Corun Dum’man is distracted from discussing the watcher in the woods with Elroy Wick. The Wizard has noticed something – the worgs do not have blood on their teeth. It does not appear that any of these beasts landed a hit against whatever killed them last night. Or if they did, the creatures did not get past their killer’s armor.
The party is done here. Time to move on. Tracks indicate that the goblins and worgs came from the east. This is noted for future reference. Magnus hacks off the worgs’ tails to bring back as evidence, and the party leaves the clearing.
It is a seven-hour trek back to Pine Cove. They meet no opposition along the way.
In the village the party meets their friend Kulich. The Cleric heals both Magnus and Wick to full. The Bard (Perform : Oratory = 29) tells a riveting tale describing what Kulich missed.
Elroy Wick then determines (Knowledge : Local = 19) who the local authority is. It is a man named JØHAN (NPC), the closest person Pine Cove has to a mayor. The group talks their way into meeting with him. Wick (Perform : Oratory = 22) does the tell of the group’s adventures last night and today. Magnus carelessly tosses the worg tails onto a side table, as supporting evidence or as a gift.
JØhan is distrustful, abrasive, annoyed. He is neither grateful for the information nor eager for the party to stir up more trouble. The agitated mayor wishes to speak no further on the matter. Yorgenson Uberson and his friends reluctantly leave his office.
After dinner, the party decides to patrol the treeline around the village at dusk. The forest’s edge is a short walk from here. To follow the treeline in a loop around the village is a distance of a few kilometers. Rogue Goa Finnbjorn keeps her senses sharp (Spot = 25, Listen = 18) but notices nothing. Yorgenson Uberson does a lousy job with his Spot and notices only a single pinecone, on the ground. Just the one. As an aside, Yorgenson mentions that Druids are known to live in these woods.
The patrol is complete. The forest is quiet. The party rests the night in Pine Cove.
In the morning, the group packs up their gear and sets out for the clearing again. From where they found the dead worgs, the party would like to scout east, perhaps find where the goblins had come from.
Mid-afternoon and the cautious adventurers reach the clearing. Everything looks the same. Spot checks don’t indicate anything different. Elroy Wick has just Searched and discovered new tracks when Kulich and Corun Dum’man, pacing around the worg remains, trigger hidden traps. Arrows burst from the trees; one misses the nimble Cleric while the other hits the startled Wizard.
The party’s surprise is met with a hail of crossbow bolts, from assailants hidden in the bushes. Kulich, Yorgenson Uberson, and Magnus are hit, then Kulich is hit again and Wick is tagged with a bolt. Corun ducks low and is narrowly missed.
The Wizard casts Shield on himself, scampering to the shelter of a dead worg. The Druid takes cover beside him; he taps Corun for a single point of healing.
Kulich dives for cover behind the unpleasant corpse of a worg. Taking a quick glance around, the Cleric’s sharp eyes (with a natural 20 rolled for Spot for a total Skill Check of 23) mark five snipers. These are not goblins; they are Kobolds.
Most others are busy scrambling for cover and only see a few of their attackers. Goa has a line on one and slings at him, a miss. Wick keeps low, pulls his crossbow and rallies his allies with an Inspire Courage monologue.
The only adventurer not to take cover or even duck, is Magnus. The pragmatic warrior draws a javelin from his pack, tests its weight, then swiftly hurls it into a kobold, killing the creature.
From cover, the party does another Spot check, and calls out their findings. In all, six kobolds have been seen. One is dead and five encircle the party at the clearing’s perimeter.
Yorgenson casts a healing spell on Wick. Corun opts for his crossbow over a spell, and proves the decision wise by killing a kobold with one deadly-precise shot. Goa’s next sling bullet barely misses her target.
Magnus jogs over to the kobold he killed with the javelin. The creature had been carrying a spear. No sooner has Magnus taken up this spear than he sends it flying into the chest of another kobold, killing that one.
The kobolds, no doubt noticing Magnus’s prowess, try to remain focused. One on the far side of the clearing lodges a crossbow bolt in Kulich’s side. Another advances to melee range, meeting Yorgenson Uberson in combat.
Corun risks open ground to move beside Jorgen and watch their tracker’s back. The Halfling Rogue finally scores a hit with her sling. Kulich is not so capable on his attempt and misses his attack. Wick has his crossbow loaded but cannot find the mark with the shot.
Magnus is torn between using one of his own javelins, or scooping the second dead kobold’s spear. The Fighter opts to javelin a third kobold to death. Magnus smiles. He made the right decision.
Yorgenson smashes a kobold with his heavy mace to avenge a crossbow bolt that just hit Corun Dum’man. Goa sees a chance to slip into a flanking position against a kobold, and doing so opens a tactical advantage for Kulich that the Cleric does not let slip away.
The Druid is admiring the Cleric’ attack when he is blindsided by a devastating hit (with a natural 20 confirmed with another natural 20). He is almost knocked out. The Wizard saw this happen and, crossbow ready, shoots dead the last kobold.
The fight over and the area secured, the party searches the kobolds. The creatures wore Small-sized leather armor, carried spears and daggers and crossbows, and Medium-sized shortbows which, to them, were equivalent to longbows. In their pockets were gems; Corun Dum’man easily Appraises the Rose Quartz (20 gp), clear Quartz (40gp), Onyx (50 gp) and the dozen Lapis Lazuli (10gp each). Elroy Wick (with a natural 1 rolled for Appraise for a total Skill Check of 5) has no eye for precious stones today.
The Bard is useful for something; he finds some kobolds wore copper medallions, which depict a lizardman holding a spear. He identifies (Knowledge : Religion = 17) these as the symbol of Kurtulmak, patron god of kobolds. Wick takes one of the medallions as a keepsake.
The party sticks to its plan, and follows the goblin and kobold tracks east, away from the clearing. For half an hour they carefully plod deeper into the forest. Finally they come to a cave. It is a section of ground that collapsed into an old lava tube. The entrance to this tunnel is heavily scarred with kobold and goblin prints.
Others stand back while Goa Finnbjorn the Rogue takes the lead now. Carefully she eyes the entrance, and decides with reasonable certainty there are no traps here. Magnus assumes the lead, and no sooner reaches the bottom of the slope into the tunnel than he triggers a pit trap and makes the Reflex save to teeter on the edge, without falling in. Yorgenson grabs him by the collar and yanks him back to safety. Goa reminds them that she was reasonably certain there were no traps.
The rest of the party lets the Halfling go first. She does, Searching for traps every 10 feet. Proceeding this way, the group delves further into the dark, level tunnel. Wick casts Light on his dagger to provide illumination.
They come to a dead end. A section of the tunnel had caved in. Looking closer, the party notices that a narrow opening remains between the top of the rubble pile and the curved stone roof of the tunnel. Smallest and best suited for the task, Halfling Goa takes Wick’s Light-emitting dagger and scrambles up the debris slope to crawl over the top.
On the other side of the blockage, Goa finds that the tunnel continues. On the walls she notices a lot of writing, in Draconic. She whispers back for the others to follow. Magnus is the first to squeeze through the narrow opening. He speaks Draconic and can read the writing on the cave wall – it is a catalog of kobold traps in this tunnel. The information will come in handy.
The rest of the party passes the tight gap. Goa will scout ahead quietly (with a natural 20 rolled for Move Silently for a total Skill Check of 31). Corun Dum’man tries his very best (with a natural 20 rolled for Listen for a total Skill Check of 23) but cannot hear the Rogue.
As she finds and marks traps, wary of bumping into more kobolds, Goa periodically signals back to the others to follow or wait. Soon there is light ahead; another collapsed section of tunnel provides an exit to the forest above. The tunnel itself continues into more darkness.
(end of the session)
[Magnus, Elroy Wick, Goa Finnbjorn, Corun Dum’man achieve Level 2]