High Country Adventure!

Session 04

Fourth Session Summary:

GAME CALENDAR/DATES — 9 days have passed (25 AUG – 03 SEP 1300); Start 03 SEP 1300

Session Introduction: It’s nine days since the party met with the defacto Baron of Harland, Merrick Paxton Harland, and two days since the party entered the lowest caverns after descending the mineshaft. Of the ten entryways on the walls of the shaft, so far only three have been explored: the one leading to the uppermost level with the octagonal “light” room, and the southern and western passages at the bottom of the shaft.

Thus far, the party has run afoul of oversize insects that seem to thrive on the fungus and molds of this deep area and the warm (almost hot) mineral springs. Also found were two kobold mining parties, one of which was quickly dispatched and the other captured and later released after providing only minimal information.

The party returned to the mineshaft and now decided on whether to take the passage heading north or the passage heading east…


Session Summary: It seems as if the party came close to bitting-off more than they could chew, but as their teamwork started to solidify and they began to understand the battlefield, their potential and prowess started to make them look like they could stand toe-to-toe and eyeball-to-eyeball with an invading kobold army.

The party did choose to take the north passage deciding to keep with their developing pattern of route selection — always to left. They party worked their way through a narrow, rough-hewn passage filled with crumbling rock. This path, however, showed signs of passage with overturned stones and shoulder-height scratches on the rock walls…signs of kobolds shouldering spears or picks.

The party’s rogues, Callie and Martha, took to scouting ahead and found another mining party busy at work. The party decided to talk to the kobolds and took a lot of efforts to be friendly, even having Micha speak to them in a lizardly hissing sound he called Draconic, the language of kobolds and supposedly spoken by dragons as well. While things began to look like they were working, it was either the sudden appearance of the heavily-armed and armored Iorveth or Callie’s not-so-casual readying of her crossbow that they didn’t like and a fight broke out.

Short and sweet this fight happened to be with two kobolds wielding knives that looked more like kitchen utensils and given that most of the kobold miners ran away down some other passages, the party did manage to take one prisoner.

While we learned that the kobold “boss” here was names “Ssss-lik,” before Bart could ask him any more questions of value, another kobold threw a rickey, spider-filled cage towards Iorveth and Micha that fell short but spewed a huge mass of spiders that started attacking the group. Seeing that cage fly apart and the spiders run amok must have been too much for that beaten kobold because he bolted between an opening between the cave wall and Bart, but Bart’s quick reaction tripped him up and foiled his escape.

Callie single-handedly engaged that vermin handler while the rest of the group was busy with the spider swarm that was now loosed upon them. Whether it was Bart’s unconventional plan of tossing the fleeing kobold into the middle of that hungry swarm seemed to satisfy their frenzy, Saleigh‘s mutterings and the appearance of water trying to drown the spider swarm, or Callie’s two crossbow bolts that struck and pinned the cage-tosser to the cavern wall like a poorly-hung costume, the spiders’ scattered and no longer appeared to be a threat. Io, per normal, did snatch one of the drowned and singed spiders as yet another souvenir. Between ant mandibles, cockroach wings, and trinkets from these lizardly-like creatures, he’ll have quite a collection to show Marcus Dagfin once all is said and done!

Despite the fight, the party chose to press-on and noticed that the tunnel turned into a well-crafted stone passageway, well beyond the skill of these kobolds. Some noted that it may be Dwarven in origin, but no clues could be found.

The cavern opened-up into a huge underground chasm that had a wooden footbridge go off into the dark where no one could see where the bridge ended. Bart chose to go first and while feeling a bit dizzy, ended-up making it to what seemed to be a platform atop a large pillar of stone. Once there, he was hit by something coming out of the abyss from the north that nearly knocked him ten feet and would have knocked him completely of the platform and sent him falling thirty feet down into the wavering shadows if it wasn’t for a well-timed grab. Io ran out to help his comrade and avoided the same large stone that clobbered Bart, but this time coming from the west. The two pulled themselves up and the stone came again from the north and went in an arc heading back to the west.

As Bart and Io were deciding what to do next, the remaining party members came to see what they might be able to do. Saleigh somehow spotted a kobold to the north who was grabbing and hurling a very large stone crudely carved to look like a skull that was suspended by a thick rope from the ceiling. It seemed as if the people on the platform were some kind of pin that the kobold was trying to knock-off and into the chasm below. While no one could yet be sure, everyone was thinking that to the west, further along the rest of that footbridge, another kobold was catching the rock and tossing it back towards the platform. Bart found that to be true once he crossed the last footbridge segment, and he found three other kobolds as well.

Io tried to stand-up and come to his aid, but was also caught in the side by the stone and was knocked off the pillar and fell thirty or so feet down to the bottom of the cavern into the source of the chasm floor’s wavering and shifting dark shadows. His injuries might have been more severe if the oversize worker ants hadn’t broken his fall. Good thing he fell onto the ant trail and was covered in ant goo, though, otherwise that really big ant might have chomped at him like the ones in the other cavern.

Martha ran out to the pillar next to see if she could help Io get out of the cavern while Callie, Saleigh, and Micha were busy trying to eliminate one of those kobolds swinging that stone back and forth. Martha ran across that bridge like it was a solid stone floor and bent in ways and dodged that still-swinging stone that only those very few gifted with extraordinary reflexes and flexibility could manage. Never again will eyes see how a human could run at a dead sprint, stopping instantly and immediately bend so far backwards that the back of their head nearly touched the ground only to flip-around on hands and feet to stand straight-up in less time than it takes to blink. Either way, Martha was able to get a rope out of her pack and start lowering it to Io as the ants continued to march around him and over his boots, no longer seeming to mind his presence.

It was only a matter of time for Bart to kill the four kobolds on his end of the cavern and for the rest of the party to kill the others thereby letting that foul swinging skull-stone to lose its momentum and eventually come to rest directly over the center of the platform. However, after a breather, the party again noticed exquisite stone working on this side of the chasm. It looked as if this was a larger room of some kind, but some kind of geologic weakness allowed the floor to collapsed and create this huge chasm — all except for a pillar with some of the original floor stonework to remain in the middle of the cavern.

When the group again started moving, they examined two doors on the west wall of the circular-walled room. Upon touching the doors, the all but crumbled to splinters and sawdust under the slightest touch, long since rotted away from the inside. The party chose to take the door to the left, entering a hallway with more doors also in very poor condition and some side rooms that were all empty.

In their excitement to continue forward quickly, Bart and Io inadvertently stumbled and each stepped on a stone covering a hidden pressure plate that shot thick, pointed stone stakes out of holes on the adjacent walls. Only with dumb luck did the two manage to escape without injury. Martha volunteered to scout ahead and found a total of eight of these pressure plates and was able to easily disarm seven of them with Saleigh marking the one trigger that defied Martha’s attempts to tame it.

The corridor continued and ended in two rooms, one large, one small, but Bart noticed that air flowed from the joist of where the floor met the small room’s eastern-most wall. Saleigh noticed that the stone might just be a door, and with Martha and Callie’s combined efforts, a secret passage was found that led into a very large, 50′ × 50′ room that lit-up list the upper floor’s octagon room. However, the southeastern corner of this room had crumbled away and an alarm was raised by kobolds who soon came spewing forth.

A large and very heated battle ensued where the party beat-back two waves of attacking kobolds before fighting their way to a position between the room and cavern where they took-up a good defensive position instead of rushing too far into the cavern — all except Bart who stepped just a few feet too deep into the kobold’s kill zone. Despite taking a serious beating, Bart managed to pull back into the party’s main defensive area where the kobolds’ overwhelming advantage in numbers was negated by the natural choke point. While it took some time, the kobolds were slowly reduced in number to the point where Io broke-through into the cavern and challenged the kobold’s leader (was this Sslik?) to a man-to-kobold fight whereby the kobold shot out a quick knee-breaker attack and ran towards the cavern passage to the east where he earlier in the battle directed a runner to leave with a message.

As the kobold leader ran away, Martha ran after him, further wounding him, but getting hurt herself in the fight. Martha managed to slow the kobold just enough to allow Callie to get into the cavern to take a well-aimed shot that caught the kobold in the back of his neck at the base of the skull that pushed him forward into the darkness where a cry of surprise followed by a sickening crunch and splat indicated that the kobold toppled off a cliff in his attempt to escape. He had a small coin pouch on him with only a few silver and copper pieces in it.

After taking a long and well deserved rest, the party heard more sounds coming from the cavern, but these weren’t kobold sounds nor were they kobold voices…these were humans.

The kobolds were keeping two human males as prisoners or slaves: Anton Nicolau and Lago Cibran. Both were cut, bruised, emaciated, and not in the best of shape. Their clothes were shredded from too much time rubbing against rocks, and their nerves were shot. While both were frazzled, Anton was in better physical and mental condition than Lago, and for good reason. After talking about his capture, the party realized that Anton was on the same ambushed caravan as the party, roughly eighty or so days ago.

Lago had already been a prisoner for what he thinks were about three or four weeks before Anton arrived. Lago said he had been captured outside Dale Falls and was bound, blindfolded, and dragged to this place where he’s been a “dirt slave” since that time. While things got better for Lago after Anton’s arrival, the food portions became smaller.

Poor Lago could hardly talk in complete sentences anymore, so severe were his beatings. He could only babble about all the kobolds that were running around and the work he had to do with the eggs in a different cavern. He said the eggs were large, somewhere between a dinner plate and bowl size, maybe larger or maybe smaller. He didn’t know who the leader was because to him, anyone was of higher station in the kobold world, but he did know that the one kobold who fell off the cliff after Callie shot him was one of the higher-ups he’d seen down here. He knew he had a special place in a different cavern (the one with the eggs) away from the rest of the kobolds who held spears or who held picks. He said he’d be willing to take the party there as long as they don’t beat him and keep the kobolds away from him.

Now only the passage to the east remains, and Lago doesn’t like the idea of us going there…

End of Session XP gained per party member: 1350

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bkherl

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