(Sorry for the late post, I forgot I hadn't added my log that night! I may have forgotten some details, so feel free to message me with reminders and I'll add them.)
After the adventurers departed Nightstone and reconnected with the sole surviving goblin, Gwerk, they found a safe place to camp among the elves' forest of Ardeep. Sitting around the campfire, they came to learn more about each other, partially because the laconic Torgal revealed a greater extent of his vocabulary. Gwerk, truly moved by the kindness of "Orc-friend" Dor'Kath, shook off her terror in exchange for happy sobs. The evening passed peacefully, save for the sudden waking of the halfling, Gwerk's very vocal dreams of bread, and, with the sunrise, the sudden appearance of Ceilid's new hawk familiar. But such are the oddities of travel in the wilds, one supposes.
By day, they continued onward to the Dripping Caves. Under Gwerk's guidance, they gave the cave's main entrance a wide berth and scaled the hills to reach a secret entrance, a natural chimney delving into the depths of the cavern from a rocky outcropping above. As they formulated a plan of entry, Ceilid transformed her unexplained companion into a snake for improved cave mobility. She convinced Gwerk of the snake's friendliness, and sent the serpent down with the goblin to view her meeting with the much-hyped Snigbat. Gwerk climbed down the shaft and encountered Snigbat as promised, then with some little convincing gained Snigbat's trust and ushered the adventurers below.
Snigbat proved to be quite the oddity, able to speak to them in quite excellent Common. They discovered she was unusually intelligent for a goblin, and thus unsatisfied with the brute force lifestyle in which she lived. Lacking the physical strength to go up against the bosses, however, she was fated to forever be a lowly grunt in a society of burly idiots. Though she found Torgal's manner seriously off-putting, she decided to trust the adventurers as her best hope for forming a better life for her and the weaker goblins who Boss Hark considered completely disposable. She told them about the layout of the cave, where Boss Hark could be found, and of the existence of two ogres in the main cavern who would not likely be persuaded to leave their easy food source. The goblins who guarded the main cavern were a source of uncertainty, though Snigbat felt it likely they would fall in line if the party walked out into the cavern carrying the liberated head of their chief.
Leaving nothing to chance, Ceilid sent her serpentine familiar off on a scouting mission – and promptly into a rat pit, where it was handily trampled and devoured. But she was not deterred, then summoning a quasit to do her scouting for her. The mischievous beast became invisible and flew throughout the cave, lending Ceilid its eyes. What Snigbat reported was true. So, rather than dither any longer, the party decided to go on the offensive.
The ever-resourceful Ceilid devised a scheme to take out Boss Hark and his retinue in one fell swoop. Conjuring an arcane shout, she shook the very foundations of the small cavern in which Hark resided with his bodyguards and pet rats. The concussive blast and falling debris from the cavern ceiling killed all but one rat, who fled, one goblin, who was promtly skewered by one of Torgal's javelins, and Boss Hark, who took cover in a tiny alcove but was pursued and decapitated nonetheless. The battle was over in less than a minute, and the adventurers were unscathed.
Now, the echoes of that terrible sound have reverberated throughout the tiny cave system, putting all on alert. How will the adventurers proceed? Will they survive so unscathed against hungry ogres? Will Snigbat come to be the new governor of her clan, and finally get to implement her community arts program? Only time will tell!