While planning their raid on the Thistletop clan, Belor Hemlock introduces Shalelu Andosana. Shalelu is an elven ranger who helps keep Sandpoint safe by keeping tabs on the local goblin tribes. She brings disturbing news that the clans seem to be organizing across tribal lines. Sheriff Hemlock is going to lead a force to deal with the clan to the south. Shalelu will be leading a small band to the east. They humbly ask the party to take, what gathered intelligence suggests, the greatly weakened Thistletop clan. The ranger knows a hidden way into their fortress of brambles and briars. She will lead the heroes 6 miles north to this point.
When the team arrives, Shalelu removes the camouflaged covering that conceals the entrance. The heroes enter abnormally thick briars and thorns that have been carved away to make small, tight tunnels. They’re so small, in fact, that Li Quan must be very careful going through. His bulk barely fits and a false step would mean he would be shredded on the vegetation. The halflings, Anna Swiftbrook and Scotty, scout ahead and find a large chamber. There are growls and roars mixed amongst the sounds of the sea coming from a large hole in the eastern portion of the cavern. When the rest of the party catch up, Ilan uses magic to illuminate a stone and make it float in mid-air. They lower the stone to the depth that his magic will allow. When they realize that the shaft is much deeper that what the light can show, they dangle Scotty from a rope and lower him down. Ilan then drops the light which is promptly devoured by the beast. While Scotty didn’t get a good look at the thing, Anna’s keen eyesight reveals that it resembles a massive, angry otter. The heroes press on, ignoring the beast for now, much to Ilan’s dismay. Moving to the next chamber, it appears to be a kennel for the goblin’s mutant canines. Only four animals reside in here now. Anna sets a briar trap that might slow up anyone that would mean to release the hounds.
And then they came upon a rope bridge.
The bridge was incredibly rickety. It was obvious that the weight of the party all at once would certainly collapse the bridge. The plotting against the rope bridge commenced. There was talk of hammer-throwing a halfing across the 70 foot wide chasm to secure another rope to the other side. Though Anna and Scotty were against the idea at first, ultimately it was decided that Li would sprint across the bridge by himself, then pole vault the last bit with his bo staff. As the bridge was deteriorated and there could be patches of slick mold, Ilan was to use a magical push to give Li a boost if it appeared he wouldn’t make it. Doak Thunderskull was to anchor him by tying a rope around his waist. Li was fleet of foot and confident. He made a deft run across the bridge. Once he was within range, he expertly planted his staff on the slick planking and made a truly amazing maneuver to bound onto the mainland. Almost. Ilan misjudged his success. Ilan also misjudged his own magical might. He said, “He’s not gonna make it”. Just as Li’s feet were about to touch the ground, Ilan’s blast impacted him in the back, blowing him through the door and landing him almost dead in the room beyond. Doak was drug along behind, as if waterskiing, and splintered the planks of the bridge beneath his feet. Li and Doak appeared in what could only be described as a trophy room. Poorly preserved heads of dogs, horses, and other animals adorned the walls. Trinketry and assorted objects that most humans take for granted were displayed proudly. Doak was almost immediately drawn to a single piece of real finery in the room. A very fine woven rug with an ancient phrase meaning “Up” embroidered on the edge. Doak spoke the phrase as best his lips could manage and the carpets hovered off the ground. Goblins began to flood the room after the crash. Doak grabbed Li, flew out the remains of the door and into the wild blue yonder. The goblins tried to give chase, but some of them met their demise realizing that their footbridge was no longer in service. The rest of the party stared in awe of the dwarf and monk sailing through the skies.