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A: Dungeon Master Online E1

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Solitude turns around and looks at Amaroth. "You go first, if you hit it enough I'll do extra damage." Amroth nods, marks the prone creature and aims his arrow, takes a few seconds to line up his arrow and hits the creature, dealing an avarage amount of damage. The creature cried out in pain as it turns bloodied. He aims his second arrow at the creature behind it but misses, shrugging Amaroth starts to shuffle and dance in his place, Iris turns around and raises an eyebrow. "Well since we are going to beat the, we might as well dance to it right?"

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Amroth had done enough, Solitude saw the goblin was nice and bloodied. So he moved forward, approaching the prone body of the goblin, with an arrow sticking out of it, and sank his dagger into its back, his blade meeting its spine nicely. However, it appeared not to have been enough, as the goblin survived. "Damnation" Solitude muttered.

 

The goblin rolled over and stood itself back up, while its remaining ally stepped forward to retaliate against Solitude. Only to miss his strike, leaving Solitude unscathed still.

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Quarius thrust his hands out in response to the goblin's strike, sending a burst of flames out of his hands and towards his target. The goblin howled as his skin charred against the assault, but still he stood in front of the party, despite losing 11 points of his health. For a mindless NPC, he definitely had an admirable sense of determination.

 

Taking note of the prompt given by the GUI the moment Quarius finished his turn, Iris materialized her all-too-familiar spear and hurled it towards the dying target - only to miss by an incredibly large margin. A small croak left her throat as she grinned at her unimpressed party mates embarrassingly, before allowing her turn to end as well.

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One last attack by Cha’ac, Solitude and Amroth was enough to finish off the last remaining Goblin. The party explored the room the fight had taken place in and found a secret passage leading to hidden room. In it they found the body of the third adventurer, including a Wand of Ray of Enfeeblement+1 that Solitude quickly took. It was a while before Quarius noticed that the party had found a magic item fit for him and demanded that Solitude handed it over.

On the remains of Kerz they found a Lightning Dagger+1, which was entrusted to Solitude. Upon inspection of the item’s properties Solitude expressed a particular fondness for the boomerang effect of thrown Lightning weapons. He might be Australian in real life.

They examined the paths available to them and noticed that one of them had collapsed due to some unknown magic. Realizing that their only option was to follow the slope, the one the fleeing goblin had taken, they followed the path into what seemed to be the Goblin’s storage area. Silver and gold objects were thrown into a pile on the left side, while the carcasses of cows and sheep were piled on the other side of the room. However, no one took note of the carts in the back. Minecarts are for chumps anyway.

The wounded Goblin that had managed to flee the previous encounter was standing in middle of a rune circle while jumping up and down and laughing maniacally. It was screaming something in a language none of the Adventurers understood, but once he took notice of them he started shouting: "Boom! Booooom!"

The Adventurers had played enough games to realize what was going on. This mine was going to blow and they had to get what they could or else they’d be buried here. They decided to summon Tenser’s Floating Disk to transport as much of the gold as possible while Quarius burnt up the carcasses to see if there was anything to find underneath. A Vicious Greatbow+1 made Amroth as happy as a little girl right before it was time for them to run for their lives.

Collapsed hallways forced them to take a route they were unfamiliar with, but Solitude’s sense of direction managed to safely lead them onto the correct path. They all got hit by a falling rock or two, but Amroth and Iris got hit the most, with Cha’ac leaving relatively unscathed. Breathing heavily they had finally managed to escape the dungeon when they were greeted by the same hooded figure who had transported them there.

“Uhh… I’m not sure if you guys were supposed to blow up the mines. Oh well, you’ll have to sort that out with Padraig. Off you go.â€

The party stepped on the circle and was brought back to Winterhaven.

Once they returned to Winterhaven a group of four guards approached the party. “Which one of you is Quarius?†Everyone remained silent, but the Nameplates floating above their heads made it pretty obvious. “You are under arrest for stealing state property.â€

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Quarius of course demanded to know the details of the charge, and was informed that he was going to be let off with a warning, provided he meant not to repeat the offence. His initial promise was somewhat forced, and the guards made a point of demanding a proper promise. "I, Quarius the Wizard, will not do it again."

 

With that matter settled, the group set about selling the phat loot they had gathered from the mine... back to the people who it was stolen from. They were NPCs after all, the group had no qualms undertaking such practice. Solitude used his Streetwise ability to search around for any particularly good deals, and managed to earn an extra chunk of gold after an art dealer took a liking to one of the paintings they had. In total, they made a profit to the tune of 300G.

 

Next, Solitude went to see Padraig about the quest reward, since he had the highest Bluff ability, and meant to squeeze some extra money out of the Lord, as well as avoid any details about the mine being collapsed.

 

"Good sir Padraig, we have most expediently removed the dire goblin menace that has plagued your fair city." he announced.

 

Padraig looked up from his paperwork. "Thank you, I appreciate the effort. Did you manage to find the missing adventurers?"

 

"What was left of them, at least." Solitude replied, whipping out his Lightning Dagger as evidence.

 

"That is too bad. You couldn't retrieve the bodies for a proper burial?"

 

Solitude looked to the side before replying. He didn't want to reveal they fled for their lives as the mine collapsed. He'd just say goblins eat their enemies - presuming Padraig was ignorant of goblins.  "Have you fought goblins before sir?"

"Not recently. No."

 

Solitude frowned. That "not recently" suggested he had experience with them after all. He needed a new excuse. "Well, I don't know if it is usual, but these ones had access to magic scrolls. They collapsed one of the tunnels, and the adventurers seem to have been buried underneath. I apologise, but I've not the stomach for... scooping up entrails and gore, even for the sake of a proper burial."

Padraig sighed. "Very well, there's nothing to do about it then. I believe we agreed on 100 gold as payment."

 

Here Solitude had come to swindle the Lord, and he was being swindled himself. "Actually, my compatriot told me it was 150 that was agreed upon." he bluffed, somewhat ineffectually. Evidently, the surprise at being swindled dulled his wit.

 Padraig shook his head. "I don't think so. I am pretty sure it was 100."

 

Solitude scowled.  "I suppose my colleague was mistaken then, very well." he took the offered pouch of gold and left.

 

After Solitude broke the news to the group, it was decided Quarius - as the original negotiator of the quest - should go back and try to get the extra 20G at least.

 

What followed would become a tale passed down through generations as a cautionary story about greed and respect for authority.

 

"Excuse me, Mr Padraig, but my comrade appears to have been mistaken. He accidentally collected 20G less from you just now."

 

"You mean the Tiefling, correct? I am sure everything was in order."

 

"Not quite. He had an impression that we had agreed upon 100G when it was actually 120G."

 

"Was it really 120 gold? My mistake. How about we agree on the remaining 20 gold being used to pay for the fine I waivered."

 

"I believe we're being very fair here, Mr Padraig. The job that you gave us was to eliminate some minor goblins, not to get ourselves buried in rubble. Somebody thought it was a good idea to give the critters exploding scrolls. The danger of the task deserves far more than 120G."

 

"That's true, but don't think I didn't hear about the load of 'treasure' you were dragging along when you appeared through the teleporter. I'd also say that that fancy new wand you have there is worth quite a lot."

 

"It is an unspoken rule that us adventurers get what we find on our tasks. I don't believe there was a clause in our agreement that stated that we couldn't take what was lying on the ground. Have you not lived long and seen much in this world, sir? On the other hand, we did agree on 120G beforehand. You are a fair man, Mr Padraig. Don't let your reputation be ruined by a petty 20G."

 

"It is also an unspoken rule not to sell ones possession's back to him. Well, actually I think that's a law? Just like it is a law not to steal a house from the state."

 

"I don't want to go into specifics with you, Mr Padraig. It would only leave a bad taste in both our mouths. Now, a small town like yours would definitely have need for adventurers like us in the future. Would you ruin your chances at our future cooperation because of this small matter?"

 

"You speak as if it isn't mutually beneficial. Last I checked you did get rewarded, just not as much as you wished. Adventurers like you need towns like these just as badly as the towns need you. In fact, look around you, there are plenty of adventurers more than willing to do the future work you'll refuse. Even if you try and badmouth us as much as you can there will always be adventurers desperate for work."

 

"Adventurers desperate enough to work for a mayor who can't be trusted to reward them with what they were promised? Adjacent towns desperate enough to trade with someone who will undercut their prices? Traders desperate enough to come to a place where they can't be assured of fair economics? You're relying a lot on faith, my good man. And while you will remain here, with what limited influence you have, the five of us will be travelling around the world, gaining fame and reputation. You know how these things work. Which of us do you think has more to lose? A bunch of nomads, or a mayor who has the interests of a town to consider?"

 

"How long do you think I have been her? If the scenario you painted were to be true I would have been usurped long ago. Instead Winterhaven is successful enough to not crumble to Goblins, Ghosts of Bandits. Adventurers came and went, but I am still and I am still in charge. If you are so certain you will gain fame and reputation why are you trying so hard for 20 gold pieces? I think you are just as aware as I am that adventure are more prone to failure than they are to fame. Do you truly think yourself great for slaying mere Goblins? One day your ego will lead you into a den of dragons and that'll be the end of your story. Here, have your 20G. Now leave."

 

"It is not about the 20G, as you and I both know. Let's shed our pretenses here, since we're both learned men. This is about your integrity as a mayor. If you deal with your people the same way as you've dealt with me and my friends, I'd be quite saddened at the state of things in this homely little village. It is not in the natural state of man to trick and deceive others, Mr Padraig. I plead with you to treat all future adventurers and villagers with honesty and integrity, not just us."

 

"You are an Eladrin, what do you know about man. Man is evil. How else would you explain the cruelty of children? Wars? Crime? Racial supremacy? If there were no laws or enforcement of any kind, would we live in peace or would we kill each other? Would we fight, rape, plunder and do whatever necessary to make sure that we survive? Would we care about each other? I guarantee that we would not. Everything I do, everything I have ever done, is for the sake of this town. Winterhaven isn't rich. I can assure that whatever items you plundered from the incompetent adventurers before you are worth more than this town has in its coffer. Yet you try your hardest for 20 pieces of gold. Knowing the state of this town, would you sell your wand to feed the poor? To invest in this town's prosperity? I am sure you would not and you would be the greater fool if you did."

 

Padraig had had enough, and waved for his guards to throw Quarius out.

 

After Quarius had been ejected, with the 20G, Solitude seized the moment he'd been waiting for. He picked the Wizard's pocket, and managed to lift his spell book undetected. Unfortunately, there was no achievement popup like he'd hoped there'd be, and so he simply gave the spell book right back again. "You dropped this, mate."

 

As their quest was struck off their quest log, the group beheld their success:

 

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: “Trouble in Winterhaven†Completed!
Reward: “<NAME> the Goblin Punter†Title Unlocked.

 

Cha'ac remarked that he had not actually punted any goblins and would quite have preferred a Goblin Golfer title, while Quarius checked if there was any sort of stat boost to accompany the title. Miraculously, it gave +1 to rolls when punting goblins.

 

The completion of the quest also awarded the group some final EXP, and they all leveled up. They divided their accumulated gold, 97G each, and split up to buy/sell equipment and enact their level up changes. They parted with intentions to work together again in future, but for now, this quest was over.

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