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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

The warforged man of wood and metal flew through the air, landing hard, but solidly over the 15 foot gap in the bridge. Before we could formulate a plan to get the others across, a goblin came shrieking around a corner to the North.

Damn! We’d pitied the first goblins we came across, leaving one trapped but alive. As recompense it stirred up the hornet’s nest. We thought the town cleared. We were wrong. 

We easily cut the screamer down, but a trio of goblins poured out of nearby buildings. T.I.M. leapt back across, a bit less gracefully, and received an arrow in the chest in response. Our party was flustered, missing too many shots, while the goblins appeared more galvanized than ever. They’d seen the bodies. They knew what we were capable of.

I surrounded myself in a protective barrier and charged them. The vicious beast sneered at my deliberate approach, and his whirling blade sliced right through my spectral shield. A gasp escaped my lips while the goblin yelped backward as the frost burned his skin. I heard shouting behind me, then nothing at all as I fell to the ground.

This week’s session was all about the goblin fighting. We continued exploring the destroyed town of Nightstone, now full of goblin looters.

We were still in the inn, standing over the body of Kella, a Zhentarim agent. T.I.M. used Spare the Dying and we disarmed and bound her
(and Bryseis commandeered her pet flying snake), though I’m unsure what fate awaits her. As we’ll find out soon enough, leaving enemies alive can swiftly come back to hurt us.

From our second story vantage point we spotted a pair of goblins arguing in a nearby farm. We deliberated on how to handle them, ultimately deciding that once again it was best to surprise them with a volley of ranged attacks.

With a surprise round and superior initiative rolls we easily took them out before they had a chance to respond. Feeling a bit overconfident we began to fan out of the Inn and explore the small chicken farm to the East.

Halfred strolled into a stable full of horses, and received a nasty arrow in the chest in response. A goblin hid in the upper loft! With five on one we cut him down, but we should have learned a lesson about carefully exploring the rest of the town.

The guard towers weren’t tall enough to provide a proper lay of the town, so we continued to the Southeast, blasting another goblin in a second guard tower, and ambushing two more playing with pumpkins in another farm.

As long as we could surprise and take these goblins on in small groups, we were fine. All our spellcasters except Kazin were drained and this wasn’t a safe place to Long Rest while goblins still milled about (we did sneak in a Short Rest in the inn).

In a building to the South Halfred noticed an odd creature – a small winged cat. He began feeding it, which is the universal video game logic to making that pet now loyal for life. Fitting that the ranger should care for it.

Its owners were dead, crushed by the insane attack of falling rocks from the sky from a cloud giant castle.

Kazin grew deeply curious about a locked notebook that contained pages of indecipherable code. Kazin isn’t normally into books, but anything magical breeds power, and it may contain clues as to what the hell went down in this poor town.

To the South lay a bridge to the keep. Thinking that we’d pretty much cleared the town, T.I.M. jumped across the 15 foot gap in the broken bridge to the other side. Before we could throw a rope, a goblin came screaming from the North side of town – the one bastard we’d left alive last session.

We slew him pretty quick, but not before he raised the alarm. Apparently the town was not yet empty, as one came out of a nearby general store to the North while two more emerged from the windmill to the West.

We hadn’t fought three goblins at once before, but still, how hard could it be?

T.I.M. jumped back across the gap, failing a DEX saving throw and sliding back down towards us (though thankfully not dropping into the river below). The nearest goblin shot him with his shortbow, downing the warforged cleric in a single hit! Another shot at Kazin, nearly downing me as well.

With our tank down, Kazin cast Armor of Agathys and charged at the two to the West, hoping to tie them up for our ranged attackers to take them down.

The rolls were cruel to us this round, with several misses and one non-kill hit. On their turn the nearest goblin cut me down with a single blow. It took some damage from the spell but all three goblins were still up, versus the last three party members.

I was legit worried that this may be a total party wipe, something that never even came close to us in the last campaign. Thankfully things went our way a bit, as our powerful ranged sorcerers and ranger were able to begin killing the goblins, though Korinn would fall to another damn goblin arrow before it was over.

I actually rolled a natural 20 on my death save, letting me pop back up. Though in the same turn the last goblin fell. Three of us went down in a single fight – holy crap!

But we survived, making it a thrilling end to the session. We carried the unconscious T.I.M. and Korinn to the general store. We had no choice but to Long Rest in here. Now the damn town should be totally goblin-free!

Between the 11 goblins we killed this session and the bonus xp for clearing the town, we earned enough XP for level 2. Low level D&D just basically sucks; even the designers know it since most of the published adventures’ main quests don’t really start until around level 3. Everyone is a bit too fragile and life and death is too dependent on one bad/good roll.

Next week: level 2 and onward to the Nightstone keep!

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