Monthly Archives February 2017

Don’t even want to think about the biology of it…

28th day of Tarsakh

We set out once again for Cragmaw Castle, but this time we have a plan to try and sneak in disguised as hobgoblins, using the equipment from the ones we killed at the caves.

29th day of Tarsakh

We reach Cragmaw Castle again and approach the back door in the dark wearing our disguises, and pretending that Garrett is a captive.  We are not as silent as hoped in advancing and are challenged by a goblin sentry.  I attempt to bluff us in in goblin, but he insists that we must go in by the main gate.  In frustration I rip aside the curtain and attack him with my blades.  Unfortunately there is a second goblin who rushes out of the far door before we can stop him.  We kill the goblin and beat a hasty retreat, but are pursued from the castle.  We retreat through the forest westawards, but they are tracking us and we are not gaining on them.  Finally in desperation, we set up an ambush on the far side of a glade in the dark forest, climbing some trees.  Our pursuers enter the glade cautiously, obviously having sensed that we are no longer fleeing from us, as they never could have kept up with us if they had been this cautious crossing every glade.  They send in ten goblins to check the glade, and when they are half across, four hobgoblins and a bugbear also enter the glade.  Garrett casts faerie fire upon the bugbear, but it only affects two of the goblins and one of the hobgoblins.  Still the light from that is enough for us to start shooting as the goblins and bugbear race across the glade.  The hobgoblins stay back and start a surprisingly effective counter-fire against us.  I am somewhat wounded but we kill the bugbear and two of the hobgoblins with arrows, while Garrett’s spell casts most of the goblins into slumber.  The remaining two hobgoblins flee back to the castle.

We return to the castle, hoping that they will think that we have continued to flee, and investigate the postern gate.  I try to sneak up to it, but am obviously spotted and shot upon.  Even then, I am able to see that it is a stout iron door, and probably not an easy means in ingress for us.  We return around to the western side of the castle, and try to work out how to re-enter through the back door again.  As I sneak up again, I can hear deep grunts from inside, and quite commands and sounds of struggle.  As I try to work out what these are, the curtain is whipped open, and a great creature bounds forth, like a bear but with the head of an owl.  I sprint for the forest, but it is gaining on me, so I turn at the edge of the forest and engage it in combat with my blades.  The others join in as well, and we make relatively quick work of it, expending several spells to defeat it before it can disembowel one of us.

We drag its corpse into the forest and return to considering our options again.

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Guards, what guards?

24th day of Tarsakh

We take a short rest and repair the two dams in the caves in case we need to use the water traps again.  Then we set out for Cragmaw Castle.  We find a fairly well trodden track leading in the right direction and my fieldcraft skills tell me that this area has frequent goblin patrols.  We proceed to the edge of Neverwinter Woods, occasionally hiding from goblin patrols, and reach the edge of the woods by evening.

We camp discreetly, and have an uneventful night.

25th day of Trasakh

We awake and make our way quietly through the forest until we sight the crumbling towers of Cragmore Castle.  There is a great doorway opening onto a terrace at the top of a flight of stairs, but many arrow-slits overlook that, so I scout around the castle.  On the south side there is a postern gate, and on the north side, a section of wall between two towers has almost completely collapsed.  in the shadows at the base of the pile of rubble, my keen elven eyes spot that there is a sheet of cloth that has been painted to resemble rubble.  Obviously a secret means of entrance.  I fetch the others and we tether the mules to some nearby trees.

We cautiously enter through the sheet, expecting guards on the other side, but find a deserted area at the base of a collapsed tower.  There is another sheet-covered entrance on the far side, which opens into the bailey of the castle, and a door to the east.  We open the door, which shows a short passageway.  The is a further door to the east and a sheet-covered doorway to the south.  We listen at the door, and hear two voices conversing – one gruff, the other silky.  We decide to burst in and attack them, and prepare spells and weapons.

We burst into the room, which occupies most of the base of this tower.  There are a tall, old bugbear and a female drow arguing.  In the south corner is an unconscious dwarf, and lying on a bed to the north is a wolf.  They are surprised and so we launch an attack.  We guess that the female drow might be Black Spider – the name would fit what we know of Drow habits.  Aramil casts Guiding Bolt at her, which hits as she is not wearing much armour.  The damage is boosted by him using a second level slot on it, and using his bardic inspiration as well.  Elaina attacks the bugbear twice, but only hits once, for minimal damage.  Garrett casts Dissonant Whispers on the bugbear, who is affected – he obviously has low Wisdom.  I attack the drow and hit once.

Next turn we launch more attacks, including another Guiding Bolt and more Dissonant Whispers.  They fight back, but their attacks are mostly ineffective, and we continue to batter them with sword blows and as many spells as we can.  Finally the succumb to our onslaught, including the wolf.  We quickly search them – although the drow has changed shape as she died – she is now an eerily nondescript human – we suspect she may have been a doppleganger.  The unconscious dwarf turns out to be Gudrun, and so we heal him.  Regaining consciousness, he confirms that the bugbear was King Groll, but tells us the drow was just a messenger from Black Spider.  We decide that having rescued Gudrun, we will beat a swift retreat, leaving the goblins to wonder just what has happened.  As we are deciding that, there is a knock on the door, and a voice asking in Goblin whether the king would like his dinner now.  I muster my best gruff bugbear voice and say ‘Later’.  He seems satisfied and departs, so we decide to leave as quickly as possible as well.

Our exit from the castle is unobserved, but when we return to the mules, we find 4 hobgoblins and 2 wolves pawing at them.  We rush forwards to rescue them, and a tough fight, for me at least ensues.  I dispatch the hobgoblin and wolf fighting me, but suffer severe wounds in return which I use my new healing spell to cure.  Aramil and his hobgoblin ineffectually trade blows.  Garrett casts Dissonant Whispers on another goblin, who flees.  Elaina fights the hobgoblin leader and his wolf, who put up a brave fight.  The leader is finally killed, and his wolf and the hobgoblin who is sparring with Aramil flee.  We decide that we need to get out of here fast, so grab the mules and leave as quickly as possible.

27th day of Tarsakh

We return to Phandalin without incident and with Gudrun.  Sildar gives us much gold for killing the goblin king.  However I have not fulfilled my geas of cleansing the shrine of Oghma at Cragmaw Castle, so I, at least, must return.

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