After Klarg fled the cavern, the group used the rope that had been sent down to assist Tig and Sparklegem to the upper cavern. They took but a moment to catch their breath, and seeing that Klarg did not immediately return, they headed toward the other chamber after him.
They entered a cavern with a waterfall, and two fieldstone walls damming in the water before it flowed down into the stream that led out of the cave. Just out of sight, Klarg and his goblin allies were waiting. Klastes stood proud in the doorway, going toe-to-toe with the bugbear as three goblins swarmed and tried to cut him with their scrap-metal weapons. Coriander leapt (somewhat ungracefully) over Klastes, landing on the floor. The party made quick work of these foes: Klastes slew Klarg with his greataxe, carving into the bugbear’s shoulder and neatly severing the head. Coriander set about slaying a few goblins with his spear and powerful strikes, while Evie used a bramble of thorns to drag the third goblin back where the rest of them could deal with it.
The enemies defeated, they passed through the cavern toward a rickety wooden bridge passing 20 feet above the stream and the path below. There was a goblin here, but his heart wasn’t really in it. Klastes sent thing falling to the floor below.
The group followed the narrow passageway to the goblins’ den, stinking of filth and charred meat of questionable origin. There were nearly half a dozen goblins here, hunched around a fire and squabbling over portions. The cavern was divided in half by a ten-foot escarpment, with a natural staircase at the far side.
Klastes and Coriander strode into the cave, throwing Klarg’s arm into the firelight, proclaiming him dead in a booming voice and demanding Gundren be released. The goblins grew silent for a moment, and a new goblin face peered over the edge above.
“You kill Klarg?” asked the goblin Yeemik. The answer was affirmative, and the goblin laughed with malicious glee.
“Dwarf not here,” he said, disappearing for a moment. He dragged a bound and beaten Sildar Hallwinter to the edge of the drop. “You want this one? One hundred gold pieces!”
“Don’t… trust-” coughed Sildar.
Klastes shouted in a loud, booming voice, issuing a threat that made all the goblins cower. Yeemik looked unsettled.
“Twenty? Twenty gold pieces!”
Sparklegem stepped forwards, bending to the ground. As she returned behind her companions, a small pile of gold remained where she had stood. Yeemik gestured to one of his underlings to retrieve the gold, but was stopped at arm’s length by Klastes, who demanded Sildar be brought down before the trade would be made. Yeemik consented, sending Sildar down the stairs to be turned over. The goblin pushed Sildar roughly, causing him to stumble into Klastes’ arms.
Then, several things happened at once: the goblin, in his greed, made a grab for the gold on the stony floor, but his hand passed clearly through Sparklegem’s illusion. Meanwhile Klastes grabbed Sildar and carried him down a steep sloping passage, protecting the human from harm even as the stone gave way and sent them tumbling into the stream. In the same moment, Coriander lobbed his spear at Yeemik, lodging it in the goblin’s side.
The result was pandemonium. Yeemik shouted, the goblins charged, and Coriander steeled himself for battle with his cast-iron frying pan in hand. Tig wove a spell, blinding several goblins, before retreating the way he had come. Evie shot forth a vine whip, trying to pull Yeemik from his high perch, but was unable. She and Sparklegem followed Klastes down the steep passage.
Tig ran back to the bridge, jumping down into Klastes’ arms safely. Klastes made a mighty leap, managing to pull himself up onto the bridge and run back toward the battle.
Meanwhile, Coriander had set about exterminating the Goblins in the cave. He felled two with his frying pan and charged into the cave for the rest. Ultimately, he was overwhelmed and turned to flee, but was felled from behind as he ran.
Klastes met a remaining goblin in the cavern and felled it handily. Tig used a rope and a Mage Hand spell to loop a rope around Coriander’s clothing. With Sparklegem’s and Evie’s help, they were able to pull him none-too-gently down the sloping rocks to safety.
Finding himself the sole survivor, Yeemik was glad to be presented an opportunity to surrender and keep his life.
[safety save, still writing]