So our big damn heroes for the week are:
- Waxon, an Elven Cleric of the Wood Elf variety, no relation to Wax-off
- Szenden , a Half-Elf Fighter
- Gavan, an Elf Mage of the High Elf variety
- Valantis, an Elven Monk, also of the Wood Elf variety (newcomer)
- Tassidar, a Half-Orc Fighter (newcomer)
I use the term ‘heroes’ loosely, of course. 🙂
When last we left off, we were in a fabric mill having survived a perilous encounter with hobgoblins. There happens to be a second mill in town; in fact, it’s literally right next door to this mill. Szenden tries to sneak over to the 2nd mill for some recon, but is immediately spotted by some wolves, who happen to be ridden by goblins. D’OH! We immediately engage three goblin wolf riders in mortal combat. It’s actually a fairly smooth combat, though the last goblin, before dying, manages to sound a horn. This leads to three bugbears entering the fray. Sadly, they’re not fighting on our side, but we manage to make short work of them as well, and find 20 gold pieces on all the dead bodies.
We enter the 2nd mill, quickly finding it to be a grain mill. There are no monsters about; the upstairs is empty living quarters. We are able to find a trap door where the river runs underneath; it’s essentially a well.
Exiting the grain mill, I get the idea to look for footprints of any sort, distinguishable from goblin-folk hopefully. We find blood stains, and humanoid footprints 10 days old, but nothing trackable. D’OH!
So we make our way to the front gate, the gate one would enter Julkoun from the road. There are 2 guard towers on either side, and as it turns out, we find out the hard way that they’re manned by the enemy, as two arrows go flying towards Gavan, one of them finding its mark. Thankfully, ‘tis but a flesh wound.
Instead of trying to force the issue, we go to another gated area of town, a ramp that leads to a huge door, behind it another area of town. The ramp happens to be blood-stained, and part of the door looks like it’s been hacked and put back together. Like the front gate, there are two guard towers, presumably manned by more enemies. Valantis attempts to make his way up the ramp to climb up, but receives an arrow for his efforts, reducing him to a single hit point. Valantis is able to take a peek over the wall, and sees a large warehouse with no goblinoids in sight, as well as a large door into the hill; we assume this door leads to the underground inn we’ve been looking for. Valantis retreats, limping back to us to relay the news. Waxon manages to heal him, but that’s the last of his healing for the day. Quickly realizing this predicament, and with the general health of the party being on the low side, we opt for a long rest in the grain mill, barring the doors, setting up a guard schedule, etc. While we make it through the night with no encounters, at least one enemy tried to get in through one of the barred doors. Assuming they’re waiting for us, we actually make use of the trap door we found earlier, swimming upriver to avoid the enemy.
We make our way back to the ramp, trying to think of a way past. Farther down the wall it gives way to a cliff that we could climb, so our strong Half-Orc, Tassidar, builds us a makeshift bridge to cross the moat, then climb up the cliff. In a shocking display of athleticism that has thus far been absent in his adventures, Gavan successfully climbs the cliff face with no repercussions. On the other side, right next to the door in the wall, is a building called the Jester’s Pride Inn; if this is the inn we were seeking, it’s not as underground as we thought; perhaps they’re connected indoors?
So we enter the Jester’s Pride Inn, searching the various rooms. In one room, we find a bath occupied by of all things, a Bugbear. A Bugbear bathing…you learn something new everyday! So we gang up on the Bugbear, dispatching him in his hot tub. Actually everyone else gangs up; as it’s too cramped to use magic effectively (or even shoot an arrow effectively), Gavan is busy in the back cheering when he’s suddenly hacked do unconscious by two other Bugbears that snuck up on him successfully. This is simply not Gavan’s day.
The party dispatches of the Bugbears, and heals Gavan. The dead Bugbears are relieved of their 19 gold pieces. There’s nothing of value in the remaining rooms, so we enter the double door built into the hill; like a human-sized hobbit hole, I imagine. There’s also a stained glass windows surrounding the doors, and up-close, we see that the right door is slightly ajar. Peeking through, we see a fireplace inside that’s lit, and a dim figure cooking over that fireplace. Szenden attempts subterfuge, being fluent in Goblin, but fails horribly. Aware of this fact, we end up kicking the door down and enter battle with six goblins. We manage to kill five, and capture one for immediate interrogation. We discover that much of the townfolk have been killed. However, some hobgoblins took some of the Julkoun villagers to Firehammer Hold. We leave off here, though we were discussing, looking at our map of the area, that it may be too much of a trek to get to Fire Hammer Hold; we would either need to make our way over the Forlorn Hills (what looks like a hilly / mountainous region), or stick to the roads; we could sail upriver to Secomber, then travel by road to the hold. Then again, it may be smarter to return to Daggerford to not only regroup, but to report our findings and perhaps gain some aid in rescuing the villagers, assuming it’s not too late.
By the way, I scanned a map of the area, so here you go: