Well, they finally managed to clear the top of the island. First off some mistakes I made:
1. The rogue climbed up on the roof and listened at the guard posts. My first mistake of the night. The section the horse is in is uncovered so he should have been able to see the goblin dogs and could have possibly unleashed ranged death upon them.
2. I missed drawing some doors on the map. This didn't make a huge impact but kind of blows it for immersion.
3. In Ripnuggets room I only put him there on the throne. Rayzo entered from the eastern door, saw him and waited for me to call initiative rolls. I didn't and let him know that Ripnugget was not acting aggressive in any way and wanted to parlay. They move into the room spreadout and the bard moves 4-5 spaces south of him. As soon as they are done initial moving I place all the other gobs in the room as if they were hiding behind the pillars. The mistake is, the warchanter had a wand of silent images and is supposed to hide everyone behind it until they get close. grrrrrr.
4. After defeating him they prepared to enter the courtyard with the goblin dogs. Remember mistake #1. Yeah, this is when I tell them the courtyard is open to the sky. The group looks at me, "why didn't you say that earlier we could have ranged them to death." Since it was getting late for Will so he asks, "can we have a couple of us climb up and just assume we shoot them down with ranged?" At this point I am feeling dumb with the mistakes I have made and say sure. Moving along they hit the latrine room and the rogue makes his search check for secret doors find the treasure room, doesn't search the chest for traps, and tries to open it. The trap misses it's attack. The others have the key and open it. I didn't even ask which way they turned it. Mainly because I forgot to, but afterwards figured what was the point. The trap was triggered. They would have just bashed it in.
5. After clearing the top they go back for the horse which Will calmed down with some food from one of the barrels. They left Thistletop to head back into town. Um, the bridge is still trapped and I planned to trigger it. Except I forgot about it.
Whine, rant, whatever, here it comes. I have no DM'ing experience whatsoever. Generally for rules I favor the group just so we are not stuck spending an hour looking something up and discussing if a dancing lights spell can blind someone. (real issue that came up) After the play session I spend the time looking it up and let the group know my findings. So when it comes up that I decide something on the fly that goes against the group I have to defend my ruling. It wastes time and causes friction. Part of this is my fault as I seem to be unprepared for the groups intellect in doing things. I know that comes with experience but it is frustrating. The rest of the fault I feel is with the ones that want to argue back on the ruling. I had to put my foot down when Matt wanted to argue that the dancing lights would blind someone. He argued his maglite thrust into your face would blind you. Really? A 4 D cell Maglite puts out 23,000 candle power. That means 23,000 candles would have to be 1 foot away from your face to get the same effect. Dancing Lights puts out light similiar to 4 lanterns or torches. A kerosene lantern puts out 12-25 candlepower of light. So yes, a Maglite will blind your ass. A torch/lantern will not. It will be annoying to have four of them float just in front of your face, but that's it.
To make up for my errors last time I will be planning things out as much as I can. Since the bridge wasn't trapped for them last time it will be this time. The main gate is closed and lookouts have been posted. Once they realized what happened topside he had the gate barred and the watchposts manned by two goblin commandos and a bugbear in each. Seriously pissed that Sandpoint sent adventures up and slayed Ripnugget, Nualia had the bugbear fortify the fort while she went down to pray to Lamashtu. She knows it is only a matter of time before the group comes back and will be planning something for their return should the bugbear prove useless.