Serpents of the Frost Blade: Part 2

As you clean the goblin blood from the glimmering blade of Patience, you look around Brennick's apartment. There isn't much the goblins didn't ransack. Your brother's furniture lies strewn about, underbellies all exposing the same logo in a Nordic script. Dishes have been shattered, clothes piled upon the floor—from the looks of it, they may even have used his Wi-Fi for nefarious purposes. (Roll a D12 Luck check to determine now nefarious. SUCCEED—They only downloaded episodes of Futurama. FAIL—"Oh lovely, goblin porn." CRITICAL FAIL—See 'RIAA Damage Table' on page 319.) Whatever they were looking for, they didn't find it. Nor did they find Brennick.

You begin to sift through the debris for any indication of where he might have gone. (Roll D20 Perception check at +2 to determine length of search.) You notice that the goblins completely ignored his refrigerator magnet poetry. "Makes sense. Goblins aren't exactly fans of the alphabet," you think to yourself. "Plus, those things stopped being interesting, like, twelve years ago."

Looking closer, you see that stuck under the words 'death' and 'cheese' is a Whole Foods receipt for Pringles ... but who would wait in line at Whole Foods just to buy Pringles? Wait, it's a clue! The goblins wouldn't have cared about the receipt unless it was from Trader Joe's, and Brennick always used to tease you about eating Pringles. You snatch the receipt off the fridge. Written on the back is a note:

Sorry for the subterfuge, little brother. I thought it best in case Maelorin's goblins paid a visit. I'm crashing with my girlfriend. (Well, sort-of-girlfriend. It's a long story.) Meet me first thing in the morning at Union Square. Go to Borough Hall and take the 4/5. Don't try contacting me with a scrying spell—Maelorin might be listening in, and my apartment gets lousy reception anyway. Help yourself to rations. If the toilet keeps running, jiggle the handle.

P.S. Had a chance to draw Patience yet? LOL

There is a crude map drawn underneath.

You breathe a sigh of relief, with just a touch of irritation. Looks like you'll be spending the night here amidst the rubble. The goblins cleft the mattress in twain in their futile search, so you wrestle the couch upright and lay down, staring at the ceiling.

Sleep does not come easy. None of this makes sense—the Maelorin you remember would never align himself with the Frost Blade. It wasn't that long ago that you & Brennick ran about his garden with wooden sticks, pretending to fight goblins. Now he sends them to ransack Brennick's apartment? Seems like everything turned upside-down once they found that damned book and its damned prophecy. At last, your eyes grow heavy.

(Standard 8-hour rest; spells and daily powers replenished. Roll D10 for random encounter. 1-2: Car alarm for 25 minutes. 3-4: Party at upstairs apartment, heavy bass. 5-6: Toilet running, handle not jiggled. 7-8: ConEdison starts digging up street for no discernable reason. 9-10: Zombie ambush! Turn to page 122.)

You awake to find that the towel Brennick uses as a curtain does little to keep out the sun. You pack and head out. Squinting at the receipt-map, you follow Degraw and take a right onto Court Street. By the light of day, the boutiques are opening their doors. There are also several land merchants. You pause at the window of one such merchant, glancing at the adverts. "You've got to be kidding me," you muse. "How is he able to afford living here? The Rogues Guild must be treating him well. Hey look, a 1BR with exposed brick and original wood floors ... " (Roll a D20 WIS check at +3. SUCCEED—You resist, and walk away. FAIL—"Well, I mean, I at least have to ask." Lose 3 hours.)

Across Atlantic Avenue, you come to the courthouse marked out on the map. Its dome and columns would tower over anything in Deerhaven Village, yet in these surroundings they seem modest. You spot the verdant globes of the subway entrance and descend. (See page 61 for subway entry rules.)

The crowd on the train platform is quite different from the one you encountered at Port Authority. There are far more people, but none say a word, each intently focused on their destination. The train rumbles into the station almost immediately. It gleams with a surprising, sterile modernity—nothing like the dingy train you took last night. As you board, a very polite and well-spoken woman announces, "This is a Manhattan-bound 4 express train. The next stop is, Bowling Green." A nice man adds, "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." How they manage to sound so friendly at this hour of the morning is beyond you.

(Roll a D20 DEX check. SUCCEED—You maintain your footing when the train lurches into motion. FAIL—The large man you just inadvertently body-checked is not amused.)

As the train speeds into Manhattan, nearby passengers seem barely aware of you. None look you in the eye. Suddenly the train grinds to a halt, eliciting a wave of sighs. A far less friendly-sounding man makes an announcement.

But you hardly hear it because your heart just skipped a beat.

A flash of steel from the far side of the car. Kobolds. Two of them ... ? No, three. Wearing Mets caps for cover. "Garonash's blood, they must've followed me," you mutter.

"Have good sleeping in messy apartment?" the lead one cackles, weaving through the passengers. "It no matter, you sleep long time now!"

Your hand instinctively finds the hilt. "Yes Brennick, I've had plenty of chances to draw this blasted sword," you think to yourself. "And you know what? I'm getting the hang of it."

Roll D20 for initiative.