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Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
The Red Larch Adventure.

The Union consists of-
Bob (Serbia & the world) playing Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard
Christer (Sweden) playing Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus
Pedja (Serbia & Germany) playing Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue
Simon (UK) playing Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock
Zoki (Serbia) playing Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora
&
Me- Goonalan (UK) playing everyone else (DM)

We play using Fantasy Grounds and Skype, usually once a week for approx. 3 hours.

And so-

Session #039 Wednesday 29th June 2016
Kobold War.

Starring-
Zalt, Male Half-Elf Warlock (Sailor) Level 5
Zyler, Male Human (Variant) Cleric of Tempus (Hermit) Level 5
Grimm, Male Human (Variant) Paladin of Tymora (Sailor) Level 5
Ken Lee, Male High Elf Wizard (Folk Hero) Level 5

Alas Goren Naeris, Male Wood Elf Rogue (Criminal) Level 5 can’t be with us tonight, he’s packing his bags (and house), ready to move to Germany in the morning.

There’s a fair bit to get through this session.

Enjoy.

The Action-

1) Brief Recap & Searching for Stuff.

The guys are in the Cairn Woods, on the Cairn Road- see below.

Cairn_Road.jpgCairn Road to Bargewright & Womford.

They’re in the process of checking out a bunch of Kobolds that have suddenly moved location to the Cairn Woods, and are behaving oddly- according to Avarthel the Druid, the guy’s new found friend.

Avarthel.pngAvarthel.

Also of concern is the fact that the Kobolds have been visited recently by a Gargoyle (the guys think they are being spied on by a bunch of high-flying Gargoyles), and a Bugbear Lord with a bunch of pale looking Hobgoblins in tow (the guys fought a bunch of pale Gnolls a while back- they were tough). The Kobolds also seem to have a clutch of Ogres in their employ- that’s really odd.

Avarthel is concerned, as are the guys- something untoward is going on.

Last session the guys beat down a clutch of Kobolds and four Ogres, this gang of miscreants were situated on the surface level of the Kobold lair- see the map below.

Kobold_Cairn.jpgThe Kobold Complex- monsters taken care of in last session.

The guys take a short breather and then cautiously have a good look around the buildings and ruins on the surface. This is what they discover-

a) The only intact building- a barn like structure has been converted for the Ogre’s use, it stinks to high heaven- the guys do however discover a haul of treasure here, mostly minor stuff but it all adds up. Best finds include- a set of Padded Barding (taken by Grimm for Atlas his Warhorse), a three foot tall carved wooden Owlbear- nice, a couple of low level Clerical spells, and best of all a children’s book called “A is for Aboleth…”, the guys are stoked to find this.

b) The ruined section of the area is just that- a ruin, there’s nothing to be found there.

c) There’s a lift like mechanism, latterly put out of action by Ken Lee’s Shatter spell, the device is a crude affair- and clearly used to transport something (or someone) down into the sinkhole.

d) The sinkhole was once a much finer affair- creatures unknown took a lot of time and effort to carve out this great maw, and to craft stairs down- and possibly to divert the stream to this point. There are even signs that the walls of the sinkhole were once faced in marble, a short while later the guys eventually figure out that this entire complex is Dwarven, and ancient- at least a millennia old.

The next stage of the operations for the guys is to descend here, although the guys make another discover-

e) All of the Kobolds, somewhere on their person, are tattooed thusly-

Sigil_Kobolds.jpgTiamat!

Zyler, with a little help from Ken Lee, identify the symbol- an ancient representation of “Tiamat”, also known as “Her Dark Majesty”, or the “Dark Queen”.

“Makes sense, dey think they’re little dragons… bloody stoopid Kobolds!” Zyler adds, reassuringly.

The guys send Avarthel, and Phaendra- who is traveling with the guys to Ironwrought, and their mounts back to Womford (a day away). Avarthel and Phaendra will wait for the guys there- they figure the dungeon is no place for a lady…

Leather_Girl.jpgPhaendra- Grimm’s latest ‘friend’.

That done the guys tie off a rope, just in case, and then descend the stairs into the sinkhole…

2) Enemies in the Sinkhole.

Kobold_Sinkhole_1___2.jpgDown the Hole.

The guys descend cautiously, at first, the stairs are mostly safe- all except the sections that fallen away in places, one circuit down is a guardroom- of sorts, the building looks ancient and broken, with a hole smashed through the roof- it seems unattended. Zalt, now with added Spider Climb, heads over to take a look- Grimm opts for the heroic route- he leaps across, using the ropes conveniently provided by the Kobolds, this almost proves to be his downfall. The Kobold ropes have been designed to take the weight of a Kobold (or two), Grimm clocks in at 200lb and he’s toting armour and gear for another 170lb- he doesn’t so much jump as plummet; he does however grab onto the edge of the stairs and drag himself up- he’s over.

The Paladin’s resounding impact wake the Stirges in the guardroom- half-a-dozen or more exit through the hole in the chamber’s roof and then swiftly descend to feat on the guys. The adventurer’s take hits- they really (no, really) hate Stirges.

Stirge.jpgStirges- Public Enemy No. 1.

Grimm foolishly (some might say, and then smirk) rushes into the guardroom- the chamber is packed with Stirges- at least another ten of them roosting there.

“Oh Shi…” is the Paladin’s battlecry- he cuts down another of the horrible creatures and then reverses out of the chamber- leaving Zalt to ‘manage’ the situation, the Warlock does this with aplomb- he fills the room with Webs, almost all of the flying fiends are caught in the sticky strands.

Ken Lee and Zyler, in the meantime, are smashing down Stirges as and when they get the chance, at which point Ken Lee spots something.

The something is a Carrion Crawler, a great tentacle mouthed segmented caterpillar some ten or so feet long.

carrion-crawler-color1.jpgCarrion Crawler.

Grimm has nothing to say on the matter- mainly because a second or so later he is Poisoned, Paralyzed and suffering. The three remaining adventurers quickly switch targets, except for Ken Lee who pulls out all the stops and bathes nearly half of the sinkhole in the glorious flame of his Fireball- he shapes the spell around his companions.

The effect is devastating- all of the Stirges are killed in an instant, and the Crawler is left bloodied. A moment later Zyler leaps across the gap to Grimm and dispels the Paladin of Tymora’s Paralyzation with a Lesser Restoration spell.

“Fight on, my brother. Fight on!” The Priest of Tempus declares- Grimm doesn’t need telling twice, the Carrion Crawler attempts to get away, the pair cut it down.

Just in time to shout a warning to Ken Lee as the second Carrion Crawler crawls out from its resting place on the underside of the stairs that the Wizard is on (alone), remarkably Ken Lee takes hits but resists the creature’s poison.

The guys unleash hell and the second Crawler is eventually beaten down… alas it doesn’t stop there.

ENCOUNTER #62
PCs 4 x Level 5
Monsters 16 Stirges 25 XP each & 2 Carrion Crawlers 450 XP each.
XP 1300 Adjusted 5200 CR 9
Deadly

3) Rapid Descent.

The guys breath hard for a second, Zyler takes a wander through the now deserted and wrecked guardroom, heading for the stairs- to continue down. There’s a sudden creaking sound, followed by the ping of ancient stone finally giving up- the guardroom collapses in on itself, a short moment later and the entire section of the stairway begins to collapse.

All of the guys, except Zyler, are further up the stairs- the Priest of Tempus is however further down the stair, and a second later running down the stairs trying to stay ahead of the collapse.

The guys scramble into action, Ken Lee rushes back up the stairs and grabs the rope that Zyler, fortunately, tied off around a sturdy tree earlier, the Wizard dangles the rope over the side of the stair- and ahead of the rushing Zyler. The Priest of Tempus leaps and grabs on, Grimm and Ken Lee take the strain as the collapse continues on- destroying the stairs further down in entirety, and leaving Zyler dangling above the wreckage below.

The Priest grins up at his companions, gives a thumbs up sign and then declares- “I am going down now”, as if nothing bad had happened and he hadn’t just narrowly avoided being crushed by several tons of falling stone.

Kobold_Sinkhole_1_to_3_after.jpgDon’t Play with Fireballs!

The other guys descend, forgoing the rope they insist that Zalt help them out with his Spider Climb magic, courtesy of his Staff of the Spider. It seems the guys have just developed a healthy respect for heights.

I’d like to add at this point, as a DM- talking directly to his players, you could have rested up here; you didn’t, you took a little light healing and then went on… you make your choices.

4) Rats & Kobolds Playing Games.

Alas the rock fall has made the way into the complex difficult, the first pair of stone doors have been forced open by the rock fall, the way in is reduced to the top three feet of the doorway, the rest is rubble. The guys were expecting company at this point- they made a lot of noise on the way down, however the doors ahead show lights beyond, and a cacophony of noise- squealing, screeching, yapping and barking- it sounds like panic at a children’s party. Zyler, of all people, takes a look inside- he’s also the only one of the guys that understands the Draconic tongue.

Kobold_Chief.pngKobolds.

The chamber ahead is massive- a massive ruin, the entire floor of the room carpeted with broken stone and metal- piles of rubble and debris, and amidst the dump a constantly circling horde of Giant Rats and Kobolds, playing a game of ‘tiggy’.

Giant_Rat.jpgGiant Rats.

The guys have no time for this foolishness- the Priest of Tempus kicks the door in, shouts threats for the Kobolds to surrender, and then when they scream threats back the guys unleash their power.

Kobold_Lair_1.jpgInto the Kobold Lair.

Half the Kobolds and several Rats succumb to Zalt’s Hypnotic Pattern, the rest of the guys do their stuff- the enemies do their thing back, with added Pack Attack- Grimm is bloodied, Ken Lee starts taking hits and even Zyler suffers a little. The outcome however is never in doubt, the foul creatures are exterminated in less than twenty seconds of fury.

ENCOUNTER #63
PCs 4 x Level 5
Monsters 16 Giant Rats 25 XP each & 12 Kobolds 25 XP each.
XP 700 Adjusted 2800 CR 6
Medium

The door to the south reveals a Kobold sleeping chamber, and Zyler things a bag of goodies- a sack with shiny things in, alas the Priest doesn’t get a chance to take a look- Grimm and Ken Lee open the door to the north, into another Kobold sleeping quarters- inhabited.

The guys could also have taken a break here, there’s nothing coming- they didn’t…

5) The Kitchen Kobolds.

The guys bust in on the four Kobolds inn the chamber ahead- Grimm and Zyler charging in to smash the miscreants, alas in the rush they expose themselves to yet another clutch of Kobolds in the Kitchen ahead.

Kobold_Lair_2.jpgThe Kitchen Kobolds.

The Kitchen Kobolds also have a pair of Ambush Drakes, the little bastards unleash the lizards and then flip tables and grab cover- a salvo of sling stones follows.

Ambush_Drake.pngAmbush Drake.

The guys get pinned down for a bit, bitten a bit and hit by sling stone a lot- Pack Attack is ace, Grimm is bloodied again by the time Ken Lee goes tonto (again) and flings a Fireball into the Kitchen. The spell kills all enemies except one of the Drake’s, which is finished off by Zalt’s Eldritch Blast.

The chamber is on fire, or at least smouldering and smoking a little more than normal.

ENCOUNTER #64
PCs 4 x Level 5
Monsters 12 Kobolds 25 XP each & 2 Ambush Drakes 100 XP each.
XP 500 Adjusted 1500 CR 4
Easy

The guy mooch forward, cautiously at first- there’s a narrow corridor to the east, leading into another chamber, and a bunch more Kobolds there… the guys hold a whispered conversation- quickly, while grabbing some healing.

Kobold_Lair_3.jpgI Spy Kobolds!

The essence of the chatter is this- the Kobolds are going to spot the fact that the Kitchen is on fire and full of their dead colleagues very soon- therefore do we kick ass now? The answer is of course yes- now is the time for ass kicking.

6) Potential Ass Kicking.

The guys rush into the next chamber, which on reflection could prove to be a mistake…

Kobold_Lair_4.jpgSurprise!

The huge chamber is nearly a hundred feet north to south, and perhaps thirty feet tall- illuminated overhead by two great stone and crystal chandeliers. There are two narrow sets of stairs that lead up to another level above- there’s also a balcony around the area above. There are a number of other chambers leading from the massive room.

Of greater concern however are the thirty or so Kobolds that snooze, squat, mooch, scratch and shuffle about a bit here…

There’s a lot of giggling followed by a lot of swearing from Skype as I reveal the map, and the chamber’s inhabitants.

That however is the end of the session, that’ll do for a cliff hanger.

Just for info Ken Lee has one 1st level spell left, Zyler one 3rd level spell, Zalt is out of spells; this could get interesting.

Also the big chat at the start of the session was the fact that Pedja was missing- the guys wanted to try playing the scenario, with no changes, with just four PCs, why not I thought- I didn’t honestly think they would run from one encounter to the next, but hey-ho- let’s see how that works out as a tactic next time.

Session #039 Ends.

Ongoing Quests- Quest #1 Get the Pitchblende safely & secretly to Red Larch (COMPLETE), then meet up with Strom Halifax- get it authenticated, sell it and then return home- easy job. Quest #2 Check out the Kobolds for Avarthel- IN PROGRESS.

NPCs of note- Gundren & Nundro Rockseeker (Patron, again), Sildar Hallwinter (Lord’s Alliance), Sister Garaele (Shrine of Tymora)- GRIMM’S SQUEEZE, Halia Thornton (Town Master & Phandalin Miner’s Exchange- ZHENT?). Mags O’Mara (Triboar), Oggnog the Smith (Triboar) & Gable, of Gable’s Stables (Triboar). Sgt. Beavis & his men at Black Maw Bog Bridge. The Popper family & Gordo at the Rusty Gorgon. Sister Gallafrey (& the Pilgrims of Chauntea). The Village of Westbridge= More Owlman! Avarthel- Druid of the Land, southern Dessarin.

NPCs of note in Red Larch- Phaendra Chansyrl (Curvy in leather), Imdarr (Priest of Tempus & Gauntlet), Endrith Vallivoe (Junk shop owner & Harper), Mangobarl Lorren (Baker), Ghilee (Serving wench at the Swinging Sword), Constable Harburk (the Butcher, and the law), Ironhead (Ironhead Arms), Kayleesa & Ghilee (Owner, and Serving Wench, at the Swinging Sword), Gaelkur (Fence- buys gems etc.), Minne & Pell Mhandyver (Poultry & Ghost Stories)- kindly old lady and her granddaughter. Elak Dornen (Quarry owner). Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle selling Thug). Larmon (Shepherd- saved his life).

Enemies of note- Gnolls, including (odd-looking) hard-to-kill pale Gnolls. Goren has enemies- the Greymen. Oreioth the Necromancer & his undead- DEAD. The Necromancer of Lance Rock’s “Great Eye”? Goblins? Ilmeth Waevlur & Albaeri Mellikho (Rich men in Red Larch), also Baragustas (mad Old Guy), Braelen (Ilmeth’s son) & Grund (Pickle-selling Thug), and the bad men in the Temple of the Moving Stones, including Larrakh- mostly all dead. Ogres & Kobolds- strange Hobgoblins, a Bugbear Lord (Wizard?). Gargoyles?

New Info- The Kobolds are laired in an ancient Dwarven complex- they have Giant Rats and a pair of Ambush Drakes, no Bugbear Lords, pale Hobgoblins or Gargoyles encountered so far.

XP Awarded-
200 Section 1) Search the Ogre Ruins.
1300 Section 2) Enemies in the Sinkhole.
300 Section 3) Rapid Descent.
700 Section 4) Rats & Kobolds Playing Games.
500 Section 5) The Kitchen Kobolds.
100 Section 6) Potential Ass Kicking.
3100 XP Total

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