Searching through Venomfang’s treasure horde, the heroes find all manner of goodies, including a rusty, nasty-looking battleaxe that radiates a magical aura. It is identified as Hew, a powerful weapon enchanted long ago by a dwarven smith who was embroiled in a quarrel with creatures of the forest. Hew does horrendous damage to anything made of or crafted from wood.
The Talons spend the rest of the day clearing the remnants of Thundertree’s monstrous population, and then they pack up their cart, harness Greg’k, and head off with Reidoth, who is irritatingly chirpy now that the dragon has been defeated. He even agrees to visit Tarlach’s pet owlbears.
The trip south is largely uneventful, and the group arrives at the southern edge of Neverwinter Wood in around a day. They stop the cart, and plan to get some sleep before they head into the trees in search of Cragmaw Castle.
Adaven is on guard, idly playing with his pet mouse Nasher as his companions grab some well-earned rest. He hears the snap of a twig out amongst the trees, then a high-pitched giggle. Shaking Tarlach awake, he points to the trees and slips out of the cart. Adaven creeps into cover, working his way through the brush and circling around behind the source of the noise. Which happens to be three goblins, chuckling eagerly to each other as they tie off a noose trap.
Adaven sighs and shakes his head at this amateur ambush attempt, and shoots one of the goblins in the head with his crossbow. Startled, the unfortunate creature’s two accomplices scatter into the woods. Adaven, Tarlach and Grey give chase.
All employ different methods in their hunt. Adaven skips across the forest floor, neatly sidestepping obstacles and hopping over blocked paths. Grey smashes through everything in his way like a juggernaut. Tarlach gets his foot caught in a rabbit hole, falls over, then gives up and wanders after his friends half-heartedly.
Adaven sprints past Grey and leaps upon one of the fleeing creatures, while Grey sights, hurls and takes down the other with a thrown axe. We secure the remaining goblin, and a quick interrogation reveals the location of a secret back door into Cragmaw Castle. Though Tarlach and Grey are tired from the chase, the group agrees to head on. The less time spent in Neverwinter Wood, the better.