10th day of Lamashan, 4712 AR:
Courage sliced the goblin druid’s throat, and the party began to argue over whether to camp or to explore farther ahead as Galadriel and Sanguinia sat on the ground weakened by their wounds. After several minutes of dilly-dallying, about a dozen goblins approached them from behind! However, they offered little trouble: Skaroband held them off as Galadriel flinged bombs into their midst. Only four of them remained when they chose to flee.
The party decided it was wiser to return at this point, now that their magical abilities were largely depleted. As they traveled back down the rise along Thistletop River, the elven ranger Shalelu Andosana appeared!
“Ah, there you are!” she said. “I was patrolling for goblin activity when I saw your pink horse on the horizon–”
“–so I knew something was up.”
Shalelu noticed their wounds.
“You assaulted Thistletop? That’s quite bold of you… and foolish.”
Jaden explained why they had gone, showing her Tsuto’s journal that spoke of greater plans including a larger goblin raid. Shalelu frowned.
“This is important information, and I can see you obviously did not tell the Sheriff. You could have gotten more information and support if you had.”
Shalelu led the party back to Sandpoint. On the way, she agreed to teach Jaden how to fire his arrows as rapidly as she does if he trained with her for a few days.
When they reached Sandpoint, Shalelu bid them farewell and returned to her scouting duties. The party crossed the North Bridge leading into Sandpoint, when a shifty character greeted them.
“The Boss is pleased by your work,” the man said. “Sanguinia and Skaroband — he is willing to have you trained further.”
“Excellent,” said Skaroband. She and Sanguinia agreed to train for the next few days to increase their abilities.
Back at the Rusty Dragon, the party retrieved Garinn and showed him their new house along Sandpoint’s shore. He was not upset at all that they had used some of his money to buy it.
“Good, I have my own room,” he said. “Ameiko was getting a lot of noise complaints because Brutus and I were sparring.”
Courage clapped his hand over his mouth just before he could burst out laughing.
“Is that the first time I’ve seen you laugh?” asked Jaden.
“I think so,” observed Skaroband.
The rest of the party thought now was a good time to shop for better equipment and train under their mentors, and Courage returned to his order in Magnimar. At Savah’s Armory, Skaroband discovered that her magical returning dagger was extremely valuable and that it would be perhaps two days before they could retrieve enough gold from Magnimar’s banks. They all were now significantly richer.
The party reunited at their beachfront house and prepared to get ready for their next expedition to Thistletop. Garinn heard a soft knock on the door. In the doorway stood a morose Shayliss Vinder, holding a large reference book in her hand.
“I just came to say… that this has been wonderful,” she said.
Garinn’s heart sank. “She’s going to break up with me,” he thought to himself.
“And you’re… such an animal in bed,” said Shayliss. “But, I’ve been doing some research in lycanthropy and it tells me you won’t always have control over this other side of you. And, as you know, my father doesn’t approve. I… I think we’re going too fast.”
“I think I need some time away from you.” She bent down and kissed Garinn on the top of his head, wiped away an errant tear, and ran away in fashionable leather boots.
“Sorry Garinn,” Skaroband said. “But it’s time to go.”
Garinn nodded and sullenly picked up his pack to leave.
They walked back toward Thistletop, again referring to Skaroband’s map, but this time they chose to hug the northern shoreline and approach it from the beaches. To reach the shore, they had to pass through The Pauper’s Graves. They were accosted by two ravenous undead, who ran up to them and attacked. They paralyzed Galadriel with their teeth and claws before Sanguinia and Skaroband backstabbed each of them in sequence, hitting them precisely where they could cleave through their torsos. The pieces of their bodies fell to the ground, lifeless husks.
They were disappointed to see there was no easy approach to reach the goblin forest tunnels, which were on an 80-foot-high rise above sea level and surrounded by steep cliffs. Ropes in hand, Skaroband tried to scale them but lost her footing halfway up, falling and hurting herself badly. The party decided to trek back around and take their original route.
A few hours later, they were looking out from the goblin tunnels toward a long bridge that creaked as it swayed under the sea breeze. On the other side was a primitive one-story wooden stockade, with two thirty-foot watchtowers. There was no visible sign of any goblin activity, nor of anyone (or anything) looking out at them from the watchtowers. Gingerly, they each walked across it one at a time, Garinn having the foresight to dismiss Brutus and having reappear on the fire side.
One of the front doors stood ajar. In a burst of enthusiasm, Courage charged toward the door and was unhappy to find that it only swung outward, not inward. The resulting “BOOM!” caught the attention of a few goblins. A couple of people walked around the left of the fort, while the rest of them walked through the front doors. They dispatched a goblin that had come out to investigate. Outside, Sanguinia spoke in Goblin to another, who suspiciously tried to back away. Soon they were in a fight that was quickly turning ugly, as Skaroband the others stumbled upon a large throne room that had more goblins inside! They decided to retreat and run back out over the bridge.
The goblins amassed in front of the fort, taunting them and shaking their swords. Some of them took out their shortbows and started peppering the party with arrows. Skaroband and Courage had an inspiration and decided to cut off the bridge from their end! They managed to do so — Skaroband holding Courage’s shield to help protect them — and were able to withstand the rain of arrows that fell on them. The bridge fell downward and hit the rock on the goblins’ side with a clatter.
“We were just reconnoitering!” Courage said.
Back at the Sandpoint Town Hall, an unhappy Sheriff Hemlock paced in front of the party.
“It sounded like more than that to me,” he said. “Well, the goblins have been alerted now. But they now longer have a bridge. What shall we do?”
Garinn stepped forward.
“We need help from Sandpoint,” he said. “We need catapults, and soldiers. We need to bombard their fort and burn it down.”
Hemlock folded his arms and looked at the halfling.
“Yes. But we need to prioritize the defense of the city. Shalelu reports that other goblin tribes are active and about.”
“But if we destroy Thistletop, then we’ve taken away their greatest force,” Garinn said.
“That settles it,” Hemlock said. “This all began with the goblins raiding our town. Now we’ll give them a taste of their own medicine.”
The party cheered, and Hemlock summoned members of the town guard. Courage mentioned that they did not have a healer. One humble young lad stepped forward and said he would be a skilled combat medic. Courage asked his qualifications.
“I’m a Level 1 warrior,” he said.
Courage clapped his hand over his mouth and burst out laughing. Garinn pushed him aside.
“That will do,” Garinn said.
Hemlock ordered a ship to be outfitted with catapults for the assault. Courage thought it would be best to approach them at sunrise, while the goblins likely would still be asleep.
They sailed out — the party, Hemlock, and six men-at-arms — toward the goblin island fortress. It loomed high and was silhouetted by the sky — an abrupt island jutting eighty feet into the air. As the sun’s reddish light illuminated the large rock, the clear, definite outline of the upper half of a face revealed itself in the stone.
The party stood silently. Hemlock was their lead commander, with Courage second-in-command. They reached the island, dropped anchor, and angled two long ladders toward the rock. Skaroband climbed up one of them and started shoving pitons into its surface…
What is your plan to invade the goblin fort? Discuss!!!
XP at the end of the session: