Denerik was understandably very concerned that her brother might have been among the dwarves we had fought and killed, but said that he would have been wearing his goblin-crusher clan ring (she shows us hers)… and we hadn’t found any such rings (despite
looting … er, carefully inspecting… the bodies)
We were eventually summoned to the council after it had been going for some time. The dwarves showed us a model of the abbey, and the defences therein… about which they are not really sure what to do. Some were keen to blow the place up, some wanted to try a frontal assault.
A messenger arrived to tell us that Roderick was ready, so we asked for leave to go and collect Roderick, and to have a think about strategy. When we were eventually summoned back to the council, we were told that the dwarves would “take it from here”.
Denerik was sent to escort us away. As we went, she told us that she had been assigned to “survey the eastern flank”, and offered for us to join her. Which we did. Denerik mentioned that some time ago, they had done some blasting to get rid of a hobgoblin problem… and apparently that had also fixed a minor hobgoblin problem which had been troubling the abbey at the same time. In other words, there’s probably another way into the Deep below the abbey.
We stabled the animals, and Denarik led us to where the blasting had taken place.
Al noticed a substantial hole, which Denarik told us hadn’t been there five years ago. The hole appeared to have been broken or collapsed… perhaps someone or something heavy had fallen through. It’s possible it could have been from one of the trebuchets, if it had hit here. As we approached, we heard something groaning from below, and Maul sent a celestial eagle down to investigate. It didn’t return. Cog then asked to be made invisible, and we lowered him on a rope to see what he could find. Fortunately, Cog did return.
He reported 6 hobgoblins down there, torturing a giant… who was presumably the reason for the hole (and the groaning).
Denarik suggested that we make a sliding rush… so Mel got on her shield to slide down, with Al riding along behind her (ready to fire a flaming sphere as soon as she saw the lights of their eyes), and Roderick barking all the way. Denarik slid Legolas-style. Cog went deftly with acrobatics, and Maul wore the ring of feather-fall in case of mishaps.
That was the idea, anyway.
Mel fell very badly, Al and Denarik and Cog all got a bit bumped up too. Ouch.
And fight was joined! Cog and Al took out one of the hobgoblins, Mel and Maul got back to their feet; then Maul cast her Obscuring Mist, and the melee disappeared. Having no idea where she might now direct the flaming sphere, Al decided instead to send a swarm of rats to somewhere near the only place that had more goblins than our party. From then on, she just sat outside the fog and concentrated.
We prevailed in the end, although Maul did get pretty beaten up along the way… meanwhile, Cog had made friends with Gragnog the giant, and we talked to him about what had happened to him. He had indeed fallen down the hole and broken his leg, after which it seems the hobgoblins who lived in the caves had enslaved Gragnog to defend them from… trolls. Who attack from below. From a tunnel. Which presumably leads to the Deep.
So… we decided to rest for the night, recover, and then head on into the deep. After which we’ll get other dwarves from the tower to help Gragnog out of the hole.