.
It didn't worry me because I knew that I would have a horse one day.
We stopped, halfway to Halfbrook. There were still a few hours of daylight left. We set out watch order. With roving bands of goblins and hobgoblins, we had to protect our camp in the best way possible. I sat with Thoram, enjoying the remainign daylight. We were soon joined by Ulf.
"So," I said to pass the time away," I wonder what the stories are behind some of our companions." I said this not engage in malicious gossip, because I knew very little about them. Speculation is all it was.
"What do you mean?" asked Thoram.
"Well, take Wren for instance, she is clearly Amnite." I said. "I bet she was a slave, and escaped when she was very young. I bet that's when she learned her trade. On the streets."
"Hmm," Ulf thought aloud,"Maybe she was a slave herself and had to do things..."
"Huh?" that was Thoram.
"Well, maybe that's where she learnt to hate men. After all, she rejected me..."
"Mystra's Breath," I said," Will you let that go? I'm pretty sure she doesn't hate men. Just most men."
We grew silent as she approached. My little pastime was a disaster. I filled the remainder of the day some camp-associated tasks. I was on second watch.
The night passed uneventfully. We set out early and achieved our destination a little after noon. We were told by the mayor that the bandits were a few hours march from the small village. We headed out immediately.
We could smell the goblin encampment before we saw it. Wisely, we asked Wren to do a little scouting. The camp itself was set in a shallow valley. The goblin camp was obvious, but she found the hobgoblin's entrance. A cave set 50 metres away from the goblins as though the hobgoblins cared not for the habits of their goblin allies. She told us there was a sentry at the mouth of the cave.
Our plan was basic. We'd ignore the goblin camp and concentrate our initial attack o the hobgoblins. There were two main reasons for this. The Hobgoblins we considered to be the better fighters, and we wanted to use any surprise we had on them. The second was that by the time the goblins attacked, we'd be in the cave and able to limit their ability to swarm us. We would attack under cover of darkness. It would be led with Wren taking out the sentry. The rest of us would rush the cave.
We estimated the goblin numbers to be down, indicating that raid may be taking place somewhere. This was the best time to hit them. We waited for nightfall.