AD&D 2nd Edition The Ecology of the Kobold (unpublished AD&D 2E version)




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  1. #1
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    The Ecology of the Kobold (unpublished AD&D 2E version)

    LOVE SLAVE OF THE KOBOLD QUEEN

    Okay, this one is going to need some explanation.

    Back in the spring of 1998, I was contacted by Dave Gross, then the editor of Dragon, who had a "cunning plan." Their office campaign had just had an interesting encounter: editorial assistant Jesse Decker's character, a human fighter named Rallen Myris, had just been taken captive by a band of kobolds. (All of the gory details would shortly thereafter be released in a Dragon editorial entitled "Love Slave of the Kobold Queen.") Here was Dave's plan: if he sent me all of the campaign details, would I be interested in writing up an "Ecology of the Kobold" featuring Rallen?

    Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. I got the details, wrote up the article, and submitted it on 18 May 98.

    Sadly, the decision was eventually made not to publish it after all. "Jesse would kill us if we did," was part of the reason given. Naturally, I was bummed: not only because I had hoped to see it published, but also because I felt that I had "let the team down" - this was, after all, one of the first times that Dave had actually approached me with a specific, requested article, and when it was rejected I felt bad that I had been unable to produce what he had been hoping for.

    In any case, I note that Dragon #332 has an "Ecology of the Kobold" by Mat Smith, which prompted me to format this one for the Story Hour forum - obviously, my version's not ever going to see print.

    There are a couple of things worth pointing out. First of all, having been written in 1998, this article used the AD&D 2nd Edition version of the rules, and I've kept it in that format. (You'll therefore see mention of "infravision" and at least one magic item whose name seems very out-of-place in a 3E/3.5 world.) Second, I decided to have two different sets of footnotes running, one with the actual game notes (like normal), but also a second set of inputs from one of the other characters in the adventure. The "Notes" section use numbers, while the "Jack's Inputs" section uses letters. Since I haven't figured out if there's a way to use superscript in the messageboards, I've been just putting brackets around each footnote number/letter, and adding the relevant notes at the end of the post in quote boxes. I tried breaking up the story in logical chunks so you hopefully don't have to do too much flipping back and forth to read the footnotes. Obviously, this would have worked out much better on the printed page than it does in a Story Hour messageboard forum.

    In any case, I hope you enjoy it. And if Jesse Decker ever reads this: It wasn't my fault! I was put up to it by Dave Gross and Chris Perkins!

    Johnathan
    Last edited by Richards; Sunday, 22nd May, 2005 at 11:45 PM.
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  • #2
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    THE ECOLOGY OF THE KOBOLD

    Let's just get one thing straight up front: I AM NOT A WEIRDO. Things might have gotten a little out of control, but it wasn't my fault.

    Oh, you're a weirdo, all right, Rallen!

    Shut up, Jack!

    Down on your hands and knees, wearing your skimpy little leather loincloth...

    Shut up!

    ...barking like a dog...

    Shut up! That never happened! Just shut up!

    Fine, fine, it never happened. You tell it your way, then.

    I will. You just keep your mouth shut over there. You too, Salustus - not a word. Okay?

    Okay, then: my story.

    There were five of us adventuring that day: Salustus, a priest of Lathander; Jack, the loud-mouthed bard; Maroc, a half-elven wizard-priest of Mystra; Humour the thief; and, of course, myself, Rallen Myris--

    ...the Love Slave of the Kobold Queen!

    Shut up! I told you guys not to call me that! Just shut up already!

    Sorry. Go on with your story.

    No more interruptions!

    None. Go ahead. I'm sorry.

    All right. We were in the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar, tracking down a rumor of an evil artifact hidden there. I won't go into detail about everything we found there; let's just say that there's plenty in the Halls to keep an adventuring band busy, okay?

    Bartender? A beer. Thanks.

    So anyway. We're traveling down this corridor filled with statues. Suddenly, Humour lets out this little yelp and falls backwards. "I'm hit!" he cries, and sure enough he is, but it's just a tiny little dart that barely made it through his leather armor. That's enough for him, though; all of a sudden he doesn't wanna be up front any more.

    So I push him aside and take the lead. The others, brave adventurers that they are, they stay behind to see if I make it okay. I go up ahead twenty, maybe thirty feet with no problem. So I turn around to tell them the way is safe, and as soon as I do, I get a dart in the butt.[1]

    As if that was some sort of signal, all of a sudden there's darts flying everywhere. I must have been hit at least three or four times, but like I said, they were only tiny little things that hardly stung at all. So I charge the area where the darts are coming from, lantern in one hand and longsword in the other. I'd like to say I led the charge, but I was the only one doing any charging - my "associates," as usual, held back.[A]

    So anyway, I make it to where the darts are coming from, and it's a solid wall. Well, not totally solid, 'cause by the light from my lantern I can see a couple of slits in the wall, and a couple sets of glowing, red eyes behind them.[2] I also hear the unmistakable twanging sound of crossbows as those little darts are shot at us through the peek-holes.

    The nasty little buggers think they're nice and safe behind their narrow slits, shooting at us like fish in a barrel. So I do what I can: I take my sword and poke it into the nearest slit. I must've got somebody when I did that, 'cause there's this yelp of pain and my sword comes back out covered in bluish blood.[3]

    "Come on out here and fight!" I scream at the little monsters inside. Since I poked one with my sword they've apparently backed away, and the corridor is suddenly dart-free. My companions take this opportunity to scoot up close by me, now that it's safe.[b]

    Only it isn't safe for long. The lousy bums have got another slit further down the wall, and all of a sudden another batch of darts comes flying our way. Fat old Salustus, he stumbles off into a side room and collapses. Jack looks like a black-clad pincushion. As usual, it looks like it's up to me to get the job done.[C]

    I figure there's gotta be a way into that room, so I head back down the corridor and keep veering right, figuring I'll come across an entrance. Well, it took finding my way through two secret doors (one of which was trapped),[4] but I made it there all right.[D]

    So there I am, my goal right in front of me: a wooden door, behind which I can hear the snickers and chuckles of the little pests. I can't wait to see their faces as I smash my way into their little hideout. It's gonna be great!
    NOTES

    1. Typical kobold humor. This was no doubt followed by much snickering and tittering on the part of the kobolds.

    2. Kobolds have 60' infravision, allowing them to see as well in the darkness as most people see in daylight. It comes at a price, however: kobolds are sensitive to bright lights (including light and continual light spells), attacking at a -1 penalty in such instances.

    3. Kobold blood is a bluish-purple in color, not red - one of many clues that they're not mammalian.

    4. Kobolds are notorious for their numerous traps. Again, their love of traps is a result of their physical weaknesses: they realize that it's much better to harm an enemy in a way that offers little chance of him doing harm back to them. Pit traps, rockfalls, and tripwires are all commonplace in kobold lairs. They also have developed quite a knack for mechanical traps, often involving multiple crossbows, small catapults, or spring-driven blades. When designing their traps, the kobolds usually provide a way for them to spy upon the trapped locations without being seen, employing secret doors, murder-holes, or tiny, hidden view ports in nearby locations.
    JACK'S INPUTS

    A. Pssst!

    B. Yeah, you!

    C. Hey, Jack the Bard here. We'll let Rallen tell it to you his way, and I'll fill you in on the details here, okay? He'll never even know, the dolt.

    D. Ha! Don't let Rallen fool you: he makes it sound tough, but it doesn't take much intelligence to find a kobold's secret door. The little pests are filthy and careless - there were kobold footprints all over the place, leading right up to a blank wall. Doesn't take too much brains to figure out there's gotta be a secret door in those conditions, now, does it?
    Last edited by Richards; Friday, 20th May, 2005 at 12:23 AM.
    Check out some of my unpublished "Ecology" articles over on the Story Hour forum.
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  • #3
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    So I kick in the door. It takes a little while, but I do it. The door bursts open, and by the light of my lantern I can see what I'm up against: kobolds. I laugh out loud. Kobolds! Three feet tall if they're lucky! Stupid little rat-tails sticking out of their ragged little pants![5] Dinky little horns sticking out of their dinky little heads! Kobolds! What a joke!

    Well, they get a good look at me and they're scared. Can you blame them? There must be six or eight of 'em in there, all piling up against the door, trying to close it again to keep me out. I laugh at their feeble efforts, force the door back open, open, wider...

    ...and then, suddenly, I can't move.[6]

    I mean it. Not a muscle. First thing, I'm only puzzled - you know, like, why is this happening? Then, the realization sinks in...

    I'm screwed.

    Of course, it would have been a different story if my so-called "companions" were there with me. But no, I had to storm the kobolds' hideout alone. And now, I'm at their mercy.

    It doesn't take the little maggots long to realize that I'm not struggling with the door anymore. I see a wicked gleam in their eyes, and nasty smiles spreading across their nasty faces. Then, all at once, they jump back from the door, and I spill into the room. I land flat on my face, unable even to turn my head. I don't even want to think what I land in.[E]

    That's pretty much the beginning of the end for me. The kobolds close the door and block it with a heavy table. They scrounge up a rope from somewhere, and tie it around my left ankle. I am unceremoniously dragged down a corridor by half a dozen of the little creeps. Mind you, I'm still completely paralyzed, as rigid as one of those statues we passed in the corridor before running into the kobolds' darts. As luck would have it, the corridor leads to a vertical shaft with ladder rungs secured to one wall. The kobolds scamper up with the end of the rope, and then I'm hauled up as well, dangling upside-down. Each time my face bounces against one of the metal rungs of the ladder, I curse my so-called friends.[F]

    So they drag me to the top of the shaft and take me to a little cell. There they plop me on my back and start cutting off my chain mail armor. After that's been snipped into several pieces, they start hacking away pieces of the leather armor I wear underneath.[G] I'm finally left with little more than a leather G-string covering up my, uh, essentials. The whole time, they're talking back and forth in their stupid little doggy language.[7]

    While I'm laying there, paralyzed and helpless, I notice a few things about my captors. First of all, they stink - like a shaggy, wet dog that's been playing out in the swamp. I get a good look at some of them, as well - they brought my lantern in and set it in the corner, although they turned it down to a low glow.

    Kobolds are covered in tiny scales, but they come in several colors, which is something I never knew before. Some kobolds are a dark, rusty brown, while others are almost black, but their tails are an ugly pinkish-tan, like a rat's. They've all got two little horns on their heads, some of 'em tan, some of 'em white.

    And their clothes - I've never seen such an odd mixture! Most of them were garish colors - bright reds and oranges, even some yellows. Nobody wears anything the same - some have only got pants on, some wear only shirts or vests, some wear hats or kerchiefs on their heads, and some have a combination of the above. All their clothes are raggedy and torn, and filthy to boot.[8]

    I also notice that they're all armed. Most have a short sword or a dagger, but two of them carry miniature crossbows.
    NOTES

    5. The rat-like tail of a kobold causes the most confusion about the creature's proper classification. Kobolds are covered in scales, have no body hair, and lay eggs - all classic signs that they are reptilian. However, they have external ears, and their tails look identical to those of giant rats, implying a mammalian ancestry. Additionally, kobolds are warm-blooded, like mammals (and unlike the cold-blooded reptiles).

    So what is a kobold's proper classification - mammal or reptile? The answer is neither. Just as the current view of dinosaurs holds that they were warm-blooded creatures otherwise conforming to reptilian standards, the kobold is in such an "in-between" class. This may have some effect on magical weapons usable against kobolds: the DM can rule that reptile-specific weapons (such as an arrow of reptile slaying or a sword +1, +4 vs. reptiles) do not work against kobolds, as they are not "true" reptiles.

    6. Kobolds, being physically weak creatures (most have only 1-4 hit points), have learned to use the strengths of other creatures around them. The kobold picture on page 214 of the Monstrous Manual is an excellent illustration of this principle: the kobold has captured a scorpion and tied it to a stick, turning a poisonous creature into a deadly melee weapon. Many kobolds keep such creatures around, ready to be dumped down a shaft, hurled down a corridor, or otherwise put into the paths of their enemies. Favorite creatures include scorpions, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, rot grubs, lock lurkers (Monstrous Compendium Annual One), and green slime. Other animals are trained as lair guardians; giant weasels and wild boars head this list.

    In addition, kobolds often extract the venom from poisonous creatures and use it to coat their weapons. (When you've only got 4 hit points, you learn to take any advantage you can!) Those kobold tribes using giant weasels as guard beasts often coat their weapons in weasel saliva, which prevents blood clotting (causing an additional 2d6 hp damage per round). The darts encountered by Rallen and his party were coated with a distillate of lock lurker venom, causing paralysis in the victim after an onset time of several minutes.

    7. The kobold language sounds like nothing so much as small dogs yipping and yapping. It's a difficult language for humans to master, as many of the words sound the same, and hearing the language spoken for any length of time has the tendency to bring on a migraine headache. 75% of kobolds also speak either the orc or goblin languages.

    8. Kobolds do not wear clothing because they need to; their scaly hides protect them from the elements well enough to preclude the need for clothing. Nonetheless, kobolds prefer to wear clothes simply because other humanoids (specifically, goblins, orcs, and hobgoblins) do. The diminutive kobolds wish to be like their taller brethren, and so clothe themselves in garments they do not truly need.

    Incidentally, due to their reptilian builds, males and females are virtually indistinguishable to non-kobolds. Each sex is liable to wear the same types of clothing - a male kobold is just as likely as a female to wear a dress (and therefore, one shouldn't use clothing types to attempt to guess a kobold's gender).

    The kobold flair for garishness comes from their desire to stand out. Amongst humanoids, the 3'-tall kobolds are often overlooked or trivialized. Wearing bright clothing is one way they try to be noticed. They often dye their clothing red and orange with the juices of berries and crushed flowers.
    JACK'S INPUTS

    E. Heh heh heh - IT WAS DUNG! Nasty, squishy, smelly kobold DUNG! We were in the room a couple of days later, rescuing Rallen's butt, and let me tell you, that was one NASTY room! The kobolds had half a dead sheep - apparently their rations - in the same room that they "did their business" in. Hygiene really isn't high on a kobold's list of priorities, lemme tell you!

    F. Hey, it wasn't our fault! First of all, Rallen wasn't the only one dealing with those blasted paralyzation darts - Maroc and Salustus both got hit pretty bad and froze up fast, and there went any hope we had of getting a remove paralysis spell cast on us. Salustus was even unlucky enough to land on his back one room over and watch helplessly as a stirge landed on his face and helped himself to dinner. But more importantly, nobody told Rallen to go running off by himself. He should have thought about the possible consequences before he did something that stupid.

    Don't you just hate whiners?


    G. Yeah, we saw what they did with Rallen's armor later, when we went back for him. The kobolds who divvied up the chain mail had each cut a hole in their little piece and wore it over their heads like an armored rain poncho. We also saw some raggedy-stitched kobold-sized leather vests that had obviously been made from pieces of Rallen's leather armor, and even - no kidding - a leather helmet made from one of Rallen's boots. The kobold had cut out the front of the boot, slit the sides, and had it plopped upside-down on his head.
    Last edited by Richards; Friday, 20th May, 2005 at 01:00 AM.
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  • #4
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    Finally, the paralysis starts to wear off, but by this time my arms and legs are all pins and needles. A couple of the kobolds notice my initial feeble movements, and rush out the door of my cell. As I stumble about, trying to stand, two of the kobolds slam me back to the floor of my cell. I try to get up again, but they push me back down. I'm allowed to get up on my hands and knees, but that's it.[9]

    Then one starts yapping at me. Sounded something like "Yip-YIP-yap." He gets right up in my face, says "Yip-YIP-yap" like it's supposed to mean something to me, then whaps me a good one with a willow stick when I don't respond. That happens two more times before I realize he wants me to repeat what he's saying.

    "Yip-YIP-yap," he says to me.

    "Yip-yip-yap," I repeat.

    Whap! he goes with the stick - apparently he didn't like my accent. "Yip-YIP-yap," he says again, emphasizing the second syllable.

    "Yip-YIP-yap," I say.

    "Yarp-yip-ARK-ARK!"

    "Yarp-yip-ARK-ARK!" I repeat.

    "Yip-YIP-yap-yarp-yip-ARK-ARK!" he says, putting it all together. I repeat the whole thing several times to his satisfaction, and he breaks out in this evil grin.[10]

    Then there's a commotion at the door, and my captors stand at attention as this larger kobold walks in - a real giant of a kobold, standing maybe a good four inches above the others. The others all lower their heads in respect,[11] and the tall one nods approval. My "language tutor" gives me a whack on the flank with his stick, which I take as my cue, so I spurt out my "Yip-YIP-yap-yarp-yip-ARK-ARK," to the sounds of appreciative kobold laughter. Beats me what that's all about.[H]

    The larger kobold waves a hand towards the door, and the others leave, slamming a bolt home in the door with a metallic clang. Now it's just me against a single kobold, and I start thinking about escape. This one doesn't seem to be armed, but then, neither am I. It watches me curiously, as if reading my thoughts.

    "It wouldn't do you any good," the kobold says. "There's still no way for you to escape this cell."
    NOTES

    9. Being so small, kobolds have an inferiority complex, what is often joking referred to as "short-person's disease." They value height above all else, and have a strange sort of "pecking order" based on how tall they are. The taller kobolds often hold higher ranks in kobold society only because of their ability to "look down" on others; all else being equal, the shorter kobolds are intimidated by their taller comrades, no matter how insignificant the size difference.

    This size awareness colors their associations with other races. While kobolds hate humans, elves, and dwarves, they hesitate to attack them unless they have an overwhelming numerical superiority. Gnomes, on the other hand, tend to be about the same size as kobolds (and sometimes shorter!), and are therefore attacked on sight. Similarly, brownies, pixies, and sprites, all being smaller than the 3'-tall kobolds, are looked down upon with hatred and disdain. Regardless of race, once the kobolds have captured a prisoner, he is not allowed to stand taller than the kobolds. Usually this means that he must crawl on hands and knees, often being led around on a dog leash or similar contrivance.

    10. This is a favorite form of humiliation the kobolds use on their slaves. Since most captured slaves do not speak the kobold language, they are taught to repeat a specific sentence over and over, unaware of what it is they're saying. The sentence is different for each slave; common ones include "I am a lowly little worm," "May I grovel some more?" "Please beat me harder," and "My, but you're a big one, Master." The kobolds often refer to their slaves by the sentences they are taught to speak, saying "Take 'lowly worm' down to fetch some water," or "Have you seen 'beat me' around lately?"

    Incidentally, "Yip-YIP-yap-yarp-yip-ARK-ARK" is not suitable for translation in a family magazine.

    11. This seemingly human trait is all part of the kobold pecking-order-by-height system. By bowing their heads, the shorter kobolds are making themselves even shorter, acknowledging their lower ranking in kobold society. For similar reasons, upper-class kobolds often stand on their tippy-toes when feeling proud and mighty. (It's the kobold equivalent of puffing out one's chest.) Smaller kobolds caught standing on tippy-toes are often publicly beaten for their hubris.
    JACK'S INPUTS

    H. That's 'cause you're a dunderhead, Rallen.
    Last edited by Richards; Saturday, 14th May, 2005 at 07:10 PM.
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    I stare at amazement - I wasn't expecting to find a kobold that speaks the Common tongue. And I wasn't expecting it to speak in such a sultry, feminine voice, either.

    "Besides," she says in a husky whisper, "You wouldn't want to hurt me, would you?" She runs a scaled hand lovingly across the side of my face.

    I just stare at her. What's going on? She's obviously a kobold - maybe a good-looking one at that, who knows? - surely she isn't trying to seduce me, is she? I mean, c'mon, she's a reptile! Sure, she's wearing this slinky red dress, even looks like it may be silk, but the pink rat-tail poking out the back isn't much of a turn-on, if you know what I mean. Neither are the scales.

    Then she offers me a drink from a wineskin. I accept; who knows how often they're planning on feeding me? Plus, it's been a pretty rough day so far. I drink it down.

    And then, suddenly, everything makes sense to me. It's funny I didn't fit the pieces together before. I mean, when you stop to think about it, it's obvious: she speaks Common, wears a red silk dress, and is taller than the other kobolds. Why? Because she isn't really a kobold, that's why! I've heard of wizards turning themselves into other creatures through their spells; obviously, this is the case here.[I]

    I tell her what I've figured out, and she confirms it.[J] She's been running the place as Queen of the Kobolds. And then, it's as if knowing her secret lets me see past her disguise - suddenly, I can see her for who she really is. And let me tell you, she's a real babe!

    Hey, bartender, another beer here! Thanks.

    So where was I? Oh yeah. She's obviously attracted to me; can you blame her? I'm a good-looking guy, and I'm wearing practically nothing, so she can get a good look at my rock-hard abs and my statuesque physique.[K] Plus, she's been living among KOBOLDS for who knows how long? She must be starved for someone of her own race.

    I'm a gentleman, so I won't go into details of our brisk little affair. Let's just say that we were mutually satisfied, and leave it at that.[L]
    JACK'S INPUTS

    I. Sad, isn't it? The bonehead's completely delusional. "Polymorphed sorceress" my butt - that was a kobold! Our pal Rallen Myris was - and still is - in love with a scaly, rat-tailed midget that's probably never bathed a day in her life! Of course, it's probably not the little sap's fault - Maroc says she no doubt slipped Rallen a philter of love in that wineskin. But still, don't tell Rallen I said so. We're having WAY too much fun razzing him about it.

    J. Well, duh! Of course she agrees with Rallen when he gives her a perfect out! What's she supposed to say, "No, I'm really a hideous kobold; say, want to make out?" Rallen's really dense sometimes.

    K. Please excuse me while I throw up.

    L. Now I REALLY have to vomit!
    Last edited by Richards; Saturday, 14th May, 2005 at 07:14 PM.
    Check out some of my unpublished "Ecology" articles over on the Story Hour forum.
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  • #6
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    Once I met the "Kobold Queen," things went a little smoother for me. Sure, I had to stay in the tiny cell, being fed once a day and having to "do my business" over in the corner, but that was because the Queen said it would make the others suspicious if she treated me any different than a real slave, and that made absolutely perfect sense to me. I was happy enough just knowing that she was my girl, and thoughts of her kept me happy during the hours of darkness in my little cell. (They didn't let me keep the lantern.)

    But it wasn't like I stayed there all the time! No, no, she let me out, and we went for long walks. Sure, she made me wear a leash and crawl around on my hands and knees, but so what? Be reasonable: it would have made it pretty obvious that I was getting special treatment if she didn't, now, wouldn't it? And that could have endangered her life. Who knows what the kobolds would have done if they even suspected that their queen was really a beautiful human woman?

    I got to see some of the sights in the kobold lair. We went to see their shrine, where the kobolds worshipped images of their gods, roughly carved from slabs of stone. There were only a couple of them, including one little guy with wings.[12]

    She also took me to see the hatching chambers, where the kobold females deposited their eggs. They were brown, leathery-looking things, maybe three or four inches around, kinda looking like some sea turtle eggs I saw at the beach once.[13] And we saw the food-stocks, where the kobolds kept their food - some special fungal growths they harvested, and the dead bodies of slaves and other creatures they had killed.[14] The Queen didn't offer me any food during our walks, though, 'cause it would have looked funny, her giving me special treatment and all. I wasn't all that hungry, anyway.

    And, of course, we spent quite a lot of time in my cell, just the two of us...I think you get my meaning. Say what you will, but I loved that woman, and I love her still.

    But my newfound love was to be cut short. My so-called friends, who were nowhere to be found when I desperately needed them, finally showed up when they were no longer needed. They had healed up their wounds, gathered up their spells and weapons, and stormed their way back into the Haunted Halls - and, specifically, the kobold lair.[M] After a fierce battle, they apparently made the kobolds realize they were better off returning me to my companions than continuing to fight. They took less casualties that way.

    So I was unwillingly dragged from my cell by my teammates, with me calling out to my true love all the while. It's obvious to me that they were just jealous, since none of them would ever have a chance of capturing the heart of such a beautiful woman on their own. I struggled to escape their clutches, to return to the arms of my beloved.

    Finally, one of them conked me on the head. I think it was Jack.[N] The next thing I knew, I was back at the inn in Eveningstar, being slapped awake by my so-called "friends."
    NOTES

    12. The kobold pantheon is a small one (no pun intended). The chief god is Kurtulmak, a hateful being devoted to warfare and mining. Gaknulak, the kobold demigod of trickery, ambushing, and trap-setting serves as his lieutenant. Finally, there is winged Kuraulyek, the patron deity of urds (a winged offshoot of the kobold race). Since legend has it that Kuraulyek created the urdish race after stealing a pair of magical wings from Kurtulmak himself, the urdish god is not revered by kobolds. Nonetheless, statues of Kuraulyek adorn most kobold shrines, specifically so the kobolds may fling their dung at their chief god's betrayer.

    Note that all three kobold deities have three-syllable names ending with the letter "k." Names following this formula have become common in kobold society, perhaps in an effort to make the diminutive creatures feel more powerful and important.

    13. Kobold females lay a single egg at a time, but produce about an egg a week during the months of springtime. The eggs are kept piled together in a single chamber. When they hatch (after about five months), they are raised by the entire kobold community; kobolds do not concern themselves with which offspring belongs to which parents. The young kobolds grow quickly, maturing to full size within their first ten years of life. The kobold lifespan is theoretically 135 years, although few if any survive to that ripe old age.

    14. Kobolds are omnivorous, eating whatever they can find. Their teeth are mostly blunt, like a human's (explaining the kobold's lack of a bite attack). As with most scavengers they have strong stomachs, able to eat week-old rotting carrion without discomfort. Since most kobolds live in dark, damp places deep underground, fungus plays an important part in their diet.
    JACK'S INPUTS

    M. And it was a lot harder than you'd think, too! I mean, shoot, they're only kobolds, right? But they're tricky devils, let me tell you.

    Fortunately, we were prepared. Knowing what we did about kobold cowardice, and knowing that they only liked to attack when they had an overwhelming numerical advantage, we had Maroc cast
    mirror image and phantasmal force spells, making it look like there was a whole ton of us, when really there was just us four. Salustus, Humour and I did most of the fighting while Maroc concentrated on his fake warriors. Sure enough, the kobolds folded.

    N. Guilty as charged.
    Last edited by Richards; Saturday, 14th May, 2005 at 07:18 PM.
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    And that's my story. It's all true, too, every word. To hear Jack tell it, I was messing around with a real-life kobold. Yeah, right! Like the others, he's just jealous that I got the girl for once.

    All right kid, you got me pegged all right. Drink up, and let's go home.

    So you admit it?

    Sure, sure, whatever you say.

    I'm gonna go back there some day, you know. An' she'll be waiting for me. An' you know why? Huh? You know why, Jack? 'Cause she loves me, tha's why.

    Right, kid. C'mere, Salustus, give me a hand with Love Slave here.

    I thought I tol' you not t' call me that, Jack.

    Right, sorry, Rallen.[O]
    JACK'S INPUTS

    O. You sad, twisted, scale-smooching, love-sick little puppy, you.
    Last edited by Richards; Saturday, 14th May, 2005 at 07:20 PM.
    Check out some of my unpublished "Ecology" articles over on the Story Hour forum.
    Chuul | Destrachan | Elven Cat | Giant Beaver | Giant Water Spider | Grey Render | Grick | Gulguthydra | Kobold | Winter Wolf
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    ...And that's it. Not one of my "meatier" works, I admit, but then the main thrust of the article (per request) was poking fun of poor Rallen. Naturally, since I wasn't there at the actual game session when these events happened in the campaign, I'm not sure how close I got to accurately capturing the PCs; Chris Perkins told me I was pretty spot on with the plotline, although he took umbrage at my use of the term "fat old Salustus," as Salustus was his PC and apparently Rallen was Salustus' henchman and somewhat revered the priest. Oh well, I still had fun writing it, even if it never did see print.

    Incidentally, I think Mat Smith did a great job on his "Ecology of the Kobold," and it was nice to see a decent-sized "Ecology" once again, even if they're still steering clear of the "fiction and footnote" format. At least this time the author had enough room to get into more than just the very basics. I hope this continues; it will be interesting to see how "The Ecology of the Behir" fares in the next issue of Dragon.

    Johnathan
    Last edited by Richards; Friday, 20th May, 2005 at 12:37 AM.
    Check out some of my unpublished "Ecology" articles over on the Story Hour forum.
    Chuul | Destrachan | Elven Cat | Giant Beaver | Giant Water Spider | Grey Render | Grick | Gulguthydra | Kobold | Winter Wolf
    Death KissNew Monster Hunters story!

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