High Country Adventure!

Session 05

Fifth Session Summary:

GAME CALENDAR/DATES — 3 days have passed (04 SEP – 07 SEP 1300); Start 07 SEP 1300

Session Introduction: Three days is what it has taken the party to recover after the big fight. After taking some time to go through the happenings since everyone headed down here. A few more puzzle pieces fell into the party’s lap, but the whole picture is still obscured.

  • No big money stash down here where the most heavily armed kobold soldiers lived, so it must be somewhere else assuming it exists. What could be more important than the armory and barracks down here in these caves?
  • Human “dirt slaves” brought in to take care of the kobolds waste. One was good enough at first, but a second was brought-in fairly recently. Was there a need for more workers because of increased (or soon to increase) work loads?
  • The party has learned about a leader kobold named “Sslik” who seems to be the top-dog, err, top-lizard down here. Is he (or she?) the same kobold who led the caravan ambush that knocked the party out those many weeks ago?

The party has eighteen days of rations remaining, but that will go faster now that there are two more human mouths to feed with Anton and Lago joining the crew and needing protection.

While Anton can “pay” for his way by helping carry the load, he doesn’t look like he’ll do well in a fight right now. After a few days of good food, good rest, and basic fighting training, he might be able to hold his own against the kobold runt soldiers, but not against those beefier kobold pikemen.

As for Lago…well, he’ll have to earn his keep by giving the party information he may remember after being down here for the past three or four months. However, his frame of mind is very fragile and his physical condition is just as bad. It remains to be seen if he’ll even survive to get back to camp let alone to get back with the party to Trindam’s Pass or back to his own life in Dale Falls.

Then again, the party only has about twelve more days to get back topside and link-up with Nodwick, Baron Harland‘s man, before he has Wilham and Oswald (the two porters) break camp and head back to Trindam’s Pass. Miss that deadline and Nodwick heads back to the baron and the baron in turn looks for the party’s heads.

So, now back to the mineshaft to take a look into that eastern passage, but is it too early to begin thinking about how to best climb up that mineshaft?

And if that is the current debate, the follow-on discussion will be questioning if it is also too early to begin thinking about what the party will tell both Baron Harland and Marcus Dagfin about this expedition, let alone give-up all the hard-won trophies everyone has collected.


Session Summary: As the party continued to recover after fighting two large bands of kobold soldiers, their investigation of the local areas and questions of Anton and Lago led them to believe that they stumbled upon a large barracks “cavern” of sorts. It looked as if these kobolds were preparing for some big operation to kick-off really soon, but that wasn’t the only surprise down there.

It seems that the kobold that Callie’s shot pushed over the cliff edge was very different from the others. Not physically, that is. After all, he WAS still a kobold, but compared to some of the rest of the brutes in lying around, this one was of slighter build but with garments, armor, and accoutrements that would rival those of any well-to-do citizen back in Trindam’s Pass or even the barony’s chief city, Aspenwood. But if this wasn’t enough, this particular kobold also had a signet ring on him, somehow marking him to have some status in this group, but the symbol on this ring was mostly destroyed after he fell. Io collected the ring (with the kobold’s finger) and his decorated shield (nothing more than a serving plate in size) and deposited

The party went back to the mineshaft with their two new tag-alongs and decided to take the last corridor to the east despite Lago’s objections. Io gave the two a days worth of rations each and Saleigh calmed them down as best as she could before the party began venturing down the east passage.

After travelling only a short distance into this cavern, the party spotted one kobold that obviously spied them first. He already had a stick with a stone fastened to one end of it that he used to start rapping on the ground slowly at first, then faster and faster until a swarm of giant rats the size of very small dogs appeared from the shadows and came running towards us. As these rats came towards us, the rat master disappeared into the shadows as another two revolting rats the size of large guard dogs followed the smaller swarm.

While Bart seemed to be snipped and snapped to no end, the rest of the party handily defeated the rats, but lost the rat master in the dark. As they closed towards the place where they last saw the rat master, the rapping again began from a dark corner or passageway, but this time it was answered with kobold war cries as two large groups of them spilled out of two caverns.

These groups, however, were much smaller and less well-armed than those we’d met earlier, but they fought with a ferocity and tenacity that almost put the other group to shame…and we later found-out why after we moved the twenty or so dead kobold bodies that blocked the corridors they were guarding — fall of them female kobolds we noticed after the fighting was concluded.

Each of these two corridors ended in a small cave chamber, but both chambers were warmed by some kind of geothermal hotspot. The heat in these chambers was needed to incubate what we estimated to be about one hundred fifty or more really large eggs, one clister of which looked as if it was getting ready to hatch.

The eggs (see below), were shaped like normal chicken or goose eggs, but they were each about a hand-span long and speckled like the one shown below. While we don’t know if kobolds lay eggs to reproduce, we were positive that these eggs could not have come from these kobolds.

Egg shell 01 Egg embryo 02b

Micha, Saleigh, Bart, and Io decided to each take an egg. Bart, so excited that the eggs might be dragon eggs, used his axe and chopped into one yielding a small, lizard-like creature with stubby winglets (see above). Everyone was convinced that they had stumbled upon a dragon hatchery.

It was at this point that the rat master again made his presence known, and with a lot of teamwork, the party surrounded him and isolated his escape route before he could do any more damage. Trapped and after seeing what the party did to the rest of his fellows, he chose to take his own life rather than risk being captured.

However, there was one corridor that remained unexplored…and Io led the way with Bart following. Bart, however, was not having the best of days. Maybe it was because all the rats had earlier snipped and snapped at his feet and he was feeling a bit off his game, but Bart ended-up tripping over a pile of rocks that broke a glass vial and released a cloud of poisonous gas in his general area and spread over Io and Micha as well. While not flammable, it did sap the strength of these three for a short while until the cloud dissipated. We pressed forward knowing that a trap of this sort wouldn’t be used unless there was something important at the end of the corridor — and we weren’t wrong.

We found what appeared to be a small office of all things. A kobold office complete with a desk, torch, sconce, papers, books, quills, and (as Callie discovered) a small locked wooden chest. We didn’t have time to tinker with the chest right away, so Callie stuffed this into her pack for later inspection.

We all returned to the central mineshaft and given that we had more than six people in it, there seemed to be some kind of pressure plate that was tripped because the four doors at this deepest level started closing as slabs of stone started lowering from the rooftop inside each passage to the floor. At the same time, the odd little grubs came slithering along the cavern floor and entered the mineshaft from each exit before the doors sealed themselves.

The party had to climb its way out as these grubs began to squirm and slither all over our boots and began biting and burrowing into the cracks and seams of our clothing, beginning to devour our flesh. Thankfully none of us fell as we climbed our way up and out of the mineshaft, Martha leading the way at a pace and with the grace and ease none could match…unless they were part spider! For those who couldn’t clime, especially Saleigh (who still seemed to be favoring one arm and hand) and Anton were pulled up by Bart, Io, and Callie.

Lago never made it out of the mineshaft nor did he even have a chance to try and climb the rope. The sight of these grubs terrorized him so much that he began to stomp, yell, shout, and attempt to kill the dozens of tiny creatures swarming around him, only exciting them and enticing them to attack and eventually devour him.

Everyone else made it up the shaft, albeit some worse for wear, and met-up with Nodwick, Wilham, and Oswald at surface camp. After a good night’s rest, the group headed back to Trindam’s Pass with their new-found trophies. A few days later, the group was attacked by a large band of over two dozen kobolds, including a sorcerer.

The kobolds ambushed the party and took the upper hand quickly, again launching fire shot against the group from slingers in the same way the party was ambushed three months ago when they first made their way to the Trindam’s Pass area.

As the kobold groups converged on the party attacking and incapacitating Io, sniping at Callie, and moving to overwhelm Micha, Saleigh went berserk and ran directly between both groups and in her fury, unleashed a huge surge of magic that decimated all but a hand-full of attackers and caused the remaining four kobolds to flee back into the woods.

The party returned to Trindam’s Pass a few days later to the warm welcome Marcus Dagfin prepared. It seems Marcus was expecting the party — probably because Nodwick sent Wilham during the night to tell Marcus the party would arrive the next day. Marcus was extremely pleased about seeing everyone and tickled pink when Io began pulling item after item out of his bag: ant mandibles, a giant cockroach wing, bioluminescent mushrooms, and the huge rat fang. Most exciting to Marcus were the kobold artifacts, including the dagger and short sword, shield, signet ring, and the papers found in the office. Marcus said that it would take him a few days to arrange for them to meet their financier, Baron Merrick Paxton Harland, and give him a report as well as have the party collect the rest of their payment.

During the next few days, the party members adjusted to town life once again, except Bart who went back into the woods to live off his remaining rations despite the oncoming winter. Micha spent a lot of time not working a day job, but trying to decipher the letter Callie said was locked away inside the small chest she took from the kobold’s office. Callie also gave the chest to Saleigh telling her it was full of a lot of coins, likely taken from caravans and unwary travellers.

A day before the party was to meet with Marcus and the baron in order to collect their fee and render their discovery, Micha read the contents of the letter (written in Ikoharic, the Dragon language as he told them).
Driss letter ikoharic


Driss letter common
As the party was finishing-up reading and discussing the letter, Marcus joined them and apparently heard the last snippets of the conversation. It scared him so much he left the inn for a while, only to come back in later and tell them about old books that told of a new rising of enemies from the mountains who would rise-up and vanquish any who came. He also told them that the baron was going to see them the next evening and they really needed to tell the baron of their findings.

The next evening, the party met Marcus at the Mountain Goat Tavern & Inn as previously arranged and he took them to the house where the baron was waiting, recognizing some of the same men the baron brought with him last time. However, this time, they met a baron with a different tenor and tone — one who was overwhelmed with the responsibility of running the barony at such a youthful and inexperienced age.

The party told the baron what happened and discussed the letter they had found with him. The baron let the party into his confidences and said that he had heard similar wild rumors, but this new information and the hard evidence the party had now placed before him. He commissioned the party to go on a deep reconnaissance into the mountain highlands to find what they could of kobold forces massing in the wilds and preparing for an assault. While no fee was set, the young baron did agree to get the party horses and equipment to have them set-out on their journey.

The next day, the baron arrived in town — officially this time (and not under the cover of darkness and disguise) and with all the pomp and circumstance afforded by his office. He was greeted warmly and genuinely by the people of Trindam’s Pass and was taken into the Mountain Goat Tavern & Inn for a brief time to talk to the town’s leaders about their future and his plans for their town confirming the rumor that he was going to build a stronghold in the area starting in the spring.

Martha, Io, Callie, and Micha were in the tavern as the baron delivered his message with Saleigh back to tending horses in the stables and Bart in the countryside outside of town somewhere. The baron made no notice of seeing or knowing any of the party members, but instead spent his time talking to the official and formal town leadership with the unofficial, informal, yet very influential leaders standing closely nearby.

During the audience, a dispatch rider came bolting into town almost running down three people getting to the tavern in such haste. He had a message for the baron, but despite its urgency, he was told to inform the baron in private of its contents. Mike Luit, the tavern’s owner, led the baron to his back office where the messenger followed, exiting a few moments later, once again in a hurry to be on his way.

Io happened to see the baron through a crack in the door as the messenger was leaving. The baron looked as if even more sorrow and responsibility was heaped upon him, doubling the load he already was carrying. In that same moment, the baron motioned for Io and the rest of the party to come in.

He told them that he had to leave immediately and he’d have to conclude the business with them quickly. The baron needed the party to now investigate and confirm the message brought to him by the dispatch rider that the town of Boisen Springs had been overrun and sacked by “little lizard men.” The baron mumbled to himself saying something like “…so this is how it starts…”

The baron then stood-up and tossed a pouch of 150 SP for equipment and payment on the table and said that the pouch’s contents was all that he could afford to equip them with for now and that they needed to depart as soon as possible. He did state that he left payment for six horses for the party to use at the town’s stables.

He also asked for one of the town militia sergeants to come in and told them that he would be authorized to procure and produce any armor or armament from the militia’s armory that the party needed to equip themselves in order to conduct a special assignment deep in the mountains. The militia would be paid a fair price for replacement equipment if any was taken.

And with that, the party saw the baron take a deep breath, compose himself, and make his way out of the private room back into common room where he made pleasant small talk and apologized for his abrupt need to depart, but promised to return in the very near future to conclude his business in town.

And the party began making its plans to depart for Boisen Springs as soon as possible…

End of Session XP gained per party member: 1825

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bkherl

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