Nightfall comes. Pine Cove closes its gates against the wild. Inside the village, the party sleeps comfortably as guests of host families.
In the morning, the group meets for breakfast. Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn thought of another creature known to inhabit the woods around the settlement : Owlbears. The barbarian surprises his friends with a (Knowledge : Arcana = 15) and states that Owlbears leave tracks almost identical to that of normal bears. But Owlbears tend to be Large-sized creatures, and the bear tracks found at the edge of the forest were those of a Huge-sized beast.
The party needs someone who can Track. Corun Dum’man wisely suggests that they hire a local hunter as a wilderness guide. The party disperses into the village, looking for a candidate. Elroy Wick fails miserably (with a natural 1 rolled for Gather Information for a total Skill Check of 7) at finding any leads, but is at least polite (Diplomacy = 12).
Goa Finnbjorn finds a local woodcutter, a man in his mid-20’s named JORGEN (NPC). Hoping to pique his interest, she promises (with a natural 20 rolled for Bluff for a total Skill Check of 24) an outlandish reward of gold and treasures. Jorgen can’t refuse the deal.
The group and newly hired Jorgen hike back to the tracks in the woods. Stately Corun brings their tracker up to speed on their mission. Øskur generously offers to slay a stag for Jorgen in exchange for his help. Along the way, Elroy Wick tells stories (Perform : Oratory = 28) to amuse his fellows.
Returning to the site of the tracks, Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn takes a look (Survival = 26) and determines that the bear was the first to pass this area; some hours later, a human followed and left his own footprints. Jorgen has no trouble following the tracks, and so leads the group.
At one point the prints are obscured, but Corun (with a natural 20 rolled for Spot for a total Skill Check of 23) locates them again.
The tracks soon part ways. The party, interested now in where the human went, decide to follow his prints, losing interest in those of the ursine. The human tracks lead almost directly away from Pine Cove. Half an hour of tracking later, the human’s path starts to curve back towards the village.
Pausing here a moment, the party takes stock of its surroundings. Some of the group hear a faint clanking sound (Listen DC = 20). Goa is the only one to notice (Spot DC = 20) a faint veil of smoke rising between the trees deeper in the forest.
The Halfling rogue leaves her friends to wait, and ventures cautiously (Move Silently = 15, 20, 21) into the forest toward the smoke. She is able to sneak up on four short, ugly humanoids in a small clearing. They are gathered around a campfire and a bubbling cauldron of what smells like stew. One of the humanoids has its back to her; the other three are visible through the dense foliage. Goa sees (Spot = 21) that they are Goblins.
The wiley Rogue withdraws cautiously (Move Silently = 28, 28) and easily sneaks away without alerting the goblins. Minutes later she reports her findings to her friends. Barbarian Øskur immediately draws his weapon and stalks off into the forest to go get some killing done. Magnus is close behind, thinking that Røgnvaldurarsøn may need a hand.
Elroy Wick follows. The Bard has his crossbow primed and plans to take mental notes for composing the tale of this encounter later. Warmage Armst brings up the rear, well ahead of the rest of the party. The others, for a minute, had actually planned to devise an actual plan of attack. Now, they hurry to catch up.
Øskur bursts through the bushes into the clearing and attacks the goblins. Corun casts Magic Weapon on Magnus’s Heavy Pick. Armst casts Hail of Stone, centered on the campfire. The cauldron of stew is overturned as the goblins scatter for cover and scramble for weapons. Goa is horrified at the sight of delightful-smelling food splashed to the dirt. She lets out a squeak.
Elroy positions himself in the center of his allies, and begins to Inspire Courage with a (Perform : Oratory = 22) bold speech extolling his friends’ strengths and virtues (+1 to hit and damage).
At the side of the melee, the flank unit of Magnus, Goa, and Corun are ambushed by two previously unseen goblins carrying slings. A sneak-attacking sling bullet nails Wizard Corun smack on the head; the spellcaster drops to the ground (Hit Points = -3). Magnus dislikes harm done to his friends; the able Fighter kills a goblin, the first combat kill for the party.
Having started this jamboree, Øskur cannot sit on the sidelines. He kills a goblin. The barbarian’s strength is impressive. Yorgenson Uberson is out of position; hustling around a clump of bushes, the Druid grips his Heavy Mace and looks for an open goblin.
Goa draws her crossbow in a smooth action and looses a bolt. It misses. Elroy Wick, still praising his friends, takes a shot with his light crossbow. Also a miss.
By luck alone, Corun’s bleeding stops and he stabilizes. He lies comatose. Øskur Røgnvaldurarsøn has a feeling he is about to be jumped; the goblin trying to sneak attack quickly finds itself dead. Some goblins panic and flee into the woods. Yorgenson connects with a target and kills his goblin. Goa has reloaded and, taking more careful aim, shoots dead a goblin near her.
The battle is ended. The Druid uses his magic to heal the Wizard and wake him. Goa hurries to the cooking pot and rescues what stew remains inside. It is as delicious as she suspected. Others check the goblin bodies but find nothing of interest. Jorgen emerges from behind a wide, sheltering tree trunk.
Three goblins got away. Jorgen looks but cannot find their tracks. The party Searches the area. This campsite has been used many times before by a number of different kinds of humanoid. This is not the first time goblins have stayed here.
(end of the session)