Our heroes, less Splug (who chose to remain behind to guard the escape path), descended further into the Keep on the Shadowfell. They noticed a pair of hobgoblins, whom they recognized by their red skin and pointy ears, standing near a well. Dak and Thorir decided to approach cautiously, lest they begin unnecessary conflicts. One of the hobgoblins noted their approach and yelled “Shadow seeks shadow!” Dak realized there must be a pass phrase, and made a feeble attempt. He failed. The hobgoblins called for reinforcements and drew their flails.
The battle, yet again, took place quite literally at the threshold of the chamber. Gorstag and Dak used their area attacks to great success, and Thorir pretended to be a wall, successfully. Two grunts unleashed a spider which crossed two rooms in one long leap, but to no avail. The spider had mad hops, but could not land a blow to save its life (really). The hobgoblins came in waves, and fell in waves, especially the grunts who burst asunder as they approached their foes. Soon all but one had perished.
The final foe made like a travel agent on the phone with a grumpy hotel manager and booked it. He made it to the next room shortly before Sunny tried to push him into the other well. Sunny kinda bumped into him. After seeing the rest of our heroes approach, the hobgoblin surrendered. He offered a bit of somewhat useful information, the location of the hobgoblin commander, but refused to cooperate further. Gorstag decided the best way to handle the situation was to make it seem as if backup was en route, which only served to convince the hobgoblin to take up arms. It seemed as though Gorstag just wanted to kill the poor soul.
After several unsuccessful attempts to throw the guy over the edge, our party settled for just killing him. Then they tossed him over. Noting the advice of the hobgoblin, the party decided to head away from more hobgoblins, as they believed Kalarel to be in the same direction. The proceeded down a hall, and came upon a pair of shiny doors, and a normal one. They took the normal one and proceeded down another hallway. This hallway led to… another hallway! This one, however, seemed oddly clean and not at all dusty or grimy.
Sensing that something was afoot, our heroes scanned the area for any signs of danger. They noticed a gelatinous cube hiding in an alcove! The hallway they were in turned sharply to the south, and the cube lay to the east. Dak suggested focusing all fire on the slime and urged Gorstag to hinder its movement. Gorstag came to the rescue and made the cube’s path covered in bones which rose from below. Thorir freshly remembered the dangers of a melee battle with such a creature, so he ran to the south to investigate. He found four corpses which tossed decaying muck torn from their bodies at him. Thorir’s skin sizzled and burned and he nearly succumbed then and there. Fortunately Dak stepped in with some crazy healing skills.
The following situation ought to be described as “being stuck between a rock and a hard place,” except substitute “goopy rotting flesh monsters” and “a large pile of jello which eats everything in its path.” Dire straits, indeed! However, heaven has no rage like a man to pile of stinky goo turned, nor hell a fury like a woman digested. Our heroes barely survived their unfortunate war on two fronts, much like this paragraph did endless idoms. Saving graces included ally confusion (the zombies attacked the cube as much as anyone else), Dak’s healing, Thorir’s almost unnatural ability to reinvigorate himself, Sunny’s ability to easily escape certain slimy doom, and Gorstag’s “let’s blow up everything in a 12 foot radius” spells. Three cheers for everyone being useful!
With the walls covered in what remained of their enemies, our heroes helped themselves to the loot of Sir Keegans dearly decapitated children (gruesome!). As they had walked into a dead end, the party retraced their steps. After briefly contemplating the large ornate doors, our heroes decided it was time to kill some hobgoblins. At least they kill you with steel instead of their own bodily fluids. The party proceeded down the hallway indicated by their captive, and prepared for battle.
How will our heroes fare against a trained garrison of well-armed hobgoblins? Will they ever overcome the psychological strain and emotional turmoil which resulted from their near digestion? Will Thorir ever smell good again? Find out next time!