Five Guys Wandering Around Dungeons

Rustwater and Goblins

Part 5

Perhaps the best way to describe Rustwater would be to envision an old western town crossed with a steel mill. The town was small, the population consisted only of workers and the necessary skeletal support, and the land was hard. The lifeblood of the town was in the mines, which supplied iron for trade. This trade was controlled entirely by Cloud Peaks Company, and therefore the Cloud Peaks also controlled the town.
Upon arrival to the city, the trio split up in order to find lodging and to gather information. They learned from the local “mayor” that the workers were split between three mines. The groups all left first thing in the morning together to their respective mines and came back late in the afternoon. Throughout the day, wagons laden with ore would run transport routes from the mines back to the town. It was during these transport routes that the goblins were attacking in force. Unfortunately, they attacked at random. Sometimes they would hit the same route twice in one day; sometimes they would hit one and wait a week before hitting another; and sometimes they would hit two at the same time. Armed guards had been dispatched in an effort to curb the losses, but at the time of the arrival of our trio that effort had made little impact.
Much of the same was heard from the workers when they returned that day. Talking with a small group of men in the local bar/inn, it became clear that the tough life had taken its toll on the people of Rustwater. The men were weary, the women and children were terrified, and there was no end in sight for them. Efforts had been made to request reinforcements from the Cloud Peaks HQ in Athkatla, but none had arrived. Therefore it was a bit of a disappointment to the people of Rustwater when a gnome, a monk, and… whatever Toviah is showed up to help. Without any other options, the men agreed rather indifferently to allow the adventurers to accompany them the next day, so long as they stayed out of the way.
The next morning Bufkin, Galdor, and Toviah left at dawn with the rest of the company, electing to walk at the back and observe. They decided to go to the furthest mine and accompany the transports each day, on every trip, until an ambush occurred. It didn’t take very many trips before a small company of goblins appeared and attacked the transport, this time only shortly after leaving the barricaded mine. The attack appeared to occur with two groups: the first group of goblins engaged the guards while the second focused on carrying away as much of the ore as they could. With the aid of our adventurers the guards were able to fend off the attack without suffering too many casualties and keep the bulk of the ore intact. Seeing that the guards were little more than young men and obviously distraught, someone suggested that they see the shipment safely back within the wooden walls of the mine, an olive branch the surviving guards took without question.
As was the habit of our trio, one goblin remained alive but injured in the aftermath of the melee. Needing to ascertain the location of the goblin hoard, Bufkin and Galdor began to question the goblin. Through pained breaths and a witless mind, the goblin was able to point them North “a long distance.” Before they could get any further information, however, Toviah once again stepped in and dealt his ‘righteous justice’ on the goblin and slit its throat. As you can imagine, killing a prisoner before they can be fully interrogated reopened some old grudges between Bufkin and Toviah, and although it came dangerously close to a fight it did not descend into a bloody brawl (this time). Bufkin did make it clear, however, that he would not allow for such a thing to happen any more. Then next time Toviah stepped in to kill a prisoner unilaterally, there would be payment in blood.

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