The K'Morat kobolds that the group is fighting are pretty resilient. Cunning, capable, and with 1 6-th level Shaman at their beck and call, they are big on traps to slow up the group and take them down, with a few well placed spells if need be.
However, they have hurt the group, and neutralized no one. Not entirely true, they did neutralize Barb a number of days ago, but it forced the party to retreat and heal up. However on their end, they've been a bit messed up. Straight up fighting isn't working for them - so it's time to set up lures, traps, snags, lines, and situations where a lone kobold or two can trip up the group and whittle away much needed hp's.
And that's what's happened so far and is happening now.
Write up follows:
The first thing we wanted to do was make sure the K’Morat couldn’t come down this way. So we pitoned into the ceiling and then with a length of rope and two other spikes, pounded the tables into the ground and roped them together and through the ceiling piton to prevent either of them being moved independently without lots of effort and hopefully enough noise to attract us.
While this was going on, we gathered up the fallen K’Morat and dragged them back down the passage, piling them up in a gory tableau at the base of the tables. From there we moved the caltrops and rocks from the main hall into some bags and Negan stretched some piano wire at the base to hopefully trip up anyone who might come from the south corridor. To make it even more frightening for the kobolds, they scratched into the floor a pentagram, lit a few candles around the corners, and then Darius placed a single bit of quarts near one of the points. Hopefully the K’Morat superstitions should be enough to keep them from advancing.
Barb once again took the lead and we went north, turning down to the west and kept going to what was the original room with the barricades. Negan, who was in the rear, was crab walking sideways, spear out and watching both directions, not trusting the situation. Eventually we came to the room and…it had been changed over the last 2 days. All the original junk and detritus was swept across the floor and piled haphazardly along the south wall and southwest corner. There were 3 candles burning on the south east corner, next to 2 wooden buckets with a cloth cover them to obscure their interiors. But it was the majority of the floor that was covered in a slowly jellifying mess of blood, gore, and bits of flesh, coating the room in filth.
Best guess is it was a day old. And the candles had us nervous. The group wanted to investigate but there was no easy way to get over there, and there was the dark corridor across the room to the left. So Barb went first, stepping lightly into the filth, shield out and held aloft as she crouched behind it. Connal snuck up behind her, back to the wall, stepped over the gore, and came to the candles. Three of them, simple 1-3 hour candles. He was given hissing conflicting advice until he leaned forward and blew hard at the candle.
It almost refused to go out, wavering a LONG time before finally guttering. Weird. He did the same with the second, again leaning forward, not touching it, and again…it took a LONG time to go out. We now had 1 left. Really unsure.
So they spent a few minutes scrubbing the area and found remnants of chalk lines and markings on the floor that had been obscured by the blood and gore dumped yesterday. Avulstein couldn’t tell what the ritual was originally, but the candle’s extinguishing or guttering our on their own would set it off. So Connal tried to relight one of them…and nothing happened. Even putting the fire from a torch right on top of the candle – it refused to light.
So he backed away, careful NOT to extinguish the last candle, and we all convened in the hall again. The feeling was the candles are a timer, and when it runs out – the giant is called again. That gives us about 2 ½ hours before the candle goes out on its own. No, we were out of here.
Back at the main entrance we did notice the two rakes on the wall, one on either side near the pentagram we scratched there. So we set up a trip wire crossways like a “V” down the hall around the pentagram, nervous we were being watched. At the last moment, we had Darius whip a stone down the hall where it smashed into a corner and we heard a bark or surprise and something run away. Ok – we’re out.
When we arrived at the slope to get out, the rope was gone! Connal took Barb’s rope, climbed the slope and went to the tree to tie it on where we saw Darius’ rope just sitting there all coiled up. He left it, and threw the other rope down and the group climbed out of the warren. Darius was looking at the rope, wanting to take it, but truthfully, really not trusting the shaman and the kobolds.
We had a plan, assuming as Avulstein told us that there were ways to track an item that someone else is carrying. Darius took his former rope, and the entire group ran through the meadow east, hit the tree line, and then climbed the slope for a good 10, 15 minutes. From here the rest of the party turned north and picked a quieter trail with Barb guiding us to minimize tracks while Darius continued upslope, blazing every 5th tree as he went. As the slope grew steeped and the trees denser, he looked for a hollow, dropped the rope in it, and then turned towards the north and tried his best to obscure his tracks as he slowly made his way eventually to our camp on the north ridge and barb and the rest of the group.
By 6 we had all gathered again and we stayed outside the tent covered cave watching the meadow carefully. Some half hour, forty five minutes later there was a fizzling of lights from the cave and the meadow and high in the sky – three lights appeared again – yellow, red, blue. Within 10 minutes the giant had run up and about 20 kobolds had come out, torches lit. In the gloom of twilight we watched these pinpricks of light run east towards the ridge and then swarm up the ridge, the giant moving with them, knocking smaller trees aside. Eventually they came up, high on the ridge where Darius told us he dropped the rope and the lights all congregated there.
Then they fanned out and went up and down the ridge a bit, eventually going back down the slope and back to the warren where the giant was seen arguing with the kobolds with wildly gesticulating arms. The kobolds went back in the warren and after some time emerged with many things (we couldn’t tell) and gave them to the giant who thrust them in a sack, which he slung over his shoulder and then tromped off to the south west. The lights all went back into the cave and eventually the group feeling pretty smart with themselves, closed their eyes and got some sleep.
We awoke the next day on the 12th, feeling pretty good and pumped to go back to the Warren. From what we saw, the giant was getting cross about these summonses and might not arrive next time, or might take his time. We broke our fast, prayed, gathered our equipment and by quarter to 7, were ready to go.
It took us a slow half hour to get back to the warren area. The ground was a mess of tracks, showing the giant had indeed stomped around. While we were searching though we did come across two distinctive prints that were of a boar – although some 50% larger than we expected it to be. We were comfortable that this was most likely the totem animal and if we had been informed correctly, it was probably not very advanced and should be easier to take down. We hoped.
Once more we strung up rope, went down to the bottom, Negan hit Barb’s shield with another light spell and we went on, expecting the kobolds had trapped the area in some way.
We were right.
What they had done was taken Darius’ rope that he had tossed up the mountain, and split it into strands, then took those strands and made a lattice of trip lines attached to spikes in the corners of the floor running back and forth covering 40’ in each direction. No fricking way we were going to try to navigate over 24 trip lines, all connected to the next one. A detect magic spell followed and Avulstein let us know the spikes where the center point of the magic, Air based, and the rope line was the trigger.
So another trap. We lit a candle and put some oil by it, laying it near one of the ropes, and got out of the cave, going north to the tree line and hiding there. We waited 15 minutes or so and then saw some smoke drift out of the cave along with a staccato beat of metallic noises. Half a dozen kobolds came out, the shaman was one of them, and then were looking feverishly for the party – not seeing them anywhere (hidden around the trees). There was some arguing and then two more kobolds came out with long hooded cloaks colored to look like the bladegrass of the meadow. Two of the kobolds took off their quivers, wrapped the cloaks about themselves, and then took off into the meadow, moving back and forth, drifting wider and further away from the warren until over time we lost sight of them.
The rest of the kobolds went back inside and we waited. Connal climbed a tree, hoping a bird’s eye view would help, but to no avail – couldn’t find what we know to be 2 kobolds outside of the warren and camouflaged. We debated going back in, knowing we’d be seen, but decided it was worth the risk.
So we crept out of the tree line and made our way across the meadow with care. No one attacked us, nothing happened, but we KNEW we were being watched. We hit the cave, tied rope AGAIN to the tree (4th time going in?) and by 10:15, had slithered back to the bottom. Not wanting to waste what we assumed would be a needed spell later, we lit a lantern full of oil and gave it to Avulstein’s zombie Centius to hold for us.
Then we went down the passage to the cross corridor and looked. The walls and ceiling had numerous dents in it, the stink of metal was strong along with something burned. But on the floor in defiance to our pentagramming – the kobolds had drawn a half dozen pentagrams of their own of various sizes. Darius thought they were being petty.
We turned north and went that way, ONCE more going to the barracks room that had all the gore in it. Now there was no gore but we heard voices in the distance. Negan summoned a monster – and a giant ant appeared! He had it run down the passage and encountered a pair of kobolds in there. There was a brief fight and the kobolds retreated down the west passage into the dark, the ant following. We ran into the room next and saw they had cleaned most of the gore off the floor, but nothing new in here.
Just before the ant spell faded, Negan summoned again – this time getting a dog sized giant rat! He had that ALSO run down the hall and give chase to the kobolds in that direction. With that we all beat feet and moved double time BACK to the main 4 way split and this time went south to the sloping passage that had the pit at the bottom.
We went down carefully, the stink of waste very strong. The pit edge was discolored from all the slime, grease, and shit the kobolds had laid here before to surprise us. Beyond it in the gloom there was a room and we could very faintly hear angry kobold voices and the chittering of a giant rat. To the right was a dark passage, narrow, that we assumed went to the midden. But there was an odd reflection down it, leading us to think there was a light in that way. Barb and Darius went down, weapons ready and looked around the corner (short passage to a room) and then walking that way, looked again.
It was a small room, 15’x10’, another passage heading west from across the chamber. Storage area, boxes, wire, bales, buckets. On the floor near the opposite side of the chamber by the exit was two small stools, a couple of buckets with a cover on them of cloth, and two fat candles burning on the ground and a well gnawed turkey leg.
Barb was going to check it out while Darius was snagging items from the shelves. She wondered why there would be any candle lit since the kobolds could see in the dark and if the kobold was in here either crapping or eating – it shouldn’t have needed the light source. Feeling pressure though, she ignored her doubting voice and went to lift the cover off the closest bucket when from down the passage she heard two “thwanging” noises – the distinct sound of flat bows being fired.
She looked that way in time to see 2 kobolds running up the passage when the bolts hit…not her. The two well-lit buckets on the ground.
Filled with oil and other incendiary detritus.
It burst in front of her, setting her entire right side on fire and she screamed as she tried to roll back and out of the way, Darius hurled a sling rock around the corner but hit nothing. Barb was rolling about in the muck and filth of the floor, guttering the fire out. The barbarian half-orc stood up in some pain, burned, covered in kobold crap from another K’Morat trap and she was seethingly furious at once again being on the receiving end of the ankle-biter’s tactics and antics.