Session 38: Confronting the Goblin King

Having defeated the larger goblins in the barricaded room at the top of the stairs, the group examined the room.

This sizable chamber was largely bare, as all the furnishings seemed to have been piled against the far wall. They could just make out the top of a closed door in the far right corner, almost hidden behind the clutter of boxes, barrels, smashed furniture, and loose debris stacked in front of it. A few heaps of cloth and furs in the middle of the room seem to serve as nests or beds for the big goblins.

Baricus searched the dead bodies for treasure, finding a bit of gold, and suggested they take the ears as trophies in hopes there might be a reward. Lawrence and Vernim objected, but eventually Valeria and the rest of the group agreed to let him do it.

Valeria concluded that the goblins must have barricaded the door to try to keep something out. Baricus suggested they avoid whatever dangers the goblins were afraid of, but Vernim suggested it might be the orcs and that they might be in conflict with the goblins. At this Baricus was persuaded that exploring beyond the door might be beneficial.

Phillip quietly climbed over the pile of furniture and listened at the door. After a few minutes he could not hear any sounds from the other side.

Valeria decided they should go back and explore the rest of the cave before removing the barricade from the door.

They went back down the stairs, passed the chamber with the chalk line and rope, and the corridor with the chest at the end, and back to the entrance. The goblin bodies were still lying where they had fallen. Baricus checked the goblin bodies, collecting some copper pieces and an ear from each.

Continuing further they entered a twenty-by-thirty-foot chamber with a small table, two worn benches, and a large keg in the far corner. Near the entrance was an open barrel full of spears ready for use. On the far wall were two other corridors.

Phillip examined the contents of the keg and determined it to be ordinary water.

The corridor to the left reached a dead end after twenty feet. Lawrence and Phillip searched it for traps and secret doors, but found none.

They proceeded down the corridor on the right. After twenty feet it branched to the right. This branch was blocked after five feet by a portcullis. Peering in they saw the room beyond was a cluttered mess. There were heaps of bedding, tables, stools, and benches all around the chamber.

Then, over a dozen goblins jumped into view from behind the wall where they had been hiding, shouting "Bree yark! Bree yark! Bree yark!" with spears in hand.

Vernim shouted to them in goblin. "Slow down, my friends. We do not have to fight. Violence is not the answer at this time."

Lawrence hit one of the goblins with a fire bolt. Valeria put two of the goblins to sleep. Yanliz fired his longbow at them, but missed, as did Baricus with his crossbow.

While preparing his crossbow, Vernim continued his plea. "Let's calm down now. There's no need to get feisty."

He heard one of the goblins shout back to him, in goblin."Get out of here and leave us alone."

Vernim relayed the message, suggesting they back down, adding "There's no reason to fight this day. Luck is not on our side."

Vernim and Phillip backed up around the corner.

The remaining goblins threw their spears at Prynhawn. Prynhawn held up his shield and deflected many of the spears that came flying through the portcullis, but one spear came in low and hit him in the leg, and when he lowered his shield, another spear hit him in the head, skimming off his skull. Prynhawn joined Vernim and Phillip around the corner.

Lawrence cast charm person on one of the goblins, but it had no effect, and he backed up. Valeria also withdrew and encouraged everyone else to do the same. Yanliz and Baricus withdrew, the ranger keeping one of the goblins in his sights.

"We've stepped back." Vernim parlayed. "Now are you going to step back?"

"Get out of our home!" The goblins shouted back. "Leave us alone! What do you bandits want with us?"

"We don't want anything with you?" Vernim replied. "Where are the orcs?"

"Then get out of our home! Leave us alone!" They shouted back. "The orcs are gone!"

"What happened to them?" Vernim inquired.

"They're gone!" They shouted back.

"You know more than that." Vernim pressed. "We don't want to disturb you. We want to disturb the orcs."

"Get out of our home!" They continued to shout.

"Tell us what happened to the orcs." Vernim pressed.

Phillip offered to get the party the spears from the barrel in the previous room. Meanwhile the goblins brandished their own spears and shouted, "Get out of here! Bree Yark!"

"We've moved back." Vernim continued. "Just tell us where the orcs are and we'll be happy to—"

"They're not here!" they goblins insisted. "They left. We don't know where they went! Do we look like orcs? There are no orcs here."

"You look very intelligent." Vernim continued. "What's your name?"

"My name's Krid," one of the goblins shouted back. "What's your name?"

"My name's Vernim—"

"I don't care!" Krid cried. "Get out!"

After more back and forth of the same nature Vernim relayed the conversation to the rest of the group and suggested they leave.

At this some of the goblins high-fived each other, laughing, "Heh-heh-heh, bree yark!"

Instead of exiting, the group decided to proceed down the corridor instead.

"You're still here?" Krid shouted. "You better go now!"

As soon as the group passed the corridor with the portcullis a panel opened in the wall at the end of the corridor in front of them and six hobgoblins jumped out, surprising Lawrence, Vernim, and Baricus, who were engaged in a side conversation.

Yanliz immediately let an arrow lose, catching the first hobgoblin in the throat, dropping it. Prynhawn engaged with his longsword, slashing into the second. It's knees buckled and it feebly thrust its spear at the paladin, who knocked the spear aside. Three hobgoblins threw their spears at Lawrence. The sorcerer managed to avoid all but one of them. Phillip rushed to Prynhawn's side, breaking the third hobgoblin's neck, and jumping into the air and hitting another with a back kick. Valeria cast cure wounds in Prynhawn.

Lawrence hit the one Prynhawn had injured with a fire bolt in the chest, dropping it. Vernim aimed at one of the last ones, staggering it with a crossbow bolt in the gut, but Yanliz missed with his longbow. Baricus rushed forward with his short swords dropping two of the injured hobgoblins. Prynhawn swung at the last hobgoblin, but it parried the blow and slashed Prynhawn with its own broadsword. Phillip tried to hit it, but could not get passed his half-orc companion. Valeria lunged forward with her long sword, piercing its armor.

Just then three more brawny goblins burst through the panel, followed by an even bulkier one wearing an ornate helmet, who shouted in goblin, "What's going on here? You haven't gotten rid of these intruders yet?"

"We're only here for one reason." Vernim began. "We just want to know where the orcs are. We don't want to fight with you?"

"You already came in here and killed all my kin!" The husky goblin retorted.

Lawrence cast charm person on the one with the fancy helmet, and its demeanor seemed to soften.

"Wait, stop attacking our friends," it commanded. "The orcs? They left."

Everyone lowered their weapon. The goblin introduced himself as Harkul, the king of these goblins, and, declaring that any friend of the red-scaled man is a friend of his, explained that the orcs fled the caves. When pressed he revealed that the bandits from the other side of the stream had chased them away.

When Vernim told him that's who they are after, Harkul said he thought they were the bandits. When Vernim explained that they were not bandits, Harkul asked why they came in here and attacked them. Vernim explained thy were only after the orcs and had no problems with the goblins.

Vernim, after a request from Prynhawn, asked Harkul about what was behind the barricaded door at the other end of the caves.

"Uh!," Harkul shook his head, and warned, "You don't want to go through there!"

Harkul confirmed there were zombies, and lots of them, led by evil priests.

Vernim explained that he might be able to assist their injured, and cast spare the dying on the one seemed to be hanging on to life.

Vernim offered to go after the bandits for them, and asked Harkul if he wanted to join them, but Harkul explained that too many of his warriors had already been slain, except for six who were already out confronting the bandits.

Vernim pressed him for information on how he could let them know that they were friends of Harkul's and the king told them their names were Biets, Preats, Sluk, Gurk, Plialeq, and Dossob.

After Vernim relayed the conversation to the rest of the group Valeria suggested they get going. Harkul walked passed them to the portcullis and told them to hold their spears, and waited for the group to leave.

They crossed the narrow stream that trickled down the center of the ravine and found two cave mouths on the other side. They decided to check out the cave on the left. As they approached, Vernim thought he heard some unnatural rustling in the trees across from the cave mouth.

They approached the nearest tree, but didn't see anything. Prynhawn lifted Phillip up and the halfling reached for the lowest branch.

Spears came flying down at them from the trees. Two of the spears struck Phillip and one of them hit Prynhawn. Phillip saw about half a dozen small scaly skinned humanoids with pronounced muzzles preparing to strike them again.

Prynhawn used lay on hands on Phillip, and Valeria cast cure wounds on Prynhawn.

Phillip jumped from Prynhawn's grasp and they all fled from the trees.

They considered what to do next, when Phillip suggested it was time for another meal. Valeria suggested they return to The Keep. Vernim argued that they should try to find Harkul's soldiers that went after the bandits, but no one agreed that it was worth the risk.

When they made it back to the road they stopped while Phillip prepared a quick snack for them.

Phillip reminisced about the excitement they had experienced and expressed his joy that they were able to survive it together.

The rest of the trip back to the Keep was uneventful.

At the main gate, the guards, Laurl and Charl, along with Sabine, were pleasantly surprised at their return.

When asked, they explained that they had not accomplished what they set out for, but had killed a bunch of goblins.

"The less goblins the better!" Sabine praised. Glancing at their bloody garments she suggested they might want to visit the temple, but they said they were okay and just wanted to head back to the tavern.

They asked if there was a reward for killing goblins, and Sabine said she did know of one, but would ask the castellan and let them know.

They checked on their steeds in the stables where Tella was obviously surprised to see them again. She said no one else who had ventured to the caves ever returned, like Cob the ranger."

Seeing that their mounts had been well tended to, they paid for another night and headed to the tavern.

When they arrived at The One-Eyed Cat they found it less crowded than the previous night, due to the late hour. Jess was cleaning tables and was also happy to see their safe return. She welcomed them in and said she would heat up some food for them. Phillip offered to help and went with her.

As they took their seats at an empty table, Vernim noticed that the guard-woman was standing in the same spot as if she had never moved.

In the kitchen Jess mentioned to Philip that there were probably plenty of would be adventurers that would be happy to join them on their next mission, if they were interested. Phillip innocently asked her if she would be interested in joining them. "Well...I don't know." she said, shyly. "I do sometimes sneak up on people, quite by accident. And Mouse, the locksmith, has shown me how to crack some of the easier locks. I would also like to introduce you to Brother Martin, the baker. I think you two would really get along. You seem to have a lot in common."

When Phillip and Jess arrived with food and drinks, Jess asked them about their adventures, which they happily recounted. They commented on Phillip's unique herbs and spices obviously added to the food.

"Adventurers!" they heard from the table at the far side of the tavern where they saw a grossly fat man dressed in fancy clothes and jewels. On either side of him sat an attractive female companion, and next to them were two burly armed and armored soldiers. "Come! Sit! Have a drink on Mendel!"

The group rose and approached the table, except Yanliz, who said he was tired and retired to their room, which Phillip had secured once again.

"Devdas. Ohtar. Make way for our guests." Mendel commanded as his dour guards rose and pulled over a table and chairs so they could sit with Mendel and his companions. They remained standing nearby.

"Greetings my friends." Mendel roared. "This is Chantel and Sascia. We just arrived earlier today from the south. And good timing. I hear you have met with good fortune at the fabled Caves of Chaos. You must be quite accomplished. Tell me of your tales. I am but a meager traveling merchant and I love to hear tales of heroic deeds. I will be happy to pay for your stories in ale." He smiled broadly.

Upon telling them of their encounters with the goblins, Baricus asked if there was any reward for their slaughter.

"Let me see what you have." Mendel offered. And upon seeing the ears he offered to pay them five silver pieces each.

Pleased, the group continued with their tales, and enjoyed the endless drinks.

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