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Vecna and Devron went to meet with the Shieldsplitters. They traveled for a day, finding axes stuck in trees and trying to puzzle out the meeting location (the code was painfully primitive, but referred to common knowledge the Shieldsplitters shared that Caskbound didn’t.) A Shieldsplitter ambush caught them out, but Vecna persuaded the leader to go find a bigger boss, she had a proposal for glory for all of them. She was instructed to wait in a barn.

The next day she met Forkbeard Facestabber, and admired his crude magic hammer, Snoothammer (it was the front nose and fangs of a dragon, enchanted.) When she described how the goblins were attacking from the air like cowards, and they could be stopped on the ground, the Shieldsplitters put aside their gripe with Caskbound and agreed to go on this glorious venture. A retinue of 60 headed out that very night.

Scouting

Meanwhile Korvash caught up with the others at the bandit hideout. The Dan decided to go “scouting” and kill some goblins, and he took Korvash, Onexia, Tancred, and Gudrun with him. (They left Revelle to mind the beetles and make sure the humans didn’t hurt them or get hurt by them.)

Scouting involved attacking a group of goblins on a cliff, then finding another group on a cliff, but as the goblins sounded horns to summon more, the raiding dwarves withdrew back into the human hideout and worked on its fortifications.

Assault

Vecna, Devron, and the Shieldsplitters arrived before dark. That night, the goblins attacked, goading three trolls into rolling the rock aside and charging into the hideout. Gudrun and Korvash had used their enchantments to turn rocks into bombs, and they flattened the trolls. A combination of burning liquor, torches, shattered lanterns and hurled firebombs followed as the dwarves rushed out to burn the regeneration out of the trolls before they rose again, and before the goblins swarmed in.

As the goblins swarmed, the trolls were still being burned, but the Shieldsplitters surged and fought them off. The goblins withdrew, regrouped, and made another rush.

This time their morale was such that they pushed the Shieldsplitters back with superior numbers. The Caskbound dwarves leaped in and fought hard, reinvigorating the defense, and the goblins were driven out again.

The Caldera

The next day the dwarves marched out, shooting at airships and backing them off. The goblins withdrew their forces to the caldera, to face off against the dwarves there, with overwhelming numbers and lightning guns and airships.

Undaunted, the dwarves doggedly pursued. They reached the lip of the caldera and saw the goblin force, and the massive mechanical avatar construct lurched up out of the central shaft. The Shieldsplitters charged it, with Vecna, Devron, and Korvash trotting in their wake.

A quarter of the Shieldsplitters were incinerated by the defense field, and another quarter died in the close fighting, but they pulled apart the avatar Deus Volt and used individual weaponized walkers to gleefully terrorize the goblins.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Caskbound dwarves climbed up to an airship, took it over, outgunned another airship or two as they rose as fast as they could, and they launched an effort to take over the goblin’s biggest airship, with two gasbags and a long undership. After a short and brutal fight, they won in close quarters, and the airship was theirs.

Meanwhile Vecna led the charge down into the shaft to find Luck’s son; he was in a mechanical cage thing, and he kicked and screamed as they rescued him; he was well on the way to becoming a goblinish thing himself. They escaped before the self-destruct of the base detonated, frying most of the rest of the Shieldsplitters and most of the goblins.

The surviving Shieldsplitters wished to be named in Caskbound Ledger for their service, and such honor was promised. Then Caskbound returned the boy, and took their airship back to the Clanhome to knock off the goblin tech and replace it with proper craftsmanship.

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