ur party took a moment to contemplate the logistics of actually fitting it’s larger members through the entryway. After some maneuvering, the issue was overcome. The stairwell itself offered slightly more room than the doorway, allowing Krömm Thanek passage by way of uncomfortable hunched crab-walk, and Yurm on all fours. Spiral stairs wound down and down into the earth, completely upsetting any sense of direction the party once had above. They party descended for some time before they reached the bottom. An unlit narrow passage stretched on before them, and they followed it down using their darkvision.
They came to a simple wooden door, swollen and decrepit from many years in a damp earthen tunnel. Aldo tried the handle. It was locked. Norvi was preparing to knock it down with his hammer when Krömm stepped in, lockpicks in hand. A few shuffles of the pins, and the lock fell open.
The interior of the room was spartan and plain, and had walls of earth like the tunnel before. Two kobolds waited inside the darkness, sitting side by side in front of a door across the room. They appeared to be on guard detail, but were obviously sleeping. The one on the right began to wake and stretched it’s arms. Before the party could agree on a course of action, the kobold spotted the them and nudged his sleeping mate. Norvi acted fast and loosed two arrows in rapid succession. The first struck true, hitting the groggy kobold in the gut. The second clattered noisily on the door behind him. This spurred the second kobold to action, and he began to load up his sling while the first dragged himself through the door. The party poured into the room after them. Just then, a door on the left of the room opened, and 3 armed kobolds wound spears and sling bullets at the party. Krömm took a bullet to the forehead, but the spear hit only the earth behind him. He pulled back his bow to return fire, but must have been dazed from the head trauma, for he pulled his bowstring to the breaking point. Suddenly, a ray of frost struck him in the back of the skull, worsening his already pounding headache. He didn’t see where it came from, but Aldo did. He pointed at a door on the left of the room which was ajar. Krömm strapped on his punching dagger and charged the door while Yurm was making short work of the kobolds behind him. With three sternum crushing blows from his flindbar, he sent the little warriors careening head over heels to whence they came. They collapsed in a pile of scale and fur, and were still. At this point Aldo had delivered a killing blow on the second kobold guard, and was pursuing the one that escaped. He opened the door he escaped through, and saw him dragging his body down another long tunnel. Norvi loosed another arrow, striking the thing in the spine and ending him. Punching dagger equipped, Krömm raged toward the cracked door from which a scaly clawed hand had emerged. As he approached he could see his target; another kobold sorceror similar to the one from Abasha’s. He thought he saw an opening and took his shot. It was sloppy, and the kobold had plenty of time to shut the door, causing Krömm to bury his punching dagger deeply into it. He strained once to pull it free but failed. He gave up and moved away from the door lest enemy catch him off guard. He cursed his poor luck, and wondered what his new associates were thinking of him. “I might as well be called Krömm the Worthless,” he mused quietly to himself. Aldo made his way back into the room and helped him pull his punching dagger free. He decided to check to make sure Yurm’s attacks had done the job, and found Yurm madly pulverizing the small pile of 3 kobold bodies with his flindbar. Yurm decided he was finished, but Krömm was unsatisfied. He pulled the top two now mutilated corpses off of the third. It was largely unscathed from Yurm’s “insurance”. It certainly looked dead, but Krömm takes no chances. He reattached his puching dagger, and struck with all his might to the back of the kobold’s neck. It severed the spine clean and removed the head, causing it to roll across the floor. The kobold’s decapitated body convulsed wildly as blood spurted from it in large quantities. Krömm took no pleasure from being right this time, as his bigger failings still nagged him hard.
The party regrouped, and turned their attention to the door on the left, from which the kobold sorcerer still had not emerged. Aldo opened the door to reveal a shimmering barrier blocking the portal. Aldo was not too familiar with kobold magic, but he figured it can’t be all that impressive. He ran at top speed toward the thing and crashed into it. It made a strange sound as he bounced off of it, landing hard on the ground. Norvi fired a few arrows at it. They too were deflected, and landed harmlessly on the ground. Out of ideas, the party decided that all spells have a limited duration, and they would just wait it out. While they did, they searched the room that the reinforcements had come from. It was essentially a hole in the dirt with rags and blankets strewn about, as filthy as the earth they were piled on. The room stunk of kobolds, and was obviously some kind of sleeping pit. They had apparently caught the nocturnal creatures totally unaware. They looted any valuables, and went back to the barrier. It soon dissolved, and the party went in the room. It was some kind of alchemy lab. Bubbling calcinators, and half filled vials were scattered all about on low tables, but no sign of the robed kobold. Norvi found 4 scrolls on a table and picked one up. He was immediately electrocuted! Aldo guessed that the kobold must have escaped through a secret passage, and he asked Norvi to look around for a secret door. Norvi paced the room feeling around. He reached a corner where his hands told him there was something that his eyes could not see. He was confused, but not for long. He felt something warm and scratchy on his face and then… ZAP! Electricity flowed through his face and Norvi collapsed upon his singed, smoking beard. Just then, the kobold’s invisibility spell wore off and he was revealed, his arm still outstretched from his shocking grasp attack. He nervously looked about the room and the party moved in fast. He was subdued and bound for questioning. Yurm was the only speaker of draconic in the room, so he translated the various threats Aldo was issuing.
The sorcerer was silent to their questions about what lay beyond in the lair. He only stared down Aldo with an intense hatred burning in his eyes, muttering the occasional curse or screaming “Filthy gnome!” He struggled violently against his bonds, and gnashed his teeth trying to reach Aldo’s face. Norvi moved up and clasped his meaty hand around the thing’s neck, squeezing hard. He promised to let go only when the mage was ready to talk. At last, when it seemed his trachea was mere moments from crumbling, he made some gesture that indicated his cooperation. Norvi let him go, and the kobold took his time to catch his breath. When he was finished, he opened his mouth to speak, but instead freed his hand and swung at Norvi, raking his cheek with small claws. Hope in his eyes, he began to slip out of the ropes. Just as he freed his second arm, Norvi’s new warhammer soared down upon him shattering his skull into more pieces than he could count on two hands.
The first rooms clear, the party took the chance for a brief respite. Norvi gathered up the scrolls he was eying, and Aldo managed to find 4 complete, stable potions. The vials were unmarked, but Norvi considered drinking one to see if it healed him. Aldo cautioned against it, but wasn’t about to stop him. Norvi gave it some thought and decided against it. The four then explored the hall leading to the rest of the lair. Halfway down the hallway there were two rooms across from each other. Each was of spherical shape with a single pedestal standing in the center. A single clasp was in the center of each pedestal, and each clutched a ring. Aldo poked around the pedestal in the left room while Norvi searched the earthen walls. He found a hollow wooden tube subtly poked out from the wall every few feet. He was examining one closely when Aldo decided he wanted the ring, and yanked it from its clasp. A trigger was released and the wooden nozzles filled the room with a thick green smoke. Norvi took a faceful of the stuff and coughed and sputtered, collapsing to the ground. Aldo wasn’t unscathed, and he too rolled on the ground, chocking on the stuff. They managed to pull themselves out of the room, and took a moment to recover. The gas had affected them, and they felt sluggish and foggy. Aldo decided to see what the other pedestal had to offer. This room’s pedestal was iron, and not stone, and a quick inspection revealed a ring of polished metal half spheres embedded into the wall horizontally all around the room. Aldo felt he knew what was going to happen this time, and he detached a belt pouch. He removed the string from it, and carefully tied one end to the ring. He stretched it out as far as it could go, but he was still inside the room. He let out a little slack, then dove outside of the room, holding the string. There was a deafening CRACK as a bolt of lightning was produced from each node, striking the pedestal. Aldo was safe, but his hair stood on end.
Deciding to get some rest, the group went to the kobold’s sleeping pit to try and hole up for a while. Norvi was still in and out of consciousness but stable, and Krömm was badly injured. Yurm tended to Norvi all night so he could get the most benefit from his rest, and Aldo kept watch. He did not have to remain alert for long before the only door opened a crack from outside. Aldo could see a single kobold eye gazing in. It noticed him, widened, and and the door quickly clicked shut. Aldo alerted Yurm and Krömm to the situation. The three waited, listening. They heard shuffling footsteps and low draconic murmuring through the door. Aldo wanted to wait it out and ambush anyone that came inside, but no one ever came. He opened the door and looked outside. He could see the kobold, weaponless, standing in the middle of the room. It saw him and let out a shriek, running toward the alchemy lab. Aldo went after him, the others just behind. Just then, the room was lit up from several magic sources. Rays of frost and magic missiles flew through the air, pummeling the surprised party. It would seem they fell into an ambush themselves, and the unarmed kobold escaped into the lab. Invisible sorcerers flung spells from the corners of the room, pounding the party. Krömm went down, leaving Yurm and Aldo the task of mopping up. They fought hard and defeated the sorcerers, Aldo only barely clinging to consciousness. He went into the lab after the kobold that lured them into the attack. He looked around but did not see where he scampered off to. He scanned the room again a little closer, and saw a pile of papers under a table with a tail sticking out of them. He strode over, kicked the table over, and grabbed the tail. He dragged the kobold, writhing and shrieking across the floor to the main room. There the party surrounded him and again Yurm translated the interrogation. They learned that the kobold’s sorcerer employers had heard the commotion, and decided to take care of the disturbance themselves. They emerged from the back of the lair after everything was quiet again, and discovered the party was sleeping in the pit. That is when they hatched a plan for their ambush. The party pushed him further, demanding to know who was still back there, but the little beast swore on his life there was no one. Aldo and Yurm believed him, and let him go. They tended to their fallen comrades, and nursed them back to awareness. They then went about seeing for themselves if anyone was indeed back there.
They traveled again down the long hall past the trapped pedestals to the single door at the end. Aldo tried the handle and found it locked. He asked Krömm to work his magic again, and Krömm was eager to oblige, having not been of much help so far. He slid his tools in, shuffled the pins, gave a quick twist, and SNAP – his thieves tools broke! Enraged, he took a step back and delivered a powerful kick to the door. His anger threw his balance off, and his kick was improperly executed. Krömm’s foot hit the door hard, but the door still stood. Not only that, but his sloppy kick caused him to tear something in his groin. He dropped to the ground in intense burning pain. Norvi acted fast and saw to his leg. He gave it a few taps and a quick twist, and the pain stopped. Krömm’s injury remained, but at least he wouldn’t be slowing down the party because of it. Norvi brought out his hammer and smashed the handle. It smashed to bits, but released an arrow trap! Two arrows flew out from holes in the hall walls and struck two of them. They saw to the injuries and moved on. The next rooms were much finer than the last, with lush carpets, and fine tapestries. This first room was some kind of sitting room for the sorcerers. There was a table in the left corner with a map of the Eaglesport, and a desk on the right with some valuables and one of the Kobold Sorcerer’s Journal. Aldo pocketed both. there were rooms on the left and right of this space too. Both were searched, and found empty.
They appeared to be private sleeping quarters for each mage. A door in the center across from the hall they emerged from was revealed to be their leader’s private chamber. There the party found a secret passage under the rug. Aldo was the only one big enough to fit, so he dropped down and followed it down. It stretched on for what seemed like miles, and Aldo was gone for some time. He had committed himself to finding the end, as he could not turn around and did not relish the idea of going all the way back in reverse. After waiting a while, Norvi had a hunch that the passage led to the well outside of Abasha’s Rare and Exotic Gifts, and that was how the kobold that escaped from there did so. Acting on the hunch, he and Yurm left for town. Krömm elected to hang back just in case, and stay the night in the lair. Hours later, Aldo reached the end of the tunnel. It stretched upward from here, and as he looked up he could feel the drops of a light rain from above. Just then, Norvi and Yurm were arriving in The Backlot. Aldo needed to get out of this tunnel and back above ground, so he fastened a rope to a torch, and flung it toward the opening above. Norvi found the well near Abasha‘s and peered down into it seeing if he could see anyone. Suddenly, his darkvision saw something hurtling toward his face at breaking speed. He dodged just in time and Aldo’s torch-grappling hook fell harmlessly over the side of the well. Norvi shouted down, and Aldo shouted back. They helped him up and dusted off.
The three wanted to seek out the hunter that brought them to the spot, so they decided to head back to The Eagle’s Talon Tavern. However, the backlot at midnight is a place few dare to tread, and for good reason. A rapier wielding half-orc stepped out from behind a building. He wore black leather and a filthy red bandanna. He demanded to see some serious coin. Seeing that they outnumber their mugger, the party began to draw weapons. As they did, two more humans stepped from the shadows, bows already drawn. They were pointed at Yurm who was readying his flindbar, and Norvi who was readying a bow of his own. The two saw their disadvantage, and stopped short. “I’d better see a pile of gold at my feet in the next 5 seconds or the three of you will die.” Norvi stuck his hand in his pocket and angrily flung 5 gold pieces at the mans feet. “Have it!” He growled. “It’s all I have.” “Its a start” the half-orc said. He eyed Aldo. “How about you little man? Let’s see the gold.” Aldo glowered at him. “You are not the first person I have killed today,” he spoke. As the half-orc began to laugh this off, Aldo charged at him headlong. The archers adjusted their aim and fired at him. The first arrow was off target. Aldo gracefully skirted the second, and battle was joined. The party of three won a decisive victory against the thugs, and looted their pockets. Each one was wearing the signature red rag of Wexley’s Gang, and this information made the victory that much sweeter. The party went to the tavern where Norvi coerced Aldo into buying rooms for the night for everyone. They slept off a hard day and night’s battles as the rain drizzled down into the gutters outside.
What will the party discover hidden in the Kobold’s jounal? Will they determine why Abasha was targeted for elimination, or simply discover a fantastic recipe for giant rat gumbo? What will Wexley think about the death of three of his members? Will Krömm even be able to find his way back through the woods from the kobold’s lair? The answer to all this and more in Session 8 of The Land of Corra!