This is part of an ongoing campaign. You can find the other sessions over on the sidebar.
This session was run on May 16, 2022.
2 Sweetrain 4433 B.C.C.C.
At the end of the last session, the party set out to investigate the goblin raids on the villages to the west of Byrny (hex 2312). As they headed out of Byrny they found themselves passing through fairly dense farmland with regular small villages. After crossing the Rorystone Road (hex 2211), the farms began to thin out a bit and they came across a strange sight at a crossroad.
The pasture to the north of the road the party was traveling on was fenced in, and there was a gate on the road intersecting to the north. A halfling woman, wearing heavy makeup was sitting on the fence alongside a goblin wearing a burlap sack. The goblin was polishing a helmet, and both were watching a dwarf standing on the back of a barrel-chested pony. The dwarf was struggling to tie a brass ring to an arm mounted on a post.
The party engaged the halfling woman in conversation, and learned that her name was Petunia. She usually worked in Tulip's Roadhouse, but Sir Mar Thrithhimmer (the dwarf) hired her to be his "squire" for the next two weeks. Sir Mar, in turn, had been retained by Lady Rixia*, whose manor was up the road to the north, to advertise her upcoming tournament. He was setting up the arm to demonstrate jousting by catching the ring on his lance. Petunia clarified that the goblin was Lady Rixia's house goblin.
Sir Duycken challenged Sir Mar to a best out of five challenge, and the dwarf accepted. The first pass did not go well for Sir Mar. He aimed his lance too high and hit the arm instead of the ring. The shock of the blow knocked him backwards off of his pony. His "squire" and the house goblin rushed to help him up while his pony shot him dubious looks.
Sir Duycken's pass went much better. In fact, it went too well. His lance slipped through the center of the ring and the combined force of the duck and his riding turkey pulling against it broke the arm the ring was tied to.
Looking at his demolished quintain, Mar sighed and agreed that Sir Duckyen was the winner. They talked for a bit longer and noticed that Sir Mar got a guilty look on his face when they started asking about the goblin attacks. They eventually learned that he was part of the Sabine's Lot, the adventuring group that was supposed to be dealing with the goblins. He seemed uncomfortable with the fact that Sabine decided to raid the barrow mounds to the south instead. He found himself in his current employment because Sabine was recovering from a broken arm she got in a wrestling match at the War Wagon Inn.
The party continued northwest as the land sloped upwards and the distance between outposts of civilization increased, with more and more land still covered in forest. As they neared the crossing for the river (hex 2111) Stranger heard the sound of moaning in pain and goblin voices coming from the woods north of the road.
Uggmar tried to sneak closer to the treeline and saw three groups of goblins. The first group consisted of one standing goblin, armed with a bow, and five laying on the ground inside a hollowed tree trunk (circled in yellow above). The second group of five goblins were huddled against the rock to the north of the tree trunk and seemed to be looking at something to the northwest. The final group was crouched down on the hill just south of the cave entrance (circled in blue). Unfortunately, as Uggmar approached the woods, he stepped on a branch and snapped it, alerting the goblins to his presence.
As the rest of the party started to rush into battle, Uggmar heard one of the goblins by the cave holler, "You take care of them, we'll get the bear." The goblins on the hill ran towards the cave, while the ones by the rock started to run south. The goblin in the tree trunk opened fire with his bow.
Uggmar and Duycken charged into the tree trunk and Uggmar tackled the goblin, grappling him. As some of the goblins from the north moved around the tree to the west, Gwythian, Stranger, and Vargr ran to intercept the ones that remained to the north.
As the party dealt with the goblins around the hollow tree, they heard a high-pitched screech coming from the cave followed by an angry roar. A goblin head bounced out of the cave followed by running goblins, followed by a dire bear.
As Uggmar and Duycken finished up the goblins by the tree, and the rest dealt with the ones by the rock, the bear chased down the goblins that had invaded its cave and killed most of them. Seeing that the bear was far from its cave, Uggmar and Duycken ran in hoping to find loot. Uggmar was the first in and found a pouch with 350 gold pieces on the remains of a mostly eaten human, and some kind of crude bear totem made from sticks and bits of cloth on the dead goblin.
The bear started heading back towards the cave, so Duycken and Stranger tried to distract it. Duycken used one of his javelins, and Stranger climbed a tree and hit it with his sling. The bear charged towards Stranger and Duycken headed into the cave to help Uggmar loot it. Uggmar found a very nice looking ring, and Duycken found a potion.
Vargr climbed the tree next to the one Stranger was in as the bear reached them and began attacking Stranger's tree. With a few swiped of its giant claws, the dire bear knocked the tree down, spilling Stranger onto the ground by the rock.
As Stranger ran to climb the tree Vargr was in, Uggmar and Duycken distracted the bear with sling stones and javelins. The bear picked Uggmar and began chasing him while Vargr healed Stranger up in the tree. Uggmar managed to get to safety (off the map) and Duycken and Gwythian drew the beast's attention long enough for Stranger and Vargr to get away as well.
Gwythian then kited the bear around the map while Duycken rode in to the tree, threw one of the injured goblins on the back of his turkey, and they all managed to get away.
Once they were safe, Duycken cast detect magic and determined that the ring, the potion, and the bear totem were magical. Gwythian used his Legend/Lore ability to determine that the ring required activation by squeezing, but could not determine its function.
* They also learned that Lady Rixia was from Karak. She came to the Wilderlands as a mercenary and was granted this manor after bravery in one of the Overlord's battles against Viridistan.