The Peninsular War

2 - Spelunking and Near-Death Experiences
In Which Drees Learns Not to Anger Bugbears

Rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle anything that might be thrown at them, the party set out from Osker, retracing their steps down the road to Furthinghome until Wet Wally, their moist-trousered Goblinoid minion, directed them down a small hidden path to the Goblin tribe's lair.  In a turn of events which Wally swore was unintentional, he happened to walk them directly into one of the tribe's traps.

The giant, barbarous leader of the party, a Goliath known as Mateegus, was less than amused by their Goblin guide's lapse in memory, and marched the wretched rogue at sword point in front the rest of the way – miraculously avoiding any further traps.  Upon arrival, the party discovered that this branch of the Cragmaw tribe had dug itself into a small cave network, but had neglected to drill their sentries with anything resembling rigorous discipline.  Using her innate ability for disguise, the Changeling Lyndon and Wet Wally provided a distraction for the others to ambush the unobservant sentries, killing the Goblins before they were even able to draw their swords – or move off the chamber pot, in one unfortunate sentry's case.

Moving quickly into the tunnels, the group discovered a trio of wolves chained near the entrance to provide further eyes and fangs in defense of the cave.  Additionally, the captured cat – revealed to actually be a captive Tabaxi Druid named Twisting Brook – was chained with the wolves, and in danger of being eaten by the rabid animals if they pulled free of their chains.  Rushing to her defense, the group killed two of the wolves, and cowed the third into submission before freeing her, enlisting her aid as they took revenge on the Goblins who had captured and harmed her.

Despite traps the Goblins had prepared to sweep intruders out of their caves, the party was able to work its way into the tunnels with ease, capturing and killing the defending Goblins as they went.  When at last they came to the end of the network of tunnels, they were met by the leader of these Cragmaw Goblins: The Bugbear General, Klarg.  Attempts to dialogue with the Bugbear degenerated quickly as General Klarg's unstable mind almost instantly precluded any attempts at diplomacy.  In spite of his grandiose sense of his own ability, Klarg found himself almost instantly outmatched as the Genasi warlock, Drees, and the Goliath barbarian worked together to break first his mind and then his body.  Weakened, but not yet defeated, General Klarg rallied for one last final stand – striking Drees down with a single mighty blow.

Nonetheless, he was badly wounded, and both outnumbered and outclassed, and fell moments later – causing most of his Goblin guards to surrender on the spot.  Due to the timely intervention of the Pureblood, Ssamina, the Genasi was able to be saved from death's door, and the party prepared to venture into the last branch of the caves to save any other prisoners.

Upon reaching the last cavern within the network, the party was met by an ambitious Goblin by the name of Tricky Yeemik.  Yeemik held the final prisoner, Xander Seaheart, at the edge of death.  The Human was badly injured, one hand was missing, and his wounds looked to be in danger of infection, if not infected already… but the most pressing matter was the blade Yeemik held to the man's throat.  He offered a simple trade: Klarg's head – and with it command of the remaining Goblins – and a small ransom of gold in exchange for Xander's life and safe passage out of the cave.  After some deliberation, the demands were agreed to, and the party left the cave with lighter pockets, but considerably more friends, as two Goblins had followed Wally's lead by choosing to follow the adventurer's – and the remaining wolf had been placated (if not fully tamed) by the Changeling.

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1 - On the Road to Osker
In Which the Party Discovers the Value of a Wet Wally

The road between Furthinghome and Osker is little-traveled these days.  Anyone who is someone knows that travel by boat is the fastest and most comfortable method of transportation between Aglarond's greatest cities, and the war has made banditry and marauding much more common on the roads the further east one travels.  Nonetheless, some travelers find it necessary to use the roads – and the newly founded mercenary company, known as the Arms of Arkenviir in honor of their patron, found itself traveling the lonely paths between Osker and Furthinghome.

Along the way, there was almost no sign of other travelers until the band came upon a man who appeared to have fallen from his horse onto the cobblestones.  The body was a trap, however, and Goblins quickly attacked.  Just as quickly, however, the Goblins found themselves dead.  The only survivor of the massacre of Goblin bandits was a young, cowardly Goblin by the name of Wet Wally, who swore himself to the mercenaries' service to save his own life.  Wally revealed that another group of travelers had been captured a few days before – a Human he called Zanner, a Dwarf known only as "Sandy" by the Goblin, and a cat.

Finding little reason to investigate the captured travelers before they were ready, the adventurers chose instead to finish their journey to Osker, reaping the reward of the contract they had been assigned by delivering an important package and note to the man who ran the general goods store in the small village.

Once their official business was completed, the party rested at Osker's only suitable lodgings, Stonehill Inn.  The next day, they would venture back down the road and search out the rest of the Goblins and the travelers they had taken prisoner.

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