Who let the gnome out?!?

Continuing the adventures of Kobold extermination...

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude....

After celebrating our victory against Szarthax, and raising our glasses to our fallen comrade, Roscoe, the night before, we all awoke the next day with what felt like hot steel behind our eyes, and the heaviness of head akin to having been bludgeoned by the foulness of a mountain giant’s left bollock. Twould serve us right after having imbibed that awful ale that tasted like (what we could only imagine as) hot goat urine. Had one of us had the precognition to chip off pieces of Roscoe to chill our tankards ‘ere we drank, we could have added yet another praise to the long list of our fallen brother’s heroic sacrifices…Roscoe Rocks! (or perhaps Roscoe-on-the-rocks). At least we may have enjoyed our carousing with a cold one in hand, and been spared the indignity of this morn. Yet, our natures won over our indiscretions, and we eventually sought to continue our mission to exterminate Kobolds, and unravel the riddles which beckon at our backs.

When we met with Lord Markelhay, he was overcome with joy at the sound of our dominion over the dragon. Yet, his joy was tinged with sadness as he reported bands of Kobolds still continuing to pirate the travelers to his city. There was rumor that there was some excavation happening at the old dwarven mines. He had sent two men to reconnoiter the area ahead, but they had not returned. Lord Markelhay commissioned us with the task to discover what became of his two men, and to exterminate any Kobolds we may encounter along the way.

When set off on foot to the east towards Thuderspike. We saw nary a traveler along the way. Approximately 15 miles into our journey, at the crossroad heading north, both Avanta and Peleous notice a humanoid creature carelessly attempting to hide himself from our battle hardened eyes. When beckoned to reveal himself lest we show him the business end of our swords, an earthy man with a sandy blond, dreadlocked coif steps out from behind his cover. His appearance evokes laughter from the gnome, which is quite sad, especially coming from the gnome.

The stranger introduces himself as Erich, the Druid. Upon further prodding, we learn that Erich is very prone to “visions,” and that the latest he has seen involved “cults.” His visions of late have been less pronounced as he has since run out of his vision implement, Bis. “Do any of you know where I can purchase a Can of Bis?” We questioned him more in particular regarding the “cults,” but he could not recall much. Erich did mention seeing “something” along the road from which he just came. As it was getting late in the day, we decided to set camp for the night, and wait for morning before heading north to backtrack over Erich’s path to see if we could pick up a missed clue.

The night was uneventful.

Morning came and we headed north. We picked up some tracks a few miles down the path which looked like Kobold. They headed east into the woods. We followed the tracks into the forest. If ever there was a cue for ominous music…

We did not encounter anything as we made our way through the woods. Our going was slow through the dense underbrush. Night soon fell upon us. We strayed from the path to set up a camp in relative hiding. Being in the forest at night made us nervous…the cover made it both difficult to see us, but also made it easier for any transgressors to sneak up on us. So, Avanta set and armed a trap to alert us of anyone lurking about. Avanta heard what sounded like “scurrying” noises during his watch. “Hey guys,” he excitedly squealed, “I think I hear something!” (Thus breaking the silence, and alerting anything with ears within range…you dolt!) Several humanoid creatures traveling westward along the path stopped to assess the present danger they sensed. They stopped and recognized the trap set in the path. They began to back away. We slowly attempted to gain position on them. We were able to verify four Kobolds. Three of them were able to recognize our camp, cried out, and ran back the way they came. We quickly gathered our gear and gave chase.

We tracked them to their lair. To our left was a high stone wall. We heard noises emanating from the other side of the wall. Auglath, behemoth that he is, peers over the wall and sees Kobolds scurrying about an excavation site. Naturally, when they see his giant head floating on the rocks peering at them, they begin to scream (more out of shock than of alarm.) The battle commences…

Our party vies for position. Kerric makes a run for the eastern wall in an attempt to create a crossfire. Avanta gains the first initiative and viciously mocks a Slinger (S1), saying that his “pink sling looks good with his lipstick.” Peleous takes his first attack and attempts to cast his powerful Contagion spell, but gets tongue-tied! Pel reels from his botched utterance and is dazed. The slingers rally and hit Avanta with both a stinkpot and a gluepot. Not only is our bard immobilized but his now fouler stench is hindering his ability to fight. Erich tries to climb the southern wall in an attempt to join the fray, but his spindly arms can barely haul his weight [fumbles]. “Duuuude, too tall” we hear him complaining over the clashing of swords. (it’s only five feet!!!)

Kerric hops onto the eastern wall and looses two arrows that hit their mark. Two of the Kobolds lay dead with arrows through their eye sockets. Avanta’s Stirring Shout worms its way into the mind of one of the nearby slingers (S2). Peleous flicks venom at the slinger initially mocked by Avanta and kills it. Aug attempts a Thunder Ram Assault and misses. Unfortunately, he took some hits as he was positioning himself against his target. One of the remaining slingers successfully hurls a stinkpot at Kerric, causing his heightened elvish senses to run amok. Erich begins to snap out of his perpetual haze, and forces another attempt at climbing the otherwise-cigarette-paper-thin high wall…and SUCCEEDS! He immediately casts his Grasping Tide spell and kills the three Kobold minions that are engaging Auglath. Unfortunately, Erich also hurt Aug with his spell. Slinger (S2) cannot save against the stabbing in his mind from Avanta’s shout and takes ongoing damage.

Kerric lets fly with two more arrows. The stench of the glue pot makes Kerric’s eyes burn and he misses one of the minions. The second is not as lucky, and it falls dead. Aug summons his Strength of Stone and attempts to smash his foe…and misses. Seeing his gigantic friend all bloodied, Avanta sings a song of healing and pushes Aug off the wall and into the battle zone (need some fighting room!). Avanta then turns to viciously mock one of the slingers, but fails as his voice chokes on the stink fumes. Peleous fires an eldritch blast at one of the slingers and causes heaping amounts of damage. The slinger begins to sizzle and explodes from the eldritch energy within him. The minions press their attack against Auglath and continue to pummel the giant. A slinger hurls and immobilizes Kerric with a gluepot. Erich summons his Chill Wind and gives a minion a lethal dose of hypothermia. The stench around Kerric intensifies. He misaligns the first arrow, and, when loosed, ends up piercing his own ears. He bleeds profusely, but at least doesn’t hit and ally – alas, poor Roscoe! By this time, Kerric is getting quite frustrated. He knocks a second arrow, gets all asian-focused-like and despite the handicaps incurred by both the stink [-2 to hit] and his now pierced ear [the left one is pierced because a piercing on the right would imply that he is a member of the “fairy” class <wink-wink-nudge-nudge>”] ….kills the last of the slingers. Auglath, too, tired of being poked at by the minions, slaughters the remaining vile creature with his Strength of Stone attack.

Ear Total: Minions: 8 Slingers: 3 Elf: 1

Experience: 500 XP (100 XP / each) Money / Treasure: 0

After cursory investigation of the excavation site, we found a rope leading into the earth. We each climbed down the rope and assumed defensive positions while waiting for the others. Peering into the darkness, Kerric sees shadows dancing from the very dimly lit walls. We spread out and readied ourselves for anything. Unfortunately as we rounded the corner, a murder of Kobolds, led by a wyrm priest, surprised us. The battle ensues in a corridor flanked on both sides by beautiful tapestry, and a statue in the middle.

Both the priest and a slinger hit Kerric, instantly bloodying him. Avanta viciously mocks the priest, but is surprised to see that the priest has his hands over his ears and is countering with “Nyah, Nyah” taunts. Kerric turns his bow against the priest. He shoots five arrows at the priest, only two of which find their mark. [1. Twin Strike 2. Action Point 3. Elven Reroll]. Three Kobold Dragon Shields surround and strike at Auglath. Aug was able to weave around two of their attacks, but the third was able to critically hurt Auglath. Erich surprises us by shifting to his bear form and Pounces on one of the Dragon Shields (DS2), doing some damage. Peleous focuses on DS 2 and hurts it with an Eldritch Blast. Auglath, seeing the pattern, attempts a Thunder Ram against DS 2, but misses. He takes another action and smashes DS2 with a Strength of Stone attack. A Kobold Skirmisher reveals himself from the shadows and makes his presence known by hurling a spear that hits Erich for minimal damage.

The fray heats up and the Wyrm Priest casts an energy orb at Aug that just misses him and splashes into an array of fiery colors…by his head. We notice that the priest also seemed to cast a spell which seemed to bolster the Dragon Shields. Target that he is, Aug endures more damage from a bullet hurled by the slinger. Avanta gives a Shout of Triumph against the Dragon Shields and only hits DS 1. Kerric lets fly another two arrows which both find their mark against DS2. DS 2 and DS3 gash Erich with their swords and begin their retreat. DS1 follows suit and also hits Erich as he retreats. Seeing their retreat, Erich casts a Grasping Tide at the murder of Dragon Shields and is able to overwhelm DS2 in the deluge. The Dragon Shield is unable resist the tide and is killed by the waves. Erich re-casts his Grasping Tide again in order to sweep away the evading Dragon Shields, and is able to douse both DS 1 and the skirmisher. Peleous spat a venomous loogi at the priest, and misses. [But, the viscous nature of said loogi allows it to stick to the wall by the priest’s head]. Frustrated, Pel invokes his Sacrifice to Caiphon and regains his spell. Like the Druid, Aug fairs no better with his Strength of Stone attack, for he too misses. Continuing the trend, the skirmisher tries to attack, but fumbles. He is weakened. His failure to hit demoralizes him, and he attempts to flee. Forgetting about Erich’s spell, whose aura still affects the ground upon which he stands, the skirmisher nearly falls. Fortunately, the spell fails and the skirmisher is able to keep his footing.

Avanta becomes the next target of the Wyrm Priest as he takes some damage. In a reprise of his false bravado of old, Avanta charges the Priest, but misses horribly as the priest merely sidesteps Avanta’s rush. As a consolation, Avanta casts some healing onto Erich. Kerric finally gets his head into the fray and scores a critical hit upon DS3, causing the dragon shield to really focus when it attacks [-2 due to Crushing Blow]. Erich re-casts the Grasping Tide and overwhelms DS1, DS 3, and the slinger. The torrents are too much for the slinger as they drown the life out of him. As the party fights their way through the corridor, the Wyrm priest springs his trap and drops the tapestry upon them. However, the priest’s clumsy attempt is sensed by the party and they easily avoid getting smothered by the wall-carpet. One of the Dragon Shields (DS3) isn’t as fortunate and gets enveloped by the tapestry. Auglath, not missing a golden opportunity, attacks the Kobold dragon shield entangled by the tapestry with his Strength of Stone attack. What the party did not realize is, like pieces on a chessboard, they had been manipulated into a precarious position. Upon command, the Kobold skirmisher pushes the statue in the middle of the room in an attempt to crush or pin us underneath its weight. The Skirmisher miscalculates the necessary strength to fell the statue, and misses the opportunity to cripple the party.

The Wyrm Priest and Avanta trade blows – the priest using his spear and Avanta singing merrily and striking with uncanny choreographic precision.

“When you’re a Bard you’re a Bard all the way <slash> from your first War Song Strike to your last dying day! <pow>. When you’re a bard better do what you can, <kick> you’ve got heroes around, you’re a manly-man’s man! < STABBITY -STAB>”

Kerric’s arrows sail wide of the priest as Avanta’s display affects not only the priest’s ability to do battle but also wreaks havoc with Elven focus. DS1 attempts to pick up where the skirmisher failed and tries to topple the statue, but DS1 is also unable to move the statue off its moorings. The Wyrm priest springs his last trick and drops the tapestry on the opposite wall. The party, now alert to the trickster natures of the Kobolds, once again avoids this sad display of cunning. However, the Kobolds, lacking battlefield synchronicity, get foiled by their own designs. This time, it is DS 3 that becomes enveloped by the tapestry. Erich, seeing Fortune cast a favorable eye towards the party, casts a Chill Wind spell. It becomes quite apparent that our new friend has been too reliant upon his “medication,” because he fumbled the spell. The effect is that Erich’s tongue is stuck to a proverbial metal pole, and he is unable to cast, much less utter a sound, until the effects wear off [one round]. Auglath summons his Strength of Stone attack, demolishes DS3, and utterly leaves the now dead dragon shield as nothing more than a stain upon the stone floor. Peleous deftly moves around the room, and as he does so, is unaware of an opportunity attack from DS1. The Dragon Shield misses, and Peleous attempts to counter with an Eldritch Blast, but he too, misses. Finally, the Skirmisher, seeing the battle turning against him and his murder, moves away from Auglath. Aug tries to stab at the retreating Kobold, but misses the shifty lizard. The skirmisher sees Avanta engaged in a dance with the Wyrm priest and stabs Avanta from behind.

The Wyrm priest is bloodied and casts a final Energy Orb against Peleous…but misses. The Orb splashes against the wall…in a brilliant array of lights and color…right beside Peleous’s head. Kerric’s arrows find their mark and kill DS1. Erich charges the skirmisher and Pounces upon it. The skirmisher is taking a beating but still stands fast. Peleous taunts the skirmisher and lures it into taking a slice at him. But as the Skirmisher connects with Peleous, its mind is blasted as a result of Pelous’s Darkspiral Aura, AKA “bug zapper.” [Note to Party: Be more discriminate when inviting soldiers to join our band. “Touch me…Touch me” is a poor choice of a battle cry] While the DS 1 remains momentarily shocked, Peleous turns his attention to the Wyrm Priest and blasts him with Eldritch energy. The wyrm priest makes his best (and last) impression of an egg in “ye olde microwave” and explodes. Aug unloads yet another Strength of Stone attack upon the skirmisher. The skirmisher, brave though he thought he was, collapses in death.

Ear Total: Dragon Shield: 3 Slingers: 1 Wyrm Priest: 1 Skirmisher: 1

Experience: 625 XP (125 XP / each) Money / Treasure: 0

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darkholme

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