The original write-up of the cave had militaristic goblins and a shaman or two ready to combat the party, coupled with a blind hit from the left where a team of goblin dogs and their trainers would hit, as well as two pit traps and the potential to circle around and hit the party from behind. It was supposed to be a VERY tough slog through their home with no possibility of retreat until sunset as the goblins were going to set the grasses on fire and the smoke and flames would force the party into the cave where they'd have to suffer waves of prepared goblins chanting as well as withering arrow fire.
None of that happened.
Instead we have the party going to the cave to encounter about HALF the original number of goblins, of which 11 are veteran status but older - and the rest are women and children.
The traps are still there but aren't manned to the same degree and the assault on the party is much more fragmented and less focused. So much so that the party kicked some serious goblin ass.
The worst of it for the party was the nauseous effect from the pails of shit and piss from the midden hurled at the group. Ie the stinking cloud, nauseous people can't attack, cast spells, or use skills. AC is -4 penalty and it's 1d6+2 rounds.
It was devastating to the party as in the first round of the last combat I took out the two heavy armored tanks meaning our main force of front line fighters was a dog, a spear using warrior henchman, and our ranger. But the entire cave encounter was like a train and the party kept it moving forward - and like any train - anything in the tracks ahead was going to get crushed.
Write up follows:
After a quick scouring of fallen arrows, we decided it was best to press on and keep the momentum going against the goblin forces. The passage out of this chamber ran straight ahead and into the gloom beyond our light source. We cast a light spell on Geld’s spear to help us on our way and then took to the hall, Steiner and Erd leading the way (by dint of their superior armor, doughty shields, and the Detect Trap spell that was still going on).
The passage ran onward for almost 25 long paces until it came to a crossing passage (right and left) and then kept going. According to Steiner, his divine inspired vision informed him that a section of the ground on the left side of the intersection was a weakened floor and should be avoided.
So we moved onward, coming up to the crossing and deciding on going onward or turning left or right when the arrows began firing.
Lots of them.
Steiner held his large shield aloft and moved forward, the goblin shafts driving furrows into his shield, gouging his armor, getting caught in his tabard and padding – but not doing much more than that. He motioned the group to follow and stepped down the hall, Erd right behind him. And then we were assaulted from the right as well with another fusillade of arrows. The party returned fire down the straight corridor, picking off the front spear users while trying to hit the goblins with the bows in back.
Tranis meanwhile along with Ringer ran to the right, bringing the fight to the smaller group over there and closing to front ranks where the two of them hit the foes hard. Swords and spears were thrust and slung and the group on the right broke first, retreating but holding their ranks as they faded around the corner.
The main group held out longer until the last of the spearmen fell. At this point the single older (veteran?) goblin male leading the teens and youths against the party was wounded and peeled back, taking only a single goblin with him in his dash to retreat, the party littering the hall with the dead and dying.
Our shields and armor were showing some wear and our stores of arrows were slipping, but we drew up lines once more and readied ourselves for continuing onward. The decision was made to go to the right since it seemed to open up to a large chamber of some sort. So we picked our way along, seeing a burn barrel in the corner lighting the place, the brazier smoking hot, some sort of “meat on a stick” had been eaten by the goblins in their desire to retreat.
There were signs that the goblins had left in haste and we could hear voices and noises down the hall from here, running at a faint slope and out of the room to the north. The smell of goblin feces was strong and we were talking about what to do (the slope down seemed to be covered with goblin scat!) when it was presented that if we screw around here, what’s to stop the goblins from trying to get out back the main way and signal the returning troops that we were here and they should return quickly?
It made sense so we just turned around and raced back the way we came, Marcus now leading the way – and sure enough, his elven hearing did pick up the sounds of frantic and running goblins coming closer down the original corridor. They had to be stopped. So it was Marcus around the corner followed by Geld who began stabbing and shooting the approaching 8 – 2 with spears, 2 with horns, 2 with drums, and 2 with flaming arrows – already nocked and ready.
We hit them hard and they made some effort to try and get past but Tranis was holding the ground along with Flimflam, plus a total of four of their dogs. Geld actually power slammed one of the running goblins up and over, flinging the 13 year old drummer down into the pit where he dropped 20’ and was impaled on spikes below.
None of them made more than a few feet down towards the exit; all of them eventually slain for their efforts. Erd and Steiner though, out of this fight, went back to the side room with the burning brazier and tossed the brazier down the sloping hall to illuminate the area. It did, but we also got a four count of arrows shot back at us for the effort. So the fighter and priest pulled back and away, rejoining the rest of the party that had finally finished the fight with the goblin foes.
We debated our options and decided that we were going to go back down the main hall towards the now distant and much fainter sounds coming from the cave. We drew up once more in marching order and marched on, eventually coming to a large chamber. The far side led towards the exit (faint light was streaming down), but it was blocked off by dumped over tables, beds, chairs, benches, and all manner of bric-a-brac. There was another corridor to the left also blocked by chairs, stools, boxes, and barrels. From behind both we could hear goblin voices.
We discussed our plans and then decided that once more Erd and Steiner would lead the way – heading towards the larger barricade and attempt to tear it down. However as we raced across the room and approached the barrier, from outside the side corridor and behind that barricade came arcing honey buckets. Honey buckets … filled with 2+ gallons of goblin shit and piss.
And it rained down on both men from head to foot.
They both stopped charging, hacking and coughing as they tried to clear their eyes and mouths. The nauseating goblin feces was oozing under their armor and soaking their skin and clothes. The reek was in their mouth and face and hair. And it made them heave and retch as they staggered about.
Erd moved backwards and Steiner stumbled to the smaller barricade – where spears from the other side thrust out and stabbed into the cleric who was having a hard time staying upright. The rest of the party charged forward to help, Geld dodging a bucket tossed at her and hitting the smaller barricade with her own spear leading the way. The barricade had to come down if they were going to hit the goblins on the other side so Tranis and Geld started ripping into it.
Flimflam went to come forward to help but from the corridor behind us goblin arrows shot out, hitting the druid and then slamming into Whosea three times, bringing his war dog dangerously close to death. Tranis reversed his movement and Marcus helped, the two of them shooting the goblin in the dark while Flimflam healed Whosea from the worst of the injuries. More honey buckets came sailing over and more nausea was tossed on Steiner who not a mouthful as well as the bucket upending into his backpack. He was twisting and screaming, revolted and furious, tossing chairs and benches aside with blind fury.
Whose, healed, raced into the dark corridor and finished off the goblin there while Marcus ran through the fight and hit the far barricade with his crowbar, dodging spear thrusts and trying to get to the goblins behind. To distract them Flimflam summoned a swarm of rats that bit, scratched, and distracted half of the goblins on the other side of the big barrier.
The smaller barricade was almost down when Tranis and Geld were hit with their own buckets, the two of them disgusted but doing their best to keep the fight going on. Erd dared to cross to the larger barrier and was assaulting it with Marcus while the goblins were distracted.
As the last of the chairs and stools were pulled aside and spears were thrust at them, Geld slammed her spear out at the goblin line and skewered one of the teen aged female goblins in the chest. A clear line of sight had Flimflam call out to Demeter and a large wolverine appeared in the narrow corridor, stopping the flow of honey buckets and causing a ruckus amidst the tightly backed goblins.
From the larger barrier the goblins had managed to light a blanket on fire which they hurled on the swarm of rats just about the same time the Marcus and Erd pulled the last larger piece of table aside and opened the line up to fight the 8 goblin spearmen gathered there. Flimflam and Whosea raced to join the fight as Geld, Tranis and Steiner (all covered and nauseous) kept the smaller corridor plugged up and tore through the goblin youths there.
It was narrow fighting and the goblins fell one after another. Our wounds were adding up but we pressed on until the last goblin tried to run down the hall, stopped at the midden and was speared by Geld with a well-placed throw where the 12 year old goblin youth was pitched back into the muck and sunk out of sight with a drowning glub of rising bubbles.
We were done. The fight had taken the rest out of us and we wanted to leave now. It was already after 2 and we knew that we had little time to get back to town and avoid the goblin horde as it approached. We counted coup and cut off 35 pairs of goblin ears to bring back to Shakun for bounty. With most of us beyond skuzzy from shit and piss as well as a smattering of wounds and hurts, we left the goblin cave on Berrycleft Hill and began the three and a half hour walk back to Shakun.
Once there we stripped in town and went right to the bathhouse, throwing out our soft soiled clothes and undergarments, (even a backpack and torches!) and scrubbed ourselves clean. Steiner refused to pay the 5 common price and instead tossed a common to Higraine at Northern Stables to use the larger trough to get himself clean.
So here we are , Earthmonth the 20th, almost 6 PM, and we were gathering back at the Hall of Heroes for a dinner, to catch Avidius up with what happened (as well as Flimflam curing the scout’s sickness with a well-placed healing spell), and to make sure that Kilven was doing ok.