When last we left the Licktoad Pirates, they had arrived at Tidewater Rock. The ballistae on the guard towers tracked them as they sailed past the front of the fortress. The goblins decided a frontal assault was suicide. The continued sailing, around the island and contemplated a different plan: a stealth assault from behind. The Licktoad Goblins would take a dinghy under the cover of darkness and make landfall on the far side of the island. They would cross the fields and orange groves until they reached the back of the cover. In the middle of the night, with the light of the waxing moon partially obscured by clouds, they were undetected as they approached the tower.
Captain Spack Jarrow cast a fly spell upon Brodo Faggins and he flew up to the top of the tower. Meanwhile, the monkey goblins climbed, helping their comrades up the side. As soon as they were at the top, Captain Spack Jarrow dropped a silence spell to cover the roof and Brodo Faggins killed one of the two patrolling guards. The other goblins took out the guard on the opposite side. The roof was theirs.
They made their way down the stairs and into the main dining hall. Being the middle of the night, it was deserted. Brodo Faggins checked the door to the other room and entered, finding a lady asleep in her bed. He moved to slice her throat. She survived the initial attack long enough to scream, undoubtedly waking others in the tower, but was killed before she was able to get out of bed. Captain Spack Jarrow removed her head and tossed it down the stairs, towards the commotion they heard of the other residents rushing to aid their Lady. His ultimatum was simple: Surrender or Die.
While the rest of the goblins awaited the tower’s guards by the bottleneck of the dining hall door, Brodo Faggins utilized his fly spell to fly out of the tower’s window and take pot shots at defenders rushing by the arrow slits. He felled two before the tower’s major domo reached the dining hall, enraged by the mutilation of his lady love. He attacked Captain Spack Jarrow with fury, but fell to the combined attacks of the Licktoad Pirates after only striking one blow. The two guards accompanying him managed to fire two shots from their crossbows, but fell as they turned to flee.
The rest of the defenders, including the tower’s servants, believing they were overrun, surrendered. The Licktoad Pirates were victorious and Tidewater Rock was theirs.
In the aftermath, they discussed what to do with the servants and guards. The two elderly servants and the goatherd would stay at Tidewater Rock and tend the crops and livestock. Their ward would be taken to the Sea Spite and locked in the brig for now, despite his protestations that he would gladly serve as a cabin boy. The remaining guards would be pressed into service as well. As the sun rose, a pirate flag flew over Tidewater Rock.
The swift victory of arms probably would not have been possible with conventional PCs. Goblins have mega bonuses to stealth and the monkey goblins have a climb speed (rather than need a skill to climb). The adventure never considers the group might attack at night from above (and neither do the residents of Tidewater Rock; it’s a remote tower home rather than a proper fortress). What was supposed to be an encounter of guile and diplomacy turned into a slaughter, but the end result was the same: the PCs cracked Tidewater Rock and now had a home base from which to operate in addition to having a ship.
For their level, these Goblin Pirate PCs are underequipped, but are so badass, I can see them totally derailing this adventure path at some point. Of course, not everyone will remain ignorant of their cover-of-darkness stealthy ways forever…