Through the thinning forest, the Talons see the six-towered, shattered ruins of Cragmaw Castle. Here is where they will find the dwarf Gundren Rockseeker, who first sent them on their quest all those weeks ago. Goblins man arrow-slits above a main gate, and two stand watch at the ground entrance.
Goblin captive nervously pointing directions, the Talons sneak over to the back door. Goblin voices and the sound of smashing plates come from behind a sturdy iron door. Adaven gets his thieves’ tools out and gets to work. He hears a “urk” sound from behind him, and turns to find Grey wiping his blade on the grass and no sign of goblin captive. He sighs, and with a click, swings the door open.
Hearing the sound of multiple goblins from a door on the left, Adaven magically disguises himself as the wizard Glasstaff, and enters. Eight surprised goblins, one a fat fellow wielding a filth-encrusted ladle, stare at him. He orders three to follow him into the corridor. The fat goblin (named Yegg), who appears to be a chef and leader of sorts, eyes him suspiciously. Adaven realises this plan wasn’t thought through that well, and that the goblins owe no particular allegiance to Glasstaff.
He leaps forward and stabs the surprised chef through the guts, and at the sound of combat, Grey and Tarlach come in swinging. The goblins take heavy losses, and with he chef dead they break, scampering away through a nearby crack in the castle wall with howls of terror. Everything alive in Cragmaw Castle will definitely know they’re under attack.
The Talons haul a table across to block the door they came in by, and Adaven scatters some caltrops to slow any pursuit. Turning invisible with a spell, the half-elf heads off to scout, while Grey and Tarlach head along a corridor and into a hallway intersection. The hear goblin cries down the tunnel behind them, and exchange arrows with their pursuers, felling two goblins who sprawl face-first onto the floor.
Adaven narrowly avoids being crushed by a falling wall trap, and notes some gruffer goblinoid voices coming from the eastern tower. As he passes through a central chamber that appears to be some kind of shrine to a human deity, he glances upwards to see a horrid worm-like creature hanging from a broken rafter. He edges past beneath it, protected by his invisibility spell, heading back to where Grey and Tarlach are waiting.
The trio regroup, and Adaven points them to the east. He mentions the creature, which Tarlach identifies as a grick, an ambush predator. Grey hurls a goblin corpse into the creature’s lair. No reaction. Tarlach says this is odd. Gricks usually love fresh meat.
Deciding on a more straightforward approach, the three rush into the room, intending to take the beast down quickly. As soon as Tarlach passes through the grick drops on him, snapping at him with a toothed tentacle. Grey steps in and runs the grick through, and it expires with a hiss.
The trio move into an adjacent corridor, and into the northern tower. Inside are three goblin priests, failing to hide very convincingly. The Talons dispatch them easily. They move into the eastern tower, which houses four hobgoblins. The heroes have fought these beats before, and approach them with more respect than they showed the goblins. Despite their martial skill, the hobgoblins are outmatched by the Talons. After a quick, brutal skirmish, this side of the castle is cleared. The group heads towards the western section, dealing with a few stragglers, and readies to enter the final rooms they have yet to clear… does the mysterious King Grol, leader of the Cragmaws, lurk within?