Chapter 1 – part 2 – One Journey ends… another begins.

When last we left our intrepid heroes, they had just finished clearing out a den of vicious kobolds bent on their destruction. They continued on through the winding, stone passages working their way down deeper into the tunnel system when they caught the acrid scent or burning chemicals and smoke. Malek “recognized” the scent as a three headed “shite dragon” and expressed concern to the group. Regardless of Gorre’s need to see the sky… and a bottle, the party turned back up the sloping tunnel back into the deeper darkness.

Backtracking the way they had come and turning down a side passage, the party came to another intersection where Gorre narrowly avoided some bolts fired from a bolt trap. At the intersection, one way was an open passage leading downward and south. The other way was a narrow, rough hewn passage… so narrow infarct, the group was forced to walk single file. Ebbie set off a dart trap and took some poisoned darts but thanks to her dwarven constitution, she was able to shrug them off. At the end, another kobold den festering with jabbering, toothy maws. The party hatched a plan to lure the kobolds back to the open passage and to bottle neck them so that they’re numbers would count for less. A trail of gold was laid and the bulk of the group made ready in the main passage while Illi tossed a handful of gold coin into the mass of kobolds. She ran back to the relative safety of the passage banking on the kobold greed to lead them into the trap. The battle was lengthy, dropping kobolds each in their turn. Malek was able to splatter one with his magical ring on the roof of the passage. Once the last of them had retreated to the leader, a scale sorcerer in the den, Gorre rushed in followed by Ebbie and Illi who all made short work of the sorcerer and his minion.

Once the kobolds had been dispatched, the group continued the winding journey deeper and lower into the southern passage where, again, they came to another den. This time, it was strangely quiet. A fire burned low and the meat on the spit, a humanoid torso, was burned on one side from lack of turning. When they inspected the tents, they were vacant, though evidence dictated 6 or more kobolds should have been in residence. The silence, the torso crackling rendered fat on the fire, the absence of enemies all conspired to give an uneasy feeling to the party who, until now, had valiantly faced all obstacles. In their moment of indecision, the repeating voice of the mage’s spell that brought them here echoed through the tunnels several times followed by earth shaking booming explosions. This galvanized the party who steeled their nerves and made for Izzy to make sure their friend was alright.

Upon arrival, they found another party of adventurers had arrived weeks ahead of the normal schedule of the spell, and they had killed one another in spectacular fashion. Izzy was alright when they met up with him in his chamber, if a bit annoyed and agitated. Seeing the group again, alive and relatively unscathed, gave him great joy. He shared his map of the complex with the group… a map that would have been very helpful prior to now… and the party saw their goal. The cave exit at the far end of the tunnel complex. It was then that a notion came to Malek. The group had, several times, passed a pair of small skeletons in the sacrificial chamber. He thought that maybe, these were the children of which the spell spoke. On their way back down, he collected the skulls, depositing them in a pouch just in case.

Once the party had arrived at the final chamber, they found it filled with kobolds enacting some strange ritual. While they watched, a black dragon wyrmling entered the cave, made a circuit checking progress of the ritual, and then flew back out again. None of them had ever seen a dragon and had no concept of scale, but to them this was another enemy to be vanquished should it come to that. Malek made Illi invisible so she could scout the area and he took on the appearance of a kobold so he could assist. Once in the cavern, they found a pile of dragon eggs and a cauldron into which they were being dunked before being deposited in a pile. Malek was handed some raw meat and it was indicated that he should feed a hatching creature. He did, taking the thing up into his arms. It was strangely drawn to him once fed. He took the creature to show Gorre and Ebbie who initially thought of using the thing as some kind of a hostage. Malek took the creature back into the main chamber and walked out of the cave, vanishing once outside. Confused, several of the kobolds went to the mouth of the cave to see what had happened to their “friend”.

Back in the cave, Illi watched from the shadows as she became visible once more. She knew she would no longer be able to move unseen so she stayed behind cover and watched the ritual unfold. Ebbie and Gorre, having see Malek vanish, decided to make for the entrance while the ritual kept most of the kobolds occupied. Before they could make it out, the wyrmling returned, blocking their way. With no other recourse, Gorre attempted to blind the wyrmling with a spell, but it did not apparently need eyes to see them. It attacked, dealing damage to Gorre and Ebbie before some of the other kobolds joined in the battle to defend their god. Illi took the opportunity to slip behind the sorcerer performing the ritual and ran him through, but he didn’t seem to notice so focused on creating more of the egg creatures. She took on two of his minions, pushing one into an acid pool and blasting the other before blasting the sorcerer again, still with minimal effect. Once the dragon had been slashed and bashed by Ebbie and Gorre, they made quick work of the other kobolds, many of whom ran when they saw their god dispatched. Ebbie stepped through the cave opening to see if she could find Malek and she too vanished.

Gorre turned to assist Illi with the sorcerer who had dealt her a blow or two once his spell had been interrupted. Illi was able to strike a major blow and after some healing from Gorre, they were able to finish the sorcerer. One kobold remained… cowering over an eggs awaiting the hatching. Gorre took the egg from the creature and then bid him join them before pushing the pitiful thing into an acid pool. Izzy appeared loaded for travel and suggested Gorre and Illi take the eggs that had finished the transformation process though he didn’t say why. He danced a jog through the cave opening and promptly vanished. Gorre and Illi followed both fading away as they left the cave.

The party found themselves near some standing stones, the glowing swirls carved on their surface beginning to fade in their brilliance, in a vast open field of firm earth and waving green grass. The dank smells of the damp tunnels and the acrid scent of the acid pools were quickly fading from their senses. The sun indicated some time around mid day and off in the distance, the jingling bells and brightly colored wagons of a caravan approached.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.