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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
As an afterthought, Hawke picks up the Kobold Chieftain's staff, and examines it.

Nimbar: "You damned fool! Put that down, it might be cursed!"

Hawke frowns, and tosses the staff into the adjacent room, where it lands unceremoniously with a muted clatter.

Hawke: "You worry too much, old friend. I didn't feel any magic when I picked it up. I'm not turning blue, nor am I shriveling away into nothing, like in the fairy tales. But if you're nervous about it, fine. I will leave it be."

Hawke and Nimbar both listen intently to Quixt's explanation of the healing belt, and as this is happening, no one notices as Sphynx quietly slips into the next room.

Sphynx, this is obviously the Chieftain's throne room; there is a wooden throne on the far eastern wall, adorned with skulls and feathers. There is a unlocked wooden chest, which Hawke has already opened a few minutes ago, when the spoils were being gathered. It occurs to you that the chest itself is of quality make, and that the chest would serve someone well, as soon as another padlock could be found for it.

Sphynx, you pick up the staff that Hawke discarded, and examine it closely. The markings are clearly of an evil origin, because the runes are interlaced with skulls, spiders, snakes, and other death-related imagery. It reminds you of the markings on some of the items owned by your previous captor.

Spellcraft check, DC: 20
Base Roll: 13
Skill Mod: +11 (no pain penalty for simply remembering facts. Pain penalty only applies to active skills, such as Concentration.)
Total Result: (24) = Success.

Sphynx, you can't explain why you know this, but it suddenly becomes clear to you that the staff is not truly a staff in the exact sense of the word, and that its destruction will end the painful spell effect; the staff is like a battery, and destroying it will cause the effect to cease immediately. Therefore, it is a simple decision, one that you make almost as an afterthought.

You break the staff over your knee, snapping it cleanly in two; the pain you feel as a result of the symbol ceases, and you breathe freely once more!

Suddenly, everyone who was affected by the symbol INSTANTLY becomes aware that the pain effect has ended! You can all breathe freely once more, and a heavy burden feels lifted off of your chests! As you are wondering how this could be, you notice Sphynx amble back into the room.

Nimbar asks, "What did you do?"

Sphynx; "I can't explain it, but when I picked up the staff, I could tell that it felt hastily enchanted, and cheaply made. When I held it, the pain seemed worse. So I broke it over my knee. And as I suspected, that was enough to destroy it, and to end the effect. No need to thank me."

Sphynx chuckles, because the look of astonishment on Nimbar's face is easily recognizable. Hawke chuckles as well.

Hawke: "See? Not only was it not cursed, but it was easily disposed of. Sphynx, I'm glad you had the sack to pick it up, and the foresight to see what needed to be done. Good job!"

The party has earned a story award!
Each character in the party receives 3,500 Xp. Pts.
NOTE: Don't level up yet. There are still more xp awards to be handed out.

EVERYONE: What other things need to be discussed?

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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
OOC: Note: For my character's personality he would not say, "No need to thank me." He is more of a "What's done is done." kind of guy.

As the up front fighters in the party have spoken their desire or understood need to satisfy themselves of the elimination of any further threat from the kobolds, despite their received injuries, Sphynx shakes his head calmly and gestures a pause. He begins speaking in Eryptian but switches to the common trade tongue when he realizes what he is doing.

"I do not know this Nerull or the term Wendol or even the one whom you serve, Ordred. The gods I know are old. Though I seem a mere adolescent in Elven terms, the fact that I age more slowly than even other Elves is not especially a blessing. It can be quite a burden. The gods I serve and served are old, maybe forgotten but life seems to cycle around. They are still there. I can feel them. I am somehow connected to the magic of this world. I can do things with it by my own design that seems to deny the accepted protocols."

"As for the kobold, I could go with you. I could eliminate them like some nest of young vermin for the likelihood of a beneficial, societal change in the species is nil, but I have gone that route before. Perhaps in some past life, perhaps I dreamed it, but that life ended with a 1001 years of my imprisonment on some war torn abyssal plane. You were in that dream as well, or nightmare as it was, my giant friend, but in it you served an Olympian not an Asgardian."

"If I have been given a second chance or some foresight, I wish to do things differently this time. It is for me to decide only for me. Go. Take to your task. I will wait here. If all goes well, we are favored. If it does not, I will aid you at the first sound of trouble."
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawke looks quizzically at Sphynx, but says nothing; his mind is abuzz with Sphynx's last statement, and he can't think what to make of it. But he says nothing outwardly, because on some instinctive level, he suspects that the young Elf is telling the truth. Befriending him did seem to come very naturally.

Hawke muses inwardly, in his own thoughts, ~Past life? Olympian Deities? We've known each other for a couple of weeks! 1,001 years of imprisonment? It doesn't seem likely... and yet... why does my chest feel so heavy? Why do my thoughts become so cloudy when I try to focus on what he said? Perhaps there is something to his claim after all? I need to have a talk with Nimbar. And with Sir Walter. These are strange days, and they seem to be getting even stranger, with every passing moment.~

After pausing for a few moments, seemingly deep in thought, Hawke snaps out of his reverie with a start.

Hawke (In Common): "I understand if you don't want to seek out the brood den. I'm nervous about it myself. But I believe we can prey upon their proclivity for cowardice. I think seeing the head of the Queen on the end of a spear will squash their resolve. She was by the far the fiercest one among them. We don't need to kill them. We simply need to scare them into submission. Get them to surrender. I think this can be done with very little bloodshed. These creatures are not the true force of malevolence here; the Wendol, they are the ones who need to be dealt with. We've already seen the depths of their depravity. The Zombie ceremony we witnessed really stuck with me; I can't get that image out of my head. If we kill the Wendol, the other Humanoid tribes will probably go back to bickering with each other, and become far less of a threat to this region. But first things first: let's deal with the Kobolds. Once the Kobolds are out of the picture, the Wendol's influence will be weakened. I don't care where they flee to, as long as they are no longer allies of the Wendol."

Nimbar nods, "Hawke is right, we should find the den. And if these Kobolds are anything like the ones in our homeland, they are not only cowardly, but honorable as well; they follow a code, even if that code is savage and immoral by our standards. If they give their word, they will keep it. If they surrender and agree to flee far away in return for sparing their lives, then they will do that;

But first, let's make use of the belt that Quixt mentioned, and of any potions that anyone might have to spare. There are also four potions among the Chieftain's belongings. And though we can't be certain, it's almost assured that the two blue ones are some sort of healing elixirs. Blue is a common color for healing salves."

EVERYONE: What do you do?

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawke decides to test one of the blue potions on himself. He opens the vial, and downs it, and moments later, a smile spreads across his face.

Hawke says, "You were right. I feel much better. Not completely refreshed, but much better."

Hawke is seriously injured (19 pts.)
Healing: 1d8+5 = (6)
Hawke is healed for 6 pts.
Hawke is still significantly injured (13 pts.)

Nimbar nods, "Aye, then do you want the other one?"

Hawke shakes his head, "Nah, give it to Ordred. He needs it more."

Hawke looks around the room, and then up at the ceiling, as if pondering some unknown set of options.

Hawke says, "Since we do have wounded companions to consider, I propose that Quixt and I scout ahead, and get a good look at the den, instead of dragging everyone along. Then we can re-assess our situation. What say you, Quixt?"

GM: Posting on behalf of Quixt, as per text message agreement.

Quixt nods his head, "I'm in. I'll take the lead, though, if you don't mind."

Hawke nods in agreement, and the two proceed back down the hallway, turn south, and back to the point where the secret door was noticed.

GM: Quixt Spot check: 26, success.

Quixt whispers, "Here it is, the latch is here, in the corner."

Quixt pulls on the latch, and the secret door grinds softly open. A foul odor wafts into the hallway, that smells of urine and sweat. The soft sounds of snoring can be heard, coming from the end of the hallway.

Hawke whispers, "I'm a bull in a china shop. I'll stay here, but if I hear trouble, I'll come a' runnning."

Quixt skill checks:
Move Silent: 27,13,11
Search: 17,24,12

Quixt quietly proceeds down the hallway, checking for traps as he does so; it occurs to him as he is nearing the far end, that this corridor would be a bad place for the placement of a snare, because young ones probably travel this way frequently. His suspicions are confirmed by the fact that nary a trap is found.

Kobolds' Listen Check: Base 16; Sleeping -10 = (6); FAILED.
The Kobolds fail to hear Quixt's approach.

There is no door to this room, merely a roughly hewn doorway. This large room is the source of the foul odor (though not nearly as foul as the refuse room, located earlier) and it is easy to see why. Seventeen (17) male Kobolds, 23 females, and 8 younglings, are all piled together here, sleeping soundly. And all of the Kobolds, male, female, and youngling alike, are snoring with varying degrees of intensity.

Of the 17 males, three of them are wearing armor and carrying weapons, and are blatantly asleep at their post by the doorway. None of these armed Kobolds, nor any of the ones asleep, appear to be "elite"; all of them look to be of a similar size and weight as the first six who were "standing guard" by the pit at the entrance to the lair.

The Kobolds who are not armed are not wearing clothes at all, although many of them are keeping warm by wrapping themselves in tattered, soiled blankets. All of the younglings are wrapped in blankets, and many of those blankets are stained yellow; this is obviously the reason for the urine odor.

In the northwest corner of the room, is something you did not expect to see; a long, narrow forge, filled with burning embers! All along the front face of the forge are hooks, from which hang smithing tools, all made from Rose Gold Iron Ore. The forge is lit, although from the looks of it, it is currently just to keep the room warm for the sleeping Kobolds.

Along the north wall, and also in the southwest corner by the door, are racks of equipment; there are Kobold-made Rose Gold weapons (spears and machetes) but there are also many weapons and armor pieces of obvious Human manufacture, such as Studded Leather and Chain Shirts, Longswords, and Maces; many of the Human-made armor pieces have punctures and blood stains, indicating that they were taken by force. There are also digging tools made from Rose Gold Iron Ore, mostly pickaxes and shovels. Apparently, the Kobolds have plans to expand their tunnel system at some future point. Lastly, there are many bags, mostly cloth sacks, filled with unknown items; you doubt the wisdom of trying to dig around in them at this juncture.

At this point, your educated guess puts the time as about 4:00 pm; your party been inside the Kobold lair for about an hour (since around 3:00 pm.) There is still PLENTY of time to make plans, and/or exit the lair at this point, without being noticed. These Kobolds will likely remain asleep until sundown, which is in about two and a half hours from now (~6:30 pm.)

It crosses your mind that you could easily kill the three sleeping guards and remove their weapons; but for the sake of conserving time and energy you decide against it. At any rate, the remaining Kobolds, who are basically naked and defenseless except for three of their number, would pose no serious threat to the party. You decide that this information is worth imparting, so you quickly and quietly make your way back to Hawke's position, and then both of you return to the room where the party is waiting.

Quixt quickly explains what transpired to the rest of the party. He also provides them with a hastily drawn map:

O = Where we met Ordred.
F = Room where we fought the battle.
T = Throne room; it is actually 30 feet wide, 15 feet of it is off the edge of this map.
$ = Secret door.
S = The mass of sleeping Kobolds.
Red Thingy = The forge.
Green Thingies = The racks of equipment.


EVERYONE: What do you do?
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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
After listening to the discourse from Quixt on what was observed through the secret passageway, Sphynx stands to his feet, dusts himself, and asks of the group, "Do we want to gather that stuff? If the human mercenaries are running this valley, it may cause them a significant hit. Like you noticed, I think that gear belongs to them and they are using the Kobolds as labor. If so, how do you want to handle it?"

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nimbar says, "I'd hardly call those deviant savages mercenaries. More zealots, than anything else. They follow that queen mother of theirs fanatically. And based on what we overheard the Kobolds talking about when we ambushed them in the Ogre Cave, the other Humanoids fear and obey her as well.

But yes, I agree, the Human equipment is probably being held for their use; it's too big for the Kobolds. From the way Quixt described it, with some of the pieces having punctures and blood stains, I'd say the Kobolds killed some Human caravan guards, or maybe even adventurers, and kept their gear for use by their Wendol allies.

I still like the idea of confronting the remaining Kobolds, and forcing them to surrender. If we can talk to them, perhaps we can show them how the Wendol have been manipulating them; they are likely to turn against the Wendol if we can prove that their Chieftain was murdered and replaced by an imposter."

Suddenly, Hawke Bursts Out With, "WAIT! I know what we need to do! If you murdered someone, and wanted to hide the body, and you needed to act quickly and hide it somewhere nearby, where IN THIS CAVE SYSTEM would you hide it?"

Nimbar grins, snapping his fingers, "The refuse room where the rats are! And the little devils will eat the remains to boot!"
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Aust Thale

Aye. Perhaps we should investigate that room...and kill its inhabitants. And better, wake the kobolds and show them after we clear the room. Then propose a bargain. We kill the Wendol for them in exchange for the cave and its contents, save what they need in supplies to venture forth to their home. Certainly they do not wish to ally with these devils if to do so means to lose their king.


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Suddenly, Hawke Bursts Out With, "WAIT!... where IN THIS CAVE SYSTEM would you hide it?"

Nimbar grins, snapping his fingers, "The refuse room where the rats are!..."
Aye. Perhaps we should investigate that room...and kill its inhabitants...
Sphynx replies to the others, "I agree, but a point to note, as I recall, Nimbar, said
he was out of magic, and I am running low. If it is just rats well... if not, I am not very competent for up front fight. Whatever may be in that room should be able to wait another day while we refresh

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawke says, "Quixt, I think I'll take you up on the offer of that belt, if you're still willing to share its powers. If we are discovered on our way to the Ogre Cave, I don't want to so beaten and bruised as I am now, when the fighting starts."

Quixt nods, and approaches Hawke. The belt allows its wielder to heal with but a touch; Quixt touches Hawke's shoulder, and positive energy surges through the warrior's body. Hawke feels much better, and many of the smaller bruises on his body fade away to nothing. Hawke nods, "Much better."

Hawke is significantly injured (13 pts.)
Healing: 2d8 = (9)
Hawke is healed for 9 pts.
Hawke is still slightly injured (4 pts.)

Nimbar points out, "On the way in, I noticed that the Ogre Cave looks just as we left it. I doubt he ventures out much, since the Goblins were always bringing him tribute. The cave will probably still be a good place to rest undisturbed; but I worry what will happen once the sleeping Kobolds wake up in a couple of hours, to find their Chief, their Queen, and their elite guards all slain; we are likely to see a swarm of activity; when we return to the Kobold lair, we'd best come ready for war."

The party, with the exception of Ordred, agrees to the plan; but seeing that he is out-voted, and seeing that there is safety in numbers, Ordred comes along with the party. His sole consolation being that the next incursion into the Kobold lair will probably be very bloody.

GM: ORDRED: You have been AFK for 5 days. I didn't want to agree for you, so I assumed that you dissented, but I also assumed you would stick with the party, for the sake of expedience.

The party gathers the loot, and makes their way out of the lair. The "Chieftain" is left as he lies, his headband of rulership still on his head, so that the Kobolds might be able to piece together what happened, once they wake up. The creatures are cowardly and cruel, but they are by no means ignorant or slow-witted; Nimbar says that there is a good chance that the creatures WILL figure it out. Nimbar says, "That is our best hope. If they turn against the Wendol, maybe the two sides will kill each other."

The party is able to make it to the Ogre Cave un-detected; apparently, the other Humanoid tribes are still dreaming, and the Wendol are still rapt in their religious fervor.

Current Date: Planting 2, CY 576
Current Time (Safe in Ogre Cave): 4:25 pm.
Sundown: 6:30 pm.

Rest Time Math:
Party will rest for 10 hours.
Each of the 5 party members will stand a 2 hour watch; that means each party member will get 8 hrs. rest.
In ten hours, the time will be: Planting 3, CY 576, 2:25 AM.
Random roll: First Kobold will wake up at +/- 10-60 mins before or after sundown; afterwards, all Kobolds will be considered to be awake.
First Roll: Lazy or not? (1d8; 1-4 BEFORE Sundown, 5-8 AFTER Sundown): (5) = Lazy.
Second Roll: 1d6x10 = (3) = 30 minutes. So the first Kobold to wake up does so at 7:00 pm. All of the other Kobolds wake up between 7:00 and 7:30 pm.
None of the Kobolds leave the Brood Den until 8:00 pm. This is the first opportunity for them to discover what has transpired.
The party is ASSURED of at least 3.5 hours of uninterrupted rest.

Checks: (1 in 1d10):
Checks are made every 90 minutes, starting at 8:30 pm.
08:30 pm = (7)
10:00 pm = (9)
11:30 pm = (9)
01:00 am = (10)
02:30 am = (5)

No one thinks to check the Ogre Cave. The party completes their rest time.

Who is on watch when the Kobolds make their discovery? (1d10)
01-02 = Hawke
03-04 = Nimbar
05-06 = Sphynx
07-08 = Ordred
09-10 = Quixt

(4) = Nimbar is on watch.

Nimbar hears shouting voices on the wind, beginning at about 8:15 pm. It is very faint and distant, probably because the voices are in the lair, not out in the ravine. The shouting lasts only a few moments, and then falls silent. The voices aren't loud enough to be heard by the sleeping party members; and the silence afterwards "speaks" to Nimbar that perhaps a conflict is coming. When Sphynx gets up for his watch, Nimbar tells him about it.

A little while later, around 11:15 pm, voices shouting to each other in Eryptian can be heard in the ravine. It is near the end of Sphynx's watch. Sphynx understands what is being said.

Wendol #1: "What happened? Did they resist?"

Wendol #2: "They said we murdered their Chieftain. We told them he gave his life willingly to Nerull. They didn't believe us. So we did what we had to do."

Wendol #1: "Any wounded?"

Wendol #2: "No, without their leadership, they were easy to squash."

Wendol #1: "Good. If they could not serve Nerull in life, they will serve him in death. Come back inside, the Queen Mother wants to hear you tell of it personally."

EVERYONE: Make a Listen check, DC 5. But you have a -10 to your roll, because you are asleep. If you hear the noise, you can wake up. If you wake up, and can speak Eryptian, feel free to click the spoiler above. Waking up briefly because of this noise will NOT count as an interruption to your rest, unless you choose to take actions that require more effort than talking. Otherwise, you can discuss it if needbe, and then go back to sleep, if you so desire.

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