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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

A bolt of flame came singing out of the darkened tunnel. I heard the goblin behind me let out a startled yelp. The sound of smoked flesh filled my nostrils. I smiled. Bryseis had my back.

I kept my attention on the large, armored goblin in front of me, Hark. He wielded a mace of human bone and his eyes spoke of a depraved evil that made his underlings look like innocent puppies.

I clutched my robes and focused my mind, expanding my presence outward. Several grotesquely giant rats scurried near my feet, lunging at me again and again, ripping apart the duplicates I had confused them with.

As T.I.M.’s frighteningly giant, floating leech lashed out at them I reached into Hark’s mind, causing him to feel the pain and despair of those he had harmed. His eyes grew wide and blood dripped from his eyes and nose. He took one look at me, turned, and ran.

I saw the opening and took it. My psi-blade flashed out as an extension of my body and my mind, and caught the goblin boss straight in the back. He didn’t make a sound as he crumpled to the floor, but I couldn’t help myself. “This is for the people of Nightstone,” I whispered.

This week we continued our excursions of the goblin-infested caves. We’d defeated the bulk of the goblin forces last week and rescued the poor townsfolk of Nightstone. But the goblin leader Hark was responsible for the looting and kidnapping and needed to be dealt with. Plus there could still be some townsfolk alive.

We headed West and were surprised by a relatively friendly, terrified goblin who was willing to turn state’s evidence on his boss. Snigbat provided us with some very useful intel: Hark was waiting for us in his room up ahead, flanked by two guards and a bunch of pet giant rats he planned on whistling to surround us.

D&DGetting a heads-up to a big ambush with a boss monster is super helpful. In return Snigbat just wanted to take care of the goblin young in another part of the caves, as well as deal with a “blob” monster in the tunnels to the Southeast.

If this was an excuse from the DM to get us to explore all of the caves before we left, it worked. We agreed to take care of the blob after dealing with Hark.

Tactical planning is not our strong suit, but we decided we could take out a few of the giant rats who were designed to flank us before entering Hark’s area. Bryseis unleashed a Firebolt into the rat hole, incinerating one while two more hurried out, and we slaughtered them all.

Feeling confident we crept into the bigger room ahead. Hark noticed us (we weren’t really stealthing) and I strode up, cowl pulled down to confront him.

I don’t think this was meant to be an actual diplomatic negotiation. Hark was literally eating the captive townsfolk, and he had a magic orb and an evil-looking club covered in human bones. He was bad news and after some delicious villain monologue-ing by the DM, the fight was on.

Any RPG player worth their salt knows to take out the boss first, if possible. We did a good job concentrating attacks on Hark, though the confined tunnel we emerged from proved problematic when Hark threw his orb like a grenade. It shattered into a mist of caustic, blinding gasses. Thankfully everyone made their CON saves.


I charged Kazin in and cast Mirror Image, followed by T.I.M. and Korinn, while Bryseis and Halfred plinked with arrows and Firebolts/Chaos Bolts. On my next turn I used Dissonant Whispers on Hark, and finally someone failed the save, triggering opportunity attacks from T.I.M. and me. I rolled a crit and murdered Hark, though not before he whistled a bunch of rats to help defend him.

The giant rats got a lot of nasty licks in, and Korinn and I definitely got our money’s worth out of our Mirror Image spells. Poor T.I.M. would take the brunt of the damage despite his insanely high AC. His Spiritual Weapon spell AKA Spectral Leech proved useful once again.

Soon the last of the goblin forces lay dead. A woman, Daphne, lay cowering to the North. She was Hark’s next victim and apparently the Lady of Nightstone’s close servant. We had to break the unfortunate news to her about the Lady’s death. She was inconsolable despite avoiding a grisly fate herself.

We gave Hark’s magical mace to our cleric, and Halfred found a secret passage leading to the bulk of the goblins’ loot, which wasn’t terribly impressive. Some golden knick-knacks, gold pieces, and a Potion of Growth.

We Short Rested again and I’m starting to like the Warlock spell system more and more. Especially in dungeons where we can Short Rest more often, I can better gauge my abilities. It’s interesting deciding when to use defensive spells versus offensive, and I love role-playing my badass psi-blade.

T.I.M. attuned to our first real magic weapon, Souleater. It wasn’t even a +1, but it did have some nifty abilities. Defeating a foe awarded temporary hit points, and you could opt to take some psychic damage to deal extra damage to a foe who was near death. A neat little push-your-luck system. It was also cursed – it wouldn’t let T.I.M. administer non-lethal blows.

All that was left was to take care of the blob. We journeyed down the tunnel to the Southeast, carefully. We found a large stalagmite covered in deep holes. Surely the ooze was in there! But it wouldn’t be attracted despite our half-hearted attempts to draw it out.

We explored a bit further in, finding a small underground waterfall and some mushrooms. On the ceiling was the ooze. But instead of dropping down it retracted, and then oozed out of the large stalagmite.


Black Puddings are nasty, capable of dealing acid damage to melee attackers and permanently weakening regular weapons and armor. It’s a fighter’s worse nightmare. Thankfully all of us use magic and/or ranged attacks, so the damage was minimized. We did discover that slashing and lightning damage split the thing up, but we still outnumbered it.

Korinn used Mirror Image again but this time it let us down; she rolled a 1 to see if a fatal blow would attack her or a dupe. The damn ooze downed our dragonborn sorcerer in a single hit before we could destroy it. We were humbled but the ooze was destroyed, and the Dripping Caves were clear.

All that’s left is to check back in with Snigbat and then return to Nightstone. Our DM helpfully informed us that we’ll be reaching level 4 upon completing the Dripping Caves. We are definitely fast-tracking through these early levels! It’s kind of nice, though I worry that we’ll have way less magic items when compared to running a whole campaign in early levels like Phandelver.

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