Exhaustion having dropped most of the party, some even coming close to death, full day rest is used to fully recover as fast as possible. It was at moment when the party began to see that the villagers where getting into the full swing of things being able to run almost everything without direct supervision. Acula and Winter taking up roles for motivation, entertainment and general leadership. Inge taking over as foreman and quartermaster keeping constructs and supplies in working order. Souls squire taking the master at arms drilling and training the villagers to defend themselves.
Though having been such a sudden change they weren’t quite ready to take over completely, still coming for the party for advice. But this did put an idea and starting a plan for getting a missing resource, metals. With the information given by Mira they knew that the goblins had mines, giving them access to metals. But the banding raided them during the warmer times of the year in large numbers. This meant that if they were to get metals for weapons and tools they needed to raid the goblins in winter, when the bandits where secured in their fort.
This rest period end uneventfully but as they recovered Erky‘s and Quara’s familiars reported that the bandit scouts had returned to their fort. This was in the evening so any expected response should happen until the morning. And just as expect over two dozen armed bandits left the fort on horses the very next morning, thankfully they were headed for the southern ruins and not for the village.
At midday a quick estimate as to their speed and destination put them at near three days from their fort to the ruins. Given that they would spend a little time search for signs of settlement and then spend time to travel back, it meant that as long as the village wasn’t spotted it was unlikely that the bandits would move again until after winter. Despite a few complications the plan to distract the bandits had been successful.
While keeping a close familiar eye on the bandits, the party focused on training a small selection of villagers over this time Acula, Inge, Winter and Souls squire where being prepared to lead so that the party could raid the goblins for metals. At the same time warm and water resistance clothing was being made to survive the harsh weather that was coming.
The bandits acted just as hoped and six days after that had left their fort they where back and the very next morning the party grabbed their gear and headed out. They used caution and moved slowly stopping often to warm and dry themselves to not lose their strength to the weather. A trip that probably could have been done in two days took them five, but as the weather got worse they were happy, the worse the weather the saver the village was. Making camp across the river from the goblin territory the smells and sounds of the goblins could easily be smelt and heard drifting on the wind.
There was an enormous number of fires, huts and encampments all across the hills. Keeping safe from this number of goblins was a matter of stealth and cunning, brute strength here would get the party kill under an avalanche of goblins. That night they hear that goblin moving, they clashed and hooted in small skirmishes but clearly these where just muscle flecking actions. Even still groups numbering over a hundred where based just an hour or two from where the party camped.
The goblins showed no signs of crossing the river and had no one even watching the river side of their camps. Routine with the bandits raiding them had probably created this habit, but it now work to the favour of the party. Striking out early the party used familiars to scout out a safe target and path to them.
The goblins seems to be mostly inactive during the day, but still they would be easy to disturb as lazy guards moved around all the camps. The party found a small camp with a little over two dozen, probably the same number as the bandit group that had just been riding around the valley. They circled around to the north side of their camp to get cover from a small rise and a few trees.
Rupert and Varric snuck up close just behind a the rise, as the others prepared an ambush in the trees. Half the guards fell before that alarm was raised and the goblins sprang into action. The party was surprised by the organised and skilled way the goblins reacted to this sudden assault. Seams they were expecting and use to this sort of attack, their only surprise was who their enemy was.
Rupert was spotted before he could retreat and hit with multiple arrows knocking him unconscious and forcing a change of plans the ambush now not meaningful the Erky dropped two golden lion statues to the ground and sent the summoned lions into the goblins. With Lia running magical healing around they quickly reduced the goblin numbers down.
Though the goblins had managed to bring down the lions only six remained and they were now outnumbered and outmatched. They ran for it, the party didn’t want them escaping as only a few hills away was a clan of about one hundred goblins. The remaining goblins didn’t even get outside their camp before they were brought down magic and arrows from the advancing party finished them off.
This small camp held very little beyond what the goblins carried on themselves, but several chunks of iron were found in a box this added to the weapons and armour taken from the bodies wasn’t a treasure horde but a good start. Though they had bought themselves time with stopping the fleeing goblins their little skirmish hadn’t gone unnoticed and the party found themselves fleeing as over fifty goblins came raging out of a nearby camp. This pursuit only lasted about two hours before the goblins gave up but this put the party away from the river and now surrounded on by goblin camps.