On the edge of view, far in the distance, across a valley, a mountain rises, with an obvious fortress built into it, Green skinned beings man them, but it is too far away to see if they are goblins or dragonborn. There were three towers in the side of the mountain, 2 ballista. A waterfall “The Trickle Stream” coming down the mountain, into the hockspur river, that runs past Hocks Hollow. The team sits and debates how to approach the fortress. Floki suggests taking some time to disguise themselves as tumbleweeds. Dally suggests waiting for nightfall, as there is absolutely nowhere to hide between the edge of the forest and the fortress. Karath, spurred by writhing hatred for Tiamut, suggests they approach under the pretense of joining the cult. They do have a minotaur with them, which is usually an evil/destructive race.
The team approaches the fortress, Legolass following behind and making sure Floki sticks with the group, as he tries to fall behind. As the they approach, and begin ascending the steep road towards the first tower and gate, the Ballista begins spinning towards them. Goblins pop up and demand to know who they are and what they want. Karath demands to speak to the leader about joining the tribute for Tiamut. He gives a pretty decent combination of persuasion & intimidation to get the trust of the goblins. He also pays a tithe, with a gem worth 100g. He is forced to abandon his shield, as it has Bahamat all over it. Surprisingly, they do not require Dally to abandon her new Blood-Singers armor, which also has Bahamat on it. Legolass picks it up silently and hides it in her bag. The team begins their escorted ascent to the top of the mountain.
Floki flicks water into the face of every goblin he passes, saying “May Tiamut be with you!”
The team passes the final gate. The boss of this area is not allowed to leave, but lets them pass. They climb until they reach a giant clearing, near the top of the mountain. There is a giant bowl shaped dip, like a crater. Between Dally’s historical knowledge and schmoozing and the bar in town, Legolass’s natural observations and Karath’s religious knowledge, they figure out the following things:
- Within 10 years the townsfolk had failing crops, 5-6 years ago the goblins show up, 2 years ago they started prospering.
- They can see the top of an Ancient dragonborn keep, whose name is lost. One of very few with a priory (where they train paladins) Rumors that the scale of Bahamat is somewhere inside.
- Across the bowl is ancient, it fell into itself.
- It was covered by water for years, and recently dried up. A dam is across the bowl, connected to the trickle stream.
It looks as though the giant Priory with a giant statue of Bahamat has collapsed into the ground, maybe a sinkhole. They walk to the edge of the giant walkway, which has been dropped a bit. They move into the structure, noticing a giant man powered lift, dropping several feet into the Priory. The Team climbs down; Dally and Floki fall, taking minor damage. They look around, seeing two huge oaken doors, shaped like giant scales. Cthumu, the Minotaur, can comfortably fit through them. There is a door to the north, obviously well-travelled, and a door to the south west, which looks like it hasn’t been opened in a long time.
The team, of course, goes to the door less-traveled, and finds an ancient trap that no longer works. They walk down a dusty corridor, following the sounds of rats. From nowhere a couple sturges materialize, rats munching on a few corpses down the hallway, two old, one newer. The group fights the rat swarms and rat kings, and destroy both sturges. They move on down the hallway, but the hallway comes to an immediate end, with rubble closing off all passages. Floki hears a voices and finds a tunnel, where the rats and sturges must have come from. He senses some arcane in the distance.
The team quickly crawls through the tunnel, into a room that drops off about 6 feet. There is rubble all over the floor and it looks like the ceiling is barely holding up. After a quick, fast debate, they decide to follow the next, smaller tunnel, which drops ten feet into an abandoned ballroom that is partially collapsed. There is a giant Oaken double-door to the west, and a secret passage to the north. The team opens the door and sees a lighted passageway, then hear goblins walking through the path. Floki hears more voices and can sense fleeting arcane in the area. He narrows it down to the western wall.
The team explodes a way through the door, there is a bookshelf, and some broken tables, and see a goblin trying to hide. Floki takes an intense interest in him, as the goblin is the source of arcana. He spends some time befriending the goblin, who is very scared of Karath, the dragonborn. Malki, the goblin, repeatedly tells Karath that he should leave, should go out the secret passageway in this second room. He tells them some info, mostly that the other goblins are trying to kill him because he stole some magic boots. They fit Dally, so she agrees to swap her very nice boots for his magical boots, so that they won’t be hunting him anymore. Floki charms Malki into joining the team, but Malki doesn’t want to continue exploring, he wants to go-go-go! They end up jamming him into a backpack and knocking him unconscious.
The team leaves through the secret passage, find a long corridor with many doors, some noises, and it appears to end at the same spot that the ballroom ended, with rubble. They go through the nearest door, stumbling into a giant chamber, well lit, full of goblins and wagons full of stuff. They destroy all the goblins and take the booty – 560 gold. (Floki, Karath and Dally all level up)