We started the session with Altei opening the door to the throne room, seeing a bunch of goblins, and running away to find the rest of the party, who were over in the courtyard arguing about some dead goblin dogs. She convinced most of them to come back with her to take on the goblins, although June, Noggin, and Zakhar stayed behind to investigate some horse noises coming from a shed.
Spoiler alert: It was a horse.
At any rate, the party found that the goblins were holding that door closed too, but Elsie and Kaito managed to shove it open, and they pressed their way inside.
Ripnugget: "How dare you barge into my throne room, and murder my people! Just like a longneck."
Altei and some of the others were confused -- wasn't this the goblin who'd been attacking Sandpoint?
Ripnugget: "No, that was the Birdcruncher clan. We threw them out."
Altei: "Oh no, we have the wrong people!"
Kaito: "Oh come on! We know he's working with Nulia. He's her boyfriend!"
Goblins: *shudder at the thought*
Phoof tried to negotiate with Ripnugget, and he pretended to play along while denying everything, and his court wizards kept casting short-term buff spells.
At this point June came along, having heard the shouting from the courtyard, and did a 'burning hands', killing two goblins and badly injuring two others.
Ripnugget: "Ahhhh! KILL THEM ALL!"
Phoof: "Noooooo! Stop fighting!"
Phoof cast an entangle spell over the entire room... and the hallway, and the next room... entangle is kind of unavoidable when cast indoors. Which is probably why you normally can't, but as a plant herself she's able to cast it anywhere, using herself as the plants to entangle everyone with.
It didn't stop the fighting, even though it did end up entangling most of the party in a tight group, perfect for the enemy spellcasters to pelt with spells. They opened with a Glitterdust (which didn't blind anyone except for Elsie, who had blindfighting anyway, and some goblins -- oops!) and then did a Blindness spell on June to keep him from retaliating.
Kaito tried to charge across the room to get to the spellcasters, since he hadn't been entangled yet, but goblins dropped from the ceiling and formed a wall protecting them. And then he was hit with a Hideous Laughter, and shook it off just in time to be paralyzed by a Hold Person. He never actually got to the far side of the room.
He did manage to get roasted by June's blindly cast burning hands, since he was stuck right in the middle of the room. Noggin -- who was acting as June's targeting system -- was a little more careful after that, and the followup burning hands spell managed to miss him.
Elsie and Altei decided to try to take care of the goblins hiding in vines up near the ceiling, with limited success at first. The spiked pillars in the room were harder to climb than they looked, and there wasn't much to stand on so Altei kept falling back down. Phoof ended up putting most of the ceiling goblins to sleep, and Elsie finally took the rest out once she shook off the blindness.
Val and Ash made a good accounting of themselves as well, Val screeching at a few goblins before breaking out of the entangle and trudging across the room to stab an archer to death with her trident. Ash cast an 'Aggressive Thundercloud' at Ripnugget (who was invisible and trying to escape) which she directed around the room to zap other goblins after he got away.
Yeah, the boss got away. Altei was hot on his trail, and eventually managed to provoke him into making an opportunity attack and break his invisibility, but by that point the rest of the fight was over and he ran down the stairs, and Altei didn't want to follow him too far on his own.
His spellcasters didn't all make it out, though -- Zakhar finally showed up, after freeing the horse, and threw a bomb at them, basically. It looked like at least one did turn invisible and ran for it successfully, though.
At that point, Val managed to calm Phoof down enough to cancel the Entangle, now that the fight was over, and they gathered in the front hall to regroup. June and Noggin decided to head back to town -- June was still blind, and would be until he got a priest to heal him, which limited his effectiveness. Also, the party was completely dysfunctional.
The rest headed down the stairs to the next level of what was obviously a dungeon, not just a fortress. At the bottom of the stairs was a room with many doors, several of them open and one of them blocked off by boxes of dog fur shoved in front of it. Kaito wanted to go that way, while Elsie wanted to go the opposite way. Usually, the party settled this sort of disagreement by splitting in half, but this time everyone except Elsie went with Kaito, leaving the monk all alone to explore a torture chamber and some side rooms.
Wait -- not everyone else went with Kaito. Val opened one of the other closed doors and found a room full of caged goblin babies. "Mine now," she said. "I'm going to take them back with me to the ship."
Ash: "They can be our new crew."
Kaito: "I've heard goblins make decent legitimate businessmen."
Behind the furs was an ancient, abandoned storeroom full of crates, with rusty goblin weapons and armor and rotten food inside.
Val: "I'll give all my children knives. When there's only one left, I'll know that he's the strongest."
Ash: "She. We only let women crew our ship."
Kaito: "Excuse me?"
Ash: "Ahh, don't worry Kaito. You'll always be a girl to me."
The tunnel past the storeroom was suspiciously... polished. So they decided to sent Altei ahead with the crate of rotten food to set off any traps or monsters. It opened up into a similarly glassy cave, open to the sea -- the place where Noggin had found the tentacle monster?
Val: "Mom? Is that you?"
They pushed the food into the middle of the room. Nothing happened, at first, and then suddenly it vanished, snatched by lightning-quick tentacles and dragged into a dark corner... and then spit out, shattering against the far wall.
Everyone: "AHHHH! RUN AWAY!"
They ran away and pushed the crate of furs back up against the door. Altei tried another door (that was locked, piquing his interest) and found the leader of the hobgoblins -- one of the architects of the coming invasion -- and his harem of goblin girls. Luckily (?) he had never turned off his Hat of Disguise, and still looked like a goblin.
Hobgoblin: "You! Bring me a plate of your finest food!"
Altei: "Of course!" *closes door*
By this time, Elsie was back, and rejoined them, following Val and Kaito down one of the hallways that had started out open.
Kaito heard something behind a door, but couldn't make it out... Elsie had better luck. It was a guy, a human male, talking to himself as he read out of a book. They positioned themselves around the door, and threw it open.
Man: "What? Who are you?"
Kaito: "Who are you? And what are you doing here in the goblin fortress?"
Man: "What are you doing here? This is my home!"
Kaito: "We're here to kill the goblins who burned down Sandpoint."
Man: "That was the Birdcrunchers."
Kaito: "Fine, we're here to kill the goblins who are *going to* burn down Sandpoint. We know they're all plotting together."
Man: "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't just kill you now!"
Kaito: "Honestly? You probably should."
Phoof: "Nooo! Stop talking!"
Phoof stepped in to negotiate, and managed to get them to not stab each other right at that second, although the man -- a Mercenary hired by the goblins to protect the settlement -- ejected them from his living area, backing them into the central chamber.
Val tried to buy him off, although she wasn't sure how much to offer or how to discreetly ask how much he wanted, and Kaito made more threats, but it looked like they were going to get out of the fight peacefully, until the noise disturbed the hobgoblin general, who opened the door and stepped out, to see the entire adventuring party milling about.
Hobgoblin: "Oh crap!"
I found the game amusing. So did many of the other players, by the end. Phoof's player (Cassandra) was not so amused, since we kept ruining her attempts at negotiation, and various other people got pretty pissed at various times during the session. I don't *think* any of it was unrecoverable, but I don't know most of the people playing as well as I'd need to to be sure of that. :/
It is clear that the large, unwieldy party is large and unwieldy.