The group, with their new members, proceeded back into the wilderness to track down their Goblin foes. After another few days march to the north they came upon the entry into an underground passage with a flimsy rope ladder giving access. The area around the opening had been patrolled by Goblins so the group felt this must be where they were hold up.
Looking down into the pit the group noticed that every few minutes 3 harnessed “guard lizards” would pass beneath them. After a brief discussion, the group decided to make use of Higgs’ interest in herbalism to attempt to create a concoction to drug or hopefully kill the guardians. After a brief search, he found the plants he needed to augment his existing supplies and was able to create an herbal mixture which was stuffed into 3 large rabbits that Reynard and Weyland were able to hunt while he worked.
Dropping the rabbits into the hole got the attention of the lizards who proceeded to devour them and quickly fell into a stupor, allowing the group to descend the ladder and easily dispatch them. Upon venturing into the dug out cave complex the group discovered a group of Goblins being assisted by a Kobold mage. After a pitched battle which ebbed and flowed for and against the party, they were finally able to dispatch the band and search for treasure. Among a few gold and silver the group found 10 large clear yellow gems. They weren’t sure of their value but they seemed like they might be pretty valuable. Because the group had suffered some severe injuries they decided to rest up before venturing any farther into the caves.
After resting up, the group ventured farther into the caves and discovered a cache of supplies obviously stolen from a caravan, although the markings on the crates and bundles indicated their origins were unfamiliar. Upon further investigation they found that one of the long swords was magical, something that Reynard didn’t initially notice but Kyrani did once she withdrew it from its scabbard. Seeing his disappointment, Kyrani offered to roll dice for the sword, which she still one with the gamble. Unfortunately they also found some remains of what was obviously one of the missing Woodsmen.
Further along the passage they discovered a large cavern with giant fungi growing along the walls. Between two natural columns there appeared to be some sort of flickering membrane which Higgs and Ezmeralda quickly deduced was some sort of portal. After a few moments of study, 4 short and dark robed humanoids stepped through into the cave. They seemed a bit disoriented and unsure of their location and, in a strange Common dialect, proceeded to question the party about their whereabouts. After about 10 minutes of discussion one of them who’d been studying the portal urged them that time was short and they needed to leave. A few moments after they stepped through the portal flickered out of existence. While it was there Higgs noticed that the surrounding area had a strange effect on his magical abilities, although he was hesitant to explore exactly to what extent.
Venturing still farther in and around a corner the party discovered a guarded room where some Goblins and a few Hobgoblins were holding the remaining members of a tribe of Kobolds. Apparently the Goblins had overtaken their lair and were unsure of what to do with so many beyond holding them for the time being. After a brief tactical discussion, the Party decided there were too many Goblins to attack by themselves so they decided to gather some of the weapons from the storage they’d discovered earlier and attempt to arm the Kobolds as they attacked their guards. It was a risk since they were unsure of the Kobolds’ reactions and could potentially be arming a room full of about 30 Kobolds.
They gathered bundles of weapons and threw them into the room as they attacked the guards, which they quickly dispatched, and found the Kobolds to be thankful for their rescue. In fact, one of them spoke broken Common he’d learned from one of the missing Woodsmen. The Party spoke with the Kobolds who were unable to explain why their leader had sided with their Goblin usurpers, but were thankful nonetheless. The Kobolds mentioned they worshiped a Green Dragon named Cicily who dwelt far to the east and would mention the Party’s rescue to her as a token of their appreciation. Reynard retrieved one of the leather dragon-inscribed belt patches from the dead Kobold leader as a token of their newly formed “alliance”.
Upon searching the remaining caves the group discovered a crude map showing the locations of 3 additional camps along the base of the mountains to the north.