Finding a bit of shelter from a possible third flood most of the party waited for their companion, Bob, to rejoin them. With his goblin trophies in tow, Bob took the lead as they ventured up a series of natural stone steps into a large open cave. Here loosely piled rock walls blocked off what used to be pools of water which filled half the cavern. However, some of these walls hand been collapsed and the pools now lay largely empty, presumably the source of the floods which had earlier swept Bob away.
Upon entering the cavern Bob was quickly set upon by 3 goblins. Already wounded and tired from their earlier trials, he was not quick enough to dodge one of the attacks which penetrated his heavy armor and gouged into him deeply. Kerri to attack the goblins from a distance while Willow helped flank one of the goblins attacking Bob. Finding an advantageous opening she made short work of the little creature while Rama (formerly Leonidas) chopped down another with his mighty axe. Kerri and Bob managing to finish off the last as Bob called upon the favor if his god to heal himself and the injured Willow. Gods are fickle beings though and saw fit to grant the rogue with a speedier recovery than their dwarven follower, perhaps they didn’t look too kindly on his practice of dragging around dead goblins… who can say.
The Cave lead to a narrow passage from within hints of flickering light could be seen, and to the west a bridge leading out over the passage they followed into the goblin hideout. The same one where they had earlier tried to ambush a goblin lookout rather unsuccessfully. Perhaps the escaped lookout lay among the now fallen bodies…
Unfortunately, this was not the case. The lookout had carried on, after telling the others to flood out the intruders and as the party carried on through the narrow passage they found the bugbear and leader of this group of raiders, Klarg, ready for them. Standing near the back of the cave, his goblin defenders stood ready to ambush the first to enter the cave. With her bow at the ready, Kerri was quick to enter and got off the first shot, but luck was not with her. She found herself beset by one of the goblins which closed in on her, backing her against one of the cavern walls. From the back of the cave Klarg declared, “Klarg will make a throne from your bones!” Before he set his wolf against Rama. The bugbear remaining back to protect their looted goods. Rama fought hard against the goblins and wolf with Bob calling on his sacred flames to help him while Kerri and Willow used their bows to dispatch another.
Seeing the struggle between the goblins and the trespassers was not going to his liking, Klarg joined the fray, swinging a large club-like morning star. A powerful strike by the brutal creature laid out Rama before he turned on the small, easy target of Willow. The heroes were able to knock him out but not before Willow also fell to an absolutely crushing blow from the morning star which was nearly the size of the little halfling. Waiting for their companions to recover, Kerri and Bob tied up Klarg and moved much of the supplies he had been hoarding to their wagon. The signia of the Lionshield Coaster in Phandalin. Certainly they would be willing to pay for the recovery of their goods. While moving the heavy and bulcky goods they also came across a small chest holding Klarg’s treasure amounting to 600cp, 100sp, 2 healing potions and a small jade statue of a frog with golden spheres for eyes. After identifying the potions and some consideration, they were used to help heal and revive Willow and Rama. Once Klarg awoke he was questioned, revealing that he had been ordered by his boss King Grol to watch for Gundren and then send him to Cragmaw Castle to be ransomed to the Black Spider who is looking for him.
After questioning him and knowing that Sildar still remained in the cavern they devised a rather ruthless plan to try and shake up the remaining goblins. Severing the legs from their fallen chieftain, and following the path across the bridge they threw the body into the cavern ahead of them and amidst the remaining goblins. This, however, didn’t go quite as planned. With nowhere to escape to the goblins gathered together while the strongest amongst them grabbed Sildar and put a sword to his throat, “Stay Back or I kill the human!” It demanded. In an attempt to get the goblin off guard, it was decided to bluff a 10 gold payment for his release. With the intention of double crossing the goblin.
The goblin hostage taker demanded that Willow, the smallest amongst the group, deliver the money. Then, as he grasped the bag of gold from her hand he kicked Sildar over the ledge, falling 10’ to the ground below with a heavy thud against the rough and jagged stone floor. Willow tried to fight off the goblin, and even got in one solid and punishing slash with her sword before one of his cohorts rushed up on her and managed a deadly blow of his own, causing the halfling to fall unconscious. Rama rushed in to help but was surrounded by 4 more goblins, one of which he killed before he was overwhelmed. Still recovering from the fight with Klarg and with their comrades already fallen, Bob and Kerri resorted to a slow retreat, luring a pair of the goblins away. They managed to kill one more before Rama caught his second wind and rushed the two which had stayed behind by the unconscious body of Willow. He dispatched them quickly as the one remaining one which had been taunting Kerri and Bob heard the sounds of fighting and rushed back. It didn’t take long for this straggler to fall as well. Unfortunately, Sildar had been injured badly from his fall from the ledge and didn’t survive.
With the goblin raiding problems taken care of, the adventurers have managed to obtain the whereabouts of their dwarven friend and some additional supplies to bring back to Phandalin. In need of a good rest and some time to recover they loaded what remained onto their wagon and returned to the road, rather wearily. Hopefully the reward is worth the effort…
… End of chapter 1