Our players have found the goblins of which they were sent to seek evidence. They can hear the chattering of more goblins speaking their crude tongue further down. They decide to confront them immediately rather than carry back the news. The party is:
- Hilbrent Firebrand: Human Magic-user, Level 4
- Don “Juan” Ashe, Human sailor (soldier) henchman, Level 1
- Talia Stormborne: Human Cleric of Vardor, Level 4
- Irion Brightear, Halfling Musician henchman, Level 0
- Dwight Montgomery, Human sailor (soldier) follower, Level 1
- Elba Seron, Human herbalist follower, Level 0
- Benquil Barrison Del’Armgo: Half-Drow Thief, Level 4
- Mickey Heron, Human sailor (soldier) henchman, Level 1
- Algaeir Ashbow: Human Druid, Level 4 (Tracking and Archery)
- Lamila Umdril: Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter, Level 4
- Matchitehew: Half-Lizardfolk, Half-Ospryte Cleric of Talitew, Level 4
They advance quickly until their lantern light falls on a group of eight goblins mustering in the tunnels. As they come on, arrows fly, striking Lamila in the front as she charges. Benquil, Algaeir, and Dwight fire back, but their arrows are mostly are mostly stopped by enemy shields, which cover well the small goblins. Matchitehew begins summoning, calling upon a messenger devil and guaranteeing a lesser devil or imp to be sure it would fit within the circle formed by his wings. Don hangs back to keep his light on both Match and the enemy while Mickey stays beside Benquil, guarding he and Talia. Hilbrent too hangs back, guarding the rear, where another, unexplored tunnel extends into darkness.
Goblins begin to lay into Lamila. She lets them hit her, cleaving back with mighty blows that cut many of them in twain. Benquil too joins the fray, stabbing one with his scimitar. Seeing their line broken, one of the goblins takes off running down a tunnel while Algaeir and Dwight pick off others. Match summons an incorporeal tempter, ordering it to kill all goblins (and only goblins) in the tunnel, and then “twiddle his thumbs,” returning to the spot in an hour.
Lamila quickly mops up the remaining foes as the devil flies past, pursuing the last goblin as it runs into the dark. Lamila wants to pursue, but can’t see far beyond the scene of the goblins’ stand. Benquil can see it, but leaves it to the devil, instead looking into side passages the goblins seemed to be guarding. Up one steep incline, he sees a figure round a corner. He runs to the corner, but it turns sharply again and he can’t see his quarry. The others all move to follow, but have to wait for the Don, the lantern bearer to catch up. Benquil doesn’t want to get too far ahead and stops at a fork in the tunnel, not sure which way the man went.
When the lantern gets their, they decide to take the downward fork, travelling further into the mountain. The path winds and before long they turn back, not wanting to get into anything too deep this far from where the devil will return in 45 minutes. Upon returning to the lower tunnels, they get curious about the tunnel that Hilbrent had covered during the fight. They go up it, finding a storage room with several crates.
Hilbrent senses a magical aura in the crates and Lamila immediately pries one open, hoping to see a purple glow. She is gratified, seeing a purple haze shining through the straw, the same purple glow from her dream. She hesitates to touch it, but breaks open the other crates, finding six crystals, individually packed in straw. She insists that they need to get out of the manor immediately to deliver the crystals to the rangers.
Matchitihew reminds her that he needs to go back to dismiss the devil. Just then they hear a familiar sound: the cargo lift moving. Looking toward the sound, they now recognize a hidden door in the wall. They prepare themselves to ambush whoever comes through the door.
The door opens carefully, revealing a shady looking human, bearing dagger and shield, who upon seeing them leaps upward, grabbing the shaft above and climbing out of sight.
Benquil rushes forward, looking up the dark shaft to see the man scrambling some 12 feet above. He fires, hitting him in the buttocks before he is able to pull himself over the lip above. Benquil has poisoned the bolt with a paralytic, and so is eager to pursue the quarry, sure that he won’t get far.
Lamila, however, insists that she will take some of the crystals out to the rangers right away, wanting desperately to know what they are. She wraps one in her tarpaulin tent and another in her bedroll, careful not to touch them. The others agree it is almost time to leave, and send the three sailors (Mickey, Don, and Dwight) with a crystal each to accompany Lamila. Hilbrent carries the last one. They take the lift down and head for the elven camp.
Meanwhile, Matchitihew heads back down into the tunnels to meet and dismiss the Tempter when it returns while Benquil, Hilbrent, Talia, and Algaeir take the lift up, finding the man paralyzed on his way to the other lift in the kitchen store room. They grab him, carrying him down by their original route to the caves. They there rendezvous with Matchitihew.
The Tempter returns, reporting that it was able to slay one goblin before twiddling its thumbs. Match dismisses it and they make their way to the lift entrance in the hidden storage room in order to drop down one floor and get out. As they descend, Hilbrent senses an incoming spell. He reacts immediately, using reactive casting to burn the rope and send the lift crashing to the bottom floor. They all take some fall damage, except for Matchitihew who uses his wings to fall more slowly, instead being struck by the edge of the spell.
They high tail it down the mountain, meeting Lamila and the sailors on the way. She reports that the elves seized the five crystals for experimentation, paying them 50 gold coins per crystal. They agree that the last crystal should be kept a secret from the elves. To that end, they set up their own tents and start a fire on the edge of the storm that continues to pour rain on the manor.
In their camp, they prepare a summoning circle in order to summon a powerful devil to go and slay Warqua and his people. They all carefully agree on what to say to the devil and Matchitihew summons, calling upon a Pishacha:
Pishacha: Mortal, I have never seen a being so ugly as you. Why have you called me to this hideous plane? Answer quickly that I might consume you.
Matchitihew: I come bringing you an opportunity to eat human flesh… I have a mission for you, though, before that is possible. In, under, or around that building is a man with nobleman’s robes with a symbol of a wolf with a sword through his head. FInd and kill that man and bring his body and everything he has on him intact back to me. While you are there you may eat the flesh of any of the dead guards in that building on the second floor, only after you have killed the previously described man. If anyone tries to help this man you must kill, then you may also eat them as well. If you cannot complete this mission in four hours, come back and be here in four hours. Do not attack anyone that is not in, under, or around that building.
The Pishacha accepts the mission, moving off at a jog toward the manor. It was getting late and I didn’t think the players would enjoy me running the Pishacha against the manor occupants for an hour while they waited. We stopped for the night.