Monday, May 12, 2014

"Escape from the Pit of the Kobold Chieftain" Chapter 16 of the Xanthus River Campaign

 Our party:
  • Valerius (Level 3 Paladin)
  • Absalom (Level 2 Cleric of Justica)
  • Babu (Level 2 Thief)
  • Jalani (Level 2 Cleric of Amun-Tor)
  • Knott (Level 1 Fighter)
  • Brown Tom (Level 1 Fighter, Squire of Valerius)
  • Clench (Mercenary Foot Soldier)
  • Squat (Mercenary Foot Soldier)
  • Favreau (Cook)
  • Paula (Cook)
  • War Dog

Into Duirnhold
When we left our party last time, they had just fought their way past the makeshift kobold fortifications at the entrance to the lost dwarfish city of Duirnhold and had made their way to the checkpoint hall.

Inspecting their surroundings, they found a room filled with debris, the tailings of some sort of mining operation, and another empty room with a small tunnel dug into the wall. They crossed the empty room to the tunnel only to find that the floor was a thin veneer placed over a pit. Absalom broke through the crust and fell ten feet to the floor below and beset by nine large centipedes! Two of the centipedes managed to bite him and he failed his saving throw, taking 4D4 damage! His companions managed to haul him back up but Absalom was at death's door. A prayer of healing brought Absalom back but he was spent. Favreau and Paula escorted him up the passage entrance and back to the village of Duirndown to recover.

The rest of the party continued into the small tunnel, having to stoop to gain entry. The tunnel branched several times, turning back on itself, etc. The kobold tunnels resembled a termite colony. At one point, Valerius encountered a section of tunnel covered in mysterious yellow powder that was quick to puff into vaporous clouds. The powder caused him to itch but he pulled away. The group took a different branch.

Eventually, the party found its way to a bare room occupied by four well-armed kobold guards. As the party poured into the room to do battle, the kobolds tried to drink potions at their side. Three of the four kobolds were killed instantly and only one managed to imbibe his potion. It did him little good for he too was soon dispatched. Upon recovering the three unopened potions, the party determined that they were Potions of Giant Strength.
New Minis for Clench and Squat
The party could find no reason to guard the empty room and left the way they came.

They soon found a room once occupied by guards, now empty, and passages that led into the entrance corridor and to the niches that provided the archers with a vantage over any intruders. They then found a tunnel that led beneath the passage and up the other side, revealing another empty room where guards once sat.

Taking another tunnel, the group climbed a steep incline until the tunnel started to loop back around. There Valerius triggered a trap that released sleeping powder. The powder soon overcame everyone in the party.

Escape from the Pit of the Kobold Chieftain
The party woke later, stripped naked and thrown atop some refuse at the bottom of a dark pit. Dim torches revealed a ledge twenty feet above guarded by two kobolds. Babu cast a spell and put the guards to sleep. The rest of the party formed a human pyramid and managed to get Knott and Valerius to the lip of the ledge so that he could climb up. Knott and Valerius killed the two guards and took their spears and shields, then went out into the warren to look for rope. After some quick exploring, they found a store room with some kobold spears, shields, crossbows, and some rope, as well as a bolt of linen, some sacks of flour, and some amphorae of vinegar. They returned to the pit with the rope and began to haul everyone else out.

No sooner than they were done with a random kobold entered the room. He managed to escape their attack and ran for help. The party gave chase and soon caught up with him and killed him.

Now, armed with nothing more than some pitiful spears and shields, they continued to explore. they soon found a set of two large doors, large enough to admit a horse or cow. They opened them and caught the stench of an animal pen. Within were two giant weasels and three warthogs with two kobold tenders.

The tenders quickly began releasing the animals by opening their pens. The animals rushed to attack the party who stood firm in the doorway. Babu put the two weasels and one of the warthogs to sleep but the other two warthogs pressed the attack against Valerius and Knott in the doorway.

The fight went poorly and Knott soon found himself at death's door. In short order, Jalani too was near death. At this point, Valerius managed to get the doors shut and shoved his spear into the handles to keep them closed. They picked up Knott and Jalani and ran.

They carried their fallen comrade down a tunnel that opened over the collapsed portion of ceiling of the checkpoint room. The used their rope to climb down and made their way up the passage to the exit. The kobolds, now alerted to their escape but wary of combat, began hurling feces and rocks at the party as they crossed the threshold to safety.

Time Heals All Wounds
The party spent the next seven days recuperating in Duirndown. Valerius prayed for a cure to the disease afflicting Duirndown and was granted one. The black oil from the earth that was draining the town of its vitality was stopped, at least for a little while. After a few days, it came back, and Valerius prayed it away again. Valerius then prayed for the health of his companions Absalom and Jalani, and they miraculously recuperated. Absalom and Jalani, in turn, prayed for their fellow companions and were likewise rewarded with miracles of faith.
Valerius and Wardog
Soon, the party was rested up and, after borrowing some equipment from the Headman of the village, were ready to head back into the kobold warrens.

They re-opened the doors and entered cautiously. This time, they were prepared for the falling stone trap and crossed the ten-foot pressure plate using a timber from the village laid across the rubble. With no sound to alert the guards, the party crossed the threshold unopposed.

This time, they climbed into one of the archer niches and scrambled through a tunnel to a guard post. There they surprised four guards sitting around a fire. The guards were quickly dispatched.

The party continued, returning to the animal pen. Babu cast two spells and put both weasels, a warthog, and both handlers to sleep. After a fierce battle, Valerius and Knott defeated the remaining two warthogs.

The party then traveled down an unexplored tunnel and heard the squeaking yip of female kobolds. They pulled aside a heavy curtain to reveal a large room with a sunken area in its center containing the harem of the kobold chieftain. Two well-armed guards stood in each corner and burst into action upon seeing the intruders.

A melee ensued and all eight guardians were soon killed. The party showed no mercy towards the vicious snarling females and hatchlings, slaying them all as they bit and clawed at the party ineffectually.

The Throne Room of the Kobold Chieftain
A single passage led up some stairs on the far side of the harem room. They ascended the stairs and entered the throne room of the kobold chieftain. The chieftain was a large fellow, nearly man-sized, clad in plate armor and wielding twin short swords. He was flanked by two bodyguards. A miserable figure huddled in the corner: a naked old dwarf with no legs and only one arm, chained by the neck to the wall like a dog. In addition, the party's belongings were stacked in a niche in the rear of the room along with piles of dwarfish treasure.
The Final Battle of the Kobold Chieftain

The kobold chieftain stood from his ivory throne and, along with his bodyguards, entered into combat with the intruders. The fight was bloody and challenging. At one point Knott fell and faced death but was saved by Clench. After a terrible battle, the kobold chieftain and his bodyguards were finally killed.

The party was victorious!


After Action Report
Here's a map of the explored parts of the kobold warren. One of the questions from the peanut gallery was, "If the gate into Duirnhold has been sealed for 50 years, why do the kobolds have a manned guard post?" I dismissed the question, but there is a reason, and it's a mystery. Through really, the players couldn't care less and that detail is the furthest from their mind. I'll post the entire dungeon when we're done.

The Kobold Bodyguards
Kobold Bodyguards

Frequency: Uncommon
No. Appearing: 4-8
Armor Class: 4 [16]
Move: 6"
Hit Dice: 2d4 (8 hit points)
% in Lair: 40%
Treasure Type:
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 1-6 or by weapon type (spear or sword)
Special Attacks: Attacks as 2 HD creature (+1)
Special Defenses: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average (low)
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: S (4' tall)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

The Kobold Chieftain
Kobold Chieftain
Frequency: Uncommon
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 2 [18]
Move: 12"
Hit Dice: 5d4+1 (12 hit points)
% in Lair: 40%
Treasure Type:
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-6 or by weapon type (twin short swords)
Special Attacks: Attacks as a 5 HD creature (+4)
Special Defenses: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average (low)
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Size: M (5' tall)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil