Cragmaw Hideout, Revisited
John – Last session we left the party in front of Cragmaw Hideout ready to brave it yet again. In preparation for the higher levels of the players I made the following changes;
- The Kennel is now the home of a recently captured Dire Wolf with 2 wolves.
- Flood waters have been completely reset and have been reinforced with various timber logs. Damage has increased to 3D6.
- Three travellers have been waylaid by the goblins and captured. Only 1 remains alive and is tied up against the wall in the Goblin Den.
- Several goblins have been upgraded to Goblin Bosses.
- Klarg has additional health, his wolf pet has been upgraded to a Dire Wolf and an extra two goblins have been added to Klarg’s Cave.
*I’ve maintained the difficulty rating for all the challenges and the extra NPCs will be used to drop another prod for the group to investigate Thundertree. *
The party rushed into the hideout and cleared the Kennel out with barely a pause. Close quarters did not allow much movement but Asterin won the initiative round, quickly got into the fray and had a chance to use her Thunderwave spell for the first time.
*This led to a small discussion on the use of the self/15 ft range. We opted that the intention of this spell would allow the player to be anywhere in or on the edge of any part of the cube. The understanding was that the player would be able to direct the wave away from themselves. *
Heading further up the tunnel, the group remembered the lookout sentry on the bridge and with a single shot took it out without alerting anyone. *No flood trap for them. * The party then opted to retrace their steps and to climb back up the side passage towards the Den. As before Merric made the climb first and passed down his rope to assist the others. Fortunately, he noticed a slight gleam of light reflecting off some metal, thus discovering the make-shift alarm rope that the goblins had prepared and disabled it without issue.
The loud racket of the goblins in the nearby den could be clearly heard by the party, so they opted for a stealthy approach. Which Asterin promptly ruined with her heavier armour, causing several goblins to investigate the noise. *This was a group stealth check. Two succeeded, but the other two failed, with Asterin failing by more than 5. No surprise for either group. *
The battle commenced. Although rolling high on the initiative table and making some headway into the room, it was not enough to save the captive and the goblin boss quickly slit the captive’s throat.
*Tears up NPC sheet. Goodbye Jion Wi, we hardly knew thee. Was expecting this. Although I finally got to try out our new GTG Minis that we recently got in. *
As if in retaliation the party was death incarnate and lay waste to the goblins with ease. Even with the two goblin bosses in this room, the group came through with only receiving minor damage in return. *Although Wendel has been taking some attrition damage with every battle, starting with the trap on trap. I wonder how this will play out. *
Wendel immediately rushed over to the fallen NPC but they had already passed beyond death’s door. Remembering to loot the bodies this time, they came away with 10gp. With loot in hand the party began investigating the captive’s bodies, to find out who they were. They discovered that they all appeared to be wearing black cloaks cut to resemble dragon wings. On one captive they discovered a note in Elvish, fortunately Asterin could read it.
*I was prepared for the death of this NPC and had prepared a note in advance. I got a chance to use a nice tool https://www.tecendil.com/ that converts any text into Elvish script. For more free tools check out our Facebook group M&D D&D Resources. *
The note translated read as follows;
Two new initiates will arrive in Triboar in 10 days time and will reveal themselves at midnight at the usual dead drop location.
Bring them and yourself to Thundertree quickly along with the afore mentioned tribute.
The reports of goblins in the area are overstated.
*I always enjoy leaving notes for players. They can act as quest hooks but more importantly can provide extra context to situations and what’s happening in the world. This was clearly another hook to entice the group towards Thundertree. *
Confident of their strengths the party moved further into the hideout and crossed the bridge they had previously seen occupied by the sentry. The next room contained the water pools which were the source of all the floods along with three goblins, charging forward once again the goblins didn’t stand a chance.
*It is obvious now that goblins are no longer a threat to my players, goblin bosses or not. Let us see what happens with the boss room. *
Klarg’s Cave was next, the group was anything but quiet and Klarg instructed his remaining crew to hide in preparation. Entering the cave the party spread out and with surprise round in hand, Klarg charged forward his Dire Wolf by his side, the four goblins jumped up from behind the loose boxes and firing their bows at the group.
The surprise round saw almost every attack hit. *Okay my dice rolling is never, ever that good. *
Wendel was barely standing and Asterin was taking the assault of four ranged goblins. Hoping to hold out, Wendel attacked the Dire Wolf and used his Hands of Healing ability to gain a little extra health to hold out longer. *The earlier encounters revealed their cost, as Wendel had sustained a considerable amount of damage throughout the hideout. * Merric charged forward to help and used his second wind to deal out massive damage to Klarg.
Angered at the damage dealt by this new halfling, Klarg launched an all-out assault against Merric, but his attacks were mostly turned by the halfling’s armour. Not to be out done, the Dire Wolf struck out at Wendel and the halfling collapsed. Meanwhile on the other side of the chamber Asterin continue to weather the storm of the arrows from the goblins.
A suddenly Eldritch blast from Aurelia smashed into Klarg and finishing him in a bright display of energy. The battle had finally turned. Seeing the Dire Wolf standing over a fallen Wendel Asterin cast Healing Word. *Players really don’t like those savings throws for some reason. * Back on his feet Wendel unleashed another flurry of blows at the Dire Wolf followed by a smash of Merric’s sword and the Dire Wolf was dead at their feet. *Merric has an uncanny knack of scoring the big hits when they are needed. * Moving forward Asterin engaged the goblins in melee and with Aurelia backing up her sister with Eldritch blasts. The goblins didn’t last long.
Reeling from the damage the party took stock of themselves and their surroundings. Against the cave’s walls were various crates and barrels, several of which contained a familiar symbol of the Lionshield Coister on their sides. The group had discovered Linene’s lost cargo. Further checking of the bodies the group came away with the following items;
- 2x healing potions
- 2x violet Garnet
- 2x white Jade
- 2x green Chrysophase
With the boss battle over and the Cragmaw Hideout now fully explored, we brought the session to an end.