"I'm very certain that these horses belonged to Gundren and Sildar, and we should not hesitate to find them as soon as possible. Saving lives is more important than delivering supplies, especially if the people we're saving are the ones who need the supplies in the first place. The oxen should be fine tied up behind the dense thickets nearby. If any of you need to rest for a bit though, I'm willing to wait."
Argos helps move the wagon and the oxen off the trail, and begins to grab a lot of dense thickets to cover the side of the wagon that's facing the trail. While the others rest, Argos stands guard, occasionally patrolling around the trail within a 30 foot radius of the cart.
OOC: I'm perfectly fine with having OOC chat in the same thread, in fact, I actually prefer it. I like having everything in one place, so I don't have to constantly switch between two threads.
OOC: DM does this qualify as a short rest, then? 30 minutes for the fighters to regain use of Second Wind? If it does;
After the group had taken a brief respite, Cinis stood up from where he sat at the wagon and said, "Alright, if we're going after them, it might as well be now. The trail leads up that way. Bob, do you want to scout ahead?"
Please, let it end with Sildar having fought off the goblins so we can gather around a fire to laugh about how worried we were...
FOOD! I am so ready to eat, I am so hungry, we really are going to stop and eat yes?"FOOD! Yes, I do wish to stop and eat, I fill as if I have not eaten in days!
Bob finds a nice spot to set down and eat, at first he pulls his food out all nice and proper but about the time he has his food ready to eat, you see why his leathers have stains on them, but he does not let a sliver go uneaten.
After Bob finishes eating he Stands nodding to Cinis about going to scout and takes off on the trail, keeping an eye out and trying to stay quite.
OOC: To gain the benefits of a short rest, it must be between 1 hour and 4 hours long. I'll assume everyone is fine with taking an hour to feel refreshed before they head down the trail. Please let me know if there are any objections to that.
The wagon has been steered away from the road and camouflaged, the oxen tied off, and the party refreshed. You head northeast into the narrow trail, with the eagle eyes of Bob leading the way.
Bob's Perception: 27
After a clumsy trip and fall to start the trek, it's impressive how easily Bob discovers a hidden snare 10 minutes after heading down the trail, before he's even within 100 yards of it. You navigate around it safely and continue.
Another 10 minutes down the trail, Bob easily spots a pit, 6 feet wide, that the goblins have camouflaged. Once again you're easily able to navigate around it.
Following the goblin's trail, you come across a large cave in a hillside five miles from the scene of the ambush. A shallow stream to your right flows out of the cave mouth, which is screened by dense briar thickets that appear to be impenetrable from the west side of the stream. 10 feet north from where the thickets end is a narrow dry path that leads into the cave on the right hand side of the stream.
OOC: Defeating the goblin ambushers and finding the cave completes the first story milestone. Each character has been given 75 XP on their sheet.
Bob's second perception roll actually wasn't needed, I realized after the fact that that one accepted his passive perception. Can't remove it without the "dice manipulation" warning at the top of the post.
I also prefer keeping everything in a single thread, just wanted to make sure everyone was fine with that. Also I second Nemean's thoughts. This is a great group, keep up the attention to detail and thoughtful posts, it's making for a great story.
"I say we do some scouting. The goblins seem to rely mostly on ambushes and traps. We should try to avoid both." Tarok says quietly to the others, trying to stay behind cover and see if he can see any Goblins nearby. He draws his Greatsword just in case.
No visible sentries. That must mean they're hidden or these goblins are incompetent. I'm betting on hidden after finding two traps.
"I'd bet gold to copper that there are sentries hidden close by. Our best bet is to locate them before they see us. Those thickets would be an ideal place for someone lying in wait, but they could just as easily be on a tree somewhere. Keep your eyes peeled and move in slowly and carefully. Be ready for anything." Cinis said to the group, softly.
He readied a Fire Bolt to be thrown at the first sign of trouble, hunkered down, and moved along the side of the stream as stealthily as he could, following behind the others. Hos eyes were scanning the thickets thoroughly, trusting someone else to be watching the trees.
Bob looks around for any goblins keeping watch. Well a cave hmm, wonder if there are traps to be found, I do so love to find traps, traps protect gold a lot of time and I need more gold. Guess since i do not have to worry so much about these people I can try and find tiny things that might kills us, I do not thing they will mind.
OOC: Bob is the night. Argos's Stealth check: 22. Argos is the night.
Making your way north toward the mouth of the cave, Argos remains on the opposite side of the stream, ready to fire a shot at the first sign of trouble. Tarok, Cinis, Nemean and Bob cross the stream to investigate the area around the cave's entrance.
As you cross, the cave entrance stands in front of you. Just inside the cave mouth, a few uneven stone steps lead up to a small, dank chamber on the east side of the passage. The cave is pitch black inside.
For Argos, Cinis, Nemean and Tarok (Darkvision):
You can see that the stream and path continue northward past the steps into the cave for 30 feet before winding to the right
You also now see a small area in the briar thickets in front of the cave that has been hollowed out to form a lookout post or blind. Wooden planks flatten out the briars and provide room for guards to lie hidden and watch the area. In fact, there are two goblins lurking there right now. They appear bored and inattentive, but as the group prepares to strike, Nemean's foot catches a rock at the bottom of the stream and he stumbles to the side. The loud splash attracts the attention of the goblins, and they rush to grab their weapons.
Turn Order: Argos, Bob, Cinis, and Tarok (in any order) (surprise round for stealth) Goblins Players
Tracking: The two goblins are in the middle of the clearing, 10-15 feet away from Argos, Bob, Cinis and Tarok. Argos is 15 feet further away, across the stream. Now that the goblins have stood up, you have a shot at them across the stream.
Taking Cinis' attack as a signal, Tarok lunges forward, brandishing his Greatsword. Tarok has deeply personal reasons for hating bandits and raiders, but he keeps his calm and moves quick, and direct toward his enemies. He puts himself between the Goblins and his companions, aiming a downward slash toward the closest enemy.
Nemean let out a panicked squeal, nearly losing his balance in his failed attempt to silently stalk his targets. By the time he regained his footing, he realized his fellow party members had made short work of the the first goblin. I am lucky to have such capable allies!
Seeing the last goblin already wounded, he quickly regains his composure and growls. “Drop that bow right now and you can still walk away! Where are the riders you ambushed!”