The Hunt for the Master

A Stroll Through Goblin Territory

The party, having earned the trust (or at least respect) of the hippogriff, talk to Old Man Higgins about keeping her around in case these goblins decide to start raiding the village.  Gramulon offers to buy the Bag of Holding off of him, and they set out towards the goblins.  

Taking the road north from Gorlak's hideout, they soon converge with the Master's path of destruction.  Unfortunately, that path crossed a watchtower.  Dead goblins were strewn about.  There was no evidence that they injured the Master at all.  Shortly after they arrived, a scouting party showed up.  Our heroes explained that they were not responsible, and were believed.  It seems that the Master had recently passed by a fort.  A mention of Gorlak caused weapons to be raised, until the scout leader Sarlek pulled Hayth and Gramulon aside.  He explained that Gorlak does not have many friends, and mentioning him could be costly.  After a brief stop at the fort, the party is directed to the city of Ghezzi, just in time for the New Moon Celebration.  

The first new moon of the year is a day of peace, with goblins all over the kingdom laying down arms to celebrate their god Maglubiyet.  The priest of every city reads omens for the new year.  The party gets to Ghezzi just in time to witness the omen reading.  But things go awry, as the slaughtered cow refuses to die, and just.  Keeps.  Bleeding.  The priest tries to immolate the offering, only to find that the fire flares up into 4 Lesser Fire Elementals.  After dispatching the fiends, they talk to the priest and surmise that this is a very very bad omen.  Well, the Master's path would put him on a collision course with the capitol city of Kilzor.  So Ilivarra turned into a bird and flew with great speed to Kilzor to see what she could see.  She saw a city in flames, and many goblins around a mortally wounded crowned goblin, seemingly of great import.  Ilivarra turns back into her Drow form, gives the goblin her healing potions, and flies back to Ghezzi to give report.  

She meets the party halfway, explaining the situation.  Arriving in Kilzor, the party is directed to see King Jarek.  He is the mortally wounded goblin Ilivarra helped, and he remembers her.  They talk some about what happened as his son Gurthak shows up.  Jarek, nearing death, instructs Gurthak about his upcoming rule, and Gurthak beheads him, in true goblin fashion.  Gurthak, now king, tells the party that the Master was headed directly for the Haunted Place.  Talking to the High Priest of Maglubiyet, the party learns that the Haunted Place is a great gate in a cliff, much much older than the goblins.  Neither goblins or their mortal enemies the kobolds will tread there.  So the party makes haste.

They come to the Haunted Place to find a quiet clearing at the base of a great cliff.  North and to both sides, mountains range.  An enormous gate is built into the cliff face, four great bars laid across it.  On either side are two open cave mouths.  In the middle of the clearing is a ruined pedestal with strange glyphs etched into it.  When translated, it reads:

Lift the Earth

Walk the Sky

Quench the Giants Thirst

Kneel Before the Great Kings of Old

Prove Your Worth and Enter

The Lands of the Elonai

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pharaohkuranes

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