We left off last week with our hearty but tiring adventurers advancing down a set of steps in order to face a band of Hobgoblins. Leo had warned us he would be a late arrival tonight ... and did somebody say something about a spider?
At the bottom of the steps the adventurers found the four dead Hobgoblin Grunts from the previous ranged attacks, and now they also saw the remainder of the hobgoblin troops that had been hanging back from the ranged fire of the adventurers. Two Hobgoblin Soldiers stood with their backs against a well and directly in front of the party. Groups consisting of a single Hobgoblin Soldier with two Hobgoblin Grunts advanced from both the left and right sides. A single Hobgoblin Soldier stood behind the well and one Hobgoblin Grunt appeared in the far room, standing in front of a large cage that held a giant spider.
And so the battle ensued. The party had good luck mowing down the Hobgoblin Grunts quickly, which was good because the Hobgoblin Soldiers took advantage of their ability to get a defensive bonus while staying adjacent to each other. The Soldiers were able to get in their own blows as well and bloodied several party members, but it soon appeared that the party was gaining the advantage.
As the big fight started Maive fired an arrow and killed the Hobgoblin Grunt in front of the spider cage as he fiddled with the locked door, and the Hobgoblin Soldier that had been standing behind the well then made a run toward the cage door. Jenneth was able to cast a ranged spell that knocked the running Hobgoblin Soldier prone and temporarily immobilized him, so the spider remained locked in the cage (Leo arrived shortly after this point, so he didn't even get to be present when Jenneth executed the move of the day).
Oester took care of the Hobgoblin Grunt he was fighting and made a run to deliver a tremendous blow to the defenseless hobgoblin, and soon the Hobgoblin Soldier was no more. And soon the remaining hobgoblin's finally died as well, but along the way they put up a substantial fight to the group of weary fighters.
The party listened, but there were no footsteps, no calls or commands to attack, just the panting breath's of our heroes. As they looked around the room they saw an open door on the west wall, the room with the spider cage (and a still live spider) to the north, and a passageway east that lead down a short hallway to another room that also had a well in it. Around them on the floor they saw:
9 Hobgoblin Grunts, each wearing leather armor, a light shield, and a longsword.
5 Hobgoblin Soldiers, each wearing scale armor, a heavy shield, and a flail.
Oester investigated the west door that turned out to be a room with three empty beds, some of the party killed that spider while it remained trapped in its cage, and some kept guard on the hallway to the east. Besides the weapons and armor listed above the party found no magic items, but did find 44 GP and 21 SP, and each party member earned 185 XP and another Action Point.
The party opted to not advance further at this time, taking a five minute break to catch their breath and to discuss what to do next. Given that the party now had just about ~2.5 full hours of dungeon time during which they have experienced extensive fighting, the decision was made to take an extended break. The decision was to withdraw to the secret room at the top of the stairs ... no one else in the dungeon now had managed to find the secret door before and there was enough room for everybody, so the party moved back up the steps and secured themselves behind the secret door.
DM Notes: An extended rest is ~6 hours, plus the rest would give our characters the ability to move up from level 1 to level 2. The players spent about an hour reviewing their characters and the choices allotted - 1->2 gives each play an additional Feat, a 2nd Level Utility Power, and we had agreed that players could pick a background that would go into affect when they went up the Level 2 as well.
Some players had already done some homework with regards to leveling up, others not so much, so it was a good opportunity for everyone to discuss options, definitions, rules, and interactions, essentially allowing all the players to level up like their characters. Re-reading their character information, race and class data, and powers gave the players a chance to review their characters abilities, and most of the players that had already leveled their characters up opted to make a few last minute tweaks. There were a few more "I forgot to count that" kind of statements made as well, but the best part was all the group members working together to discuss the finer points of the rules and keeping all of us in sync.
During the extended rest the party members had heard someone or something walking around outside. Goblinoid voices could be heard to say "There's no one here" and "I think we ran them off" and there was even some scratching at the outside of the secret door, but the rest was uninterrupted.
At the end of the rest period the party heard no noise outside, so they crept out of the secret room and back toward the stairs. As they moved down the stairs they could see the dead bodies of the various hobgoblins, but the armor and weapons had been removed. The bedroom to the west was still unoccupied, the spider to the north was still dead in its cage, so the party moved down the hallway to the east.
As the party started down the eastern hallway something behind the well in the room ahead of them ... most likely a scout that panicked, started to whimper and crawl down another eastward hallway behind him. Jenneth was able to nail him from afar, and again the silence resumed.
As the party moved into the room they saw a well in the middle of the room, a door to the north, a long hallway to the south, and another hallway that continued east. Oester investigated the door to the north and found another room with several beds in it but otherwise empty, and as the rest of the party moved toward the east hall they found the carcass of a Hobgoblin Grunt.
Down the east hallway the party saw another passage that led south and a little further beyond that were a pair of doors facing north. As the party started to move down the hall a distinctive click was heard as the doors ahead were pulled snugly shut. The party moved down the hallway to take up positions outside the north-facing doors ...
Scoreboard: The XP tonight takes the characters up 2055 XP, 195 short of Level 3. The money count is up to 2180 GP and 414 SP. Dungeon time is ~2.5 hours, plus 6 hours for extended rest. Maive picked up a long sword as well.