Observers Log – September 2nd, 1943
The group arrived at Coppernight Hold earlier today in search of the Staff of Eyes. They were told it was buried deep under the temple with many guards and traps imposing the path. The staff had been forgotten by many but remembered by a few, and certain individuals did not want those few to locate it. It was within a dangerous reach at this point and the heroes were to obtain it to prevent others from getting their hands on it.
The priest, Adrik, seem to already be acutely aware of where the entrance to the subchamber was located. He explained to the group that the information appeared to him while he was in the dream portal and he feared what was below. They adventured downward expecting peril but found something much worse. The gargoyles guards of the chamber had been shattered. Several traps had been triggered or disarmed. The construct guardians were destroyed or deactivated and it was all done recently. They would soon find out why.
Within the secret subterranian chamber the group encountered a small group of kobolds after the prize that they saught. The kobolds were already fighting the beholder guardian and the players initial reaction was to assist the kobolds since they felt the beholder was the biggest threat. The cleric flashed the kobolds an armband he had recieved in a dream world and the kobolds reacted by not attacking them, but were very willing to accept the assistance and abandoned the fight against the beholder allowing the new targets to take the damage. They headed for the statue holding the Staff of Eyes and grabbed it, but the party’s druid wasn’t willing to accept that. She pounced on the kobold wyrmpriest that grabbed the staff. The kobolds began retaliating while the other party members continued dealing with the already weakened beholder.
The kobolds quickly eliminated the druid, knocking her unconscious, but the rest of the party had dispatched the beholder. They turned their attention to retreiving the staff and seeing the hostility of the kobolds they returned in kind.
The battle was long and difficult for the party, but they gained control of the staff and maintained control of the tide of battle. The kobold trapmaker had tossed a small bomb at the Dilemma but missed and it stuck to Adrik’s back. He strugged and eventually removed it, throwing it back at the trapmaker but missing. It stuck to a support pillar while they continued the fight. About 10 seconds later the blast echoed through the chamber and the ceiling began to collapse, but the party was already fleeing with the staff and left the kobolds trapped behind.
As they exited back into the temple they found a lot of civilians huddled inside, comforting the young. Asking around they found Coppernight Hold was under attack. Adrik cracked his knuckles, ready to handle anything and they went to the front door. Opening it slowly and checking outside they saw dozens– nay, hundreds of kobolds combing the city. A group was coming for the door and they slammed it shut. Their dwarven friend Durkon told them there were too many. He saw that they had found the staff and said he should take it to Verrin of the Shattered Star. Wondering how they would get back to town safely Durkon showed them a passage in the bathhouse of the temple. The natural spring the temple was built on could serve as an alternate exit and would lead them to the river near the Waterside Hostel. He told them they could take some of the horses and get back to town.
The dwarf had a difficult time swimming out and the other two had to pull him out of the water. Dilemma lead the way to the stables at thw waterside hostel expertly eliminating a few guards and allowing his party members to enter safely. There were a few horses availables and after inspecting them they decided on two which they felt were the healthiest. The druid felt it would be best if she just ran in beast form. As they mounted the horses a small contengency of kobolds bursted in. They ran, trampling over the kobolds. One managed to quickly dive out of the way and pulled out his war horn, blowing deeply into it emitting a low rumbling sounds which clearly travelled a far distance. The kobolds at Coppernight Hold turned their attention to the heroes and began giving pursuit but since they were mounted they were able to get away.
They rode hard at first to try to distance themselves from the pursuing army. Eventually they felt they had enough distance and slowed down to allow their horses a bit of rest. In the distance they heard the fluttering of wings of what sounded like giant insects. Looking behind they saw 5 kobolds rapidly gaining on them, all mounted on enormous flying beetles! They kobolds quickly engaged them and combat was instigated. The kobolds dragoons and marksmen were prepared for combat and while the heroes attempted to trample over them the dragoons merely knocked them off of their horses. Once the heroes were off their mounts the one of the dragoons pulled out his horn and blew deeply into it in order to alert the others in the area. The party had a difficult time keeping control of the battle as the dragoons were excellent in keeping them mostly incapacitated and prone. They decided that the horn was a bad sign and fled once they killed the dragoons
They continued onward and changed their normal path in an attempt to evade detection. By this point they had kept smelling some foul odor but were unable to pinpoint its location. They blamed the dwarf. Over time the dwarf’s mount began to slow. His wounds were severe and they decided to stop and rest. They patched up themselves as well as the horse, but something wasn’t right. The horse was refusing to move. Some of the wounds weren’t healing and it was acting erratic. The cleric checked over the horse and found an ichor-soaked bolt in its thigh. He knew this was bad. Ravonna checked the wound and the ichor recognizing it as a deadly neurotoxin and anticoagulant. They needed to prepare a poultice for the horse or it would risk dying. Not really capable of preparing medicine, Dilemma agreed to find the herb necessary to help them horse while Adrik prepared the mixture with the other ingredients and Ravonna kept the horse calm. When Dilemma returned with the herbs they combined it the mixture and applied it to the wounds and let the horse rest. Within a reasonable time the horse was back on its feet and they were moving again.
They continued riding hard and eventually realized they would have to decide which path to take back to town. They could cross the bridge but they know a troll was living and charging individuals 40g to cross. They could go through sahuagin territory, but that was dangerous and they risked too much. They could take the south path down the river but it would cost them way too much time. After arguing for a few minutes they decided it would be best to just pay the troll and cross the bridge without incident. The troll was somewhat slow in raising the sunken bridge for them to cross and they ended up paying him triple to speed it up. He lowered the bridge which slowed some of the kobolds down but many were mounted on beetles.
The time they lost at the bridge did cost them and the kobolds were gaining. The group still caught the scent of that rotten smell occasionally as well as hearing the loud bellowing roar of the kobonashi that they knew was following. As they continued Ravonna and Adrik noticed some strange foliage in their path and stopped suddenly. Dilemma did not notice it and ran straight into a trap, the sharp teeth of steeljaw trap snapping tightly onto the leg of his horse causing it to crash to the ground. Dilemma was thrown from the horse into a tree as kobolds poured out of their hiding spots and marksmen fired at them from the trees. Ravonna immediately began defending the group, being the most mobile, and Adrik road up to Dilemma. “Up with ya, lad! We gotta keep movin’!” he exclaimed as he offered his hand to the shifter. The horse whinnied in anguish. “I can’t leave him like this.” Dilemma explained before putting the poor creature out of its misery. They quickly mounted and began fleeing, but the kobolds had their beetles ready and gave chase.
The heroes focused their attentions not on the kobolds, but on their mounts. They knew if they could kill the mounts the kobolds would not be able to keep up. Since they did not readily have abilities that allowed them to dismount the riders they focused on ranged attacks to kill the beetles. One by one the kobolds fell from the sky until one archer remained. It had a difficult time keeping up on them but since they were slowed by having two riders it was gaining. When it was finally able to throw them off of their horse they decided to just finish the kobold off. They decided to take the kobolds horn as a trophy.
As they continued, the smell had not died and they still caught whiff of it occasionally. The area ahead was crawling with kobolds as if they had expected them. The kobolds were spreading out looking through the area for them as if they knew they’d be coming through here, and it turns out they did. Not just because the heroes were heading back to town but a small stinkbug had attached itself to the dwarf. It was emitting a smell that traveled for miles which the kobolds were using to track the group. They removed it and knowing they had to continue forward, they decided to abandon the horse and sent it running in another direction while they sneaked behind as the kobolds went to investigate it. Slowly but surely they stealthed their way through the forest getting closer to town.
They were nearing town, only a few miles away. They were on the kings road and would soon be safe. Up ahead, however, they spotted a large group of kobolds patrolling down the road. They ducked off into the bushes to try to make their way around only to find another group of kobolds in their way. They were spotted. The kobolds quickly surrounded them and were about to attack. “Wait!” came a sniveling yapping in broken common. “Let me have them! They are mine!” A large cloaked kobold cut his way through the crowd. The others made room for him and he cracked his knuckles and pulled out his electrified spear. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Now you will feel the pain I felt, Adrik. “
The master of blades proved to be more of a threat than they initially expected. He was an expert of speared combat and moved in and out of melee with ease. His rapid strikes and quick movement meant he was puncturing their defenses at every opportunity and he was much shiftier than usual, capable of dodging attacks by moving out of harm’s way. He knew their weaknesses as well incapacitating them with cheap shots and cutting at their heels and calves, slowing and immobilizing them. He dropped each of them occasionally but always moved on to the next target instead of just finishing them off, as if he was toying with them. In the end, however, he was defeated. His pride is what did him in. Seeing their master of kobold fall the kobolds morale faltered. “Who’s next?“ called out Dilemma, challenging the kobolds. They quickly dispersed not wanting to suffer the same fate.