Aftermath Goblin Camp
Continued from Goblin Fight east of Treborg
The DM: Looking around, noting the tents, rifling the bodies, and before you go look inside any of the tents, it catches your eye that there's the burnt out chest in the firepit, apparently of human make. Additionally, the staff in the hands of the shaman WAS glowing. Point in fact.
- I'll calculate the experience; look for it on this page. Please let me know if you took or caused any damage not highlighted in red.
Vafrandir: Was glowing - not IS glowing?
- The DM: correct. Was.
The DM: There's no way around it, Pandred's constant thumping is an asset that will help her go up faster in levels. Vafrandir managed to get through a fight taking no actual damage. That's a first, isn't it? Here are the totals, assuming I've got all the damages.
- Embla: 445
- Marcule: 425
- Pandred: 919
- Vafrandir: 270
Vafrandir: Considering I've spent most fights in single digit HP, I'll take it!
The DM: I assume you rifle the bodies.
The DM: Okay. Getting late. See you on monday. Out.
Vafrandir: Plenty of time to rifle and inspect on Monday. Out.
The DM: In/Out. Slept in. Give me 45 min.
The DM: Okay. In. Where do we start?
Vafrandir: We'll check the bodies quickly, but I'm more interested in the shaman's tent and if there's anything left of the chest. I'll check the chest first in case there's something nasty hiding in the tent.
The DM: The bodies are wearing clothes that are, on inspection, ragged. There seems to be nothing they're wearing that's new, and in places their boots are worn right through, with holes in the soles. No goblin has a belt pouch or any valuables, apparently, except that each is wearing a heavy bronze medallion on a chain, with links that are unexpectedly heavy; each of these weighs about 12 lbs. For 60 lb. goblins, they'd be onerous to wear; the medallions have the same geometric pattern, a woven pattern; nothing distinctive that you recognize and very much a common Norse style.
- These medallions are worth 32 x.p. apiece.
The DM: The chest seems to have been put in the fire that morning. It is hollowed out, so that only the burnt remains of the chest remain; but there is a name-plate on the chest, about an inch in diameter, in etched iron: it says the name of the owner: Anders Hagen. That's the name of the fellow building your house.
- I'll wait for you to say you're entering any of the tents.
Vafrandir: Had we seen Anders about before leaving Treborg? I'll enter one of the goblin's tents - still waiting on someone else to be here for the shaman's.
The DM: You would have seen Anders the day you left. He practically lives at the building site, so he probably hadn't been to his own home in several days. Since you haven't said which tent, I'll start with the one on the furthest right. There are simple pallets inside, but it looks like they've had just one blanket apiece; and old, dirty blankets at best. You see grubby sacks, which have food in them, but the goblins appear to have been eating naught more than lichen and roots. As they are traditionally meat-eaters, this is foraged food at best; Embla can attest that it isn't the best foraged food, either. Apparently, the goblins have been starving.
Vafrandir: If the nameplate is cool, I'll fish it out of the ashes and put it in my pack. Then I'll check the middle tent.
The DM: This appears to be more of the same. There are five other pallets; that's nine altogether. Apparently, the shaman hasn't been living separately from the others or any better.
Vafrandir: So we are missing a handful of goblins. I'll check the last tent for completeness sake.
The DM: Before you enter the last tent, you notice something very different about the exterior. To begin with, there is a deathly smell surrounding it; the ground in front of the tent entrance is mucky, with recent hoofprints in it; and the exposed rocks amid the mud have been scuffed with what Pandred's experience will say are hooves, as though animals have to be fought over this ground. The flaps of the tent are tied closed (the others weren't) and they're very dirty, not just with mud, but with cow feces as well. The smell, however, is not the cow feces, nor even the urine, which Pandred can smell from her experience as a teamster. There is a different smell altogether.
Vafrandir: I'll not enter entirely, I'll untie the flaps and then carefully lift a flap open with my sword to peer in.
The DM: Inside, you'll find an open hole, surrounded on three sides by a low stone wall, about three feet high. Judging from the hoofprints, which are smaller than a cow's and are therefore the rothe's, the animals fought their way up to the hole. Goblin footprints are right next to them, showing the animals were wrestled. There's a heavy mallet with an iron head next to the hole, with fresh blood on it — perhaps four or five hours old.
The DM: As you look, you see there are rungs leading down into the hole ...
Vafrandir: Quite clear that Grond is down there... I feel as though I need more information about Grond, but not sure who'd be able to provide it.
The DM: I guess we'll wait for others; point in fact, I notice that if you do rush into a combat, everyone seems to get on board. Heh heh.
Vafrandir: Yes, ha: but waking up a subterranean goblin demon is one of those things that requires a vote.
The DM: Out.
Decisions to be Made
The DM: In.
Vafrandir: In. Hoping for some input from the others. I'll back out of the tent and relay the situation.
The DM: well, not twiddling my thumbs. I'm writing a post.
- Well, that's done. I want to dig into the poster, but that's mind-consuming, so I'll play a game instead. I'm still right here.
Vafrandir: Same. I understand everyone has things to do but the online one-on-one doesn't feel right - and can be quite dangerous to boot.
The DM: Marcule has sent a message saying he'll be here at 1pm.
Marcule: Sorry Vaf i will be with you the rest of this week, i think we should go down the hole. but maybe we should give panderd today to throw in an opinion.
The DM: Additional news: Embla has been compelled to withdraw from the campaign. She won't be back.
- Vafrandir: A shame!
Vafrandir: Down the hole? We may wait for Grond to come out onto our turf (or draw it out). Losing a player may change our calculus further.
Marcule: I agree that might change our thinking.
Pandred: In. Marcule, you got any more spells to make this easier? I'll apply my bottle to myself for 2 hp, and I'm willing to make a quick foray to see what's down there. Have we checked all the tents?
- The DM: All the tents were seen.
Pandred: Alright then. I retrieve my handaxe. Do either of you have a torch? I'll request a light as well.
Vafrandir: I point out the medallions. "Nothing special at first glance but they all had them. Grond will probably be wondering where the next rothe is soon, or we can just drop a torch down the hole and buckle up. We should probably take the tent down as well." I believe I have several torches in my pack, let me check. I know I have my tinderbox.
The DM: I've asked on my blog for another joiner. Don't know if I'll get one.
Vafrandir: I have no torches on me. But there are nearly a dozen on the cart. If Marcule doesn't have one I will go back and get one. Is Embla just poof?
- The DM: She's standing by for the present; she'll take two of the amulets, explain that she's been hurt somehow in the abdomen and that she needs to retire to the cart.
Pandred: With my salve that puts me at 12 hp. If Grond is sitting at the base of the ladder that's not gonna cut it, so do we have anything else? I'm going down either way, but any buffer I can put between me and and dying in a dark hole is welcome.
The DM: Might I make an observation? There is still one thing on the surface that's been completely ignored.
Vafrandir: Has anyone checked the staff or the shaman in general?
Pandred: Well, I smashed the shaman, but Marcule, you want to give his staff a look?
Vafrandir: While they do that, I accompany Embla back to the cart and return with 3 torches. Not sure how long that will take.
The DM: Okay; we'll start there tomorrow. Out.
The DM: In.
Pandred: In. What's up with this staff?
The DM: Well. You have no detect magic, no identify spell; let's just say it's safe to pick up, and that when you do you feel a definite thrumming from it, as though the wood is alive. It feels tremendously comfortable and powerful in your hand - but you're not proficient with a staff.
Pandred: Yeah. That sounds about right. I'll pass it off to Marcule and wait for Vafrandir to return with the torches as he mentioned yesterday.
Marcule: "I'm not proficient with a staff either". I look over the staff.
The DM: Please assume Vafrandir is back and you have all the tools you need, if you brought them along with you.
Pandred: Ok. I take one of the torches, light it, and attempt to peer down the pit.
Marcule: "Scary, I think we should try it if you guys are not to hurt"
Pandred Annoyingly, Out. I would like to see what the torch can let me see. My only suggestion for today is that we consider dumping the goblins down the hole to give us some time before their comrades figure out what's what. If this thing eats Rothe alive, and they aren't executed by that hammer, then it's probably a decent fight. We should consider going home to check on Anders.
The DM: As I said before, the smell is rank. The pit is black, and there is enough light atop the hole to make it hard to see more than 20 feet down. There are rungs going that far, about every 18 inches. They appear to be iron bars hammered into the rock, a little small for a human (they were made for goblins), but not too bad for an elf.
Vafrandir: I don't mind going first if we're going down. But I suggest dropping the torch down to see how far the hole goes. I'm not sure going home is the right play here - we don't want a situation where this thing gets out, especially since we've killed its handlers. Dumping the bodies is probably wise.
- The DM: Likewise, you could hammer on a chamber pot with the hammer, like a bell, to make certain that whatever's down there knows something has changed on the surface.
Marcule: "I don't want to do anything to announce ourselves further. let me look ahead". I would like to make my way down the hole (About 5 feet and scout it out.)
The DM: five feet doesn't reveal much, but it does cut on the ambient light above. You're likely using infravision. About 20 feet below you, there's a rough-hewn round hole cut into the rock, about four and a half feet high, and three feet wide.
Marcule: ok i make my way another tenish feet.
The DM: It's clear there is no natural light coming from the hole. You can see clearly now that the rungs end at the hole, coming to one side of it, but that the drop continues at least another fifty feet below it. Your infravision can see 60 ft., remember.
Marcule: wow deep hole. I move another 20ft down.
The DM: Can't. You moved 5, then 10; the hole was 20 ft. below your first stopping point; the rungs stop here and you have no climbing ability, yes? However, reaching the hole, you notice with the last ten feet the temperature dropped a whole grade; it feels quite brisk now, rather than cool.
Marcule: Sorry my mistake. i make my way back up to Vafrandir and explain what i have seen. "its going to be cold i think"
Vafrandir: I'd guess Grond is in that tunnel. I'd still rather fight it up here. Let's lure it out - with the hammer and pot as suggested or with a torch, etc - and take it out. Alternately, we could smash up the rungs with the hammer or otherwise seal the hole. Not sure if we've enough strength to do that though. How thick is the rock wall?
The DM: The one around the hole is just three inches thick. The hole is 7 feet wide. Do be careful with shortcuts, Vafrandir.
Vafrandir: Ha, checking. Not viable anyway.
Marcule: "I cant imagine them falling for that. i think we are going to have to go down". when i ran out of hold how much further to the floor. do i know?
The DM: The opening was immediately to the left of the rungs. Sorry I wasn't clearer about that when I said the rungs stopped at the opening.
The DM: Difficult days. Out.
The DM: In. Though I have about 90 minutes.
Vafrandir: Marcule, I'll go first down the hole, I'm a bit healthier. Are there specific rules for tunnel fighting? At 5'3, a 4'6 hole will be cramped.
The DM: It mostly applies to the size of your weapon. A long sword would be too long, for example, as it is five feet. Still, the hole is not necessarily the same size as what's beyond it.
Vafrandir: Could I stab (if necessary) with a goblin spear?
The DM: Yes, but how do you get the enemy to agree to always be precisely where you want to stab, without your needing to adjust? Not very practical. You know, we give you four proficiencies so these things will be considered.
Vafrandir: Ha! I do have spear proficiency, just getting my head around the challenge. One of us has to go into the hole. My sword is too long. But it's possible the tunnel opens up: we won't know unless we look.
The DM: Yep.
Vafrandir: I'll climb down carefully and peek through the tunnel. Not stepping in yet.
The DM: Well, same description; but as you poke your head through the door, you receive an odor of bone-dustiness. You can also see a corridor, five-foot five high, 4 feet wide, about 15 feet long. There are two foot spikes sticking out of the floor about 8 feet along, about 18 inches apart; they'd be hard to fight past, but there seems nothing to fight. The hall ends in an open doorway; it seems to be a chamber just beyond, but it's hard to see anything but darkness there. You're not using a torch, yes? You're relying on infravision?
Vafrandir: Yes, infravision, no torch. I can't shake the feeling this tunnel is a mouth itself. Can my infravision see blood anywhere? What do the spikes appear to be made of?
The DM: Definitely not a mouth. No, infravision wouldn't. You get shapes at best. The spikes appear to be cast iron.
Vafrandir: So far so good. The spikes look hard to fight past but perhaps not to carefully walk past. I'll step into the tunnel, crouching a bit.
The DM: It's not hard to move past them. But something moves in the darkness beyond. Which is a good place to stop, since you're alone. Out.
Vafrandir: I very much agree. Out.
The DM: In.
Vafrandir: Where am I currently? Standing in the doorway looking into the chamber?
- The DM: I'm judging you on the other side of the spikes, just 10 feet past the portal.
Vafrandir: Got it. What can I see?
Marcule: (ooc:sorry my day is full of responsibilities; I wont be about to make it in today. next week should be much better. sorry guys i look forward to next week.)
- The DM: no worries.
The DM: not much, Vafrandir. The ending edge of the corridor, just five feet ahead; a black gulf that's a chamber of some sort, reflecting so little light you can only see a stretch of floor. There's an overturned drinking jug lying on its side about fifteen feet from your foot, in the light. And you can hear something scraping along the floor.
Vafrandir: Is the scraping coming towards me?
- The DM: Seems probable, but no way to tell. It's slow; perhaps it is getting louder.
Vafrandir: Hm. I'll make my way back to the mouth of the tunnel and alert my companions: "Get down here if you can!"
Pandred: I'll put away my big axe, take a goblin spear, and shimmy on down to Vafrandir.
The DM: Vafrandir, a slow moving goblin appears around the corner, dragging its foot, holding a short sword; it's wearing a poor, shoddy bit of ring mail armour in poor repair and a simple metal helmet; the latter is rusted. Also, the goblin seems to be absent its skin, organs and other flesh. It's a skeleton.
Vafrandir: Now that's a twist. Pandred, did you bring your torch or hand it off to Marcule?
Pandred: A skim tells me I didn't pass it off, so it looks like I have it with me. On further reflection, that means the spear won't work, so I'll set it down and get out my handaxe.
- The DM: I'll grant you have the torch, and handaxe in the other hand. Vafrandir, the skeleton and you are separated by the spikes. You're on the side by the portal & chimney, and it's on the other side.
Vafrandir: Is it able to advance through the spikes?
The DM: The spikes are slightly curved towards you; because they're part of a defense. An attacker through the spikes would chance to impale themselves on the spikes, because they're only 18 inches apart. But if not in combat OVER the spikes, yes, they can be walked between, if carefully. The skeleton is coming from the defending side, so it is even easier. The skeleton is non-intelligent, so you might want to let it walk through the spikes towards you, rather than fight it over the spikes.
Vafrandir: That's actually what I was thinking. I'll hold position and let it get closer.
The DM: You can hear Pandred making her way down the rungs. Roll a d6 for initiative.
- OH. We never did establish what Vafrandir is using as a weapon.
Vafrandir: Shit. I've got my longsword but its useless here. Let's see what Clinch Fighting can do...
The DM: Initiative?
The DM: My attack then. I roll a 6 on a d20, missing. Vafrandir, roll to hit normally, used 1d4 as damage and add your strength bonus to damage. The clinch fighting page is about accurate. Being a skeleton, it can attack if it is held, due to its nature.
Vafrandir: Moving to clinch. 5 raw, 5 to hit (assuming no bonus?); 4 raw, 5 dmg.
The DM: Pandred, you're reaching the level of the portal just now. You can hear grunting, a rattling sound, sounds that suggest some struggle is going on. Vafrandir, I roll a 5 also. Which also misses.
- Vafrandir, you should be adding +1 to hit to your die rolls to hit for your 17 strength.
Vafrandir: Very good. Let's try again! 17 raw, 18 to hit; 3 raw, 4 dmg. Much better.
The DM: Pandred, as you step into the portal and can see, you find Vafrandir scrambling with a skeleton, pinning it down to the ground. Vafrandir, the skeleton is stunned; you may attack again.
Pandred: Is there room for the both of us together? If the skeleton is past the spikes, consider an overbear. d3 on the damage plus whatever the spikes deal. I will join such an attempt.
The DM: There isn't room; and he can't overbear while he's grappling (clinch fighting); it's a different move.
- [OOC-DM: I'm adding additional information to the clinch fighting page as it occurs to me]
Vafrandir: Would this be a pummel? Or the same attack?
The DM: No, it's a clinch. You have an arm wrapped around the skeleton's shoulder, gripping the thing's arm, while lying full length on top of it pinning it down, and your other hand pressing its head down to keep it from biting you.
Vafrandir: Understood. 19 raw, 20 to hit; 3 raw, 4 dmg.
The DM: You feel the tension give and the skeleton breaks apart into a dozen parts, dweomer broken.
- Take 88 x.p.
Vafrandir: I'll take the short-sword (just for now) and wait for Pandred to reach me before moving forward.
The DM: Being a fighter, you've had a short sword in your hand before, though you're not proficient. This would be a long sword in a goblin's hand. It feels ... odd. Lighter than it ought to be. Doesn't feel wrong, exactly ... just very different.
Vafrandir: I'm proficient. I was actually using one until I was able to upgrade in Stavanger. All the more reason to note the difference...at our leisure later.
The DM: Oh, okay then. Well, then, noting the differences, this seems to be a very well-balanced sword. Too well-balanced for a goblin sword. What now?
Vafrandir: I see Pandred is here, so I'll move past the spikes carefully.
The DM: There's so little reflection from the stone surfaces, you may need the torch; but I'll put you back where you were previously, close to the end of the corridor. Do you enter the chamber?
Vafrandir: I step into the chamber.
The DM: Without the torch, you need a full minute for your eyes to gather enough light to see. This seems to be an enlongated hall, 18 feet wide and 30 long. The ceiling is 10 feet high. It hasn't been built, it's been hollowed from the rock. There are six round doors on each side of the hall and a large double-door at the end; these doors are made of woven cellulose material, with rope-like woven strands for handles. They look to be unused, but perhaps for no more than six months to a year. The place is not covered in dust; but there are four inanimate skeletons scattered in one corner, giving that bone-dry smell I described earlier.
The foul smell is dimished here; it seems to emanate from the hole, so being farther away from that, the air is better. The harmless skeletons surround a table, with clay cups and plates on it; it looks to be a guard station. There are three shields and three short swords hanging on six pegs. The two empty pegs are side by side. All the skeletons are dressed as the undead one.
Pandred: I'll join Vafrandir in here. Should we dump the skeletons down the hole behind us? Seems like we slew most of the survivors of whatever happened here up above.
- The DM: Once again, IF you drop whatever down the hole, and there IS something down the hole, do you want to tell the whole world you're here? For example, the sword in Vafrandir's hand; that wasn't made by the goblins on the surface. A sword like he has would need a serious forge.
Vafrandir: I'll try the door closest to me on my right. I'll hold on to the shortsword for now - there may be more close-quarters fighting in a goblin hall. Pandred, that seemed reasonable at first but now we know the hole is very deep. Let's clear this hall and see what else we find.
The DM: Okay, we can stop here. I've got this thing in my head, but I'd like to make a map, so you can keep track yourselves. It's 1:56 here anyway. Have a good weekend and be well. Out.
Vafrandir: Looking forward to next week! Out.
The DM: In. For the present, this running is moved to the page Introductions.