The party convened at the nearby inn, the Green Tankard Tavern, to wait for Loudwater's resident wizard, Curuvar the Brazen. Curuvar brought the Horn Totem to Garwan's Curiosities, and Garwan suggested that the party meet up with him to gather further information. Curuvar was not present when the party entered the tavern. There they met the proprietor, Marsh Laval, Sunsteen Urbeth, and the Dragonborn Paladin Shamash N'Gath.
Marsh Laval immediately offered the party some basic information about Curuvar and made small talk about the recent unexpected weather north of Loudwater. It is just past High Sun in the Faerun and it seems that the cold season may be coming quite early this year. There were even reports of blizzards from some hunters who passed through town recently.
Sunsteen Urbeth, a Loudwater citizen and assistant to the town's Magistrate (Caslin Gemnis), was in the South Square when the Goblin raid began. He is a balding man of about 30 and walks with a noticible limp. He considers the party heros, since their actions allowed him to escape the attack with his life. He is going to put in a good word with the Magistrate and mentions that should the party run afoul with the town guard, he may be of some assistance.
Samash N'Gath also happened to be in the tavern awaiting the arrival of Curuvar. He traveled to Loudwater after having a vision of his god, Kelemvor, where the diety told him to seek out the local wizard. Amduscias took an immediate interest in the paladin when he mentioned his story and invited the dragonborn to join him at a nearby table.
Shortly, Curuvar entered the tavern. The eccentric wizard was the spitting image of the fantasy book spell caster, with his long beard, robe stitched with stars and moons, pointed hat, and staff. Curevar paid little attention to the party of adventurers and sidled up to the bar. Marsh identified the man as Curuvar. The party approached and inquired about the horn totem and the goblin invasion. Curuvar instead gave them a test: If the party can retrieve the Skull Totem from the Goblin barrow, located in the Southwood in the ruins of the dwarven kingdom of Ammarimber, he will tell them the legend of the Ogre King.
The party sets out towards the Goblin barrow using directions from Curuvar. As the party approaches, the discover a walled courtyard. The entrance to the courtyard is marked by a gate in the shape of a large Dwarven head. As the party scans the courtyard looking for some sign of an entrance, Zath notices one of the rocks across area seems to be situated in an unnatural way. The party started across the courtyard to explore, but set off a false-floor pit trap. When Grahlok, Shamash, and Amduscius step into the area, the ground collapses. Ghalok is able to jump out of the way, but Shamash and Modryth both fall into the pit, sustaining some damage.
Combat begins, as the two have fallen into a room inhabited by a number of Goblin Skullcleavers, Warriors and a Hexer. The halfling rogue (still unnamed?!?!) and Modryth successfully use their acrobatics skills to avoid damage jumping into the hole. Grahlok thows himself down the hole and sustains damage. More sensibly, Shatmo and Zath explore the rocky area and find the secret entrance.
Here are some pictures of the combat:
The Party engages the goblins in hand to hand combat.
A view of the combat from the goblin hexer's point of view. He had just blinded Shamash.
Combat from above.
Zath sets off another pit trap and ends up surrounded by hungry dogs! He was able to use his Fey Step to teleport out of the pit before sustaining too much damage.
The party is able to take care of the goblins, even though the hexer tried to escape using the strange disk on the floor. He was only temporarily teleported and ended up in the same square. A few members of the party also attempted to use the magical device but with limited success.
The role-playing section in the Tavern went well. The party was able to interact with some of the Loudwater locals and make some contacts. A few very minor seeds for possible future adventures were planted.
The combat encounter was SLOW! I think things will get better as the players become more familiar with their characters and I get more comfortable behind the DM screen. The challenge was fairly difficult (2 pit traps, 4 minions, 3 brutes, 3 skirmishers, and a controller), so it's expected that the party take a bit of a beating, I suppose.