3Oaks #3: Kobold Ambush!

The group started the evening with the continuation of their investigation
of the disturbance at the Raven’s Nest Tavern. Upon reaching the tavern they
discovered two local police battling a large dire rat, while another police
officer lay prone in the door of the Inn. By the time they reached the
police/rat battle, the rat had been dispatched, so they went to the aid of
the fallen officer. They discovered him to be blind and stunned, but not
unconscious. His sight returning, the stricken officer informed them that
the bartender/waitress of the Raven’s Nest, Yahs, had been asked to come to
the station for questioning, but then all heck broke loose.

While he was describing the actions of Yahs, Alec discovered a mortally
wounded constable in the courtyard between the Inn’s rooms and
restaurant/bar. Butterchin immediately cast a cure spell, which almost
certainly saved the officer’s life. Upon returning to consciousness the
officer also described the attempt to arrest Yahs as one that had been
botched by the officers.

During this conversation the group noticed that the constable’s wands were
missing. Euha quietly cast “detect evil” to see if there was any presence of
evil that might lead them to clues about the motives or whereabouts of Yahs.
There was nothing found to be worthy of pursuing.

As near as the group could piece together the events went something like
this. Two officers entered the Inn to bring Yahs in for questioning, while
two stayed outside. Upon being asked to come to the station, a sudden
billowing fog erupted from the room, obscuring Yahs. Then one of the
officers and at least three customers were hit by some force or effect that
knocked them senseless, and left them blind and stunned for a minute or so.
One officer, who apparently escaped the effects that afflicted the others,
managed to make his way to the outside courtyard where he confronted Yahs.
But in the ensuing confrontation, Yahs got the better of him and left him
bleeding to death on the ground. Somehow during the chaos, someone managed
to abscond with the officer’s wands.

The local authorities spent the rest of the day interviewing the owners and
patrons of the Inn. The group ate lunch and then waited until the Town Hall
session. The Town Hall session opened with the Mayor announcing two
significant events to the Townsfolk. First, the King’s representative, Mog,
who was on the platform with the Mayor, had announced that he was pulling
roughly half of the Keep’s current force to augment his forces in the West.
(I think I accidentally said “East” in the game). That meant a force of
fully 300 Infantry and as many as 50 cavalry would be headed to the docks in
the morning to load onto boats heading south. The Mayor explained that this
would significantly reduce the patrols that had been going out each day to
keep the area free of kobolds which had been growing increasingly aggressive
and troublesome. He warned the townspeople to avoid travelling as much as
possible, and particularly to avoid the southeast areas where some towns had
been overrun by kobolds.

He also announced that the Keep had sent a large force, perhaps 100 strong,
to the east along the Arich road to investigate Arich and see if they could
locate the soldiers who had not reported back in on schedule. Upon opening
the session to questions, he explained that the town only had two boats that
could patrol the Bluewater, and both of them had searched in vain for any
further evidence of what happened to the fishing boat which had gone
missing. The group asked several questions, including one from Alec about
the rumors of a plot against the Mayor, which the Mayor more or less
confirmed but said was all part of the large scale increase in violence that
had enveloped Hanoria in the past few years. The group also asked if there
was anything that they could do to help out, and the Mayor offered to
deputize them if they were willing.

They were, and so after the Town Hall, the group was interviewed by the
local Police commander and were brought back to the police station where
they were given some minor weapons and ammunition, rations for travel, and
told that they would be paid 1 gold piece per week for their services, so
long as they could demonstrate that they had performed valuable services for
the town. Bringing back kobold scalps at the value of 1 gold piece per scalp
would be a fine way to augment their income and prove their value at the
same time. So, the group then rested for the night and prepared for their
trip to Arich the next morning.

The group had little of note happen on the way out of town, and for several
miles they walked without incident. Finally, roughly 10 miles out of town,
they encountered a group of baboons on the side of the road between some
tall sandstone pillars flanking the road. The baboons were angry and seemed
likely to attack if the group got too close, so the group decided to move to
the other side of the road and walk along the side of the rock walls that
rose from the ground about 40 feet from the road. Keeping a wary eye on the
baboons, they ran directly into an ambush by four kobolds.

In the ensuing battle, Belvin cast a sleep spell which took two of them out
of the battle, and one other was quickly dispatched with crossbow bolts and
swords. Upon seeing his companions dead or dying, the remaining kobold fled
from the area while the group administered the coup de grace on the sleeping
kobolds. During the battle the baboons fled the scene and were not heard
from again. A search of the kobolds turned up some minor worthless odds and
ends, a few copper pieces and a sheet of paper with some writing on it. The
writing was in Draconic and as closely as it can be translated into English
it said:

” S – S – L – R – S – S – X – R – XX”

Moving forward, much more warily this time, the group encountered another
group of six kobolds (perhaps five new ones and the one who got away from
the first battle). This battle proved to be much more difficult as Belvin no
longer had a sleep spell to cast, and the kobolds had split into two groups
on opposite sides of the road.

During this battle Euha was twice struck down and knocked unconscious, each
time to be saved from death by Butterchin who cast heal spells to save Euha.
Belvin again managed to do damage to the kobolds with his other spells, but
again it was Alec and his crossbow who did the most damage to the kobolds.
In a close-fought battle, with Euha mostly out of the picture, the group
managed to just barely defeat the kobolds, with five kobolds killed and one
escaping to the east.

By this time it was getting to be late afternoon, and with Butterchin’s heal
spells exhausted and Euha wounded and unconscious, the session had to come
to an end.

Experience:

Each kobold is worth 75 XP points (1/4 of 300 for a CR 1 monster), so with 8
kobolds killed, the team receives 600 total XP from the kobolds.

Being deputized by the Mayor is worth an additional 250 XP for the group.
(This is my own idea, not a DM’s Guide guideline)

Saving the life of the guard is worth another 50 points for the group.

The baboon setup was a trap, the purpose of the trap was to get the party to
walk into the ambush. Although the party essentially triggered the trap,
they did survive it, and that means you get 50 XP for surviving the trap.

The total XP for the group is 950 XP, divided among four characters is 238
points each. This brings each of you up to a total of 343 XP I think, which
is just about 1/3 of the way to level 2.

DMs notes:

1. The group fought much better than in the simulation, but so did the
kobolds. In fact careful consideration of how the kobolds fought should be
taken by the group, there may be ways to exploit the strategy the kobolds
appear to be using in battle.

2. There were some missed opportunities that I feel compelled to point out.
When Yahs fled the town, it should have occurred to someone in the group
that perhaps she did not have time to clean out her room, and a search of
her room might have proven fruitful. An offer to help the guards search the
area or the room may well have been welcomed, they seemed pleasantly
disposed towards you for your help in identifying Yahs to them. Even if they
had not allowed you to search, upon being deputized, you could almost
certainly have learned what, if anything, they might have found. Also, the
group knows that some wands were taken, but they do not know what the wands
do, or how many charges they had left when they were taken.

3. I may be a bit presumptious here, but I might suggest that the group
could be even more effective in melee if they adopted some of the strategies
the kobolds employed, with some effectiveness.

DM’s mistakes:

1. The crossbow reloading thing. I’ll remember from now on that you have to
reload the thing.
2. I think at least once I gave the kobolds with the sling an unfair hit
that should have been penalized for distance. I’m not sure about this
because I don’t remember many borderline rolls for those kobolds, they
seemed to be very high or very low, but it is possible that they got a free
shot they shouldn’t have.
3. I read “d6 -1 x 3” for critical as “roll one d6, subtract 1 and multipy
the result by 3” which gave me 15 damage on Euha. I noticed Jeff rolled two
d6 on his critical hit, and from then on I rolled multiple dice too.
4. I need to do better with melee battles. I am going to try to work on some
tools to help me keep things more organized. Twice I forgot to move my
kobolds towards the group, which may well have saved your lives. Had they
reached melee range two rounds earlier, things might have been different.

OK, hope you enjoyed it. I am learning a lot, and I hope it’s been fun.

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