We spent several days trudging inland through the jungle, following our divining rod. I lead the party, hacking through vines and brush with my machetes and keeping a wary eye out for any more trouble.
Suddenly I heard a call from ahead. Two goblins were calmly walking forward out of the ferns, holding aloft a tattered white flag. In broken New Common, they communicated that their chief had instructed them to bring us to him. Since they came in peace, I agreed to speak with their chief and we set off after them. It wasn’t long before we came to a clearing where a campfire was blazing brightly as dusk approached.
Their chief, Honkytonk, invited us into the fire circle, then immediately began to upbraid us for killing his braves, wrecking his encampment, and stealing his ship. We protested that we merely borrowed the ship, and that anyways private property was going to be obsolete in our new socialist world order. And the casualties were unavoidable since his warriors got in our way, but I was sorry and offered him all the silver I had (26 pieces) in compensation for their loss. He howled in outrage though, and his warriors began to rattle their sabers, as it were (clubs and spears really).
Wanting to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, and seeing that my offer was insufficient, I appealed the chief that he and I could settle this like gentlemen, with a mano-a-mano duel, so that our friends didn’t all have to be in danger. This caught his attention, but he counter-proposed that instead of us, we could each select a champion to represent us. I glanced at the mighty Eli, who as a trained gladiator would be an ideal champion. Eli nodded his assent at this plan. Chief Honkytonk then sent a runner off, who came back with a voadkyn wood giant tromping after him! I gulped, but Eli seemed unfazed and stepped forward to meet this towering foe who wielded a massive longsword.
We gave the go ahead, “ROUND ONE: FIGHT!” and the mortal combat began. Eli launched forward like a viper, delivering a sound punch to the voadkyn’s solar plexus, then pirouetting away before the giant know what hit it. It then realized the fight was on though, and hefted it’s longsword before charging at the retreating gladiator. Eli turned to face the giant as it barreled towards him swinging it’s sword in a mighty swooshing arc… right over Eli’s head as he gracefully ducked under, darted through the giant’s legs, and delivered an upward taint punch that induced horrified wincing in every member of the audience. The giant howled with rage and turned around again, leveling it’s huge blade at Eli.
At this point, I suspected Eli was just making the giant mad, so I nudged Umbra and gestured for him to pray for some blessings at least to keep Eli safe. He did so…. but Chief Honkytonk must have noticed him chanting because he suddenly screamed “Cheaters!” and commanded his tribe to attack us all! I tried to protest that priests just gotta pray sometimes, but before I knew it Honkytonk’s two hulking bugbear bodyguards were on top of me, slathering and swinging clubs! Chaos was erupting all around. I quickly raised my machetes and parried one of the bugbears’ blows, but the other’s bounced off my now ringing head. I slashed back at my attacker and saw a pair of wargs darting past me towards my comrades, but one of their eyes began beaming with white Light as Umbra blinded it. Still, the cruel beast got it’s powerful jaws around Faun’s pet dog, and snapped the poor creature’s neck. The clever native elven druid had melted back into the jungle and was circling around, using her mystical druidic powers to turn the vines and ferns against the goblins, many more of which could now be seen moving around in the canopy over head… but many of these were held fast, or else thrown down by the very trees themselves!
Fiameta, safely behind me, launched a streaming volley of Magic Missiles through the melee at Chief Honkytonk, but he and his shaman extricated themselves from the clutching vines and beat a hasty retreat further into the jungle. Umbra now was able to Hold one of the bugbears while I fought off the other, taking a few scratches (and being grazed by an arrow from a goblin sniper) but finally hacking it to death. Eli delivered several more masterful blows and slashes with his drusus, finally bringing the wood giant crashing down dead! FATALITY. Then he casually waded over through goblins, killed a warg, and sliced the throat of the held bugbear. We were victorious! I resolved to one day hunt down that duplicitous and honorless chief and put an end to him, and I took the longsword off the dead giant as a reminder.
Dusk was now upon us, but we didn’t want to remain at the scene of the carnage when the night scavengers came out. Se we trudged on for another couple of miles before making camp. I used my survival skills to identify a hidden and secure glen with a freshwater spring. We lay down, exhausted, while Fiameta conjured up a small fire. We ate a small supper while Eli recounted his great feat and wished we still had a bard with us to make a song about it. Then we slept.