Walking down the short hallway of prison cells adjoining the torture chamber, a range of foul odors assaults the ‘Stoppers noses as they pass each cell. Traces of dried blood and guts, feces, urine, vermin droppings, and acid lingers in the air from countless victims prior. Clearly the cells are an implement of torture themselves.
Through the bars of the middle cell a medium sized goblin is calling out to the adventurers: “Oh great heroes, please release Splug! Splug will do whatever you wants, whenever you wants!” The goblin begins listing his skills out loud, “He will carry your heavy things, he will set up your campfire, he will warn you of baddy dangers, he will catch you delicous ratses, he will-” Carff interrupts Splug impatiently “-great, fine. Ssssh for a second.” The rogue unsheathes Diplomacy and starts toward the frightened goblin, who shrieks and darts to the back of the cell.
“Wait!” Artemis and Skitlezzz entreaty the bloodthirsty Carff. “He might prove useful, let’s find out what he knows!”
Splug proves only marginally fruitful when relaying details of the dungeon, but does know some about the goblin leader, Balgron the Fat. An obese creature for the typically scawny goblins, Balgron has the goblins digging for treasure in a room on the other side of the main entrance, but Splug suspects they’re all just guards for something more important on the next level of the Keep.
Carff, satisfied with what few details he has heard from the goblin, again draws his dagger and advances towards Splug. “Waitsees!” Splug pleads, “Splug will do anything you needs Splug to do! Anythiiiiiings! Splug will carry your heavy things, Splug will carry your spiky things, Splug will build your campfires, Splug will eats nasty tasty bugs, Splug will clean your feeties, Splug will…”
Still nearly to blows over the quivering goblin Splug, Artemis and Carff finally “agree” to let Splug accompany them as a retainer, at least for the duration of this dungeon delve.
Approaching the large iron double doors that mark the entrance to the goblin barracks, and Balgron’s quarters, the ‘Stoppers prepare for a stealthy entrance. Carff employs his natural talents and effortlessly sneaks in and around the room. darting between the shadows and blending into the background. He sees two tougher looking goblin guards casually playing cards at a small table in the first room, and hears scattered and muffled goblin voices in two of the adjacent rooms: probably makeshift barracks. A locked room in the back likely indicates an important store room, or perhaps even the leader’s quarters.
Though fully briefed by Carff for what lay ahead of them, the rest of the party has not nearly the capacity for stealth as the rogue, and their sneaky entrance is brought to an abrupt halt when the members of the group wearing heavier armor clunk clumsily on their way into the guarded entrance. The goblins immediately stand, knocking their wooden chairs to the ground behind them, and turn to face the sudden gathering of humanoids surrounding them!
The adventurers see a bronze bell on the table, clearly a warning device, and thus waste no time. Weapons flash and a few quick bursts of energy later, the goblins lay dead and the bell undisturbed. This is a critical victory for the ‘Stoppers: had the group failed to kill the guards before they rang the warning bell, all the rest of the legion of goblins would swarm from their separate rooms and at once overwhelm the explorers, threatening them with a very difficult, and possibly deadly, battle. Instead, due to the group’s quick reactions and a little bit of luck, the other goblins still rest contentedly in their bunks, unprepared, segmented, and easy for the killing.
“Blecch!” A look of disgust on his face, Carff limply shakes his hands to get rid of the blackish goblin blood drenching them, a steaming, foul-smelling liquid oozing out of the many stab wounds on the dead Balgron the Fat. He is the last victim in a string of sneaky strikes through the rest of the goblin encampment, and certainly the most repugnant.
“Why did you do that!?” Artemis berates Carff, her intimidating figure made all the more imposing by her rage. “He could have given us valuable information! Now look at him!”
Carff glances for a moment but again quickly looks away in disgust. Turning back to Artemis, “Look, you got to keep Splug over there, now I got to kill the evil fatass leader. You know we were going to do it anyway! Relax.”. Artemis fumes and turns away while Skitlezzz shakes his head in disapproval. Carff retorts, “These guys are evil, what’s the big deal for you guys? So what if I get a thrill over a sneaky kill? Isn’t that part of what we’re doing this for, after all?”
The others briefly ponder his open-ended question but soon turn to search the room for treasure. They find a good sum of gold and an enchanted magic wand that Artemis claims for her Warlock powers. Sensing a strange draft coming from a crack in the wall, they also chance upon a secret door, recessed into the wall behind the thin curtain demarking Balgron’s bedroom area.
The secret door slides away to reveal stairs descending downard…