In the morning the group continued deeper into the thistle grove expecting to find someway out onto the island. The wind was howling louder as the group found a hole leading to an under ground cavern. Ther was no discernable way down the hole, but it ended in water as far as anyone could see. Continuing the group came upon a kennel of goblin dogs. Four of the dirty beasts were tied to stakes (with about a dozen empty stakes left.) One of the creatures managed to pull up his stake but in the end the beasts were no match for the group.
Coming to a tee in the cramped thistle corridors the group took a left and ran headlong into a creature that looked like a leopard but with a black and red silky hide. The beast attacked the group but the group luckily got in the first hits and dispatched her before she could do any harm. However the fight drew the attention of another denizen of the thistle grove: yet another goblin but this time the foe was a bit more formidable.
A goblin came from further down the path armed with flame in te shape of a sword and a wand of some kind. The fight was breif as he quickly took enough damage to have felled any typical goblin that you’d encountered so far. He quick retreated by walking into the thistle wall, it seeming to magically envelope him. Looking around the area it seems that he was living in this space for sometime. Suddenly he appears in the thistle tunnel behind you casting a entangle spell. This slows down the group long enough for him to get away.
Once the group got out of the entangled area, they move up the other branch of the tunnel finally finding the exit from the thistle maze: a bridge from the mainland to Noggin Island over an 80 foot drop into the crashing waves below. In a fit of excitement Zelkerut, Ulfin, and Darius rush out onto the bridge and discover that it is rigged to fall! Only barely able to grab the bridge as it gave way they manage to climb back onto the mainland and rejoin the group but now this way onto the island is lost. From this vantage point you can see a one story structure on top of the island with two watch towers.
After assessing the situation, the group decides to climb down to the beach below and usng the touch of the sea potion given by Alistair Leto Darius ferries the group over the shortest distance. Climbing the island face isn’t a problem as the surface is pitted and handholds are plenty.
The structure on top of the island seems to have been cobbled together from debris of wrecked ships, some of the names plainly visible on the planks. Confident that no one is looking down from the closest watchtower, the group stealthily approaches the structure and once in position, climb up the wall to get an idea of possible entrances. From the top of the wall you see an open courtyard. As the group climbs in, the most noticable points are the blood stains here and there, the padlocked door to a small outbuilding (which also has planks nailed over it) and two dead goblins near the door, their skulls seemingly crushed. Ulfin identifies the sounds coming from the locked room as a horse. Surmising that the goblins are probably torturing the poor animal the group decides to release the horse after checking out the rest of the compound. The first forway inside the structure finds an empty meeting room of sorts and a privy. Ulfin’s sharp eyes spots the fact that the back wall of the privy is a secret panel which hides a sea chest. Nimbly avoiding the trap in lid, the contents are most likely the amassed treasure of the tribe including piles of coins, a fine scimitar, a bag of gems, and a few other items of note. Leaving the chest here, the group continues exploring the doors across the courtyard.
The group comes across the two watchman in the tower sleeping off a food binge and handily dispatch them. A room nailed shut is opened to reveal food stores (along with a broken pickle barrel.) The next room contains a group of surprised goblins as they were expecting an attack from the front. In the ensuing fight, the group once again comes out victorius. One of the goblins was banging on a door which the group find is locked. The group gets that door open only to find a small antechamber and another pair of locked doors. Those doors open on to a courtroom of sorts. Here they encounter Ripnugget, leader of the Thistletop goblins along with his entourage of goblin commandos, a war chanter, and his trusty steed: a giant gecko.
Initially, Ripnugget seems to want to parlay but this turns out to be a ruse for once he’s sized you up he orders his goblins to attack. Though the commandos and the war chanter prove to be mostly annoyances, Ripniggets jumps on his gecko and shows prowess in mounted combat but ultimately falls.