Twas a cool evening in Brindol, cooler than was usual for this time of year. The normal humidity that hearkened the arrival of the late summer rainy season was noticeably absent. Tonight, as is common in this part of town, local folks had gathered at a quaint tavern on the corner of Main. A sign hung above the door, with the title “The Antler and Thistle”, etched into the wood. The bar keep, Vlad Muzatchik, a grizzled human male, as stout as the ale he served, was wiping mugs with a cloth and keeping an eye on his patrons from behind a well worn wooden bar.
As the members of Ut Victor Spoilum rest from their travels, they discuss business and the matter of the new hires. Suddenly, the front door of the bar is blown off it’s hinges and a squad of hobgolbins rush in. Swinging wildly at the nearest unsuspecting civilians they shout “For Sinruth! For the Hand!”.
Lornak jumps into battle first with his keen reflexes, slipping behind a table and out of sight. Pyrrhus gets up and charges a hobgoblin attacking the bar and misses. Aodan touches a gold piece to a stone in his pocket, and a spectral archer appears next to him. Leaping onto a table, he flings a shiruken that kills the hobgoblin that Phyrrhus missed just moments before. Artemis moves in on a hobgoblin and severs the poor sap’s head with a swing from his greataxe. Croaker runs toward the pack of civilians at the front of the bar, grabbing the nearest one and pushing him to safety. Ardwinna, incorporeal as she may be, launches two very real arrows at two targets; one finds its mark, the other falls short. Carmen fires a shot from his longbow, but misses. The civilians at the bar, only now reacting to the danger, begin to panic and run. Additional hobgoblin re-enforcements enter, including a goblin carrying torches, who chucks a lit torch at the bar, setting it ablaze.
The hobgoblins continue to assault the unarmed civilians, and one takes a swing at Croaker, but he deflects the blow with his shield. Lornak draws his crossbow and fires at the unsuspecting hobgoblin who had just attacked Croaker, taking the villain out of the fight. Pyrrhus reacts quickly to the fire, and leaps atop the bar to pull the bartender to safety. Aodan flings another shiruken into the melee, but misses. Artemis decapitates another hobgoblin, and then in a blur of motion charges into a second, killing two hobgoblins in mere seconds. Croaker swings his longsword and adds to the quickly rising death count with another lifeless hobgoblin. Ardwinna fires two arrows from her longbow, which both strike true on the goblin carrying the torches, felling him as quickly as he had entered. With no threats present, Carmen uses the brief pause in battle to begin ordering the civilians out of the bar; they seem receptive to his commands and start running for the back door. No sooner had the civilians move away from the front of the bar, when more hobgoblins crash through the front window and blow out a portion of the back wall, filling the bar with fresh troops.
A brave (or foolish) hobgoblin rushes in and body-checks Croaker, toppling him to the floor. Around the bar, another hobgoblin swings fruitlessly at Ardwinna, but other blades find purchase in Lornak’s and Aiodan’s backs. Yet another goblin carrying torches arrives, and lobs one at Carmen, setting his clothes on fire. Lornak conjures a cloud of darkness with his Drow magic and blinds his two hobgoblin assailants before slipping away and killing one of them with a shot from his crossbow. Pyrrhus moves to counterattack the hobgoblin that just injured Aodan, but misses. While it’s destracted by Pyrrhus’s attack, Aodan flips over the hobgoblin and out of reach, before planting a shiruken in it’s head. Artemis sees the hobgoblin gloating over Croker and takes the momentary distraction to cleave the hobgoblin in twain. Croaker, wet with a fresh coating of hobgoblin blood, gets to his feet and rushes to aid the injured bartender, stablizing the burned man. Ardwinna backs up and attempts to fire at the hobgoblin attacking her, but misses. Carmen unleashes a lyrical assault on torch bearer who had set him ablaze, his clothing, however, remains on fire.Hobgoblins continue to pour into the burning bar, attacking both Carmen and Aiodan, reminding them the hazards of adventuring. In the scuffle, Artemis is hit by a lit torch, and he too begins to burn, as the fires in the bar begin to spread.
Lornak unsheathes his mace and brains another hobgoblin. Pyrrhus flows through battle and kills a hobgoblin that was menacing Carmen. Aodan chucks another shiruken, but misses. Artemis decides to answer fire with fire, and unleashes a gout of flame from his mouth at the two goblin torchbearers, but only minorly singes one of them. He follows his flame breath with a swing from his axe, but misses as the fire on his armor sputters out. Croaker grabs the bartender and attempts to move him away from the fire that is rapidly consuming the bar, but finds the bartender too heavy to move on his own. Not wasting time, Croaker charges the nearest hobgoblin and squewers him on his longsword. Ardwinna fires an arrow, misses, fires a second, and hits. Carmen utters a word of bardic magic and heals himself, then unleashes a vicious psychic assault against one of the goblin torchers, critically ridiculing him. In the heat of battle, however, Carmen knocks a bottle of spirits over and only worsens his fire situation. The fires in the bar begin to spread even quicker now, gaining purchase in the old, whiskey-soaked wood and creating a wall of flame down the middle of the bar. Croaker finds himself the target of a burning torch, and ducks behind his shield for safty. Sadly, the shield is wooden and he, too, is now on fire.
The combatants find that they’re rapidly running out of space in which to continue the fight, and begin to retreat. Croaker returns to the injured bartender and singals Lornak and Aodan over. Lornak, singed from the leaping flames, grabs the barman’s legs; while Aodan and Croaker grab the arms. Maybe the exhaustion of the battle had begun to set in, or maybe the heat from the fire was sucking all the air out of the room, or maybe Croaker should have hired a couple of Fighters instead of Rogues, either way, thier combined strength was still not enough to carry the immense man more than a few feet before colapsing. Artemis and the goblin he was fighting glance around at the encroaching fire, and with a fierce glare of unfinished buisness, the two break away from each other; Artemis leaping over the fire, and the goblin scrambling out the broken window. Croaker, still trying to save the dying bartender, pulls him a few more feet before giving up and makes his way twoard the back door, brushing off the fires on himself. Ardwinna takes note of the retreat, and follows the rest out the back door. Pyrrhus, with his natural affinity for fire, runs into the blaze, in order to cover the rear of the retreat. Carmen speaks another word of bardic magic to heal Artemis’ wounds as he, too, retreats.
The fire seems to almost chase the party out of the bar, further burning Carmen, Aodan, Artemis, Lornak and Croaker while the rest of the goblins retreat. Pyrrhus follows the group out the back, unaffected by and seemingly unaware of the flames. Croaker notes that Carmen is looking rather badly burned, and helps the bard extinguish the flames, and says a firm word of inspiration to the bloodied Aodan. The seven regroup at the back of the bar to catch thier breath, watching the bar burn itself to the ground.