"I guess I'll beat the bejesus out of the paralysed guy." — Officer Randall.
In which our heroes learn that the arm of the law is both long and somewhat arbitrary; the mysterious and powerful paladin doesn't do shit; a drugged up hippy is rescued from the dragon guys that took him captive; the plot thickens once more.
Barbara's twin penchants for apples and larceny finally proved to be her undoing as she was accused of stealing apples from a starving family and remanded into a makeshift cell for a few days to allow resentment to simmer down. In the meanwhile, a raven had flown into the Mayor's office and delivered a message with Latro's (the local druid) voice: "Captured by kobolds. Send help." With the aid of a map found while
pilfering investigating his cottage, and a somewhat compunctious Sam in tow, the remainder of the party set off to rescue Latro.
Evil was afoot in the forest, however. Just beyond the border of the woods a pair of goblins were spotted having an argument about ambushes. Attempts to sneak up on them went awry, and the party was thrust into a vicious battle where it soon became clear that there was more to these goblins than met the eye: they dodged attacks with uncanny speed and shrugged off blows that would fell most goblins in an instant. Things only got worse as first one, then the other shapeshifted into terrifying beasts. Fortune smiled upon the party however as stray firebolts and scorching rays ignited some dry kindling on the forest floor and Sam finally managed to make his presence felt in battle, causing one of the beasts to flee and slaying the other, respectively.
Reaching the old Dwarven fort where Latro had been captured the next afternoon, our heroes wasted no time in charging in impulsively, with Salazar at the fore having slid down a staircase. This worked to his advantage, as a hastily improvised performance and speech managed to win him the support of the gathered kobolds, exchanging Latro for the promise of help to rid the "North-Eastern Den" of goblins and some "shinies".
Unfortunately, Latro had been drugged while in the custody of the goblins, restricting his ability to cast magic or change shape. However, when captured he was in the middle of a vital mission: tracking a coven of hags, the same hags believed to have been buying the prisoners from the goblins; in his weakened state he needs the party to accompany him to confront the hags. In the day since his rescue he has been slowly recovering his powers, but the forest itself has been growing hostile as the party moves deeper and deeper into its heart…