As the ogre proceeded north, visibly dejected, dragging his club behind him, the party spreads out and proceeds north thorough the undergrowth on the west side of the road. While following in stealthy pursuit of the ogre, Raelaynn, falling back into her hermit ways, ended up unintentionally separating herself from her group. Once she noticed, she decided to continue shadowing the ogre with extra caution in hopes the others would find her later. Shortly after, she observed two additional smaller demihuman figures in the bushes ahead of her. Watching the ogre, she watched as it paused up the path past the two figures in the bushes. It seemed to briefly look at either side of the path itself observing the ground, slightly slowing it’s pace, but then proceeding. After another 15 feet, the ogre turned suddenly and went to rise it’s club, but in doing so, the club caught on a tree. Raelaynn, not knowing if the other figures were friend of foe, closed her distance slightly but remained hidden.
From the north of the Lonely Wood, a traveling party of new adventures find themselves in search of adventure. (fill in any backstory someone wants to create regarding how you came together). Girbdunk the Half-orc cleric of pleasure, Horfire the banished Tiefling warlock, Nogrite the abandoned Drarven fighter, Orryn the distracted Gnomish rogue and Valbin the encumbered Halfling entertainer.
After traveling through the day, resting for a dinner, the group decided to push on through the night. Having received poor travel directions at the last village, greatly underestimated the time to travel to the hamlet of Rashtan. Thinking that setting up camp in the forest may be too dangerous, and needing to make up time, they decide to push on though the night in hopes to reach the other side of the forest by morning and rest there.
Proceeding south down the main road, well into the night, Horfire and Nogrite both hear heavy footsteps coming up the road. Taking a minute to discuss options, the group split themselves up on either side of the road: Nogrite and Orryn take the west and Horfire, Gribdunk and Valbin to the east. From their hiding places in the woods, the party waited, listening to the foot falls grow closer. As they came closer, the sound of something being dragged could also be heard. In the distance, those with dark vision and vantage spotted the large figure approaching. Walking hunched a 10’ tall hulking beast approached dragging a enormous club. As the figure approached a strong musk proceeded it. Now within ten feet of his position, it was obvious that this was an ogre.
As Nogrite sat he also noticed another figure: humanoid, just at the edge of his vision, crouching and watching…Concerned that this may be another companion of the ogre and a possible ambushing, Nogrite and Orryn decided to take the offensive. Nogrite charged out of the bushes and swung his pole axe, Orryn flanked the creature and struck out twice stinging the beast with his daggers. Gribdunk beseeched his god for blessings; Valbin prepared himself, his vision limited; Horfire let loose a arcane blast of energy slamming into the ogre. Valbin, seeing an opportunity bellowed out into the night that the ogre must stand down or be slaughtered by himself and his team of ogre slayers.
Alone and quite wounded, the ogre looked around and decided it best to drop his club and yield. Holding its arms above its head it knelt down on the ground in submission.
At this point Raelaynn cautiously revealed herself announcing her presence and introduced herself to the party. (At which point the ogre waved back at her and introduced himself as Grom). She then took some time to explain her mission and the separation from her team. The party felt this was an excellent opportunity for adventure and possible profit.
Interrogation of Grom the ogre revealed that he nor his party were involved with Harold’s disappearance. Being a simple creature, no one in the party was led to believe he was lying.
Feeling they had learned as much as they would from the simple ogre, the party released him without his weapon and sent him north (remembering that there were two more ogres from Grom’s party to the south). Grom proceeded north and reached up into the trees to rip down a large branch and continued on north waving to the party as he walked. Following a good distance behind, the party continued north to the trail head that Raelaynn had on the map. The rest of the party were familiar with the trail, having passed it on the way southward. Keeping an eye on Grom’s trail, they were wary for any indications that he had left the main road (and perhaps setup ambush). Finding no indications of deception, the party found the trail to the west after an hours travel. Raelaynn continued north to follow Grom’s trail and ensure he had continued north. Again, she found no deviation from the main road.
The party then took time to investigate the abandoned guard hut at the trail head. Orryn inspected every corner, nook and cranny and discovered a total of 15 coppers strewn throughout. The bountiful treasure (in his eyes) was offered up to the party. Having watched his tremendous efforts, the party decided he had earned the right to keep the entirety of the treasure hoard. The overall feeling of the party is that the hut had been long abandoned and likely unoccupied for many years.
Having taken a short rest at the hut, the group moved on towards Harold’s. The trail was narrower than the main road. Only wide enough for perhaps a small cart and horse. The route well worn was easy enough to follow, but taking caution, the party took 3 more hours to reach Harold’s cottage. Raelaynn reminded the party to stay on the main path, remembering that Harold was known to set arcane and mundane traps in the are surrounding his house.
As the dawn rose, Orryn, being the most observant of the party, eventually noticed a small game trail to the south. Very cautiously investigating, he found that indeed there was a trip wire across the trial about 10’ feet into the brush. Investigating further, he determine the trip wire would set off a series of chimes. The party decided that it would be best to approach from the road and avoid any traps altogether.
In the distance, a clearing is seen ahead. The party makes out a building with a small chimney; they had found their way to Harold’s cottage. The more observant of the group noticed that although it was a chilly morning, no smoke was coming from the chimney.
Choosing their marching order, the team advanced cautiously, sending Orryn and Nogritte to the door. Announcing themselves from a short distance from the door, they waited but with no response. Hearing some foot falls inside, Orryn advanced on a window and peeked inside but could see nothing moving. Considering the suspicious noise with no visible occupants, the party discusses their options and prepare to enter en guard.
Entering in a staggered fashion, the party spreads out and investigates the rooms quickly. Finding the house’s main entrance and dining area ransacked, they continue to the other rooms. The kitchen also in ruin. The last room to be searched on the main floor is a study with books strewn around the room. Papers and ink in disarray on the floor. Having looked at the tracks throughout the house, Raelaynn realizes something as Horfire gathers parchment and examines the ink; the spilled bottle of ink is still draining and completely liquid. Further, she notices some partial foot prints in ink that appear to be the most recent. Following them to the last door, it appeared to be a stairwell down.
Fearing they may get trapped downstairs, the halfling made a quick check of the stairs to the second floor and hearing nothing headed up and made a quick sweep of the rooms. Finding nothing while the others prepared themselves on the main floor, Orryn descended to join them. Listening at the basement door, nothing could be heard. Nogritte took the lead and descended down the stairs with the others in tow. Reaching the midstair landing, Nog was able to make out figures crouched beside the long tables in the basement, five in total.
The party descended with Nog leaping to the base of the staircase. However, by the time Nog had secured the stairs, Raelynn had already leapt from the mid landing, cut down one goblin, vaulted the benches and decapitated another. Oryn darted through and thrust two daggers deep into a goblin leaving it limp in his wake, closing on the last goblin. Meanwhile, Horfire had unleashed arcane energy blasting the larger hobgoblin in the chest.
Gribdunk offered the commander quarter as he closed with it, but displeased with the response in regards to his ‘mother’s undergarments’, closed the matter and crushed the hobgoblins jaw putting an end to it’s belligerence. The last goblin dropped it’s short sword and surrendered.