The Defeat of Thorge
Ser Anders will inform the players of preparations to be made for the upcoming attack, including retrieving goods from a caravan that went missing a week ago. Thorge, the ogre who leads the goblins, is suspected to have the goods. Retrieving these gods from Thorge’s hideout will gain the players militia members equaling the number of weapons retrieved, and the Blacksmith.
They can travel south, to a rumored base of Thorge, where the goods are thought to be kept. They reside in Trisendour castle. The castle is easy enough to find, and only takes a day’s trip.
The stronghold consists of seven overlapping towers; however, its upper levels have long before collapsed to heaps of crumbling masonry. Only the ground floor is still sound enough to be habitable. The centuries have not been kind to the castle. The goblins have shored up the weakest areas beneath its falling towers with crude timbers, but it’s only a matter of time before the structure collapses completely.
Ceilings. Ceiling are 15 feet high,
Doors. Interior doors are made of wood reinforced iron bands. They have neither locks nor keyholes. It takes a DC 15 Strength check to break down a door that is barricaded shut.
Floors. Cracked and uneven flagstones conceal a dirt floor underneath.
Light. A small amount of natural light filters through the arrow slits around the castle. During the day, this provides dim light in most areas. At night, all areas are dark.
Walls. Exterior walls and load-bearing interior are 5 feet thick, with 3 feet mortared fill sandwiched between 1-foot-thick courses of hard stone blocks. Interior walls are 1-foot-thick worked stone.
Arrow slits in the castle walls are 10 feet above the outside ground level, 4 feet above the interior floor level, 8 inches wide, and 4 feet high. A creature on one side of an arrow slit gains three-quarters cover against attacks from the other side.
With a successful DC 15 Intelligence (History) check, they know that the structure was raised by a talented wizard-noble of old Phalorm, an ancient realm that once controlled much of the North. He lived here until his death many years ago, and different creatures have inhabited the castle ever since, making it an ideal site for new adventurers.
1. CASTLE ENTRANCE
The main gates between areas 1 and 2 are made of bronze-covered wood, but they are corroded and collapsed.
The castle consists of seven crumbling towers of different sizes and heights, but the upper stories are all in varying states of collapse. A short flight of steps leads up to a terrace in front of the main entryway. Past the wreckage of a pair of sundered doors lies a shadowed hall. Round towers loom over the entranceway, with dark arrow slits looking down on the terrace.
If the goblins spot the characters (or if they approach openly) they will shoot arrows from behind the arrow slits. However, they can’t fire directly at enemies at or past the broken gate. They will also shout loudly enough to alert their comrades in areas 4 and 6 that the castle is under attack.
2. TRAPPED HALL
Once the castle’s foyer, this wide hall makes a dangerous battleground. Doors stand closed to the north and south, with a crumbling mound of rubble partially obscuring the southern wall. To the east, a broad corridor ends in two more doors leading south and east. The corridor is cluttered with dusty rubble and fallen plaster from a partial collapse of the ceiling overhead.
If the goblin sentries in area 3 raised the alarm, the goblins and hobgoblins in areas 4 and 6 come running out of the north and south doors at the same time. They attack from both directions, trying to overwhelm the adventurers and drive them out of the castle.
Trap. The dusty plaster and rubble in front of the door leading to area 8 conceals a copper tripwire connected to linchpins hidden in the ruined ceiling. Spotting the tripwire requires a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of at least 20, or a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Perception) check if they are looking for traps in the area. Once spotted, it is easily avoided with no skill checks.
Any creature walking over or through the rubble without avoiding the tripwire triggers a cave-in of wooden beams and heavy stones. Any creature in the area when the trap triggers must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 bludgeoning damage from the debris (or half as much on a successful save). The noise of the falling rubble puts the monsters in areas 3, 7, 8, and 9 on alert.
Divide 100 XP equally if they avoid or survive the trap.
3. ARCHERS POST
This small room is littered with debris. The arrow slit opposite the door offers a fine line of fire over the terrace in front of the castle gates.
Two goblins occupy each of these two rooms. By taking turns shooting arrows and ducking back, both archers can fire each round at targets outside.
4. RUINED BARRACKS
The southwest tower of the castle is little more than a heap of rubble. Several ragged bedrolls are scattered across the remaining floor space, and a small, twisting passage leads east through the ruins.
Three goblins bunk here. Though the rubble appears dangerous, the tower is stable, and the eastern passage is safe.
Any loud noise here will attract the attention of the goblins in area 7. One goblin comes to investigate the disturbance. If it doesn’t return, or if it spots trouble and sounds the alarm, the others investigate.
caravans raided by the goblins along Thundertree Trail supply provisions for the castle. Old casks of salted meat and sacks of rotting grain fill this storage area. There are newer supplies as well, and among the supplies, you see a bloody suit of chain mail, a heavy crossbow, and an unsheathed longsword with the emblem of Thundertree Guard worked into its hilt.
Though the stores are not mostly edible by human standards, the goblins can tolerate them when fresh food is not available.
One small cask is filled with exceptional dwarvin brandy, which the goblins overlooked due to its size. The cask contains the equivalent to twenty glasses. A character who imbibes a glass gains 1 hit point, but a character that drinks 2 within 1 hour becomes poisoned for 1 hour.
Sildar’s Gear. The chain mail and longsword belong to Sildar Hallwinter. He is grateful if at least hit sword is returned, which reduced his Persuasion DC to 15. If his chain mail is returned as well, it is reduced to 10.
6. HOBGOBLIN BARRACKS
Four plain straw pallets and bedrolls are lined up on the floor of this barracks. Brackets on the walls hold a number of weapons—spears, swords, morningstars, and more. The north wall shows signs of damage, but the floor is swept clean of rubble.
Four hobgoblins are quartered in this room. Because their goblin neighbors are always fighting, they don’t pay attention to noise in areas 2 or 3. However, they are quick to defend the tower, or respond to an alarm raised in area 3.
Mounted on the walls are five spears, four longswords, three morningstars, two greatswords, and a fine quarterstaff. The quarterstaff is engraved with fine stylized feathers, is surprisingly light (1 lb), and worth 10gp.
7. BANQUET HALL
The western portion of the large hall ends in a wall of rubble, but the remainder is still intact. This must have been the castle’s banquet hall, with a soaring ceiling twenty-five feet high. Two large wooden tables with plain benches stand in the middle of the room, and a brass brazier full of glowing coals is tucked into one corner. Dirty dishes, half-full stewpots, moldy heels of bread, and gnawed bones cover the tables.
This hall holds seven miserable goblins and their leader—a fat, cantankerous goblin with 12 hit points named Yegg. If Yegg is killed, the others flee to area 5 or 12.
8. DARK HALL
Even by day, this area has no exterior light. The following text assumes characters have darkvision or a light source.
This high, narrow hall looks as if it might have been part of a chapel or shrine at one time. Angelic figures are sculpted along the room’s upper reaches, looking down on the floor below. To the north, heavy curtains block a matching pair of archways. Between the archways is a cracked but ornately carved stone brazier.
This chamber contains a grick—the pet of the goblin Lhupo (area 9). It climbs to a ledge hidden in shadows to watch intruders before dropping down to strike. Compare the grick’s Dexterity (Stealth) check to the adventurers Wisdom (Perception) or passive Perception score to determine who is surprised.
If combat erupts here, the goblins in areas 9 cannot be surprised.
The stone brazier contains a mound of coal, but underneath is a gold statuette of a sun elf (100gp) wrapped in crimson cloth. A goblin hid the figurine here. Any non-evil creature can ask it a question and receive a telepathic response, but this effect only lasts once per creature.
9. GOBLIN SHRINE
This chamber occupies the northern tower of the castle. A stone altar stands in the middle of the room, covered in bloodstained black cloth. Golden ritual implements—a chalice, a knife, and a censor—are carefully arranged on top of the altar. Two archways to the south are covered in heavy curtains.
The shrine is home to Lhupo (a goblin with 12 hit points) and two goblins that serve as his acolytes. They all wear filthy robes over their armor, but none possess divine powers. If the players fought the grick, the goblins hide behind the altar to surprise. Otherwise, they are kneeling at the altar.
The chalice, knife, and censor are human-made art objects with 150gp, 60gp, and 120gp, respectively.
10. POSTERN GATE
On the south side of the old castle, an overgrown path leads to a passage that climbs up into the wall. A large iron door stands here, sheltered from direct outside attack. Arrow slits ten feet above the ground overlook the path.
The iron door is locked. It can be opened with thieves tools and a successful DC 15 Dexterity check, or knocked down with a successful DC 25 Strength check.
Arrow slits. Any character who pauses and listens near the arrow slits hears, from area 7, an occasional clatter of crockery and angry goblins arguing over whether the dishes need cleaning. If they knock down the door, they come and look. If they spot them, they shout an alarm.
11. RUINED TOWER
Dusty canvas (marked with a C on the map) hides the northern entrance to this area, blending in with the surrounding stonework and rubble. A character with a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check sots a footpath leading to the hidden entrance. I they are outside and looking for a hidden entrance, it takes a DC 10 instead to spot the canvas “door”.
The tower is almost completely collapsed, although the ground floor still has a little open space. Rotting crates and ancient barrels show that provisions were once stored here. A heavy curtain blocks a crumbling area to the south, and an intact door leads east. To the north, a short passage through the rubble ends before a screen of canvas.
12. GUARD BARRACKS
The goblins here watch over the arrow slit, so characters on the east side of the castle will be spotted and attacked.
A stone brazier full of coals glows in the middle of the small barracks. Four straw pallets are lined up along the east wall. The wall to the south is collapsed, but a barred wooden door in that direction is still clear. A curtain hangs in an archway to the north.
Two hobgoblins stand guard in this room. At the start of the fray, one will run to warn Thorge, and they rejoin the fight.
13. OWLBEAR TOWER
The door to this room is held shut with a heavy wooden bar—a subtle warning that danger lies beyond. When the bar is lifted, the creature in the room awakens and lets out a terrible roar.
The arrow slits here are shuttered, leaving the room dark. The following text assumes they have darkvision or a light source.
The upper floors of this tower have collapsed to create a hollow silo at least thirty feet high, and the upper reaches of the room are lost to shadows. Dust, rubble, and broken glass cover the floor, and old worktables and bookshelves lie strewn to the south. In the middle of the room is a hulking beast that looks like a mangy bear with an owl’s head. It rears its head back and roars when it sees you.
If the characters throw it fresh meat and use a DC 15 Animal Handling, they can calm the beast and walk it to Thundertree, luring it with more meat.
If the characters open the door and stay out of its way, it flees the castle and attacks anything in its way (through area 11).
All that remains of the tower’s second floor is a jagged ledge, upon which sits a battered wooden chest. It is hard to see, and takes a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice. It has 90 ep, 120 gp, a potion of healing, a scroll of silence, and a scroll of revivify.
14. THORGE’S QUARTERS
Any character who listens at the door hears two voices in a heated discussion—a loud, growling voice demanding payment in harsh Common, and a silky smooth reply.
This chamber has been set up as a crude living space, with thick furs thrown on the floor to serve as carpets, old trophies hanging on the walls, a large bed to the north, and a brazier of coals burning brightly. A round table with several chairs stands to the south near the door. Near the table, on the floor, is an unconscious dwarf who looks badly beaten.
Thorge is a fierce old ogre with 75 hit points. He rules the goblins through pure intimidation. Age has stooped his massive shoulders and hunched his back, but he remains surprisingly agile and strong.
He is attended by Snarl, a Dire Wolf with 28 hit points, and a doppelganger disguised as a female drow. The doppelganger, Vyerith, is a messenger from the demon lord Asmodeus, come to collect info from the dwarf, a commoner who overheard two of Asmodeus’ follower’s talking.
If they have been warned of attacking adventurers, Vyerith hides behind the door to the northeast, leaving it open a crack and hoping to attack an intruder from the rear. Thorge holds the dwarf hostage, ready to kill the dwarf if the players don’t back off.
Arrow Slits. The arrow slits are 15 feet above the ground outside, and the creatures here aren’t keeping watch. They are unlikely to notice outside creatures.
Northeast room. This partially collapsed chamber was once a comfortable bathroom. It still contains a large tile tub.
Unconscious dwarf. Near the southwest corner is Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarf commoner who heard too much. He is stable but at 0 hit points.
If Thorge is killed, Vyerith tries to kill Gundren and flee, toward area 11 and escaping through the concealed canvas door.
Hidden under the massive stack of old bed mattresses is a stitched leather sack containing 220sp, 160ep, three potions of healing, and a mysterious note.
In the night of a full moon, under firelight, it reads (in Infernal):
Thorge, my pet. You will give me any information you think might affect my plans. You will be compensated.
Award an additional 200 XP if they escort the dwarf commoner to the town.