Lily charged at the bugbear as the battle raged, only barely holding back before striking the creature. She had not expected a surrender to be accepted in that way. But it was and she listened t her mates. As one of the dwarves started to question he creature she moved to make sure the other one was truly dead. It was. Rummaging through its gear she found a couple of daggers and the equivalent of 10 gp in various coinage. As the questioning continued she also scouted out the flat area on which the pyre sat. It was about 150’ from end to end, narrowing towards the northern and southern ends and only about 50’ wide at its greatest. A nearly vertical wall stretched hundreds of feet above it as the Blacktooth Ridge went straight up. The cliff looked climbable for someone with a great amount of skill in climbing or a spiders natural gifts but for a normal Kender or other person, it was impassable. Most of the flat area was barren rock and dirt, although there were a few trees on the northern end. A small pile of wood, recently dragged up here judging from the marks all over the ground near it and leading to the path, was in the middle. The remnants of a large pyre burned near the southern edge of the area. Clearly it had once been a roaring fire of large size. Now it still burned, but was greatly reduced in size. A glance at the fire clearly indicated that it had been used to burn bodies, a large number of bodies. Charred bones stuck out from the ash everywhere and several skulls glared sightlessly at the Kender when she looked at them. But it didn’t take eyes to know the purpose of this fire – the sickly smell of burned flesh hung over the area, enough to make several of the members of the party nearly gag.
Despite the smell, the rest of the party seemed intent on offering Dok questions with which to interrogate the bugbear.
"Are there any prisoners held captive by any Goblins or other dark creatures, such as your own species? If so, where are they hidden and how can we get to them to set them free?"
Bugbear: “Prisoners in the caves. The caves you attacked yesterday. Yes, prisoners. I know where. Last time I looked – two humans and a halfling. I know where.”
(The following questions are taken from the Q&A to move things along. Follow ups are easily possible.)
Dok: Is there a back entrance to the caves?
Bugbear: No. Only one entrance known. There is lower level that goes . . . somewhere. But they don’t go down there.”
Dok: “What forces are there?”
Bugbear: “In the garrison? Not sure. Goblin Lieutenant runs the place. A base for raids. Good base. After your attack, I think he might be getting ready to leave. It no longer seems safe.”
Dok: “What forces are there still?” (Repeat since not directly answered.)
Bugbear: “Twice what we had here? Less than you killed yesterday.”
Dok: “Any traps?”
Bugbear: “No. Not at the entrance if you mean pits and such. But Maglerud thinks you might return. So, now? Do’'t know. Guarded, I’m sure. See. I help. No need to hurt me. I help.”
Dok: And what are the goblins up to? Why are they massing in such numbers? Who's their big boss? I'm not talking Red Caps, I'm talking the overlord. Is it the Horned One?
Bugbear: “I know Redcaps. Maglerud is lieutenant. Boss goblin is Rottenkip. He rarely here. South.” At the mention of the Horned One he looks at Dok. “Horned One gone a long time ago. Maglerud has plan of some sort. He wants be boss goblin, maybe?”
(Dok – Based on an insight check, you sense that something was up when he answered the question. You don’t think he way lying about the Horned One, but something didn’t seem right.)
Thaoran via Dok: “Have you seen any elvish prisoners?”
Bugbear: “Several prisoners taken from region recently and sent North. I don’t see all of them. I don’t see any elves. Mainly humans. Simple folk.” He looks at the group hopefully. “See, I help. I not fight you anymore. Let go?” That last bit was said hopefully.
Overall, his answers struck Dok as truthful with the one exception noted above. (Based on insight checks.) Remember, this isn’t a guarantee one way or another – just a statement that the roll of the dice offers no other insight. Feel free to continue asking questions.
When writing this I forgot that Soledad also spoke goblin. She agrees with Dok's interpretation of the creatures words. She also sensed no lies - although she didn't get the sense of something off whith the question on the Horned One.