The party believe they are being scryed. Are reinforcements on the way?
The heroes discuss whether they should interrogate Graankh for more information on what happened to the Stoneshanks sisters. What they do know is that the goblins that disappeared had been chained to logs and floated downriver.
The group walks back through the village, searching for Graankh. It is getting dark and torches are now being set. Some exhausted-looking goblins are still work on the felled logs, though. There’s no sign of Graankh.
Ilwyn grabs a nearby goblin and tries to intimidate them into telling him where Graankh is, but he gets nothing. So Naram asks around and discovers that the tribal elders live in a hut to the north.
The party pad over to the shabby hut. The door seems shut. There is no light or sound from inside. On closer inspection it turns out the door is slightly ajar. The dirt at the door seems to indicate there has been a scuffle recently.
The group goes in. There’s nothing much inside other than a small goblin altar. It looks as if a bag has been opened and emptied out. Someone seems to have left in a hurry, having grabbed what they can. Enna applies her tracking skills and figures out that whoever was here has run towards the west.
Caecius finds a piece of scroll, as if ripped off a larger parchment in a hurry. It looks like a manifest similar to the one seen in the house at the southern end of the village.
In a chest in the room the heroes find a leather pouch. It looks like it is of fine drow manufacture, used as a kind of document case. However, it is now empty. Naram fills the pouch with some of the papers that had been scattered around.
At the party leaves the hut they can see Iraz Stoneshanks manhandling Graankh. He has him on the ground. Graankh is shouting that Iraz should give himself up to the drow. Naram mentally commands Graankh to be silent and Haleth backs up the threat. Graankh gulps and goes quiet.
Iraz, noticing the party’s presence, shouts to the goblins that his strong new friends have turned up. The goblins seems to cheer this, but not all are enthusiastic.
Naram subtly plants ideas in Iraz’s head. He gives the goblin some words to use to gain support from the villagers. However, with her martial experience Enna notices that the goblins are probably too exhausted to fight the drow and that they would probably not fight well.
Naram throws Iraz the pouch and says that this contains evidence that Graankh is in league with the drow. Graankh breaks down, shouting at everyone that they are going to get their comeuppance. Breaking free of Iraz Graankh jumps up and starts to flee. Before he can take a step Enna launches an arrow that pins Graankh’s sleeve to the ground and Haleth steps in to knock the goblin down.
The goblin villagers, now clustered around, are impressed by this display of prowess. Iraz manages to persuade more of them that the party can help rid them of the drow occupation.
Naram recommends to Iraz that he finish Graankh off. Iraz draws a blade and starts to drag him off toward the tavern, making a promise that this will be the last of Graankh. He soon comes back with blood on his hands.
Naram knows that they need Iraz’s sister. Only she knows the rite of leadership. He talks to Iraz about rescuing her. Iraz says the party need to find his sister. However, she would be suspicious of strangers like the party. So as a means of identification he whispers to Ilwyn the name of the sister’s pet wolf back when they were children.
The group decides to spend the night in the village. They will need to be ready for drow reinforcements and hope they are not attacked. They persuade Iraz to stay in a hut with them so that they can protect him.
The gates are closed and goblin watches are set. Naram casts a signal of pursuit. The next time the door to their hut is opened, Naram will know the name of the creature that opened it.
Everyone rests. Fortunately, there is no disturbance.
The sun rises and the party wakes up and breaks their fast. Leaving Iraz to organize the defences, the party heads south out of the gates, down the riverbank to look for the Stoneshanks’s sister. Snow gently falls around them.
Enna hears sounds coming from downriver: splashing and cracking noises. However, visibility is poor because of the snow, so she cannot make out the source of the noise. The river is rough and increasingly clogged with logs. As the fellowship lopes forward the heroes spot a small barge anchored against the banks.
They see two spiderlike creatures with long, jointed legs that support spineless bodies that have eel-like faces. These are Neogi—merchants and slavers to the underworld. There is a great cyclops impaler on the barge. It has a number of vicious spears close to hand. The Neogi shout commands to three insect-like demons on the banks. Enna identifies these as evil monsters known as Mezzodemons.
The elf opens the engagement with a long shot that misses. Alerted to the attack, one of the Neogi, a slave taskmaster, attacks Enna psychically and compels her to come closer. Jerkily, her limbs move of their own accord and she begins to stagger unwillingly towards the slaver.
Caecius is on the receiving end of a mental attack from the other taskmaster and finds that he cannot bring himself to attack the Neogi.
This psychic interference allows the mezzodemons close with Haleth. The cyclops also charges in and fixes Haleth with his evil eye.
Enna, her legs still not entirely under her control, manages to put an arrow accurately into a critical spot of one of the mezzodemons. It screams in agony.
Caecius charges and knocks another mezzodemon over. Fearful for its life, the Nyogi slaver that had attacked him before charms Caecius into believing it doesn’t exist. This allows a mezzodemon to try and skewer Caecius with its trident. It hits, causing the Genasi much pain.
Now engaged by the cyclops and a mezzodemon, Haleth is dazed and in pain. However, he charges a Nyogi slaver. This allows the cyclops launches a spear at Haeth, hurting him.
Enna knocks her Nyogi slaver prone. This allows her to shake off the mental compulsion driving her towards the taskmaster. In return, one of the mezzodemons tries to skewer Enna. It pins her briefly.
Haleth pushes his slaver around, damaging and bloodying it. He tells the enemies around him to ‘come and get it’, so they are drawn towards him. The slaver bites Haleth and its poison begins to slow him down.
Naram manages to pull a mezzodemon off of Enna. The elf piles deadly arrows into the creature that leaves it close to death. Caecius directs her to fire another shot that finally cuts the demon down.
This frees Enna up to strike at ‘her’ Nyogi taskmater, dealing horrific damage. However, the monster is tougher than expected. It shakes off the dazing effect of the radiant arrow and mentally commands the elf to come to him.
Ilwyn runs up the side of the the cyclops impaler and smacks it with the hilt of his dagger, knocking it out. It falls to the ground. He follows up the attack with a tortuous strike to the back of its head, killing it instantly.
Caecius directs a shot from Enna into the remaining mezzodemon. The demon strikes at Haleth, restraining him. The burly fighter returns with an appalling crunch which does little to the monster.
Still under the slaver’s compulsion, Enna chases after the Neogi taskmaster, using a Hindering Shot to shoot off a couple of its spider legs. She begins to pepper it with shot, hitting it glancing blows as the elf steps through the feywild and crosses the river.
Naram hits the slaver with a psychic attack that drops the creature to the ground. Then Caecius launches a flattening charge against the Mezzodemon, squishing it flat. The creatures are all slain.