Following up on the clues left behind in Tetsuo Kaijitsu’s journal, the party organized an expedition to the goblin strong hold at Thistletop. Quorthon Hammerfell used his knowledge of the seedier side of Sandpoint to hire a few “trustworthy” sell-swords.
Under the guidance of Azar and forewarned of potential dangers by Henley’s scouting, the journey to the Thistle River went quickly. A goblin ambush was not particularly surprising and the goblins paid for their presumption. Henley faced down a mounted goblin commando and several horses were killed. A base camp was established on a rocky overlook of the river.
The goblins, with their already shaky morale began crumbling as a result of their ineffectiveness against the “longshanks” who were afflicting grievous injury upon them at every turn scattered as an effective fighting force, at least for the moment. If the power uniting the tribes, Nualia wasn’t stopped they could still be regathered. The days march through the Nettle Wood was relatively uneventful, a few sightings of goblins, but they inevitably fled or hid.
The approach to the Thistletop fortress island was blocked by an overgrowth of thorny flora. Through the spined branches there were paths. . . goblin sized corridors that the party had to maneuver through. Henley scouted the area first with Penny, and discovered a large group of dispirited goblins as well as a pack of goblin rat-dogs. With a summoned horse kicking up a ruckus from its painful lacerations from the bramble thorns, the goblins fled without giving a fight other than of utter desperation. The rat-dogs however remained as vicious as ever. When Gogmurt the Tribal druid and his fire pelt cougar joined the fray the tide turned for a brief moment, but after chasing the crafty goblin through the thorns the party eventually put an end to his painful shenanigans.
Crossing the rickety goblin bridge one at a time to avoid breaking it, the goblins mounted their last defense. Several waves of goblins assaulted the party upon their crossing. After dealing with the ground forces, the party considering climbing to check out the “guard” towers and figure out why they had not lend aid in the fight. Before they could get started, several goblins emerged from a trap door in the fortress roof. They had rocks and a sea gull tied to a length of twine. They were going to play a game of “kill gull”, but rushing to the aid of the poor animal, these goblins died quickly as well.
Moving from room to room the complex was quickly swept. Warchief Ripnugget and his entourage fell quickly. Especially the war chanter, who was dead before he could in any way affect the outcome of the engagement. After sweeping the complex one more time and finding two sets of stairs down, the party elected to barricade several doors and make camp. Luckily no one from the sub level made an attempt to ascend to fort.
Descending the back stair case, the party first came upon an obvious strategy planning room. There were documents and chalk drawings on a slate board. Nulia was planning on ally with her mentor the quasit from the Catacombs of Wrath. Part of that plan was to include the use of sinspawn from the rune well, but not until several hundred citizens and goblins had died to further fuel it.
The next room was a research room with the wizardress ally of Nulia. Alerting others near by on this level, soon the battle was joined by several goblins and the flail wielding, elf hating, Bruthazmus the Bugbear. Shortly there after, Orik, a heavily armored warrior gave the party a moment of trouble but quickly surrendered when he saw which way the wind was blowing in the dungeon corridors.
Quickly finding the secret door in the research room the party descended deeper into thistletops underworks. Traygus found a deadly trap of portcullis, glaives, and a pit. While the party tried helping and Traygus tried surviving, Nulia prepared having heard the trap going off. As a vicious servant of Lamashtu the battle went as one would expect, blood flying from nearly every one. Penny went cujo style on Nulia when things were looking bleakest.
A crypt with shadows became the final resting place for Orik as well as his life force was drained by their horrific caress. Finding yet another secret door the party found a collapsed treasure vault. While leaving the most valuable item behind due to difficulty in moving it and the fact that it was inhabited by a hermit crab, the party still made off with plenty of loot.