Current caffeine levels [/////////////// ]. Probable post coherance, minimal.
I hate Tuesday mornings. Anyway, here is the second installment of our epic D&D misadventures. Just in case you weren't paying attention last time, here's a quick run down of our characters, introducing our two newcomers.
Larrsinan: The party leader, a tiefling warlord favouring axes and with an apparent predisposition for having the shit kicked out of him.
Carric: A half-elf ranger who's been reading books on martial arts since last time, and so now has some crazy kung fu skills going on. His fox companion, however, does not.
Illyria: Antisocial half-elf warlock with hugely destructive powers, and rather alcoholic tendencies.
Damakos: A tiefling wizard who's just as much of an antisocial git as Illyria, although without the alcoholism.
Lucifer: A human paladin who is unfailingly polite and under the unfortunate impression that Illyria is in any way ladylike. Also very handy with his broadsword, much to the relief of our party.
We left our heroes at the Dragon Graveyard where they had just killed off a group of bandits and rescued the friend of the sage. Said friend, who will now be known as Rescuee, was very grateful, but when the party was confronted by a gang of kobolds on the way back to Winterhaven, he wasn't exactly what you might call useful.
This group of kobolds had a shaman in their midst, and were much better armed than the last lot. They also got the drop on everyone since the party had apparently decided that being somewhat competant in the last battle meant that they could stop paying attention. Thus we started off with Larrsinan taking a ball of acid to the gut while everyone else just sort of stared. After much flailing and being useless, Carric finally managed to get some hits in against one of them and Illyria blew another one to pieces. And then they went straight back to being utterly useless, as Swiftpaw took a heavy blow and went down, and Carric, instead of raising her, opted to charge through the kobolds with his shiny new Steel Avalanche attack, possibly as some form of vengeance. This, while doing some damage, ultimately was not very helpful, as Carric was then downed almost immediately after, while Larrsinan limped about with exactly one hit point left, managing an Inspiring Word to at least get Carric conscious, if not upright.
In the midst of our failtastic flailing, the first of our shiny new party members appeared on the horizon. Being a paladin, and noticing that the party were not exactly doing well, he immediately charged in and landed a hefty Holy Strike on the back of the nearest kobold's head. It didn't kill it, but it was better than almost anything the rest of them had managed. Illyria attempted to level a blow at the shaman and missed it completely, although thankfully it missed her too, although the ball of acid winging past her face at high speed was rather alarming,
It was then that our second new addition arrived. Damakos stumbled out of a bush and took a chunk out of the shaman with a Magic Missile, thus earning Illyria's ire for being a better shot than she was, although she still held herself as one point up because she had actually killed something. Then she got distracted by one kobold stabbing Lucifer in the leg, which led to her getting a stab wound of her own; her first wound in the campaign so far. Rescuee was then briefly useful as he smacked one of the kobolds in the face. Larrsinan, still limping and still useless, proceeded to run away to a safe distance and order Lucifer to attack another of them. Illyria, severely pissed off, attempted to ruin her attacker with Dire Radiance and Vampiric Embrace. She spectacularly failed at both and Damakos took a ball of acid to the stomach a moment later. His response was to summon a Flaming Sphere (christened Fred) which thoroughly toasted the offending shaman. In the background, Carric finally got up and kung fued one of the few remaining to death.
One of the hardier kobolds took another chunk out of Lucifer while another tried and failed to hit Rescuee. Lucifer, in one of his worse moments, decided to try and intimidate one of the kobolds, which basically entailed him standing over it and going 'ooga booga' while it blinked at him stupidly. Illyria, rather pissed off at this point, then exploded it all over Lucifer's nice shiny white plate mail. Meanwhile, Fred the Flaming Sphere proceeded to miss his next target and the last kobold spearman went for Rescuee, except didn't actually connect in any way, instead sailing past and landing in a heap. Lucifer, since he's a nice guy and all, challenged the thing, and then utterly failed to actually hurt him. Illyria then attempted to kill the last of the kobolds, only to find that everyone was in her way, so she simply healed herself and grumbled about the lack of violence.
Fred, in fine flaming fashion, then lightly roasted the kobold. And Damakos. And Carric. And Lucifer. Thus everyone in the party learned to dislike Fred, except Illyria, who found all of this hilarious. Finally, after much yelling at Damakos to get his damn fireball under control, the kobold was intimidated into submission and tied upside down to his own spear. The party tried to interrogate him, but he was a gibbering idiot, so they all just kicked him on their way past, especially Larrsinan, who hadn't actually hit anything for the entire duration of the battle.
While looting the bodies, Lucifer introduced himself, in typical very polite paladin fashion. Illyira decided that they could keep him, while Larrsinan and Carric sniggered at the fact Lucifer called her a 'lady'. In the background, Damakos helped himself to an amulet that one of the kobolds was carrying, namely one bearing the sign of the Underworld god Orcus.
Finally, the party returned to Winterhaven, beaten and bruised and very, very annoyed at all things kobold-shaped. However, they also noticed that the field around the town were awfully empty looking, and the guards standing on the gate suddenly looked terribly attentive. However, nothing was actually wrong per say, everyone was just a bit on edge. The party members looked at each other, shrugged, and went to give the sage a beating for sending them into kobold territory. Well, most of them did. Lucifer excused himself and went to the pub instead.
On reaching the tower and presenting the sage with both Rescuee and the Orcus amulet, he stopped them before they gave him the kicking he totally deserved and told them a story:
Hundreds of years ago, a group of powerful sorcerors opened a rift to the Shadowfell. This rift was eventually sealed in the time of the Empire and a keep was built over it. However, the knight, Sir Keegan, who was tasked with defending the keep, descended into madness, killing his wife, his children and his lieutenants, before going on to slaughter his men until he was subdued. The keep was subsequently abandoned, and has since fallen into disrepair. The few who knew of the existence of the rift assumed that the remote location in the hills would remain secret, and even if the seal was found, it would take an extremely powerful sorceror to open it.
The sage explained that the rift opened onto a section of the Shadowfell that was sacred to Orcus, and that the cult the party had been sent to investigate may be attempting to open it up again, using the kobolds to defend and distract from their efforts. He also told them that the kobolds are camped out in a cave to the south east.
With this in mind, the party moved on to the inn to rest up and, in Illyria's case, get something to drink. The others filled in Lucifer and Damakos on their mission, before being distracted by the town leader, Lord Padraig, entering the inn for a drink.
Everyone, minus Illyria who was propping up the bar, sidled up to him to inform him that the cult may have moved into the old keep and that they may have something to do with the numerous kobold attacks. Padraig admitted that the kobold attacks have been becoming more of a problem, and also acknowledged that his town militia have been less than effective since they cannot operated outside of the town limits. Given their new grudge against all things kobold, Carric volunteered the party to clear out the kobold lair, and Padraig hired them as mercenaries.
The next morning, the party (with a hungover Illyria, of course), stopped off at the blacksmith's to offload some of the loot they picked up, as well as dropping by the sage's tower to sell off the dragon scale shields they had picked up from the kobolds and to get directions to the lair. They also invested in some ranged weapons at Lucifer's suggestion. Except for Illyria, who is a ranged weapon. They picked up some lanterns too, because, you know, cave.
Then they headed off to kill themselves some kobolds.
After a nice long kobold-free walk, the party came across a pleasantly rugged area with a waterfall. And a ton of of little dragony bastards. There was also a big glowing magic circle, and after much muttering and scratching of heads, Illyria and Lucifer finally figured out that it made any attacks made inside the circle a fair bit stronger. Unfortunately, one of the aformentioned little dragony bastards was standing right in the middle of it.
Deciding that discretion is the better part of valour, Carric and Larrsinan took the stealthy approach and moved along to get a proper look at the enemy. Illyria pulled her own ninja act and moved along the side of the cave, and Lucifer, who is actually incapable of stealth, just sort of wandered along after her. Damakos was apparently asleep in a bush or something at this point.
Then in a stunning display of rangerly sneaking, Carric blew everyone's cover, not that it made much difference because we're talking about kobolds here; they ain't bright. Larrsinan, eager for violence after his spectacular failure to take part in any other than the receiving kind last time, rushed the kobold in the circle and bludgeoned it, followed swiftly by Carric who flanked it along with Swiftpaw and proceeded to beat the tar out of it. Over on the left flank, Lucifer challenged a lone kobold, while Illyria moved into the surrounding woods and laid a curse on an unsuspecting enemy.
Back at the magic circle, Larrsinan killed off the kobold and moved himself firmly into the circle, while Lucifer continued beating his little friend over in the corner of the area. Carric distracted another one with Swiftpaw killed it. Illyira, from her position in the trees, heavily singed a rather confused kobold who had no idea where this was coming from or why it was happening to him, and then his day was made even worse as Damakos finally woke up and re-summoned Fred the Flaming Sphere, who proceeded to menace the poor kobold and his friends.
Larrsinan was then hit with a glue bomb, which unfortunately stuck him in place, yet left him still able to attack. Inside the magic circle, which gave extra power to those attacks. A tragedy. Then, Carric removed the needs for this effect by killing three kobolds thoroughly to death with one hit. Three more tired to stab him, but only one was successful, and the rest were roasted by Fred. Lucifer finally dealt with his mate on the left and Larrsinan chucked a rock at one of the few remaining around the circle. It hit the thing between the eyes and dropped it. Finally, Carric mopped up the couple remaining with another mighty kung fu display and then the ritual looting of the bodies commenced.
Illyria was still not allowed to hold any of the money.
And that was the end of the week's adventures. Next week: Kobold Extermination Funtime!