The group looked across the river and up at the ridge towards Fromkin’s Aerie. All of their prior investigations had led them nowhere. They had questions, but not answers. So now it seemed they were to head off towards the ridge to see what they could see. And right now, the light to see with was dying and the road climbed ahead of them. But shelter was available. A series of stone buildings sat at each switchback as the road crossed the bridge and climbed the ridge.
Looking for shelter for the night the group crossed over the bridge. It was as sound as it had appeared from the side. Well worn and ancient, but solidly built. The waters of the Hreusen bubbled along under it as the party crossed, but nothing appeared to disturb their passage. They continued on as the road climbed towards the first of the stone buildings and they approached it with caution. It looked to be a little over 10’ square with an open doorway (no door) leading to the interior. It was abandoned. Dirt leaves and cobwebs filled the corners of the room. There were no windows. Like the bridge it seemed solidly built and old. It should provide a good place to rest for the night.
As the group settled in for the night it was a clear night with a bright moon. The group settled into the stone building with Steele standing sleepless guard. It seemed a peaceful night like many the group had spent on the road with the caravan. After midnight the sky started to cloud over and Steele was guessing that his companions would be very happy to have a roof over their head by morning. Rain was coming.
Around 2 in the morning, before the rain broke, something else was coming as well. About that time Steele heard noise on the path above them. A group of something was coming down the road from the top of the ridge and headed towards the bridge. As the building the group was sheltered in was right next to the road they would certainly pass right by. Staring upwards and listening intently the warforged was not sure exactly how far away they were – probably 2-3 switchbacks at this point. This means that by road they were probably still at least a few hundred yards away. But at the moment Steele heard them they probably only about 125 yards away – straight up the ridge. Even listening as carefully as he could Steele could not determine what or how many were coming. It was a group – almost certainly 6 or more. They were making no attempt to be quiet and were variously singing, laughing and talking loudly. But given the distance, he could not tell what. He didn’t think it was common, but even that was uncertain at the moment.
FYI – The hut you are in is at a bend in the road. The road travels up the ridge in a series of switchbacks – it is about 150 yards to the next building and the next turn. From that position whoever is coming down the road will have a clear view of the building you are in. You, of course, would also have a clear view of them. In the area around the building you are in there is about 30’ of reasonable terrain – it is difficult terrain for rule purposes because it is filled with rocks, bushes,trees and slopes up and down. It is difficult, but passable. Beyond about 30’ the terrain is very rough and steep. (This is true beyond 5-10’ of the road in areas not near the buildings.) To cross these areas, for example, to try and climb straight up to the next switchback without traveling on the road, would require a dexterity climbing check. A mule could not do it in most places.
You have warning of this encounter. Please be specific about where everyone is located – this includes the mule and cart. I will try to get a map up, but it shouldn’t be needed.
As the others of the group rested the big warforged kept watch in his mode of sentry. In truth he enjoyed being in such as he was the first to “wake” and be ready for a fight.
As it become late in the night, around 2am in the living people’s time, the rain yet falling, Steel caught sound of someone or something coming down the road from the top of the ridge and headed towards the bridge and the party’s hut. It was clear to the warforged they would certainly pass right by. Staring upwards and listening intently the warforged was not sure exactly how far away they were but still at least a few hundred yards away. Listening as carefully as he could with the system of hearing crafted into him Steele could not determine what or how many were coming. For sure was a group – almost certainly 6 or more as they variously singing, laughing and talking loudly. However it was not a language he had heard before for sure it was not common.
Moving quickly first to Soledad’s sleeping area, trying to be as quiet and gently he attempted to wake the group’s Elf leader.
“Soledad, wake up, We have people approaching, at least perhap’s more, I will go and wake the rest also.”
Moving next to Silver, Hornet, Dok and the rest, he woke them all quickly till all stood ready and waiting for what was to happen next, a nice greeting or a battle to the death…..
Posted on 2020-08-19 at 19:36:57.
Edited on 2020-08-19 at 19:38:11 by TannTalas
Hornet woke to Steel telling him a group approached on the road. Friend or foe was not known. Grabbing his crossbow, the elf moved to find a place from which to cover the likely approach from behind cover. Using his skills as a rouge, he slid into a position that would allow him to hide from sight and waited to see how the encounter unfolded.
Upon hearing the warning of the War Forge that an unknown party was marching down the Ridge with songs and undetermined purpose, the Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm the God of Protection made his way out of the confining building to find a place of seclusion on the high ground, where he would have a combat advantage and be able to listen to the language of the approaching party to determine if they were indeed his hated Goblin foes of yore.
As Dok cautiously, but determinedly, made his way to the best location to both spy upon the approaching party and spring an attack if necessary, the Hill Dwarf Cleric softly spoke a fighting prayer to Helm the God of Protection as he found the best position available on such short notice.
“Helm lead me to a place to hide
“While I prepare a Bolt for You to guide
“Plus another spell I ask of You
“Spiritual Weapon to see me through
“To victory against those who draw near
“In case they be evil and spreading fear
“And if their intent is a night-time raid
“They shall taste the wrath of my battle axe blade!”
((OOC: Dok is ready to use either Guiding Bolt or Spiritual Weapon depending upon the situation as it unfolds. He does not want to waste spells unnecessarily. So he stands ready with his silver-coated battle axe to wade into melee action once those in the party who stand ready to unleash bolts & arrows have thinned out the ranks of the approaching party!))
Thäoran had never required much sleep, so the elf was only dozing lightly when he felt himself being shaken awake by a rough hand. He snapped open his cat-like eyes and, instinctively, reached for the handle of his father's falchion at his side, swiftly unsheathing the blade and rolling to an upright, alert position in one smooth motion ready for any threat that may come their way. He soon discovered it was the Warforged Steele that had awoken him from his slumber and cast him an enquiring gaze. He didn't have to wait long for his curiosity to be sated as the Warforged informed them that an unknown group was heading their way.
With his keen elf hearing, Thäoran heard the merry songs and boisterous mirth that cut through the previously still night air. Treading lightly, lest he reveal his presence to the strangers, the elf warily and silently crept out of their stone shelter and behind the thick trunk of a fir tree ((OOC: they're near the mountains, so I assume there are fir trees about)), using the deep shadows of the night to conceal himself, letting them cloak him in their midnight black folds. He sheathed his falchion again and drew his bow from its buckskin tube and, with practised ease, nocked a swan fletched arrow, holding three more at the ready with the free fingers of his right hand, his index and middle fingers pulling the string of the bow taut. He inhaled deep of the crisp night air and willed himself to empty his mind (which proved unsurprisingly difficult due to the torrent of thoughts that had been raging in his mind like a churned up sea).
He was poised and ready...
Posted on 2020-08-23 at 12:32:39.
Edited on 2020-08-23 at 12:36:25 by dragon-soul92
Soledad was already awake when Steel came to rouse her. The fey races did not sleep, but rather rested in a mystical trance that reconnected their flesh to the magic already flowing in their veins. Shaking off the last vestiges of the dream state, the gilded elf moved quickly to assess the approaching crowd. There was little to tell if they were friend or foe, but regardless, a battle would be best avoided.
First, the witch conjured a magical armor over her own form and sent Z’zzip to the fey pocket dimension. The impending encounter might not prove violent, but precaution was always warranted. Irascible as ever, Z’zzip might just instigate battle…
Now was a time to rely on the magics of deception and trickery. After guiding her companions into a space that her spell could cover, Soledad began the work of crafting her glamor. Illusion lay over the hut and yarn like a veneer, replicating the scene exactly down to every shifting blade of grass. All was as it was, save for the mule, the wagon, and the party. Any traces of their presence lay hidden beneath the witch’s illusion.
((OOC: Casts Mage Armor on herself and Silent Image over the space - illusion is the space they occupy, but the party, wagon, and mule are not there))
As Steele woke the rest of the party each could quickly make out the sound of the approaching group. As they passed the turn in the road directly above their hut everyone could make out the nasty laughing and singing. For those who the knew the language it was now quite clear just who was coming down the path. Dok removed any doubt for those not fluent when he quietly spat out the word, “goblins!”
The group prepared. Hornet, Thaoran and Dok took up positions on the hillside above the hut, hoping that the brush, trees, and rocks would provide them with enough cover to avoid prying goblin eyes. It seemed likely as the shadows were deep and the cover thick. The cart was hidden behind the building, but the mule taken inside where Steele, Soledad and Ewyn all hid. The witch cast mage armor and then prepared an illusion to cover their position. Silent Image was the spell of choice and allowed her to create the image of an abandoned hut just as they had found it. The spell only covered an area of about a 15’ cube, but as the building itself was only a little over 10’ square, it seemed almost as if made for the spell. The cart was hidden by the building and be the spell from the front, but if anyone were to walk around the building it would be seen. The mule would not have fit within the illusions dimensions and was thus inside where it could be kept quiet.
Preparations made, the group silently waited for the goblins to round the far bend and appear. After a couple of tense minutes, they did so. It was a group – they didn’t really march as they walked, joked, kicked rocks and sang rough songs. They were a jumbled mass with little organization in song or march, but came roughly 3 abreast around the corner. All told there appeared to a dozen of them. They turned the corner and headed down the road towards the building in which 3 party members and a mule hid. They kicked a large ball type of object ahead of them and laughed. They gave no indication of noticing anything odd about the hut, but were still about 120 yards away.
(Ok, you now know what is coming. At the moment they don’t seem to be aware of you. If you choose to do something besides remain hidden it currently looks like you will have surprise.)
“They shall taste the wrath of my battle axe blade!”
Dok kept repeating this prayer over and over in his mind as the Goblins haphazardly rounded the bend in an unorganized march three abreast and kicking some kind of ball object. It reminded him of something from his past, but at the moment he did not recall what it was.
All the Hill Dwarf Cleric could think about was how these Goblins were up to no good and that he and his companions had some sort of duty to protect the unsuspecting inhabitants of Botkinburg.
Dok did not want to waste a spell, but he was considering using a Spiritual Weapon if need be, although his grip on his silver-coated battle axe was tightening with every evil sound the Goblins made.
Not wanting to endanger his companions, but also not wanting the Goblins to pass unhindered on their way to Botkinburg where some innocent lives may be lost, the Hill Dwarf Cleric had a decision to make!
Dok wanted to take a Goblin captive to interrogate it regarding the missing twins and he also wanted to remove the dirty dozen so that they would never bother Botkinburg again!
From behind his covered postion, Hornet watched the goblins approach. Such nasty, vile creatures. Their songs assulted his ears and as he focused on the ball like object they kicked before him he could swear it had hair. Could they be kicking a head while laughing at the expense of its former owner? He could think of no reason the goblins should be spared and he was certain a few of his companions felt the same. Taking aim on the last goblin in line he sent a bolt on it way towards the creatures foul heart.
OOC: Using Assasinate feat gives him advantage and any hit is a critical. Sneak attack gives him an extra 2d6 damage on a hit. He will use bonus action of hide once he fires to remain out of sight.
Thaöran narrowed his sapphire blue eyes as his hated enemy crested the hill. 'Goblins!' He heard his dwarven friend curse under his breath and the elf also shared in the Cleric's distaste of the loathsome creatures. Their tongues crudely sang some vile verses, but of what he could not say as he was unfamiliar with their rough language. He briefly considered casting Comprehend Languages, the incantation that would allow the elf to decipher what the goblins sang of, but then decided it was not especially important at this time so instead he took up a readier grip on his bow, aiming it directly at the goblin who was kicking the round object along the rocky road.
As Thaöran drew back the bowstring, a thought flashed through his mind: were these goblins the ones who had taken his father? If not, then did they have any information that may lead him down the right path of finally being reunited with him?
Well neither of those questions would be answered if he didn't detain at least one of the despicable fiends. So, checking that his aim was true, he released the string, the arrow flying swift and straight towards its target.
I must get answers...he thought as he watched the shaft heading towards the goblin's left knee. His intention was to wound it severely enough that it could not flee, but not enough so that he severed the link to its life. As much as he loathed these creatures and wished to put an end to every one across the realm, he still needed his answers so this was a catch, not a kill.
That could come later....he thought with satisfaction.
Posted on 2020-08-25 at 17:55:28.
Edited on 2020-08-25 at 17:57:49 by dragon-soul92
“They shall taste the wrath of my battle axe blade!”
Dok kept repeating this prayer as he devised a plan to confuse and lure the approaching Goblins into an inescapable trap that relied upon the aim and determination of both Hornet and Thor.
As soon as both party members loosed the first round of their airborne attack, the Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm began shouting repeatedly in Goblinese:
“I Found Treasure! I Found Treasure!
“Help Me! Help Me! Help Me!”
Gripping the handle of his trusty silver-coated battle axe, the Hill Dwarf Cleric focused his attention on the approaching Goblins, counting on their greed and evil nature to compel them to come running in his direction to grab a piece of the treasure pie, while Hornet and Thor continued thinning out their ranks!
Dok was ready to rush headlong into melee battle as soon as any Goblins were near enough to be engaged by both his silver-coated battle axe, plus a Spiritual Weapon spell, as the Hill Dwarf Cleric continued to call out in Goblinese:
At the mention of goblins Soledad hissed a curse. It was surprisingly creative and foul coming from a delicate, fey elf, but Soledad did what she could to defy expectations. There was mention of virgins and pigsweat with a significant collection of choice words thrown in to add some spice. It was enough to drain the color out of any of her more noble companions if they heard her.
Once her tongue had been satisfied with her cussing litany, the little witch began to concoct a devious plan. Goblins were wretched creatures that were unforgivably dirty, she had no desire to get near enough to fully experience their offensive hygiene, or worse, their ugliness. It would be far better to distract them with arrows, knock them all out, and then stab them to death in their sleep.
Soledad announced this very plan to the party and then upheld her illusion until the time was right. And it came. Just as the leaping goblins came within range her companions unleashed a flurry of arrows and magic onto the unsuspecting creatures. With the goblins distracted by arrows and ranged attacks, Soledad unleashed an attack of her own. Spitting a word of power, the witch threw out her hands to unleash a sleeping hex on the wounded, scared, and confused wretches.
Sleep you ugly things. Go to sleep and die.
((OOC: Casts sleep on the Goblin raid. She will use a second level slot. Instructions to party are to fire when the goblins are within spell range.))
The goblins turned the bend a full 120 yards away from the party and headed towards the building in which the group sheltered. As they came, they passed a couple of skins filled presumably with some foul liquid back and forth and sang. Those who understood goblin could quickly make out the words, but even those who couldn’t understood the basic idea.
“Crack ‘em! Splat e’m! Hang ‘em from a pole!
Smack ‘em! Cut ‘em! Bake ‘em in a roll!
Little buggers! Big buggers! They all fry!
Young uns! Sweet uns! Make their momma cry!”
There were more verses like the first, but none in the party wanted to catch the details.
When the goblins were about 60’ from the party everyone in the group was eager and launched their attacks from the hidden depths of the hut and surrounding rocks and trees.
Hornet lined up his shot from the shadows of a large pine and took aim at one of the leading goblins. The horrible creature never knew what hit him as the arrow pierced his eye with the bolt’s point coming out the back of its head. The goblin didn’t even finish his step but dropped straight to the ground, liquid from the wineskin it held mixing with its blood on the roadway.
Thaoran’s arrow flashed forward at the same time as Hornet’s. His arrow caught the one that had been kicking a hairy object down the road in the chest. The creature staggered backwards and went down to one knee but did not die. The goblin drew its sword and stood up and howled in anger! It was a sound that made their horrible song sound harmonious.
Dok held his position behind the rocks as they approached and wished he could close his ears. Knowing how to speak goblin had proved useful at times but was rarely a pleasant thing. The cleric called on his god to end this horrible song. He quietly spoke the words of his spell and just as his companion’s arrows flashed forward he finished – a ghostly axe, nearly a twin to the one at his belt, appeared in the air next to the goblins. Its first movement was a mighty sweep at a goblin in the second ranks, but the creature had Maglubiyet’s own luck as it turned to pass a wineskin behind it just as the axe appeared. The spiritual weapon flashed harmlessly through the space its head should have occupying. It drew a terrified squeal from the creature, but no blood. The goblin next to it was not so lucky, however. Missing on its initial swing, the axe swung back in the other direction and took that creature’s head clean off; body and head both falling to the road but rolling in different directions.
Soledad saw the goblins fall to her companion’s weapons and quickly did her part, stepping forward and scattering a few red petals with a little breath of wind and a few choice words of magic. As if caught in a magical field of flowers, the foolish and evil creatures collapsed one by one. First the injured one stopped its screaming and fell. Then another. And another. And another. And one more. All told five goblins (4 uninjured and the one hit by Thaoran) succumbed to her spell.
Steele, the warforged fighter of the group, left the ranged fighting to his comrades. He stepped out in front of the building to shelter Soledad from any attacks that might come. Let them come. He held his weapon in readiness.
Five goblins out of the original twelve still stood on the roadway in front of the group. Their song had turned into screams of outrage. After the sleep spell the screams seemed to falter a bit, but the goblins pulled out their bows and seemed to scan for targets.
(You got one round free because they had no idea you were there. Now it will be a regular combat round.)
The Hornet watched the goblins continue down the path unaware that Death walked with them. From his concealed position he tracked the trail goblin with his crossbow. Just a bit closer before he would fire. As the lead goblin passed a small alder tree Hornet let loose his bolt. Straight and true it flew and sunk deep into the eye of the clueless goblin. It's body slumped to the ground but the Hornet didn't bother to watch it fall. Another bolt lept from his crossbow once more seeking the most distant goblin still in the fight.
OOC: Assasinate gives advantage on the attack roll (but lack of surprise negates the critical hit part) and with advantage he can use Sneak Attack to deal extra 2d6 damage if he hits. Bonus action of hide.
Posted on 2020-09-02 at 18:48:56.
Edited on 2020-09-04 at 11:39:10 by Keeper of Dragons
Steel, the warforged fighter of the group, left the ranged fighting to his comrades. Having only daggers to throw and none of them magical in returning all he could was wait for the remaining Goblins to come close enough to attack. The Warforged fighter knew as the last combat ready Goblins were looking around for where the initial attack had come from, the party would still get a second round free.
Continuing to stay in front to protect Soledad from any attacks that might come, he held his weapon in readiness, no mere Goblin would pass him and harm the mage leader of the group. Looking over to Silver he saw that she too lacking any long range weapons was also ready to face any of the Goblins in melee. Seeing him looking at her she smiled and nodded her ability to see this fight through.