Of Espionage and Embassies: Task of the Kobolds - Updated 19th, 25th & 30th Oct




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    Of Espionage and Embassies: Task of the Kobolds - Updated 19th, 25th & 30th Oct

    This campaign is D&D, set in my homebrew. The characters are starting at 3rd level and a variety of races and classes are available to them.

    It is set in the same world as one of my previous Story Hours, Legend of the Monkey Mage, although about 20 years later.

    Background

    In Mejan, the factions among the Great Families constantly manoeuvre and vie for power on the Great Council. The Party for War seeks to expand the Empire of Five and looks hungrily at the divided but rich Sohalian Kingdoms. Using its influence and alliance with the Blue Wheel Party, it has managed to gain one of its number the position of Ambassador to the Sohalian Kingdoms. The salamander Mahidol of the Changon is a cousin of the Emperor and is high in the favour of the Party for War and his own Great Family.

    Mahidol is tasked with organising an Embassy which will pave the way for the invasion of Sohal. He has carefully chosen a combination of guards and advisors from the Great Families and Elemental Knighthoods, alongside experienced mercenaries and hirelings from the Sohalian Kingdoms. Ever careful of spies from the Three Giant Alliance and the Party of Five, rivals of the Party for War, he has personally taken an interest in each member of his diplomatic undertaking.

    Now the Embassy has landed in the islands of Southguard, let in by the greed of the Sohalese lord who rules there. With them travel a small number of Mejannish troops, tasked with building a secretive base of operations from which larger expeditions can begin. While the armies of the Great Families prepare, Mahidol and his Embassy look to the nearby cities of the Sohalian Kingdoms.

    It is their task to seek allies, find military secrets, sow disorder, remove key figures and prepare the way for the might of the Empire of Five. For members of the Embassy, there are many opportunities to rise in power, leading to wealth, glory and titles in service to the Empire of Five. But they must be wary, for spies and enemy factions will seek to thwart them at every turn.

    Starting Cast of PCs

    Artur Nightjewel, human male from Mejan and the Sohalian Kingdoms, Bard 1 / Human Paragon 2
    Changon Kwanjai, salamander male from Mejan, True Diviner 3
    Grekov, goblin male from the Deeps, World Shaman 3
    Kwengjai Praxian, salamander male from Mejan, Beguiler 3
    Murgunstrumn, siv male from the Empire of Sardleg, Rogue 3
    Zahrul the Petulant, tain male of the Forest Tribes, Hexblade 2 / Champion of Aether 1
    Morisaki, human male from Mejan, Ranger 1 / Cleric of Axmoyo 2

    Glossary of World Terms

    Cycuri: A race of hairless, aquatic humanoids with a mystical third eye blessed by Lord Moon. They suffer from many mutations and many grow up to 10 ft tall in their lifespan. They are an ambitious and adaptable race, with a preference for night-time and a respect for personal power and personal freedom. It is said they were originally a dying race of aquatic cyclops from another world who undertook a spirit journey, taking over the bodies of other humanoids to re-spawn themselves.

    Empire of Sardleg: Ruled over by the last remaining earth giant, the power of this realm is based on the wealth mined by its predominantly human slaves. Siv worship Sardleg as the Lord of the Green Claw, creator of their race.

    Forest Fey: The seelie fey, known for their playful tricks. They live in the Forest Realm and can enter the mortal world though mystical places such as dryad trees, mushroom rings and nymph pools. They include dryads, forest sidhe, nymphs, satyrs and thorns.

    Immortals: Mortals who have ascended into the planes. They can grant spells to clerics and favours to mortals, but they gain no direct benefit from having followers and cannot influence things such as the winds or sun as the gods once could

    Last Banishing: Event several decades ago when the gods and their followers were banished from the world and the Immortals given some of their powers instead.

    Mejan: Also, known as the Empire of Five, this nation revolves around the five elements of Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Void. Great Families vie with each other for glory and power, while elemental knighthoods protect the Emperor, and reaver Tongs work from the shadows as assassins and spies. Humans, salamanders, naiads and pech are all native to this land.

    Moej: Reptilian humanoids with an affinity for dragons and a draconic ancestry. They were once normal humanoids who have undergone an arcane ritual to transform themselves into one of this race. Adapted from Arcana Unearthed

    Naiads: Elemental fey with many traits of the Elemental Plane of Water. Described in more detail here

    Night Fey: The unseelie fey, known for their vicious streaks and dark sense of humour. They live in the Night Realm and can enter the mortal world though mystical places such as redcap rings, dark caves and troll bridges. They include harpies, iron trolls, kenku, night sidhe, redcaps and skulks.

    the Pack: A group of spirits who guide the northern tribes known as the Beastclans. Many of the Pack have an associated beastclan and any clansmen who do not belong to one of these tribes is looked after by Dog. They are lead by Raven and include Crocodile, Elk, Hawk, Horse, Hydra and Tiger among others.

    Pech: Elemental fey with many traits of the Elemental Plane of Earth. Described in more detail here

    Reavers: A race descended from spirit folk and dragons, innately powerful in magic and rulers of the waves of the Bitter Ocean. They have a very short life span, and lead active lives to compensate for this.

    Redroad Trading Coster: Merchant trading house which operates across the Sohalian Kingdoms, supported by the RedRoad and RedKeep noble families. In the past it has been associated with many criminal organisations, but appears to have severed ties with these groups in the last decade.

    Salamanders: Elemental fey with many traits of the Elemental Plane of Fire. Described in more detail here

    Siv: Frog-headed humanoids who are at home in marshes and swamps. Calculating and elitist, many seek to dominate others in the name of the Lord of the Green Claw, reputed to be the creator of their race. Many train as monks, with the elite becoming oathsworn and assassins. Adapted from Monsters of Faerun

    Sohalian Kingdoms: Once united as Sohal under the Regent, this land is now a collection of city states, duchies and petty kingdoms. Its large tracts of wilderness are home to the forest fey and the night fey.

    Tain: A tall, proud warrior race who once ruled a mighty empire spanning much of the northern lands. Now they are an accursed race, forced to wander for all their days by the night fey.
    Last edited by detomo; Tuesday, 30th October, 2007 at 07:24 PM.

 

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    Prologue

    There are many who will see the invasion of the Sohalian Kingdoms as an aggressive expansion by Mejan. They will hear of the armies sent by the Great Families in the Alliance for War and the Blue Wheel Party, and they will think only that they seek more lands and wealth, hunting glory in conquest and battle.

    But I know differently.

    A terrible and tragic mistake was made centuries ago, its consequences still felt to this day. It is my duty to rectify past wrongs, planning the way forward to restore what was lost, and have the strength to see it done.

    Mejannish warriors on Sohalese soil is one part of this plan. I have nothing but respect for the honourable humans of what once was Sohal. Their nation is young yet, and may survive the coming trials they face.

    However, their suffering means nothing when weighed with the duty of fifteen centuries, borne by such as me. There are those on the Council who would not approve, and some of the Great Families would oppose me if they knew the full truth.

    In the end, Mejan will stand strong once more.
    Last edited by detomo; Monday, 1st October, 2007 at 07:03 PM.

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    The Characters

    Artur Nightjewel

    Artur Nightjewel spent his first few thirteen years in the Black Trout Inn, a place known for its good food and hearty entertainment in the city of Ravensport, part of the Duchy of Westtree in the Sohalian Kingdoms. His mother Fulvia, head cook of the Black Trout, and the other workers of the inn, had him running errands almost from the time he could walk. As he grew older, he took did his part with the entertainment, learning to call a crowd with lute or singing voice. His boyish charm, quick wit and good nature made him a favourite with local regulars and visiting travelers alike.

    Two or three times a year Artur’s father, Domotai would visit from Mejan to see his son and Fulvia. His duties as a magistrate of the Order of Endless Void kept him around the city for one or two weeks at a time, before he returned to the Empire of Five. It was in Artur’s thirteenth year that Domotai took his son to be schooled in Mejan, taught alongside other children of the rich in the bardic college of the City on the Dancing River.

    Taught alongside naiads, pech and other humans, he studied history, noble lineages, lore of both Mejan and the Sohalian Kingdoms and other more obscure topics. Being descended from one of the unseelie sidhe on his mother’s side earned him extra tutelage in the lore of the night fey and bardic magic. Returning to visit Ravensport once a year, he soon felt at home in both nations. It was in early 1552 ER that his knowledge of both nations and father’s contacts got him a position in the Embassy to the Sohalian Kingdoms.

    Changon Kwanjai

    This salamander hails from the same Great Family as the current Emperor of Mejan. He is skilled in the magics of oracles and seers, and his name is already known by many in Mejan.

    Grekov

    Brought up among a goblin tribe in the twisting caverns of the Deeps, Grekov serves the spirits of Earth, crafting mundane totems which he passes off as relics and charms to the unsuspecting.

    Kwengjai Praxian

    Grandson of the current head of the Kwengjai Great Family, Praxian has enjoyed every luxury his status affords him. Naturally stealthy and agile, the salamander also showed an aptitude for illusion and enchantment magics from a young age. Sorcerers of the Kwengjai endeavoured to teach him what they could, focusing his talents on disciplines favoured by a family of Void.

    Praxian’s only great flaw was a disregard for the duties of his station. His nighttime escapades on rooftops and in chambers all over the family grounds earned him the name of “Shadowsoul”. The salamander’s view was that his family name would guarantee him another life in the Wheel of Souls, where he could make amends for this one.

    This changed when he learned of a curse laid down upon his mother and her descendents by the Cult of the Immortals. He was one of the unbound, cut from the cycle of reincarnation, with this his final time in the Realm of Mortals. A new focus on his duties surprised and pleased his family, who found him a position on the Embassy to the Sohalian Kingdoms and a guard to serve him. They also gifted him with an heirloom of the Kwengjai, a magnificent crossbow to aid him on his travels.

    Morisaki

    A skilled tracker and servant of the magics of the Immortal Axmoyo, Morisaki has a strong sense of honour, and has hunted the fey in the past. His skills of perception and stealth have earned him a place in the Embassy. He serves with his lifelong friend Soriyati.

    Murgunstrumn

    Living most of his life in mining caverns of the Empire of Sardleg, Murgunstrumn is a master of stealth. He also belongs to the Cult of the Immortals and has skills as a drafter and forger of documents

    Zahrul the Petulant

    Banished from the Kitarran Forest where he grew up, this tain warrior serves supernatural powers and calls down curses upon his foes. He serves the Embassy as a translator.

    Krengsak “Firefist” [NPC]

    Hatched and brought up under the scorching sun of the Kethor Wastes, this salamander is a descendant of the Great Families banished from Mejan after the Wars of the Red Sun. His burning hands earned him the name of “Firefist” among the humans of the Redroad Trading Coster he helped to escort across his desert homeland.

    Sent by salamander elders to report on events in Mejan, Krengsak’s sharp eyes have found him service with the Kwengjai Great Family, acting as a bodyguard to the sorcerer Praxian.

    Soriyati [NPC]

    A guide and sailor among islands belonging to Mejan in the Sea of Ghanis, Soriyati has been friends with Morisaki for many years. An archer and skilled huntsman, he watches out for his friend among the Embassy.

    10th Oct 07: Added full background for Praxian
    Last edited by detomo; Wednesday, 10th October, 2007 at 06:02 PM.

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    The Embassy

    From the journal of Soriyati, friend of Morisaki, Thirteenth day of Eighthmonth, 1552 ER.

    At last I have the time to write here, a few minutes before I will be busy once more.

    Since last I wrote, my days have been filled with duties aboard the White Dolphin, a fine ship, passing across the Sea of Ghanis, followed by time serving alongside Morisaki after making landfall.

    We were part of a small fleet of ships sailing from the City on the Dancing River, carrying the Ambassador and much of the Embassy to the Sohalian Kingdoms. Alongside us travelled many from the Order of the Crashing Wave, a company of mercenaries called the King’s Gauntlet and Great Families warriors from the Party for War and the Blue Wheel Party. One sailor even told me there were two air giants on one ship, as tall as four men, come down from their mountains to bring their storms upon the Sohalian Kingdoms.

    Naiads joined us at the outermost isles of Mejan, and with favourable winds summoned by priests of air and wind wizards, we sped across the waves to reach the Isles of Southguard. Here we were welcomed by the ships and guards of the local lord, his blessings no doubt bought by pech gems and fine salamander metals.

    Rinacus SouthGuard, the lord of these isles, has given over use of his summer palace to the Ambassador, where the Embassy has taken up residence. Sadly there is no more than a poor village nearby to provide contact with the Sohalese, although I have heard that to the locals it is a “town”. It seems that the teeming cities of the Empire of Five are not to be found in these foreign lands.

    Morisaki has been busy in preparation for the duties ahead of him, which I too will share. We will be acting as a scouts and spies, spying the land and garnering secrets from the humans of the Sohalian Kingdoms. For now we watch the salamanders, naiads and pech among us, never too trusting of the elemental-kin.

    It is rumoured that many of those who have come with the Embassy are to stay behind once we leave. From what I know, they will be maintaining a Mejannish presence here, and making preparations on other isles.

    I think that there will be many more Mejannish coming to see these Isles in the coming years.
    Last edited by detomo; Saturday, 6th October, 2007 at 08:08 PM.

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    Sorcerer’s Guard

    The salamander was uncomfortable here, surrounded by deep water as far as the eye could see, with only a few miles worth of land to trust in. Whenever he saw the Sea of Ghanis, his mind was flooded with visions of mighty waves sweeping everything away in their path, torrents of water flooding all beneath the sea.

    He kept to the palace when possible, avoiding any sight or sound of the sea.

    Far from his desert home, among foreigners of one land, on an island claimed by second, little was familiar to Krengsak. Serving as a personal guard to a salamander of the Kwengjai Great Family, he kept alert for threats from everyone and everything, seeing dangers all around.

    His charge, Kwengjai Praxian, was a skilled sorcerer and member of the Embassy, serving as an advisor to the Ambassador. Although the desert warrior was proud to serve such as Praxian, his charge’s duties so far consisted of consuming fine foods alongside other high-ranking salamanders of the Embassy, enjoying the Summer Palace the Lord of Southguard had provided.

    This morning, a salamander servant of the Ambassador had approached Praxian, bearing a message a leader among the Embassy. Krengsak’s charge and a second high-ranking salamander, Changon Kwanjai, had left their food and companions to accompany the servant. And where Praxian went, Krengsak followed.

    Others awaited them when they reached the reception chambers, more staff and servants of the Embassy, several whom the desert warrior had noticed in his time here. Three humans of Mejan were present, two tense and alert while the third, handsome in the eyes of humans, was at ease conversing with a goblin bedecked in charms and totems.

    A siv garbed in dark clothes, face cowled by a hood, tried to sink into the darkest corner of the room, avoiding attention from the others. Kwengjai had heard several rumours concerning that one, who hid in the lowest parts of the palace, working on private projects for the Ambassador and his closest advisors.

    The last of them stood away from the rest, proud and tall, clearly a warrior by his bearing. Kwengjai knew this of this one too, a translator named Zahrul only recently joined to the Embassy, speaking tongues of the pech, night fey and forest creatures.

    The salamanders took seats which were evidently for them, upright cylinders, with angled grooves on which tails could rest. Krengsak noted several of those gathered glancing at the colours marking his two companions, black and deep orange for the Kwengjai, and dark orange with bright yellow for the Changon.

    After a few minutes waiting, a side door opened and a naiad entered the room, greenish-blue skin slick and smooth under rich robes of grey, lined with light blue. Long green hair marked her as a female of the race, water-kin as salamanders were fire-kin. After casting her eyes over those gathered, she motioned for human servants to drag in a metal tub, soon filled with water and from where she addressed those gathered, still fully dressed.

    Krengsak kept alert for danger as the naiad spoke, watching the siv and goblin in particular. Trying to converse in Mejannish at first, she soon switched to the tongue of the Sohalian Kingdoms when neither the tain nor the goblin could follow what was said. She was Hochtli Yaotl, in charge of issues of intelligence for the Ambassador and among his inner circle of advisors.

    The room was quiet, but for the lisping voice of the naiad, accompanied by the occasionally splash from her bath. All of those gathered had been recommended to her, and chosen for special duties. They were being placed under the command of Kumiko Sadaharu, chief aide of the Ambassador, who would give them more instructions as needed.

    Few questions were asked, but Krengsak did scrutinise those around him closely once more, sure that the future would bring them together again, and for a longer time.

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    Sea Journey

    From the journal of Soriyati

    Sixteenth day of Eighthmonth, 1552 ER

    Sadaharu met with all of us today, keeping the meeting short and to the point. He carried himself as a warrior does, though he bore no weapons in the palace grounds. A dangerous-looking man from Bukon served as his bodyguard, and a tiger followed at his heels.

    The other seven were there again, and I took the time to talk a little to Artur. He knows many of the legends and customs of the lands we travel to, which is probably why he is part of the Embassy. The siv still makes me nervous, and I had to turn down several offers of powerful totems from the goblin. I have more faith in the beings of the Thousand Heavens than in spirits I cannot see.

    Our new superior confirmed rumours that Sohal would not be our first destination, speaking of a journey to Nak-Irateb, a reaver city on the edge the Deepswamp and east of here. He may have duties for us soon, but for the time being we all continue as we are.

    Eighteenth day of Eighthmonth, 1552 ER

    This evening we set sail from the Southguard, aboard two ships provided by the local lord, and a third from Mejan. The Embassy is on board, leaving behind the Order of the Crashing Wave and warriors of the Great Families to their duties in the islands. Two air giants saw us off, still visible on the shore from miles away.

    The business of the Embassy continues as we sail, although I take my place among the crew, as I have no formal position alongside these warriors, guards, translators and scholars. Morisaki has spent much of his time in conversation with another servant of Axmoyo, the Immortal of the Thousand Heavens who grants him much of his magic.

    Twenty-Third of Eighthmonth, 1552 ER

    The rest of the Embassy is stopping for several days at Triton Isle, where a marid rules from the Sea Wind Monastery. Other duties have been assigned to us, with only an hour to gather our belongings in readiness to travel on the White Dolphin.

    Sadaharu spoke to those assigned to him, making us part of his group travelling ahead of the Embassy. Several agents of Mejan disappeared months ago in the Sohalian Kingdoms. Two were last heard from in Nak-Irateb, and we are to see what details we can find. In addition we will be preparing the way for rest of the Embassy.

    When Artur and Morisaki mentioned payment, the issue was brushed aside, that this was all part of our employment by the Embassy. It matters little to me, as I like to see new horizons and new places.

    First of Ninthmonth, 1552 ER

    We have made good time aboard the White Dolphin, and now we prepare to make landfall. Our plans have changed slightly again, as we search in the Deepswamp for a naiad spy, last seen south of the reaver city.

    The salamanders have mostly kept below-decks and the siv out of sight. I have spoken a few times to Zahrul, the tain translator, who seems comfortable on board the ship, happy to travel.

    The following days will be the first chance to get the measure of my new companions, and I can only hope we meet no with no difficulties in these dangerous lands.

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    The Welcoming Shore

    Krengsak shivered as water splashed over him, sizzling against skin as droplets met the intense heat of his body. Although the warrior was unused to oars, his charge insisted he row alongside the human, Soriyati, moving one of their two small boats toward the welcoming shore.

    At least they were leaving the ship and the Sea of Ghanis behind. The last few days had been a miserable existence, spent alongside Praxian and Kwanjai enduring the sea noises and the continuous rocking of the boat. Kumiko Sadaharu had laughed when Praxian requested a cabin, as the two on board were already occupied by the captain and the Ambassador’s aide. The White Dolphin was built for speed, not for comfort.

    Sadaharu was accompanied by his surly bodyguard Surtak, and a reaver female, Kaveri, representing the Cult of the Immortals in the Embassy. There were twelve of them in total, thirteen if you included the on-edge tiger, fifteen with Artur’s donkey and Kaveri’s horse.

    He took care not to slither into the water as they beached, feeling stronger when he felt shifting shingle beneath his tail, and keeping alert for predators waiting to meet them. The two salamanders with him also looked relieved to have escaped from so much water, turning to look inland as naiads from the ship swam the two rowing-boats away.

    With no dangers immediately around them, the desert warrior happily followed Sadaharu’s instructions to make camp, as their leader would scout before nightfall. Krengsak was only mildly surprised when the human’s form shifted into that of a vulture, having seen shaman of his tribe perform similar feats. But when a second vulture joined him, leaving no tiger in sight, he knew extra vigilance would be needed around all of these companions.

    Most of those with him now went armed and armoured, in leathers, light chain or scale mail. The human Morisaki carried a nasty-looking chain-weapon as well as the swords, bows, daggers and spears favoured by others. Krengsak had heard tales that most were spellcasters, with the possible exceptions of the siv Murgunstrumn, the human Soriyati and the Bukonnish guard.

    The two vultures returned shortly before dusk, circling down to revert to human and tiger forms. Sadaharu spoke of a ruin to the east, where they might be able to locate siv. Tomorrow would see them into the Deepswamp, home of naiads, leeches and things far more dangerous.

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    Into the Deepswamp

    In some ways, this was worse than the boat. At least there, they had something between tails and water. Here, Krengsak had little choice but to enter into the mud and slimy waters, traversing a landscape of marsh, bogs, mud flats, tangled patches of undergrowth and murky waters. He stayed just in front of Praxian in the line, trying to keep a lookout for dangers despite the slime and wetness on his lower body. However, sight of the land around was obscured by thick mists which showed little sign of clearing.

    Sadaharu had left them at a creek earlier that day. Heading on towards Nak-Irateb, their leader was attending to other duties in the reaver city with his bodyguard and the reaver Kaveri. That left them to find a way through the swamp, looking for the siv the naiad agent had last spoken to, a tribe led by the chieftain Jawara.

    Following the creek, they headed east, hunting for the ruins mentioned by Sadaharu, or siv wandering in the swamp. Grekov, Morisaki and Soriyati lead the way, the goblin and humans sure-footed and comfortable in the wilds. The siv Murgunstrumn stood on the water’s surface wherever he could, his feet allowing him walk on mud and rivers as if it was solid earth. Occasionally he would show off with rolls and flips on the water, but the salamanders paid him little heed.

    Artur pulled along his donkey, which seemed not too happy with the land around. Their pace was dictated by Morisaki, who insisted on slowing them down in his heavy scale armour. Most salamanders had no such need of encumbering armour, relying on swiftness and skill to see them through. Krengsak’s own scale was the best armour he could afford, and would be cast aside when better spoils were to be found. They made only a few measly miles that day.

    Two hours after the midday meal saw their only danger of the day. While wading through water waist-deep, snapping jaws attacked Morisaki. Krengsak stabbed at it, joined by the siv, who landed a solid blow and the tain who caved in its head. The others were all alert for more danger, but it was alone.

    Their attacker was a strange lizard-like creature with a large shell and long jaws, known to some as a snapping turtle. They took its shell, which the goblin tried on as some sort of carapace, Krengsak trying to ignore him and keep focused on his duties. A few hours later, Morisaki had found them a dry patch of land, and the night beckoned.

    More trouble occurred later that night, as Grekov and Murgonstrumn shared a tent, only for siv to quarrel with goblin, one accusing the other of thievery. Krengsak took note that both were wary around the other thereafter, and all in the party checked their possessions regularly..

    The second day of travel continued as the first had, Krengsak wary of dangers from the swamp and from his own companions.

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    Task of the Kobolds

    The task was clear.

    Their aboleth master, lord of the lake and their god, demanded captives, dead or alive, and it was the warlock’s divine duty to find them. Birik gathered his warriors and two rafts, travelling through the deeper waterways of the swamp in search of prey. A pair of their master’s servitors travelled with them, crossbreeds of fish and humanoids known as skum. They were below even the kobolds.

    Although mist limited their search, it also provided a shield against the more hostile creatures of the swamp, the grey renders, hydras and siv. Birik had lost many kin to the dangers of these parts, in service to the more powerful minions of the Bound One. Such creatures cared little for their kobold servitors, as long as their plans and schemes made progress.

    The warlock was jolted from a light doze by the exited chattering of the raft in front. Hearing his warriors preparing defensive magics, he summoned layers of arcane protection to himself. Within moments all of the kobolds on both rafts were readying crossbows, using enchantments to guide bolts and armour themselves.

    As the mist cleared slightly, Birik caught sight of their intended prey, a group of humans and a tain gathered at the edge of the river, some seeking cover in the reeds and shrubs around. Three salamanders alongside the prey were of little interest to the warlock, their bodies turning to fire upon death and providing no sustenance on which their master could feed. Their prey was not in flight, instead readying bows and slings, nor were they helpless, clad in armour of leather and scale.

    Gathering his power, the warlock conjured a glittering mass of dust over three foes, blinding them and stemming the arrows directed at his kin. Two more threats revealed themselves as a siv leapt from the waters onto the other raft, and a goblin arose from the bogs at the edge of the lake, summoning a small ball of fire on Birik’s raft. His kobolds panicked, keeping what distance they could between them and the burning mass.

    The siv was driven from the raft by the brave kobold warriors, as the two skum emerged onto shore, taking the battle to their foes, one fended off by a salamander and the second approaching the tain. As the ball of fire rolled onto Birik, he summoned a cloud of nauseous green gas around the goblin, but hiding his other foes from view. At his command, the kobolds propelled the raft forward and brought the prey into sight once again. The second raft continued its plight with the siv, as kobolds leapt from the raft and the frog-creature climbed up onto it once more.

    As his raft moved forward, Birik had a second look at his foes. He was alarmed as he noticed that although several were wounded, and the tain had retreated out of sight, the others had weathered the attack well, overcoming both of the skum and no longer hindered by the cloud. The warlock felt the dark gaze of the Bound One upon him, as the tide of battle shifted.

    In the seconds that followed, his magic was used to shield him from the enemy’s attention. The warlock countered a crocodile summoned from the water with an illusion of ice, and was then distracted as the goblin summoned nature spirits to attack them. Some kobolds held off the siv from the second raft, keeping him at bay with simple distracting enchantments, until he smote them from the raft. Realising that their magics were becoming exhausted, Birik decided to look for easier prey.

    Another cloud of greenish gas served to cover their retreat into the mist, although the siv did pursue them, focusing some of his ire upon Birik. They turned their minor magics against him, forcing him to retreat with wounds from spear and bolt. Joined by the second raft, crewed by two kobolds, they melted away into the marsh.

    In all four kobold warriors had fallen, and they had nothing to show for it. They could only hope that fortune would favour them before they returned to their master.

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