After the bridge combat, you found it prudent to retreat and heal. Spending the next few minutes receiving heals from the paladin, you consulted Koth’s crude map. Eventually, you decided to travel west along the gorge to scout any other places the army might try to cross.
You walked protected within the treeline. It was safe, but slow going within the forest. After a day and a night of picking through the trees and underbrush, the drop on your right turned into a slant, and then a gentle slope. You rode down the slope, crossed the river, and walked back up the other side.
In the Army Now
Before you saw anything, you heard it. The steady stamp of boots, coming from the north. The leaves shook rhythmically, and and the ground trembled.
Theos scouted ahead and saw an army on the march. Thousands of goblinoids. Hundreds of ogres. Dozens of giants. Manticores. Chimeras. Some creatures you don’t even have names for. The army was ordered, but appeared to have no leading general.
This was not a threat you could charge into.
As you discussed next steps, three goblins on worgs and a hell hound found you and attacked. You killed them quickly, and took one goblin captive.
You took the prisoner back to Warklegnaw’s ruined fortress. It was night. The goblin told you the troop numbers. He told you that the horde would rebuild the bridge. He crowed that the sons and daughters of Tiamat would rule Elsir Vale.
Once you’d heard enough, you knew you couldn’t let him go free—the ranger wouldn’t have it. So you did the only honorable thing: Give the wounded goblin a weapon, and face him in one-on-one combat.
The goblin glanced around nervously as the combat began. Could he flee? Could he win his freedom with a display of martial mastery? Perhaps these adventurers were “honorable” enough to… All questions ended as Azureus won initiative and honorably bisected the goblin in the first round. High fives for everybody!
At the same time, Theos flew back to the gorge to investigate. He saw a goblin engineering team arrive and begin to survey the damage. You reckon that between a goblin engineering team and giants to help with construction, the horde will have a functional bridge up within days.
The Only Option
Wisely, San Te and Elendil went back to Drellin’s Ferry to tell them to evacuate. Though the town elders wanted to try fighting or negotiating, you convinced them that these were not viable options. Their only hope would be to fall back to Brindol, where Lord Jaarmath has an army and walled defenses. San Te also proposed an assault in the hill country at Nimon Gap as well.
Norro Wiston suggested that some elves to the north might also be enlisted to bolster the human army. The old wizard, Sertieren the Wise (no relation), also gave you all of his magic items to use in defense of the Vale.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party grappled with some difficult realities. You want to slow the horde, but you have neither the tools nor know-how to slow thousands of troops, some of who mare immensely strong, and some of whom don’t even walk. There seems little that six adventurers can do to slow an army of thousands who want to travel over flat land on a well established road.
Did anyone loot the goblins? I don’t remember. Leave me a comment if you do.
Sertieren’s magic items are on the treasure page.
Everyone gains 500 experience points!