The next day the players woke from a peaceful night sleep in the Green Tankard, ate a meal, discussed what they wanted to do and went out to face the day. The main item on the agenda –retrieve the dagger, the other half of the goblin artifact, Zugzug from Garwan’s shop.
The market square that the Green Tankard opens out on was busier than normal. Today was the day of the Children’s Hayride and all the children had gathered and were in several wagons across the way near the city wall. Birds were chirping, the children were laughing and all was well.
A second later Arraellia suggested something was about to happen. Then the city wall across the square exploded, blowing debris across the square. Goblins poured in through the gap and began attacking the surprised townsfolk and players. Except Arraellia, her preternatural abilities allowed her to sense the attack before it was coming, and while everyone else gathered their wits, she began firing arrows.
The goblins kept coming, over a dozen of them led by a wicked little shaman wielding an iron rod. Several of the goblins went left to harry the townsfolk and the frightened children. Another group went up the middle to take point behind a large well and began launching javelins. A third group went right, a sense of purpose in their stride. The Shaman stayed in the breach of the wall directing the goblins and casting spells.
Kierra and Kelgrath went to the aid of the children. Arraellia focused her arrows on the hulking goblins behind the fountain, as did the cleric (these goblins managed to hit several of the players during the surprise attack). The fighter, Edward waded in and intercepted the group heading to the right, pinning them down between the well and a nearby wagon. The mage, Murdoch positioned himself some distance behind the fighter and began to cast spells.
And then things descended into chaos for a bit. The fighter, marking his foes kept moving into position that kept the mage from casting area spells. The goblins managed to hit many of the players, causing the cleric to pull out of combat as he began to heal the wounded. Kelgrath struggled to hit anything, and the thief, while effective when she hit, was, for all intents and purposes, practicing stealth in combat for the first time (revealing to everyone how much the stealth rules, as they are described in the Players Handbook (PHB) stink –see in house rules).
But, our heroes persevered. Arraellia discovered that the goblin shaman was immune to her arrows. Every time she thought she hit the arrow would fly off and hit another goblin. This happened so often she stopped focusing on the Shaman. The fighter, while mowing down marked goblin after marked goblin with his double-bladed axe eventually moved out of the way of the mage so that the mage could cast some impressive fiery spells hitting several goblins at once. Kelgrath and Kierra managed to drive off the goblins that were attacking the children, so much so that Kierra was able to scale the city wall in order to position herself to backstab the Shaman. Everyone healed up, the cleric showed the goblins what a lance of faith to the face felt like (not very good, come to find out).
A small band of goblins attempted to break away, heading for Garwan’s Curiosity Shop with a level of intent rare among goblin-kind. However, this was exactly where the mage was standing. Scrambling for cover, the mage climbed a nearby wagon and began hurling spells. The fighter, not to be undone also began attacking the determined group of goblins. Arraellia and Kelgrath re-focused their attention on the few goblins still hurling javelins, making short work of them. The goblin shaman, seeing the tide of battle turning redoubled his efforts, focusing his angry clouds of pain and blindness at the two most effective strikers, the ranger and the fighter. The fighter was struck by one of these angry clouds and went momentarily blind. One thing that was odd was that it appeared that the goblin shaman was dancing, or at least jumping around strangely, doing back-flips, cartwheels and scenes from Flashdance.
And then the thief stabbed the cavorting shaman in the back doing massive damage and showing the little bugger that he was overlooking the most effective striker of the bunch. A short time later everything was silent as the players stood alone in the town square, surrounded by little green smelly corpses.
Kierra searched the bodies, finding a scroll which she shared with the group. However, with no one being able to read goblin they had to wait to read it. By this time Captain Harrowleaf and the town watch showed up. Moments after that, Lady Moonfire, leader of Loudwater also arrived. The players were celebrated as heroes and saviors of the town. Harrowleaf, who reads goblins, read the scroll for the players, which said:
I learned through divinations that the totem is in a shop
called Garwan’s Curiosities in Loudwater. Go and retrieve
it. Use the old barrel of alchemist’s fire.
You know how important this is. Without the totem, it
will be harder to perform the magic. We must get the object
back if we are to revive the Ogre King!
Do not fail. I will continue forward with the magic even
if every one of you must be sacrificed. We must get back the
High Shaman Sancossug
In addition to the obvious information gleaned, it was also discovered that some goblins have really good penmenship.
The fighter, Edward, using his knowledge of all things military and martial notices that the town’s walls are poorly maintained, which explains how easily the wall fell to the goblins.
The players decide that they need to take the battle to goblins and visit the Barrow of the Ogre King. They rest up and decide to go the next morning. Brother Hammond tries again to talk to Curuvar the Brazen, the drunken mage that had visited the Ogre Barrow at least one time before. Deep in his cups, Curuvar had little to say beyond, ‘talk to me when you’ve actually accomplished something.’ –whatever that means.