I don’t recall us spending any less time than usual role-playing this time. The two main combats in this session were quite long, (the first being lasting about 12 rounds) and the last part of the session being searching the 20+ rooms for loot – so the adventure summary isn’t all that long. The rogue had his second brush with death – saved by some quick thinking by the players and a good roll on a little used skill (sleight of hand). I don’t want to kill any characters at this time (especially not at such a low level), and I’d prefer the players to think of a solution rather than me have to fudge a roll to help them out. Once they get higher in level (and have more money), if a bad decision endangers a character, then it’s their risk.
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9th Harvester: The hobgoblins respond quickly as some of the party enter their chamber and engage them. There are noises in the distance that suggest an alert being raised. More hobgoblin males enter an adjacent chamber and the group starts to spread out. Seldrel sights a small group at the back of the storeroom that must have used the unexplored side passage. He casts web trapping all of them. He hears some calling “fire”, so doubts that it will hold them for long. The main group push forward into a large room with two other exits. Hobgoblins enter from both. Seldrel webs half the room trapping many here and the group does their best to strike down those on the edge of the web. Merxif and Seldrel hear enemies coming through the storeroom again and manage to hold the second room using magic. It is a long fight, but in the parties favour. Eventually no more hobgoblins enter the fight and the group has a chance to heal.
Moving east through a kitchen and sleeping chambers they find a few guards standing in a wide entrance hall to the lair – daylight can be seen at the other end. Lanliss and Hardaz enter and quickly take down the hobgoblins, but an ogre charges down the hall and knocks Lanliss unconscious. A hobgoblin enters from the other side of the hall and starts to drag Lanliss away. Merxif is able to focus his healing energy to bring Lanliss back to consciousness, and the rogue uses sleight of hand to drink a potion of invisibility and evades his captors. As the ogre goes down, Lanliss reaches Merxif for a more substantial heal and the group fight the new attackers entering the hall. A bigger tougher looking hobgoblin runs towards the cave entrance, but veers off into a side chamber. Winter gives chase, and narrowly avoids falling down a hidden pit. Once the hobgoblins are defeated, Lanliss disarms the pit (locking it closed) and they move down looking for the hobgoblin leader. A dire wolf waits with the leader and another short but nasty fight ensues.
There is some healing while the group start to make their way back through the cave lair. No more opponents remain, and they start to loot bodies and search chambers for treasure. A secret room holds money, scrolls, potions, gems and metal ingots. The group decide to barricade themselves in one of the sleeping chambers and get a proper nights rest. The next morning the scout the remainder of the lair and realise that a few areas have had food and possessions removed during the night. All the hobgoblins fought have been male, and they suspect some females and young have escaped. There are some goods from the storeroom that are too bulky to carry, and they decide to return for them later. One of the rooms yielded a drawing of the mountains – they can see on it the location of the nearby towns, Fals Hold, and a few extra places marked in goblin. They translate to “orcs”, “dwarf mine” and “dragon”. They exit the lair eastwards into what seems to be a deep cleft in the southern side of the mountain, and make their way down the hillside into the valley.