[The story so far]
Session 05 - Cowardice and coinage
Having slain the goblins, the party now had apparently free rein of the rock complex and set to searching for treasure...
[I'm afraid this is going to be a really brief recounting of the adventures of the last session but one - exam marking has kicked in and I barely had time to play yesterday, never mind write it up "properly". But, so that I don't give up because I'm too far behind, here goes....]
The party gave Nomos a boost up the rope hanging from the ceiling hole that had allowed the goblins in... and he promptly slipped down again, fortunately injuring only his pride [failed DEX check, followed by passing it]. Safely up, and cautiosuly advancing the light into the chamber, he found a low cavern filled with piles of tatty cloth and scattered bits of broken, base metal, kitchen equipment (pots, ladles etc). Also a locked wooden case and a door. This was wedged shut and Nomos rejoined the others, firstly pushing a pile of moth-eaten cloths down to break the fall of the box and then himself. A quick diversion down the stairs in the corner revealed an empty room that had evidently been a barracks for goblins. The odd thing was that the opening at the end of the room had been barricaded from the inside - where were the goblins?
Satisfied that nothing could creep up on them without dismantling the barrier and making loads of noise, they returned up the stairs.
Next the magic! One of the goblins had been dispatched by having its neck broken so was still "full of blood". He was duly dragged over to the demon face wall with its closed mouth and sliced open so that his blood would pour onto the lips. At first, nothing, but the blood pooling on the lips didn't get any deeper and a gentle warmth started to emanate from the face before the metal mouth slowly gaped open with a noise like a file being drawn over a saw blade. A gust of air rushed forth from the pitch-black space behind, stale and dusty enough to catch in the back of the throat. A torch thrown through the mouth illuminated nothing except a flagstone floor and no-one was too keen to climb through or even poke their head in. The torch guttered and died, followed by an almighty crash from within. Even less enticing now!
Leaving a couple to guard the mouth in case anything came through, the others headed back up the rope and, as one, burst through the door they had blocked, swords drawn. Nothing. Well, no creatures anyway. But there was treasure - an open chest with hundreds of coins; copper, silver and gold. A cautious prod with a staff revealed no traps so the loot was seized upon rapturously [This lot are born murder-hobos, the glint of gold-fever in their eyes as I described the treasure would send a shiver down the back of any bank manager, tax collector or remote-shop keeper]. They also found a golden necklace with four rubies hanging as individual pendants from it.
Despite finding a secret door in this second chamber the musty smell from it convinced them it linked to the back of the mouth and they had no plans to investigate - "Let's just take the gold and get out of here!" This course of action was confirmed when Berignon recognised the dragon-embroidered cloak that was being used as a blanket for the bed in the corner - it had belonged to the young apprentice mage who he'd travelled with. The previous party must be dead so their duty was discharged. They had found out what had happened, but it wasn't a happy ending.
Returning to the inn on the road, the Four Javelins, the party were welcomed as heroes by the landlord despite the distress of the farmer who'd sent them after his nephew. They were warned not to mention goblins by the landlord or they'd ruin his business and he'd withdraw the offer of bed and board. Deciding that bed, beef and beer was more important they headed up to their rooms to try and open the wooden case, tailed by a halfling [yes, this is a new player (party size is six now)] who offered his services to open the case after eavesdropping on their indiscreet conversation at the bar.
So, safe back at the inn, with treasure and a new party member. And no combat at all in the session. Good heavens!