Last Hope

Blackstone

3 days elapsed

The party made their way south towards the smoke they saw in the distance.  Upon reaching its source they found a motte and bailey castle, where the castle itself was also upon a separate island from the town.  The palisade walls being over fifteen feet high and the moat surrounding it over thirty feet wide in most places with flowing water as it was fed by a river.

The first thing wrong the party found was that the towns drawbridge was down and its guard posts appeared unmanned.  Crossing the drawbridge, the second thing wrong with the town that they noticed were large boulders that were all over the town.  Dozens of them, each several feet in diameter, all of them appeared to have fallen from the sky as there were impacts beneath them, and many were crushing buildings or parts of buildings.

With a loud ringing coming from a nearby church, the bell in its steeple ringing non-stop the party also noticed several green skinned halflings in the distance moving between homes.  The party decided to split up and begin to investigate the town.  Half the group made their way to the church, while the other made their way to what appeared to be a tavern or inn.

Diogenes told the rest of the party to wait outside while he snuck into the church to investigate, making his way into the building he discovered in the back room, three creatures who obviously were not halflings, but were of similar height and build.  With green skin and extremely ugly features two of the creatures were in the process of ransacking the room looking for valuables, while the third was jumping up and down while holding onto a rope that was presumably attached to the bell above. He snuck back out to the front door and made plans on how to deal with them.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the party made their way to the tavern, they found that a boulder had crashed into the building through the roof, fallen through the second floor and ended up crushing a table and chairs in the common room.  The party had still not found any evidence of human settlers, but did find a corpse in the main room, one of the green skinned creatures who had a crossbow bolt in his chest was laying in the common room.

A quick look at the body, indicating that the creature died very recently.  A noise from the backroom led them to discover a female green creature who was trying to sneak out with a bag of stuff that was obviously too heavy for her to carry on her own.  Sorrow using her telepathy decided to negotiate with the creature for information and half the loot in her bag to let her leave alive.  The creature readily agreed, and the party was able to learn a little bit of information, the creatures were not from the town, and they found it in the state it was currently in.

Back in the temple, the party confronted the creatures and using a show of strength, intimidated them into surrendering.  Diogenes used some rope to tie them together and then preceded to lead the creatures around town with him.  One of the creatures happened to speak common, and after questioning them about what happened in town and not really getting any additional information, but they did advised that they had seen some bodies of humans in town and led the party to one of the houses. 

Back in the tavern, the group made their way upstairs where they encountered a human woman who was hiding in one of the rooms.  Holding a crossbow and handing behind some furniture she remained defensive while the group tried to find out what happened.  She turned out to be a wealth of information, at least compared to the goblins, and after being assured that they meant her no harm, the party learned what happened.

Three days ago, the boulders began to fall out of the sky on the village, looking to the heavens revealed a huge castle resting upon a cloud was hovering above the town.  The towns people having no way of fighting back against the threat, opened the drawbridge and fled out of town.  A bunch of huge pale giants then descended from the castle on stairs of cloud and took the large black stone from the center of town back into the castle with them.  Once they were gone, the castle began moving away to the east.  A day or so later, the towns people had still not returned, but the green skinned goblins arrived and found the drawbridge lowered and began looting the town.  She had killed the one below, while remaining hidden and was not keen on leaving as she was waiting for someone to meet her here.

Inside the house the party found a body that had been crushed by a rock that had fallen through the roof, and another that had been killed by the roof that had fallen in when the rock struck it.  As the party continued to investigate the town they did find more people who had been crushed by boulders, but definitely not enough to account for the entire population of the town.  They also continued to encounter more of the green skinned creatures, most of which they were able to take prisoner, although a few did go out fighting.

Eventually the party made their way to the bridge/ramp leading towards the castle/keep.  The ramp made mostly of wood unfortunately had a huge section missing from it where at least one boulder had struck it and collapsed it into the waters below.  Using their grappling hooks and ropes the party managed to traverse the gap and make their way into the castle.

Inside they found four humans arguing with each other over the corpse of a finely dressed woman.  Announcing their presence quickly ended the argument and after a brief discussion they learned basically the same thing from the guards that they had from the woman in town, giants bombarded the town with rocks, on the first volley the bridge between the castle and town was severed which prevented most of the guards from helping the towns folk.  The bombardment of the castle had killed most of the guards that were in it at the time of the attack, along with their ruler.  When the party had arrived, they were trying to figure out what to do next. 

They told the party that there were caves to the north and the villagers most likely fled there to hide, but they should have returned along with the guards that were in town by now.  The party offered to find the missing towns people in exchange for information about the area and access to the castles library.  Upon questioning the guards, they did find out that one of the guards had seen creatures that matched the description of the horrors, but it was several years earlier to the south.

 

The party took the opportunity to rest for the evening to recover their strength before moving out to find the caves.  The party questioned the goblins and discovered that they lived in caves to the north, so brought one of them along as a guide.  The goblin guided them to a cave entrance about a mile north of town and the party began exploring.

Upon entering, Koss and Diogenes took the lead and quickly encountered a group of four biclopses (ogres) bathing in a pool of heated mud.  Sorrow wanting to help scout, used her power to climb upon the ceiling and was immediately detected by the creatures. They didn't take kindly to finding a person crawling upon their roof and grabbed weapons to swat her down. 

Thinking quickly, Sorrow reached into her magic pouch and threw glitter over the group of creatures, this had the beneficial effect of making most of the completely blind and easier for the rest of the group to battle.  A fierce battle raged briefly as Diogenes was hit several times and nearly killed, but the magical glitter form Sorrow definitely saved the day.

Once the ogres were defeated, the party healed their wounds and continued making their way into the caves. While they were exploring they came across a room that had been sealed by a boulder, Murray and the paladin worked together to move the boulder out of the way to reveal the room beyond.  Unfortunately the noise from moving the boulder drew the attention of the goblin leader and his guards in the next room.

The leader was not too pleased to discover intruders, but at seeing how many of them there were and how well armed they were, opted to tell them to leave rather than fight them.  The party refused to leave without the villagers, a brief conversation concluded with the party negotiating the freedom of the villagers at a cost of one gold piece each, for the 31 remaining villagers.

Diogenes wanting to convert the remaining goblins into villagers as well, ran out of the cave to fetch the goblin he brought with him.  The party made their way along with the goblin boss and all his pets and guards to the room where the villagers were stored.  While they were working out the particulars, Diogenes returned and tried to intimidate the goblin boss into submitting to him.  When the goblin boss didn't immediately begin groveling in surrender, Diogenes skewered his goblin companion.

That act, ended the negotiations for the release of the prisoners as the goblin boss ordered his minions to kill the party. A huge battle took place as the party had to kill all of the goblins in the caves as well as all the pet rats of the goblin boss.  In the end, the party was successful and managed to free the villagers to return to their homes.

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