The idea of "end game" and town politics typically doesn't take place until 9+ level and not all groups go there. But unless you send a swarm of Bulette's to attack your power group when they are meteor swarming a horde of giant spiders riding black dragons - at some point the idea of maintenance and roots and politics does take place.
I am testing the waters here with the middle part of this adventure (called the Gathering Dark) and the goblin raid. It's not the end all be all - 250 odd goblins against a town of 1,900 - and there is a 25' tall wall they can all hide behind. What it is though that SOME of the Homesteads will be pillaged (how many? we'll see!) and there is a floating surprise to hit the group.
We'll see how they perform during the raid and their subsequent views on town politics and building to help me guide adventure 6.
Write up follows:
We spent a minute taking stock of the situation and then had our cleric stabilize Scarene. Curufin was beyond our help. And now it was time to discuss what happened and how it would play out. Scarene was to be taken to the militia where who would be imprisoned and then questioned. We would send word via aviary to Curufin’s last recipient to let them know of the elf’s passing.
But most of all, we had to get the Baron and the council in on this and then send some riders north into the Shakunian Hills and get some eyes on the goblin forces. We estimated between 40 and 80 – but we wanted to know for sure.
We returned to the Hall of Heroes where we came upon a Pervian nomad by the name of Kilvin looking for us. From the same area of Perv that Flimflam and Ironboard were from, the human barbarian was following dreams, stories, and portents to come here at long last and meet up with Flimflam to help out.
We gave Senna and Avidius’ daughters what money was needed to support the home, made sure they knew where shields and spears were (should they be needed), and then filled all the jars and barrels in the house because we assumed there would be some goblin raid this night.
We returned to Town Hall just after 11 and shared our findings with the Baron and his council members (Zarik, Thragrial, Westwinter, Rhianent) and discuss plans to defend the town and the Homesteads. Most everyone assumed the Homestead defense was not going to happen – and we would have to ask the people there to come behind the walls and leave them to either be plundered or burned. Better to lose material than to lose people.
However, the Baron understood where the people were going to come from – and that was all their hard work was going to risk being destroyed in one fell goblinoid attack. Captain Thragrial and Marshall Westwynter were going to arrange to get the Homesteads evacuated and the goal was to have everyone ready to come in before the night runs out.
But we need for sure more information. So we Kilvin, Tranis, and Avidius were going to get horses from the Stablemaster with the Baron’s approval to ride north and check the goblins out. The rest of us were going to go to the prison and question Scarene in depth as for what’s going on.
By 12 we had our jobs and separated.
Through LOTs of questioning, investigation, riding, talking, scouting, and everything else – we learned the following information which we all shared by 3:30 that afternoon when we all reconvened together.
As per Scarene and a variety of questioning/spells/tactics:
- She is a half goblin/half elf and granddaughter of a Goblin Warchief named Balistock the Crazed.
- Balistock works with the “Blue One” (dragon) and uses his lair (for now) as a base of operations
- Scarene has been coming in to town for weeks and introducing rats, fleas, and fungus to the granary.
- The granary is over 40 tons full right now but from what we just learned, is most likely tainted and will sicken most of the people of Shakun over the winter.
- Even if we trash all the grain in there and load up with whatever we can harvest in the last few weeks, we’ll only have maybe a 15 tons – not enough to support the town. Which means either import or hungry times for Shakun.
- Long term goal is to weaken Shakun so Balistock the Crazed can launch a spring offensive and try to retake Shakun for at least a week.
- If he does, the Lords of Duuk Tsarath will allow him the opportunity to use a Dwarven Sphere against the elves of Woodhelven.
- Dwarven Spheres are a combination of older dwarven weaponry from the Kinslayer Wars and newer tech the gobbo’s got from “elsewhere” and lots of Hadesnium to make a big assed bomb.
- Balistock the Crazed has only the most terrible and xenophobic prejudiced hatred for elves and all things elvish.
From our scouts we learned instead:
- There weren’t 40 goblins. Or 80. But in excess of 200 of them.
- There were also goblin dogs with them, at least 30.
- There were travois and baggage – indicating they are expecting to take back LOTS of plunder or they are bringing something terrible to Shakun.
- Fetish markings and standards are revealed perhaps 4 shaman with the goblins.
- Based upon the distance and they fact they were resting in the day – we estimated they would be at the town by 9ish or later tonight.
Long and short of it, we felt outclassed. They were coming and nothing we could do would deter that.
We called the Baron and his people back together, shared all the news with them, and then let them do what they are doing best. The Homesteads would be cleared and everyone in behind the walls by 7PM – no exceptions. We would barricade all three gateways with fallen wagons, broken houses from Tanner’s Way, and other wreckage the town would scrounge up. All musterable men were to be called up and at conscripts were to report by 5:30 PM
As for defense, Sir Flimflam Waywocket and the Peacemakers were asked to stand and marshall the defenses at Northgate and we agreed.
We had a bad feeling - what if the magic “weakening effect” was in place right now? The best way to test it was to have the group go to Cornelius’ Tower and see if the pain/fear affect was still on the door. Kilvin tested it – And sure as shit – it still was.
So here it was 4 PM on Earthmonth the 19th and there are a horde of goblins coming to loot the place and burn it down.