From the journal of Mal of the Wolves of Maldeen
After ensuring the rescued prisoners had a safe place to stay (making use of a crumbled section of the structure we’ve affectionately dubbed “The Hidey Hole”) we discussed our next move. It was decided that heading toward the “inhabited” area would be most prudent, and of course fraught with danger. Turin, our reluctant yet de facto leader, took stock of our injuries and took a moment to share with us a few battle tactics he had learned in his military service. (In the margin is scrawled the phrase “Focused Fire” underlined twice)
Orsik sharpened his blade and took up a position at the door and the rest of us lined up behind. The dwarf and the dragonborn made their way through the first door revealing a set of stairs ending in another door and a corridor branching off to the north. The eerie fog that had permeated the western chambers wasn’t present here, and torches lit the way. Savana sent Gunju ahead to sniff out trouble, but found nothing immediate.
A quick listen at the eastern door revealed the sound of conversation, though it could not be made out. Faced with a known threat here, but uncertainty about the northern corridor, we quickly decided to face the danger head on. Orsik and Balasar lowered their shoulders into the doors before them and burst into the room beyond.
What we found beyond was most likely a goblinoid barracks, though we had no time to take in the scenery. The goblins were not to happy about having their card game disrupted, and they set their beasts (wolves of some kind) upon us. We took Turin’s instructions to heart, though, and concentrated our efforts on whittling down our foes one at a time whenever possible. Orsik, Balasar, and Savana rushed to the fore to directly engage our enemies, while Turin and I attempted to hang back, preferring to keep as much distance between the goblins and wolves as possible.
The tide of the battle was quickly turning in our favor, but I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. From the chamber to the north came reinforcements: goblins, orcs, and a great wolf in spiked barding. Then from the south, orc archers joined the fray, wielding massive crossbows that they thrust against their waist to reload. (Another note in the margins: “Belly bow”)
To our credit, though, we each did our part. Balasar’s faith makes him an imposing combatant, as he seems to lock foes into engagements through the fervor of his devotion. And the standard he carries with him—I must confess that though I have never found myself terribly moved by heraldry or iconography, I do feel more confident at the sight of that banner. I wonder if he’d let me investigate it further when we’re done here? I suspect that thread is not the only thing woven into its form.
Turin unleashed a hail of arrows, directing our focus and bolstering our spirits with words of encouragement. Savana and Gunju danced about the chamber as is their fashion, striking any foe in their reach. I sometimes forget that Gunju is a ferocious creature of the wild and not just an oversize lap cat. And Orsik proved that it didn’t take long for him to regain his fighting spirit. He threw himself into the fray, seeming to gain strength with every blow. I sensed his growing frenzy and touched the minds of the weak-willed, convincing a few of them to close on him. It was a gamble, but when he spun in a great circle and cleaved our enemies in twain, I knew it was worth the risk.
As for me, I did my best to support my allies with the few tricks I know. A conveniently-placed bearskin rug provided a nice snare for a pair of goblins attempting to harry Turin and I. I must remember, however, that next time I chose to ward a doorway, I should consider the fact that reinforcements are not likely to come from the entrance we just stormed through.
We would need a moment to catch our breath and look around. With any luck we were one step closer to finding Sinruth…