The heroes continue their trek up the mountain path. Soon they come upon a man in dark robes gathering herbs along the path, a donkey and cart behind him. The man is recognized by Tibet as a man who once sold him pipe weed, and Tibet calls the man “Spider,” and introduces his friends to Spider.
The man is a bit standoffish, and tells them of his dealings with the Hobgoblins, but that they always met outside the gate and that he has no idea of their numbers. The group tells the man they are on their way to take the castle and kill the manticore that the Hobgoblin leader rides. Spider tells them that this is a fool’s errand, but the group presses him to continue with them. Soon they come upon a lone harpy soaring on the mountain updrafts, and shoot it out of the sky immediately. The new warforged, Capacitor, climbs up the cliff to the Harpy nests, and shakes several thousand coins out of them as well as a few gems. The group sorts and gathers the silver and gold, and throws it into the back of their new companion’s cart.
Moving forward the group reaches a bend in the road, beyond it is the steel gate leading into the hobgoblin’s stronghold. They see a hobgoblin to the left and right, each manning a boulder trap, and another mostly concealed in a hut with a thatched roof, constructed atop the gate. They back up and tie their horses. Tibet sneaks out and shoots fire at the thatched roof of the hut. It starts a fire that quickly spreads. The two hobgoblins manning the boulder traps disappear behind the wall, and it is too smoky to see what happens to the third. The whole group sneaks up to the gate and climbs the steep rock face to the top of the wall on the righthand side. The fire has enough of the hobgoblin forces distracted so that they don’t notice the small band of adventurers. The group surveys the castle, and decides to sneak across the open field and behind a building labelled ‘Warehouse” on their map. The only one of the group that was noticed was Vessel, who had already cunningly disguised himself with his magic to look like a hobgoblin captain. A few hobgoblins salute him, and he salutes back, but does not break stride.
Between the warehouse and the stables there is a repugnant odor of animals stacked too close together. Flies buzz about in the thousands. The adventurers make haste to the wall of the castle. Vessel teleports to the top of the wall, and scouts the troll huts, and the barracks, noting 12 adult Trolls and five juveniles. Vessel is thrown a rope and he secures it atop the wall and the others climb up.
Soon after, one of the gate guards spots them and looses an arrow. A narrow miss, the party returns fire with extreme force, killing both by putting them to sleep, then firing massive amounts of magic at them. Tibet sneaks up on two others throwing one off the wall and breaking his neck. The other, alerted to Tibet’s presence, blows the alarm horn, and is smacked off of the wall immediately by Vessel’s bolts of eldritch force.
Alerted, Hobgoblins begin to stream out of the barracks. Capacitor leaps from the wall, landing softly after casting feather fall mid-jump. A melee ensues, with more and more hobgoblins entering the battle. Soon Vessel panics and releases a horrifying, consuming astral darkness, that kills nearly half of the hobgoblins. The rest fight valiantly, but are slaughtered by the magic of Jean, Tibet, Vessel, and Spider, and the trident stabs of Capacitor. Just as the Hobgoblins are all but defeated, Trolls run toward the party en masse. A bloody, fight commences. Tibet shoots bolt after bolt of enormous rays of fire from his fingertips. Spider stands bravely before the Trolls, casting spell after spell, burning and blistering the Trolls, but is bested. He survives thanks to the healing magic of Jean, and escapes to the barracks. Jean leaps down, cursing a troll with confusion, then runs for his life back to the barracks as well. As the rest retreat, Vessel drops another area astral darkness on the seven trolls. The trolls struggle to exit the sucking void, and three, including the chief, make it out, but Capacitor pulls the Chief back into the void with a bolt of magical electricity. Hobgoblins stream out of the second barracks once more, but disappear behind the astral void of darkness and are not seen again. And there we end, the trolls wallowing in a void, the hobgoblins out of sight.