After a small rest, Al cast a pile of resistance spells on us, and we searched for wherever the goods would have dropped – because of course we wouldn't be the only ones who had been attacked by a triffid. There were quite a few bog-standard fungi. (Bog-standard. See what I did there? Oh shut up) and bits of a well-chewed goblin with an amulet around its neck. We tried to get it off carefully, but the head wasn't actually attached any more, and we all ended up with a bit too much goblin guts all over us. The amulet was magical (no surprises there) and some sort of a Monkish "Fists of Fury" magical doover – all set for us to sell the next time we're somewhere handy. Or able to give back to the dwaves. Or something. Me, I'm for selling. It's definitely not the sort of thing for me, because I'm not the type to hang around where the fight it. Much prefer hanging back. Waaay back. Mel popped it on, and it didn't seem to cause her any problems – but then something got the drop on us.
Now I used to live on the docks, and sometimes those fishermen brought in things that would make your eyes fall out of their sockets. Fish shaped like the moon, octopus tentacles long enough to wrap twice around the boat, fish that looked like they came from the Dimensions of Chaos – and once, they brought in a thing that looked like a squid married an umbrella. And that's what this thing looked like. Floated down, and tried to EAT ME!
Maul cast the usual blessing, while Mel swung, and I threw another Alchemist's Fire (that splashed a little. Oh well). A second one went for Mel, missed, and then the first one went for me again. Filthy unnatural creatures! I ducked it, and had a good look around in case there were any others, while Al used her lovely acid ray and squirted the bastard. SEE! THAT'S WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE SQUIRTED YOU SQUID THING! It made a horrid noise and flapped up into a crack in the ceiling, but Maul chucked a spear up after it, and a moment later, both the spear and the dead Darkmantle fell down among us, uncovering in the process a bag of bones, a bag of rags, and a bag of gems. Nice!
And in the distance, further up the cavern, something shrieked.
Loud enough that we were pretty sure we were spotted and done for.
Until I spotted a little something up beside the shrieking critter, that was probably the reason it started sounding the alarm. He was probably trying to do the "try a little from the left hand side", although without a friendly caterpillar.
Al sent a sleep spell up to the small fellow, but all it did was encourage him to yell "INTRUDERS!" as loudly as he could and shoot back at Al. Luckily the snit's aim was worse than mine – the arrow skittered past Al and into a nearby puddle. Two more showed up and fired – alas, one did hit Al. Maul set up the Entropic Shield just as another two turned up and fired, this time at Mel (but they missed). So Al pulled up the regular Flaming Nuisance Sphere, which, from the lovely smells of burnt goblin that wafted back, did its job very nicely. I added to the Rain of Unhitting Arrows, and we suddenly realised that one of the goblins was halfway up the side of the rock wall and doing a lot better than the rest of them. There was a bustle of goblins at ground level drawing their swords and going for Mel, but Roderick was in prime "Bite Them" mode, and whacked hard.
Maul threw her Soundblast at a pile of them, and Al fired away at the one up the wall. Then, a snarling noise from the back of the goblins caught our attention. The dude up the wall scurried to a crack and disappeared, and a bunch of confused goblins started hitting each other as the ugliest dog you ever saw charged through them and towards us. Towards Mel, to be exact. There was chaos and arrows and flailing blades and another pair of dogs after Mel dropped the one that had taken a chunk out of her. Mel found herself surrounded, but made a yell of "TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT" and swung Roderick with such enthusiasm. His old master would have been so proud! Maul cast one of her Obscuring Mist spells, and I kept a wide eye out for that tough dude who was undoubtedly awaiting his chance to sneak up and do his worst. And indeed he was – and that HURT! So I ran back into the mist, and when I tripped over a soft warm thing that smelled bad and wasn't one of our party, I ensured it never woke up again.
There were uglies everywhere! I was reloaded and ready to fire when I suddenly got drenched with something hot and wet – Mel had connected with a goblin and Roderick had been rather active. Indeed, she couldn't stop him barking with glee! Then something large barged past me – luckily I realised at the last moment that it was Maul, and didn't fire on her. There was a strong smell of charred goblin (Al at her best), and the sound of dying goblins left, right and centre, and gradually we worked out that all but the ugliest of the lot had met their maker.
We backed out of the mist towards where he'd gone up the wall.
Maul: "Surrender and no more of your people will be harmed!"
Goblin: "I don't think you understand how goblins work!"
Cogs: "I don't think you understand how I work!"
And Al just lost it and cast a FBNS onto him, and we watched as he dropped off the wall and onto the floor with a soft 'Thud".
We hurried on over, weapons at the ready, and Al made sure the FBNS was on the guy good and proper until Mel persuaded her that the dude might have some treasure. And sure enough, a nice cache of gems and a few items we couldn't identify – a ring of some sort, a loop of cord around his neck, and bracers.
Oh, and he did not survive the fall. In fact, he probably wasn't alive when he dropped.
We searched further up the cavern and found the Goblin village, but it looked like they had abandoned it to squeeze through a hole at the end, and we had no doubt that going through that hole would be trouble. Al and I could have made it (single file), only to be cut into pieces at the end, and Mel and Maul wouldn't have been able to make it through at all.
So we faced up to the inevitable – time to climb back to the spider cave, recuperate, and then attempt getting back up to the bridge tomorrow.