3Oaks #7: Freeing the kobolds’ prisoners

Real-world date: November 2, 2006
Hanorian date: StockTend 12th – 13th
Moon phase: one day from full.
Season: Late summer
Weather: Afternoon showers, building into thunderstorms about 50% of the
time.

The group started the evening in the arena room where they had in our last session encountered and killed a kobold. The group also had just leveled up, which gave them increased hit points and additional skills and abilities, as well as spell slots.

The group searched the room and found nothing. They posted guards at each door as they discussed their options and after eating their dinner in the room, they heard a noise in the hall outside the unopened door opposite to the door they came in. The door was opened and a kobold staggered through the doorway to fall on the floor. The kobold’s hands were bound. The group waited to see what would happen next.

Soon after Lupe, the ranger who had asked them to help clear out the kobold lair, entered followed by the Hanorian guard from the Keep who had been part of the group left behind to protect the Galloping Pony. Both Lupe and the guard appeared to have been caught in a flaming trap similar to the one they had been caught in. Lupe had captured and attempted to question the bound kobold, and was frustrated so told the group they needed to question the kobold. Lupe also gave the group a bag filled with some items he had apparently recovered from his own kobold encounters over the course of the day. The bag contained three yellow flasks (probably kobold heal potions), one blue flask (probably kobold cure poison potion) and one green flask (unknown).

The group at first attempted to intimidate the kobold into speaking, but that failed and seemed to only increase the kobold’s resolve. But during these efforts, Butterchin increasingly came to the defense of the kobold. Eventually Lupe grew so frustrated that he backhanded the kobold across the room, at which point Butterchin stepped in and demanded that Lupe stop, which Lupe agreed to do if the group could get information from the kobold.

Butterchin negotiated with the kobold in one corner while the rest of the group compared notes about the days events. Lupe guessed that there were about a dozen kobolds left alive in the lair, including at least one shaman. Nobody in the group informed Lupe that they were certain they had encountered a kobold sorcerer. Butterchin finally agreed to heal some of the kobold’s wounds and did so. Butterchin then managed to convince the kobold that he would personally protect the kobold (whose name was “Krid”) from the rest of the group. Butterchin swore an oath on his holy symbol to free Krid if the kobold would tell them the truth and answered the groups questions. Krid finally agreed to this.

From Krid the group learned that the goggles and viscous liquid they had been finding were intended to allow kobolds to fight during the day in the sunlight. Krid also revealed that the kobold lair they were in was part of a network of lairs that were being built with the help of powerful magic users according to some plan that was led by mysterious “overlords” that Krid himself had never seen. Krid also told the group that there were prisoners in the lair, which Lupe immediately identified as their top priority to free them. Krid pointed in the general direction of the prisoners, a direction neither Lupe nor the group had been down yet.

Butterchin and the group kept their promise to Krid, and he was freed. Krid went down the hallway Lupe had come from and disappeared into the darkness. (XP will be awarded for interrogating and then freeing the kobold).

The group then agreed to go with Lupe to see if they could find and free the prisoners. They carefully worked their way out the door the group had originally entered the arena room, down the hall to their left to the intersection of corridors, turned right and followed that tunnel until it dead-ended at a locked door. They encountered no traps and heard nothing along the way, until they reached the locked door where they could faintly hear a woman crying. Alec managed to unlock the door after checking it for traps (XP for unlocking the door) and Alec entered the room only to be surprised and attacked by a kobold who managed to hit Alec once with a spear. Alec and Euha both attempted to hit the kobold but missed, but the kobold surrendered as soon as he realized he was badly outnumbered. (XP for defeating the kobold).

The room (really an enlarged hallway) had six doors, all of which appeared to be locked. The kobold jailer immediately handed over the keys to Alec and they opened the door where they heard the crying where they found a matronly woman, two older gentlemen and a younger man in the cell. The matronly woman identified herself as Rose, the wife of a wealthy tobacco and wine merchant from Arich. (I did not give her a name in the session, my apologies). Rose was traveling with an entourage which included her brother, Bob, two uncles, Kertle and Gerud, her retainer Coerl, and a few unnamed companions of Bob. Bob and his companions had been separated from the group much earlier and Rose feared that they had been killed (and possibly eaten) by the kobolds. (XP for freeing four prisoners).

Further searching of the rooms, Alec found some old skins and clothes and then he heard another woman’s voice coming from a different room. Suspicious for some reason, Alec did not immediately open the door. He instead asked for the woman’s name, which she did not give, instead demanding that Alec quit “playing that game again,” apparently believing that Alec was another prisoner being tormented into tricking her for some reason. Eventually Alec opened the door revealing a young attractive woman alone in a room with five barrels of rainwater.

Butterchin also was very suspicious of the new woman, who claimed to have been captured with some other fellow travelers she had just happened to join along the road, but whose names she could not recall. She gave her name as “Kathy” and said nothing more beyond expressing a desire to kill the captive kobold Euha was still holding.

The remaining rooms turned up a lot of junk, some firewood and torch makings, and a ladder, plus two bodies, one of which Rose claimed to recognize as her brother Bob. Back in the room where Kathy had been freed, Alec actually found a trap door which led to the surface. (XP for finding secret door) After some discussion Lupe decided that he needed to get the prisoners immediately to the relative safety of the Galloping Pony and told the group he would be back sometime the next morning. He and the guard began helping the prisoners up the ladder and out the secret entrance to the lair.

While this was going on Euha cast “detect evil” on himself to see if he could detect any evil on Kathy. The spell revealed that he entire area was infused with evil, making it very difficult to determine where the evil emanations came from. Focusing as well as he could on Kathy Euha finally decided that he could not detect any level of evil that stood out from the surroundings enough to justify accusing Kathy of anything. Still, the group remained suspicious as Kathy too climbed the ladder. Lupe then led the group out into the gathering darkness outside.

Butterchin then recommended using the prison area as a place to rest for the night since it seemed to have only the one doorway and had an escape hatch if they did get pressed in the night. So they arranged watches and settled in.

Alec took the first watch and soon heard noises in the hall. The noises sounded like at least two kobolds moving back and forth in the hallway and talking too quietly to be heard. No other activity or sounds were heard during any other watches.

The group awakened the next morning (the 13th) and ate a breakfast, refilled all water skins from the rainwater, memorized new spells, and regained two hit points each for normal healing. Belven cast “read magic” on the scroll he had obtained from the temple and discovered it contained the first level sorcerer/wizard spell “Identify.”

At this point the session ended for the night.

Total experience:

2 successful kobold interrogations = 150 xp
1 promise kept to free the kobold = 25 xp
1 door unlocked = 25 xp
1 defeated and captured kobold = 75 xp
4 prisoners freed = 200 xp
1 secret trap door found = 25 xp

Other xp:

None tonight.

That totals 500 xp (less than half of last weeks).

That’s 125 xp each. Added to your existing 1000 xp, that gives 1,125 xp.

Other notes:

DM mistakes:

My major mistake was forgetting the surprise rule. Von corrected me and I “back applied” it which resulted in Alec taking 1 hp of damage, which I think is reasonable, but which I think could have been viewed as unfair.

I also neglected to provide names for the prisoners, or relationships and roles, which is really lame since I had three weeks to prepare.

Other notes:

Everyone in the group was suspicious of Kathy. When Euha did not find detectable evil on Kathy, the group decided to let her go. She was not searched, nor indeed were any of the prisoners. The prisoners were barely even questioned. Rose mentioned that the kobolds had stolen her jewelry and money, but I didn’t notice anyone in the group even glancing at the kobold “loot” they had recovered in the lair.

It is important to note that magic is not flawless, nor is it omnipotent. All spells have counterspells, and all effects have countereffects. Evil characters in particular are experts at utilizing counterspells and countereffects. Sometimes intuition is more reliable than spells you may cast.

The information you have learned may seem unimportant to a bunch of adventurers who are really looking to rescue Belven’s brother, or to get some quick loot, but there may be someone in the milieu who would be interested to learn that kobolds seem to be colluding with other beings to wipe out the humans, elves, dwarves and halflings in Hanoria. Especially since some powerful magic seems to be involved.

It was definitely slower tonight, but some loose ends were tied up, and some additional plot lines were uncovered.

See ya in a couple weeks, about the time eG is due to go into integration testing…

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