Binding the goblin and taking it to the main floor, the party split up and searched the house. The house had been ransacked and its contents strewn about the rooms.
Horfire spent his time in the study sorting through books and sorting through the spell books and scrolls. Finding some useful materials and a scroll he also decided to take a couple small tomes to study during his travels.
Oryn searched the main bedroom upstairs and found an assortment of coin and a ring that was wedged in the floor boards. A variety of preserved goods was found in the closet. The goods that were still in tact made for the evening meal. He also gathered the broken remains of some lanterns to tinker.
The kitchen and dining room revealed little other than broken dishes and dry goods strewn about.
The basement lab produced a handful of completed potions; a few that were identifiable by the party.
The party agreed to provide rations for the goblin for his cooperation. The goblin further negotiated that they leave him one crossbow and a short sword that he would return to the cottage in a day. Interrogation of the goblin prisoner revealed that they were a scouting party; sent to ransack Harold’s cottage. They had not seen Harold, but he knew little of the goings on within his group. He suspected that if anyone in his tribe new, it would be Balgor, the Hobgoblin war chieftain. Balgor dealt with all the goings on within the tribe, and would know if there was any plans to kidnap the hedge wizard.
Pondering the information, the party decided to spend the night in the cottage and then proceed to the mine where the goblins and hobgoblins were living.
Spending an uneventful night in the cottage, the group sent the goblin on it’s way after getting directions to the mine. Heading north behind the cottage, they found the the trail about 100 m from the cottage. Raylen was able to determine that the the most recent tracks matched the number and species contained in the goblin scout party.
As the party approached the mine, there was more and more evidence of scavenging and foraging for materials. The further they traveled, the heavier the evidence of foraging for firewood and food.
The final approach to the mine was cautious. The entrance showed activity by the tracks, but the structure of the entrance showed signs of age and decay; overgrown, rotten and sagging with signs of imminent collapse.
Approach to the entrance revealed a long tunnel ahead that broke off to the left, and a side tunnel to the right a short ways in. Choosing the tunnel to the right, the party proceeded into the mine. Finding another short tunnel to the left, they found a door at the end. Preparing for an encounter, the party readied themselves. Nogrite, growing impatient, prodded the door with his polearm to open it. Upon contact the door was found to be rotten and fell into the room with a thump. Motion was seen in the back of the room amongst a heap of rags and clothing; a pack of giant rats stared back out the door. The rats were quickly dispatched and the nest and the broken furniture searched. Some coin and a small amethyst were found.
Heading back down the main corridor, the tunnel took a bend to the left. A careful search of the hall exposed a secret storage room. This had obviously been an emergency armory and backup rations in case of a siege when the dwarves were holding the mine. Examination of the room revealed some gold nuggets, but otherwise all the equipment in the room was to decayed to be useful.
The party took a short rest and setup the room for their return thinking it would be a good base of operations. The door was tested to ensure they could open it from the inside and then left with the door closed as they explored further into the mines.
Spending extra time to search for traps, the party proceeded further into the mine. At the end of the tunnel, the passage opened into a large chamber. Peering around the corner, Valbin could make out two sources of unusual light. Two lights began to close quickly on the bard. Firing his crossbow, the bolt hit the giant fire beetle dispatching it in one shot. He was able to reload and finish the second fire beetle again in one shot.
Examining the carcasses, he was able to harvest the glowing glands from the fire beetles and stash them in his backpack for later. The rest of the party explores the vast cavern. At either ends of the cavern on the opposite walls they find stair cases descending to depths beyond their immediate vision.
Raeylen sets an arcane sentinel system up on the western staircase to alert them if they should be ambushed from this stair case. The party then gathers at a central area and examines a dilapidated elevator system. It appears to have been used to raise mining carts from the lower levels. Deciding that the structure is too far gone, they move to the eastern staircase. A variety of plans are discussed as Raeylen explores down the staircase. Stopping aproximately 20 feet from the bottom of the stairs, she hides in the shadows and observes.
A hobgoblin guard appeared to be walking a prepared patrol route, returning to the stairs approximately every minute. After watching two cycles, she returned up the stairs to inform the party. After discussing different options, Nogrite volunteered to lead Valbin down the stairs in hopes of ambushing the sentry and casting a sleep spell upon it. Nogrite removed his chainmail and led Valbin by the hand down the stairwell; Valbin not having any dark vision and not wanting to light a torch that would give them away.
When they reached 10 feet from the base of the stairs, Nogrite could see the sentry approaching and signaled Valbin to prepare his spell. Valbin, shifting his weight kicked a small pebble down the stairs alerting the hobgoblin. Nog gave the signal to cast and Valbin released the spell blind. Having never attempted spell casting in the dark he could only guess at the range and ended up centering it far to close to himself. The sentry peering up the stairs indeed collapsed in slumber, however, Nogrite too went limp and fell down the last 10’ of stairs. The sound of an unconscious dwarf tumbling down the stairs alerted the other two hobgoblin guards gambling nearby. And so the battle began.
The rest of the party hearing the scuffle below headed down the stairs. Arrows and daggers flew down the stairs towards the hobgoblins. Some struck true, but an unfortunate number missed horribly and struck the dwarf who had just regained his consciousness and footing. Healing words were spoken, and yet more arrows were loosed. Lanterns lit, vague orders bellowed and arcane blasts of energy tore into the hobgoblin guards. Dwarf, wether conscious or not, are sturdy folk and after being stabilized, Nogrite was back on his feet.
A second group of three hobgoblins charged from out of the darkness. (later it was revealed they had been guarding the other staircase). Oryn and Gribdunk made short work of the first to engage. Valbin redeemed himself by successfully casting sleep upon one of the guards shooting long bows. The last was dispatched quickly there after. Rayelen, having broken her bow string took advantage of the hobgoblin equipment and stripped the long bows dropped by the hobgoblin guards.
Unsure if more hobgoblins would arrive shortly, the party quickly gathered up the bodies and hid them within some of the abandoned mine carts strewn along the wall below the elevator.
Finally, they bound the unconscious surviving hobgoblin and retreated up the stairs gathering Nogrites equipment at the top. Once dressed again, they headed back towards the hidden room to recuperate.
End Scene Day 3.