1am, BlackBerry Farm on the northern outskirts of Grissenwald.
In anticipation of the attack, spiked trenches and pits have been dug and water buckets are all around the farm.
Wandy is locked and bolted inside the farm kitchen with the farmer, his wife and the farm hands. Gnoblar sits on top of the tower with his crossbow loaded. Rowlocks hides in the shadows of a corner just outside the main farm building, elven bow in hand. Werner, axe and shield in hand stands outside the barn in the darkness.
Eight goblin wolf riders have breached the outer wall.
Everyone holds fast in the darkness, things are tense. The wolves bay and the goblins shriek and natter.
Rowlocks draws back his bow, it’s time. With the element of surprise on their side, our heroes attack! Rowlocks let’s one fly, it whistles past the wolf rider in front of him and buries itself in the palisade wall. Shit. He whips out another arrow and focuses. He let’s it go, it flies true and with expert marksmanship it cuts right into the torso of the great wolf opposite and drops it to the ground while the goblin falls into a heap.
Gnoblar aims his crossbow from the tower and bangs a bolt into the goblin below him, the goblin reels and looks round for his attacker to no avail.
Wandy begins to reassure the panicking farmers as they cower in corners of the house.
Werner, creeps round the edge of the barn into a corner, pulls back his powerful arm and let’s his axe fly into the twilight. It’s an amazing shot and it slams into the wolf just across from him and slices into its haunches.
The goblins shout and begin to create an even greater racket in their crude tongue, theres a slight element of panic in their tone. One heads straight to the barn and begins to set it alight. Another does the same to the stables.
There are two main gates leading into the farmyard and a goblin heads to each, the wolves yelp and the goblins scream as they fall directly into the spiked pits in front of the gates.
The remaining goblins make a beeline to the farmhouse and begin to hack at the outside doors with their weapons.
Rowlocks shoots again out of the darkness at the goblin trying to breach the kitchen door. It misses and the goblin turns to his position, within seconds both the goblin and the wolf are upon him.
Inside the farmhouse, Wandy begins to work his magic reinforcing the doors while the brave farmers try to hold the doors being forced open by the goblins. Gnoblar shoots again but hes not as lucky this time.
‘Rrraaaaaaghhhh!!’ Werner pulls his second axe from his belt, readies his shield and charges headlong into the goblins trying to torch the forge buildings. He swings wildly, overexcited by battle rage and the wolf rider evades his attacks, but the other goblins are looking round now hes given away his position.
Earlier, the team placed a massive pile of hay underneath Gnoblar’s tower, should he need a swift escape. The goblin closest to it realises this would make a great fire and within seconds its ablaze.
The barn, a big pile of hay, stables and to a lesser extent, the forge are now on fire. Smoke and flame now add to the already chaotic battle adding to the shouts of the goblins and the howling of the wolves.
A goblin fires across the yard at Werner but the arrow pings off his chain coat. Werner has drawn the attention of the goblins at the southern side, they stop burning things and charge at him.
He evades the wolf’s bite and a swing from a goblin, but a second goblin finds a chink in his armor and draws blood on his arm.
Rowlocks has dropped his bow, pulled out his sword and shield and goes toe to toe with a goblin and wolf at the farmhouse. He dodges the goblin attack but the wolf sinks its teeth into his arm.
Inside the farmhouse Wandy is frantically reinforcing doors and trying to calm the farmers. His magic is working and the goblin at the door is confused.
Gnoblar, now watching his escape route below him burn, grabs the water buckets and pours it down on the fire.
Rowlocks finds his stride and cuts down one of the goblins, knocking the wolf away with his shield.
From his lofty position, through the battlefield smoke, Gnoblar can just make out one of the goblins, who previously fell in the pit, has climbed out and is unbolting the gates!
Werner smashes away the foes infront of him but he’s unable to put them down. Gnoblar fires his crossbow in an attempt to stop the goblin trying to break into the farmhouse and it sinks into his back.
Before our heroes can react, both outer farm gates are cracked open and more goblins pour in from both sides! Those at the southern side charge straight for Werner, whose in danger of becoming overwhelmed.
The others, at the the northern side, half head for Rowlocks and half disappear round the door to the farms main hall.
Rowlocks fights hard drawing upon all his skill and his backs literally to the wall. He hacks down both goblins and wolves before more arrive, the floor around him is slick with blood and carcasses.
Werner, on the other side of the battlefield is surrounded as more and more goblins join the attack. Their crude weapons bounce off his shield and armor but a wolf slashes into his side with its fangs. He retaliates and his axe cleaves through one of the goblins almost slicing him in two and his second attack slays a great wolf.
Gnoblar can now hear noises and banging in the rooms below and his secure position is now looking dodgy.
Both Rowlocks and Werner are wounded and fighting for their lives. Rowlocks has less enemies to fight and a better tactical position in a corner. Werner, on the other hand is in the open farmyard, fighting on all sides. There’s so many goblins upon him that they can’t all get through to attack him.
Wandy has magically reinforced the farm kitchen doors and is trying his best to counsel the terrified farm workers!
Gnoblar now faces a dilemma. He can hear goblins below him and coming his way. He can stay and fight, or he can make the two story jump to the hay below. He looks over the parapet. He climbs up the edge and looks down into the smoky darkness.
The goblins makeshift armor is no match for Werner’s power and axe. The more he cuts down the more fill the gaps, his axe is covered in blood and bits of goblin.
Rowlocks is creating a pile of corpses around him as he battles on, it’s getting difficult to fight as he becomes more and more boxed in as goblins swarm towards him.
Gnoblar jumps. He sails through the smoky air, but it’s not the best timed jump. He half misses the soft hay and smashes his ankles down when he lands, reeling in pain.
For fucks sake. More goblins enter through the open gates. The party of battered adventurers start to think of what next.
Gnoblar pulls himself together, pulls out his sword and charges the goblin whose trying to break the door. Its goblins vs halfling in the battle of the century.
Werner is a raging storm, swinging his blood stained axe. He slices into the pelvis of the nearest goblin smashing him to the floor as the goblin begin to scream and shout.
Rowlocks cuts down another as more stream towards him.
As these two goblins fall at different sides of the farm, the mood begins to change. Shouts can be heard from outside the perimeter fence.
Both Rowlocks and Werner are injured, but the tide of battle isnt turning for the goblins. The piles of dead wolves and green skins are mounting and the morale starts to falter. A couple of the goblins break ranks and head for the gates. As they do, it sets off a chain reaction.
Within seconds the goblins are shouting and screaming and heading for the exits.
The relief is almost too much for our heroes and both Werner and Rowlocks begin to chase cutting down the stragglers as they flee.
In a display of melee prowess, Gnoblar slashes at the goblin he’s been fighting and buries his blade into his back.
“One for me!” He shouts!
Reluctant to chase the goblins any further into the darkness of the fields, Rowlocks and Werner bar the gates and take stock.
They both slump to the floor exhausted and inspect their wounds.
With the farmstead secure the farm hands race out of the house and begin to extinguish the flames.
In the aftermath, everyone retires to the farm kitchen and Gnoblar begins the healing process, although Rowlocks and Werners wounds seem too complex for him to sort out. With this in mind the send a couple of the farm hands back to town to bring the watch.
The farmer and his wife have tears in their eyes and they are overjoyed, they thank the party over and over, they truly are heroes, saving their lives and their livelihoods. Everyone rests and waits for the watch as the remaining farm workers pile up the bodies.
At first light, George, the watch sergeant and some others arrive. They can’t believe the carnage. They sit down over breakfast as the guys recount the events of the night. This is all a revelation for the town. Everyone was convinced it was the dwarves raiding the farms.
The evidence of the truth is piled onto a cart and everyone heads back to town waving the thankful farmers goodbye.
Once in Grissenwald, the watch head back to the barracks and the party heads to Khazid Slumbol, the dwarf shanty town, to break the good news to their leader Gorim Greathammer.
They arrive to a frosty reception. The dwarves from the pub the previous day are there and are pounding their fists into their palms. Taken aback by the news they avoid conflict and take the new arrivals to Gorim’s hut to speak to the boss.
Its smokey inside and everyone breaks into coughing fits.
Although initially ready to fight, the mood soon changes after the retelling of the events at BlackBerry farm. The adventurers now have some new best friends and Gorim and the dwarves are really happy that they have been exonerated. They have some tea and Gorim tells them about that ‘bitch’ Etelka and how she swindled them out of their mine and gold.
Our heroes explain that they are now about to take the fight to the goblins and head to the Black Peaks. Gorim agrees to send five if his best men and they sort out to meet at 4.30am tomorrow for the trek to the peaks.
Battered and knackered the party head back to the Jolly Nobber for some well earned downtime before tomorrow.
Back at the boat, they are warmly greeted by Elvis and Reni, who is sporting a new coat and hat. She is pleased to see them and is concerned about their wounds. Rum follows as she is regaled by tales of their heroics and disputes from Rowlocks and Werner about kill counts.
At 4 am the next day, they meet the dwarves and head through the forest towards the mine and the Black peaks.
About a mile or so from the mine they are greeted by a disturbing scene. A dwarf lays against a tree, his chest punctured by goblin arrows and the bodies of four dead goblins can be seen at his feet.
The miners quickly recognise him as Durak a dwarf who left them a few days ago. Gnoblar is quickly to his side with his surgery tools in his hands. He removes the arrows and patches Durak up. Hes exceptionally grateful and has the strength to stand. He wishes them luck and makes the long walk back to Grissenwald.
A little while later, the fellowship reach the end of the track and the top of the Peaks. They see a large stone tower house and the entrance to the mine.