20 Eleint, DR 1486
As the Ogre advances, Titan quickly strings a rope across the passage, just at ogre-ankle height. The ploy works, the Ogre falls to the ground with an echoing BOOM and Titan cheers and gloats. From further back in the caves, another Ogre voice calls out. "Nob? Are you ok?"
Korotir, Atarah, and Natalia waste no time in attacking the downed Ogre, stabbing with spear and blade and divine fire. The Ogre is tough, however, and rolls to its feet, making a grab for Atarah on the way. He attempts to use her as a club against Korotir, but loses his grip due to the slick mud and ends up tossing Atarah twenty feet down the corridor instead. "It is not nice to throw people!"
Natalia, thoroughly grossed out by nude, muddy ogre, calls down the sacred fires again. The Ogre falls with another boom.
"NOB!" Another Ogre – a female – loomed out of the dark in revenge or defense of her mate. Enraged at the sight of her crisped mate and Natalia's still glowing form, she swung her club and connected with a heavy thud.
The darkness beyond is lit by flashes of fire and squealing goblin voices. Other taller forms are silhouetted by the eldritch flame. Every so often, arrows hiss out of the dark, aimed by Natalia's light. The Ogre Wife is slow but tough and hits hard; Korotir breaks off a spear in her hide. Korotir and Atarah are getting the rhythm of each other's fighting now; staying close to duck behind or interpose a shield.
When the Ogre Wife finally falls, it is to the sight of flaming bats flying in dizzy circles, charred goblin corpses, and a small running figure out of the dark.
"Hi! Hi! Titan, is that you? I want to join your party!"
"Korotir, how hard did that Orge hit me? Pretty sure I'm seeing double."
The villagers stream out of one of the back tunnels, led by a cloaked man and a woman in armor. The woman is another Paladin from Atarah's class of trainees, Aliza. The other introduces himself as Tranled.
The leader of the villagers, Morak, informs the party that two of their number are missing, but that the rest are injured. Arrangements are made for Envar and Titan to escort Morak and the other villagers back to Nightstone. The rest of the party, including Aliza, Tranled, and a halfling named Nano, search the caves for the missing villagers (and their gear, in the case of the three newcomers). One of the villagers, a Tiefling named Destiny, seems very interested in Titan.
Searching the rest of the caves, the party encounters a tunnel with stripped-clean goblin skeletons. Natalia recalls information about things that could have done that, including Black Puddings (and not the eating kind) – and that sometimes they're invisible. Party is grossed out and gets very suspicious of the otherwise clean cave. Atarah scoops up gravel and starts tossing it in small handfuls to check their forward path. Korotir retrieves hacked-off Ogre fingers and copies her.
Pudding erupts from a porous stalagmite in the center of an area in the tunnel. The party quickly discovers that stabbing at it just makes more of it, and it eats pits into their gear and dissolves clothing. Korotir moves to protect Natalia and Atarah in her frustration tries a smite. Their new friend Tranled killed it by submerging his hands in the ooze and blasting it with fire.
By the time that fight is completed, the party is tired and grumpy. Atarah is upset that her father's sword is damaged, Korotir that his shield is. So when they find the goblin leader, Boss Hark, they're in no mood to negotiate – well, except Natalia. Boss Hark has a cage of giant pet rats, who are eating what is definitely a villager.
Atarah tossed an overly ambitious goblin who claimed the party were here to kill Hark at Boss Hark's head. He ducked, Natalia negotiated, Tranled shook on it… only his hands are burning and then everything up on Hark's platform is burning too, including the tiefling. Atarah offers a congratulatory hand and a divine burst of healing.
The victorious party rescues the remaining villager (Daphne Featherstone) from her captivity, divvies up Boss Hark's treasure hoard, and heads back to Nightstone.