While most of the friends were busy with these errands, Kevlamin went to the two richest men in town – the mine owners Baladeva Smets and Kellert Tilki – and tried to warn them about the threat to their mines. Baladeva's guards did not like Kevlamin's attitude and threatened to kill him if he did not leave. Kellert's doorkeeper let him into to meet Kellert. The old man offered to pay Kevlamin 10 gp if this information turned out to be true and said he would double his guards on his mines, but refused to spare any guards to help Kevlamin and accused him of being a spy for Smets when Kevlamin pressed him on it.
Finally with a full company of 21, the friends sent word via Dilber to Zimik that they were ready to raid the caves that very night. Kevlamin was intent on luring the goblins out and ambushing them in the ravine. Ruben went along with his plan and volunteered to go into the caves and get the goblins to chase him out, though Manga and Seth wound up going along as well. They made it as far as the first cave, but after finding netting concealed in the mud on the cave floor, they were fearful of a trap and ran back out. When no one followed, the entire company (minus Archippos and Nodwick) went into the cave and started illuminating it with lanterns and candles. While Kevlamin and Seth searched the side walls, Manga went over a short wall of wooden stakes at the rear of the cave with a borrowed candle and found a low tunnel exiting deeper into the complex. Instead of telling everyone, Manga went to explore it alone.
When everyone else found the concealed tunnel, they followed Manga to where the tunnel split off into two directions. Fortunately, they were able to spot Manga's muddy tracks and followed him to the left. They caught up to him at a four-way intersection of tunnels up ahead, where Manga had paused before entering a cave off to the right. That cave turned out to be a mostly empty storeroom for barrels. Down the opposite tunnel was a now-empty animal pen, but down the tunnel exiting the opposite end of that cave was a cave with five goblins in it. The goblins were wrestling and play-fighting with their weapons on the floor. The friends, at the fore of the company, charged in and engaged the goblins in melee. Four of the give goblins went down in about 20 seconds of fighting, while the fifth escaped past the front ranks of the company only to be overwhelmed by the halflings at the rear. The goblin offered them its measly treasure – 5 sp and 4 pieces of copper junk jewelry -- to let it live. After interrogating the goblin and learning Kraglut's lair was on the opposite end of the cave complex, Kevlamin killed their prisoner.
Heading south from there down another tunnel, the heroes came to a guard room with wooden planks crossing a moat to a short, crude wall. Over the top of the wall could be seen the heads of four bugbears. The halflings came from the rear up to the moat and launched their sling bullets, but the bugbears were quick to respond with thrown rocks and spears. After three volleys apiece, four halflings were dead and one of the bugbears was down, with the other three injured. Then the friends decided to brave charging across the moat. They rushed through an opening in the wall and were met with spears. Seth was impaled on a spear and killed. The others fought on... ((Which is where we had to stop for the day!))
Kevlamin – 577 xp
Ruben – 307 xp
Manga – 649 xp
Clair – 467 xp
Daphne – 471 xp
Seth's player will get to start over with a new character next time with 153 xp
Groovy Christmases Past: 1973
21 hours ago