Oskarr spoke up, "Aye, you have a point, lad. Still, won't be any good to leave the cart unattended." Thinking a moment, the dwarf proposed, "How 'bout we make a walk around the site here. If we pick up a trail, the two of you follow it, while I stay with the cart. You lads will likely be a bit quieter and quicker than I."
"Protect the cart? What do you think is more important, the bosses cart or the boss himself? If we find some sign that they are prisoners I would think the cart would become an afterthought - we can hopefully hide it off the road, but is it really that big of a deal?" He paused to look more closely at the dwarf he had only known for a short while and added, "Besides, splitting up seems like a really bad idea. I don't think I want to do that. I'd rather just go on to Phandalen if it came to that. We know at least one goblin awaits us. And ..." he paused continuing to look at the dwarf, "you would send us after your cousin while you sit on the cart?" He wasn't quite sure how the dwarf would react to that last comment, but it did seem odd. It seemed backwards actually. Why was he the one pressing to find Oskarr's cousin? What about the famous loyalty of dwarves?
But he didn't wait for an immediate response, instead he quickly added "I'll start looking for signs. If we find anything we can decide what to do."
Pavel and Dane check up and down the road a ways, searching for anything that may be suspicious.
Checking the road for tracks, you would say that you don't see anything that leads you to believe that Gundren and Sildar proceeded ahead on foot, though you're not sure, at first, if that's just because the tracks have been covered through natural or intentional means.
However, as you continue searching through the brush and forest, you see signs of more goblins, especially on the north side of the trail. You find tracks of at least a dozen different people (probably goblins) as well as marks in the ground that make it seem as if they were dragging something behind them (possibly a person). It leads to the forest trail the retreating goblin ran down.
Dane spent some time looking around the road and the woods. He wasn't an expert tracker and he didn't think Pavel was either, but then it didn't appear that goblins were particularly adept at concealing their tracks either. Or maybe they just didn't care. The result was clear even to a pair of novice trackers - a group of humanoids, most likely goblins, had hauled something off down the forest path.
Dane looked at the very obvious and clear signs as he stood on the path that wandered deeper in to the woods. He turned to his two companions. "Well?"
"Well?" Dane said, after reporting what they had found from their searching.
Oskarr had hoped the two would have reported clear signs that the Gundren and his companion had simply lost their horses in the ambush with goblins and had proceeded on their way.
The evidence pointed to a different outcome.
"Hurmmm," grumbled the mercenary. He hated it when the mission went awry. It rubbed against the grain on his soldiering life. You always complete the mission.
And then, his dwarven blood kicked in and scolded him for leaving all these provisions behind for some other folk to take possession freely, for who would stop them? What a waste.
Beyond that, Oskarr was having a hard time coming to terms with what the evidence was saying. It was an indignity... captured by a pack of goblins?! He could scarcely think it! How could Gundren allowed such a thing to happen!
Quite the place you've put me in, cousin! Oskarr thought.
"Help me secure these provisions off to the side, now, then," the Cleric grumbled. "Let's get on with this nasty business."
OCC: Oskarr is looking to secure the cart off the road if possible and then follow the trail left by the group of humanoids.
It seemed the decision had been made to try and rescue Gundren and Silldar. Lucky them. Hopefully.
Dane helped the other two get the cart off the road and into the woods - camouflaged as best as they could manage. When Pavel suggested undoing one of the wheels Dane agreed with the idea. "If it won't leave us unable to get it on again afterwards, that sounds like a good idea. It can't hurt at least." Again he thought to himself, 'hopefully.'
Once the group had secured the cart, they would head off down the path, moving cautiously since they already knew at least one goblin was in front of them. Dane kept his bow out and knocked an arrow at the first sign of trouble. He moved cautiously, constantly scanning the woods and the trail for any sign of trouble or anything out of the ordinary. He had sought adventure, and here it was. Hunting goblins through the fringes of Neverwinter Wood. Game on.
(OOC: I made the assumption that we would move on once the cart was hidden. Correct me if wrong.)
After tying off and hiding the cart and ox as best they can, the party moves out, single file, picking up the trail that the latest goblin left behind. It leads to a path the moves northwest into the woods. It's a cutaway dirt path where woods encroach closely on either side for the most part, and you can tell it's well used, footprints and drag marks of all sorts scaring the ground. These eventually become obscured by a layer of dead leaves and random fallen branches
Pavel leads the other two party members down the path and as he walks, suddenly stops, noticing something strange on the ground. Bending down to look closer, he sees that there is a long, thin rope hanging very low off the ground, some of it covered by leaves but not completely covered. If you had the guess, this was some sort of trap mechanism. Looking even closer, you discover that it is connected to some sort of snare trap, where, if you triggered it, would cause the rope to wrap around your leg or ankle and suspend you from the air.
That's the only suspicious thing you see for right now, and it's easily avoidable now that Pavel has spotted it.
[If there's nothing further ya'll wanna do here, you can just proceed, Pavel just made a passive perception check]
Dane moved cautiously down the path in the woods. His eyes jumped from tree to tree, leaf to leaf and log to log. His heart raced - more than it should, he knew. He was walking into an adventure. His excitement was actually a bit surprising. He had been in quite a few scrapes before, many of which had almost been more dangerous than this walk in the woods. The fight with the goblins just past was not the first time he'd been in a fight in which the other guy (or critter?) had wanted to kill him. And yet, his senses seemed more on edge now then in any of those situations.
Perhaps because in those previous situations there had been little time to consider the circumstances until you were acting on instinct. That was true of most of them anyway, but not all. In fact, as he moved along the path behind Pavel he suspected it was simply the idea of adventure. This seemed to be more than just 'another job' and more of an actual 'adventure' like in the stories. It was starting. Now he just needed to relax and write a good story.
And so as he moved down the path he relaxed his breathing and felt his pulse slow. Stay focused, but stay relaxed. he'd had a lot of experience doing that. He simply needed to do in these woods what he had done before. Simple.
And thus when Pavel grunted quietly in front of him and put up his hand to indicate a stop, Dane simply froze, knocked an arrow and scanned his surroundings. Their point man quietly pointed to a snare in the middle of the path and followed the rope to the tree indicating the full extent of the trap. Dane saw it and quietly whispered, "good eyes." The group was very cautious going around the obstacle. They did not want to be ensnared, of course, but were also cautious lest any goblins be around to pick off anyone caught. When the woods appeared clear, they continued on down the path, certain now that those they followed had placed hazards in their way. But now Dane was relaxed and moving easily towards the next obstacle.
(OOC: Assuming we didn't encounter anyone at the snare since your last post implied we could keep going. Obviously, correct me if wrong.)
You all easily avoid the snare trap and continue all the more carefully after noticing it. As you continue down the trail, not ten minutes later, the point man stops the group again, noticing something strange about the layer of leaves covering the path. Poking at it carefully, it becomes clear that they are covering a pit. Again, you easily avoid it by moving around it.
As you continue along the trail, it begins to run parallel to medium sized stream, following along it gently. At least along the path you walk, it probably doesn't run much deeper than ten feet deep, if you had to guess, and about 30 feet wide at it's widest. After a bit more time walking, you begin to see a rocky hill out in the distance through the wood, which you now can see has an opening that suggests a cave.
You are heading nothwest, along the west side of the stream. On the east side of the stream, the closer you approach the cave, the thicker the woods get.
The stream runs straight into the cave mouth, and you can tell it gets shallower there and you can probably easily walk through it without having to swim. There is a ledge on the east part of the entry way but you'll have to crossover water to get to it.
You also notice at this point that the tracks you have been following all but disappeared, likely intentionally covered up.
Every step of the way through the woods Dane expected a trap. The snare and pit confirmed this fear. As they approached the hill his anticipation just grew. When he the woods opened a bit and they saw the cave opening and the stream, things took shape. It was obvious to all of them that entering the cave required crossing the stream. It would be an exposed position, crossing water, and woods right up to the bank on the other side. Whether from inside the cave or from the woods on the other side, it was an easy place for an ambush or for guards to stand watch.
Dane notched an arrow in his bow. He kept his eyes trained on the woods on the other side of the river - if any kind of opening emerged he would aim there immediately. He moved straight ahead - towards the woods directly ahead. He had his bow. This way anyone coming out of the woods or the cave would have to cross the water to get to him. If nothing appeared, then they could approach the water.
Dane already had an arrow knocked when he saw the goblins on the far side of the stream dive for cover. It was an act of only a moment to draw back his bow string and let fly. He hoped to get a clear shot before they had all reached the cover of the woods, so he aimed at the slowest goblin.
With his arrow flying towards the enemy, the rogue sprinted towards the woods in front of him. If the goblins could gain some cover, so could he. He found a tree he could use for cover and drew another arrow to prepare his next shot.
(Using the dice roller on the site Dane got a 14. He gets a +2 for proficiency which gives him a 16. I believe that is what you said hit, assuming there aren't yet any negatives for the woods. The bow does 1d6 - he rolled a 4 for damage. I don't think he has any bonuses to damage, but honestly am not sure with the bow.)
Posted on 2017-05-24 at 17:35:14.
Edited on 2017-05-24 at 17:47:18 by Nomad D2
Seeing Dane loose his arrow and run for cover, Pavel raises his shield (sword drawn) and runs into the fray. He heads directly for the closest goblin bellowing a wordless war cry, swinging when he gets within range!
OOC: I did two rolls in case they were needed. The first I rolled a 15, and the second was a 19.
PS: My daughter got a hold of my character sheet and now it is nowhere to be found. Lano could you please send me another copy. Thank you.