Richard Blight
United Kingdom
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Chronicles of Gloomhaven, part 1: Into the Barrow. (Spoilers for city events, road events and scenario 1: no spoiler tags. Read on at your own risk!)

We met on the road to Gloomhaven. Four mercenaries: a brave Inox, a noble Savvas, a smelly vermling and a curious-looking quatryl. Two tall, two short; two strong, two weak. "We should travel together, as together we are stronger than alone" said the vermling. Of course a weak and feeble rat-creature would say such a thing. But yet it was agreed that we would seek our fortunes and destinies together.

I do not know the vermling's name, for reasons which will become clear. The quatryl is called Delice. The Savvas is known as Craggy McCragface. Surely this is a jest on his part, for who would allow themselves to be named such? And I? Though humans call me Brute, my people call me VICTOR.

Almost before we had settled in to this tiny town we were of interest to the people. Some giant crab-like creatures had swum into the docks and were menacing the sailors there. I would have slain them all but my cowardly colleagues tried to communicate. Hah! What speech do these beasts know but the blade of a sword? Eventually they crawled back into the ocean, perhaps tired of the tedious quatryl trying out what she claimed was a Transmatic Autolater, or some such nonsense. The humans treated her as a great hero nonetheless. I am beginning to dislike quatryls, and humans even more.

One of the sailors offered to buy us all drinks and took us to an inn, the Sleeping Lion. This is typical of the humans. A lion should roar and hunt, not sleep. His chatter enthralled the quatryl and vermling but the Savvas and I were soon bored. Luckily the sailor was interrupted by a Valrath woman offering us a job - just kill a thief and take back the documents which he had stolen. At last a chance to make some money and see what my new companions are made of!

I soon found out. The ratling made some excuse about one of her baby rats being ill and scuttled off. Hah! Surely it is she who is ill, scared of our dangerous quest. No doubt while we are out of town she will leave and we shall never see her again. We are better off without her, for what use is a vermling anyway when VICTOR is there to smite a thief? Beating up a couple of local drunks, we soon discovered where the thief made his hideout and set off.

Shortly after leaving the town we heard the cries of battle. At last my blade could taste blood! Some of my people were battling the city guards. Though my companions dithered I rushed into the fray and soon the guards were dead. Seeing my bravery, one of the inox gave me a gift of a necklace made from teeth. Such magic necklaces are greatly prized by the inox, for they feed on the energy of the slain and have helped many a warrior in long battles.

Perhaps the city guards were also heading to our destination at the barrow? For the entrance was just over a small knoll. (Not a small gnoll. That would be completely different. Hah! VICTOR makes a joke with you.) We crept inside, expecting to find the thief to be asleep, but instead we found him together with six accomplices, all ugly types who had seen better days. Seeing my imposing presence he fled deeper into the barrow, and the six guards and we three eyed each other up.

I was the first to break the silence. With a yell I leapt towards the nearest bandits. I expected them to attack me, whereupon I would shrug off their blows and smite them. But they were cowardly and merely flinched behind their shields, daring me to attack them. I did so, while behind me Craggy and Delice threw missiles at the bandits. And then, my friends - it pains me to tell you this - I failed. Winding up for a mighty blow to fell three bandits at once, I missed two completely. One gurgled his last but his colleagues beat me down to my knees. I staggered away as the brave Savvas covered my retreat by throwing two boulders and the quatryl squirted me with some foul-smelling goo which knit my wounds together. Between them they fought back against the remaining guards while I opened the door through which the bandit chief had fled. Surely he would be cowering behind it and I could slay him. But it was not to be - instead there was another guard and, with him, three archers. Seeing how my bravery earlier had got me into trouble, I retreated once again and contented myself by throwing a dagger into the throat of a guard who was threatening Delice.

My retreat was a wise move. Look in wonder, you humans who think we Inox are stupid! The archers tried to shoot me but their feeble bows could not reach far enough. And as the other guard came into the room all three of us set upon him and he reeled under our blows. Seeing that he was little danger, the quatryl (ah! industrious and intelligent race!) pulled out a grenade and threw it at the archers. It exploded in a black mist and one of the rearmost collapsed in agony.

Once again I, VICTOR, showed that the Inox are not all brawn. Seeing a spike trap in front of a door in the next room, I resolved to push one of the archers into it, killing him and allowing us to trample over his corpse to reach the door. Alas! I smote him so hard that instead of pushing him, my sword went straight through his body and he died instantly. Perhaps we are all brawn after all. My companions mocked me and I resolved to slay them both after the bandit chief was dead.

I looked around. Craggy and Delice had killed the remaining bandits and were breathing heavily. I pondered how to reach our foe, who was surely behind the door. And yet the door was protected by traps. A brainwave struck me. I leapt at the door, pushing it open and rebounding into the room, just clearing the traps. And what horrors awaited us! Two archers? Pshaw, these we have slain before. But also two skeletons, who instead of laying on the ground as bones should, started shambling towards us. Again my brain kicked into action. (Yes, reader, it is true! I, VICTOR, was the mastermind of this plan.) I remained behind the door and, as the skeleton walked though the doorway to attack me, it walked onto the trap! Why some spikes should hurt what is itself merely a collection of bones, with no organs or flesh to damage, is unknown. But so they did, and as the skeleton attacked me I parried its blows and with one swipe of my sword its head rolled from its neck.

The rest was over in a flash. We all rushed into the next room, slaughtering skeleton and archer alike. As the final archer breathed her last, I spotted a chest in the corner of the room. No doubt this held the documents we were seeking. But no, it was merely an old map. I was about to rip it up in disgust, but the quatryl stayed my hand. "Perhaps it shows the route to a place of interest where we may find many interesting artefacts", she explained.

She could have the map. Where was our foe? Suddenly I spotted a narrow passageway in the corner of the room. No doubt the bandit chief had fled further into the barrow. We adjusted our gear and I, VICTOR, led the way into the darkness.

Next on Chronicles of Gloomhaven: Episode 2!
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