A panicked Frans “Frank” Boer, Jr. could not find his beloved bovine Bessie. While Frank frantically searched the courtyard, Daerik met with his captain to secure leave from his evening rounds and assist the half-orc in his search for the missing cow. Walker Texas, who had entered the courtyard to wash his cookware at an outdoor spigot, joined the two. The party of three exited the manor’s grounds, following a curious trail of cow prints, mysterious tracks, and scorched earth.
Frank called down a flock of birds to aid in his quest to find Bessie. After exchanging some twitters and whistles, a blue jay waddled forward, carrying in his arms a fire-scorched baby robin. Frank healed the bird as best he could, and learned from him that something big, something black, and something the robin had never seen before had taken Bessie out of the stables.
Frank tucked the robin, now named Lil Frank, safely into his kit before dashing after the tracks, with Daerik and Walker reluctantly in tow. He stopped at a farm, where they interrogated a man and his two cows (named Porkchop 1, or Buttermilk, and Porkchop 2). The farmer told the party that something in the woods had spooked the cows in an unusual manner, and with that information, Frank rushed down the path into the forest.
As the trail went deeper into the forest, the foliage nearly enclosed the sky overhead. Suddenly, a goblin, maimed and bleeding, dropped down from trees and onto the trail. Daerik, fluent in the speech of goblins, tended to his wounds as the goblin told him of a terrible creature who had attacked him and his brothers. He pointed the party deeper in the woods before he fled in the opposite direction.
The dense brush opened up into a clearing, where the party saw three goblins locked in battle with a hideous aberration of a beast. Black, tentacled, clawed, with a gelatinous body and cruel spikes poking off its back, the aberration already bore the wounds of the goblins’ arrows. Behind the beast, Bessie sat, chewing her cud. Behind Bessie, a shimmering purple-black portal the led, apparently, to another dimension.
The heroes lobbed slings, arrows, and javelins at the aberration, as the goblins continued to strike with their own weapons. Wounded, the beast wrapped a tentacle around Bessie and began to retreat toward the portal. Daerik and Frank dashed up to the beast and grappled with its tentacle as Walker slew arrows from a distance. Daerik lobbed off the tentacle with his sword, as Frank wrestled the beast’s lifeless body to the ground.
The goblins retreated into the safety of the trees as the heroes surveyed the carnage. Daerik tossed a rock into the portal, which quickly closed around it and vanished. They would certainly have to tell Warwick of the mysterious aberration and the disappearing portal it guarded. Loading the severed tentacle onto Bessie’s back as evidence for the Archmage, the three heroes slowly made the trek back to the safety of Warwick’s Manor.