(( Played on April 17 2011 ))
A few days have past and the adventurers have spent a little time around town reaping the benefits of “winning” in the arena when the Lord Mayor summoned them to the keep. Lord Brenton III had found another way for the Arena champs to work off their debt. It turned out that Breton had a controlling interest in a local silver mine to the north of Arcdale and that a transport wagon and its crew had not returned in a week. In addition to this, he had sent out a second group to search for the first and to gather the minerals from the mine just after the Arena fight. This group has also not returned or sent word. The Lord Mayor pointed out that since the adventurers had done so well in the arena, that they were the logical choice to find out what was happening. And, as a bonus, they could work off more of their debt by finding what was happening at his mine and where did the previous two groups disappear to.
In less than an hour, the group had gotten the few supplies they needed and headed out of Arcdale, down into the valley to the north and out towards the mines. About an hour passed from leaving the valley and into the northern highlands they came across two wagons. One was flipped down into a 10 foot deep ravine and seriously damaged and the second was parked next to the ravine. Both were completely stripped of anything of value. The party began searching around the area and found small humanoid tracks in the dirt and rocks. Luckily for the group, it had rained so hard the day before the arena fights and hadn’t since so the tracks were easy to find and follow. During a more thorough search, the druid and the shaman found a set of these tracks heading away from the road to the mines and into the sparse forest of tundra bushes and hardy trees. Within a few dozen yards the group spotted a human male tied to a tree in a clearing. Expecting the worse, the adventurers slowly moved forward towards the man and as they prepared to cut the ropes that held his arms behind him and remove the gag stuffed in his mouth, a quartet of arrow strings twanged from above them.
Now that the trap had been sprung that the group half expected, they began to look up into the trees to find the snipers. The avenger, Sered, cut the ropes and ungagged the human who turned out to be a wizard from the previous group sent out by Lord Brenton. He was also in the Arena fights, who survived the fight along with the dwarf just before these four fought. A moment after the wizard collected his orb and cloak that was on the ground, four more goblins and a hobgoblin stepped from behind the trees to join the fight on the ground as their fellows attacked from the trees.
For a minute things looked very bad for our adventurers, even with the additional help of the wizard that had been held captive. The goblins on the ground harried them as the sharpshooters in the trees rained down arrows on them and the Hobgoblin commander directed the attacks and used his flail with deadly precision. The wizard, who went by the nick name Dill, started focusing his attention on the goblins in the trees once spotted and blasted them far into the air to fall from that point down to the ground melee. Two never survived the fall. At the same time, the rogue, the avenger, and the shaman’s totem spirit, a ghostly bear kept the hobgoblin on his heels and finished him off as the goblins began falling from the sky.
(( DM NOTE: It was a nice bit of combat where all but one of the PC’s were hurt, some to the point of unconsciousness. But they slowly turned the advantage back to the players. ))
After the combat was finished, the bodies were gone through finding a bit of copper and some low grade equipment which they brought with them, the group figuring every little bit helps, they began searching the area. Again the shaman and the druid found more tracks heading in a different direction, towards the hills that eventually become the Icespine mountains. The group, now including the wizard, quickly and quite successfully tracked the path back to a cavern that had a small plume of smoke coming out of it.
(( DM NOTE: Stupid skill challenge – I set the success to-hit level entirely too low and the group hit five for five without a failure. I have to increase the level for the next one. ))
After much discussion and bickering, the group decided to have the druid assume his bear form and do the recon of the cave as to not give away the fact that there are adventurers looking into it. Even after convincing the shifter that they would be right behind him, the rest of the group held back and let the “bear” explore the opening of the cave. Toby, the druid, in bear form found the mouth of the cave empty except for a fire burning inside of it to provide light since the cave quickly shifted directions to cut off any natural light from the outside. He rounded the corner and ran into three goblins that were as surprised at seeing a “bear” as he was to find them. Thinking quickly he roared and them and managed to scare them off.
(( DM NOTE: The player rolled a natural 20 for his bluff check to roar – what else could I do?! Quick thinking on my behalf would quickly change this around – See the reprecussions in the next paragraph. ))
The bear continued into the cave and found a large room with benches and cook fires going and he could see two passageways from this point so he decided to run back around and let the rest of the party know what was happening. After a quick discussion at the mouth of the cave they all decided to head into the cavern and see what was happening. As they entered the mess hall / entry room a gong started sounding and they heard the shouts of goblins through the passages. The party continued down the two passageways the bear taking the lead in the first and the avenger in the second. The avenger managed to trigger a trap that got him stuck in place until the rogue helped him out. The bear entered another large room in the cavern to find goblins rushing towards the entry room. He quickly turned tail and headed back to the entry room and let everyone know that the goblins were coming. The party began to setup a choke point where the goblins would come through so the adventurers could clear out the cavern.
END OF SESSION TWO