“Welcome to the party, pal!” — John McClane, Die Hard (1988)
Start Date: 21 Ches 1493 (1:00pm)
The party continues their search of the village of Nightstone. They find no villagers alive, and the dead bodies they discover are all the result of boulders dropped during the cloud giant attack. During their search of Nightstone Inn, they find the body of a goblin with a small crossbow bolt in his chest. None of the party uses a weapon of that type. From the angle of the bolt, they deduce the attack came from above, probably from the second floor, which has a huge hole caused by a boulder. As they investigate further, they discover a goblin stuffing food and cooking utensils into a sack. As she sees them she grabs her sack to escape, but it is packed too heavy and she can barely move it. The group captures her, and discovers the following:
- Her name is Gum-Gum.
- She is from the caves, and the leader of her tribe is called Boss Hark.
- The villagers are imprisoned by the tribe, and the tribe has eaten some of the villagers.
- Boss Hark sent the goblins to the village to ransack it for food and supplies.
Eleindar, Galadhon, and Zarn check out the second floor, especially the room they suspect as the origin of the crossbow bolt that killed the goblin. Hiding in the shattered remains of the room they find a young human woman named Kella Darkhope. She warns them away as she believes they are bandits. Galadhon assures her they are rescuers. She tells them the following:
- She was staying in the room when the giants attacked, and the boulder that destroyed her room knocked her unconscious.
- When she came to, the villagers were all gone and Nightstone was swarming with goblins.
- She killed the goblin because he caught her peering through the hole in her room to the first floor.
- The innkeeper’s name is Morak Ur’gray and he is a kindly dwarf.
- She has a pet flying snake that is on her arm.
The party gains her trust and she accompanied them back downstairs. The group wants her to join them to rescue the villagers from the caves, but she indicated the crossbow shot that felled the goblin was a lucky one, and she is not a fighter and so cannot go. She offers to stay with some of the party her in Nightstone to protect it from future pillaging.
Eleindar quietly goes back up to her room and searches it, discovering a small piece of parchment with the words “On our way” in common. With the rest of the party busy searching the rest of the town, Eleindar confronts Kella. She shrugs and says it is not from her. It must be from a previous occupant of the room. Eleindar is convinced she is not telling the complete truth.
Meanwhile, out in the village, all hell breaks loose. Galdadhon notices a troop of about 20 orcs clearing the woodline of Ardeep forest, heading for the village at a fast pace. The orcs look like they have recently been in battle as their shields and armor have arrow shafts protruding from them. The party jumps into action, raising the drawbridge in town and manning the gate towers. The orc leader appears wounded but demands entry into the village. Once the PCs refuse, the orcs attack. The party smartly decides to use magic and missile weapons to defend Nightstone. While great at melee combat, the orcs do not possess much in the way of missile weapons. The orcs look for weaknesses in the village’s stockade walls, but the moat around Nightstone is a formidable obstacle to the village.
Kella joins the party on the towers to assist, although her hand crossbow is useless at the range of the battle. A group of seven horsemen charges into the orcs in a desperate attempt to get to the bridge and into the town. The leader of the horsemen yells to Kella that he is coming for her. The orcs ruthlessly kill most of the horsemen except for the leader. He is a good fighter and manages to kill two of the orcs. Kella and Zarn lower the drawbridge to give the fighter a place to retreat. With the drawbridge down, the orc leader rushes to it but is killed in brief combat with Zarn (by a crossbow bolt from Houblon). The horseman fighter is surrounded by orcs, but Aaron uses a Wand of Entangle to keep the orcs from killing the fighter. As the orcs move to engage Zarn and Kella at the drawbridge, help arrives a band of wood elves from the Ardeep forest. With concentrated longbow attacks, they kill the entangled orcs and others. The orcs break and flee.
With a shout of “You’re welcome” from the wood elf leader, the elves give chase to the orcs, and the battle is over.
End of Session.
End Date: 21 Ches 1493 (5:00pm)
Characters advance to 4th level.