From the Journal of Jerath Adler, Jr.
The plan seemed like a good one. Furgil up in the perch with Oppenheimer below, poised to react to anything that Furgil might see. The rest of us, hiding in the barn, ready to face off with our surprised enemies. It would have worked too. And if it had, we might not find ourselves now trapped without our clothes or our weapons. But alas, I’ve jumped too far ahead, as I sometimes do …
Just a few short hours ago, Elenore, Loreli, Rodrigo, and I watched for a signal to come, and it wasn’t before long that we got JUST the signal. We watched a flash of light cross the night’s sky, and land directly in something with a squishy splat and the holler of something none-to-pleased. We jumped into action to find that a particularly nasty set of night goblins had snuck up on us without our notice to steal the livestock, and were now trying to escape after Oppenheimer shot one square in the ass! Turns out that they had attempted to knock him out with those poisoned pods of theirs, but Oppenheimer was strong enough to resist it (using the mouth guard prepared by Elenore.)
And so, our foes were on the run! Furgil shot another from the tower using his trusty nighvision while the rest of us tried to keep up with the group. Loreli was unfortunately tripped up immediately while Elenore went to get Bieber who was still resting in the house. Oppenheimer, Furgil, and I took flight, but the physical strain was too much for me. Only a few moments later, we found ourselves well behind the pack, and decided to reconvene before heading after them with Bieber’s skills as a tracker. I recovered Oppenheimer’s boot for him (it had gotten lodged in a particularly muddy spot), and off we went.
We tried to keep pace with them through the night, and soon came upon the body of one of them. We recognized it immediately as the one Oppenheimer had shot with his crossbow bolt. It looked as if his companions didn’t like being slowed down by him so they stabbed him through the head with a spear. We did make sure to check the body for anything that might help us, and came across a filthy piece of parchment labeled Baumer Farmstead. It looked like an overhead map of a farming community, but was clearly also marked with goblin writing, making notes of different areas. Could this possibly be their base of operations?
We continued on. Bieber was still moving slowly due to the effects of the poisonous pod, but did a nice job keeping up with the group’s tracks. Before long, we found ourselves on a hillside looking down into the very farmstead illustrated in the map. And yes, it was full of goblins. In fact, from our perch, we watched as a particularly nasty goblin, called Gobsmite (who looked to be wearing a lightning stone as a crown, while at the same time being carried around on a second lightning stone) was arguing with a nearby goblin. Suddenly, a green bolt of lightning fired from his fingertip, extinguishing all life from his kin. There was no doubt that Gobsmite was a Goblin Shaman – a terrible turn of events indeed.
Seeing as how we were easily outnumbered, we decided to wait until daybreak to attack the night goblin compound. At that point, we’d have the advantage of the light of day, which would act as a disadvantage for them (plus, many of them would be sleeping, which would give us the element of surprise.) We rested in a shepard’s lean-to, hoping to save our strength for a few hours before the sun would rise in the rainy sky, but sadly, that was not to be had.
Gobsmite had small groups of goblins patrolling the surrounding hills, more than likely looking for us. We attempted to hide in the small lean-to, but their eyesight was too keen for our stealth, and they were on us quickly! The initial group was made up of 5 goblins on foot and an additional goblin on what I was told is a squig. Like a bouncing ball with ferocious teeth, not even the goblin on board could control the creature. It lunged at Oppenheimer, missing by very little, while the rest of us went to fight off the rest of them. Rodrigo and I took the front line as Loreli shot an arrow into the leaping squig. I could hear Beiber’s arrows and Furgil’s bolts firing as I tried to guard the group the best I could. I needed to keep these goblins far enough away so that everyone could make their shots before they’d be forced to go hand to hand.
The squig lunged again, this time for Furgil, but again missed. Using its blind spot, Elenore and Loreli teamed up to finish the beast off, but in the confusion, Rodrigo fell to the onslaught of goblins, and Furgil jumped into his position to hold off the group. Together, we slowly widdled down the remaining group, and just when we thought it might be over, we spied 12 more goblins coming up the hill towards us with clubs and nets. Again, luck was not on our side.
Being in the front line, both Furgil and I were netted almost immediately. With Rodrigo still down, our numbers were dwindling. I could see the group attempting to fight back, but frustration and exhaustion were setting in. Luckily, Loreli made a key shot, killing the last of the first bunch, giving Furgil and I a chance to rip out of the nets that had fallen on top of us. I quickly healed Rodrigo, but in doing so, I turned my back on Furgil, who was immediately struck and knocked out!
It was a fast back and forth fight as we attempted to hold our ground. If we could hold off their numbers, then we stood a chance. While everyone continued to fire their bows and bolts, widdling down the remaining goblins, Elenore took the opportunity to net a goblin, hoping to possibly question him about their farmstead. But just as we’re about to take another moment to breath, we spied two more groups of six goblins advancing on our position. I revived Furgil before they arrived, and as a quick retaliation, he stabbed the netted goblin in the eye, killing it quickly, albeit painfully.
The new goblins were feistier than the last, having watched a dwarf kill their comrade. Loreli was knocked out by their clubs, soon followed by Oppenheimer. I wanted to tend to them, but my need was to guard those still standing. We continued to fight back, the rain continuing to wash the goblin blood from our skin, and with one final stab, I finished off the last of the lot. Upon quick addition, I realized we had already done away with 30 goblins and one squig. The number was astounding to ponder, but there was no time to do so, for still, 2 more groups of 6 were approaching our position.
The remaining members of our party looked sick at the sight. How many more could there possibly be? Do we attempt to make a stand, or run? Do we leave our fallen comrades, or attempt to defend them until we too fall?
Looking into their faces, I realized I could not – would not – leave our fallen friends behind. I revived Loreli but had not the time to bring Oppenheimer to consciousness. The fight was on.
Rodrigo and I clashed into their groups, giving Bieber, Loreli, and Elenore a chance to fire on them. Two goblins fell quickly, before a blow was struck to the back of my head and everything went dark…
I can’t tell how long it was before I was awoken, but I was in immense pain. It was dark, and I seemed to be sitting on a stone floor without my clothes or my weapons, my hands and feet bound. Needless to say, we had lost and the enemy had captured us. After so much blood on our hands, we had accomplished next to nothing. However, we were still alive, and that meant that there was still much we could do.
As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could see the entire party there, all except Bieber. I muttered to Elenore, and she said that he had run off after Rodrigo and I had fallen. She hoped he was heading for help, because it was at that moment on the hillside that both she and Loreli had also given up, resulting in our capture and placement here.
Suddenly, the door to the room swung open, and daylight poured in, blinding us. In came a number of goblins, one of which was the Goblin Shaman himself – Gobsmite. He attempts to ascertain why we are here, and even when we’d given him the straight answer, he didn’t believe us, and poked us continually with some sort of “pain” stick.
We realized there was nothing we could say, and he sensed that we wouldn’t be able to give him anything else, so he left us to “stew.” As he left us guarded by 3 goblins, our deaths seemed eminent. But before long, I noticed that Furgil was fidgeting back and forth, and suddenly, he was free of his ropes! Somehow he had grabbed a blade that had been dropped by one of our goblin captors. Now equipped with the blade, he stabbed one of the goblins in the eye (killing him instantly), and slit the throats of the remaining two sitting across the room from us. They didn’t even know what was coming.
Furgil then went to work freeing the rest of us, and I attempted to heal those in the room with what little I had. Oppenheimer and Rodrigo seemed the worst for wear, so I tried to bandage them the best I could. While I did this, Furgil and Elenore went to scout the room above by making their way up a barrel chute. Turned out we were in a basement of some sort.
They came back shortly thereafter to tell us that we are indeed in the farmstead, and the chute leads into the kitchen area of the main building. There are goblins around, but since it’s daytime, we may have the advantage, but we’d need a plan, and we’d need our weapons. We still don’t know how many of them are left, or where Gobsmite is, but we what we did know is that we couldn’t leave here without finishing him and his horde off once and for all.