A Chance Encounter
Arrow found himself alone and without his normal contingent of spells. He needed to rest but he pushed himself along the trail so as to find the oxen and wagon that they had left behind. He attempted to remain vigilant but he was very much out of sorts and the stresses of the day and the loss of his companions distracted him greatly.
Grimaldi pushed through the undergrowth. His ribs ached and his head hurt. He had made his way to Phandalin to find his fortune and make a name for himself. He was a man of action and deeds and his reputation, he hoped, would precede him to Phandalin which he had heard was a rough frontier town bereft of law or order. Having entered into Phandalin, Grimaldi was quickly accosted by a group of ruffians who referred to themselves as Redbrands which seemed to refer to the red cloaks that they would wear while swaggering through town. The Redbrands had surrounded Grimaldi and managed to get a few lucky shots in, stunning him. Because Grimaldi had stood up to them, the Redbrands decided to make a showing of Grimaldi, tying him up and dragging him out of town tied to ponies. When they got far enough away from the town, they untied the battered monk and told him that if he ever came back to Phandalin, that they'd, "Finish the job, proper-like!" Once he had managed to recover from his beatings, he began stumbling through the woods trying to find the road so that he could locate someplace that he could recover in safety.
Both Arrow and Grimaldi surprised one another by stumbling into each other's path. Grimaldi fell through a briar which tripped him and threw him face first on the trail directly in front of Arrow. Taking a moment to assess each other, they spoke and shared their stories. Each needed rest, and finding out that Phandalin was an unlikely place to find aid, Arrow resolved to return to the cave that night and do the best he could. Grimaldi, surprised at having run into adventurers in the wilderness agreed to assist Arrow, wondering how an armed party could have been captured by… goblins…
Breaking the Chains
The captives found themselves bound beside Sildar, the veteran who had accompanied Gundren from Neverwinter. Sildar described the ambush that threw them from their horses, and how they had searched Gundren thoroughly, saying, "Rockseeker" when they believed they had found what they were looking for. Gundren, Sildar had explained, had been taken elsewhere, to meet some goblin king, but he had not been wanted, so he felt that the goblins were going to make good on their threats to eat him. They had been chained and tied to a stalagmite on a ledge above a sleeping area where a goblin was being hoisted on the shoulders of other goblins and being paraded around.
Yeemeek was thoroughly enjoying his recent rise to prominence. A cask of some sort of alcohol was brought in and many of his cohorts were cheering and drinking to Yeemeek's success. Gif had been found and released from his bonds, but was being treated cruelly by the goblins who had managed to defeat a party of human whereas he had been captured by them. Through the abuses, Gif was given the task to bring food to the prisoners, adding a cautious, "Burr-Nor!" to Oskar, when he had a moment.
Otadek managed to free himself and Thorwyn from their bonds as the goblins drank into the night. Yeemeek eventually left the sleeping quarters, assumedly to claim the previous captain's room, leaving only a couple of drunk and snoring goblins behind the guard the prisoners. Gif also laid down on the stained pallets in the room and when the party tried to show that they were going to escape, Gif's eyes opened wide as he shook his head, "No," vehemently. Laying his head down, Gif began to feign sleep.
Otadek continued to release his companions from their bonds, Oskar looked down to Gif to find out that though he believed Gif was trying to feign sleep, his rhythmic breathing indicated that he probably was going to be no help in their escape as he had fallen asleep.
Otadek moved down to the lower sleeping area and grasping a rock, attempted to smash the head of the goblin closest to the room's exit. Weak from his wounds, his swing was not as powerful as it normally should have been and the goblin woke with a squeal as the rock struck his face, however a second blow before the goblin managed to act broke the goblin's face and Otadek gazed around the room, feeling panicked and grim. Oskar risked releasing one of his holy cantrips, lighting up the room for a brief moment and singing the second goblin as he scrambled to get up and call an alarm. Having found both guards dead, the party began assessing their options when a cheery cry of, "Burr-Nor!" was heard from Gif, who seemed quite happy at the party's success.
Armed with a few goblin scimitars, short bows, and a javelin, the party moved to retreat from the cave and regroup, not knowing the fate of Arrow, who had not been captured.
Returning to Cragmaw
The prisoner portion of the party ran into Arrow and his new companion Grimaldi outside the entrance to the cave. Relieved that they had all managed to get out of the cave, they decided to retreat back to where they left the wagon, rest up, and return the following day.
It was late morning when the party managed to make their way back to the goblin's cave. They had asked Gif more questions about the goblins and Oskar even coaxed Gif a little by encouraging him that they would make Gif the new, 'Big Boss'. Gif responded in Gif fashion which was not so much informative than confusing. When asked how many goblins were left inside the cave, Gif counted on his hands several times before showing six fingers while saying, "Eight!"
The second entry into the caves proved much more successful. Grimaldi, the new companion, pushed a more frontal assault in lieu of skulking around and risking the raising of an alarm. On the second assault, only Oskar would fall unconscious as his footing slipped when the goblins released their water trap which turned out to be a series of dams made that caught and held the water of an interior waterfall. When intruders were detected an alarm was raised an a section of the dam was released, sending a torrent of water down the slick passage way. Those who witnessed Grimaldi's martial arts were impressed, 4 different goblins attacked at Grimaldi with scimitars and short bows with not one of the goblins hitting their target. Thorwyn moved up beside Grimaldi, gave a quick glance at his graceful movements as he moved and danced from each attack, and then ran the goblin through that stood in front of her with her goblin scimitar before turning to smash the face of the goblin that stood in front of Grimaldi with her torch.
Now, with all of the goblins having been killed (save Gif, "the convert") the party recovered their lost items and returned to Sildar who stayed behind at the wagon.