Soledad pursed her lips as she nodded her agreement. While she didn't relish the idea of let the bugbear continue to keep its head attached to its wretched body, they had given their word to allow the creature to live. There were lines of treachery that even she found distasteful to cross.
"We are agreed," the golden elf responded, "bind his hands and his feet, and muzzle his mouth. Relive him of weapons and gold, we will let him keep his life and that is all. Then yes, we should make our way back to the Varlog and burn through every remaining goblin if need be!"
Thäoran's catlike sapphire eyes hazed over with a thin film of tears born of disappointment, longing and sorrow as the bugbear announced the very thing he wished not to hear: no sign of his father was in the twisted catacombs of the Vargolg. Where, then, was he? How long, if ever, would father and son reunite?
The elf swallowed sharply, swiftly blinking away the moisture that had accumilated on his eyes, lest any of his companions took notice or, gods forbid, the bugbear himself. Emitting a short, quick inhale and exhale of pent up breath, he instead busied himself with the task at hand, both to distract himself and to further disguise his sadness.
'Yes,' he nodded with quick birdlike dip of his head. 'We have made a vow that we shall not harm our prisoner. Let us heed that promise and take to heart the information he has divulged as we forge onwards into the depths of the Vargolg.'
With that, he took up the daggers the Kendar has embedded into the rocky soil, slipping the blades into the leather belt of his tunic. They could indeed be of use in the future.
Finding the goup binding its hands and feet the bugbear protested but did not resist. "No! You can't leave me bound like this! I will be killed. You said you wouldn't kill me, but leaving me bound will kill me just as much! No chance! Let me go - I will run whatever direction you tell me. Never return to garrison and redcaps. Run. But tied, will die!" While he did this he seemed to be pleading with Dok who knew his language but he did not resist the bindings.
"I do have an older oath to beings more powerful than this creature to kill monsters in these parts, yet I will let this one live if you so decide. But my ancestor, the first Lord Cordorehk, is propaby crying in his crypt for seeing me stay my axe."
The group listened to the bugbear answer questions. Every time something was put to it the creature promptly answered. When they ran out of questions, they debated what to do with the creature. While some seemed to be in favor of killing the creature in the end tying it up and leaving it one the ledge seemed to win out.
When they tied its hands and started to tie its feet the bugbear started to howl and beg them to stop. “No! I will die! If you leave me like this, I will die. I answered! I told! I helped! And now you kill me!” He didn’t struggle as his bonds were put on him, but as the group left, he struggled against his bindings a bit. (Nothing specific was said about putting anything in his mouth.)
The group moved quickly North along the river towards the Vargolg. They knew it wasn’t that far and soon they recognized the widening of the river that indicated the ford where the river could be easily crossed on foot. This was the place where the night before they had fled across in the fog Boris had conjured to cover their escape. Most of the members of the group knew that directly opposite the ford was the Vargolg. But not opposite this time – you were already on the same side as the caves.
As the group paused to survey the situation there was a sudden flurry of activity at the entrance to the gulley. First you saw several goblins fan out as if scouting the area. They were followed by several more goblins being ordered around by a couple of gnolls. Everyone seemed to be moving quickly – as if they were in a rush to get away from the Vargolg. As the lead goblins headed across the river several more goblins emerged from the gulley – but these were using spears to prod prisoners along! Four humans – the one in back might actually be an elf, it was hard to tell at this distance – were being prodded along. Each carried a large sack on their back. The one in back carried a chest. Other goblins also carrying things came out.
It seemed as if the caves were emptying out in front of you.
You are currently about 50’ South of the gulley entrance along the river. You are on the same side of the river as the gulley – they goblins are headed for the other side. As far as you can tell at the moment they don’t seem to know that you are there.
All of the goblins and gnolls are moving quickly – not running (dashing in D&D terms) but clearly are in a hurry. Right now, you can see:
3 scouting goblins in the lead.
4 goblins and two gnolls
4 humans being prodded by another 5 goblins.
2 goblins carrying stuff.
*It seems likely that more might be coming but that is what has emerged this round.
You are not sure exactly how far North or South of where the goblins are that the ford extends. Probably the river where you are is much deeper. The river is about 100' across or so - a bit narrower as it gets past the ford area. The map only shows the first 30' of width. The far side is filled with trees - the Barrenwood.
Distances - it is abotu 30' from the opening to the gulley and the river. The lead goblin is about 30' into the water. The leaders in the party are about 50' from the goblins. Dok at the back (He usually says he is watching for a rear attack) is about 70'.
The goblins had started coming out before you were close enough to see them through the trees and rocks which explains why some are more than 30' beyond the entrance.
In the image:
Cloudy like shapes are trees or brush.
Geometric shapes with lines in them are rocks/boulders.
verticles slash lines are grasses and mucky areas along the river.
The ridgeline is where the ridge starts to go upwards quickly. It isn't a verticle ridge like at the Pyre location - you could climb around on this space as it goes up at a roughly 45 degree angle. But it is difficult terrain.
You don't think they know you are there. If that is true, you would get one turn to do something before they do whatever it is that they will do.
Posted on 2022-06-05 at 21:12:19.
Edited on 2022-06-05 at 21:21:29 by Nomad D2
"We have to rescue the prisoners. Solodad, Ayrn come with me and we will attack the front group to draw attention away from the prisoners and then the rest of you charge in and try to free them. If you are sucessful, run one they are free. Don't try to stand and fight, there are too many creatures." Hornet took out his bow and quickly led his small band to a spot from which to ambush the goblins. "Ok, time to start. Target the second goblin from the front as soon as I release my arrow."
Posted on 2022-06-09 at 06:20:22.
Edited on 2022-06-09 at 06:21:30 by Keeper of Dragons
Lily was glad that they were getting underway again, she hated standing around doing nothing. There hadn't been anything else of interest on the ledge and when the party had made up their plan, she tagged along; she didn't have anything else to do.
When they run into a bunch of what was called Goblins and some other larger creatures, not as large as the Bug things, but they seemed to be directing the goblins. Seeing prisoners, she frowned and her eyebrows knitted together in frustration. She hated slavers or anything of the like. She decided right then to free these people if she possibly could.
<I>"We have to rescue the prisoners. Solodad, Ayrn come with me and we will attack the front group to draw attention away from the prisoners and then the rest of you charge in and try to free them. If you are sucessful, run one they are free. Don't try to stand and fight, there are too many creatures." Hornet took out his bow and quickly led his small band to a spot from which to ambush the goblins. "Ok, time to start. Target the second goblin from the front as soon as I release my arrow."</I>
Lily heard Hornet call out a plan, and it sounded not too bad, it wasn't as good as one of her plans, but no one ever really asked her what she thought they should do. When the small group moved to attack the front of the enemy formation, she went into stealth mode and moved towards where the prisoners were, using the natural cover of the bushes, rocks, and her own small stature to keep her hidden and silent.
((OOC: Whatever skills she has she will use to remain silent, even when the action kicks off, to wait till some of the guards around the prison see move to help the forward unit. She will wait till she has a more clearer shot at getting to the prisoners. She wont attack anyone unless she has to, such as seeing any of the guards attempt to execute their charges.))
((OOC: I'm going to help free the prisoners if that's okay))
Moving swiftly and using the approaching darkness of late evening to cover him, Thäoran headed towards the prisoners on as light a steps as he could muster. His eyes drifted the the prisoner at the rear, the one carrying a chest. Its figure was that of an elf and in his mind flared a wild hope. Could it be...? The father he had been seeking all this time? He had to find out. He took out one of the daggers he had picked up from the ground that Lilly had taken from the goblins and aimed to sneak behind one of the goblins that kept watch over the prisoners and kill it silently with a quick slice to its throat.
Soledad joined Hornet in his assault of the goblin and gnoll horde. This might well be the chance they had been waiting for. Keeping herself hidden within the forest vegetation, Soledad began her task. Words of power flew from her tongue as the witch drew upon the fey magics in the earth and the sky above, and that flowed through her very veins. Flinging her hands out before her, the gold elf completed her sleeping hex and sent threads of magic spinning into their unsuspecting targets.
((OOC: Targeting the same group as Hornet. Soledad will cast Sleep with a level 2 slot.))
Posted on 2022-06-12 at 10:48:44.
Edited on 2022-06-12 at 16:30:51 by Nimu
As the group approached the entrance to the Vargolg it appeared that the residents of the caves had decided to vacate. A large group was moving out to cross the river, including four prisoners.
Without most of the rest of the party even realizing it, the first to act was Lily who didn’t like the idea of prisoners or slaves. She didn’t immediately launch an attack but moved up 30’ to get to within 20’ of the prisoners. She hid behind a tree and got a closer look. She was ready to free anyone she could reach when things got crazy. She noticed that the prisoner’s hands and feet were not tied – clearly the goblins were more worried about speed than safety and the prisoners couldn’t walk quickly with bound feet and couldn’t carry goods with bound hands. So neither were bound. Two things seemed to keep them prisoner. First, there were goblin guards prodding them along with spears and second, for each of the prisoners those same guards held a rope tied around the prisoner’s neck. It wasn’t the most secure chain gang ever, but in the midst of a crowd of goblins it seemed to be effective enough.
Hornet moved quickly up and found a spot behind a tree from which to first a shot – but he held his shot to see what would happen with Soledad’s spell. Soledad also moved up a bit so that she could cast her hex on the goblins. She looked for a big group together near the front – a little ways into the water were 5 goblins and two gnolls – not the true vanguard, but the fighters leading the way before the prisoners. She was the first to launch an attack as her spell descended on the unsuspecting creatures. All five of the goblins with the gnolls suddenly stumbled and fell into the water. With hardly a sound they started to float/sink downstream. The two gnolls who had been with them looked around in bewilderment. Hornet, seeing all of those goblins go down fired a shot at the goblin that was furthest downstream – one of the leading scouts. The creature fell with an arrow through its throat before it even knew that an attack was underway.
Uthal had also moved up and sent a stone winging from his sling at the goblin holding the first prisoner. It hit the creature in the side of the head (-5hp) but did not take it down. It staggered and almost dropped the rope as it looked around for its attacker.
Perhaps the most eager of all of the party members at the sight of the prisoners was Tharoan who saw the last prisoner and thought it might be an elf. He moved up quickly to see more clearly and find a spot to both get a better view and from which to launch an attack to save the prisoner. He got about 20’ away and could see clearly. The man in front was dressed a bit nicer than the others and seemed angry. His nice clothes were torn, and he seemed to be trying to say something to his guard. The next two were dressed much more simply than the first and looked like peasants – they also looked a lot alike. The last was . . . not an elf. Clearly he had some elf blood, a half-elf perhaps, but not an elf and not the father Thaoran was so desperately looking for.
The dwarves, meanwhile, prepared for battle. Gerdar cast divine favor on his axe and moved forward. Dok also moved up while also faithfully maintaining his self-appointed task of making sure that the group was never attacked by surprise from the rear.
As the attack was launched the monsters didn’t seem to be exactly sure what to make of it. Most saw five goblins suddenly fall into the river and start to move down stream. Was that an attack? The one goblin hit by an arrow was forward and down-stream. One of the gnolls saw the arrow and gave the usual gnoll howl. But the other just looked at the goblins in confusion. The forward two goblins didn’t seem to even realize anything had happened until the gnoll howled. Those with the prisoners all reacted as if the group was under attack but didn’t seem to know where the attack had come from. (They didn’t see the arrow and didn’t see where the sling stone came from – and the falling goblins were unexplained.)
The goblins with the prisoners stopped and looked around bringing the procession to a halt. Meanwhile the two goblins carrying things bumped into them from the rear – unaware that anything had happened. Several others carrying heavy burdens followed who also pushed into those in front. When the gnoll howled they stared around in fear. A yell could be heard coming from the gulley as the marching line stacked up.
*5 sleeping goblins have begun to move downriver. The ford is shallow and so they haven’t moved that far yet – except for two that clearly got swept off of the shallower water of the ford and are moving down stream quickly.
*Currently in the river are two goblins about 60’ out. (They kept moving unaware of the problem.)
*Also in the river 30’ out are two gnolls.
*5 goblins guards surround the prisoners – one without a rope holding a prisoner. One is injured.
*4 goblins carrying goods have bumped up against them.
There is a lot of confusion amongst the goblins as they don’t really seem to know what has happened. But clearly they think they are under attack from somewhere.