14th day of Lamashan, 4712 AR:
“The sheriff ordered the men-at-arms to fire their catapults. Large stones hit the tall tower, killing the remaining goblin. The invasion was on!”
Sanguinia clambered atop the jutting island that supported the goblin fortress. The island’s rounded top made it difficult to establish a solid support for the rope. She eventually found a place to secure her rope and drop it down to the rest of the Sandpoint raiding party.
Silently, Sanguinia, Courage, Jaden, and four men-at-arms reached the top of the island. They surveyed the fort and its surroundings, as chilly sea air blew in from the west. Sanguinia scouted ahead to look around the right corner of the fort, when a goblin dog approached her from the fort’s other side. She took a dagger and threw it into the feral creature’s throat, silencing it. Three more goblin dogs approached from the far corner.
Jaden loosed arrows from his bow, firing twice as many arrows at the goblin dogs as did the men-at-arms next time. They followed suit in admiration of their compatriot. Sanguinia charged ahead into the fray, maneuvering into position for one of her brutal backstabs.
One of the town guards tried to put the fort to the torch, but the wood was damp with moisture and slow-burning. They would have to resort to a more direct approach against the goblins…
Meanwhile, Courage positioned himself at the right corner of the fort, guarding against goblins that might show up from the fort’s front entrance.
“Courage and the men-at-arms gave them chase toward the front entrance of their fort. But as they turned the corner of the guard tower, they were hit by arrows from more goblins up above!”
Soon they heard a goblin’s voice from above, dumping pickles outside a window atop a guard tower and calling for help! Jaden aimed an arrow that lodged directly into the goblin’s throat, knocking him back. Seconds later, another goblin looked out and yelled out an alarm. The raiders tried to silence this one with arrows, but with no success. Courage, knowing that the fort was now on alert, walked over to the edge of the island and mimed a prearranged signal down to Sheriff Hemlock. The sheriff ordered the men-at-arms to fire their catapults. Large stones hit the tall tower, killing the remaining goblin. The invasion was on!
The goblin dogs were defeated handily, and most of the raiding party positioned itself behind Courage, expecting an attack. Sanguinia and Jaden, meanwhile, climbed onto the fort’s roof toward the left.
Soon Courage was beset by several goblins under the leadership of a goblin commando! Courage felled a few of them easily with cruel swipes of his magic longsword. Soon, the commando ordered a retreat as Courage and the men-at-arms gave them chase back toward the front entrance of their fort. But as they turned the corner of the guard tower, they were hit by arrows from more goblins up above!
Perched in a second guard tower, the two goblin commandos readied their next arrows, but Courage pressed the men-at-arms forward. The goblins had all retreated behind the fort’s front doors and closed them.
Meanwhile, Sanguinia and Jaden had discovered that the fort’s roof opened out into a large courtyard, in which four more goblin dogs barked at them futilely from the ground. Sanguinia pulled out hidden daggers from her clothing and hurled them at the dogs with deadly accuracy, as Jaden fired a hail of arrows.
As Courage leaned against one of the front doors, the other door suddenly opened and a hail of arrows flew out, hitting some of the men-at-arms! A goblin from inside was chanting its comrades into a frenzy: “Chase the baby, catch the pup, bonk the head to shut it up!”
“Warchief Ripnugget charged out astride a giant gecko! Sanguinia and Jaden aimed projectiles at the gecko, but Ripnugget was skillfully dodging most of their attacks.”
Hardened-looking goblin commandos swarmed out of the front doors and made a daring attack against Courage and the men-at-arms. Two of the town guards fell under the combined assault of the ground commandos and the tower commandos’ arrows. However, Jaden and Sanguinia, seeing the threat to their brethren, now aimed at the tower commandos and knocked them out of the battle.
As the battle before the fort’s front doors proceeded fiercely, the goblin’s leader, Warchief Ripnugget, charged out astride a giant gecko! Sanguinia and Jaden aimed projectiles at the gecko, but Ripnugget skillfully handled the reins and kept the gecko safe from most of their attacks. Eventually, Courage and the remaininig men-at-arms were able to corner Ripnugget and knock the gecko unconscious. Sheriff Hemlock joined the fray, having climbed up from the ship and caught up from the back.
Ripnugget, while a much tougher fighter than his goblin brethren, was eventually brought down under the combined assault of the party, Sheriff Hemlock, and the remaining town guards. The goblin warchanter, fanatical in her devotion, fought to the death.
Hemlock and the party surveyed the bloody scene.
Courage asked Hemlock if the party could collecting the goblins’ gear and loot to sell.
“That would seem fair payment for a job well done,” said Hemlock, shaking Courage’s hand.
As Skaroband and the two conscious men-at-arms worked on organizing the loot, Sanguinia, Jaden and Courage explored the still fort. They found an empty barracks, an empty throne room where Ripnugget once sat. Courage opened a door, behind which two nightmarish hounds leaped out with a terrifying howl!
“Courage opened a door, behind which two nightmarish hounds leaped out with a terrifying howl!”
The howl was unnerving the party, but the party steeled itself against the otherworldly sound and entered into battle with the creatures. They were magical in nature and resisted the full force of their weapons. One of the hounds ate out the throat of one of the man-at-arms, felling him to the ground. Courage was bitten severely, and retreated into the goblins’ former barracks to heal himself. Then he stepped out and called down divine wrath against the last remaining hound, cleaving it in two with his sword!
The party, learning their lesson, bound the wounds of the man-at-arms who had just fallen (and nearly died), and restored everyone to consciousness before deciding to proceed further.
The town guards looked at each other nervously. Hemlock turned to the party.
“I am afraid we cannot help you here,” the sheriff said. “My men have nearly met death today, and they have no idea what other hellish creatures might lie beneath. I am afraid we will have to return to town. However, we are glad to bring your gear back for you.”
To this, Skaroband gave a suspicious look.
“And I will accompany you,” she said.
“Fine,” said Hemlock. “It is pleasant to know that my lack of trust in you is mutual.”
Skaroband scowled. Hemlock and the party helped load everything aboard the ship. Hemlock left behind a rowboat for the remaining party, so that they could leave the island since the goblins’ bridge was still unrepaired.
Sanguinia, Jaden and Courage explored the rest of the fort, which included a throne room and a disturbing meat locker that included some portions of human meat. In the courtyard, Sanguinia and Courage contended with a great horse that they found trapped inside a wood shed. Sanguinia, who had a knack for animals, calmed the creature before prying open the nailed boards sealing it within. Inside, they found a magnificent war steed! Sanguinia grinned.
“I want to brush its hair!” she said.
She then frolicked around the courtyard with the horse. Later, she discovered a cage full of bunnies, much to her delight!
The party searched the fort thoroughly, looking for the tribe’s treasure stash. They eventually deduced that it must lie behind a foul room that served as the tribe’s latrine. When they hacked away at the wall their weapons, they found a chest hidden behind it! Inside the chest, they found the treasure of the Thistletop Tribe: a large of coins – most of them copper – some suits of armor, and a magical heavy mace.
The party decided to rest the night in the goblins’ barracks, making sure to set a watch in case any other strange creatures appeared from below. The next morning, opened the door the hounds had come out from, made a light, and stepped down the dark, curving stairwell. Jaden heard some soft-padded steps quietly sneaking away at the bottom of the staircase; they proceeded further with caution.
They found themselves in a relatively-large, rectangular room that had several doors around it. They chose to take an exit from the room toward the east, where they felt the chilly, salty sea air. They squeezed through a narrow, curving passage north. Courage stepped out at the other hand and found himself accosted by a bizarre blue, squid-like creature with several red eyes!
“It attacked Courage with its sting and tried to wrap a tentacle around him, which he grabbed and pushed away before it could establish a hold.”
It attacked Courage with its sting and tried to wrap a tentacle around him, which he grabbed and pushed away before it could establish a hold. Sanguinia came in right behind and moved around the beast to backstab it. Between Courage and Sanguinia, the thing was dead after doing little damage to them.
The party proceeded westward, passed an exit to their right, and found themselves in a hallway that ran perpendicular to the passage they exited from. They turned right, opened a door, and entered a room.
The flickering light of their lamp illuminated primitive artwork adorning the lower half of the walls. One particularly large and elaborate drawing on the far wall depicted the island of Thistletop. Tunnels traveled downward from the island’s surface, ending in an immense cavern containing a gigantic goblin that, by the scale of the drawing, must have been thirty feet tall.
“What is this?” asked Sanguinia, about to touch the strange drawing with her finger.
Instantly, the door behind them slammed open, and hot fire burst through the chamber, scalding them! After the flames dissipated, a dark-skinned woman in a mage’s robe stood with her hands extended.
Jaden, quick to react, slammed the door.
“Who is there!?” said Courage.
“You must leave, NOW!” said the woman. “You are not welcome in this temple!”
“This was Bruthazmus, the notorious bugbear Shalelu had warned the party about, who stalked Sandpoint’s Hinterlands, raided merchants, and had a fierce rivalry with the elf.”
“TEMPLE?” asked Courage, turning to the others. He yelled out towards the door. “We were just exploring—
“FOOLS! We know very well that you destroyed the goblin fort above. I should hardly think that you mean well. Enough of with this foolishness. Prepare to die!”
There was a sudden BOOM, as a large, very strong creature slammed into it. Jaden struggled against the creature’s weight.
A bugbear forced the door open! It readied its bow and loosed an arrow into Jaden’s chest!
This was Bruthazmus, the notorious bugbear Shalelu had warned the party about, who stalked Sandpoint’s Hinterlands, raided merchants, and had a fierce rivalry with the elf.
Sanguinia and Jaden shuddered, knowing of his cruelty to elves. Once the imposing bugbear stepped back from the doorway, they could see behind him the mage casting another spell, several goblins, and a human in metal armor bearing a wicked-looking bastard sword …
XP at the end of the session: