Fly You Fools!
Lesri had a good drunk on which has been completely ruined by the party’s shenanigans and now an entire tribe of hobgoblins were combing through the forest, descending on to their position.
“Now I’m gunna have to save you all, because your right and proper done infuriated an entire tribe. You lunatics. If I ain’t back in an hour, head south without me. Gunna go buy you all some time. 1 hour!” she curses under her breath as she stomps off into the brush. Her faithful bear companion plods off behind her.
*1 hour means one short rest. This was to give the players an opportunity to regain a few abilities/spells and also to cover any accidental TPKs due to lack of abilities. For this group it meant;
- Aurelia got her warlock spells slots.
- Merric got his fighter’s second wind.
- Wendel got his ki points
- Unfortunately, Asterin as a sorc/cleric didn’t receive anything special but took advantage of using her hit dice and her sorcery points. *
The other members also used a couple of their hit dice to top up their life pools. While the group was taking a breather Wendel thought it would be a good time to bring up the recent conversation that he had with Griska. He detailed how there were some things in his past which he wasn’t too proud of and that Griska was attempting to blackmail him with them.
*I’m not too sure why Wendel chose this moment to have this discussion and I was very hesitant to interrupt it. I did however attempt to describe the few hobgoblins corpses that were starting to attract flies in a subtle attempt to remind the group that they hadn’t looted the bodies. Flew right over their heads and they completely missed the magic item at their feet. *
Aurelia eagerly agreed to help confront Griska with Wendel when they got back to town and if necessary, kill him. Wendel hesitantly agreed but wasn’t too eager with the lengths Aurelia was prepared to go. Asterin shrugged at the exchange while Merric grinned sharpening his blade.
Lesri and Meadhead re-emerged from the brush covered in blood. If anything, Meadhead appeared to have less blood on his fur then Lesri, but that was probably because he had spent some time licking his fur to get clean, which he was currently doing first chance he got.
“Well, we caused them a few problems, should delay them a bit,” she stated draining the wineskin at her belt wiping her mouth with the back of her hand. It made her look more deranged than usual.
“Hope ye rested, as we got more trouble up ahead. Several hobgoblins are laying in ambush ready for us about half a mile to the south. Need to smash ‘em hard and fast. It should get us ahead of the main group, but it won’t be enough. The light is quickly fading but I know of an old cave which we can use as a bolt hole. It connects to a cave network and get us below away from all of this mess.”
The players quickly gathered their things, poor Gundren despite the moment of rest could barely walk. Lesri took one look at his leg and waved her bear over. She helped lift him up on the back of her bear, Meadhead didn’t look too impressed but decided to remain silent. Lesri led the party to the south.
Forewarned they kept their weapons close and at the ready. About 30mins of running through the trees, Lesri suddenly held up her hand for silence. She scouted ahead and quickly came back, indicating that there were 5 hobgoblins up ahead. She mimed that she would hit them from the side and instructed the party to give her 3mins to get in position, then for them to hit them hard.
The halflings opted to move forward first trying to sneak forward and gain some cover. They marginally succeeded on their stealth rolls *I swear halfling’s luck were made for rolling 1 on stealth * and took some cover behind a large tree. Up ahead they could barely make out the hobgoblins were in position behind 4 large trees, bows in hand. They knew the party was out there and were waiting to spring their ambush.
Asterin and Aurelia made to move forward as Merric launch an arrow at the hobgoblins and the battle was on. Several arrows were exchanged but it was clear the cover was thwarting most of the range. It appeared as though the party had completely forgotten that they were supposed to engage in them in melee as Lesri had instructed.
Lesri popped up from the west and launched a few shots herself but was only hitting one in every two shots. Then Asterin smiled to herself. Raising a hand, she said “Doesn’t sacred flame ignore cover?” and proceeded to sit back taking pot shots with her spell.
*chuckle, Sarah’s been reading her spell descriptions.*
It was at this point that Merric got annoyed and decided to run towards the hobgoblins, ducking behind cover at the nearest tree. Wendel quickly followed suit.
*It should be said that although the players were missing quite a few of their ranged shots, so were the hobgoblins. However, the players were getting the odd hit in slowly witling them down.*
Finally within range, the two of the remaining hobgoblins charged the nearest halfling… and proceeded to miss with everything. The halfling Wendel was just too nimble to be hit. The hobgoblin’s frustrations were shortly lived however, as now out of cover they became the target of Aurelia’s eldritch blasts, taking one out. One very successful round of melee *god Merric can deal damage, too many 20+ hits in melee*, a few shots from Lesri and one sacred flame later the hobgoblins were all defeated.
*Okay I’m not too sure if it’s my dice rolls but that encounter should have been a lot more punishing then it was. Upon reflection I realised that I should have had the hobgoblins engage in melee a lot sooner then I did. Their strength isn’t range. Think I’ll be doing some reading up on mob tactics before next session.*
Their victory was cut short, as horns sounded to the north, closer than before. Pausing only to grab the odd scattered arrow the party recommenced their dash through the trees. The sun was setting below the horizon as an hour later the party broke through the tree line to the plains to the south.
Lesri stopped to check her bearing, trying to ignore the approaching horns and indicated to the south east leading the way. Now in open fields they party picked up the pace, hoping to get to the safety of the Lesri’s cave. In their haste and in the fading light, Aurelia disturbs a snake nest putting her foot right into the middle of it scoring a few bites for her troubles, *Survival check failure* however they didn’t appear to be poisoned *passed constitution check*.
The party neared the side of a rise and Lesri beckoned them over to a thick bush, pushing it aside revealing a small hole in the hill. Wendel opted to go first, remembering his drift globe to help light the way and the others followed suit, although Aurelia is quite tall and had a little difficulty getting through.
After 6ft the small tunnel the players found themselves in a gave way to a small cave that was 10” wide and continued on to the south beyond the light of the drift globe. A few curses and the groan of a frustrated brown bear, Meadhead’s face appeared in the hole looking uncomfortable and clawed his way into the cave. Lesri came after and collapsed on the floor. She looked beat.
“Best we move further in in case any of them come sniffing about. Shouldn’t find our tracks though as I’ve taken care of that. Didn’t we Meadhead?” she says smacking Meadhead on the rump. Meadhead turned and smacked her back with the side of his head. Lesri just laughed at the animal.
Brushing herself off she led the way further down where the cave opened up even wider to about 25” across. Lesri seemed very familiar with cave and pulled some supplies out that were hidden behind some loose rock and had a fire going in no time. The party were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and begun to make camp. Once Lesri had the fire going she collapsed onto her bear and snuggled in for a good rest.
Safely hidden from the tribe of hobgoblins, what new surprises are in store for the party below ground? Find out next session.