Session 7: Stalkings To Cragmaw Castle

Sword Coast from Phandalin to Cragmaw Castle
With all of the hobgoblins down, and one spared, the group considered their next steps before continuing to Cragmaw Castle.

After Turenim applied bandages to those in need, everyone's attention turned to the remaining hobgoblin. Pippin tied him up. Then, with Snowg and Lee aiming their weapons at him, Turenim revived and began to question him.

The hobgoblin, Robrar, accused the party of trespassing in Cragmaw Woods, refused to acknowledge that this was Neverwinter Woods, and insisted that they let him go and that they would die at the hands of his king. Robrar eventually agreed to take the group to see King Grol, where he said they would then be killed.

Snowg and Lee prodded Robrar threateningly. Agreeing that they could not get any more useful information out of him, and that he only presented a risk, Pippin slit Robrar's throat from behind.

After a brief argument about whether to rest again, the party decided to find a new spot 100 yards away and recuperate. This time Lee set some traps and cast Alarm to alert them to any intruders. After regaining their spells and feeling revived, the group continued toward the castle, with Snowg and Lee in the lead.

After a few hours Lee spotted a band of hobgoblins up ahead. He signaled to everyone to stop and hide. The hobgoblins continued to move towards the direction of the castle, and eventually were out of site.

Soon the group came to a clearing and spotted the castle, which consisted of seven crumbling towers of different sizes and heights. The upper stories were all in varying states of collapse. They could see a short flight of steps that led up to a terrace in front of the main entryway. Past the wreckage of a pair of sundered doors lied a shadowed hall. Round towers loomed over the entrance way, with dark arrow slits looking down on the terrace.

Atilius recognized Cragmaw Castle as not one of goblin construction, but one raised by a talented wizard-noble of old Phalorm, an ancient realm that once controlled much of the North. The stronghold had consisted of seven overlapping towers. He shared this with the group and told them of the Phalorm, known as the Realm of Three Crowns, that was once a kingdom in Northwest Faerûn formed in 523 DR at the Council of Axe and Arrow, a council to deal with the growing orc problem in the area. Dwarves from Dardath, elves from the Ardeep Forest, gnomes from Dolblunde, halflings from Mieritin and humans from Delimbiyran collectively agreed to form a kingdom. The kingdom was destroyed by the Horde of the Wastes in 615 DR.

While stalking the castle, the group heard a thud behind them and turned around to find ten hobgoblins approaching them with weapons drawn. Two of the first attacks, which were against Moula and Turenim were foretold by Atilius and he knew they would miss.

During the fight Moula noticed, and pointed out, that the hobgoblins had been carrying a stripped and bound, unconscious Ivor on a long branch, apparently bringing him to the castle.

The fight went on. Atilius hit many of them with scorching ray and magic missiles. Pippin dodged in an out of the fray, dealing killing blows to vital organs on multiple occasions. Lee dealt a modest amount of damage with Talon in hand, but took a bit of damage in return. Turenim was damaged a couple of times, and only retaliated with barehanded strikes. He also channeled divinity to partially restore Moula and Lee, and healed himself. Moula took a substantial amount of damage, but dropped many of them in return. At one point a hobgoblin blocked one of Moula's quarterstaff swings and cut her staff in two. While it laughed, Moula threw a wheel kick that took its jaw right off its face.

At last no hobgoblins remained standing and the group turned their attention to Ivor, while Pippin checked the hobgoblin bodies, finding Ivor's equipment, and 35 sp, which he gave to Moula.

The group eventually agreed to let all the hobgoblins die, but revive Ivor. The group was irate at Ivor, accusing him of stalking them. Ivor explained that he had been abandoned by his god, and lost all his divine abilities and followed them seeking redemption. The group was incredulous, but Ivor maintained that he only wanted to help, pleading for a second chance. He offered to do whatever they wanted, saying he did not need any share of the treasure, only asking for his equipment, and that he would abide by any rules they put forth, and even only attack when permitted.

While they were debating, Lee spotted four goblins enter the woods from the castle. They noticed the dead hobgoblin bodies and looked around, shocked.

Lee chased after them, drawing his bow. Atilius dropped one with his scorching ray at the edge of the clearing. Lee dropped one with and arrow. Pippin tried to hit one with his crossbow, but in his haste, his crossbow broke. He then drew his short bow and dropped the third one. Almost at the door the gates, the last goblin fell to Atilius' magic missiles.

Moula took two of the goblins' crude scimitars to replace her broken quarterstaff.

Ironically Moula was the only one willing to give Ivor a second chance. In the end they agreed to return Ivor's equipment and let him do what he will, as long as it was not with them. Ivor said he would enter the castle himself. "As long as you're headed that way," Lee asked him, "Can you drag the goblin bodies into woods?" Ivor agreed.

After dragging the goblins out of the clearing, Ivor walked up the steps to the terrace in front of the main entryway when four arrows shot out at him from the slits in the two round towers. Successfully dodging only three of them, Ivor jumped past the wreckage of the pair of sundered doors and into the shadowed hall.

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