Return To Flaxford Keep Encounters

Approach

Since becoming established the goblins have maintained a constant skirmishing line of defence, it is likely that the party will encounter a goblin warrior accompanied by a dire wolf and cutters. If the party make their approach in the morning then the skirmishers will be returning with their night's booty - a barrel of salt.

Elves

Approaching fromt he forested hills behind the keep, the party is ambushed by an group of elven hunters, out looking for goblins. The elves will call from their conealed position that the party is unwelcome and should leave. If there is an elf amongst the party then the situation is easily diffused, otherwise a diplomacy based skill challenge ensues - failure means that the elves slip off into the woods without a word, but success brings the reward of an appology and a potion of healing.

The Well Tower

The goblins have established that this was the route the previous party took in and taken steps to defend it by placing an ocher jelly into the room. In order to keep it from leaving they have built a sone wall across half the height of the doorway and a wall around the well hole to stop it slipping away. Alongside the far wall are a pair of planks that the goblins move in order use as a bridge to cross from doorway to well and beneath them the jelly waits.

Beyond the low wall is a temporary door that is easily unbarred (DC 12 theivery) or noisly chopped down.

Rat Trap

Beyond the wall in the hall that runs to the foundations of the lantern gate, just beyond the well tower walls is a trap (DC 18 spot, Attack +4 vs reflex). The trap is set to drop on the first two squares beyond the well tower entrance, it is a rope net on a heavy wooden fram that will hold anyone failing to doge restrained unless they can escape (athletics DC 18) or the wooden fram is unlocked (thievery DC 12).

At the same time the trap triggers rat swarms are relased and pour onto the trapped victims.

Beyond the rat trap is evidence of some wood-working and as a lure to draw them into the trap, a lantern with a low trimmed wick sends shadows of a goblin silhouette dancing along the walls. The woodwork shows that the goblins are working up a far more significant door to replace the one through which the pary has entered.

If the trap is examined then a player may observe (perception DC 12) that the rats were being regularly fed. A very observant player (perception DC 15) may notice that the workings of the trap have a symbol burnt into the woodwork revealed only once the trap is triggered. The pictogram shows the unmistakable outline of the Marmaluke Gate, and beneath it the word Ruby and the initals HH. Hans Hanssen has been forced to construct the trap and seems to be trying to pass on a message.

Locked Door

The remainder of the Octagon Catacombs are deserted, the party will find themselves before a new door guarding the way to the keep cellars. The door is very solid and has been secured with an arcane lock there appears to be no means of getting past. Hopefully the players will realise that all the indications are that the goblins will pass back this way and that they should set up an ambush.

A full rest period will pass before they are disturbed. The goblin cutter work crew that come noisily through the door are led by a warrior and bring with them a couple of slaves one of whom is Hans Hansen. It is likely that the party will want to catch the door open so the goblins are most likely to retreat back from the door and into the keep central room. The passage betewen the locked door and the keep cellar runs straight for four squares and since the party was last here the goblins have capped the other end with a second door. The goblin party will attempt to get back through the second door and close it before the party can get to it.

The goblins may not all get through te door and a battle may ensue within the corridor between doors. This corridor has been trapped for just such a situation and the goblins will release noxious gass along the length of it +4 vs fortitude for 1d6 poison damage every round they remain within.

The door at the end is a newly constructed very solid and bears the initials HH below a tower, it looks pretty much impossible to knock down (DC 30). If the party falter before it for more than a round then Hans will shout out from beyond the door "just charge it!". These will be his last words however as he will be struck down by his captors.

Sure enough pushing the door will reveal that whilst the door is very solid and well barred, Hanssen's genius for carpentry means that the entire door frame moves with the door. The door will open to reveal astonished and furious goblins turning on the craftsman if he has not already been slain.

Within the goblin work gang is reinforced by a sharpshooter and on of the guard drakes that he has reared from the eggs raided six months ago. Only once the party has gained entrance will an order be given and one of the cutters will run off to raise the alarm.

The Marmaluke Gate

Where once the goblins had constructed a makeshift barricade, now their is a significant fortified emplacement within the throat of the highest of the defensive works. Hansen has constructed a gateway in the style of the Marmaluke Gate that entirely fills the corridor leaving no space between the top and the ceiling. There is a solid looking doorway that enters beneath arrowslits and murder holes above and there are even seven shields surrounding the gate, although these bear goblin scribbles rather than the heraldry of the founders of Elan. From a vantage point at the top of the defences looking down towards the barricade it should present an impassable obstacle to the party.

Hanssen has yet again fabricated a flawed defence but he has had to hide his handiwork very carefully leaving clues that the goblins would never understand. The middle shield on the left on the real Marmaluke Gate would bear the Ruby Tower of the Rubus family, if the equivalent shield is struck with sufficient force (a solid shoulder barge) then there will be a loud bang and the left side of the gate superstructure will come forwards into the chamber. The gap it leaves is enough for a either a teleport or a halfling to access easily, or with a decent strength check (DC 15) it can be pulled open further for anyone to scramble through.

The gate is defended by several sharpshooters who will take so much pleasure in enjoying their position of advantage (up to three can fire at once from a +5 defensive advantage) that they will not raise the alarm until the party are slain or the gate is breached.

Raising the Alarm

With a bit of luck the goblin sharpshooters will be the first denizens of the keep to have the opportunity to raise the alarm. This has the opportunity for catastrophic failure and needs to be handled carefully - they have no spare cutters to act as runners and whilst there is an alarm bell (which will be rung) there is no garrison to come running so they will have to send one of their number to raise the alarm. The party need to be aware that the runner has gone and they need to know tht he needs to be stopped at all costs.

If the runner escapes (or even if he doesn't in the light of the ringing alarm bell) a decision needs to be made press on or fall back. Falling back means that the treachery of the faulty barricade will be discovered, pressing on means no rest between encounters and the prospect of overwhelming numbers. There is a third option however - finding somewhere to hide beyond the barricade and within the goblin's lair.

If the party retreats then they will find that the goblins quickly set right the barricade and defend it in numbers - getting past it should be presented as suicidal - the scenario will have ended with failure. Pressing on to the next encounter will see a confrontation with both the hexer and the skullcleaver encounters together at the scriptorium. However if the party seek to hide themselves then any of the dormitories or the slave pens will give them enough time for a brief rest. Hiding amongst the slaves will allow them to rest long enough for the goblins to convince themselves that the party retreated and they can then engage the encounter groups separately.

Barracks

The main body of goblins bed down in individual nests in this room, at least one cutter is in here with a broken leg but the majority of them have their attention elsewhere and are not to be found. From the number of nests it should be possible to establish the number of goblins now operating from the keep.

Slave Pens

The Blueface goblins have been taking slaves from the outlying farms and many of them are being kept here. they have been stripped of most of their clothing and chained in long lines. They have all been forced to eat a specially prepared gruel five times a day and this has caused them to put on significant weight. The largest of them have been disappearing at regular intervals, twenty five remain, including Djin Cutter (the Phoenix Tavern landlord's son) and the Godsworn twins (for whom the party have been offered a reward). If the party strip off and hide their arms and armour, the goblins will miss them in a cursory search after the alarm has been raised.

Dormitories

These three barrel vaulted storage chambers have been repurposed as barracks, each housing forty bunk beds, however a simple insight roll points out that these were not crafted for goblins, but for some larger cousins. They are currently unoccupied.

Scriptorium

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