30 - When I Come Back You'd Better Have Replaced That Ham!
Darius gave Jimmy the Troll a stern warning, assuring him that the last several individuals who had double-crossed him have ended up on fire. Jimmy assured the party that he had seen the error of his ways, and never liked the other trolls anyway, especially since their boss Rakash was so secretive about his plans.
The group made their way toward the newly-uncovered castle in the middle of the swamp, arguing all along the way about what the best method would be of shutting Rory up. A few suggestions ranged all the way from giving her free food to eat to non-lethal poisons, all the way to using a dimensional dagger to remove her tongue or vocal chords. Ultimately, they occupied her by pantomiming the motion of throwing a ball into the swamp and letting her trek around for minutes trying to find it.
Upon arriving at the castle, they noticed a small humanoid figure stuck flailing on the castle wall. It was Gretch, a Goblin shaman whose hut had been destroyed when the castle sprang up from under the swamp. After helping her down, they agreed to let her tag along to get restitution for her destroyed belongings.
While conversing with their new travelling buddy, Bendix noticed a troll perched on the wall and eating Ham above them. He was just about to alert the others of the party’s presence when Bendix decided to use the troll’s less-than-stellar intelligence to his advantage. Bendix claimed that Rakash, the troll leader, had arranged to have the party meet him here in case the other groups of trolls had been killed. The party was “back up”, and the gate should be opened immediately. It was determined that the ham came from Gretch’s destroyed hut, so Bendix warned the troll that he needed to replace every bit of ham he had stolen. Confused and not wanting to face Rakash’s wrath for the stolen ham, the troll opened the castle gates for the party.
Rory, Steve, and Jimmy the Troll were sent back to the Goblin Kingdom’s capital city of Dragonstone to warn them about what was happening here.
They made their way toward the keep in the center of the castle, and came upon a group of trolls guarding the entrance. Bendix futilely attempted to bluff his way past the guards, but they were under very strict orders and didn’t go for it.
As it turns out, one of the guards had two pets… some pretty dangerous Displacer Beasts. During the fight that ensued, all of the trolls and one of the beasts were killed. Dreod was able to calm the remaining animal down and speak with it. It told the party Rakash was at the top of the keep, and there were no more than 4 or 5 more trolls left, now that all the others had been killed. After answering the questions, the beast ran away into the swamp.
The party entered the keep and decided that only 4 or 5 trolls were no real threat, so they had time to take a full rest before engaging them in battle. Darius used his dimensional dagger to open a pocket dimension, and the party climbed inside to take a well-deserved rest.
When they came out of the pocket dimension the next day, the party was surprised to find that the ground beneath them was shaking. They were even more surprised when they looked out the keep’s windows and noticed that the entire castle seemed to be moving! As it turns out, the “ancient weapon” the trolls had been looking for wasn’t buried inside this castle, the “ancient weapon” WAS the castle!