Sleepy Time for the Squishies
The party settles in for the night. Tol is at the door doing his guarding thing, Nox is copying spells into her spellbook from all those scrolls they collected, and Calcryx is dragging frozen chunks of kobold into the room for a breakfast before settling down next to Tol for the night. As Capra rolls out her bedroll for the night, everyone is reminded that Erky does not have a bed roll, or any possessions really. Out of the reluctant kindness of her goat heart, Capra allows Erky to share a bedroll with her. Erky is beyond thankful, and settles in as co-ed as he possibly can. Neither Nox nor Tol get what the deal is, but whatever. They get a chuckle out of seeing Capra sleep-kick Erky onto the floor anyway.
Morning comes, Capra shares a ration with Erky, Calcryx devours the slightly defrosted pieces of kobold, and the party is ready to rock. Pun unintended, Tol.
Marching on Goblinville
The kobold camp is completely scattered. Any kobolds corpses left behind have been gathered up by Calcryx and frozen into a food stash near her original cage. The goblins Tol didn't free from the Kobold prison are in there, too, frozen solid. The party marches past the main hallway into the fortified hallway between the kobold encampment and Goblinville.
The hall features a spike pit with two goblins and one of the elite kobolds (that Nox scared into a frenzy) in the pit, dead. The party listened at the next door and heard four goblins guarding the room. The party burst through the door, firing bolts, flames, and limbs at the goblins. Calcryx steals the show with another icy blast and the goblins are dispatched. The party moves through the room and ends up in the smoky hallway where they last were dragging Calcryx the day before.
The sounds of nervous goblin life carry down the hallway from the west, toward Goblinville. It seems as though the kobold panic put the goblins on high alert. The party sneaks around a northern hallway, encounters a locked door, and turns south to face Goblinville proper. They encounter a large rectangular room with a high ceiling, illuminated by glowing purple fungus. Before the party is a large group of goblin commoners, who panic at the sight of the large party and sprint for the eastern door. Among the crowd are five warrior goblins, advancing on the party. Nox summons a spider web to ensnare the warriors, and Calcryx follows up with yet another full blast of icy breath. Three of the five Goblins are dead where they stand.
Nox, Erky, and Tol easily dispatch the remaining warriors and assess the room. The room would be completely rectangular had there not been a circular base of a tower to their left. The goblin commoners have all left and the sounds of their panicked running is fading. A huge pile of items taken from prisoners is against the southern wall. The party pokes through the pile. Capra finds a poisoner's and healer's kit among the tribal equipment. Nox scores herself a fine agate statue of Corellon Larethian (30 gp). There's also a chain shirt that they try to put on Erky, but it's way too big. To the door of the circular room!
Suddenly, a Betrayal
The door is barred and the sounds of two humanoids bleed through the doorway. There's no time to waste, Erky needs to get down to the grove level and the way is behind that door! Capra launches a surprisingly effective firebolt at the stone door, and it comes loose off its hinges. One of the guards holds up the door and props it against the frame, but a deep voice belows from behind him, "To arms! We fight for our home right here, right now!" The door drops, revealing four hobgoblins, one of which is standing at his throne, and a small goblin dressed in shaman gear. The chief at the throne stands tall and composed in his plate armor, barking orders at the other three hobgoblins.
Spells begin to fly through the doorway as the closest party members fight the hobgoblins. Calcryx finds a moment in the panic to breathe icy death upon the melee enemies and they freeze to death where they stand. Durnn turns to the shaman and yells, "Grenl, cast something!" Grenl, in open mockery of the chief, turns to the party and casts thaumaturgy, "SOMETHING!" The chief and remaining hobgoblin guard are stunned, and Grenl continues, "This is all your fault! You tore my tribe apart and took control, and now you are the reason our people run screaming down the halls! Now it's my turn to make things right!" She thrusts her wand forward and sprays poison in the chief's direction, missing her shot.
Invigorated by this turn of events, Capra steps forward into the room and casts the coldest chromatic orbs she's got. It soars over the opening in the middle of the room and hits the chief dead on, obliterating him. Grenl looks at the stump where moments before stood Durnn and shouts at the top of her lungs, "YEEEEEEEEEEEES! This is what you get!" Calcryx quickly takes out the other hobgoblin and the party turns to Grenl.
"Please, let me go. I only want to care for my tribe. Everything has been going so wrong, I know we can do better." Erky steps forward, "What about the Gulthias tree?" Grenl grimaces, "It was a source of income for us but it's all yours if you go below and confront Belak. He tends to the three, and he has been having us send prisoners to him. But I have never felt well about that business." The party decides to let Grenl go, after having her swear to never return here again. Erky chimes in, "That was fantastic! Now we won't have to deal with any more of them as we go down!" The party turns to the well in the center of the room, and see thick vines good for climbing leading down into the darkness below.
Calcryx begins to gather up her trophies, dragging the frozen bodies outside the room.