We decided to go after the Kobolds, not exploring H19.
Enter H27 – Plains Hex
In H27 we found the old tree that was on the map that we found in the spider’s tunnel. We came across a group of dead Kobolds along with a group of dead Mites, 3 of each, at the site of a larger battle. The battlefield has been scavenged. Mites are underground dwelling Fey creatures. We discussed that this might be why the Kobolds have been upset as of late and we discussed the possibility of stopping the Kobold threats peacefully.
Gen continued to follow the Kobold tracks, but it was more difficult due to the battleground we discovered. Gen also noticed that the Mites seemed to have come from the Northeast and headed back in that direction after the battle.
We continue following the trail of the Kobolds. The trail begins to turn back to the east, following the Northern Shrike River in H27.
Enter H28 – Plains Hex
The Northern Shrike River is ranges between 50 – 100 feet wide. The river is swift enough to be used as a trading river. Along the river we find, according to Gen, Slurk marks, they look like markings that would be made by frogs, but medium sized. Gen and Woo Ting hear some croaking gurgling noises and we are attacked by a Slurk.
After we defeated the Slurk we continue to follow the path. Eventually the Northern Shrike river joins up again with the Southern Shrike river. We find the ruins of a old bridge which would block any river travel by boat. We think it is possible if anything feel in from up river it would get caught up in the bridge ruins. We continue following the Kobolds trail.
About a 100 yards up river, across from us, we see a burned building and spanning the river we see a long rope across the river. On our side of the river there is a sign for “Nettle’s Crossing – 5 copper – Ring Bell for Service”. Gen believes that the Kobolds crossed here. After I ring the bell a small mist begins to form on top of the river and travels up to the wreckage of the bridge. Then from the wreckage about 100 yards from us a body climbs and beings waking on this strange mist. He is carrying a Ranseur and Woo Ting and I determine that he is sentient.
He, in raspy voice requests that we, “Throw the Stag Lord body into the river, or join me instead.” We all agree to his request. Once this occurs he sinks back into the water. Once he has disappeared he we hear. “You may cross.” Gen, Searius, Woo Ting and I head across the river, leaving the loot we have thus far found (and the donkey) in the care of Kagwin, Thorn, Slipply and Brixos.
We believe that the burnt out shack was once a toll house across the bridge that is now wrecked. Gen, with help Searius set us once again on our path. The path heads south west along the Southern Shrike.
Enter H34 – Plains Hex
Right at the border of H28 and H34 the path turns back to the south, away from the river. We camp for the night.
During the night I have nightmares about the promise I made to the Undead with the Ranseur and I have a bad night of sleep. In the morning we wake up and continue to follow the Kobol tracks.
We find a second battlefield between the Kobolds and the Mites, as far as we can tell these are both from the same clans as the last battle field. This battlefield is much older but it has again been stripped of any value.
An outcropping of large boulders emerges from the weathered face of a nearby hillock. A narrow opening in the rock leads into darkness below. A fallen sign leans against the side of the cave entrance, and a cage made of branches and sticks sits on the other side.
Gen noted that the sign reads Oaktop Silver Mine. The stick cage next to the entrance contains a single blue Mite. The Mite attempts to hide from us and appears to have been crying. Searius hears noise from inside the cave and I call out to the creature in Draconic.
I manage to convince the Kobold to come out into the open so that we will be able to converse with it. The Kobold says that it’s the Kobold’s Magic Statue has been stolen.
Searius and I head inside of the Kobold cave to talk with the Kobold’s shaman to hear the full story. Near the entrance we notice three nooses hanging from the cave wall along with some metal hooks in the wall. He tells us to hug the right hand way on the way in, it seems like he had us avoid some traps. The tunnels are very small, if we were fighting Searius think it would be difficult and the approach is well defended. At the back we meet the Kobold’s shaman, called Tartuk. The Kobold tried is called the Sootscales, the Mites stole a statue of Old-Sharp Tooth (the Kobold’s god) about three weeks ago. The war with the Mites has been going on for a little more than a year. Tartuk describes where the Mites live and it seems to be consistent with the old tree that we found in H27.
Once we are done with the conversation we attempt to get information from the Mite but failed to gain any information due to lack of ability to speak it’s language. Searius and I then headed back to the woods and rejoins our companions. After some discussion we determine that we want to take the Mite prisoner with us, mostly because Woo Ting was concerned about the state that it was being kept.
We then take the Mite back back with us heading to rejoin our companions across the river. We then travel back to the old tree in H27. During the trip back we camp two times. During our trip back Woo Ting’s dreams were troubled.
We release our Mite prisoner in hopes that it will ease diplomacy. We then waited till dusk and headed into the caves beneath the tree. We went downwards and then made a right towards the sounds of laughter.
Three crude, wooden workbenches occupy the center of this room, their tops strewn with various tiny tools, metal and wooden hardware, and blocks of wood.
There we found two Mites playing a game where one of them launched a small catapult with a caltrop into the mouth of the other Mite. Once Woo Ting approached them we were attacked by the Mites. After knocking one of them unconscious the other fled and we gave chase. Screams in terror were heard below us. We descended downwards towards the screams of terror.
The walls of this egg-shaped cavern are obscured by thick tangles of long, pallid roots. To the east, the chamber opens into a wide, root-filled chasm.
We discovered that the screams of terror were a poor Kobold that was being tortured gleefully by a group of Mites. His name is Mikmek, he tells us he and his fellow warriors came to get back their holy statue. He insists in join us in getting the holy statue back. We head across the chasm deeper into the root system only to be ambushed once half the group had crossed.
A deep and ominous chasm splits the passage. The chasm is a few yards wide, and twice as deep, but thick ropes of tangled roots fill the entire area. The passage continues on the far side of the chasm, and between the two ledges, numerous loops have been tied into the roots to serve as hand- and footholds.
We fought off the Huge Whip-Tail Centipede and continued deeper into the roots system.
Rows of wooden pegs line the earthen walls, some hung with tiny, filthy cloaks. In the center of the room stands a rickety table held together with twine, covered with a filthy red- checked tablecloth and heaped with mounds of dirt and twigs and gravel, apparently arranged to form some sort of map. Sitting at the edge of the map, weighing down a scrap of paper, is a bloodstained ivory statuette of what looks like a crouching reptilian devil. A bulging burlap sack sits under the table.
The next chamber we find the holy statue on an old rickety table. It was being guarded by 5 Mites and a Giant Tick (medium sized). We win a hard one victory over the Mites we recovered the statue. We recover 32g 120s 193c and 12 spears from the room with the Mites. In the wreckage of the room we discover a ledger in a language that we cannot read. We continue deeper into the root system.
This damp room is haphazardly cluttered with broken beds, chairs, wagon wheels, and an assortment of worn, tattered, dingy, and broken objects pilfered or salvaged from big folk. A row of bookcases stands crookedly propped against the far wall, the shelves filled with bits of bone, feathers, and dried centipede legs. Old window frames, cracked
and splintered, hang upon the wall like works of fine art.
A gathering of Mites, including one that our ranger has taken to calling Rudolph (the Mite that we rescued from the Kobold) we gathered in the room. We made our presence known and showed them that we had taken the statue back and attempted to scare them into not doing this again. We then left heading to the surface along a path that seemed more straight for our exit.
The next room we encountered had these horrible little pools.
The wet-looking floor of this large cavern is crisscrossed by several shallow trenches, each containing trickles of putrid- looking fluid. Six foul mounds of compost and dung lie heaped about the room, each studded with small spherical eggs.
In this room we find a Mite female tending to 3 centipedes in the center of the room. We decide to attempt to sneak past this female and start to move across the room. Woo determined that we would have no chance of sneaking across the room. So Woo and I approached and attempted to head off any combat. Lucky Woo and my skill were up to the challenge and we were able to get out ot the hatchery without having to kill anything else.
Kagwin, Thorn, Brixos and Slippily head back to Oleg’s Trading Post with the loot that we have found thus far. Gen, Searius, Woo Ting and I head back to the Kobold’s camp. During one of night during the trip Mikmek called out “Death to Tartuk” during a dream. We asked him what was going on and he told us that Tartuk took the control of the Kobold from Sootscale (who is also a Kobold) via dark magics. Mikmek wants us to give the statue to Sootscale which he hopes will allow Sootscale to take back control of the clan. Tartuk has taken to sacrificing Kobold to stave off the evil of losing the statue. Tartuk convinced the clan it was cursed by showing a Kobold turning yellow and dying.
We all has a long discussion determine that blood sacrifices are just a step too far and we begin to make plans to give the statue back to Sootscale.
When we arrived back at the Kobold camp we notice that guard has changed, which is odd. We now head into the cave. Mikmek leads us into the cave to some sort of Temple, which has two stone tables, one that is covered with blood. We discovered that Nakpik (the Kobold that we talk with originally) has been sacrificed to give a blessing to our journey. Once Sootscale arrives I give the statue to Mikmek and he begins to give it to Sootscale when Tartuk arrives in the room, who does not want Mikmek to give the statue to Sootscale. Once Mikmek begins to give the statue to Sootscale his skin beings to turn yellow and the Kobolds panic. We notice that Tartuk is casting a spell and Gen attacks Tartuk with his Bow and the arrow is stopped by an unseen force (later determined to be an unseen servant). Sootscale then moves forward and smashes the statue. Mikmek continues to turn yellow but for some reason does not die. Sootscale then bellows a warcry and the Kobolds turn on Tartuk and murder him.
After Tartuk is taken care of Sootscale thanks us for doing a great service to his clan. Sootscale leads us back to to Tartuk old chambers to reward us for our service to him and his clan. We are given the treasures and Sootscale offers to enter into alliance with our group.
In the set of treasures we find:
Master Light Metal Shield
7 +1 Flaming Crossbow Bolts
Boots of Elvenkind
Soiled Leather Bag
* Plain Brass Wedding Ring with Single Pearl
* Dust of Illusion (one dose)
A Book written in a language that we don’t understand along with a Scroll of Fly
After using Comprehend Language we read both the ledger and the book.
The book is a journal written in Undercommon written by Tartuk. It discusses his deception in being a shaman. He was born a Gnome and died in an attempt to betray his village (but the village was convinced that he was trying to save it). Due to his apparent bravery the village decided to use a Scroll of Reincarnation to bring him back to life. When he was brought back to life he was brought back as a Kobold.
Out small group then headed back to Oleg’s Trading Post. During our trip back I discovered that Woo Ting had contracted Red Ache from being attacked by the Tick. It was touch a go there for a while but I was able to get the fever to break and Woo has started to recover.
We gained 1325 XP
After selling all of our gathered mundane equipment and distributing coins each player gained 550.