Dok agrees with the plan that Hornet has decided upon, but the Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm is not one to sit idly by while his partners ready themselves to investigate the door.
After his friends begin making their way towards their objective, Dok cautiously follows from a good distance behind, until he can find a secluded place to provide his friends some backup, or at least serve as a lookout, in case any Goblins show their ugly selves.
Posted on 2021-05-12 at 21:48:51.
Edited on 2021-05-12 at 21:49:55 by Hammer
A little scout and shout ~Ok maybe not a lot of shouting~
With the party rested and refreshed they headed out once more. The information from the Otter, Boris, had been a help. Though it took much walking they quickly made it to the entrance to the goblin lair.
“Perhaps we should scout a bit before we walk up to the door.” Suggested Hornet “I suggest Silver and I sneak up there to have a look and listen. Then we come back and all make a plan for entry. Would you be willing to accompany me Silver?”
“Yes let us see what these goblins have waiting for us.”
Turning back to the rest of the group Hornet spoke a few more words to them then, he and Silver were in stealth mode and headed towards the entrance. As Hornet approached first Silver remained quiet as she let the full Elf Rogue take the lead, yet she stood ready if needed…..
After several hours of walking and conversing the group eventually arrived at the location where Boris indicated the Vargolg lay. It was at a spot where the river grew quite wide and shallow - perhaps not more than a foot in depth. Silver thought there were boulders and such just upstream of the location that widened the flow - perhaps placed on purpose but it would be hard to know without getting wet. But intentional or not, it was a location where the river could easily be forded. And clearly, it had been forded at this site. Although some small attempt had been made to wipe away the footprints on this side of the river, it was obvious when examined closely that there were prints. The exact nature of the prints was more difficult to tell, but it was possible that they were goblin.
Looking inland from the river the gully indicated by the otter would have been very hard to see if you had not know that it was there. The gulleys mouth was choked with brush, but when examined closely there was a path through - and it could even be widened out a bit if needed by careful removal of some of the dead branches. There was a path, but somebody didn't want it to be found. The gulley itself headed towards and up the ridge. It was fairly full of vegetation and Hornet and Silver had no trouble finding hiding spots as they moved up the path. The gulley got more and more narrow as the group advanced. Past the first 20' or so the path in became more obvious - nobody was bothering to hide it anymore. Several times Hornet and Silver spotted footbprints (goblin sized, but also a few that were bigger). In one location where the path was more sand than rock they even thought they saw wheel marks.
About 20' from the end the gulley narrowed to only about 15' or so across and abruptly ended in a stone wall - the ridge. The last stretch was completely free of cover and not wide enough to allow for the plan to come at it from each side. It would have to be a straight-forward movement that was exposed. Hornet, designated scout of the party, looked out of the last of the bushes at the door Boris had told them that they would find. There is a large stone portal - meaning that the framing for the door was stone and worked into the ridge line. The door itslef appeared to be tight fitting and solid wood. It was shut. To the right of the door lay pile of rubble - at best guess it was all stone when viewed from 20+ feet away.
Unhappy about the lack of cover, but according to the plan, Hornet moved carefully and quietly forward. The first thing he noticed as he moved forward was that there was writing on the lintel above the door - very old glyphs of some sort. Getting closer Hornet was sure they were from some very ancient language. He couldn't be sure without taking a closer look, but the pile of rubble next to the door did look like stone - with just a bit of metal mixed in. It gave the impression that it might be the remains of a door of stone. Perhaps the current door of wood was not the original? Approaching the door itself, Hornet was surprised to find that it was not shut as it had appeared from a distance, it was actually open - just a crack. It wasn't wide open, but rather it appeared that whoever had last entered hadn't bothered to pull it tight. The door opened inward. Given that it was already open - there were no locks. And as far as the elf could see, there were no traps. He put his ear to the opening to see if he could hear anything on the far side. His eyes opened a bit in surprise when he realized that he could. From inside he could faintly hear laughter and yelling. The noise was faint. He doubted that it came from directly on the other side of the door. Almost certainly the noise came from a chamber further in - perhaps several chanbers further in. At this point it was barely loud enough to hear, which made it impossible to make out words or even identify the language. It was just noise.
Armed with this new information, the scout returned to the rest of the group.
(OOC: The writing is in some ancient language so only someone conversant in ancient languages will have any shot at understanding it.)
Dok stood watch for a few minutes longer after his friends passed by as they returned to report to the group.
The Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm was making sure there were no creatures following his companions, before returning as he followed them back to the rest of the group to listen to and evaluate their report.
((OOC: Dok would engage any enemy if necessary, but only if there is no other choice!))
Posted on 2021-05-15 at 21:26:04.
Edited on 2021-05-15 at 21:27:31 by Hammer
After scouting the door, Hornet returned to the group and told them what he had found. "I have no idea what the writing says but it is old. The pile of rubble next to the wooden door suggests that someone or somthing broke the stone door and replaced it with a wooden one. I could hear voices inside but they were too far away to get any idea of what they were saying or the number of speakers but it was more than one or two. IWe could try smoking them out with a fire but that is kind of tough if the wind doesn't blow just right. If we move in quickly we could take them by surprise. Of course we might run into more than we bargined for but that course of action would be my suggestion. Fighters first, then magic users them those of us with ranged weapons in the back so we can shoot and guard the rear incase anything else comes in behind us."
Nodding her head once to Hornet's plan, Soledad spoke a word of power. Magic swirled around her forming an invisible skin of protection.
"A confrotation is inevitable, but I think we should use the narrowness of the passageway against them. I can create a magical web to ensnare them like hanging fruits to pluck off one-by-one with your arrows. Perhaps we can create our own wind to smoke them out? As you say, we know not what we will be walking into..."
Thäoran listened carefully to Hornet's plan and agreed that it was indeed the best course of action. Unknown dangers were lurking in the dark tunnels ahead and it would be folly to engage them in the gloom where their vision would not be as sharp. Better to lure them out into the light and confront them here. Also, the tunnels would likely restrict their manuvorability (sorry for my poor spelling haha) so combating them out in the open where they could move freely without the confines of the rocky, narrow walls of the tunnels was also a wise choice. Bobbing his head forward in agreement to inform Hornet that he would assist in his plan, the elf drew his bow and swiftly nocked an arrow.
He then turned his attention to Soledad and, after she explained what she was going to do, said,
'A good plan, my friend. That will indeed make the task of felling those fiends much easier. I shall assist with my bow.'
Thäoran then took up position a few feet from the tunnel's entrance and raised his bow in anticipation of the enemies that would soon rush out to meet them...
Dok decided to take up a position as a rear guard behind the archers to afford protection in case any goblins were returning from a plundering venture.
He was not quite convinced that smoke would cause the goblins to exit into their waiting trap, mainly because of the possibility that the goblins would be able to retreat further into deeper, darker caverns or passageways, but the Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm kept these musings to himself, as it was better to see how things played out in the immediate future.
((Dok is hoping to conserve his spells in case any healing is needed, so he is not too eager to cast a Spiritual Weapon spell if it is not necessary. He brandishes his silver-coated battle axe and remains vigilant in regards to anything sneaking up from behind, while also paying attention to the results of his comrades ahead of him))
Hearing the plan of attack and feeling it appropiate the female Half-Elf moved quickly to join Hornet, her shortbow nocked and ready to fire at the first enemy. Anything getting threw the webs thrown across the doorway she would be ready for. With her fancy footwork and her sneak attack damage, whatever came out would find themselves in a world of hurt.....
Posted on 2021-05-30 at 01:30:57.
Edited on 2021-05-30 at 19:52:39 by TannTalas
With decisions made, Soledad spoke a word of power and snapped her fingers summoning a sticky web to fill the tunnel entrance. The wretched little goblins would find a difficult time getting through. Then, once a smokey fire had been made, she sent a trickle of fey magic to guide the smoke into the tunnel.
Hornet gathered sticks to start a fire and once it was lit, he tossed on a heap of wet leaves. Smoke rose in a dense cloud and then propelled by magic wind it drifted into the tunnel. Knocking a bolt, Hornet stepped back and waited to see what might emerge.
Posted on 2021-05-30 at 14:39:54.
Edited on 2021-05-31 at 09:44:14 by Keeper of Dragons
After Hornet returned from his explorations by the door the group formed a plan. It was time for some barbeque. Or at least it was time to do a little smoking. The group didn’t know what was in the cave so they decided to bring them out to them. The one concern was that they didn’t really know how deep the caves were. Would smoke force those inside to come out, or just force them further into the caverns? They couldn’t be sure, but there was only one way to find out.
(There are some assumptions on my part below, but I went with the most likely scenario. Be precise in your postings or you leave things up to me.)
Hornet seemed to be the designated sneaker, so he again moved quietly up to the door. Luckily, no guard seemed to be posted. He built up a little pile of wood before the door, just as he had been taught in elf-scouts. He made sure to add a bunch of green leaves around it as well – and had a pile of more leaves nearby ready to put on once the fire had gotten going. Pausing a moment to listen (Nothing) he prepared to light the fire. Once it was lit and burning, he piled on the fresh leaves, hoping it wouldn’t smother the fire. Then, standing off to one side of the door, he reached out and pushed the door open. It opened with an ominous and loud “creeeek!” Hornet’s stealthy heart almost skipped a beat at the noise but looking at the fire burning in front of the door he realized that it was probably a bit late for stealth anyway.
As Hornet sprinted the 20+ feet back to the tree line the smoke from the fire rose up the gully with only a little trickling into the cave. It was now Soledad’s time to act and before hornet had taken a couple of steps a large and sticky web hung over the opening. That was quickly followed by prestidigitation – nothing like a little puff of air to blow the air into the cave. The puff of air pushed the smoke up against the web – but the web itself blocked much of the opening and the puff of air was only a puff. Still some smoke seemed to be going through and into the cave. Luckily that particular spell was only a cantrip and so she simply kept puffing away. It was a simple little spell, and the act quickly grew repetitive. More of the smoke was going up the gully then down the cave mouth, but some was going in and the group could see the smoke piling up on the other side of the web and slowly working its way down the cave.
It was obvious from the start that this method would be slow and so everyone, tense with anticipation, hunkered down to wait while the witch kept puffing away. At about the 10-minute mark there were discussions of what to do – nothing was happening. Hornet was about to move forward and add more leaves to the fire and fan the smoke down the cave with his cloak when he thought he heard a noise from inside. He quickly stepped back into the brush just as a goblin could be seen running forward out of the cave. It was scrambling forward – running but hunched over. The smoke was at the top of the cave and as the tunnel was about 10’ tall, the short goblin could generally run under the smoke. There was smoke in the lower half of the cave, but it wasn’t as thick as it was near the ceiling.
As expected the goblin ran smack into the web and stuck there. Another goblin also seemed to have been stuck – the entrance being wide enough for two of them to move forward together. The first one didn’t last long in the web as both Thaoran and Hornet immediately hit it with shafts. With two wounds too its chest it sagged in the web and appeared to be dead. The other took an arrow from silver, but it was still moving. Before another shot could be fired it seemed to have freed itself from the web – whether on its own or by being pulled free from behind it was hard to tell. It disappeared back into the smoke.
The group reloaded and prepared for the next shot as the lone dead goblin hung in the web. The group waited a minute, and nothing happened. Then two torches suddenly flew out of the smoke and struck the web. The web quickly blackened, curled and burned – crisping the dead goblin as it hung. In moments the dead creature fell to the ground, landing in the entrance to the cave. With the witch still puffing away and no web to impede the smokes progress smoke began to curl more thickly into the cave entrance.
In the first few seconds after the web burned nothing happened. The fire didn’t have much damp fuel left and the smoke was likely to thin out soon. The entrance to the Vargolg lay open and smokey before you.
The plan worked as expected; but only for a few moments. The expected paniced mass exodus of goblins did not come to fruition. In fact the creatures fled back into the tunnel and burned away the web. Surprise had been lost, the smoke was drifting into the tunnel and the goblins were alerted to the presence of the party. "It seems we are destined to press the attack into the lair of the vile creatures. Thaoran, draw your blade and follow me. Dancing lights might give us an advantage in the dark tunnel. The time has come for close combat." Hornet drew his rapier and made his way into the tunnel. His elven vision would hopefully allow him to find the goblins in the darkness,
OOC: Hornet will move as an action and hide as bonus action.
These fiends are more cunning than I took them for.
So thought Thäoran as he watched the foul little goblins retreat further into the inky blackness of Vargolg's interior, thereby foiling the group's carefully laid plans. Muttering an elvish curse under his breath, he cast his sharp cat-like eyes about contemplating on his next course of action. He returned his pinewood bow to its laquered oak tube on his slender back, knowing that any more ranged attacks would be futile. His keen ears picked up his fellow elf's summons:
'Thäoran, draw your blade and follow me. Dancing Lights may give us advantage in the dark tunnel.'
With a sharp birdlike dip of his head in agreement, Thäoran drew the precious blade of his missing father from its elaborately carved elf-steel sheath, making sure his slender but strong hand had a firm and ready grip on the wire-wrapped hilt. With the signature stealthyness his race is known for, Thäoran followed the other elf as he made his way towards the gaping hole of the tunnel's mouth, reminiscent of, so Thäoran thought, the wide open maw of a savage beast. Quelling his uneasiness and apprehention of the unknown dangers lurking within, the elf drew alongside Hornet, hoping his fellow elf-friend would be correct in that Soledad's Dancing Lights spell would give them the edge they needed.
In Elvish, Thäran spoke softly to Hornet, 'my blade is yours.'
Soledad hissed as her web went up in flames, she had hoped to snare a whole horde of goblins in the sticky trap. Alas, she would have to make due with a signle serving of goblin flambé. Still, the smoke yet filled the mouth of the tunnel. Taking a moment to pause the puffs of air that were sending the smoke into the passageway, the little witch turned to a more simple charm. Snapping her fingers, Soledad summoned four globes of light that danced through the air and sent them spinning into the smokey tunnel searching out the silhouettes of the nasty little creatures. She dearly hoped her companions would stick any figures she found with many, many, many arrows.
And while she maintained her charm, Soledad returned to sending puffs of air to coax ever more smoke into the entry.