Not that this is very different from any other day, but in this case, Dunkirk prayed to find out what was going on.
One of the side passages was discovered towards the back of the cave, and in it was a small house. The house, made of three rooms, had been the scene of violence. The front room had what appeared to be guards that held off an attack, but succumbed eventually. The middle room was undamaged, and had shelves of scrolls. The third was a bedroom with a crib. The baby inside had died of neglect, and the parents were nowhere to be found. Nearby was a statue of Ulraini and a figure of Zon (sized for a child to hold). Robes of brown and red were throughout, but largely undisturbed. It was if the only victims were those in front, and a lone child in back.
By the bed was a bar of silvery-white metal, partially formed into a sword blank. The metal is odd in its lightness, and it was obviously being hammered using the priestly techniques common to the followers of Zon and Droashi. And, yet, it too had been abandoned.
So Dunkirk prayed.
And, suddenly, the ground shuddered and Droashi spoke. This city was a shrine dedicated to the followers of the earth god, and it had been defiled. Kobolds, goblins, and orcs all had participated in the slaughter, and Droashi wanted the area cleansed. Dunkirk was the first priest to come along, and was charged by divine authority to destroy the infidels. A channel to Govannon and Ogrini was granted, so that their power could be used deep in the underworld, until all the defilers were destroyed.
As eight wandering goblins meandered by, Dunkirk went into a frenzy, and with help from Rashe and Aoife, all the bodies were floated downstream to be eaten by the salamanders and shrimp of the river. 35 iron tics were removed from their bodies, to deprive others of the spoils of battle. The iron, substandard, seems to be fit only for currency. Even so, there hasn’t been a lot of it so far.
The bridge, with the burning fish, seemed to be a likely point to find more goblins, and so everyone started down the river, the cart sloshing along as the donkey continued to be disgruntled about a lack of food and warm legs. Aoife is sent ahead to scout the bridge while Dunkirk tries to manage the donkey (to keep it quiet, if nothing else). Aoife saw a processional crossing the bridge from the right to left, made up of well-dressed goblins, kobold guards, orcs in priestly vestments, and a single gnomish victim bound to a pole. She came back, and everyone started looking for alternate entrances. Taking a back passage down the river, Aoife saw a cave that could be of interest, but another of the crawlers lept onto her head, and Dunkirk and Rashe worked to free her. Dunkirk was poisoned, fell into deep water, and nearly drowned, but Rashe and Jezebel fashioned tethers from the kit ropes and pulled everyone back to the cart to safety.
Arrows and Rashe’s sword dispatch another monster, but it had no treasure stash. With half the group injured, it was decided to go into one of the side passages past the bridge, hold up for a while, and recover. Rashe dispatched two priests in a room with a bubbling lake of ichor, pulled everyone into the hallway, and dealt with repeated, but sporadic, attacks by goblins. Rashe dispatched more goblins (with bows) but damaged his sword, and Aoife honed her ranger skills of killing creatures that despoil forest lands. This time the pouches of iron tics were thrown into the river to rust, along with bodies that are probably clogging up some river passages by now.
Four more goblins and two giant spiders later, the passageway back to the river was impassable. Rashe was tired, and nobody else wanted to drag spider bits into the river, so everyone moved back into the ichor room and camped for the night. Rashe and Aoife did a security sweep and found a small hallway and hidden door. Worried about the potential for ongoing damage, Aoife attempted first aid on Jezebel to provide magical support, only to nearly kill her. In an effort to save her, Aoife worked her skills on Dunkirk to make him fit to provide medical services to the rest of the party. Instead, she nearly killed him, too. Rashe leapt in, undid the damage to Dunkirk and Jezebel, and succeeded with divine inspiration to give Dunkirk the right aid to rouse him, making him fit for medic duty.
With little else to do, after resting, it was decided that it might be a good idea to investigate this side passage behind a secret panel.