It was a day much like many others. Jefsdorf, A Dwarf Fighter who plays the lute (to a degree of success that seems to vary greatly from ear to ear), and the Eladrin Paladin, Paladrin (whether his name is given by birth or a nickname remains to be seen), who plays bass lute along with his mentor, were entertaining at an Inn in the town of Fallcrest. The usuals were there, among them a jaded Cleric by the name of Derek (an Elf who doesn’t answer many questions about how he ended up in Fallcrest, but kept his tab payed by helping tend to any locals requiring more than some guaze or warm soup), as well as those not as usual; a Rogue Dragonborn named Korinn who had just arrived (whose presence warranted notice, but not suspicion), and a fellow in slightly more finery than the usuals who was gathering a cadre of the local workers at a table where he spoke in hushed tones.
Upon the conclusion of the strange man’s conference, the group of listening men, all local farmers and tradesmen, approached the corner of the bar where the lutes were being strummed. One got the dwarf’s attention. “Hey, we don’t like your music!” “I’m just trying to make my living,” replied the dwarf. Some of what now would be a mob, if not for their small numbers, piped up. “Get a real job, a trade like us,” “Yeah, try working for an honest day’s wage.” The dwarf remained unfettered, though his student seemed to be concentrating less on the bass line and more on whether his sword was within reach. “Hey, I liked the music. Turn it back on,” said Derek, who had walked up behind the group, idly trying to defuse the situation.
ENCOUNTER 1 Ignoring him, the apparent leader of the group loosed his club from his belt. Before he could attack, however, Jefsdorf felled him, moving with reflexes honed from years of artful luting. As the brawl continued, the strange man (who had been conferring with the laborers) joined the fray. As his mace carved through the air, it crackled like ice dropped into hot cider. As the farmhands continued to fall, the Rogue, having watched the events unfold, stepped in and aided the group in felling the mysterious stranger. When their foe fell, Jefsdorf picked up the Frost Mace and added it to his belt as a grizzled man in the corner beckoned the victors over.
Introducing himself as head of the town watch, the man offered the diverse troupe a reward for their assistance with a problem for which the town leaders were at a loss – the Mayor had been kidnapped by a group of goblins known for raiding the town periphery. As an act of good faith the Town Watchman asked the innkeeper to waive the night’s fee for the adventurer’s, as long as they left to find the Mayor at first light.
After recovering from the scuffle the night before, the group headed off as agreed upon, soon finding themselves at the mouth of the cave known to be home to the local goblins. The rogue, in the first of many displays of skill beyond her peers, got the drop on the cave’s guards, her acid breath dispatching them before the look of surprise even reached their faces. Bolstered with confidence by such a display, the Fighter marched forward to a wooden portcullis, with the others close behind. He activated the lever to open the passage and the others discovered the risks of following so close as they fell ten feet into a pit swarming with rats.
ENCOUNTER 2 Korinn bounded out of the pit and wounded one group of rats as they lash out in all directions, latching to the Paladin at first. A panicky Derek’s Divine Glow burned one swarm, as Paladrin teleported out of the pit, settling for the use of his sling. Displeased with the Radiant attack by the Cleric, and by virtue of him being the only one left in the pit, he was beset by the rats, who leave him bloodied and further confirm his fear of the filthy vermin. The party is forced to leap back into the pit to keep their healer from falling beneath the waves of wriggling teeth and claws, eventually causing both swarms to disperse under their combined assaults.
As they paused to recuperate, the party finds itself at junction in the cave. Further down their current trajectory, they identified a barking noise to be coming from some kind of rat, along with raucous yelling. Given his recently reinvigorated dislike of order rodentia, Derek voted heartily that the party go down the path of least rats, and the motion carried. The rogue, checking around the next corner, noticed two goblins heading resignedly toward them (Short straws tucked in their pockets).
ENCOUNTER 3 As the group burst around the corner, the first goblin was quickly dropped, but the second turned to flee quickly. Despite it’s speed, slings and a longbow, followed by a hammer thrown with uncommon precision and a perfect arc, toppled the goblin a few short feet from the next room.
SKILL CHALLENGE Before following the goblins’ intended path of retreat, the adventurers headed into what appears to be a goblin barracks. Before looting the room, Korinn noticed traps at each end of the room, disarmed them without incident, and allowed the adventurers to make off with a few more gold unscathed.
As they pressed on, they saw a pile of bones in the middle of the cave floor as it widened into a natural room. Having grown weary of the Elf’s caution, Jefsdorf strides out into the cave.
ENCOUNTER 4 As he approached, the dwarf saw two points of light, and then the bones rose from the floor and arranged into a skeletal dragon. The dwarf is so startled that the dragon got the drop on him, powerfully swiping with each claw, though not before the Paladin and Cleric let loose with as much Radiant force as they could muster. After several rounds, the rogue climbed to a newly-visible ledge to attempt to find cover and allow for unreturned ranged fire. As she easily reached the ledge, she spied something further back in the cave – a pair of goblins working an elaborate rigging of ropes. She Sneak Attacked the closest one, who dropped his ropes to defend himself. The sudden collapse of one side of the dragon raised the suspicion of the other party members, who quickly thereafter discover the nature of the farce. The Paladin Fey Stepped to the ledge opposite the Rogue and unsuccessfully tried to knock the goblin down to into the fray as the Fighter and Paladin let loose with ranged attacks. Though it took so long the dwarf’s hammers had to be kicked back down to him by the ledged party members, the goblins were beaten and at Paladrin’s urging, the dragon’s eyes (2 Everburning Torches) were examined and retrieved.
The intrepid and increasingly weary and wary explorers forged forward. Eager to avoid falling prey to another trap, the group sends Korinn forward to scout the room ahead. Before her was a darkened room, hazy with the smoke of recently extinguished torches, the smell of roasted rat meat still hanging on the air. Tables had been overturned throughout the room, and behind several of them she spied a total of 3 less-than-sneaky goblins. Knowing that being spotted was imminent, the fearless dwarf charged in.
ENCOUNTER 5 After entering the room, and being barely missed by a crossbow bolt, the party spread out, only to be enshrouded by a thick, ethereal fog. A minion was quickly dispatched in the fracas, before the Eladrin felt an uneasy sensation settle into the pit of his stomach, and sensed it was wise to keep from moving. Korinn, as had become the norm, moved through the crowd cutting down minions. The Dwarf charged into the middle of the room, spying a more formidable goblin, and focused in on him, dispatching another minion in the process. As a Hexer and Sharpshooter also revealed themselves, the goblins regrouped. The Rogue rushed in and assaulted the trio with her acid breath, but succeeded only in drenching the table in a spewdom that began to eat at it. To reinforce her efforts, Derek flanked their group and tried to unleash a Radiant blast, destroying a minion but failing to pierce the darkness the still hung thick across nearly the entire battlefield. Retaliating, the hexer and the sharpshooter focused on the Cleric, knocking him out and leaving him distastrously close to death. His hex having faded, Paladrin rushes to his ally’s aide, stabilizing him and rushing the cluster of goblins, forcing them to scatter and redirect their attention to him, though not before the hexer blinds Jefsdorf. In his literally blind fury, the hexed Fighter felled the bruiser goblin as the Dragonborn finally finished off the sharpshooter. With the hexer on the run, the Cleric limped to the middle of the room and used his Beacon of Hope to bolster the party for the final push. flanked and outnumbered the Hexer’s chants failed him as the blinded Dwarf landed the final blow. With the Hexer gone, the fog lifted and the party looted the room before listening at the lone remaining door.
Beyond the dining-hall-turned-battlefield the sounds of cowering goblins was occasionally pierced with frightened yelps. A few resounding whacks with his frosty mace later, and the wooden door fell to pieces at Jefsdorf’s feet. The frightened goblins fled quickly, leaving the party to collect a small trove of magical items and the Mayor, at which point they quickly decided to return to fallcrest, not only to return the mayor and lick their wounds, but to get as far from the barking rats as possible.
Loot: Frost Mace (Jefsdorf) [Magic] Leather Armor [Magic] Longsword [Magic] Piece of Chalk A small pile of Javelins A few hand crossbows 1 Healing Potion 540 Gold A Silver Skull pendant from one of the Goblins + Town Watch Reward