Oloc asks 'dirtbag' to step away for moment and then the mage addresses the rest of the party. "What should we do with the goblin? I can command him to return to his tribe and tell them what happened to this scouting party. Or you could dispatch him quickly and we are rid of him. I am indifferent, although the former course of action may deter any further advance by the humanoids."
"I gave my bond that if Dirtbag performed his tasks he would live." says Varros, "He performed every task we asked under what must have been, let us say, difficult conditions," Varros eyes Oloc, "perhaps he should decide on his own what path he must take, he deserves that much. Perhaps he might even choose to remain with us, he could be useful as he has proven to be capable and clever."
"I am wary of putting to much trust in the goblin," says Oloc. "If he is to be set free, I would propose that we first have him give us information about the dogs as Duran suggests. We can then reconsider the goblin."
Hearing the dog barking coming from below, the mage adds, "I would feel better if we released the dogs, although I am not sure how they will react."
The fighter replies: "Also, since you can see I believe in making use of our assets, perhaps the dogs could use new masters, we do have some steaks for them..."
Duran chimes in: "Let us ask dirtbag to calm the dogs down and see if we can take them for our own or at least see what is in that room. We should not burn the goblin bodies until we are ready to leave in case the rest of the goblins come to investigate."
Gaven offers: "I agree with Varros's and Duran's plan. We may as well make use of Dirtbag while he is still under the spell. However, please make haste, I do not want to loiter here too long. We should get Miss Elsie back soon. I will stay with her above and to keep a look out."
Gaven turns to Elsie, "I only have trail rations, but you are welcome to them. I will pick you some apples as well."
As Stan and Ollie remain with Elsie, Gaven heads off to pick some apples, and Oloc, Varros and Duran look on as Dirtbag moves toward the dogs' room.
The goblin leads on down the stairs, into the entry room, and through the door to the west, which opens into a 10' wide, 20' long corridor, heading west, with a door to the north at the far end. As Dirtbag turns the handle with a rusty squeal, the dogs start growling and barking again.
Once they smell, see and hear the goblin, however, they calm down. They almost cringe as the follow at his heels. The canines look with great distrust at Varros, Duran and Oloc. Then they look to Dirtbag, to the party, and back again. Seeing no sign from their goblin master to attack, they stifle their growls.
Taking a look around the dogs' room, you see that the space measures roughly 20' x 20', with no other exits. Apart from piles of leaves and scraps of cloth that the dogs evidently sleep on, you find no items of interest in the room. Kicking the shallow bed materials around, you see only stone floor beneath and, of course, another drain, just like the others you've noted.
Finding nothing worthwhile, you follow Dirtbag and the dogs up the stairway to the trapdoor. Though the dogs seem to behave themselves, they continue to look darkly at the party members.
When Gaven returns with the apples, and Elsie is finished eating, he asks, "While I know it must have been a horrible ordeal, can you please share with me what happened to you and Bill? We have learned that this band was a scouting party for an army of goblins that plan to attack. Anything you heard or saw could be of great use to us in preventing any more harm by the goblins."
"I know nothing of any goblin army," Elsie begins. The large one did most of the talking that I heard, and he always spoke in his language, so I never understood what he said."
Elsie looks off into the distance, toward Fairbrook. "We came up here a few nights ago, Bill and me. We wanted to... we came up here... to get away from our parents. And it all happened so fast. A shadow moved from behind a tree in front of us, the horse reared. There was a twang, like a bow, several of them, and the horse wailed in pain. Then more dark figures came out of nowhere, and thrust their spears at the horse, and the horse fell. As he did, Bill pulled me clear. We fell hard, but Bill kept us from landing under the horse. Then Bill was on his feet swinging his knife. I think he cut one of them. Though there were too many and... and..."
Elsie starts to cry again but, after a moment, she calms herself and goes on. "They dragged us up the hill. They just left the horse there, still alive, squealing in pain. They took us down to the basement, dumped Bill in a corner, and dragged me off to the room where you found me. They hardly gave me any water, and fed me even less. I don't know what kind of foul red meat it was that they gave me to eat. I couldn't get it down." Elsie stops talking and wipes her eyes with the dirty sleeve of her dress.
As Elsie finishes her story the others come up out of the basement, with the three guard dogs on Dirtbag's heels and Varros, Duran and Oloc right behind. As they emerge into the sunlight, everyone can see just how emaciated the poor beasts really are, ribs bulging through their short hair.
Suddenly, almost in concert, the dogs tear away from Dirtbag and head straight for the pile of goblin corpses, where they tear and rend the dead flesh, swallowing it ravenously as if they haven't eaten in days.
Elsie watches with fascination, and walks closer for a better look. Standing right next to the stack of goblin corpses, she reaches out her hand toward the pile, then hesitates, and lets her hand fall back to her side. But she remains riveted, watching the dogs have at their former masters.