The battle rages on. The web, starting to smoke and burn near the cave entrance still stood between the group and whatever numbers the Vargolg still had to spew. But even so there were monsters in front of the party and attempting to work their way through the web.
The first to act was Thaoran who retreated back into the trees. The group needed to evade the arrows and fight from cover. He was prepared for arrows this turn in case any came his way, but it seemed likely that they would target those more exposed.
Silver had two goblins near her and reached out with her blades to touch someone. The first landed a solid blow and took down a goblin, who seemed surprised to find a rapier sticking out of his chest. The other took a blow across the arm – damaged (-3) but not badly. Hearing a call for retreat and recognizing the wisdom of such a move, Silver slipped back amongst the trees. The eyes of the goblin she had just wounded lit up as his enemy appeared to flee and he swung his blade at the retreating elf. (Attack of opportunity from one foe) but missed. But she could tell her retreat would be pursued.
Hornet launched what he hoped would be a critical attack on the wounded gnoll’s vitals but discovered that the creature’s armor was better than it appeared as his blade skittered harmlessly to the side. It was no killing blow. With the creature still alive and swinging in front of him he disengaged and moved back into he woods. Surely the gnoll would follow him, but if it gave the group a respite from the arrows it would be worth it.
All of this retreating left Dok as the only character still standing tall (for a dwarf) in front of the brush and he was thus the target of the first attacks of the beasts. One goblin swung at him and missed, but the gnoll did not miss. The creature charged and planted his spear squarely on the sturdy dwarf. Many a fighter would have been done in by such a blow but the dwarf, though staggered, still stood. (-10 HP) Even more impressively, though knocked backwards a bit into the brush he was able to hold concentration on his spiritual weapon spell. (Con save made.)
Dok was ready to attack but before he did the witch got back into the fight. Still holding her critical web spell steady she threw out a sleep curse hoping to take down as many of the enemy as possible. Aiming to target those on the party’s side of the web but not snare any of her group mates, there were still 5 enemies directly in her target zone when she fired off her curse. Even amongst the brush she pumped her fist when she saw the wounded gnoll topple over. Two goblins, including the one Silver had wounded, also succumbed. That left two – the gnoll that had attacked Dok and one goblin alive and fighting on this side of the web. Of course, there were still those in the web and in the cave.
Seeing the wounded gnoll he was about to attack fall asleep Dok shifted his spiritual weapon attack to the other gnoll but couldn’t connect. His mortal axe, however, dealt a heavy and mortal blow to the lone goblin still standing directly in front of them. The creature was flung to the side by the force of the blow. Dok now found himself with nobody directly in front of him. The gnoll was there, but a bit off to the side. Seeing the rest of the party retreat and free for the moment of a melee opponent the dwarf followed the lead of the others and slipped back into the woods. (FYI – Hammer did not specify retreating, but since (A) everyone else retreated, (B) he was not currently engaged in direct melee to provoke an attack of opportunity and (C) it is hard to change plans in mid round as events unfold in a posting situation, I made what seemed the obvious choice. It seemed highly unlikely that a player would want to leave their character standing alone as the only target for 6 archers and perhaps other attackers.)
Still in the web were 2 goblins and 1 gnoll. Seeing enemies in front of them and flames behind them they strove to break free from the web. The first goblin seemed to only ensnare himself further and failed to escape, but the other goblin and the last of the visible gnolls broke out of the web and rushed towards the party’s position. There movement was accompanied by a flight of arrows from the cave. The arrows smacked into the trees around them, but somehow two still found their mark – Hornet and Silver (-4hp each) both took shots.
You have now all moved 10-15’ back into the brush/trees. From this point you have partial cover from any arrows shot at you. (This means they roll two attack dice and use the lower of the two rolls. It is a lot harder to hit but as you noticed, hitting is still possible.) None targeted Thaoran so he did not use his shield spell. On your side of the web there are two uninjured gnolls and an uninjured goblin. Asleep on the ground are 2 goblins (one injured) and 1 gnoll (badly injured.) They are currently 10-15’ away from you and so not in melee, but they will easily be able to reach you and attack next turn. (At least one of those gnolls moves before Dok and Soledad.) Soledad is another 5’ back from everyone else.
In the web there is only one goblin. The web is now clearly burning. If the goblin does not escape the web next turn he will get burned. Your best guess is that it will take two full rounds for the web to burn completely away leaving the path open from the cave entrance. If there were no web in the way you are a little over 30’ from the cave mouth. FYI – most humanoids move 25-30’ per round so that once the path is clear anything from inside the cave could reach you at the start of the second round. 6 more arrows came from the cave this entrance.
Bigger picture: The gulley was about 20’ wide at the end – where the entrance to the Vargolg is located. It does widen out slowly as you go towards the river. There is about 80’ of gulley behind you. Except for the path it is full of brush and scrub and is difficult terrain – but you can move through it. Right at the end the brush gets very thick, and you must go through the gap/entrance in the brush to get out of the gulley. At that point the brush is very thick (If you remember, the intent was clearly to make the gulley unseen.) and attempting to get out by pushing through the vegetation would be possible but very slow and difficult. The river is about 20’ beyond the end of the gulley, which puts it about 100’ from your current location. At this location the river is quite shallow – easily fordable. But it gets much deeper quickly either upstream or down.
Total Killed so far:
Goblins: 13 goblins and 1 gnoll
Currently asleep: 2 goblins (1 wounded) and 1 gnoll (wounded)