3Oaks #5: Deeper into the lair

Real-world date: September 21, 2006
Hanorian date: StockTend 10th (still, been about two hours since you entered
the lair so far).
Moon phase: 5/7ths full.
Season: Late summer
Weather: Afternoon showers, building into thunderstorms about 50% of the
time.

Well, things started slowly enough, but eventually things started moving
forward.

Tonight’s session started just after the group had finished off a group of
kobolds guarding the entrance to the kobold lair. After defeating them the
group realized that the pit trap they had narrowly avoided led to what
seemed to be a large underground cave. After discussion of what was likely
waiting down below for hapless kobold invaders to “drop in on them” the
group decided to take their chances with the kobolds in the upper level.
Opening the door they discovered a passageway leading directly away from the
door, and one turning abruptly left just past the door.

Alec went out into the passageway searching for traps and scouting around.
He discovered a door just to the right in the passageway straight ahead, and
one further down on the left in the same corridor. The group decided to
investigate the first door on the right and discovered it to be a small room
with some makeshift bedding in the corners, and some remains of a kobold
meal in one corner. A search turned up nothing of value. Heading down the
hall Alec was not successful in discovering a trap which fired a crossbow
bolt, hitting Alec. Moving further down the corridor, Alec was lucky enough
to notice a slit along one wall that appeared to be a means for an ambush to
hit unwary passers by. At about the same time, Euha, who was keeping an eye
on the corridor to the left of the entry door from the guard room, spotted a
kobold who entered that corridor through a door, threw a spear, and
retreated back to the safety of an unseen corridor. Upon the second time the
kobold attempted this provocation, Euha nailed it with a well-placed shot
and it fell back into the other corridor.

This allowed the team to return its attention to the potential ambush in the
original corridor. They decided to squirt lamp oil from a skin into the
slit, and then to light it with a torch. Alec proved to be very skillful in
this and successfully squirted oil into the opening and tossed a lit torch
in after it, causing it to flame up which revealed four slits spaced along
the wall at roughly five foot intervals. The group heard rapid footsteps
fleeing from the flames but could not tell where they went.

The group then decided to open the second door, the one on the left, and
discovered it untrapped and unlocked. Entering the room they discovered what
appeared to be a crude temple area with a small altar on one side of the
room with a statue of the kobold deity. Butterchin discovered a platinum
piece which had been placed in the hand of the statue. The temple also
contained smaller enclosed room which when searched seemed to be a
comfortable resting area. On a shelf in the room they discovered five glass
vials full of liquid (three with yellow, one with red, one with blue) and
four rolled up parchments. There were signs that these were left behind in a
hasty attempt to gather up more items.

Guessing that the three yellow vials might be of some help in healing the
party, Butterchin opened and tasted the material in one of the yellow vials.
It turned out to be a weak healing potion, probably adequate for kobolds,
but not as powerful as a typical healing potion used by humans or other
common races. One each was consumed by Euha and Alec. The blue vial was
tested and found to be pleasant tasting, perhaps a more powerful version of
the yellow liquid. The red vial was sniffed and found to smell dangerous,
and nobody wanted to taste it. One parchment appeared to be a list of names,
another seemed to be a list of activities the priest performed in his
official capacity. One parchment was completely unreadable, in some unknown
language, and one was some magical text but was not deciphered.

As the group moved on to a door opposite the one they entered, a group of
three kobolds entered the door they originally came through and a battle
began. Butterchin seemed to be the primary target of the kobolds but the
group beat them back easily enough, although Butterchin took some additional
damage in the encounter. A search of the dead kobolds turned up only a few
copper pieces.

The group returned its attention to the opposite door, and opened it,
revealing another corridor moving from right to left and a blank wall in
front of the door. Alec again missed a trap, but was lucky when the arrow
fired by the trap missed him. Moving to the left the group found the body of
a dead kobold, freshly killed. Apparently this was the same one Euha had hit
earlier. Searching the kobold’s body and the square it was in revealed yet
another trap trigger, and the group avoided stepping on the square. A search
of the kobold’s body found a few silver and copper pieces and a vial of
yellow liquid. Butterchin again assumed correctly that this was likely more
of the kobold healing potion and drank it himself, restoring some lost
health.

Alec noticed that the wall at the end of the corridor was different somehow
and eventually discovered a lever which triggered a secret door to slide up
into the ceiling. The team also noticed a door further down the corridor
that they had missed in their look down the corridor from the other side. An
unpleasant odor came from that door and the group decided to leave it alone.
Returning to the secret door, they opened it and moved down the hallway
where Alec found yet another spring operated trap, but was successful in
disabling this one. Travelling further up the corridor, Alec discovered
another secret door, but was unable to find the lever but Belvin did find
it. Pulling the lever they discovered a light crossbow set to fire down the
corridor the way they had come, most probably connected to the trap that
Alec had disabled. Alec dismantled the crossbow trap and packed it away
along with the crossbow bolt. In doing this yet another secret door was
discovered along with the operating lever.

Upon pulling that lever the group found themselves suddenly face to face
with a different type of kobold than they had seen before. This kobold had a
shield and a sword, and a bow slung on its back. Two of them were in the
corridor revealed by the secret door. Before the group could do much, these
kobolds turned and ran down the corridor and vanished into the darkness.

The group decided not to pursue them, and in fact did not even advance into
the newly revealed corridor. Instead they turned left into another corridor
where Alec did not find any traps, but walked into another ambush from a
more cleverly concealed set of arrow slits. Euha immediately placed his
shield in front of the slit between it and Alec, and the group backed away
from the slit. Butterchin decided that the red liquid they had discovered
earlier might be some sort of acid or explosive and convinced Alec to throw
the vial through the slit. Alec successfully accomplished this and the vial
shattered and erupted into flame which seemed to fill a large area with a
powerful explosion. Kobold screams were heard on the other side of the slit,
and the sudden light from the flames revealed three more slits along the
wall in front of the first one, leading up to a door.

This is where we had to stop.

So, the group managed to confirm that they had killed four kobolds, and had
survived four traps and two ambushes. They may have injured or killed
additional creatures but could not confirm that. Upon confirmation of
further kills, the appropriate experience points will be awarded.

For tonight the group gets the following xp:

4 dead kobolds = 300 xp.
4 traps = 200 xp.
2 ambushes (I’ll treat ambushes the same as traps) = 100 xp

So straight xp is 600xp.

However, I thought you guys did some very intelligent things, so I have some
bonus xp to award.

Alec was awesome tonight. He may have triggered a couple of traps instead of
disarming them, but he kept the group from serious trouble on several
occasions. I’m going to award the team an additional 50 xp for Alec’s
extraordinary rogueing.

Butterchin applied good logic to the question of what might be in the vials,
and as a result was able to heal the team more than through his own
resources. Had the dice been kinder to the group on those vials, you might
have restored two characters fully. Even so I will award an additional 50 xp
for Butterchin’s cleverness.

Euha also performed well, and for once the dice were kind to Ravi. But his
actions led to the deaths of the kobolds you got xp for already so although
I’d like to, I can’t justify any bonus xp to Euha. I can say “good job”
though.

Belvin showed admirable restraint, carefully evaluating the situation in the
encounter and reserving spells until needed. This may have made it seem that
Belvin was not helping the party, but I have a strong feeling that the group
will end up very thankful that Belvin showed such restraint. So I award 50
bonus xp to Belvin as well.

Why do I feel like Professor Dumbledore?

Anyway, that gives the group a total of 750 xp. So each member receives 188
each (again). Added to the 531 you had already, you are now at 719 xp,
almost 3/4 of the way to level 2.

DM’s notes:

1. I am trying to play these kobolds as if they are truly defending their
home, a home that was designed to be defended. I apologize if my initial
warnings that you might die in here caused you undue stress and confusion in
starting the campaign tonight. I feel bad, but on the other hand, I think
had I not put the fear of death into you, you may not have found some of the
things you found and things might have gone worse for you.

2. It is fairly obvious to me in a land of magical healing that most races
who engage in combat would have their fair share of healing potions that
they carry and use. Rest assured that the kobolds you have encountered are
not merely carrying the potions around so you can find them. Given the
opportunity, they will use them themselves.

3. It should also be fairly obvious that if you found some glass vial which
causes flame or explosion, the kobolds didn’t leave you to find the only one
they had.

4. The two new type of kobold you encountered did not seem to be running
away in panic. They appeared to be retreating in an orderly fashion.

5. Von, or someone, mentioned that a kobold lair with a temple would be some
sort of large and extravagant lair. I don’t agree. At least the kobolds I am
going to be playing as NPCs take their religion very seriously, and creating
a makeshift temple would be high on their list of priorities in carving out
a lair for themselves, even if it is a relatively new one as this one seems
to be. A kobold or goblin lair is not just a hole in the ground for them to
run and hide. It is a place for them to live, to cook, to eat, to sleep, to
gather together and engage in activities such as training their martial
skills, etc. Kobolds in Hanoria, and other creatures who dig tunnels (like
dwarves) are unlikely to do it all by hand. They will have magical means to
accomplish their goals just as any other race would have. So expect to find
in this lair a well thought out place to live, learn, heal, etc. And using
their natural ability, some clever tools, and some specific magic that they
find useful, it does not take long to create a reasonable lair. Rest assured
the lair you are in is not the largest, nor the most elaborate, lair in the
world.

6. You found a temple, but did not find a cleric or shaman.

7. Three, at least, of the kobolds you have killed and searched, had
platinum pieces and jewelry, which is somewhat rare in kobold society. This
might be something that could cause you to wonder where it came from.

I hope tonight was OK for everyone. Dungeon crawling is difficult to get
used to, both for the player and the DM. I am going to continue to play this
as if these kobolds actually don’t want to die, want to defend their
territory, and have planned for just this sort of situation and so have some
plans and techniques they have practiced and perfected so that they can
defend their homes.

See you back in the lair in two weeks.

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