Scales of War: Rescue at Rivenroar: Spizz!


This Story Hour actually tracks the adventures of our PbP game which runs here on ENWorld, details and links to follow.

The Adventure Path has been modified to take place in the Nentir Vale, and starts in the city of Fallcrest, more details will become apparent, both in the story hour and in DM and, hopefully, player asides.

For now we start with the Prologue, read on-

Fallcrest, the Nentir Inn, late Fritag night.

Gasper No couldn’t stop grinning, here he was in the Nentir Inn, a place he could previously never afford to eat in, the best Inn in Fallcrest in fact. He’d just finished his meal – baked Stirge in a rosemary crust with winter vegetables, followed by a flambéed mini-Gelatinous Cube with a caramel sauce, accompanied by half-a-bottle of a most agreeable Elven Chimblee.

Gasper wiped his mouth with his napkin and opened his purse, for the first time in the evening his smile faltered, nervously he flopped out two dozen gold coins, enough for the meal, the wine and a hefty tip - why not he figured, plenty more where that came from.

However, here was the test – Gasper let the coins sit on the counter, Ayella the barmaid wandered over, picked up the coin – as if there was nothing wrong, and then with a smile wished him good night.

Gasper sat for a moment, still watching- waiting, as Ayella made her way back to the till and placed his money within… nothing.

Ayella went back about her business, leaving Gasper smiling again.

Less than two hours ago the coins that he had paid with had been copper – he’d done it, he had truly done it – he was certain.

Gasper No had discovered the Philosopher’s Stone, he’d discovered the way to transform base metals in to gold, no magic just alchemy, he had spent 42 years searching for the secret, more than once he had come close to madness, the pursuit had left him almost penniless, at times homeless, and for several decades now friendless.

Gasper got up from his stool, waved a last goodbye and moved over to the door, knowing that he was about to return home to start the job of making himself rich. He had only one gold coin left in his pocket but that didn’t matter, he would have to get some change – 100 copper coins, which he would turn this very evening in to 100 gold, and from there…

Gasper did a little dance on the way to the door, spiralled on the spot – nobody was watching, why not.

He pulled open the door of the Nentir Inn, looking back to offer a last ’G’night’ to the staff and the other patrons – he turned back and…

Standing in the doorway was the biggest Hobgoblin he had ever seen, strange he thought, and then was swiftly decapitated.

And thus the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone remained a secret for a little while longer.

The evening however would nevertheless come to be remembered, not for Gasper No and his 42 years of work, but for the Goblin attack on Fallcrest, and the heroes that took up arms and implements to defend the city from the terrible foe.


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The Nentir Inn, Fallcrest.

The PCs don’t know each other as of yet… that’s about to change, it’s just another quiet night in the Nentir Inn, that is until a gang of Hobgoblins and Goblins smash their way in to the bar room. The creatures come from every direction – even the kitchen, worse still the Goblins are wielding bitumen torches…

Encounter #1 – 780 XP – Level 2 Encounter.
10 Hobgoblin Grunts (Level 3 Minions)
3 Goblin Blackblades (Level 1 Lurker)
Skill Challenge: Putting out the Fire (Level 1 Complexity 1)

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Magnus, Male Dwarf, Fighter, Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

The Goblin’s scream and rant,

For the Red Hand

one cries, another -


repeatedly – like a chant. The foul creatures even wear smart red patches on their poorly-maintained armour – the insignia of the ‘Red Hand’1. The initial attack sees seven Hobgoblin Grunts armed with longsords – already drawn, and two Goblin Blackblades, wielding shortswords and the aforementioned bitumen torches, the host stream in to the bar – out for blood.

The effect is instantaneous, patrons scream, shout, run and duck for cover; one of the Inn’s bouncers dives in to a large plant pot and attempts to dig to freedom.

A pair of Goblins, each leading a seperate force, throw their fiery torches in to the mix – Viator narrowly avoids being set ablaze – however the burning torch still rests at his feet, licking at his cloak – the danger is not over. Worse still the second torch lands behind the bar, the work top there is soon burning gloriously- above is the open liquor cabinet.

Magnus, a Dwarven Fighter – consoling himself with a pint of ‘Brown Nadder’, sees his beer spilt, he grimaces – wars have started for less. He leaps off his stool and on to the bar, grabs out his Warhammer and Charges at the Goblin that has just spilt his pint – and thrown a torch in to the liquor cabinet, but that’s of secondary concern. He screams,

Let’s see how well ya laugh with a broken face

and connects with his warhammer – a swat rather than a hit however, the Goblin Blackblade looks, if anything, mildly peeved.

Freggo, a young Human Swordmage – fresh-faced and out for adventure – having spent his youth reading tales of daring – do, leaps to his feet, he knows exactly what daring to do. He dances towards the fight, declaring as he goes -

Stand back everyone! Freggo the Hero, Last of the Red-Hot Swammis, is here!

The Hobgoblin Grunt before him is somewhat bemused by the young man’s constant feints and practice slashes – it’s like Freggo has only recently been introduced to his longsword, all very pretty but to no effect, and just as the Grunt finishes this thought he feels… light-headed, the Hobgoblin sinks to the floor – dead. Freggo’s Luring Strike does for him,

Magic do as you will…

Freggo mumbles and points at his next victim, another Hobgoblin Grunt – now subject to his Aegis of Ensnarement.

Alas this maneuver doesn’t turn out too well – two Hobgoblin Grunts decide that the Swordmage is some great hero, they gang up on poor Freggo – both slash and cut – neither wounds are deep but the cumulative effect is not good – Freggo gulps and wonders, not for the last time, is he perhaps out of his depth. Meanwhile an innocent punter, a fat merchant – who bobs up from behind the bar, is swiftly decpaitated by another of the Hobgoblin Grunts,


the beast screams.

Two more of the steadfast Hobgoblins burst in to the bar room – stop, momentarily, and look around for a suitable target, their eyes alight on a pale-faced, nervous looking Eladrin at the bar. They Charge and slice at Viator – their longswords leaving red tracery in their wake – the Eladrin bleeds, and stutters, Viator like Freggo, is wounded but not quite bloodied.

Viator blinks rapidly – seemingly staring down at his feet, the flaming torch shifts and wobbles – then skitters forward, unaided – untouched, seemingly of its own volition. It skitters over to lie at the feet of one of Viator’s Hobgoblin attackers, as if manipulated by some Far Hand. The Eladrin Psion looks up, grins awkwardly at the Grunts, and then disappears – Fey Steps away to a much safer corner of the bar. Seconds later a dull haze forms over a cluster of the Hobgoblins, including his assailants, the haze as suddenly dissipates – two of the Grunts clutch their heads, mumble and stagger, minds burnt out they slump to the floor and like flopping fish squirm and soon expire.

Ah-shahran, a worldly-wise looking Deva, with a tired face and sad eyes stands – seemingly angered by the interruption, he holds a chess piece in each hand. The Deva tosses the two black bishops in to the fray, midair the chess pieces transform in to Twin black Panthers – the first paws, cuts and bites at a Goblin Blackblade who is left scratched and bleeding. The second feline pounces and crashes in to a Hobgoblin brute – it doesn’t let up – cuts, bites and rakes at the Hobgoblin’s face, the creature is left shredded – and dead. The Twin Panthers fade out of existence. Moments later Ah-shahran’s Spirit Companion, Gorm – a slightly dopey, but fierce, hound appears standing next to Freggo, who suddenly feels energised – and a little more confident of his own abilities.

From further in to the bar a hulking man, actually Kalimaru the Razorclaw Shifter can easily pass for a Human, leaps to his feet – scattering tables and drawing a battleaxe and a hand axe in the process. He glares at a wounded Goblin perched on the bar, marking it for death with his Assassin’s Shroud, then hurtles towards the fracas, leaping a low hand rail to get at his enemy. This does not go well (‘1’), Kali catches his foot on the rail and is sent sprawling – its all he can do to prevent himself being left in a heap on the floor.


The big man curses, and looks around to make sure no-one has seen his embarrassing moment.

Further in to the bar still, Kyalia, a beautiful Elven woman finishes the last of her wine, puts the glass down tidily – fusses a moment and then leaps on to the table, which bucks and spills the aforementioned wine glass, but is quickly and easily tamed. Her bow is instantly in her hands. She sights, and settles her Hunter’s Quarry on one of the wounded Goblin Blackblades. She fires, then again – her Twin Strike finds the target, the dumb Goblinoid is left gasping and cursing – sicking up blood, and desperately trying to reach and remove the two arrows embedded deep in its back.

And still, inbetween the islands of action, a tide of bar patrons run screaming, or else hide, or curse the day they were born. Suddenly the liquor cabinet behind the bar explodes – the fire balloons and spreads. Bottles of spirits shatter and explode, gouts of flame errupt, while splinters of glass fill the air, another of the bar staff goes down, peppered by a million tiny daggers.

Meanwhile the flaming torch, thrown earlier at Viator, and then shifted away, flares and begins to burn the underside of a table, the smoke coils…

The bar is hotting up.

End of Round 1

Two PCs wounded – Viator (26/16+4 HP) and Freggo (27/17 HP).
Four Hobgoblin Grunts killed.
Two Goblin Blackblades wounded – one bloodied (25/21 & 25/9 HP).
Lots of Fire…

The emblem of the Red Hand is a, well… a red hand – go figure, the red of course is blood, although… it could be ketchup.


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Round #2

Barrelling in to the Inn come another two Hobgoblin Grunts – likewise outfitted, including ‘Red Hand’ insignia, and likewise ready for action, they rush in to the fracas – long swords drawn, and growling.

The Goblin Blackblade on the bar facing Magnus – slices and cuts the Dwarf deeply – almost severing an artery, Magnus is wounded but not yet bloodied. The second Goblin Blackblade finds a convenient fire – draws out a bitumen torch, lights it and flings it at Viator, he’s a popular guy it seems. It lands well wide – and yet another table begins to smoulder, the Goblin retreats towards one of the back rooms of the Inn.

Magnus, the Dwarf, fights back,

Got some fight in ya, huh?

He grumbles as his warhammer is flung out in violent arcs before him, again he manages only to scratch the already wounded Goblin Blackblade with his Reaping Strike. He glares hard at the confounded rapscallion, Marks the creature for death. Freggo, the young hero, meanwhile shapes and manoeuvres – drifting unnoticed between two of his enemies. He whirls his blade around in an attack known as the Sword of Sigils, his longsword leaves a trail of destruction in its wake – both of the Grunts are slashed horribly and cut down – dead!

The young man cannot believe his eyes. Freggo stands amidst the carnage he has wrought, just for a second, panting hard and trying to reaffix the smile to his face… there’s a lot of blood – he looks up at the chaos around him. There will be a lot more blood before it’s over, he thinks and jumps back in to life -

Hallo Mr. Dwarf! You seem to know what you’re doing up here, but perhaps you won’t mind a little heroic assistance from the last Red-Hot Swammi!

He cries at Magnus, who looks suitably puzzled.

A Hobgoblin Grunt dashes towards Kali, cuts hard with its longsword but is easily deflected. Yet another Charges, leaping up on to the bar – with élan, straight at Magnus, who at the last moment pokes out his warhammer and deflects the beast’s attack. A third Grunt accompanies the wounded Goblin Blackblade into the back rooms of the Inn – guarding the rear.

Viator concentrates hard – arms out-stretched before him – hands up, palms flat-facing away, as if manhandling – no pushing, at an invisible object. Suddenly the Eladrin Psion lurches forward – on the bar the Hobgoblin Grunt facing off against Magnus is unexpectedly shoved sidewards – it falls. The Goblinoid lands expertly, looks around – confounded, then spies Viator, whose hands continue to signal and describe. The Grunt starts forward and then is abruptly, and violently, yanked back – the creature’s movement is accompanied by a terrible snapping sound. Neck broken, the Hobgoblin flops to the ground, dead before the wet slap of its body resounds. Viator wipes a trickle of blood from his nose, and looks for his next victim.

Kali trades blows with the Hobgoblin Grunt he is facing – dodging, ducking and diving – finally delivering a shattering battleaxe hit to the creature’s side, the Grunt folds – another down. Kali doesn’t bat an eye-lid.

Kyalia, the Elven Ranger, leaps from her table to a close-by chair – loading and loosing another arrow in the same motion, and with horrendous effect; the bloodied Goblin Blackblade retreating in to the back rooms is killed in an instant – Kyalia’s arrow slamming in to the back of the creature’s head. The Elf, calmly, coolly reloads – all the while moving forward until she can see in to the back room, actually a storeroom -

There are more back here!

the Elf yells.

Gorm, Ah-shahran’s Spirit Companion turns to mist infusing the Swordmage with impetus, Freggo swipes with his longsword at the Goblin Blackblade on the bar – slices in to the creature’s leg; the bar is suddenly slick with blood. Gorm reappears next to Kyalia, the Elven Ranger grins, reaches down absentmindedly and pets the pooch, she too feels invigorated. Ah-shahran, a little way-away mumbles to himself as he attempts to control the combat.

The bar patrons, or rather the few that are left near the action, continue to run hither and thither in search of a safe place to hide, or else they stand statue and scream. The fires in the Inn meanwhile gather strength – a good third of the work-surfaces at the rear of the bar are hidden behind a furious wall of flame.

Ayella and Shadwick, bar staff at the Nentir, wave and shout furiously -

Save the Inn! Save the Inn!

the pair gingerly approaching the blazing bar area – pleading with their eyes for help from the heroes.

End of Round 2

Three PCs wounded – Viator (26/15 HP), Freggo (27/17+4 HP) & Magnus (38/27 HP).
Eight Hobgoblin Grunts killed.
One Goblin Blackblade killed.
One Goblin wounded – bloodied (25/5 HP).
Lots of Fire…


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Round #3

Another Hobgoblin Grunt, accompanied by a Goblin Blackblade joins the fray; the pair are spotted by Kyalia – creeping through the storeroom she spies upon. The last of the Goblin assailants, and very late to the action.

The remaining Goblin Blackblade on the bar slices at Magnus with its short sword – misses badly and decides to get the hell out of dodge, and at speed. The creature flees. Magnus, the gurning Dwarf, sees the opening he has been waiting for – his warhammer swings and thunks hard on to the Blackblade’s skull. The effect is instantaneous; the Goblin concertinas and flops to the floor, actually slithers off the bar.

Back in the storeroom, the just-spotted Goblin Blackblade makes a bee-line for Gorm, its short sword sings and stabs out – skewering the hound. Ah-shahran’s Spirit Companion fades to nothing, while the Deva clutches at his chest and feels acutely the loss.

Magnus looks around him, there’s one Grunt left in the bar – the rest of the action is now in the storeroom of the Inn. The Dwarf leaps off the bar and brings his warhammer down and around in a Reaping Strike, smashing the Hobgoblin Grunt in the hip. The brute slams to the floor, and over the next few minutes noisily expires, nursing shattered bones. In the meantime Magnus moves off…

Freggo quickly realises that something must be done about the fire -

Ho there bar workers! If you wish to battle the flames, use those great casks of ale right behind you! It will wash away the fire, you have my word of honor!

The young Swordmage calls out, instilling in Ayella and Shadwick a fresh sense of purpose. Freggo takes command of the operation, in seconds the situation has vastly improved.

The last Hobgoblin Grunt, in the storeroom, closes in on Kyalia, now Gorm has gone there’s no-one to protect the Elven Ranger. It stabs at Kyalia with its longsword – she yelps and bleeds. That’s all of the adventurers injured save Kali, although still none of them are bloodied.

Back in the bar Viator steps in to help Freggo, using his psionics to manipulate and move objects to douse the flames. The situation behind the bar is improved vastly – the fire is nearly under control. At which point Kali gathers up a large beer sodden rug, leaps up and on to the bar and throws the rug, like a fisherman casting his net, at the centre of the burn. The Shifter moves forward, fetches out his own hose, and directs a golden jet in to the flames; the golden jet soon turns in to a raging torrent (Natural ‘20’). Ayella and Shadwick, are forced to scramble back or else get drenched - the fire however is reduced to isolated flickering flames.

Over the other side of the bar room flames lick and spill around a table and chair – but there’s nothing to threaten the structure of the building from this conflagration.

Kyalia, suitably peeved after being stabbed by the Hobgoblin, takes a quick step backwards, back in to the bar room – she looks to her colleagues, and the steaming space which was moments ago an inferno, she yells over-

Good job, now let’s see about these two here!

Kyalia reloads and then releases her Twin Strike, two arrows in quick succession – the first slams into the chest of the last Hobgoblin Grunt – who in one motion collapses face-first on to the floor. The second slams into the remaining bloodied Blackblade’s shoulder, the last enemy left standing.

Ah-shahran conjures, Gorm suddenly appears next to Kyalia – the Elf somehow feels better for having the hound at her side. Then, as suddenly, Gorm disappears, and Kyalia, like an automaton, fires again. Her Elven Accuracy is put to good use - the last Goblin standing isn’t – standing that is.

Ah-shahran cackles as the goblin falls to the barrage of arrows.

Good shooting, girl!

Turning to Viator, he states-

Nice work with the flames, sonny. Now patch up that scratch!

And the Psion's wounds are healed.

Meanwhile, Gorm ambles over to Freggo and Magnus, gives Freggo a lick, and then settles onto his haunches, panting happily.

The fight is over, and soon after the smaller fire is out.

The Inn is saved, the newly announced heroes are rewarded immediately by ragged cheers…

End of Round 3 & Encounter #1

Five PCs wounded – Viator (26/15 HP), Freggo (27/17+4 HP), Magnus (38/27 HP), Ah-shahran (30/25 HP) & Kyalia (26/25 HP).
Ten Hobgoblin Grunts killed.
Three Goblin Blackblades killed.
The fire put out.

Moments later Sgt. Thurmina of the Fallcrest Guard arrives on the scene – she’s all business, names are taken, the dead and the wounded accounted for. The adventurers meanwhile become better acquainted, that is take a moment to introduce themselves to each other.

Kyalia approaches Ah-shahran-

Thank you for your help!

she says to the Deva.

My name is Kyalia

The Elf then addresses everyone, but mainly the other fellows that took up arms -

We should consider the quite real possibility that these were not all of them. Goblins wouldn’t dare such an open attack with so few warriors. There must be more around. We should go hunting! What do you say?

Ah-shahran meanwhile is examining the bodies of the fallen Goblinoids, paying particular attention to the “Red Hand” insignia, many of which are on upside down.

The Deva mumbles and tells the tale of the original Red Hand, a horde of Goblinoids, Barbarians, Orcs and worse – a tide of destruction that swept across the Nentir Vale, crushing all in its path, including Fallcrest, but that was a century past. There’s been no sign of the Hand between then and now… Ah-shahran looks up and realises he has an audience, the entire Inn has been listening in – people look nervous.

The Deva reddens, then adds that Fallcrest has a museum, attached to the Temple of Erathis, it holds some of the relics of the Red Hand’s passing – he shrugs, and normality returns. The chatter in the bar grows in volume, the citizens are worried.

In the background Sgt. Thurmina shakes her head.

Viator, meanwhile, smiles warmly and drops lightly to the floor, cross-legged. Head bowed he concentrates on the unity of mind and body, restoring both as well as he can. Encouraged by the words of his white-haired companion, he finds his focus particularly sharp.

Next, however, it’s Freggo’s turn to take the floor, he collects himself and addresses the bar -

A hero isn’t someone who swings about a lump of metal. A hero is someone who does what needs to be done, even when he doesn’t want to. And it looks like that job isn’t done yet.

Freggo squares his shoulders, walks toward the manic-looking Deva, and claps him on the shoulder warmly.

This animal here is your friend, I take it? Thank him for me, will you? His aid against those monsters was invaluable, and his gentle encouragement reminds me that heroes don’t stop while trouble still threatens! My name is Freggo Meusins, a hero. Well fought all, we saved a lot of lives today!

Freggo goes back to addressing the masses,

Yes, just as the folks here relied upon us, innocents elsewhere may yet be in peril! We should forge together as one, united against the fiends that would rape and pillage the good folk of this city!

The residents of the bar look aghast, Sgt. Thurmina looks like she is going to cry. Freggo realises he is getting a little over-excited, he blushes a little, and clears his throat, which is now very dry – all eyes are upon him.

Thankfully Kali chooses this moment to introduce himself -

Name’s Kalimaru. You lot seem less useless than the rest of this riff-raff, but you’re wasting time flapping your mouths when you should be swinging steal. There’s more of them buggers out there, let’s go already!

Magnus, who has thus far been mine-sweeping (picking up and drinking unattended drinks), looks up and shouts over,

Aye the elf is right. Goblins may be stupid and ugly, but they’re still smart enough to watch their own hides – there’ll be more of them.

The Dwarf hiccups, and belches loudly.

No-one’s going anywhere…

Sgt. Thurmina shouts out, and brings the bar to silence,

…until I find out exactly what has occurred here – it’s dangerous out there, you got lucky, maybe – I want the whole story, somebody start talking!

And thus the story of the fight to save the Nentir Inn is told.

Sgt. Thurmina repays the heroes’ honesty - she has news - she addresses the bar -

You may as well know – there’s been a minor Goblin incursion, nothing to worry about – the Knight’s Gate saw a little action, and a boat full of the bastards landed at the lower quays, there was a brief episode of… lawlessness. But the City Watch have taken care of things – that said you’re safer inside, we don’t want citizens getting involved…

A clamour of voices.

Listen! A few Goblins – that’s all, not the ‘Red Hand’. The Guard are checking to make sure the streets are clear, that nothing got missed, we’re going to wait here – as long as it takes. We don’t want any more casualties - as soon as I get the order, we can all go back about our business.

The assembled adventurers bristle a little, but think better of facing-off against the Guard, Thurmina assures them they can head out hunting when she gives the order.

Five minutes later and a Watchman arrives to say things are much safer – Thurmina assembles her men at the door of the Inn, after stating that she will report the adventurers’ actions to the appropriate authorities. She moves out, and is instantaneously engulfed in a fireball – the doors to the Inn explode inwards – six guardsmen are incinerated…

Thurmina survives, but only just… she lies burnt and broken on the floor of the Inn, trying, without success, to sit up and make words.

Oh Erathis! Outside – there’s a…


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The Fire Engine

There’s an Ogre outside! But that’s not all…

The adventurers dash out of the Inn whilst issuing instructions for Thurmina and the Guardsmen to be taken care of. Outside, a good forty or so feet away, is an ten foot tall humanoid beast, an Ogre dressed in the scorched remains of a suit of leather armour, and with a massive greatclub strapped to its back. The great brute staggers forward, it’s hitched to a cart. The cart has a burning torch wedged in to the driver’s seat, while in the back are four or five large casks – stood on end. Behind the casks is a pair of gruff-looking Hobgoblin Archers – sighting down their bows at the rabble exiting the Inn. The Ogre leans back, grabs a cask, it has a black-tinged length of what looks like rope sticking out of it. The Ogre drapes the fuse in the flaming torch – it fizzles for a moment and then ignites.

Meanwhile, scurrying towards the adventurers, come five Goblin Grunts clad in leather armour with ‘Red Hand’ insignia – three of the five already have short swords drawn.

Encounter #2 – 775 XP – Level 2 Encounter
5 Goblin Grunts (Level 1 Minions)
2 Hobgoblin Archers (Level 3 Artillery)
1 Ogre Savage (Level 8 Brute)

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Magnus, Male Dwarf, Fighter, Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

Magnus is first in to the action,

So they brought an Ogre with ’em this time.

The Dwarf barrels out of the Inn and Charges, screaming something unintelligible at the closest Grunt, who looks startled, but still manages to parry Magnus’ blow. Kali follows Magnus’ line – Charging at the same target. En-route the Shifter looks to see exactly how the Ogre is attached to the cart, then he swings his battleaxe with glorious fury… and the Goblin parries again – clearly a veteran warrior the Goblin Grunt (Minion).

Gorm, the Spirit Hound, suddenly appears beside Kali – the Shifter feels good – big and strong. Gorm, as suddenly, disappears – Kali is Infused by the Spirit, he cuts with his battleaxe once more, and… the Goblin Grunt parries his attack. Gorm blinks back in to existence next to Magnus – the Dwarf is buoyed by the Hound’s presence – although neither of the adventurers, it appears, can hit a barn door from two paces away.

While directing Gorm’s action, Ah-shahran shouts to inform his companions of the various merits, and demerits, of the beasts they face. The sum of which is – get close to the archers, keep out of the way of the Ogre, and smush the Goblins, a fair precis of the situation.

The Savage Ogre drags the cart a little closer, then, tongue out, flings the flask in his hands, alas his aim is out – the barrel bursts on contact with the ground – splashing pitch, which very soon after becomes flaming pitch, in a ten foot radius. Kyalia and Freggo are caught in the blast, but only just – a few very minor burns is all they have to show for the brute’s attack.


Kyalia scampers away from the flames – selects her Quarry en-route, and then Twin Strike, two arrows fly, a Goblin Grunt takes an arrow to the chest – keels over, dead. Alas the other arrow flies wide of its target.

Meanwhile the Hobgoblin Archers in the back of the cart grunt and point, the pair seem to be having a heated conversation, eventually a target is selected. The pair draw back and loose their arrows, both at Kali ,who is locked in combat with the hardcore Goblin Grunt. Both missiles hit, one of the arrows only an inch or so above the Shifter’s heart, Kali is left bloodied and staggering (Full-ish to 2 HP).

Not to be out-done, the Grunts get in to the action – one of them slices at Magnus with its short sword, screams-

For Sinruth!

and misses. A second cuts hard at Gorm, with the same result. The last two swiftly calculate the odds of their survival, they back up a way and fetch out their shortbows. Arrows fly, one misses Kali – thank Erathis, the other skims Kyalia’s shoulder; the Elf is already injured but still not yet bloodied.

Freggo cries,

Time to go to work!

The Swordmage rushes forward – skirting the Grunts, and then Charges straight at the nearest Hobgoblin in the back of the cart. He covers the distance with ease, alas when he gets there his attack is half-hearted – hampered severely by the Archers’ position kept safe by the sides of the cart – his blade gets nowhere near its intended target.

Viator, however, sees his opening. He moves forward, gripped by certainty – his mind is ablaze with an idea,

Freggo?! Get the hell out of there! Now!!

The Psion screams at his heroic new companion. Viator shapes and signals with one hand, miming the actions of his Forceful Push – suddenly the Ogre staggers a little further away from Freggo specifically, and the rest of the adventurers in general. The lumbering Ogre, of course, drags the cart behind him still. With his other hand Viator makes a grasping motion, then mimes throwing the grasped item. Simultaneously – as if manipulated by some Far away Hand - the torch on the cart is grabbed up, and then flung in to the nest of barrels in the back…

Instinctively Viator crouches and rams his fingers in his ears.


Flinders of broken wood, and pieces of scorched flesh rain down…

The result of which is Freggo is deaf, and bloodied, as is one of the Hobgoblin Archers, the other alas is nowhere to be seen, although it can actually be seen everywhere; in point of fact one of the Hobgoblin Archer’s arms seem to wave from a chimney pot on the roof of the Inn. Needless to say, the brute is Dead. The Ogre Savage fares slightly better – it staggers away from the incinerated million piece jigsaw puzzle (missing a fair percentage of the pieces). The Ogre is scorched, not yet bloodied, and… well, enraged – certainly not very happy with the situation.

End of Round 1

Three PCs wounded – Kali (25/2 HP), Freggo (27/12 HP) and Kyalia (26/15 HP).
One Goblin Grunt killed.
One Hobgoblin Archer killed, the other bloodied (39/9 HP).
Savage Ogre wounded – and pissed (111/81 HP).


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Round #2

A little help here?

Kali growls out and looks behind him, the champion Goblin Grunt still holds the Shifter and the Dwarf at bay – and Kali is almost unconscious.

Magnus, shucks his shoulders – rebalances his warhammer in his hands, swiftly manoeuvres to flank the Grunt and declares -

Yer surrounded…

Then swings with all his skill and might, a Reaping Strike, on the same Goblin Grunt that has thwarted all attacks so far… and yet again the Grunt prevails, deflecting the blow, and keeping the Dwarf Fighter at bay.

Kali however is better prepared, the Razorclaw Shifter eyes the oncoming Ogre Savage, marking it for destruction with his Assassin’s Shroud. The big man then dances around the fracas,

Time to end this little bugger!

Kali strikes out with his battleaxe and cuts the defiant Grunt almost in two. Not done, the Shifter dives in to a stand of saplings surrounded by high bushes, the manicured vegetation that circles the Inn, he’s out of sight.

Ah-shahran and Gorm manoeuvre in to position, the Deva calls out to the bushes en-route

Hah, you aren’t hiding from anyone in there! Better use those leaves to staunch that cut, and get back to it!

His Inspiring Words invigorate Kali, who, hidden from sight, grunts his thanks.

Gorm then fades and Infusues Kyalia who, as before, fires off an arrow at the last staggering Hobgoblin Archer. The Elven Ranger’s aim is true; the Hobgoblin looks up, takes an arrow to the neck and then collapses in a bloody choking fountain of red. It expires – gurgling and drowning in its own blood.

The Savage Ogre chooses this moment to lurch forward, covering the distance to Magnus easily – the Dwarf staggers back a little, and looks up – and up – and up! En-route the large brute grabs out its greatclub, it pokes and prods the great weapon forward to test its weight and range, and then…


Hammers down upon Magnus – who concertinas a little, makes a few squeaking noises, but does not fall over. The Dwarf is bloodied, almost broken completely – and mostly seeing stars (Hit for 22 damage).

Two more arrows fly from Kyalia’s bow - another Twin Shot. One misses by a wide margin, the other finds a home in the face of the Goblin Grunt also menacing Magnus – who is now able to turn all his attention to the Savage Ogre.

The two Goblin Grunts left standing, shuffle backwards a little further – trying to find cover. Soon after another pair of arrows fly – the first of which catches Ah-shahran – no more than a scratch, while the second thunks in to the wall of the Inn, missing Kyalia by only six inches.

Freggo shouts at the Ogre,

Hey ugly, your friends are gone, time to give up!

Then gingerly makes his way over to the brute; he Ensnares the beast with his Aegis.

A hero’s blade is not turned so easily!

The Swordmage declares, as flames burst and dance the length of Freggo’s longsword. He swings with a Heroic Effort and his Burning Blade tears a smoking rent in the Ogre’s side – the great brute yowls in fury and pain as the blade burns and bites deep, and yet the beast is still not bloodied.

Viator manoeuvres, attempts to control the fight with his Dimensional Scramble. A greyish haze engulfs the Savage brute, but alas to no effect – the Ogre’s strength is too much for his power.

The haze fades to nothing, as the Savage Ogre swings its greatclub around with one hand, and with the other beats its chest – growling furiously and challenging the adventurers to come and try their luck.

End of Round #2

Five PCs wounded, three of whom are bloodied – Ah-shahran (30/26 HP), Kyalia (26/15 HP), Magnus (38/18 HP), Freggo (27/12 HP) & Kali (25/9 HP).
Three Goblin Grunts dead.
Two Hobgoblin Archers dead.
Savage Ogre wounded, not quite bloodied (111/65 HP).


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Round #3

Magnus stands on his tip-toes and tries to stretch the kinks out of his crushed armour. The brave Dwarf faces the Savage Ogre head-on,

Right, let me get another swing at ya big boy.

The Fighter attacks again with his Reaping Strike – this time managing to catch the beast, although with nothing more than a glancing blow. The Dwarf harrumphs and marks the beast for destruction.

Kali meanwhile is all action, hidden in the bushes he too spies the Savage Ogre; readying his attack, he marks the beast for death again – a second Assassin’s Shroud. The Razorclaw Shifter smiles as the pain from the cuts and bruises on his body fade, he gets his Second Wind. He launches himself from his hiding place, a maniac Charge, ending before the great Savage Ogre. His battleaxe sings and swings, a Power Strike, and digs deep – almost removing the creature’s right foot. Kali’s hand axe swings round, a Dual Weapon Strike, but misses its target. The Ogre staggers, this time bloodied, and roars its displeasure.

Ah-shahran mutters to himself,

By Pelor, that thing’s huge!

Then summons his Spirit Companion,

Get in there, Gorm!

The hound appears, first beside Magnus, and then beside Freggo – each feels buoyed by the hound’s presence. In between, Gorm dissipates and Infuses Magnus in to action – the Dwarf swings ferociously at the Savage Ogre, but again, he’s wide of his target.

The Ogre comes again, another Angry Smash, on Magnus once more – the Dwarf has nowhere to run or hide -


Magnus remains on his feet, more by a force of will than any other effect (reduced to 1 HP).

Kyalia meanwhile scurries for cover, then looses her Twin Strike once more. One of the two remaining Goblin Grunts is killed, the second – even employing her Elven Accuracy, remains in play. The Grunt repays Kyalia’s attack – loads and then looses an arrow and scores a direct hit on the Elf. Kyalia is bloodied. The Goblin Grunt then scurries and dives in to the thick vegetation, hoping to stay out of sight.

Freggo, delays his attack, after a signal from Ah-shahran, he waits until the perfect moment. Viator again aims his Dimensional Scramble at the Savage Ogre, but with the same result, the great beast is unaffected by the Psion’s power.

Focus, damn it, focus!

Viator chides himself, and looks frustrated.

End of Round #3

Five PCs wounded, three of whom are bloodied – Ah-shahran (30/26 HP), Kyalia (26/11 HP), Magnus (38/1 HP), Freggo (27/12 HP) & Kali (25/15 HP).
Four Goblin Grunts dead.
Two Hobgoblin Archers dead.
Savage Ogre wounded, and bloodied (111/34).


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Round #4

Ah-shahran shouts out in a commanding voice that sounds nothing like his usual rambling or mad badgering, he snaps out-

Take that thing down! Focus your efforts and hold nothing back!

Magnus sucks in air – it hurts when he breathes, he shakes his head to clear the fog and feels a surge of energy, a Second Wind.

Ya don’t scare me- is that all ya got?

The Dwarf screams, flanking the Savage Ogre he aims his Steel Serpent Strike – a dazzling attack, which should hamstring the beast, SUCCESS! The Ogre groans terribly – forlorn almost, staggers, the attack is not powerful and yet it leaves the monster Slowed significantly.

Kali detaches himself from the fracas, and then Charges full force back at the great beast – alas this time to no effect, the Ogre’s greatclub blocks his blow and shoves Kali easily aside. The Razorclaw Shifter uses the momentum, spins away and moves off again, the Savage Ogre unable to follow Kali’s speedy movement.

Ah-shahran mutters-

Spirits of life, aid these warriors

And conjures a Healing Spirit; both Magnus and Freggo are suddenly full of vim and vigour. Gorm dissipates, its Spirit Infuses Freggo. The young hero swings hard with his longsword – and hits equally hard, the Ogre lurches and sways. Ah-shahran is convinced the beast is about to fall, he unleashes his Twin Panthers, a pair of spirit felines which slash, claw and bite at the beast… the Savage Ogre sways, closes its eyes – one last time, and then falls, causing Magnus and Freggo to hurriedly scatter.

Freggo quickly changes his focus, there’s a Grunt still hidden somewhere with a bow. He searches the vegetation for the hiding place of the last Goblin, alas without success-

I know you’re in here somewhere. Surrender now and you may yet live… Do you yield?

He calls for the creature to surrender… but receives no reply. Kyalia is less concerned with the Grunt’s surrender, she spots the creature easily – Elves have excellent vision. She unleashes her Twin Strike – the last Grunt staggers in to the open with an arrow through its chest, it expires.

End of Round #4 & Encounter #2

Five PCs wounded, two of whom are bloodied – Ah-shahran (30/26 HP), Kyalia (26/11 HP), Magnus (38/19 HP), Freggo (27/16+4 HP) & Kali (25/15 HP).
Five Goblin Grunts dead.
Two Hobgoblin Archers dead.
Savage Ogre dead.

The adventurers take a short rest, head back in to the bar and do what they can for the wounded, Sgt. Thurmina is a little better – her men alas are not so well – six of them are dead. Soon after more of the Fallcrest Guard arrive, the Goblin invasion – or at least the attack on Fallcrest, is over. It seems the Goblins faired badly in the exchange, witnesses say at least half of their initial number lie dead in the streets.

The adventurers are about to head off when Eoffram Troyas, an important man – a Fallcrest Council Member arrives at the Inn with his retinue.

Council Member Eoffram Troyas is a high-ranking member of the Fallcrest city council. He’s known to be less prone to the traditional means of accomplishing important tasks. In a short time, he has established a reputation as an outspoken, and sometimes combative, public figure. A half-elf, he has shown little of his race’s good-natured tendency toward patience.

One of Troyas’s most recent controversial remarks was that he intended to use adventurers to aid in cutting down on recent bandit attacks in the Nentir Vale. Other members of the council — despite the city’s history and survival thanks to the efforts of adventurers — are dubious, but willing to give Council Member Troyas’ policy a chance — to fail.

The Council Member wishes to talk with those that so valiantly defended the Inn and defeated an Ogre. The adventurers are called front and centre, and introduced to Eoffram. He greets each solemnly, making eye contact with each of them.

I am considering something, and I wished to speak to you about it in person.

I am looking to hire a group of adventurers, such as yourselves. Many people have spoken highly of your actions during the attack on the city- I came here straight away to see what sort of people you are.

If you are interested in a little, ahem – ‘action’, then answer me, each of you, and truthfully so- why did you take up arms against the brutes that attacked our fair city? Do you fight for a cause, for money, for fame, or for something else?


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Convincing Eoffram Troyas

And so the adventurers explain to Eoffram Troyas, Fallcrest Council Member, why they took up arms against the Goblins, what motivated them to defend the city and save the Inn.

Encounter #3 – 200 XP – Level 1 Encounter
Skill Challenge (Level 1 Complexity 2).

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Magnus, Male Dwarf, Fighter, Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

Freggo, as usual, is the first to open his mouth. He tells tall tales from History – the story of the original ‘Red Hand’ a horde of humanoids that swept across the Nentir Vale – destroying Fallcrest , and a myriad other places in its path. He then goes on to wonder whether his own fate is to become a hero…

You’re looking for a group of adventurers? I cannot say that I have known many people like that, but I cannot imagine that I would enjoy the company of such. People who seek out danger, violence, and challenge because they enjoy it and wish to live that way of life… well that’s not for me. We here today, we had a bit of an adventure, but we did not seek it out.

No, it was fate that brought us this ‘adventure’ today. We had the training, the ability, and most of all the courage and will to do what needed doing. We defeated the terrifying assault of monsters on the innocent folk of this town because someone had to do it. And we did it because of who we are. Today, we were heroes.

For myself, I have wondered if the hero’s way was my destiny. Today I have found that I am capable, and it is a good feeling. But it is not all glory and delight. And that too is a good thing. I can now say proudly, in the darkness of my own self, that I am no seeker of violence for its own sake. No, I am no adventurer. I am a hero. And if you have a problem that a hero can help with, I stand ready.

The young Swordmage is learned, polite and clearly certain of his capabilities, he impresses Eoffram with his fine words.

Kali in the meantime quietly, and unseen, creeps up on the Council Member – surprises Eoffram in his ear -

He’s not my leader!

Kali, with volume states, motioning towards Freggo, and making Eoffram almost jump out of his skin.

I just met him today, although he knows his way around a sword, I suppose. And you’re not my leader either, to go demanding anything from me.

Eoffram stutters, genuinely frightened by the raw force of the verbal assault, he tries desperately to recall how he may have offended Kali.

I could have not gotten involved. But I don’t much like to see folks get pushed around. And I happen to know a thing or two about goblins.

Kali finishes and stands tall – chest out, arms folded before the Council Member, again Eoffram is impressed – the great man took him completely by surprise, and his words – he’s clearly passionate, and undoubtedly dangerous.

Ah-shahran moves the conversation on, adds more Historical details, although…

Well sir, as those who have been around the Vale know, this is hardly the first time we’ve been invaded by goblinoids. And I know better than most! I fought those bastards the last time! I mean, not in this lifetime, I was a pikeman… no, an archer…

Ah-shahran goes silent, flicking through his previous lives and memories – he grins, and then suddenly realises where he is, and what he was doing.

Damned if I’m just going to sit here while this town gets invaded! Again. I mean, have you seen what happens when a town gets overrun, and they come swarming over the walls, and…

Ah-shahran zones out again, his facial expressions dance and flutter as he relives…

Damned I say! So me and my dog here…

Gorm materialises – to gasps, as he speaks,

…we took a stand. And I’ll be fighting these bastards whether you hire me or not!

The strange man then looks at his newfound companions, and adds,

This is a good bunch though. I’ll probably stick with them. Someone has to keep these kids out of trouble!

Cackling, Ah-shahran sits back down, and scratches Gorm’s ears.

Eoffram nods and seems satisfied with the answer, which is partially faked – clearly the Deva is mad, but… oh no!

Viator, the Eladrin Psion, strides up to Eoffram, his face is thunder.

That you ask the question, sir, offends me. The Eladrin sent me here for this very reason, and to test my skills.

The dust and debris on the floor of the bar around Viator begins to shift, swirling at his feet.

I was chosen by the council to widen my knowledge, to aid the Nentir Vale and the people here, to help build relations between this place and my people, the fey.

Tankards and crockery join the dance - all manner of items are spiralling around the Eladrin Psion. The crowd of onlookers, and Eoffram it has to be said, coo in awe.

You ask why I do this, sir? I do this because I have to, because I want to. Because I am trained to. A soldier of the mind.

With that, the myriad circling items fly back to their original positions – and the dance ends – to applause.

Eoffram nods – grinning like a five year old still, asks that he be forgiven for his impertinent question, and bids the Eladrin relax.

It’s been quite a show so far, only the Elf and the Dwarf to bring the curtain down…

Kyalia takes a similar tack to Viator, a little angered by the suggestion that she should dishonour herself by not helping those in need of her protection.

I came to Fallcrest in peace and was welcomed warmly by the good folks here. When the goblins rushed attacked?, it was clear to me, someone had to fight back, and that most of the townsfolk lack the expertise to fight such terrible foes.

Kyalia states.

As a hunter, I have trained with my bow for years and have fought the enemies of my people on numerous occasions. Now it is time, it seems, to lend my keen ears, my sharp eyes and my steady hand to those that have a greater need.

The Elf raises her bow to fire an arrow into a nearby target, hoping to show Eoffram her skill with the weapon, alas the crowd makes her nervous…

The missile thunks in to one of the pillars in the Inn – not at all where she was aiming, and causing everyone to suddenly duck and scatter. The arrow takes a circuitous route to the pillar – removing a Watchman’s helm en route. (Kyalia rolled a ‘1’ with her shot, and then followed up with a ‘2’ using her Elven Accuracy- a 100% improvement).

Kyalia looks mortified, apologises quietly, and slinks off looking for somewhere to hide.

There’s no need for that…

Eoffram gets up from the floor, having had to scramble beneath a table to avoid Kyalia’s shot.

Look – I appreciate you’re very pumped up and that, but I’m a Council Member here in Fallcrest ; I’m used to a little more decorum. I’m happy to witness displays of your talents but… well, I hope that was an aberration – or else I fear for people’s safety.

Eoffram folds his arms and looks a little stern.

Perhaps you… Mr. Dwarf, can answer my initial question?

Eoffram bends down to talk to Magnus, pats the Dwarf on the head in a patronising manner.

Magnus, who all the while has been consuming fortifying drafts of ale, stumbles a little – but still manages to look annoyed.

I kilt Goblins cos Goblins get kilt – them’s the rules, I’ll fight the basturds whereva dey are!

Magnus finishes by swigging down another pint of ‘Old Noggin’, his fifth since the fight finished – he’s making up for lost time.

Magnus hiccups a little and then belches.

If ya want a hard basturd Dwarf to do yer fightin’ fer yer – then I’m yer basturd.

Magnus sinks another pint, and slams the the pot down – eyes the barmaid and shows two fingers, Ayella swiftly produces two more pints.

Magnus shoves the first filled pot at Eoffram, thumps it in to the Council Member’s chest, then grabs the second.


Magnus barks – an order.

Gingerly Eoffram obeys – sipping at first, Magnus uses his pint pot to increase the angle, causing ale to spill down the Eoffram’s fine clothes.

Eoffram finishes, staggers, and slumps against the bar – he looks addled.
Magnus grins, and sinks his pint in three seconds flat.

Burps loudly and grins at Eoffram some more, the Half-Elf is disarmed – and a little drunk, he grins back.

I’ll fight in the morning, I’ll fight in the afternoon, I’ll fight in the evening, I’ll fight in the night… I can go on forever!

Magnus signals for another two pints – Eoffram looks ill.

So stick to yer council chamber, and let us do yer fightin’

Magnus passes another pint over to Eoffram, and then sinks his, winks and grins.

Got it, pal!

Eoffram grins and giggles by way of reply.

Magnus sags against the bar – his feet go from under him and he thumps down to the floor, he begins to snore loudly.

Well… <hiccup>, that was…

Eoffram is lost for words -

So… wanna earn some cash and kill, sorry <ahem> kilt, some Goblinsh?

Eoffram slurs. Looking for one more clear indication from the assembled adventurers of their competence, or else desire, to kick Goblin ass.

Freggo, having had the first word makes his play for the last -

Sir, I understand that there may be some further trouble connected to today’s attack. If you are looking for individuals willing to face danger for the sake of the good people of this land, you have found them. I would be honored to be given the trust of the community to undertake such a task, and I believe my new friends here are willing as well.

Eoffram nods, his head drooping a little – nerves, tension, trepidation – but mostly beer.

Then perhaps I should explain more…

Eoffram takes a gulp of air – not enough, the bar is hazy still with the smoke from the fires. Eoffram spies the exit -

If you’d like to walk with me… I’ll explain.

Eoffram indicates the gaping hole in the side of the bar room that was once the exit.

Just before they leave the bar, Viator walks tentatively over to Ayella.

Um… I think I might be going away for a while… that is, I just wanted to say… um… thank you for being so kind to me. I… you have a really pretty smile. I mean… anyway, I hope the damage to the place isn’t too bad. And I hope I can help a little with this. I know it’s not much.

With that he holds out his hand and places some coins into hers.

Ayella blushes a little as she takes the money,


she begins and ends with a smile, a smile solely for Viator.

I hope I see you again…

She adds as Viator scurries off to catch up with his colleagues.

The adventurers, with cheers and kind words from the assembled crowd, exit the bar with Eoffram, Sgt Thurmina and her men tagging along – it seems the Council Member is important enough to warrant her attention. The good Sgt. is burnt, bloodied but not so badly injured she should neglect her duties.

End of Encounter #3

Six successes (Freggo x2, Kali, Ah-shahran, Viator & Magnus) & one failure (Kyalia).

While they stroll, Eoffram gulps plenty of sobering fresh air, He explains what needs to be done… or at least what has been done already – by the Goblins!


The Quest

The rag-tag group wends its way across Five Arch Bridge and in to the city proper, here and there are signs of the Goblins’ passing, although in all honesty the signs are few and far between already – a little spilt blood on the road, a scorch mark here and there, an abandoned helm.

Eoffram chats-

It seems the creatures had a plan, what I mean to say is that several of the attacks served as feints, they had a target. At present we believe that 30 members of the public met their ends this evening, with twice as many left injured. The guard, and several more experienced citizens – such as yourselves, accounted for perhaps fifty dead Goblins… and an Ogre of course.

Eoffram grins.

As I was saying- the Goblins seemed to have had a plan. While the Guard were kept busy fighting off the smaller attacks, a group of the rascals made their way to the Hall of Great Valour… for those of you that don’t know, the Hall is a museum attached to the temple of Erathis here in Fallcrest- a kind of civic storeroom.

Eoffram shrugs.

It’s not really a military target, as I say – a storeroom is a pretty apt description – it’s the place we keep heirlooms and relics of the city, of sentimental value only you understand, for the citizens to visit – not that many did.

Eoffram pulls up short-

Look it’s a dusty room at the back of the Church of Erathis crammed with <ahem> junk, and looked after by a doddery old man called Sertanian, why it should be targeted…

Eoffram looks bereft of ideas, he walks on.

The thing is we don’t even know what was taken, if anything – there’s a catalogue of the materials within but… alas the Goblins set fire to the place, there’s nothing left of the paperwork, and Sertanian…

Eoffram looks suddenly very serious.

Sertanian was one of the ones taken.

Which cause the adventurers to stop, Eoffram pulls up short, turns to face the group.

Which brings me to my first request; best guess seven citizens of Fallcrest were ‘taken’ by the Goblins- we don’t know if this was planned or… Well, we just don’t know. Obviously we’d like them back, and we’re willing to pay – we will not have our citizens taken from the streets of their home.

Eoffram slams his fist in to the palm of his hand.

We will pay 500 gold coins for the return of all seven citizens, what say you to this?

Eoffram asks.

To nods and moans of assent from the adventurers, Eoffram goes on.

Later Eoffram describes the seven missing citizens in detail to the PCs, they are -

Sertanian: An aged male human, the Curator of the Hall of Great Valour. Sertanian is the only captive who can identify the treasures from the Hall of Great Valour on sight (they’ve been his responsibility for years).

Jalissa: A young female human Acolyte of Ioun, she was visiting Fallcrest and had only been here for two or three days, she was praying at the Church of Erathis – which encompasses a small shrine to Ioun.

Kartenix: A male human Guard Captain, he was off-duty at the time, taking his son through the city on an errand. Kartenix is a fine swordsman and an astute military tactician – he may prove invaluable.

Thurann: The 8-year-old male human son of Kartenix the aforementioned Guard Captain.

Mirtala: A female human Cook who was also praying at the temple of Erathis when the Goblins struck.

Zerriksa: A female human crone, she portrays herself as a Wise-Woman, selling trinkets and items to ward away evil spirits, or else poultices and potions to mend or to charm; many believe Zerriksa to be some sort of Witch. She was reportedly taken while in the same location as Kartenix and his son.

Adronsius: A male dwarven Alchemist, again caught running an errand. Witnesses state they saw him being beaten and dragged off, I presume this may be something to do with the Goblins’ hatred of his race.

We return to our journey through the city of Fallcrest, with Eoffram telling his tale.

Eoffram walks on.

We would also like you to recover the items taken from the Hall of Great Valour, we feel it is important that we get these back; like our citizens we will not have Goblins wandering in to our city and just taking what they want. We’re prepared to pay an additional 200gp for the return of these items, although… well, we have no idea what has been taken. You’ll need to find Sertanian first, he’ll know what they took, the old coot… I mean <ahem>, the curator is a very particular man. He’ll know for certain what, if anything, has been taken. Well, do we have a deal?

Again the adventurers assent.

Eoffram looks up, stops walking.

The obvious question of course is where are the Goblins, the citizens and the items- well, that’s where this bastard comes in…

Eoffram has led the adventurers through the city to the Fallcrest City Hall. The building serves a second function- it’s also the city jail; he leads the group in, past nodding Watch members and other workers, all of whom are rushing around- busy in the aftermath.

Past more guards and in to a much more martial area, the jail.

We captured a Goblin alive, he says his name is Morrick, I’m hoping you can find out what you need to know from him…

Kyalia interjects –

A large warband like this, and especially if they have taken prisoners with them, should not be too hard to track. I can look for signs of them in the vicinity. Maybe this could give us a general idea as to where they might have gone. Either way, it might help to prove whether this Morrick is speaking the truth, if he does speak, that is.

Ah-shahran nods at Kyalia’s words.

Ah, tracking. Seems I’ve done that a time or two. I should be able to lend a hand.

Looking to Eoframm, he adds-

We’ll get them captives free.

Freggo, alas, is a little disappointed –

Ah… so… no dragons then? Well, ah, yes, I suppose rescuing kidnapped citizens falls under heroism as well. Sounds good. I thought someone said something about what the Goblins were wearing?

He enquires.

The Goblins were wearing? Do you mean the ‘Red Hand’ badges?

Eoffram asks, and then answers his own question-

Apparently they were shouting about the Hand, damn miscreants. Still, did you see, many of them had the insignia on upside down. There’s something odd going on here – I’m certain.

Eoffram continues-

Apparently he’s called Morrick- he was captured in the raid.

Eoffram nods towards a door ahead – clearly it leads in to the jail proper.

Perhaps you could persuade him to give up a few of his secrets, although let me caution you – he must be in one piece, this fellow will stand trial for his crimes.

Eoffram adds.

The adventurers are lead through the door in to the cells by a Guard, there’s a lone Goblin in a cell here, with a pair of Guardsmen watching on. His wounds have been bandaged.

Morrick, the captured Goblin, takes one weary look and says,

I ain’t saying nothin’ unless you people let me go.

He speaks Common, which is a relief.

The Guardsmen hands over the key to the cell door…

We’ll see about that…

Kali states.


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A Chat with Morrick

The adventurers are left to their own devices, although members of the Guard hang around – just in case, Eoffram leaves them to it, Morrick the captured Goblin looks less pleased.

Encounter #4 – 200 XP – Level 1 Encounter
Skill Challenge (Level 1 Complexity 2).

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Magnus, Male Dwarf, Fighter, Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

Well… wha’dya wan?”

Morrick sneers and picks his nose.

Freggo steps up, as per usual – he likes to chat, the Swordmage, and besides – he’s all smiles, reassuring poor Morrick that he means him no harm.

No worries, my friend. Let me tell you about the time Schmendrick the magician met up with the goblin twins Gory and Mory. And if my story doesn’t make you laugh, I’ll leave you be. Oh, would you like something to drink? Let’s send out for a couple of ales while we talk.

Now then, it seems that Gory and Mory ambushed Schmendrick one day, but fell into an argument over which one of them was Gory. Schmendrick was able to discover that neither of them was too sure, so they had fallen to taking turns…

Freggo does his best to make Morrick forget for a time that he is a captive. Soon after the two of them quaff ale companionably throughout his story.

…and that’s why there’s a florist shop on the hillside called Othergory’s! Ahh ha ha ha ha… Haaaa…

Freggo wipes a tear of laughter away and sighs fondly, reminiscing.

I bet you could tell quite a few swashbucklers yourself, eh Morrick ‘ol lad? Like how you and your mates decided to get all kitted up together, wearing those funny symbols, and form a merry band to go raging about the countryside! How’d that ever come about, I wonder? I’ll wager another round that yarn would leave us both in stitches, eh?!

Freggo enquires.

Morrick kinda hippity-hops on his seat, prevented from getting up to applaud by his shackles, which hamper his movement, he claps – as best he can, and grins from ear to ear.

’Gain. ’Gain tell it ’gain…

Then he looks hard left at the patch on his leather jerkin, the symbol of the ‘Red Hand’… he displays it proudly. The hand is upside down.

Sinruth say weez desend ants ov Red ‘and. Sayz we wur it wiv pride an’ dat… Sinruth make big speeks…

Morrick tries to stand again, he can’t, so he does the best he can sitting and waving his hands about- clearly he is impersonating someone.

I am big Goblin and big ’and red wot is our density, and la-la-la somefing-somefing, and dat!

He finishes with a grin.

Mor abowt Mory and Gory pleese Unky!

He whines at Freggo, his favourite Swordmage, and friend.

Viator, meanwhile, leans against the opposite wall – observing the subtle signs that others might miss, his blue eyes lock onto the Goblin.

Viator reaches out with his Psionic power, gentle tendrils of thoughts caress Morrick’s mind, trying to probe for deeper meanings, or to catch the creature out.

The Psion’s hands move in fits, as if trying to grasp the Goblin’s skull. He reaches deep into his well of power and pushes a little harder.

Blood trickles from one nostril.

Viator wipes way the blood from his nose and quietly asks-

Why did you take some of the people from the town, Morrick? Why those in particular?

Morrick switches direction, stares intently at Viator, as if contemplating some deep inner truth, the silence gathers.

Morrick trumps.

Giggles, and then answers.

Morrick und udder gobs towld ta get prisiners ta feed ta “undeadies” wot gard catykoombs.

Morrick smiles at Viator- happy to be of service.

Ah-shahran redirects Morrick back to tales of the ‘Red Hand’-

Ah yes, the Red Hand. Why, I remember how the original Red Hand laid siege to Fallcrest….

Ah-shahrah tells his tale again about the exploits of the Red Hand, emphasising their ‘triumphs’. After a few anecdotes, he pauses.

Why, I bet Sinruth has picked out other locations within the Vale to attack – that have similar importance! If only I knew where he was staying, I could admire his plans.

Ah-shahran looks wistfully into the distance over Morrick’s shoulder.

Morrick seems to have a lot of new friends- this makes Morrick very happy. The Goblin has almost forgotten about his situation – sitting in a cell, such is his new popularity.

Sinruth an’ Goblinz liv in catykoombs unda ruwins ov Castle Rivenroar.

Morrick continues to grin and swing his feet under his chair- like a dog wagging its tail.

Castle Rivenroar is a ruin the adventurers are vaguely aware of, not its exact position, but with a bit of research it can probably be located… someone in Fallcrest will know where it is. It’s just a question of how long it will take to discover who knows where the place is, and how much they’ll want to be paid to tell…

If only there was a quicker way, Ah-shahran thinks, and then adds-

Will you show me the way? Draw it?

Morrick draw ‘em map, if un’ giv us colours. An’ if wun ov udders...

Morrick points at Kali, Kyalia and Magnus in turn-

...if wun ov um, entertain uz- maybe hairy man dance, Elf laydee tell norty story and fat Dwarf jiggle an’ that?

Morrick adds helpfully.

Kali walks up to the Goblin with a scowl on his face, he hunkers down in front of Morrick, nose-to-nose, looking him dead in the eye. He begins to make quiet grunting noises, growing louder until it becomes clear that he is chanting something in the Goblin tongue. Kali is chanting a Goblin digging song, all about how the Goblin way is to dig deep and hide from bigger folk, striking only when they are few and the Goblins are many.

The song done, Kali stares at Morrick. Angry, and a little humiliated, the Shifter states in the Goblin tongue-

Remember goblin way as song tell us! Attacking human town is dumb, not goblin way! Tell us where Sinruth is so we can tell him he dumb!

It’s like being at a variety show for Morrick, he hasn’t had this much fun since cousin Eggbert fell in the fire and was burned to death…

He giggles and applauds until his manacles cut in to his wrists…

Sinruth bak tew katykoombs… ere!

Morrick thrusts a piece of paper at Kali, a crude depiction of the route to the ruins of Castle Rivenroar, best guess it lies at least two days march from Fallcrest.

Maw! Maw! Maw!

Morrick continues to frolic.

Throughout the proceedings Kyalia has silently hissed and spat, the Elf seems unhappy to be consorting with such a creature. At some point she drifts away from the action – only to then approach as silently as possible – actually completely undetected. She places a dagger at the Goblin’s throat, and then whispers in his ear-

Tell him, what he wants to know! And while you are at it, why don’t you describe your great leader ‘Sinruth’ to us? What is he, a goblin? An orc? Or something else? What does he look like?

Morrick suddenly looks flustered, he wasn’t expecting the Elf- he has nightmares about Elves- nasty pointy eared fiends that eat babies…

Sinruth iz big boss ov goblins, ’e raze army- we carve kingdumb fur us-selves. ’E is right tall…

Morrick gestures- about four feet something- ‘av wun ear bit off, and iz noze is bit too, an wid an eye missin… an he limps cos his leg got bit… an he’s dead ’ansome. All der Gob-laydees say so…

Morrick blinks hard at Kaylia, his best puppy-dog eyes, hoping the Elf will not eat ‘im’.

Magnus, at last, spots his moment – he’s with the Elf, which is an odd place to be, the surly Dwarf barges over to Morrick – knocking chairs flying en route, hardly stealthy.

He leans in and grabs the Goblin, clears a space, cocks his right- and


Why dja tek the treasures from the Hall of Glory, ya weasly barmpot?

Magnus gurns and slavers- bristling beard in the now blubbing Morrick’s face, he hisses-

An’ don’tjer be lying ta me laddie, or I’ll shuv dis where da sun don’t shine!

Magnus fetches out his warhammer.

The guards move to break it up…

Morrick don’t kna anyfing abart treshure fro’ ‘all ov Valourmajig. Must av bin Sinruth ’imself, s’pose, he din’t say nuffing abart it. Promise- promise…

Pleeeeeease… I want my mummy!

Morrick snivels and cries.

Magnus grins and the deed is done.

The guards rush in to the cell, Magnus is grabbed and dragged back- still grinning, Morrick lies on the floor wailing and crying. The adventurers are quickly ushered out of the area and back in to the City Hall proper- where Eoffram awaits.

I hope you have all the information you need. If there’s anything I can do to help…

Eoffram lets the sentence hang in the air for a while.

Ah-shahran and Viator soon get together a brief list of requests, mostly mundane equipment and supplies, but also Healing Potions and something to use against the Undead that Morrick mentioned. Eoffram states he will do the best he can.

Well, when can you start for Castle Rivenroar? Tomorrow morning?

Eoffram asks.

It has just gone midnight in the City of Fallcrest, the adventurers have all the information they need, or at least all the information that is available from Morrick and Eoffram. They have a plan of action, a map to their target, and free room and board for the evening in the Nentir Inn.

The adventurers, it is agreed, will leave at first light tomorrow – bound for Rivenroar Castle.

End of Encounter #4

Six successes (One each) & no failures.



Early the next morning…

Although not as early as it should have been – there have been many events, strange, or otherwise, this morning. It’s probably best to start at the beginning…

The Inn staff wake the adventurers at first light, all save one. Magnus is missing; his room looks like it has seen signs of struggle, although Kyalia is certain no signs of any other occupant – perhaps he was struggling with his own dreams and thoughts. A search of the Nentir Inn ensues, much to the chagrin of the other inhabitants, most of whom are roused from their beds at a little after 5 AM by the hue and cry, but nothing, well nothing save some angry patrons.

Sgt. Thurmina – tired but otherwise in fine fettle, arrives at the Inn soon after, keen to get the adventurers on their way. By-and-large the increasingly desperate Sgt. is ignored – the remaining heroes are desperate to find out what has befallen Magnus, the search expands, although still at silly O’clock in the morning. Eoffram eventually arrives, sees the shape of things and orders that runners be sent to all guard houses and gates to discover the whereabouts of Magnus. He insists in the meantime that the heroes eat, and ‘make ready’.

And thus it is thirty minutes later that the adventurers learn that Magnus left the Inn, and indeed Fallcrest, at least two hours prior to their wake-up call. He left via the Wizard’s Gate. He even left a crumpled note with the Watch Commander there – a Sgt. Murgeddin, a stout dwarf, the note reads –


Murgeddin, briefly questioned Magnus it seems – it being strange for a fellow dwarf to be taking to the roads in the half-dark on his own, Magnus however didn’t say much of interest, only that he had to go to Hammerfast, and that it was important…

And thus the mystery is solved, or at least partially solved – for now.

We advance an hour, to 6.30 AM – most people are up and about, the Inn is busy. Eoffram has been as good as his word, he has located a good deal of the mundane equipment requested, and procured two weeks trail rations for each of the adventurers. Eoffram has also managed to locate the following ‘specialist’ items -

Potion of Healing (x1)
Flask of Holy Water (x3)
Everburning Torch (x2)

The Council Member looks pleased with himself… However, that’s not all Eoffram has -

This is Sarge… sorry, I mean Velani – I’ve asked her to come with you. Sarge… sorry – I did it again, Velani is a very resourceful individual, I’m sure she will prove an excellent addition to your group. I wish to assure you – this is not a question of trust, just… well, I will sleep safer knowing that Sarge… sorry again, Velani were there with you…

Eoffram shrugs but looks unmoveable – Velani it seems is going.

Welcome to the Hunt Sergeant Velani. Now let’s away, there’s goblins to kill

Kali’s impatience to be on the road is evident, he welcomes Velani, the others follow suit.

Viator is next up –

It will be a pleasure to have you with us, Sergeant Velani. Are we to continue using your rank when addressing you?

Turning to the others he frowns -

Magnus didn’t seem happy during our interrogation last night. He flew off the handle a little. Either those blows to the head rattled him, or things must be difficult for him right now. Maybe after this we could go and find out what was troubling him?

For now, we hunt.

Viator surmises.

Velani addresses the Psion,

The rank is now more honorary than true, Viator, and I would welcome a break from the city tradition. Velani is fine.

Then turns to address the assembled adventurers, her new companions, as a whole.

And may I say to you what a welcome sight you are indeed. News of your exploits has all the city a-buzz and many this morning will offer prayers of thanks and hope to their god for you. I have served Fallcrest since I was a youngling, as runner, squire, footman, guard, and leader. I place my sword once again at Fallcrest’s feet and pray you would have me as a humble, faithful servant of the people.

It has been some time since my blade found purchase upon the enemies of the state. I too am ready for the hunt. I am in your employ and vow to protect you till my last breath… let us go find my people and our trophies of battles past… and show this Sinruth that Fallcrest will not bow to anyone – Red Hand, or otherwise.

Velani stands tall, proud of her city and her previous position in the Guard.

The spell is broken, farewell speeches made – the adventurers hit the road, at least for a little while, less than a mile out they turn off the road, and in to the wilds.

Next stop, fingers crossed, the ruins of Castle Rivenroar.


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To Rivenroar: Day 1.

And so early the next morning, although late to set off, after running around looking for the missing Magnus, the adventurers hit the road – a full complement of six, with Sgt. Velani, ex of the Fallcrest Guard.

It’s a beautiful day, a little chilly but… the sun is trying to break through the clouds, the going is slightly soft underfoot, there’s been a lot of rain of late, but for now there are tracks and trails to follow. The adventurers pass, initially, through worked land; crops grow tall while animals graze – all is well with the world.

As the group progresses however all signs of habitation swiftly fade. The land undulates, there always seems to be another hill that needs to be climbed, copses of trees grow denser, and the foliage within – mostly bracken and gorse, makes tough going. It also doesn’t help that shallow streams need to be forded here and there, feet get wet – boots and trews become sodden, and by mid-afternoon a fine rain settles in…

Encounter #5 – 300 XP – Level 1 Encounter
Skill Challenge (Level 1 Complexity 3).

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Sgt. Velani, Female Human, Paladin (Cavalier), Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

The first day out in the wilds makes for tough going, Kyalia with assistance from Ah-shahran leads the way, using Morrick’s map mostly, but also checking for tracks as they go.

Kyalia is used to travelling in the wilds, the rain does not bother her at all. Although it makes it harder for her to find signs of the Goblins’ passing.

The long walk, and the constant strain of having to keep her mind focused, takes its toll on Kyalia, after a while the Elf grows tired, it seems she has become soft – too long in the city perhaps.

Viator tries desperately to pull his weight, aware that many of his companions are significantly more experienced and capable at this kind of thing. Now and then he reaches out with his power, trying to slide obvious obstacles out of their path; moving aside branches, parting some of the deeper puddles, as the adventurers wend their way.

The Psion, like Kyalia, pushes himself too hard; after a while his head spins and before midday he has a blinding headache. The Eladrin growls to himself as he tries with all his strength to keep on going.

Kali, on the other hand, relaxes somewhat – he’s in his element, surrounded by the natural world – his true home. More than that, he can feel his blood racing beneath his skin – every one of his senses heightened – the hunt is on. Now and then the Shifter stops to sniff the breeze – he can smell them still, filthy Goblins.

Once or twice Ah-shahran looks over at Kali, spots the big man smiling. Kali swiftly turns his smile into his usual frown – but the truth cannot be hidden, at least not from Ah-shahran, the Shifter is enjoying himself.

Ah-shahran otherwise helps Kyalia with the tracking, he keeps one eye on the map always, following it closely, he ensures the adventurers do not deviate. At odd times he summons Gorm to “help” them along, the sight of the hound seems to raise even the lowest spirit.

The Deva also pays particular attention to the wildlife, plant life, and terrain – he seems fascinated by almost everything he sees, at time his enthusiasm is catching. Occasionally, he tries to lift the mood with an encouraging word to his fellow travellers, more than once he addresses Velani as ‘Honourary Sergeant’, which makes her smile.

As the day progresses, and the rain increases its pace, the going gets tougher, and Ah-shahran – like the others, grows quiet. He finds himself forced to call upon his past memories – his previous experiences, particularly those from lives spent soldiering, they help him to push on through.

Freggo, at first, dashes eagerly ahead, acting as though the adventurers were on a picnic in the country. Occasionally he unsheathes his sword, uses it to gesture grandly in the direction, he assumes, the group will be going next… which is more often than not incorrect.

Nonetheless, the young Swordmage throws himself at every obstacle, moving logs and branches out of the way for his fellows. He tries out various routes up hillsides to find the easiest path – he burns energy at a tremendous rate, and yet always seems to have more to give.

In Freggo’s mind he leads, although in reality he is constantly looking at Kyalia and Ah-shahran to assure himself he is taking the right direction.

Late in the day, when the adventurers gait has been reduced to a trudge, Velani decides to break the silence.

It has been some time since I set out this far from Fallcrest. Never had much need to leave town. My friends and family are there…

Velani suddenly realises how far away from home she truly is.

I’m sure Pashon, my husband, will get along fine without me for a spell.

Velani suddenly regrets opening her mouth – she grows silent for a while more, thinking long and hard about those she has left behind.

Eventually she tries again.

Do you know the legend of these woods? Let me tell you…

Velani begins to spin her yarn. A little fiction mixed in with a spoonful of fact, enough to hopefully buoy the adventurers’ spirits.

Alas many of her companions are not listening – their ears filled with the thud-thud of their own footsteps. The journey seems endless, and miserable, in the rain.

All in all it’s a funny old day…

Or at least nothing seems to go exactly right – not that things go badly wrong, supper time sees the group doing their best to hide their various bruises, cuts and scratches from each other. None of the various ailments are anything to worry about, nor collectively are they anywhere enough to think of turning back, it’s just… a dark cloud seems to have followed them on the trail today.

There’s nothing that can disguise how pale Viator looks however, the poor lad has been suffering with his migraine for the majority of the day. When they finally rest the Eladrin is forced to lie on his back with his eyes closed for over an hour – rubbing his temples vigorously.

Kyalia suffers a slight fall earlier on in the journey – again nothing much, a minor thing, Kali had lifted a log in place to aid the crossing of a shallow but fast flowing stream, and at just the wrong moment the log slipped. Again, nothing much, a turned ankle that’s all, and for Kali a little shame for not doing his job as well as he should.

Freggo is at times a myriad of mishap- letting go of branches which swing back to lash a friend –


- wandering once into stinging nettles, and twice or more getting caught on briars… Again none of these things account for much, they just chip away at the spirit of the venture, it’s as if the group are struggling a little to find their stride.

At the end of the day Velani is suffering also, she secretly removes her boot to discover the biggest blister. There’s no denying things, a year out of the guard has left her a little out of shape, and later on in the trek, out of breath – she’ll sleep well tonight.

Around the fire, after supper, Ah-shahran – for all to see, traces their progress on the map – they are clearly well-behind schedule, the original idea was that the journey would take two days. Unless things improve drastically tomorrow the group will arrive at the Rivenroar ruins on the third day of travel, at best.

The adventurers post watches, hidden in a dense copse of trees – away from prying eyes, and lie down to rest for the evening – nothing, thankfully, disturbs their slumber.


To Rivenroar: Day 2

The second day is, if anything, much harder going, the adventurers are really in the wilds now – this land has never been tamed, or so it seems. Twisted briars and thick scrub at best, the wooded areas are much more dense, at times the sun – what little there is of it – disappears entirely from view.

Worse still the rain, which has continued steadily throughout the night has turned dirt to mud. Runnels and ravines, many initially hidden from sight, dot the land. Those sheltered by the trees are mostly dry, they require the adventurers to scramble down short, but dangerous, scree slopes, and then to tiredly plod back up the other side. Those that have been exposed to the rain have become mud pits – the Goblins progress is easy enough to track however, the creatures have cut down saplings to span some of the more difficult to traverse gaps.

And yet still the rain comes down, soaking everything – it’s not heavy, not a downpour, just a fine drizzle that is ceaseless, which gradually over the hours makes everyone in it quiet, sullen and sulky.

That said, and somewhat chastened by the previous day’s bumbling performance, Freggo, it seems, is determined to make better ground today, and not to be such an eager fool. He no longer wastes time and energy gesturing, posing, and dreaming of castles in the sky. He instead falls in-line, marches with the group – stoic in the weather’s assault.

Every now and then however he cannot help himself, the young Swordmage scurries up a tree or hill to scout the area ahead. Today however he reports back all he has seen – this subdued, perhaps more useful, Freggo is certainly better suited to the task in hand.

Kali broods on the first day’s travel, it had been tough, too tough, something didn’t feel right to the Shifter. Kali has walked the wilderness for years, but yesterday’s little trips, falls, scratches, and general annoyances seemed somewhat out of the norm. He can find no answer however, and puts it down to travelling with neophytes unused to the privations and hardships of the wild lands.

Kali searches en-route for the small beasts that surely surround him, asks of the vole, the lark and the lemming, using his empathetic link to try and ascertain that the travellers are on the right route. His replies alas are terse, the creatures as wild as his surroundings; the animals do not wish to be disturbed. Those he finds to communicate with are recently from hiding, the Shifter is certain that the Goblins came this way. Furthermore he learns that the group they seek struggled also with the terrain. The adventurers are, he estimates, gaining on their quarry.

The Shifter shares this news with his companions, and suddenly clouds lift – the adventurers press on, surer of foot and with a quicker, much lighter, tread.

The first day had taken its toll on Viator – today he decides to relax, to not try so hard – he will not push himself as he did yesterday. He rests his powers, lets his mind wander.

The Eladrin also spends the day keeping an eye out for traces of the missing citizens, and the Goblins of course. He trusts, however, that Kyalia, Kali and Ah-shahran, will show them the way. He even enquires of each of them a moment of their time to explain what they are looking for, the Psion seeks to further his skills less reliant on the power of his mind.

Viator’s headache finally fades, he takes to smiling – not all the time, but… the going is not so tough, his keen eyes help him to find the easy track, and the close proximity of his companions bolsters his once flagging spirits.

Viator’s interest stirs something within Kali, the Shifter is not usually one for idle chatter, and yet Kali senses something different about the strange Viator. The Eladrin he thinks seems to perceive the world much differently to he, his manner and action separate him from the average folk – in short, Viator is odd; Kali quite likes odd. He welcomes the Psion’s desire to learn, perhaps even to be able to see, no, not see, to sense some of the things that Kali’s bestial heritage allows him to be innately and instantly aware of. Kali does his best to teach Viator how to read the land, what to look for, how he uses all of his senses to navigate the way.

As he travels, with the Eladrin at his side, he tries to impart the essence of what he senses around him, from the obvious (to him) signs of the Goblins passing, to the different odours on the breeze – and their possible meanings. He translates the rustles and sounds of the undergrowth – the passage of smaller beasts, minding their own business, and mostly completely hidden from sight. He attempts to give words to the various ‘tastes’ of the world around them, Kali hopes that maybe Viator’s unusual skills will allow him to get a glimpse of the world as Kali senses it.

Kali suddenly, and surprisingly, discovers he has ‘friends’.

Ah-shahran’s attention also has a different focus today. Trusting his companions to keep the path, he instead keeps his eye on his companions. He tells rambling stories, anecdotes mixed in with worldly wisdom – all peppered with humour. His tales are timed to lift his colleagues’ spirits whenever he notices them begin to flag, to re-tune concentration when it too starts to slip. Gorm aids the Deva’s efforts, making many more appearances, acting at times like a playful puppy, and at others like a hunting hound.

Velani is encouraged, she makes a second attempt to break the ice.

Ungh… retirement’s caught up on me faster than I thought! Five years ago, I could have taken to this trail without a missed step, and never short of breath, and now I find myself huffing and puffing like a crone. I’m going to have to dig a little deeper and find a younger version of myself today! Not that I’m old mind you!

Velani smiles and laughs, joking at her own diminished capabilities. She tries and, more often than not, succeeds in lightening the mood, through the clouds and downpours.

Let not this foul weather deaden our hearts or feet, friends. Nay, let it wash away the grime of our travel, and renew our faith in the cycle of all things. Trust in Lady Dol Arrah, and let her Light shine even though the clouds darken our sky.

And the adventurers’ moods are lifted further, higher – the going, against the odds, seems much, much easier today.

Towards the end of the second day’s travel Viator heads over to enquire of Kyalia whether she will explain some of the techniques she is using to guide their steps –

I can certainly do that, Viator.

Kyalia states with enthusiasm.

The elven huntress, like Kali previously, spends most of her time searching for signs of the Goblins’ passage, tracking their movement and comparing it with Morrick’s map.

Where possible, she explains carefully, but in great detail, to Viator, what she is doing and why, and exactly what information she is reading from the myriad tracks she continues to find.

Viator is delighted. Several of the other adventurers less skilled in the art of tracking also gather to hear Kyalia explain – she soon has an audience which, when no-one is looking, makes her smile.

And the second day is glorious, well… rainy and glorious, muddy and glorious, however there are no slips, spills or falls. The adventurers work together to counter the weather and the generally miserable conditions and, seemingly without trying too hard, learn to get along – to work as a team.

Kali learns a little more from his chatterings with the woodland creatures, although communication is limited, most of the creatures of the wild are cunning but not clever, he précises his findings –

Bad pass this way.

Big bad!

Many bad.

The most intriguing thing, repeated by a number of his woodland and wild friends, is the sense that something ‘big’ passed this way, something ‘big’ accompanied the Goblins – a big creature, not a Goblin, he explains?

Kyalia has more to add, her tracking skills have shown her that there were in excess of thirty creatures passing this way. By their tread a mixture of Goblins and Hobgoblins, and… some others, maybe half-a-dozen folk with booted feet smaller than the Goblins, and with a much lighter tread. There are no other clues, nor can she guess what manner of creatures these unknown folk are.

But the ‘big bad’ she knows all about – a four footed Drake, a large creature with a heavy tread that did not go around the natural barriers of briars and thorns, but instead went through. Clearly something that is used to travelling between points A and B in a straight line – a blundering brute of a Drake.

A little later she is forced to break the bad news, although in truth it does little to dampen the adventurers’ spirits – the tracks show the passing of two large Drakes, not one.

And the good news; one of the Goblins’ prisoners has been doing their best to ensure that the trail is still warm, between them Kali, Kyalia and Ah-shahran pick up three buttons, a cork (from a bottle of “South Paw”, a Fallcrest brew), and half-a-dozen small torn-off pieces of cloth. Ah-shahran makes sense of it all – Kartenix, the Guard Captain, the buttons and the cloth are from the uniform of an Officer of the Watch…

The adventurers’ confidence begins to grow, yesterday’s frowns turn to thin smiles, which grow wider – regardless of the miserable weather and conditions – as the day progresses and the clues gather.

And so it is, early on the evening of the second day of travel, with the sun sinking beneath the horizon that Kyalia spies less than two-hundred yards ahead the ruins of some once great structure.

Rivenroar Castle.

The Elf declares and points the way.

The adventurers have not made good time today – they have made great time, surpassing all of their expectations.

Kyalia, with help from Kali, and Viator – a little, further confirms that they have certainly made up considerable time on the Goblins. The adventurers started the hunt 6-8 hours behind the creatures, the trail ahead, which leads directly to the ruins – is probably less than two hours old.

It seems for all their troubles en-route, the Goblins were having a much, much tougher time of it. The adventurers find places to hide, to watch, to rest a while, they whisper thanks to their gods and each other, they cannot hide their smiles.

They have found the ruins of Rivenroar.

End of Encounter #5

Eight successes (One+ each) & one group failure (Multiple failures in Day 1 Group Endurance check).


Scouting Rivenroar

The adventurers are within the perimeter of Castle Rivenroar before they realise it, the wood is dense here, the ruins sit atop a gentle rise, or at least the few standing walls that remain do.

The group hunkers down in silence for a moment, other than the sights and sounds of the woodland creatures and the coming dark then… nothing stirs, except… perhaps.

Maybe forty to fifty yards ahead is a thin wisp of smoke, it’s difficult to see the source, there’s no fire to be seen or heard however…

Kali and Kyalia scout left and right respectively, twenty or so yards each way. The pair discover nothing of interest, which is to say they see nothing other than ruins – the pair head back to report.

The tracks of the Goblins blaze a swathe through the tall grass, heading straight ahead, directly towards the wisp of smoke that is even now getting harder to see – it gets dark quickly around here.

The adventurers realise they have perhaps 30 minutes of half-light remaining to work in, after which time they will need to employ light sources, particularly beneath the thick canopy of the trees, and in the shadows of the ruins.

Ah, she must have been a thing of beauty in her heyday. Wish I knew more about her, though…

Velani muses.

I’m all for us walking up on the front door like we own the place, but I don’t want to come across as brash. I’ll follow where our, erm… leader goes?

Suddenly Velani realises the group has been operating simply under a common goal, but with no discernable individual ‘in charge.’

Again, a smile crosses her face, she addresses the others -

Amazing how we have not had need of a Captain. This speaks volumes about all of you – a worthy band of warriors if ever there was. And while this may have served us ’til now, how will we fare in the hours to come? I am not worried, mind you, but the fog of war can be chaotic indeed, and without a bannerman to guide our strategy, will we prevail? I am not suggesting my own leadership… I was asked to serve you five, and serve I will. Whom shall we look to for decisions?

Kali suddenly decides he has to be elsewhere.

I’ll take a closer look at where our prey went, and see what sort of guard they’ve left. Happy to have company…

Kali draws his cloak closer around him, and leaves the question hanging in the air.

Whilst I’m gone you guys can decide which of you is best placed to lead us, and let me know the outcome when I return.

Kali turns to leave, but at the last moment looks back.

That way I’ll know whose orders I’ll be ignoring!

Kali grins, on the verge of a chuckle, then turns, serious again, and heads on using the thicker parts of the vegetation to conceal himself.

Yes Kali, scout ahead. I shall scout also. In my way – Viator thinks but does not say, his mind is rested – ready for action. The Psion reaches out with his mind, treads carefully, searches for any sign of traps of the arcane kind or ritual wards in place.

Kyalia meanwhile follows the Shifter ahead in to the undergrowth, imparting a few words before heading in.

I will make myself useful and look for different ways to approach these ruins. Maybe there is some choice in what way we can take.

Kyalia offers, then all-but vanishes into the tall grass. The Elf moves forward, following Kali as best she can, they are both heading towards the centre of the ruined castle.

Meanwhile Freggo hops from one foot to the other.

We’re HERE!

Freggo whispers quietly, although not as quietly as Ah-shahran would like.

The Swordmage shrugs at Velani’s suggestion as regards a leader.

I guess we could use someone to negotiate with anyone we meet. I did a bit of that back at the inn, but ah, I’m a bit new at this.

Freggo smiles companionably.

Is that something you think you could help with, Ms. Velani? Negotiating and what-not? That’d be great, and I could learn from you too. I’ve had lots of teachers! They never lasted that long though… ah, never mind.

Freggo blushes at his inadvertent mention of past failures. Then mumbles –

See, there I go, always saying too much…

Freggo turns to look at Viator, the Eladrin has his eyes screwed shut, beads of sweat in the cool night on his brow – he is clearly concentrating very hard. Freggo stops his jabbering and watches Viator.

Ooh, that’s neat. Maybe I can help a bit…

Freggo mimics the Psion’s look – eyes tight shut, he tries to lend some of his own amateurish magical energy to Viator’s efforts.

A little while later he comes up for air.

I say we go check it out tonight! I’m too excited to sleep anyways!

Viator, he notes is still locked in his trance.

Kali moves silently forward, through the long grass, only from above could anyone hope to see him – thirty or so yards in he comes to a stop. Waits a while – but nothing stirs. Ahead and to his side are areas of fallen masonry – the side walls of the Castle in fact. However, much of the stone and ancient mortar has been eroded by time, but that’s not the interesting thing; slightly ahead the tall grass has been bent and trampled down – a clearing, in the centre of which is a set of ancient stone steps that lead down, a wisp of smoke escapes from the opening.

Kali grins and watches.

Viator, with help from Freggo (perhaps), scans the area ahead for magical emanations, and again, and again, and… nothing. Except – a trickle of power – the source and type the Psion is unable to verify, but it comes from somewhere straight ahead. Viator needs to be closer perhaps, but before that can happen – and awaiting the scouts’ return – Viator considers his knowledge of this place, he regurgitates all he knows -

The castle is indeed ancient, a relic of the Nerath – a sprawling empire that covered the Nentir Vale and most of the known lands. Rivenroar was, in its heyday, home to Lords and Dukes – rulers of the Vale, this when Fallcrest was only a muddy settlement by the Nentir Falls. A number of great families ruled the surrounding lands from Rivenroar, holding court here. The names… the names of…

Viator hesitates – then plunges on-

… the names of the families escape me, they were however martial rulers – not tyrants, but men and women of action, used to fighting the myriad humanoids, and other factions, to keep their place in power.

The Eladrin finishes his tale, and opens his eyes.

Freggo is grinning at him, from ear-to-ear.

Kyalia completes her circuit of the ruins, keeping at all times to the shadows and the vegetation – there are few signs of activity, or even of creatures passing – a few half-hearted trails perhaps that swiftly peter out and lead to nowhere much.

The Elf deduces that the Goblins have not been in the ruins long, or else they are particularly lax when it comes to posting guards. She returns to her start point, and then like Kali edges forward, till she meets with Shifter – he points, and she sees – a clearing with steps down in to darkness.

The pair head back to tell their news, it’s getting dark – day is losing out to night, a decision will have to be made very soon, rest here and wait for a new day, or head on – and down and in.

Kyalia, on her return, and after the scouts have reported, is all business -

I am not too tired yet, I am in favour of entering the Goblins’ lair now – we should not let them rest. They might have had a rougher journey than we, with the prisoners in tow, we would give up a potential advantage if we wait until tomorrow.

Velani is next to offer her opinion –

So, the coast is clear, you say? Lax security either means surety or stupidity. Given their failure to cover their tracks here, I believe it to be the latter. However, they may think that the night is worth posting a guard. My vote is to make our way to the entrance now, before the final moments of daylight falls.

Next up is Freggo, of course – he’s all action, decision made –

Oo, an opening ahead, going into the ground you say? It’s just like a story! I gotta see this!

With that Freggo is gone, the young Swordmage does his darnedest to sneak forward noiselessly, trusting his friends’ assurances that no enemies are about more than his own prowess at staying quiet, which is fortunate as his prowess at stealth is minimal. In one hand he holds his sword, in the other a shuttered lantern.

Freggo, his comrades following, close in on the clearing – within which are the stairs down.

Hmmm, let’s see if I can detect any more of that magic we sensed earlier…

Freggo peers into the darkness and extends his senses as he was taught by old Schmendrick.

Freggo, I also am eager to get in after our prey. I fear for those kidnapped…

Viator’s ice blue eyes, usually so cold, melt slightly for a second.

But I advise caution? We sensed magic from down those stairs. If I could just…

Moving closer to the edge of the clearing, at Freggo’s side, the Psion too extends his senses. Reaches out, he finds the arcane resonance and lets it engulf his mind. The hair on his arms and neck stands up straight.

I feel it…

Viator whispers.

Fingers twitching, holding on to the sense, he attempts to disentangle the signal from its surroundings, tries to work out its location and the type of power he has detected.

Ah-shahran quietly follows the other adventurers forward, so far he has been silent – which is a little odd, he seems distracted. At the clearing his glance absorbs every detail of the area, he breaks his silence, softly mumbles -

Down, down, down the stairs, the Goblins and the captives. Whither light, in dead of night, beneath the bones of earth?

The Deva’s face stretches in to a manic grin.

I agree. Let’s follow now, and deny them time to feed the captives to whatever undead lurk in these ‘katykoombs’.

Viator holds his hand out – signals stop –

Yes, certainly there is magic below, ancient magic – mostly faded but at one time potent, it perhaps still lingers in places.

For the briefest moment Viator sees an image of flickering flame- as quickly, the flickering flame bursts in to a gout of fire and then is gone. He is confident however, the magic is weak, faded and old – Viator is not frightened.

Also a wielder of magic lies below, a small but dark force broods down the stair- somehow the flame and the… individual are connected… no it’s gone.

Viator is back in the real world.

Ah-shahran, edges further forward still, in to the clearing proper – this is the scouts’ job but the Deva presses on regardless, to the stair.

Voices, there are voices coming from below, he looks about wondering why none of his companions can hear them, surely… but, no.

Goblins, and one of them is particularly shrill – barking, or rather screeching, orders- impossible to hear what he’s saying, Ah-shahran is too far away. However the ‘shrill Goblin’ is clearly the leader – he must be addressing his troops.

And another sound, quiet – no more than background noise – the flicker of flame…

Freggo is seriously excited now.

Yeah, let’s be sneaky! Ah man, I wish I knew how to do that! Um, maybe the K’s can scout in there a little for us. Then we can develop a plan of attack!

Freggo indicates Kali and Kylia might want to go down the stairs. Getting a little over-excited, Freggo practices a few swipes and flourishes that he plans on using on any Goblins that don’t fully co-operate.

Ah-shahran cocks his head toward the stairs as Gorm materialises next to Freggo.

Goblin voices, Goblin orders floating up the stairs. They may not have guards above, but there are guardians below.

With a glance at Kali, he continues.

Stealth is decidedly in order. I don’t believe they know we’re here, and the yapping of their leader will help cover our approach. Should we send someone to scout the layout, or tiptoe down below en-masse?

Velani is the first to reply.

I will admit my sword thirsts for retribution and, surrounded by you brave souls, I am feeling somewhat bold. I wish to take the forward line to them, but I am afraid I am not quite skilled at skulking and whatnot. However, should you wish to have me shout a declaration of our presence, I would be honoured to do so, and will take the fore as we descend.

Kali moves to the stair, looks back.

Wait. I will scout ahead to check the lie of the land, and see just what our Goblin friends are up to.

And with that the Shifter is gone – in to darkness.

Kali spots nothing untoward on the stair, it seems the Goblins either believe themselves to be safe, or are very lazy – or possibly have just got back from a raid… Or better still a combination of all three.

Silently he descends, to the bottom step…


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The Rivenroar Crypt

Ahead Kali spies in to a fairly clean guardroom – by Goblin standards, some one has clearly made an effort some time in the past, the place is dank and smells of mildew however.

Nearest to him are a pair of bulky looking Hobgoblins, they look to be the real deal, wearing chainmail over thick leathers, clutching heavy shields in one hand and incredibly nasty looking spiked flails in their other hands. The pair keep a constant vigil staring up the stair, and seemingly through Kali.

Every now and then one of them turns around, briefly, to look behind… and with good reason.

Behind the pair a smaller figure, a Goblin, wearing a thick travelling cloak that seems to have something (words, symbols or…) written on it – or else decorated in some way.

The cloak wearing Goblin seems to be berating, in his mother tongue, two other Goblins – Kali is fluent in the language of course. Alas however, because of the angle of the stairs, Kali can only see the other two Goblins’ feet – and he can tell little from their boots.

Dith-piccable, it’th dith-piccable. Behawving lyke a wowdy bunch ov wazzokth!

The cloaked Goblin is quite clearly in charge, and has a pronounced lisp- either that or he’s doing the voice for effect.

It’th thith tha kind ov behavwiour that yew exthibit wen yaw withh Thinrewth?

Kali makes out ‘Thinrewth’, and substitutes ‘Sinruth’, the Goblin leader.

Silence for a moment, it’s odd that Kali can only see the furthest two Goblins’ footwear, as that’s all they’re looking at too.


Lisper asks, nay demands.


The pair chorus back like naughty schoolboys.

Noa, whath?

No-ow, Unholy Jeff

The pair chorus again.

Throughout this exchange, and while the two Hobgoblin Guards to the fore share looks and giggle a little at their compatriots being told off, Kali can see, hear and smell – fire. Or rather he can see the glow, but not the source – it comes from the rear of the chamber.

Kali takes a tentative step forward, the two Goblins at the back are a ragged pair, with short swords at their belts, and hand-crossbows at the ready – one of them wipes his nose and looks forlorn, then goes back to keeping his head down, the tirade continues.

Kali can just make out, both sides of the room – burning braziers with low flames, it is they that illuminate the chamber, ahead a set of important-looking, but very rusted, metal doors. The doors seem to have a plaque above them – alas the Shifter is much too far away to make out what it says there.

Job done, he shuffles back to tell his friends…

Kali looms out of the dark as Ah-shahran speaks –

Did we pick a leader? I’d be happy to give direction in combat, if you’d like. Why don’t you sneaky people move a bit closer, and we’ll time our headlong rush down the stairs with your attacks. Oh, and intimidating battle cries, too.

As Ah-shahran whispers, Gorm ghosts down the stairs a little way.

Upon learning that there is light ahead, Freggo puts away his lantern and readies himself on the stairway. He grins a lot, mostly at Ah-shahran’s talk of leaders, then adds –

I will gladly follow any advice given that seems wise, and Ah-shahran seems to know what he is doing.

The mumbling Deva smiles back at Freggo.

Kyalia, Kali – accompanied by Gorm, head all the way to the bottom of the stairs – silent as the night. The others edge a little way in, but not too far.


Velani whispers.

Target the brutes watching the stairs… I’m headed for the Goblin.

The Sgt. of Fallcrest spies the robed leader –


She hisses.

And then screams, in Goblin –

The Red Hand was bloodied and beaten years ago, and soon your corpses will add to the tally of dead! For Fallcrest!

And thus the fight begins…


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The Goblin Guards

Encounter #6 – 650 XP – Level 1 Encounter
1 Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet (Level 1 Controller)
2 Goblin Sharpshooters (Level 2 Artillery)
2 Hobgoblin Warriors (Level 3 Soldier))

Ah-shahran, Male Deva, Hybrid Shaman-Warlord, Level 1
Freggo, Male Human, Swordmage, Level 1
Kalimaru, Male Razorclaw Shifter, Ranger (Scout), Level 1
Kyalia, Female Elf, Ranger, Level 1
Sgt. Velani, Female Human, Paladin (Cavalier), Level 1
Viator, Male Eladrin, Psion, Level 1

Velani screams again –

For Fallcrest!

But it’s Kyalia that is the first to attack – crouched in the blackness of the stair, her bow sings.

Alas a little out of tune – the first arrow of her Twin Strike passes harmlessly several feet to the side of the Hobgoblin Warrior to the left, the soldier looks quizzical, what just happened? He scratches his head – while fumbling desperately with his sword.

In the same instant Kyalia sights the second Hobgoblin, to the right <thuk> Her second arrow ricochets off the creature’s heavy shield – that gets its attention. It spies along the line of flight of the missile. The Hobgoblin’s mouth drops open, it tries to make words, eventually – in garbled tones, comes one word.


The Hobgoblin Warrior looks very confused – where did that word come from?

Velani makes it to the bottom of the stairs, continues her charge – still screaming fit to bust.

Freggo follows on, making several graceful bounds, he’s in and at one of the Hobgoblins –


He screams, unable to come up with a catchy battlecry, the Hobgoblin still looks shocked – seemingly unable to keep up with events. The Swordmage slices in to the creature, still fumbling for its sword, it does the decent thing and bleeds profusely…

At the far end of the chamber, the Goblins finally look up and register what is going on, with shaking hands they scramble to get their hand-crossbows ready for action.

Unholy Jeff, the cloaked Goblin, is furious at the interruption, and yet continues to berate the pair – still unaware his meeting has been invaded.

Jeff suddenly develops an itch – it’s in the centre of his back, he tries to reach it, scratches furiously – now with both hands, he hops from foot to foot – the mark is Kali’s Assassin’s Shroud. The Goblin, still with his back turned and unaware of all that is happening behind him, is doing some strange clucking chicken dance – or so it seems to those observing him.

Kali charges forward, and is in and hacking at the same Hobgoblin that Freggo sliced, the soldier has still not properly readied its defences, and that’s a second wound it has taken.

Watching his companions enter the fray, Viator calls out –

Beware the robed one! I think he may be the one I sensed! Beware flames!

The Eladrin Psion reaches out with his power, trying to clear a path for Velani to the furious robed leader, he uses his Dimensional Scramble. However the rush of the other adventurers distracts him, he struggles to focus –


Viator’s warning has an immediate effect, Unholy Jeff stops scratching, what’s going…

He turns…

And stares…


And stares.

With a <wuff>, Gorm dissolves, forming an attenuated line that aims at the already wounded Hobgoblin Warrior’s heart. Faster than a thought, Kyalia launches another arrow, trying to follow the line. The beleaguered Hobgoblin takes its third wound, it’s fading fast – bloodied already, and yet has still not had time to launch its own attack.

From the top of the stairs, Ah-shahran’s voice is barely audible to those entering the room –

We must clear the way to get at the caster, for the Grunts might surrender if we slaughter the master!

The cackle that follows, however, is clearly audible to all in the room below.

The defenders are on the back foot, the attackers are all in play, Velani continues her headlong charge, straight for Unholy Jeff, she screams once more –

For Fallcrest!

This time she really means it…

End of Round #1 (Surprise)

No PCs wounded.
One Hobgoblin Warrior bloodied (47/18 HP).


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The Goblin Guards

Round #2

With the Goblins beginning to stir and get in to the action, Kyalia leaps forward, draws two arrows, and fires them both at the closest targets – a Hobgoblin that has yet to take a wound. The first arrow finds its target, but alas it leaves only a small cut in its passing. Kyalia’s second arrow misses altogether, passes high and wide.

The Hobgoblin snarls at the Elf, and in its native tongue promises the Ranger death.

Meantime the Goblins with crossbows in the back react, the first scampers for cover, while firing its hand crossbow in to the fray. Freggo is struck in his right forearm, the wound stings terribly – the Swordmage grits his teeth and bares it.

The second Goblin Shooter, a young Goblin called Spizz actually, dives forward and uses his boss, Unholy Jeff, as cover – he fires and manages to pin Kali with his bolt, the Shifter growls his anger.

Velani continues to plunge forward, making a bee-line for Unholy Jeff, en route the ex-Watch Sergeant receives a shocking blow from one of the Hobgoblins, leaving her dragging her right leg – which is numb and almost useless – she’s now very slow moving.

Velani recalculates, changes her target, she’s not going to get to attack otherwise – she lurches forward and manages to connect with the already badly wounded Hobgoblin. The creature staggers under the onslaught, it totters – clearly now not long for life.

Freggo points his sword at the second Hobgoblin and shouts,

Watch this, villain, for you are next!

The Swordmage dances around the lethargic Hobgoblin, with feints, side-steps, and yells –

Ha. Ho. Touche!

His sword begins to glow, a mesmerising yellow colour, as he slips behind his foe and finally launches a genuine attack.

He draws blood, Freggo’s magic flares and the Hobgoblin shambles forward following the young Swordmage. He steps back, so that he is next to the robed Goblin, the Hobgoblin follows.

Hi there, mister Jeff. I’ll be your heroic opponent today!

Freggo declares with a grin.

Not best pleased with being used as a pin cushion, Kali is set on ending a few lives quickly, and one of them is Unholy Jeff’s – time to move it up a gear, he drifts through the fray with the Cunning of the Fox. Then marks the robed Goblin for death again – doubling the woe should he land his blow.

En route Kali aims an attack at the already bloodied Hobgoblin, his first victim – hopefully – alas the creature deflects the Shifter’s battleaxe strike.

Kali’s next blows – battleaxe and hand axe, are aimed at His Unholiness – Jeff this time, the robed Goblin is momentarily cast in shadow – he looks… frightened.

The axes come down and the Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet is cut to pieces – massacred, what is left of his quivering bloody body flops to the floor.

The chamber is momentarily cast in to silence.

Kali is the only creature moving, silently shifting away to select his next target.

Viator heads to the bottom of the stairs just in time to watch Unholy Jeff’s demise. He takes a moment to appreciate Kali’s feat before throwing his hand out to focus his power.

A blinding headache strikes him, his vision blurs. He steadies himself against the damp stone wall of the dungeon, then curses – the arcane magics in the crypt are affecting his focus.

The mind is the sole self. The mind is the sole self. I am a mental fortress.. I control my body. The mind is the sole self.

He chants.

The Hobgoblin Warriors leap into action, the first smashes his flail in to Velani’shead, the ex-Sergeant thumps to the floor – unconscious. The first of the adventurers to hit the deck ever.

Freggo looks on with distress as the Hobgoblin delivers a devastating blow to his ally.

Noo! Didn’t you hear me! You’re NEXT!


The bewildered Hobgoblin finds itself suddenly standing next to Freggo and its comrade, unable to fully comprehend what just happened – the soldier’s defences are down.

The second Hobgoblin lets out a sigh of relief as his companion appears next to him – clearly the Goblin god, Maglubiyet, has seen fit to favour him. The Hobgoblin silently promises to pray all the harder after the Goblins certain victory here…

The two Hobgoblins lock shields and co-ordinate their defences – blessed by their dark god.

The second launches its attack at Freggo, misses with his flail – leans in and pivots around, repositioning itself perfectly to meet the next attack, a consummate professional.

Ah-shahran marches down the stairs in to the chamber, mumbling inspiring words, the Deva motions regally towards Velani – who blinks open one eye, then two, and although laying on the cold stone floor manages a grin.

Ah-shahran has not finished however, he mutters again and makes strange gestures with his hands – a pair of spectral panthers spring in to existence and race towards the nearest Hobgoblin. Alas the first feline stumbles and flickers as it forms, the Hobgoblin is caught off-guard and yet still manages to deflect the spirit beast. The second panther… the second guts the Hobgoblin, who goes down screaming and flailing as the inky black snarling cat rips and tears at its face. Less than five seconds later the spirit is gone, and the Hobgoblin Warrior is as silent as the grave.

End of Round #2

Three PCs wounded, with one bloodied – Freggo (27/23 HP), Kali (25/16 HP) and Velani (28/11 HP).
Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet dead.
One Hobgoblin Warrior deceased, and one wounded slightly (47/42 HP).


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The Goblin Guards

Round #3

Kyalia follows Ah-shahran in to the chamber, equally determined to make her mark.

One of the crossbow wielding Goblins peers around the corner it hides behind, and then suddenly looks terrified, particularly when the big-eared female Elf winks at it.

Kyalia’s first arrow pierces the Goblin’s chest, passing clean through all the important organs en route, blood gushes from the wound, the Goblin sags.

Her second arrow strikes the creature in its left thigh, it yelps furiously – juggles its hand crossbow and looks beaten already.

The creature, all the blood drained from its face, curses – and with shaking hands brings its crossbow to bear… may demons eat the Elf.

It fires, and misses by a considerable distance.

The little terror quickly recalculates the odds, and runs… barging through a set of rusty doors on the west wall of the chamber, beyond is a dirty passage heading further in to the complex. The creature skids around a corner, and out of sight – screaming!


In its native tongue of course.

The second Goblin Shooter – Spizz, looks concerned, time to get the hell out of dodge – but first.


He lets loose with his crossbow, at Freggo – a perfect shot, catching the young hero in his right hand side, soon enough Freggo’s garments are thick with blood…


Spizz adds and pumps his arm several times – a victory salute.

Then backs away, towards the exit through which his comrade departed, grinning all the while and making ready for his next shot, he draws his short sword en route – just in case.

Shaking the cobwebs from her mind, Velani still lying on the cold stone floor looks around – takes in the situation.

Bloody hell, am I that rusty?!

She mumbles to herself.

She jumps to her feet, stares at the remaining Hobgoblin.

Ok, let’s see if I can survive another one of those blows to the noggin…

She makes a Valiant Strike, a Heroic Effort…

The Hobgoblin is unprepared for Velani’s sudden attack, she connects with the creature, skewering the beast through the shoulder and pouring in to the wound her holy radiant power.

And yet still it stands, grunts and looks to bring its flail in to play.

Kill all!

The Hobgoblin mutters, matter-of-factly.

Although, while not yet bloodied, the creature finds it hard to lift its shield in to place.

Velani battles through the pain, gets her Second Wind, grimaces – she’s no age and yet, this is proving to be far more difficult than she expected.

Blinding pain floods Freggo’s body, he staggers, looks down at the crossbow bolt sticking out of his side. That wasn’t there before… maybe I’m not cut out for this hero stuff after all…

But Freggo surprises himself, he adjusts his fighting stance and levels his longsword at the remaining Hobgoblin.

I… told… you…

Freggo spits through gritted teeth, the Swordmage springs forward – his sword begins to glow. Alas his timing is off however, and the Hobgoblin seems to be fighting more efficiently, it brings it’s shield to bear. Undeterred, Freggo swings around to cut off the Hobgoblin’s retreat, or else prepare to chase after the fleeing goblins.

…your turn.

Freggo finishes, hoping that his friends can do a better job.

Kali spots the opportunity that Freggo has provided, he side steps in to the gap that the Swordmage has left – then swings his axe at the last Hobgoblin Warrior’s head.

Well wide, Kali dances out of the way and allows one of his colleagues to get in close.

Viator watches the Goblins departing, he shakes off his headache. Viator moves toward the closest of the pair – Spizz, who meets the Eladrin’s gaze and raises his hand crossbow to… Viator blurs and disappears, appearing a fraction of a moment later behind Spizz, at the corner in the corridor.

The screaming limping Goblin rushes on in to a well-lit chamber ahead, a jumble of bedding on the floor – in the middle of the chamber a group of Hobgoblins stare hard at the creature – then look beyond and spot the Eladrin Psion. All three reach for their weapons.

Two other Hobgoblins, sprawled in bedrolls on the floor, stir as if from slumber.

Catching sight of the new foes, Viator pushes his power out towards them.

In a storm of movement his mind tears at their bodies attempting to relocate them, throwing them towards their just-roused companions – Dimensional Scramble.

Um… We have more company!

Viator calls back.

A burst of psionic energy erupts through the Hobgoblin ranks, one groans as the molecules in his body are momentarily disassembled – then slumps to the ground, bleeding from ears, eyes and mouth – dead. Another is left suitably scrambled, and suddenly finds itself teleported further away.

Wha’s goin…

The Hobgoblin worries and wipes his brow.

Of the remaining four Hobgoblins left standing in sight, three are not as heavily armed or armoured as those fought previously – they wear rough leathers and have longswords sheathed at their belt or in hand. The fourth Hobgoblin is armed and armoured the same as the belligerent buggers in the previous chamber- in chain, with a heavy shield and cruelly spiked flail.


The Goblin Shooter – Spizz, continues to scream… now in an ‘I told you so’ fashion.

Back in the entrance chamber the remaining Hobgoblin Warrior shakes his head violently, trying to dislodge the angry bees that buzz there, he cannot- he remains out of sorts – dazed.

The creature sticks to its task, smashes its flail in to Freggo, the Swordmage slumps to the ground, lies still and bleeds profusely.

Oh, Freggo.

Ah-shahran shakes his head.

I know you like Velani, but really, imitation is kind of inappropriate right now. Gorm, see if you can get him up!

Ah-shahran mutters, Gorm materialises next to the fallen Swordmage and licks at Freggo’s face, then turns to Velani, wags his tail, and leaps across Freggo’s body briefly distracting the stoic Hobgoblin Soldier as he fades away, allowing Velani to snap off a rapid slash.

Freggo blinks open his eyes, the Swordmage looks angry and frightened, above him the Hobgoblin still rages and swats – this time at Gorm. Velani slices once more at the Hobgoblin, the creature staggers, goes to take a step back but steadies itself. Blood pours from a myriad wounds on the beast -


The last of the word a hiss, it fights on yet.

Note the Encounter has just got a little harder -

Encounter #6 – 952 XP – Level 3 Encounter
4 Hobgoblin Grunts (Level 3 Minion)
1 Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet (Level 1 Controller)
2 Goblin Sharpshooters (Level 2 Artillery)
3 Hobgoblin Warriors (Level 3 Soldier)

End of Round #3

Three PCs wounded, with one bloodied – Freggo (27/6 +4 HP), Kali (25/16 HP) and Velani (28/23 HP).
One Hobgoblin Grunt killed.
Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet dead.
One Goblin Sharpshooter bloodied (31/5 HP).
One Hobgoblin Warrior deceased, and two wounded – one bloodied the other only slightly (47/10 & 47/37 HP).


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The Goblin Guards

Round #4

Kyalia rushes to Viator’s aid, past Spizz the Goblin who juggles his hand crossbow and short sword, the Goblin slices as the Elf dashes by, but fails to connect. Kyalia is still not quite sure what is going on around the corner, and her quarry has fled, she jogs to a halt – pulls out two arrows and aims at the fleeing goblin.

Uh-oh. Four more Hobgoblins down the corridor.

She calls back, and then fires…

Her first arrow flies – and thuds in to the fleeing Goblin’s back, the creature falls and skids to a halt on the cold stone floor – stone cold dead.

Kyalia re-aims in an instant, picks out one of the lightly armoured Hobgoblins in the chamber ahead. The Hobgoblin spots the Elf, looks distraught and unprepared, Kyalia’s second arrow flies, catches the creature in the throat. It clutches the spot and goes down gargling blood and fighting for air – in seconds the Hobgoblin is dead.

Kyalia turns back and winks at Spizz. The Goblin gulps – surrounded.

Spizz looks left, then right, then left – and right again, it sucks to be him, and yet. He moves… dodging in between the nasty Elf that winked at him (his mind conjures all manner of terrible perversions – Elves, they give Spizz nightmares), and the other poncey looking Elven one – here goes nothing.

Viator is shocked, he swings hard with his staff attempting to teach the foul Goblin a few manners – alas the troublesome beast is away before he can get a proper grip on his weapon…


Spizz screams and rushes into the second chamber, he screams and rants in his foul Goblin tongue, bringing bad news.

Meanwhile, back in the first chamber Velani hopes to finish off the last of the defenders there, the Hobgoblin Soldier – slices her longsword hard in to the dazed Hobgoblin, the creature is left a bloody mess on the floor. The good ex-Sgt. heads out of the chamber at speed, dashing to help her new found friends.

Freggo is somewhat surprised and delighted that he is still alive.

Wow, that Ah-shahran does good work!

He remarks, and then gingerly stands up and moves reluctantly onwards – to the front line. Hopefully there are not too many Hobgoblins there, he’s still bloodied, battered and bruised.

Kali moves off also, following his companions, preparing himself for more Goblins that need slaying – he feels invigorated, the big Shifter grins at the thought.

Aware of the wounds his fellow adventurers have taken, Viator steels himself. Stepping out into the corridor he exerts his power, he pulls the shield wielding Hobgoblin Soldier a little towards him, then unleashes his power.

The creature alas avoids the unseen explosion that tears his fellow Grunt apart.

Viator’s eyes shine as he braces himself for the Hobgoblins’ onslaught.

That said, the Hobgoblins are much depleted, only two of the five remain. A leather armour clad Grunt scrambles to its feet, draws its longsword and rushes down the corridor towards Viator, screaming all the while –


Clearly the creature is unfazed by the killing it has seen.

The Hobgoblin Soldier is the leader of this group, it calls the shots – shouting and screaming in the Goblin tongue…

Kali, a little way back down the corridor, listens in and relays all that is said -

Get down there, slow them…


What are you waiting for, Maglubiyet’s birthday? Get Eggnog, and the Gimp!


Stop blabbering, shift that… and then cover me…

Shouting done, the Soldier barrels down the corridor, looking for things to kill – its flail already at the ready.

The Soldier rumbles forward, building up a head of steam, before finally breaking in to a charge –


Straight at Viator…

Who suddenly disappears, only to be replaced with Velani, who appears in the Eladrin Psion’s place.

I don’t think so, mister.

The ex-Sgt. attempts to intercept the Hobgoblin’s blow with her Righteous Shield, but fails and pays the price – sliced and cut badly.

The Hobgoblin looks left and spies the massed ranks gathered there, the other adventurers moving towards the fracas.

Is that all you’ve got!

The Hobgoblin bites off and spits. Clearly it means business.

Ah-shahran moves up next to Freggo and pats him on the shoulder.

Looking a bit winded there, young man. Might want to take a moment to catch your breath.

Ah-shahran lowers his voice to a whisper and then mutters to himself.

I’m afraid I’m running out of tricks, here.

Meanwhile, Gorm makes a brief appearance at Velani’s side, growling at the nearby Hobgoblin, then dissolving into mist that flows into Kyalia and empowers her to snap off an arrow at the Hobgoblin Soldier.

Almost at point blank range the arrow hits, and with devastating effect, the Hobgoblin is badly wounded, blood pours from a gaping wound in its side, made all the worse when the brutish thug rips the arrow out, causing the flow to increase dramatically.

End of Round #4

Three PCs wounded, with two bloodied – Freggo (27/6 +4 HP), Kali (25/22 HP), Velani (28/13 HP).
Three Hobgoblin Grunts killed.
Goblin Acolyte of Maglubiyet dead.
One Goblin Sharpshooter dead.
Two Hobgoblin Warriors deceased, and one wounded – bloodied (47/20 HP).


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