The party assaulted the goblin camp. With the war party apparently pursuing them back to the old mill, the party waited for one hour, so the war party, at the rate it was traveling, would arrive at the mill in two more hours, and return to their own encampment in another three, giving the trio approximately five hours to launch an offensive.
Through a series of bad rolls and horrid luck, Ahab and Gideon eventually winnowed down the numbers of goblins left in the camp to a manageable degree, and the bugbear and the goblin “chief” who proved to be a shaman, were the hardest to fell. Ithas, again with his uncanny luck, had crept around the encampment from the opposite side of the gully, and attacked the goblins from the rear. While Ahab and Gideon struggled with the bugbear, Ithas dealt the killing blow.
The shaman as well as a few other goblins were caught in another of Ahab’s entangle spells, when they discovered that the shaman spoke rough common. They conversed with him, convinced that the goblins were receiving instruction from a man from Kylamm. With a rough description, Ahab became convinced that it was, in fact, a native member of the Merchants’ guild, as they had originally suspected, Kanys Chrool, the general store owner, and the wealthiest of the native Kylamm merchants.
Gideon dispatched the goblin shaman, and the trio set about searching the area. They found wagonloads of mundane goods, and took what they thought they could use the most. Each took an assortment of tools, and combined carried four hundred feet of rope, as well as a small chest that they found in the Shaman’s chambers (found within a hidden cave in one of the cliff-faces of the gully).
They also spotted the hides of horse leather and the wagon that had been stolen from the tanner. (not mentioned in an earlier adventure log, but Ithas, while in town, had spoken to the town’s tanner, who offered a reward if he could get the stolen hides and his wagon back, Ithas has not yet told the other two about this offer). Unfortunately, the tanner’s horses were not present, unless you count what was in the large iron cauldrons containing the stew that the goblins have been eating.
Ithas opened the chest, and they divided the money therein into thirds. Also, Gideon claimed a letter within the chest that bore two Acrian wax seals. Later, he would open it to discover its contents, and find that it was a bank note giving the bearer the authority to draw from the estates of the Trenty family, the patriarch of which is one of the most powerful men in the Empire, Marshal General Lord Luthier Trenty. It is Trenty’s nephew, a colonel in Field Marshal Generall Lord Daid Hammethon’s army, who owns and operates the Acrian iron mine north of the city. The note became worthless as soon as Gideon broke the seals on it, but knowing that Trenty’s estates would be more comfortable without it floating around as a forgery source, he decided that he would return it to Colonel Trenty’s local representative as soon as he possibly could.
Gideon also slipped away from the other while they were loading up on mundane goods to search the shaman’s sleeping area again. Hidden in a nook of the cave, he found a bone tube with a few documents inside. Opening it quickly, he saw elements of arcane symbols, as well as what looked like a diagram of the parts of a human body, this piece of writing listing the major digestive organs. It is obvious that this goblin found the papers somewhere, and by the missing pieces, that it was part of a much larger text. He slipped the bone tube into his cloak, and took what looked valuable from the shaman’s small store of spell components.
Ithas took a set of precision tools ranging from small clamps, a pin hammer, pliable wire, small prybars and such to begin constructing his locksmithing/picking set. Ahab found some tools he thought would be useful as well, including some blacksmithing tools, large pliers, clamps, hooks and other items. The trio loaded what they could not carry, including all the goblin weapons they could gather together, as well as sacks of grain, and shoved it into the thatch huts outside of the cave mouth. Gideon set about lighting the huts aflame, while Ahab spotted a diaretic herb growing nearby, and in a large cauldron, mixed it with whatever the goblins had been eating (horse stew). He and Gideon had reasoned that the war party would return to find their leaders dead, their base destroyed, the money gone, the grain and remaining meat destroyed in the huts, and be tired and hungry from the forced march they had been on. They would eat the stew that remained, then likely scatter without leadership, making it easier for the trio to pick them off.
They left the two orc heads, the bugbear head and the shaman’s headdress on stakes in the center of the camp as a present to the war party that would return to the carnage.
The trio hauled their goods for about an hour down the rock gully (to avoid leaving tracks), then ducked into the forest and hid for the night. A watch was set, Gideon (with his one remaining hit point) was healed by Ahab, who also made food out of the stolen grain and some wild herbs. Ithas, on first watch, set a perimeter of leaves and dry twigs to alert them if anyone was to approach, and Gideon, the last watch, took the opportunity to learn one of the spells from his new spellbook, “chill touch.”
The party awoke, hid the majority of their stolen goods (as well as the sacks that now carried 32 goblin heads including the shaman), and prepared another attack on the encampment.