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EoD 011 Doings & Ditherings

The party fell—interminably—to discussing their next move.
EoD 011 Doings & Ditherings

The heroes quickly looted the goblins of what little loot they possessed, tended their comrade’s minor wounds and pushed on. This time, however, they stayed off the overgrown trail leading to the Shadowed Keep and instead moved through the thick undergrowth growing hard up against the old track.

After another hour or so, and without further incidents, the party reached the so-called Shadowed Keep. The ruin stood at the centre of a clearing and overlooked a valley to the south. It was a commanding position, but the woodland had begun to encroach on the obviously artificial clearing. 

Several of the party spotted someone moving about on the fortification’s only tower and, thus, a cautious exploration of the situation seemed wise. A circumnavigation of the clearing—carried out under cover, of course—brought the party to the attention of a pair of hungry wolves. Helmia, assuming bear form, quickly slew the wolves and the rest of the quiet exploration passed without incident. The only discovery the party made of note was a decomposing goblin corpse with a crossbow bolt in the back. 

The party fell—interminably—to discussing their next move. Some advocated an open assault, while others urged caution. Helmia, in lizard form, carried out an extensive reconnaissance and learned much of note. Much of the keep was in ruin—and a ghost might lurk on the small upper floor of the crumbling donjon. The only area that seemed occupied was the watch tower.

The party settled in for the night. In the deep night, their rest was interrupted by the sudden sound of fighting from inside the ruin. By the flickering torchlight atop the watchtower, the party could make out several figures throwing chunks of masonry down into the muddy courtyard from the tower’s roof. After a few minutes, the sounds died away, and the rest of the night was uneventful.

The next morning, as a light drizzle fell, Helmia again assumed lizard form and scouted out the ruin. She discovered two goblin corpses with their heads caved in lying in the courtyard. Their tracks strongly suggested that a large band of the creatures—and something bigger—had emerged from the ruined donjon. The redoubtable druid continued her exploration of the watchtower (from without) and learned much about how many folk may lurk within. It appeared the band claiming the ruin could be at least 16 strong and might number a cleric among their number!

When she returned to the group, this news gave the heroes pause, and more discussion ensued. This was a large, well-organised band that might be beyond the group’s capabilities.

The drizzle turned into heavy rain, and it rained for the rest of the day; only Theoden’s inexhaustible supply of minor magics made the party’s vigil tolerable. The group decided to watch the tower overnight. If the goblins attacked again, they planned to make the most of the chaos and slay a couple of the tower’s defenders with missile fire.

Sadly, however, the goblins did not attack on the second night, and as the next day dawned, the heroes again fell to discussing their next move…

This post is a session summary from my weekly 5e D&D Edgelands of Darkness campaign set in the Duchy of Ashlar.