After waiting a while, the group decided Allele should have returned by then and set off to find him. Cromartie tracked him to the river and saw his bootprints heading into the water. Taking his walking stick to check the depth and the end of a rope secured by Fyodor, he started across the water to check for tracks on the other side. He only got a few yards before the cold stream piranha attacked him, but he was lucky in that Fyodor pulled him out before he was too badly injured. Pavel killed one of them hanging onto Cromartie’s leg, but received a nasty bite on the thumb by another. The group surmised that Allele had been dragged down by the fish and was lost.
After a good bit of debate, it was decided to keep watch on the bridge during the night and set up a decoy camp to fool any goblins that came looking for the party. Roger and Cromartie took the river watch just upstream from the stone log bridge. The rest of the group was back about a hundred yards from the water and 50 yards from the trail, with the false camp between them and the path.
As night fell, clouds rolled in and the wind picked up. The air grew chill and rain began to fall in driving sheets. A miserable night to be out in a dead forest made of stone, with no fire to keep warm by. Martin and Pavel rested to regain their spells while Fyodor and Gregor kept watches.
It was too dark to see properly, but the scouts did their best to at least listen for activity. At one point during the night, Cromartie heard movement from the direction of the bridge, but couldn’t discern any details. A bit later, the louder sounds of several people or creatures came hurrying down the trail toward the bridge. Nothing molested the camps, though.
Shortly before dawn, the sounds of several goblins leaving their base and crossing the bridge was heard again. A few shadows could be seen in the pre-dawn light, but nothing else. Cromartie was bleary from his turns on watch, so he tried to grab a quick rest while the others discussed strategy.
It was decided that several of the group would hide nearby and Pavel walked straight up to the bridge to force the goblins’ hand. The response was arrow fire. Pavel, wounded but still on his feet, managed to retreat off the logs as Roger shot one goblin archer who was peeking above the barricade. Martin cast a Sleep spell at the gate and saw at least two foes fall. Fyodor advanced towards the bridge, sword and board in hand as two wolves came running at him out of the fort.
While Fyodor fended off their attacks, taking a few bites in return, Roger sent his hound to harry the creatures at Fyodor’s side. Just then, several more goblins came charging down the path from behind the group, led by a warg rider! The leader charged Martin and wounded him with a spear. Cromartie fired several arrows, all finding their marks but failing to penetrate. Roger shot at the wolves on the bridge, wounding one. Pavel interposed himself between the mage and the warg rider, allowing Martin to retreat sufficiently to cast Sleep on the foot goblins behind the leader, felling them.
Pavel healed some of the damage he’d taken from the arrows while fighting off the wolf. Fyodor killed one wolf and its body dropped into the river, food for the piranhas. Roger killed the rider and the mount was dropped moments later.
Pavel then cast a Light spell on the eyes of the remaining wolf on the bridge, blinding it. In a panic, it fell into the water and was quickly dispatched by the voracious fish. Roger and Martin set about the grisly task of cutting goblin throats and searching the bodies.
That done, the group crossed the bridge and entered the gate, finding several sleeping goblins. They dispatched them and saw another chamber adjacent to the entrance with a dead goblin in it. It was the one Roger had shot. As the party debated its next move, the baying of wolves was heard from ahead in the darkness!