Thorns In the Flesh

Tome of Defiance
I defy you, stars!

Story So Far (greater details to come later):

J&D grow up together in Half-a-Chance, an agricultural town named after the mine that brought the town into existence over 100 years ago.

D has, in the past, discovered a mithril ring/circle/bracelet (?) that has conveyed upon him the powers of a Warlock. He has studied these and mastered them, but he has not been able to shake the haunted, soul-crushing nightmares that have threatened to drive him mad, even while awake.

J has recently made peace with the training/raising methods of his father, Kovad the Justicar of Half-a-chance, and has begun to enjoy his life and better himself in the arts of combat, but resisting the sheer pleasure that it brings him, and adopting a more ascetic outlook as a Guardian.

Confronting his problems with the help of Kovad and Father Macgraygor, the Justicar and the local priest of Aumanthor, they resolve to journey to and explore the local mine which is the subject of D’s (and now even J’s) haunting visions. The mine, however, has been the domain of random packs of monsters and villainous men since shortly after it’s sudden closing decades ago. Kovad, Macgraygor (Gray), J&D plan to leave at first light for the cave (~6 hours away by foot).

Another horrid hallucination has J&D convinced that they must make for the mine tonight, alone, ASAP. They encounter and rout a lone Bugbear warrior, guarding the mine. A roguish Bugbear Strangler manhandles J and uses him as a shield against D’s Eldritch blast. This finally knocks J out. The Strangler runs inside with J whilst 6 goblins descend on D. With some curses and dagger work, D manages to rout the gobbles and catch his breath. He proceeds into the mines with caution to find more goblins and the Strangler with Justin tied up beside a fire.

After wounding the Strangler, who flees deeper into the mines, and dispatching the gobbles, J & D reunite to continue their quest. J warns that there’s a Minotaur who knows Kovad who is wants to ransom J back to Kovad. That’s the only reason J’s still alive, apparently. The Minotaur and the Strangler await in the darkness, and yet into that darkness they must go, lest they be driven mad or worse.

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