4th Ed D&D In London

Eavesdropping

“Sounds like a tavern to me.” whispered Aran, as he crouched next to the stout wooden door.

“I can hear cheering, some mugs clinking… and I think that’s the sound of dice rolling!” observed the drow rogue, “There’s some conversation, I think that’s goblin. Fau, see if you can make it out…”

The raggedy warlock craned his neck towards the door. He listened for some time, no expression could be discerned through his long matted hair. “Goblins of various kinds.” he muttered, “They are playing some kind of dice game. Each has adopted a role, a persona, and together they are… acting, it appears. Some are assuming strange voices…”

“Strange? Strange how?” inquired Aran.

“There’s one speaking in a squeaky lilt. I’m certain that it’s affected, and not natural. From what I gather, this goblin is pretending to be a halfling.” explained the warlock flatly, “Another is using a slow, gruff, drone-like voice. No creature of this world would speak like that by design. I think this is a hobgoblin imagining he is some kind of depressive, other-worldly human.”

“Strange behaviour, even for goblins.” commented Waylander, “But if I were a goblin, I would probably pretend I were someone else too.”

Ryam came close to the door, joining in the huddle. “Perhaps it’s some kind of strategy meeting. Students of the art of warfare often act out battles or negotiations before hand, in order to prepare themselves for a variety of eventualities.”

Cass had been standing back away from the door with Elwanen, her heavy armour and weapons tended not to lend themselves to subterfuge or eavesdropping, but the whispered conversation amongst her party members had intrigued her.

“What are these imaginary people doing, I mean, pretending to do?” she asked, stepping forward.

Fau listened a while longer. “They are…they are eavesdropping at a door, and trying to discern what might lie on the other side. There seems to be different opinions amongst the group as to how to proceed.”

“Typical,” tutted Aran, “Ambush. Eavesdrop. Argue. The three goblin A’s”

“Ah. One of them has opened the door and gone in.”

“I don’t get it.” pondered Elwanen, who found himself drawn into the analysis, “Who decides what the one who just went through the door is about to see? What, do they just make it up?”

“One of the Hobgoblins seems to be ‘in charge’. He tells them what happens whenever they do something.” replied Fau.

“So what happened?” asked Waylander.

From the other side of the wooden door there came what sounded like dice rolling on a table. The voices beyond grew more animated. The party listened further. There were shouts of victory, curses of fustration, a cackle of laughter rang out.

“Sounds to me like they’re pretending to fight!” observed Elwanen, raising an eyebrow.

“Indeed,” affirmed Fau, “They have encountered, get this, a group of goblins, and after brief negotiations they have entered into imaginary combat.”

“Well what are the odds!” gasped Waylander ironically.

“Excellent!” whispered the halfling warlord, “We shall observe their strategy…”

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