Pathfinder Off the Beaten Path

Counterattack!

(Season 1, Episode 11) The hobgoblins turn the tide, and hunt the hunters.

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The Battle of Goblinbone valley

As recorded by Althrax Vemnis of Cheliax

This tale is one of great peril and struggle for survival. It weaves a noble yarn about how a few noble adventurer’s, along with their servants completely destroyed an entire army of Goblinoids. Before I begin however, I would first like to make one thing perfectly clear, one of the minor players in this drama cannot be blamed for his inability to succesfully contribute much beyond his meager skills, because he is Shaonti. These primitive tribe’s men are well known to be poorly suited for war because of their ill temper, lack of mental capacity as well as a deficiency in manual dexterity. Nevertheless, Sa’hetna the greenwalker was able to expand beyond the racial limitations that were constrained upon him at birth and achieve a measure of notoriety while assisting the major players in this battle. He is a lesson that one should never completely discount a servant’s ability to contribute to a larger effort.. even if they are only Shoanti.

Several weeks before the battle, the adventurer’s set out with their servants in tow and the commandant’s trained bear who had been loaned to them. Zuristoi the Dragonslayer along with Ollinthivel the Chaos bringer and Thrindil Forge father gathered up their shoanti servant from his drunken stupor and moved into the forests to attack the goblins. Together they conducted a series of raids up and down the valley, hitting the goblin supply caravan’s and replacements before they could ever make it back to the watchtower. They would begin an ambush by gathering rocks into the crags above, and command their servant Sa’hetna to release them so they would pour down unto the road below. Fortunately the shoanti was up for this fairly simple task, so their raids were successful much of the time.

The Commandant’s trained bear would maul any goblins foolish enough to come close, and once he had released the rocks everyone else had gathered, Sahetna would draw his cudgel and attempt to beat some goblins senseless before the others concluded the matter.

the rest of the manuscript was torn away

At some point in the future, I must travel to Cheliax to discuss the views of Althrax Vemnis in person. In the meantime, I could not bear to read any further without using this book to wipe my own backside.. so I will try to record the events as best I can remember.

We fought hard for over two weeks, running ambushes on patrols and attacking anything that was foolish enough to come down the trail from the secondary garrison. The palisade was too heavily defended to attack directly, so we busied ourselves with destroying anything that traveled west to try and reinforce the tower itself.

A few days in, we came across a cave that appeared to be perfect for a camp and morning ambush. I am still kicking myself over the fact that the cave was too perfect. As we bedded down for the night, we were set upon by horrific shadows. The undead creatures laid claws upon us, and drained us of our strength, and I have no doubt, that if they had been able to drain one of us completely, we would have joined their horrific hunting party. Several of us almost died at that point, were it not for Olli’s cunning use of a spell that rendered us invisible to the undead. This timely spell saved us all, along with Zuristoi’s bursts of radiance that caused the creatures to explode into flames.

I blame myself, had I looked around, I would have noticed the cave was “too” perfect.. but weariness from combat was dulling my senses, so I vowed to pay better attention next time.. or else. The final ambush came early in the morning, and instead of approaching up the trail en mass, they came at us in waves of attack. The first wave consisted of Goblin scouts that had dismounted and were moving up the trail through the trees in hopes of catching us unawares. I had learned my lesson from the shadows however, and so would not be caught by surprise again. I spotted the creatures moving through the trees, and we were able to turn their ambush and destroy them before the next wave of hobgolbin troops was able to bring itself to bear. At this point we began to understand that this attack was different, and so we began to stretch out our resources in preparation for the inevitable rush that came from reinforcements. It seems that our attacks had finally stung the beast, and so this column had been given orders to sweep down the trail and destroy us. We would later find out that the hobgoblins were convinced that this was a rival clan. Our use of magic however that could be heard far up the valley would likely dispel that notion unfortunately, but it had been a useful illusion while it lasted.

The final wave was a troop of skeletal undead and litter bearers who carried their burden into battle. I began to suspect that the caster who normally rides in the litter would never be foolish enough to risk their person in actual combat, so I channeled one of the lightning bolts down to burst throught he ceiling. Just as I suspected, the palanquin was empty, and the actual spell caster had sent it forward while watching the battle from far up the road.

As we realized where she was, escorted by several of her elite guards, we moved forward to attack while the caster began to defensively weave magics around her that would protect her. We had exhausted much of our power through the successive waves of hobgoblins, but we were still ready as we surged forward to attack.

She had surrounded herself in a powerful shield that reflected physical attacks, meanwhile her guards tried to keep pace and a fighting retreat began as they tried to escape the ambush. We ran her down and eventually overcame her defenses, as well as her guards in a bloody fight to the finish. Even from a distance, this attack would have generated a great deal of noise and attention. We had fought hard, and stung the hobgoblins enough to where their attention was now swinging this direction. If Brinewall is to survive.. we cannot allow them to establish a foothold.. so the next course of action was clear.. the Forgotten watchtower must fall back into human hands, and we cannot surrender it again… otherwise we may never get it back.

..Sa’hetna..

Comments

Nice! Olly would resent being described as “the chaos bringer”, though – he’s a healer!

Counterattack!
 

Healer of the body, destroyer of the mind.

Counterattack!
Worgun

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