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EoD 017: A Lengthy Ambush is Set

a cunning plan was hatched
EoD 017: A Lengthy Ambush is Set

For the next ten days, the heroes rested in Dulwich, reflecting on their experiences and re-equipping themselves for the coming struggle. Two factions yet lurked in and under the keep—the Blood Moon goblins and the bandits—and both demanded the characters’ attention. Eventually, it was decided to deal with the goblins first.

The party ventured forth once more and, by the mid-afternoon on the 16th, had secured for themselves a lair in the upper ruins. The bandits still claimed the keep's watchtower, and although the party engaged them in a brief conversation, it seemed clear that the bandits blamed them for their recent troubles. Apparently, a mere four days ago, the goblins had surged forth in strength to assault the tower and had almost overwhelmed the bandits. And yet the defences had held, and since then, the goblins had been quiet. Several of the characters noted, however, that the watchtower’s door looks far less sturdy than before…

In any event, a cunning plan was hatched. The party would lurk in the ruin until the goblins again emerged to attack the bandits; then, they would strike with surprise from the rear!

Sadly, it was not to be. The party maintained a vigil in the increasing "close" and fetid ruins for 12 days. No goblins emerged from the cellars. During that time, however, the party learned a little of what lay beyond the chained double doors. Several of the group, while watching for goblins, heard stealthy sounds of movement from behind the door. Elmo, now more fully grown into his powers, used his newfound abilities to befriend a tiny spider. He convinced the spider to scuttle under the double doors to see what lurked beyond. Using his power, he could see through the spider's eyes and reported to his companions that a great hall—its floor covered with bones—lay beyond the door. Deep and thick webs obscured the ceiling, and two large black shapes lurked therein. No one was keen to open the doors even when Theoden determined that a magical item of some sort lay somewhere amid the ruin.

Eventually, though, after 12 boring days, the party stirred themselves to action and cautiously descended into the goblin's lair. Slowly, carefully and using a modicum of guile and stealth, they explored the complex. All was quiet. All was empty. By the time they reached the site of their last battle with the goblins, it seemed clear that the tribe had abandoned their lair—fleeing before their inevitable painful deaths at the party's hands. Elmo found a crumpled-up map purporting to show part of Vongyth—a fallen dwarven hold lying to the east—but otherwise, the goblins had carried away all their treasures.

Brief explorations of the well room and the gelatinous cube's lair revealed that goblins had not fled using either of those two routes. They could only have sneaked out of the ruin—perhaps in the dead of night—or have descended the chill stairs down which Polumya and Dimble had sensed the faint presence of faint magic and the undead.

The party determined to see what lay down the stairs…

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

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