We had a few members get sick and the game on the 6th was postponed, so effectively we had a 2 week span between meeting 2 and 3. Also, the guy who was playing Hedonim (the ranger) had his schedule at work changed and couldn't make Saturday nights anymore. Another friend of mine came over this night and filled in, playing the ranger for now just until we could get to town.
Write up follows:
We spent some time in Arnax' cavern, hopefully enough to allow Detheron and Puck to rest long enough to regain some much needed spell power. Arnax was generous and talkative, filling in gaps in your knowledge as well as stories about his clan. There was some more information dropped about the Ogrelords who guard the paths west and north, preventing the monstrous clans from returning home. He was honest and sad about his clan, Drywood, and their diminishment. There is apparently some hierarchy amongst the monstrous humanoids that the talk with Arnax was able to flesh out more.
You rigged up a crutch for the bugbear by using one of the iron poles you've been using and a lot of ingenuity. He was slow, but able to follow along. Taking what goods and belongings you could, as well as a number of renewed oil flasks, your group went back to the last split in the hallway - this time taking the right fork. The cavern split, opening to a wide area where roughly 10 K'Tharkian's would bed down, but currently was empty. Beyond that the cavern continued, eventually coming to another division - this one guarded (ineptly) by 3 more kobolds.
They were hunched down, talking in their strange language, and rolling dice. The group got themselves ready and then Zoltan started everyone off with a rock to one of the kobold's head - followed by arrows and javelins - felling all three of the guards without alerting anyone else in the complex. We checked them, pocketing some more coin, and Zoltan gave both corridors a once over. One went on to the left, the other narrowed down dangerously to the right. Karis would never fit there, so Zoltan and Gwyn decided to check out the confined corridor.
It opened to a spent chamber with a stale pool along the back portion that was fed from the wall that seemed to be damp with moisture. A slimy residue covered the floor, making footing treacherous. Zoltan, the more sure footed of the two, crept to the water's edge where he noted it was about a foot deep at the most, roughly 25 x 30 oval, had almost a dozen hand length worm like creatures swimming in it - and in the middle of the pool, a grey bag had been tossed. You know Zoltan - he wanted the bag. He threw some salted meat into the pool and a few worms went over to it to check it out, but that was it. Being one of the few party members to actually have shoes, he ran into the water as fast as he could, snatched the bag, and ran out in a spray of water. The bag held a small but much welcome pile of crowns and luckies from which he nicely avoided swiping from.
Rejoined, the group went down the remaining corridor, walking some distance until the chamber widened, was lit, and had a 4 count of kobolds here. A set of stairs went up out of one side of the chamber, and another opening continued on down the other side. The guards here were better at the job and there would be little opportunity to surprise them. The party moved swiftly and bows and javelins and spells went flying. One was killed instantly, one was beset upon by two animals, one was wounded, and another at maximum range was scored by a magic missile. The furthest one was struggling to get down a corridor and sound the alarm, so Karis charged full across the chamber, taking multiple hits as he did so, but managed to battleaxe the last kobold to death and stop him from moving on. In fact, he was moving on to a closed door (the first the party had ever seen in here) from which frantic kobold voices could be heard behind.
While Karis went to check out the door and attempt to break it down, the rest of the party was surprised by three kobold archers at the TOP of the stairs behind barrels who quickly shot Hedonim in the chest and drove the rest of the group to cover. Some javelins, spells, and rocks were exchanged which ended up with the group taking more damage - and one of the barrels kicked down the stairs which shattered and resulted in a hive of angry hornets flying around to sting the party. Both Detheron and Zoltan took the brunt of the hornet's attack while one of the kobolds ran off to warn others - and one was killed by a well placed Magic Missile spell. Arnax' atlatl finished off the last.
At this time Karis had beaten the door open, hefted his battleaxe high and charged into the corridor - only to fall into a 12' deep spiked pit after a short jog. Our half ogre was rapidly running out of hit points. He struggled up the other side, while the kobolds tried to charge him and now the approaching party. Zoltan was first over the pit and stood side by side with Karis while javelin, spell, and missile fire whittled down the charging horde. One of the K'Tharkians was Flatarn, another subchief who was looking to have his 8 followers shove the two party members back into the pit. Zoltan tumbled over the back of one of them, the kobold falling in, and debilitating ranged combat reduced the rest of the group to 2 minions and Flatarn. There were 2 other kobolds struggling to tie nailed crates to lengths of rope coming out of a hole in the far end of the room - a hole that led to outside.
The remaining fight was swift and Arnax's aim unerringly speared one of the two kobolds working on the boxes at a ridiculous range. The other one screamed and shoved the 3rd box out the window, holding onto its side as it was being hoisted upwards to safetly. Zoltan's sling hit the kobold, causing him to slip but not fall - and Karis tried to whip his sledge hammer at it but the blow went wide and the kobold escaped. The last of the major healing was spent here and according to Arnax the group was almost out. We opened the 2 boxes we stopped the K'tharkian's from stealing and discovered hundreds of brass, bronze, electrum, and gold coins - 2 bolts of fine undyed silk, and 5 pristine and clean tabards bearing the heraldric crest of Orihalcus.
We grabbed what we could to refill our javelin's one last time and charged up the stairs. The kobold bodies that were here before had been taken, as well as the two barrels. We went on till the corridor split one last time - but even without Arnax's help, the sound of thirty or so kobolds excited voices coming out of the right told us which way to go. We ran on, ready to do battle, and came to a wide chamber that led to the outside. At least a dozen kobolds were running out, a four or five count standing back as read guard to harry the party with arrows. They were shoving 2 men, human, and definitely the two slavers that had imprisoned you and been here, out before you could do anything, the leader of the kobolds here a brute named Kraygel turned one last time to say that he would remember your faces and tell Kuluk about you.
Hedonim drew out the magical arrow we had Gwyn discover from the long dead ranger found half way through the cave, took a deliberate aim at long range on Kraygel, and fired the enchanted item. It immediately turned into a stroke of lightning and flew across the room to slaughter 8 of the guarding kobolds and horribly burn Kraygel. He turned to flee but Hedonim fired again, striking the kobold again - and then Arnax' atlatl had another javelin hit him - Puck charged forward and a magic missile burned him even more. A few kobolds dared to come down and try to pull Kraygel to safety but Fodder and Ringo were sent off and the party got to see how FAST Ringo can go when he is coaxed to fly. The beetle grabbed Kraygel by the ankle, worrying the kobold chief, and pulling him back into the cave. The other two kobolds fled - leaving their chief behind. Fodder joined in in holding Kraygel down but while debating if we were going to keep him alive or not, Zoltan finished the job by slashing the K'Tharkian across the throat and ending his life.
Group ran outside and found they were on a mountain trail - the kobolds and their ponies were gone and on the bare rock, signs were difficult to spot at best.
As one, the party decided to go back into the caves and see what was in the last cavern - which had an 8' segmented yellow tentacled monster crawling towards them. Three Molotov cocktails were launched and then Ringo critically hit the poor beast and the easiest fight against a carrion crawler was logged for the group.
We walked out and bid Arnax farewell - using his advice to travel west to find the "man-city". We walked for an hour or so slowly and tired until we came to Orihalcus. The intro to the city read as:
The air has tasted like dust and stone for the last few minutes and along the eastern section of sky you can see a large crumbled looking peak whose left side is wreathed in a fine cloud of smog. The sound of picks and hammers echo off the high rock walls along with the murmur of people too numerous to account for.
As the ancient dwarven road curves one last time to the right, the entire side of the mountain seems to pull away and acting as a final bastion against the rolling lowlands is a sprawling town set almost into the stone itself.
The walls of the mountain have been scooped away by hundreds of years of patient picking, opening an irregular plateau of stone a half mile by two thirds of one. A stout and sturdy wall has been erected along the end of the path to two imposing guard towers framing a wide gate of thick wood and metal posts which currently stand open. Beyond the gate the busy streets are filled with people going about their business and sturdy shops and homes of quarried stone lining the main thoroughfare.
A few building stick up over the wall, standing out amongst the crowd so to speak. An arched causeway of stone comes out of the mountain's side, sluicing down into the northern end of the city and bringing fresh water with it.
The most striking thing about the town that you can see is that the area under the plateau is a sheer reverse slope, testament that the people who make their home here take their mining seriously.
The guards were put off by our strange appearance, and sent away for someone called Sheriff Phozarn Trueblade who did admit the party in - although under close watch and guard. You were taken to the town square and eventually to the village courthouse - a squat stone building. He interviewed you for a bit until the local lord, a Sir Walter Slaine showed up. At this time there are 12 guards, the sheriff, and the local lord and they listened to your tale about slavers and capture and kobolds and escape. They sent away for a dwarf named Marzen, someone in charge of the mining operations at the Copperworks here who also listened to your tale.
Much of it is still in need of communication but for now, Sir Walter is willing to put your group up here in his city - which seemed to go against the wishes a bit of Sheriff Phozarn. It was decided you could use the baths at the inn next door called the "Blue and Dancing Pick" but you would be watched and not allowed to go anywhere except back to the courts where you will spend the night until Sir Walter can have some sort of advisory council convene in the morning to speak at greater length with you...and you assume about you.