Monday, March 26, 2012

Wednesday 4 July 1280, Morning (The Stand-Off)

"He's bluffing about the dogs," Oloc whispers to the others, although a shadow of doubt creeps into his mind. Maybe there is a back way?

"We're here for the girl." Oloc tries to sound more confident than he really is. "The soldiers above will release your guards when we have the girl. Now show yourself."

Oloc looks at the others and shrugs his shoulders.

"Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" comes the voice's cruel laugh. "Is that all? You just want the girl? You're too late – she's already dead!"

Oloc looks at the rest of the party expectantly. "What now? Attack?" He then looks at 'dirtbag' and asks in a low voice. "Do you know if the girl is dead?"

Dirtbag replies: "She was alive when I last saw her. Grimtooth, our leader, took her to a back room where most of the others and I were not allowed to go."

Varros says to the porter: "Ollie, be a good lad and guard that dog door, barricade it, blockade it or lay in front of it. Whatever needs done, you will be safer that way and won't have to witness what happens next."

Ollie is all too happy to back away from such a volatile situation, and does as directed most eagerly. The barking has dropped off considerably during the conversation, and no doubt the somewhat quieter dogs scare him much less than the goblins in the next room.

Varros looks to all and says, "Ready yourselves friends and may the gods be with us!"

As soon as that is done he projects his voice down the hallway in only the way a man trained to yell orders amidst the din of battle can:

"Listen and listen well, we have captured half your strength, they still live as they surrendered quickly when faced with the prospect of Wizard's fire. They have told us all there is to tell, we have come to return the girl or her remains. Goblin heads and ears are not our concern, we are a free company not vermin hunters. I have 15 fighting men and 2 wizards, more than enough to burn, freeze or slice through the remainder of your host 4 times over safely and 15 times over if I am angered. Any one of you who wishes to live through this morn drop your weapons and come forth now and by the word of Varros Blackwater you will be shown mercy. However, if you choose to remain in your dirty hovel pray to your dark gods because today is the day you will meet them! Five minutes hence I will roll the first of your clansmen's heads down this hall and you might explain their death to their face. Another will follow every five minutes until they are exhausted. If that fails to move you, mayhaps you will be more responsive when I do the same to the bitches you love to "mount" so much! Either surrender and receive my mercy or die in a futile fight amongst Wizard's fire. It seems an easy decision even for a goblin, your time begins now!"

The goblins' leader replies: "You talk big, human. You have taken my guards, so I guess you now outnumber us. But I think if you were as strong as you claim, you would come and take us as well, without so much yammering. I do not think you will. I do not think you can. We are quite comfortable in our position. So you might as well go home. Or you can sit in the hall until our raiding band arrives. It's all the same to us."

Varros and Duran creep up to the doorway, one on each side of it, bows at the ready. Stan and Gaven hang back holding the middle, with Oloc just behind with the charmed goblin. Based on Dirtbag's map, Duran and Varros who are closest to the door, judge the goblins' position to be toward the left extremity of the next room, and they signal this to the rest of the party.

Party Member Locations: Red = Duran; Violet = Varros; Green = Gaven; Orange = Oloc; Silver = Stan; Olive = Ollie; Yellow = Dirtbag

"Oloc, ask our friend Dirtbag about this raiding party. Also get the names of the remaining goblins other than Grimtooth and Borrg from him. I have a plan. I'll be back momentarily."

Oloc speaks to the prisoner once more as Varros runs out of the basement to where the dead goblins lay. Gaven accompanies Varros out.

Passing Ollie near the dogs' room, Gaven hands him the sack of goblin steaks: "Be brave Ollie, take the "steaks". In case the dogs get out, drop them and run up the stairs and close and block the hatch until we return."

Once outside, Varros retrieves the head from a goblin, and places it in his bag to avoid scaring Dirtbag. Gaven cuts a few more "steaks" from the dead goblin in case Grimtooth has more dogs. He flat out states to Varros, "I do not plan to let these vermin live unless they yield to the Light."

Varros looks Gaven in the eye, smiles, and says, "Friend, I do not plan to let these vermin live under any circumstances..."

Back in the basement, the stand-off continues. Oloc has questioned Dirtbag further, and found out that only two goblins remain with Grimtooth – Garrh and Drazz. He has also learned that the goblin raiding party for which Dirtbag and the others were scouts numbers at least fifty. With no further need for the goblin at the moment, he is sent to watch the dog room door with Ollie.

Varros and Gaven reassume their positions. Varros tosses the goblin head into the room and has Oloc ask Garrh and Drazz, by name, if they intend to die today for Grimtooth, a leader who clearly values a captured human girl more than his clansmen. He has Oloc say that the party is growing tired of this game and their patience is nearly at an end.

Party Member Locations: Red = Duran; Violet = Varros; Green = Gaven; Orange = Oloc; Silver = Stan; Olive = Ollie; Yellow = Dirtbag; Black Circles = goblins; Black Diamond = Grimtooth

The goblin head thrown in by Varros bounces and rolls on the floor in the next room as Oloc finishes interpreting Varros' words. Then there is a howl of rage as Garrh and Drazz charge toward the doorway, with Grimtooth right on their heels, cursing them for falling into the "pink-skin's trap." The goblins have spears in their hands, and Grimtooth – who is actually a much larger Hobgoblin – wields a hefty two-handed axe.

OOC: Actions?

Duran alone has an angle to shoot at the goblins before they reach the door and melee range. However, he will be able to do this only IF the party wins initiative. If, however, Duran declares shooting as his action and the goblins win initiative, they'll be on him and Varros before Duran can shoot, preventing Duran from attacking at all this round. If Duran declares drawing a melee weapon as his action, he can attack normally in melee (in the party's portion of the turn) regardless of which side wins initiative.

Time Update: It's now about 10:30 in the morning.


  1. Varros will draw his sword and target the first goblin to enter range. If there is ever an option of who to attack he will attack Grimtooth as long as it is without penalty.

  2. Ooc: how many people can fit in the doorway to attack? IOW if we form a ring around the entrance, would only one goblin be able to enter and attack at a time?

    Can spear-wielders attack from the second rank?

    Can the spear-wielders set for the charging goblins?

    1. Since three can work abreast in a 10' corridor, I'll say that two can work in the doorway itself (which is narrower than the corridor).

      So tactically you could try and use, say a two-man front vs. two goblins and keep the doorway "plugged."

      Spear-wielding from the second rank? I'll say yes. If "plugging" the doorway (and thus confined), only one can do so, directly centered behind the two frontline "pluggers."

      Setting the spear to receive a charge? Again, yes, with automatic initiative over the specific charger(s) engaged (regardless of party's roll) and increased damage if a hit is scored. The spear cannot be used this way from the second rank.

      Rationale: In this type of skirmish situation, I interpret the combats as very "individualized," (rather than the mass vs. mass of larger formation fighting). So the second rank man is not being charged, plus he is working over the shoulder of the moving, fighting, jostling, non-spearmen the men in front, with no way to "set" the spear. I would rule differently in a larger combat with an entire formation bristling with spears, taking the charge of an opposing formation. But I don't think that really applies here.

      Of course, if Stan and Gaven set spears and their static receiving position suddenly became the front line taking the charge...

    2. Oops, just realized I failed to answer part of your question. Forming a ring around the door would either create a dense two vs. two (or vs. two with one behind with spear) combat in the doorway itself, or else would work as you suggest, if one goblin alone tries to press the charge into the room. In other words, 50-50 chance it might work, or just degenerate into a slugfest in the doorway.

  3. Duran - Fighter

    Realizing that this is no situation for a bow Duran slings his bow around his back and pulls his hand-axe from his belt. Setting himself next to Varros he prepares to receive the Goblins.

    OOC: Duran will target one of the lesser goblins with his axe.

  4. Gaven - cleric

    Gaven shouts, "Varros, Duran, stand aside. Stan, set your spear and aim for their chest."

    Gaven stands in front of the doorway so that the charging goblins can just enter the room (and possibly be flanked by Varros) and sets his spear for the heart of a goblin.

    "For Light and Law!" Gaven battle-cries.

  5. Oloc - Mage

    Oloc will hang back with his daggers at the ready. He will periodically cast an eye back behind him to see if 'dirtbag' is approaching.

    Otherwise he will stand ready to support the front line should it be needed. And if (when) any of the goblins are wounded he will shout to the remaining to give up their arms.

  6. Varros will swing to the side as Gaven suggests and will attack at the first opportunity he has.

  7. Duran - Fighter

    Duran also steps the side with his axe at the ready.