Why Can't Fighters Have Nice Hobgoblins? Ironfang Invasion

Game Master Stalwart

Day 5, Week 2

Starday, 29 Gozran, 4717 AR

Militia Population: 28
Remaining Provision Points: 117
Livestock: 22 animals

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Going to pause for a bit to make sure no one has anything else they want to say in response, and then onward! to Oreld's Fine Shop.


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

"Let's go then."

Lissa heads toward the door, her glaive at the ready, waiting to follow.

Sovereign Court

Dex Damage (1) Wounds (26) HP (49) Saves (8/5/5) Init (+1) AC (22/12/21, +2 vs goblinoids) Fire Resist (5) Survival (+6) Perception (+7) Intimidate (+7/+8) UMD (+9) Wand CLW (46) BB (0/1)

Grum frowned, but didn't say anything. He liked his old mercenary company. No training. No tactics. Just 'go in and do the job, if you survive you get a cut.' Which, he reflected, might have been why the company fell apart and disbanded. Still, it was easy...


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Jie nods at Benedict's orders and walks over to the archers. "Keep an eye out and watch the flanks.' she tells them as she starts guiding them after the main body.


Following Benedict's instructions, the Phaendarites prepare to move out. Lirosa and Taidel each nock arrows on their bowstrings and disappear into the shadows, heading the other direction. It is the last time you see either of them alive.

GM Screen:
encounter check: 1d100 ⇒ 65

Somewhat unsettlingly, by the time you reach Oreld's shop, the town has begun to quiet, and you realize most of the town's resistance is spent. It's been much less than half an hour since the attack even began, but the speed and thoroughness of the Ironfang's assault has been relentless, and left almost no opposition alive... except for you. So far.

Oreld’s Fine Shop — labeled with a small shingle hanging out front — is one of the few buildings in town made entirely of stone. Mortared white blocks form the walls of this odd-shaped cottage. Scorch marks that shift in color from black to dark blue to glimmering violet mar one wall. The door to the shop stands open and bloody footprints lead inside. Out in front, the torn and bloodsoaked signs proclaiming "Stop By and Say Hi to Phaendar's Own WEE PATTERSON!" are all that remains of the Tiniest Aurochs or his paddock.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Any signs of battle outside? Dead hobgoblins or locals? Broken bottles underneath the scorch marks on the wall?

Sovereign Court

Dex Damage (1) Wounds (26) HP (49) Saves (8/5/5) Init (+1) AC (22/12/21, +2 vs goblinoids) Fire Resist (5) Survival (+6) Perception (+7) Intimidate (+7/+8) UMD (+9) Wand CLW (46) BB (0/1)

"We are testing our luck here. This town's defenses are spent. And we are moving as a gods-damned military unit. All it takes is for one hobknob to see us marching down the street, and before you know it the entire invasion force will be on us. We need to get out of here."

Grum was entirely unhappy with this situation. Doubly so because he knew that in his heavy armor, he wouldn't be winning any foot races. Part of him was already resigned to dying in this town. But he knew that if he wanted any chance of not only living through the day, but also surviving in the wilderness, he'd need to have allies. So, even with the group insisting on touring the town, he still felt that sticking with them was his best chance at living.


There are indeed broken bottles near the oddly multicolored stains and scorch marks. Also, you can see what looks like a pair of boots - not hobgoblin style - lying on the floor just inside the doorway. Whether there are feet in them still attached to a body lying on the floor, you don't know from this position.


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

"Grum's right. We need to get going. That said we have enough people we can carry the wounded. Search the building quickly, then make for the bridge and the woods."


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

"This place has important supplies, Grum. Alchemical items and, hopefully, an alchemist.
I agree Lissa, we need to move fast, I'm just wary of an ambush."

Benedict leads the group to where they can see into the building.
"Oreld?"
If he sees Oreld on the ground he will rush to his aid and call for Aubrin or one of the adepts (who hopefully have CLW).


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Jie covers Benedict as he looks into the building, looking around for any hobgoblins that have remained or begun to move toward them. She notices the pall that has fallen over the town. That and the loss of Wee Paterson make it apparent that they don't have much time. "They're right. We need to hurry."
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
But her gaze is continually drawn back to the tragedy represented by Wee Paterson's absence.


Benedict moves carefully forward until he can see into the shop. A single hobgoblin in a bandolier rifles through the shelves for anything valuable, and holds a chain connected to an iron collar around the unmoving body of a middle-aged Taldan man. The body is curled convulsively around a javelin buried deep in its stomach. Benedict is fairly sure that the unmoving figure is indeed Vane Oreld, owner of Oreld's Fine Shop.


Fighter 4 | AC 21 (22 in fortress mode, 23 w/ full attack), T 13, F 15, 20 CMD | F 6 R 4 W 1 | Init +3 | Perc +5

The spinning of Amkarang's meteor hammer slows and then stops as he sees the burned and bloodstained sign. He lets out a shuddering breath and a long sigh. His usually courageous expression fades to a look of loss and confusion. Turning his head to look at the shop, he sees the hobgoblin rummaging around inside. He resumes swinging his hammer, and mutters, "By the wrath of Lady Nanbyo, I'll kill every last one of those Ironfang mongrels."


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

If the hob realizes he's outnumbered, or attacked from range, he could threaten to kill the hostage - if Oreld still lives. So formation is out.
He moves to Grum and whispers "Grum? Smash."
He motions to Lissa and Amkarang, counting five seconds on his fingers and pointing inside.
I have a hunch about what class this hobgoblin this is, with the bandolier, but I don't think Benedict would know. Well, we'll be using a Channel for Oreld anyway. Maybe we should stop and identify our wands and potions after this fight.


Sounds like initiatives then.

Benedict: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Amkarang: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Jie: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Lissa: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Grum: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Tukang: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12

Initiative order:
Benedict, then
the hobgoblin alchemist, then
Amkarang, Jie, Grum, and Lissa.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Does Benedict think the hobgoblin noticed him, or was the alchemist too busy searching the shelves? Perception or Sense Motive? Because if he thinks he was spotted, the plan has to change.


You can't get any closer without the the hobgoblin noticing you. As soon as you take an action you will likewise be noticed. There's no surprise round here.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Oh well. Benedict is the only one close enough to get to him, and Oreld could be bleeding out.
"Attack!"
Benedict moves in and attacks. He has the alchemist backed up against the shelves, which is good.
Longsword: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6


For those of you keeping score at home, that's Benedict's second successful attack roll since the start of the campaign.

Benedict's sword slashes at the hobgoblin, who is unprepared for the sudden assault and cannot block. The wound is not deep, but it is enough to make the Ironfang warrior drop the chain he is holding and leap toward the room's far door. "Tani budallai padyshim ndoshta është i vdekur deri tani," Benedict hears the hob mutter as he drops the chain.

Goblin:
"The useless fool is probably dead by now anyway."

Rolling an AoO for Benedict, as the hob provokes one with the move. Longsword AoO: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20, damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

As the hob repositions himself, Benedict finds another opening, and now the soldier is bleeding twice. However, the hobgoblin stops in the middle of the room and produces a small vial which he immediately quaffs. An animalistic look overtakes the Ironfang warrior as his muscles bulge and his skin takes on a rough, hide-like look.

GM Screen:
Tukang 8/18hp, AC 17, atk heavy mace +4/1d8+4

You guys are up.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Woot! Two hits in a row!

Sovereign Court

Dex Damage (1) Wounds (26) HP (49) Saves (8/5/5) Init (+1) AC (22/12/21, +2 vs goblinoids) Fire Resist (5) Survival (+6) Perception (+7) Intimidate (+7/+8) UMD (+9) Wand CLW (46) BB (0/1)

Hearing the call to attack, Grum, weighed down as he was by his armor, ran as fast as he could to get into combat. While unable to attack, as of yet, he gripped his blade tightly, hoping to take the foe down quickly.


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

Lissa moves towards the downed man, trying to remove the javelin without doing any additional damage. She lightly touches him, and his wounds slow their bleeding.

Actions:

heal to assess: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Move to wounded man
Standard to SLA-Stabilize


Lissa:
Your touch does nothing, because sadly there is nothing left to save. He's been dead for at least a couple minutes now. Maybe if you could have gotten here faster... but then, second-guessing decisions already made is just a good way to get yourself killed.


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

"Get rid of the hob and search this place. We need to go."


Fighter 4 | AC 21 (22 in fortress mode, 23 w/ full attack), T 13, F 15, 20 CMD | F 6 R 4 W 1 | Init +3 | Perc +5

Amkarang nods and runs into the building, moving so the alchemist can't hit him.


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Jie moves 30' to just outside the door and then moves in. She keeps her bow drawn, hoping she might get an attack.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Let's see if I can keep him focused on me.

Benedict moves up and attacks again, fighting defensively for AC 23 (and touch 16).

goblin:

"Oh, the wizard thinks he's a real warrior?"

Longsword: 1d20 + 4 - 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 - 4 = 18
damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8


Benedict continues to press the attack, but despite another grievous wound, the hobgoblin doesn't take the bait. Instead, he withdraws another step and produces a different vial, quickly consuming its contents as well before readying a heavy mace.

GM Screen:
Tukang heals for 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 hp.
Tukang 3/18hp, AC 17, atk heavy mace +4/1d8+4

You guys are good to go again.

Sovereign Court

Dex Damage (1) Wounds (26) HP (49) Saves (8/5/5) Init (+1) AC (22/12/21, +2 vs goblinoids) Fire Resist (5) Survival (+6) Perception (+7) Intimidate (+7/+8) UMD (+9) Wand CLW (46) BB (0/1)

Grum takes a step forward. Not putting his full force behind the blow, he swung for accuracy.

Hit without power attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Damage: 2d4 + 7 ⇒ (1, 3) + 7 = 11

Such a course of action was alien to him. As such, what should have been a clean blow took too long and the hobgoblin easily avoided it.

That'll teach me not to power attack


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

I think Jie acts before Grum in the initiative order so I think when she shoots the hob in unengaged
Jie steps forwards and lets loose a bolt from her bow.
Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2


Trying to enforce strict initiative order is basically impossible in a PbP - if you need people to give you a clear firing line before they engage, generally it's going to be up to you guys to warn each other and work it out. However, since this is the first time it's come up, I'll work with it.

Jie's arrow catches the hob in the shoulder and he stumbles back, bouncing a bit off the closed door behind him, but stays on his feet. He has no trouble whatsoever parrying Grum's sword with his mace, though.

GM Screen:
basement survivors come out on round: 1d6 ⇒ 2

Perception, DC 15:
There is an odd thump and some scrambling noises on the other side of the doorway the hob is leaning against.

Benedict, Amakrang, Lissa.


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Jie's eyes widen at the noise. "There's something moving beyond the door." she says to anyone close enough to hear.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Benedict sets aside thoughts of defense and tries to drop his annoying foe.
Longsword: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
But comes up short.

Goblin:

"More tricks, wizard? Fall, damn you!"

Jie, heavy crossbow is 1d10 for future reference


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

Lissa chucks the javelin at the hob, with surprising accuracy.
Javelin: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Javelin crit?: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

"Now then, let's get our flock out of here"


Fighter 4 | AC 21 (22 in fortress mode, 23 w/ full attack), T 13, F 15, 20 CMD | F 6 R 4 W 1 | Init +3 | Perc +5

Amkarang tries to lash out at the hobgoblin with his meteor hammer, but misses impressively.

Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9


Lissa's javelin impales the hob cleanly through the chest, pinning the body to the door behind it. You all hear a very non-hobgoblin-sounding shriek of surprise from the next room.

Perception DC 18:
There is a simple looped-string-around-the-door-handle trap attached to the door leading into the back rooms.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Benedict spots the trap and takes the string off the door handle. (Something so simple doesn't require Disable Device, does it?)
"Rhyna, Salesi, can you see if there is anything magical in this shop, and identify it along with the items we've found so far?"
Turning back to the door,
"Hello? It's Benedict. I'm with allies. We killed the hobgoblin. We're evacuating. I'm opening the door now."
Hoping to not get stabbed by frightened villagers, he opens the door.


There is actually a Disable Device check to undo the trap, although it's a very simple one.

The individuals behind the door identify themselves as Imiraq and Yangvit, human and dwarf respectively. "Careful!" Yangvit says. It was clearly her voice you heard squeak before. "There's some kind of bottle-wineskin-thingy apparatus hooked up to the door!"


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M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Disable Device is trained only. And nobody has it. We cannot take a string off a door handle. I guess if you would allow it untrained, Benedict will ask Jie to handle this - high Dex and light armor. Otherwise:
Benedict will look at the bottle-wineskin apparatus. If it appears to be acid or liquid ice, he will say "Stand back" and open the door (Aasimar resistance). If it appears to be alchemist's fire (by smell?) he will apply the fire ward gel and then do the same thing.


Benedict kicks the door in, and a pressurized burst of acid sprays directly at his face. Trap attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18,trap damage: 1d6 ⇒ 6 acid damage. EDIT: Never mind - thought it was a touch attack, it is not. He ducks behind his shield, though, and is unharmed.

Beyond is a workroom and part-time clinic (Benedict, you are aware that Vane Oreld served as the town's doctor when required), and beyond that a small but comfortable-looking bedroom. The workroom has several items of possible note: the equipment on the worktable can be assembled into a portable alchemist's lab, there is a locked cabinet against one wall, and there are notes covering the worktable for something Oreld called his "stump remover," which he apparently planned to demonstrate during the festival tomorrow. It is a potent explosive mixed from a combination of animal dung an alchemically-refined lamp oil. If you intend to follow Aubrin's suggestion about "taking down" the Marideth Bridge, such a concoction might prove valuable in the effort.

Perception, DC 16:
There is a hidden compartment in the worktable; it contains two carefully folded parchment envelopes, tied closed with twine.

The two refugees in the workroom, Imiraq and Yangvit, look insanely relieved to greet you. Both are laden with whatever they could find that seemed useful (totalling 4 Provision Points) and are eager to be gone.


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Jie is still a little overwhelmed at the loss of so much life. While the others greet Imiraq and Yangvit and clear out the alchemist's shop. She looks for any birds.
Survival: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
If she finds some she casts Speak with Animals.

Avian Speech:
Mighty Ones, I am in need of help. We need to get to the bridge, the place where the man road crosses the river. The new ones in town will try and kill us. Can you find a safe path for we who can not fly?


Jie:
Sadly, the ravens and crows are already here in quantity, and likely more will come for hours yet.

"The feasting is good, Horserider - why would you leave?" The birds laugh amongst themselves, as corvids do. "The new ones flock everywhere in this stone forest, Horserider. Fly into the night and then creep back along the water. That should keep you safe."

Sovereign Court

Dex Damage (1) Wounds (26) HP (49) Saves (8/5/5) Init (+1) AC (22/12/21, +2 vs goblinoids) Fire Resist (5) Survival (+6) Perception (+7) Intimidate (+7/+8) UMD (+9) Wand CLW (46) BB (0/1)

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 5

All he wanted to do was loot the place as quickly as possible to get out. As such, there was little chance for the half orc to find anything purposefully hidden.


Female Human Roughrider 3/ VMC (Druid) | HP 28 /28| AC 15/13T/12FF | CMD 16/13FF | Perception +5 | Sense Motive +0 | Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1

Although her heart sinks as she realizes the truth in the crow's statements, she cannot blame them for acting, well, crow-like.

Avian Speech:
"My Thanks, and may you feast well."

She then goes back inside and quickly switches out her padded armor for Leather.
"Benedict, I asked the crows. They said the town has fallen to the hobgoblins and if we wish to avoid them and get to the bridge, they suggest we 'Fly into the night and then creep back along the water'. I think this means we should avoid the town, proper, but head to the river and then come back to the bridge along the banks."


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Lissa searches the room, pocketing the letters, and stowing the lab in a sack for later. She eyes the cabinet.

"Move quickly, take anything we might use, but move. Anyone have a key to his medicine cabinet? If not, break the lock. No reason to leave bandages for the hobs."


Oreld's body has a key on it, that turns out to unlock the cabinet. Inside are several shelves' worth of alchemical component ingredients. Craft (alchemy) or Appraise, DC 15, or Spellcraft, DC 20, to find the valuable ones that are actually worth taking.


Init +2 | HP 13/21 | AC: 21, T12, FF19 | Fort: +5 Ref: +2 Will: +2 (+2 vs death, +1 vs fear) | Perception +6 (LLV) Human Fighter 2 Melee: [dice=Glaive]1d20+3[/dice] [dice]1d10+4[/dice] Ranged: [dice=Sling]1d20+4[/dice] [dice]1d4+3[/dice]

"Carry all of this. We'll worry about which ones are worthwhile when we're in the woods. Worst case it's a useful bottle."

Delegate a follower to hauling it and let's move onward.


M Aasimar Fighter 5 (Tactician) | HP 39/39 | AC 22 (24 vs goblins), T 13, FF 19 CMD 21 | Init +4 | Perception +9 (Darkvision) | F/R/W +6/+5/+2 | Move 30' | Tactician 1/1

Appraise: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Benedict points out the ingredients to take. He also takes a minute to study the notes.
"Jie, you actually can speak to birds? How... Never mind, your secrets are your own. Flee into the night? We can try. Hobgoblins can see in the night, but it's as good a plan as any. Keep one of those better bolts loaded. You have mobility and range.
Rhyna, Salesi, Yangvit, Aubrin, what magic do you command? We need to know all of our resources. We may need to create light if we are to fight the hobgoblins in the night. Not until we are actually upon them, of course."


Lissa gets some of the refugees to start carrying the items for the "stump remover" indicated by Benedict, while the aasimar himself collects the valuable alchemical ingredients. (Worth 200gp by themselves, or the necessary raw materials for 600gp worth of alchemical items. Also studying Vane's notes gives you a +5 bonus on Craft (alchemical) checks made to set up the stump remover, and you can make those checks untrained.)

Salesi and Yangvit both have light prepared, as well as cure light wounds. Rhyna has sleep and burning hands but is loathe to get close enough to combat to cast that last one - she will if you ask it, however. Aubrin has been saving her magics for the final push, and is eager to aid you; for offensive spells, she has bulls strength, bless, and enlarge person and can use both touch of good and strength surge on your group as needed. She is still staggered, though, so she won't be fighting much herself.


Led by Grum's and Benedict's darkvision, as well as that scattered among a few of their followers, the refugees head out of the Fine Shop and head northeast, away from the town proper and into the fields surrounding the village. In the dark, the going is not swift, but most of these people know the terrain fairly well. In just a couple of minutes you have reached the steep, if not terribly tall, cliffs that channel the rushing Marideth through this part of the Nesmian Plains. The Marideth is about 80-85 feet wide here, and the Phaendar Canyon cliffs are about 20 feet high over the churning waters.

Once you reach the river, it is a simple matter to turn back toward the southwest and follow the cliff edge to the Bridge, which the group reaches in just a minute or two more. Colorful gobs of lichen and moss dapple the ancient, basalt bridge, built here at the Marideth’s narrowest crossing centuries ago by Chelish engineers. The ravine below drops twenty feet into raging whitewater and jagged, exposed boulders. To the northwest stands a ramshackle shed and a weathered but sturdy-looking wooden crane. Twentysome bloody and motionless bodies litter the ground, and above them flap banners painted with an ominous, fanged red shield. To the north, three hundred feet past the bridge, a wall of trees and ferns marks the edge of the Fangwood. Tall torches in iron sconces line the bridge on both sides, their flames flickering and whipping around in the continual breeze blowing up from the angry river below.

Despite what you might have expected, there is only one hobgoblin visible, a woman wearing a breastplate and cradling a light crossbow in the crook of one arm while she continually moves her gaze over the bridge and the landings on each side. A massive wolf sits calmly but alertly by her side. Your group has stopped outside the lights of the bridge's torches and beyond the range of the sentinel hob's darkvision and are thus, for the moment, undetected.

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