As the day drew on and darkness filtered in through the trees around us the forest was quiet, maybe too quiet. Z thought it was just good practice to have a little fun lighting the way with the straps tying the poor little goblin up. He made a nice lantern. Eventually, Timmy finally chirped up that his camp or fortress or whatever the hell goblins call their home was up ahead. We stopped and gave him the chance to offer up the trade that seemed in our, or at least mine, minds to be fair. Him for the girl, plus leaving the village alone. Seemed reasonable and nobody else had to die this day. However, his camp mates thought different and after making the offer, Timmy was promptly shot in the shoulder with an arrow for his negotiating trouble. He fell face first to the forest floor.
As he did, that was when we finally noticed that we had been led into a small clearing, still close to trees but with unobstructed sight lines to a trio of very large tree stands. Each was a large triangle about twenty feet above the forest floor. Each was also manned, goblined, whatever by a pair of goblins. All had bows aimed down at us. We were a special kind of screwed.
As arrows rained down around us, Shojin must have thought it a good idea, because he made a massive dragon’s head appear as if coming from around the leftmost tree, which really freaked out a few of the goblins. Mind you, it was just a head, there was no body to go with it. To protect himself after I dove for cover, he picked up poor Timmy, who it turned out at that point wasn’t dead as a makeshift shield. I fired pot shots from the brush while we got the situation under control. I wasn’t about to get myself killed by goblins. Now to back up his illusion he kept trying to light their platforms on fire. He finally got one, but by that time I had shot the pair on another of the platforms and Z had unleashed some of her holy hell. When the platform finally caught it scared the bejeezus out of the pair perched on it and they jumped rather than face the flames. The first to jump died on impact and the second died landing on the first.
Still cleaning up the trio of tree stands, we heard what sounded like a massive boar come crashing through the trees. Shojin made an illusory fire leap up in front of it which brought it to a dead stop causing it’s rider to fall. A massive hobgoblin that must have been billy. Z charged in and I gave chase. Shojin’s distraction allowed us to make short work of the “boss” and with all those responsible for waylaying the wagons to and from the mountain dealt with we could find the pretty lady, collect our bounty and be on our way. It should have been as simple as that. It wasn’t.
Turned out the pretty lady was a dwarven maiden by the name of Vessa Ott. She’d been taken captive in transit between the mountain and the Hammer Fall. Her uncle as it happened was the captain of the guard and responsible for the protection of Hammer Fall. He had made no attempts at rescue and she was more than a little pissed about it, to say the least. Who could blame her. Since the goblin raiders had been at their trade for some time, they had amassed a good smattering of junk/sundries and we hauled as much of it as we could back to town, and that is when things got really…interesting.