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Tairn » 1531.8.11 - Attack on the Lair

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1531.8.11 - Attack on the Lair

Play date: June 13th, 2006

1531.8.11 - Early Afternoon
Tiera returns to the ridge while Ash and Traver crouch in the grass. Varendë and Jack move 200 feet east of their position before hiding and watching. Hours pass, the sun begins to set, and everyone rejoins to move off for camping. It is the night of the new moon. The night passes uneventfully.

At dawn everyone moves back to surround the lair with Ash and Traver taking up a position to the west and Jack and Varende taking a position to the east. Tiera and Keddick stay on the ridge while Del makes wide circles looking for goblins.
At noon, Jerim returns. He embraces Tiera. She then introduces Keddick before Jerim sends her to gather the others. Jerim and Keddick exchange words before he moves off to retrieve the force of 21 men he has brought. Half an hour later, everyone is gathered on the ridge. Jerim says two squads of five men will enter each entrace. The captain will stay above ground. The captain suggests to Jerim that everyone else stay above ground to clean up any goblins that attempt escape. Varende points out and opens the trap door he knows of for two squads. The captain and the other two squads enter the second copse of trees. Keddick stands just outside the copse Varende is in, and Jack is nearby the entrance. Tiera, Ash and Traver arrange themselves north of the area. Varende hears a crash as the first two men enter by rope after a short exchange of words in Goblin from below. The men disappear two by two until the last ties the rope to a tree and lowers himself in. Sounds of fighting can be heard below, and then the sounds move away.
 A group of four hobgoblins sprout from another set of trees north and east of the others. Battle ensues with Keddick, Varendë and Jack moving to help. Tiera moves into the trees. Four more hobgoblins come out as well as a group of goblins which run away. Another four are close on the heals of the second set, and finally a single hobgoblin emerges and runs north. The remaining twelve battle it out with the group. Keddick uses two color sprays to knock two unconscious. Eventually one breaks and runs southwest. Ash moves to fire two arrows at him, but both are off the mark and he disappears. Keddick ties the hands off an unconscious hobgoblin after disarming him, and Jack does the same for the other one. Keddick’s hobgoblin regains consciousness and staggers to his feat despite Keddick’s threatening dagger. Jack moves to tackle him. Jack pins him to the ground. Jack starts asking him questions, but hobgoblin seems confused and dazed (perhaps stunned). The second hobgoblin rises, and Ash cuts him down without remorse. He wanders away. Meanwhile, Traver and Varendë have helped Tiera, who is bleeding from several wounds, hold down the trapdoor in the trees. A goblin and a hobgoblin lie dead close by. They are put on the door as well.
Jack, and Keddick with Jack translating, interrogate the hobgoblin. They pepper him with questions about why he is here, who his leader is, who the Elf woman is, etc. He says his leaders are Hoortchuch and Vuroosk. He doesn’t know anything about an elf. He doesn’t know anything about the Chieftan. He doesn’t know anything about the deeper meaning behind their presence here. He asks to be let go. He reinterates he isn’t a threat. They continue to question him. He mentions two “sergeants” named Gruln and Grilnag. He eventually slips up and mentions Nygragg, the Chieftain. With promises of release, he eventually says the elf woman is very beautiful. He begs for release. Eventually, they decide to let him run. Keddick tries to turn him invisible, but the spell fails to affect the hobgoblin.
Eventually, everyone ends up below ground looking around. Two dwarves and three humans are found in a prison with pits in it for the prisoners. Varende offers them food, succor and water. One of the humans looks decidedly less starved than the others. One of the dwarves demands the return of his property, money and a gold circlet stolen from him by the hobgoblins. Another room off the barracks is located that contains a dead hobgoblin in loose robes with two dire apes. All are dead including one man in plate armor with Plythe’s heraldic symbol on his shield. Jerim and Traver are talking excitedly over a note:
Nygragg, Chief of the Kramin, and his Consort Márenil                   Glesic, dark moon
The humans have sent men to guard the villages near the river. We must avoid the villages until these men have gone. They wear heavy metal armor, and they seem well disciplined. Gruln recently captured three Dwarves near the river. They killed two during the fight. One of the prisoners soon died during from his wounds, but two of the slaves remain alive. We also have three human slaves to send you as well. Malint returned with one of the slaves today.
            Gruln has been missing three days now. I fear he was caught by the soldiers and killed. We will need more men to replace him. Send three units to retrieve the slaves and bolster our numbers.
One of the pit details did not return today. While the goblins might run, I fear the worst since Chenak and Kentfig did not return. Perhaps we are found out. I will send this letter with a runner tonight. Send the three patrols as soon possible.

Varendë recognizes Márenil as the name of one of the two daughters of the Elven bard Kystal. The girls were captured in a hobgoblin raid on Kinspa Forest nearly 30 years ago. Jerim moves with the Elves in tow to look for the trail of the two escaped hobgoblins. Keddick asks Ash questions about the two girls. Ash reveals they were taken in a hobgoblin raid 28 years ago, and that he feels responsible. He tells that his father was captain of the guard, and that he, Ash, had made a blunder that allowed the capture. As Keddick presses him for more details, he turns sullen and walks away.
Jerim has found both trails. He says the northern one is much harder to follow. Varende suggests Tiera track the southwestern trails and lead Keddick, himself and Jack to catch that hobgoblin. Jerim leads Traver and Ash north.
Tiera easily follows the trail and leads for four hours until the darkness engulfs them and they stop for the night. A thin sliver of moon glows dimly in the night sky. The foothills are behind, and the first real mountains loom just north.

The night passes uneventfully until Varendë’s sharp Elven ears hear some movement in the brush to the north. He can see nothing due to the darkness. He pulls his torch out while waking Tiera. Crashing noises move closer much louder than before. Two goblinoids appear out of the darkness and one attacks Tiera while Varendë wakes Keddick and Jack who are already awake from the noise.
 As the two bugbears fall, louder noises are heard from the same direction the bugbears came from. The party waits tensely with Tiera holding her bow, arrow knocked and drawn, for the first site of the bugbears. Varendë’s keen eyes see them first. As they move closer, the humans see them as well and Tiera lets fly and arrow. They crash into the party. Jack and Varendë tear into them with their swords. One presses Keddick, and he defends himself with a dagger. The bugbear drops him to the ground unconscious. Varende comes to his rescue, dispatching the bugbear easily. All take wounds, but soon six bugbear bodies lie dead in the night…
Upon searching the bodies, you find:
• 6 suits of well-worn leather armor
• 6 battle-user morningstars
• 6 ratty leather pouches containing meager foods (dried meat, nuts, hard dense discs of bread) tied to 6 thin leather belts
• A thin leather cord stranded with beads alternating with worked metal and rounded stone
• A pendant set with a small blue stone and a large red stone
• A worn metal scroll case hung on a leather cord
• An ornate silver bracelet
• A silver ring

Tiera strips the bracelet off of one body as Keddick notices the scrollcase and slips it over the bugbears bead. Jack slides the ring and necklace off the body of another, and Varendë takes the pendant off one he is searching. The two others seem to have nothing of value.
Tiera starts slicing through the leather armor on the bodies to leave it useless and piling the morningstars together. She explains her plans to light a fire at dawn to burn the hardened wooden handles before they leave and bury handles and heads together in a fire pit. She extracts a small shovel to dig a pit while carefully lifting the sod to replace.

She plans to drag the bodies a short distance away.

She instructs the group:
• bugbears are not uncommon in the mountains
• they see very well, even in total darkness
• they often hunt with javelins; perhaps they were dropped when they came to attack
• they have keen noses
• this looks like a medium to large hunting party, but due to their poor tactics, she deduces none of these was a leader
• often they live in groups of up to 50 with over half being females and offspring
Keddick casts a spell and says he sees no auras on any of the jewelry nor on the armor, morningstars, or pouches. He appraises the jewelry and opens the scrollcase. He shares his estimates:
• A thin leather cord stranded with beads alternating with worked metal and rounded stone (45 crowns) [Jack]
• A pendant set with a small blue stone and a large red stone (450 crowns) [Varendë]
• A worn metal scroll case hung on a leather cord (50 crowns) [Keddick]
• An ornate silver bracelet (230 crowns) [Tiera]
• A silver ring (75 crowns) [Jack]

When Keddick opens the scrollcase, he finds a thin long scroll 4 inches by 12 inches. The interior of the scrollcase is lined with lead. It is inscribed in Goblin (the language bugbears speak) and non-magical. Jack translates it as a prayer of protection and good hunting.


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