Legacy Builder

A Return to Misgivings (Pt 2)

A Return to Misgivings (Pt 2)

Scenario Level: 2
Scenario Length: 2 Sessions

The Participants:

Peter – Falcor Rayaes, Dwarf Fighter (U.S.S Constutution, AKA ‘Old Ironsides’)
Erv – Tara, Half Elf Monk (I’ll cover you from back here, … waaaaaaay back here.)
Craig – Iago, Human Ninja (Mr. ‘I’ll start a 2nd level Ninja even though I haven’t met the 2nd level requirements and the GM doesn’t allow eastern-flavored classes.’ (cough, campaign manager’s privilege, cough!))

Rewind: Back in the basement, there were actually two cocooned creatures still living in Shelob’s pantry: Tik Tok and Iago. After freeing both, Morvahna decides to escort Tik Tok back to the cellar (where she secretly plans to torment the Not Nik Naks with her undead minions, the evil bitch!) Meanwhile, Iago agrees to join the party. Back in Sandpoint, she heard rumors of a dragon lairing in the manor and tried to pull a ‘Bilbo Baggins’; however, she faired no better than the kobold at getting past Shelob. The party ascends the stairs, dispatches the sleeping guard, and steals themselves for whatever comes next. (Aaaaand action!)

The party tentatively enters the main hall prepared for the inevitable onslaught of screaming kobold warriors only to be greeted by the silencel. After a brief discussion they decide to investigate the rooms leading off the main corridor. To the west, the corridor opens into the main entry with a number of stuffed animal heads on the walls and a large stuffed manticore standing guard in the center of the room. Tara also notices that the kobolds have erected a swinging, spiked log trap above the main outside entrance door. When she enters the room to disable the door trap, the tail of the manticore releases a flaming spike that lands a severe blow to the monk. Deciding to avoid this room altogether, they head west into what appears to have been a dining room. Fires still burn in the unoccupied room, giving indication that the current residents can’t be far off. There are two doors leading from the dining room, one north and one south. Iago tries to slowly open the south door when a small, clawed hand grasps the door and rips it open. Battle is joined when a group of Nik Naks begins slinging bullets at the ninja. Though weak and easy to kill, there are quite a few of the creatures, all of which are eager to inflict what damage they can. Falcor starts laying about with his warhammer, dispatching kobolds with every swing, while Tara remains in the dining room looking for a clear shot with her bow. Unfortunately for her, another group of kobolds comes screaming out of the north door to the rear and pepper her with a number of bullets. While Iago cleans up the remaining warriors in the south room, Falcor returns to the hall, hoping to engage as many of the new combatants as possible in order to relieve Tara of the target on her back. The battle is short, but nasty. They bring down all 12 kobolds, but suffer significant damage (man, a healer sure would come in handy about now, huh?)

The party investigates the south room and discovers that the former library has been turned into a nesting site for the kobolds just dispatched. Falcor forces a stuck door connected to the library and finds a small drawing room that has been exposed to the elements for some time and has grown thick with mold. Fortunately for him, dwarves are nigh immune to the spores that permeate the air here (it’s just not right that a 2nd level character can have a +15 Fort save bonus, not right at all.) The rest of the party wisely avoids the room and backtracks to the dinging room. It’s now that they notice a crude mural on the outside of the door leading into the basement. A kobold skull and crossbones with the draconic words, “Bad Juju! No Go!” Obviously a warning against entering Shelob’s lair (wouldn’t you know it, the newly created ninja that joined the party just so happens to speak draconic … what a coincidence!)

They investigate the north room and find that this former lounge has been turned into a nesting room as well. They proceed down the hall off this room where Falcor opens a door about half the way down. The wretched, vile stench that emanates from the room, resulting from the current residents using the former bathroom for its intended purposes, overcomes Iago who rushes to the nearest window to relieve herself of the contents of her stomach. Falcor finds the smell quite pleasant and actually makes him somewhat homesick (seriously, a +15 Fort!) The commotion, however, draws the attention of the occupants of the next room down. Another group of Nik Naks charge through the door into the hallway, the lead kobold engaging Falcor with its spear while those behind sling stones. The creatures manage to land a number of hits, but are hopelessly outmatched by the dwarf and his BFH (Big Fucking Hammer!) Within a few rounds, only one creature remains. Wanting no more of this one-sided fight, the kobold retreats back into the room, which is immediately followed by a loud crash. By now, Iago feels well enough to rejoin the group. Together, they enter the former dancing parlor to find the escaping kobold skewered on a swinging, spiked log trap that had been set above the main outside entrance door, but which now swings free before the opening as the doors have been smashed out. The rest of the room contains nests much like the rest of the rooms they’ve encountered.

The party returns to the main hall and opens the one door remaining; a flight of stairs leading up to the second floor. As the party ascends, the entire mansion is rocked by a shift in the ground and a thunderous crashing noise. Tara, bringing up the rear as usual, notices a thick cloud of dust billowing out from the basement door. They correctly assume some kind of geological event has occurred in the basement. While they contemplate going back down to investigate, Tik Tok, having given Morvahna the slip, emerges from the stairs caked in dust. He informs them that a new hole has opened up in Shelob’s old lair and that he would be willing to check it out if they promise to take him to see The Great and Powerful. The party remembers from Kasa’s tale that the manor was built over a system of caverns where the Legendary Five discovered the source of the manor’s abominable nature as well a numerous undead. The party agrees with Tik Tok’s proposal, sending the defenseless young juvenile kobold into the dark, dangerous depths while they continue on their merry way (nice.)

Falcor carefully opens the door leading off the stairs into the second floor; however, his superior dwarven stealth skills fail to prevent his detection by two kobolds standing guard nearby. Falcor lands a solid hit, but the kobold doesn’t drop; these are obviously kobolds of a sturdier stock. Even so, the two guards drop fairly quickly to their concentrated might and the group moves into the main hall where they notice two sets of double doors. The doors leading west are painted with a crude mural of a large purple colored kobold wearing courtly garb and wielding a flaming sword it uses to lop the heads of a group of much smaller humans; obviously the route to Tartuk (talk about an ego.) The doors across the hall show a huge red dragon, wings spread wide over hundreds of small kobolds all dancing and genuflecting at its feet. Avoiding this door like the plague, Falcor moves up the hall to see what else there is when the doors leading to Tartuk fly open and two more of the more robust kobolds step out into the hall, slings a-blazing. Behind them, two additional guards sit behind an upturned table, using it as a barrier. On the other side of the room stands another set of double doors standing partially open. The kobolds score some quick hits on the lightly armored Iago and Tara. The melees maneuver into position to engage while Tara remains in the hall looking for an open shot. In the heat of the battle, Falcor feels an odd tingling sensation as the hairs on the back of his neck standup. The party also hears some strange incantations coming from somewhere nearby. Just as the battle seems won, the doors to the rear burst open and a large red dragon steps out into the hall (the sound you just heard was of three sphincters tightening up!) Tara, overcome with dread, runs headlong down the stairs and out the mansion’s entrance (and was more than willing to continue on all the way to Sandpoint had she had her way.) Iago and Falcor, realizing that if the dragon is real they’re toast anyway (literally,) offer up a silent prayer and continue to make quick work of the remaining kobolds. The dragon does little more than stare at the two, which lends credence to their assumption. This is confirmed when Falcor takes a swing at the dragon only to have it and the open doors disappear. They stand again before the closed doors with the dragon mural on it.

Correctly assuming Tartuk to be some kind of caster, they return to the partially open door and enter. Before them, dressed in his regal robe and courtier’s cap, Chief Tartuk sits atop his throne. He screeches maniacally at them in draconic about their interference in his plans, but that he will set things back on course after he finishes them off (blah blah, blah, evil mastermind monologue, blah.) Tartuk does some significant damage to Falcor with his wand of magic missiles, but that is all he and his poisonous lizard companion is capable before the party, now rejoined by the out of breath Tara, quickly pulverizes them (so after rolling 1’s on my concentration checks and attacks, my level five sorcerer gets off one shot of magic missile before getting dropped like a bad habit, … just … fucking … awesome.) A quick search turns up a key, which appears to fit the locked door to the dragon’s room.

The party argues back and forth between entering the dragon’s room and returning to Sootscale as agreed. Now convinced that the dragon was a hoax conjured by the dead Tartuk, the party unlocks the door and enters, only to come face to face with the real red dragon (suckers!) The room is quite large, with the ceiling to the attic above removed so that it is double the normal height. The back wall is also removed exposing the room to the outside, right above the 300 foot cliff that drops to the ocean below. The dragon rears up and in a loud booming voice addresses the party, “WHO DARES ENTER MY LAIR!” Iago, as timidly as possible identifies the party and asks who it is. “I AM COZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL!” Falcor, the engineering genius that he is, determines that this is not a real dragon at all, but rather a mechanical apparatus of some type. So now (with meta-gaming mode kicked into high gear,) the party ignores the dragon and starts searching the room, all the while the dragon tells them to stop what they are doing and close the door, first forcefully, than in an increasingly higher and more pleading tone (ignore the man behind the curtain.) The party finally closes the door and orders whoever is operating the dragon to show themselves. Expecting another kobold to appear, they are shocked to see a halfling crawl out of a trap door leading into the dragon’s belly.

My name is Cozmo Daedalus, a tinkerer by trade. I left Magnimar about six months ago and came to this abandoned mansion because it offered me the ideal conditions to work on my latest endeavor, non-magical flight! However, since I’m not magically inclined, I knew the only way to make my dream a reality was to invent my own flying apparatus. So I came here, and I planned, and I built, and I experimented, … and I crashed. I lost count of the number of times I crashed, but I was determined. So I studied dragons; the biggest, most ungainly, the most poorly designed creature for flight that I could imagine. I figured that if a creature such as that had mastered flight, they must have a secret inherent design advantage. So I built my apparatus to mimic exactly the greatest of them all, the red dragon! Well, … that and red was the only color paint I had. About a week ago, I finished my masterpiece and alighted over the side of the cliff on my maiden voyage. Only thing is, … I didn’t actually fly so much as fall in a controlled manner. Sure the powerful winds driving up the cliff face drove me to dizzying heights, but after I left the updraft, try as I might to stay aloft, I was inexorably pulled back down to earth.

Unbeknownst to me, I had attracted the attention of a tribe of kobolds during my glide back to the mansion. Not long after making my arrested landing, I was surprised by the chief, a kobold named Sootscale. I was terrified at first, but Sootscale was more curious than anything. He wanted to know who I was and what I was doing, but more than anything, he was interested in my dragon apparatus. He told me of his tribe and their journey and his plans for their future. I was even more shocked at this revelation: imagine a kobold, interested in nothing more than peace and security for his tribe instead of war and mayhem. Then it hit me, we were kindred spirits, Sootscale and I. We were both on a journey that had never been attempted. As a fellow ground-breaker, I felt duty bound to assist this uncommon little creature to achieve his goal. So, we put our heads together and came up with a plan.

I would pretend to be the Nik Naks dragon god. The Great and Powerful Coz would dispense new laws, giving voice to Sootscale’s will for peace. In return, Sootscale agreed to let me have my own wing of the mansion in which to continue my work, locked up so no one could get access but Sootscale himself to prevent any curious kobolds learning our secret. The plan worked to perfection, even keeping in check Tartuk, until Sootscale brought in a jug of hard cider to celebrate our partnership. We drank a bit excessively, and Tartuk ended up stealing the key off of a drunken Sootscale. When Tartuk snuck into my chambers and discovered the truth, he threatened to have his warriors disembowel me unless I declared him the new chief and endorse his plans to attack Sandpoint. And to make sure I didn’t give him the slip, he disabled my dragon. So, I did Tartuks bidding, all the while secretly making repairs to my apparatus with the intent of making good my escape and warning Sandpoint of the impending assault. I was nearing completion when you arrived.

The party assures Cozmo Dadedalus (check your Greek mythology) that the threat has been dealt with and that Sootscale and his kobolds are still alive. They return to the cellar of the Not Nik Naks and inform Sootscale that Tartuk is dead, most of the Nik Naks have been dealt with and that the Great and Powerful has declared him the chief again (wink, wink.) Sootscale, quick on the uptake, thanks the party and declares to the remains of his tribe that he must go and consult with the god, … alone.

With the Not Nik Naks busy settling back into their lodgings, the party decides to head down into the newly exposed caverns. Tik Tok informs them that there is a good room and a bad room and will accompany them to point out each. The party descends into the dark, twisting tunnels, stumbling upon the long dead, burned corpses of ghouls left over from when the Legendary Five cleansed the place. They come to a large cavern when Tik Tok balks, stating ‘Bad Juju’ lies within. The party enters on guard. A pile of old, gnawed on bones fills the center of the chamber. Predictably, a group of six skeletons arise from the bones and attack, clawed hands dealing telling blows to the lightly armored Iago. While Iago’s slashing and Tara’s piercing attacks seem to deal little damage to the relentless undead, Falcor’s BFH smashes them to powder, making quick work of them. With all members gravely wounded from the long morning of relentless assaults, the party contemplates continuing on. However, they assume the skeletons must have been in the ‘bad’ room as described by Tik Tok, so they press on. The group moves to the next chamber to find a huge cavern with a high ceiling and a winding ramp circling down a deep hole to a pool of thrashing water. On the north wall of the chamber, a stone door stands ajar. The party begins to enter when they hear the high pitch screech of the caverns inhabitants, two very large and very hungry dire bats. Tara, having suffered the least damage to this point stands at the fore (for a change.) Hoping to bring the creatures down before suffering any more damage, they are quickly disheartened when both dire bats drop to the ground in front of Tara and land devastating blows. Tik Tok rolls his eyes in frustration as the party, deciding that discretion is the better part of valor, quickly retreats back outside to regroup (Tik Tok had been able to stealth past the bats to the ‘good’ room behind the door no problem.)

After a quick run back to Sandpoint to spend the balance of their coin purses on healing potions which they immediately consume, the party rests outside the servant’s quarters before returning to the caverns after dark. Now mostly healed up, they enter the central chamber to find it vacant (if anyone would have bothered putting points in knowledge(nature), they would have known that bats leave their caverns to hunt at night.) The party enters the room behind the stone door to find a table loaded with trinkets and the remains of the wretched horror that Vorel Foxglove had become upon his failed transformation, burned and destroyed by the adventurers five years earlier. Upon the table they find a number of love poems addressed to someone named Be’lanna and a number of crude pornographic drawings of, it can only be assumed, this same person (lolz, Be’lanna is quickly becoming an underground pin-up nudie model!)

The party, having defeated the threat to Sandpoint, uncovered the truth behind the thefts of the farmers, uncovered a long ago murder, discovered the secret behind the red dragon sightings, and able to secure the safety of what appears to be a peaceful group of kobolds; sets out for Sandpoint to inform Sheriff Hemlock of their activities, collect their just reward, and tip one or two at the Rusty Dragon in celebration to their success!

I hope you enjoyed the scenario. The entire idea for this came to me with the line, “I am Oz, the Great and Powerful!” Everything else just fell into place.

I know this was brought up during the session, but I just want to reiterate it here; despite what Paizo’s philosophy is, in my campaigns/scenarios every creature with at least normal intelligence has an opportunity for self-determination when it comes to morality. It will be exceedingly rare that a creature listed in the bestiary as Evil will have a moral awakening, even rarer that a creature with such an awakening will be able to explore it in a rigid social structure like kobold tribal society, but its not impossible. It just so happens that Sootscale was able to develop his newfound morality because of his position of authority. And he was able to discover, nurture, and protect those same feelings in his sons, Remus and Romus, as well as Tik Tok. If anyone wishes to use these NPC’s in future scenarios, they are:

Sootscale: LN 5th level Fighter
Remus: N 2nd level Rogue
Romus: N 2nd level Ranger
Tik Tok: LN 2nd level Rogue

A Return to Misgivings (pt1)

Scenario Level: 2
Scenario Length: 1 Session (or so I had thought)

The Players (or as I like to call them, The Min Maxers):

Peter – Falcor Rayaes, Dwarf Fighter (Certified Polish mine sweeper)
Erv – Tara, Half Elf Monk (Nananananana – Bionic senses sound effect)
Craig – Morvahna, Human Summoner (NA – Necrophiliacs Anonymous)
Dresch – Morvahna’s Wood wraith Eidolon (Groot!)

While at the Rusty Dragon taking in a show by that world-renown bard, Kasa “Whisper” Lemalie, the party is offered a job by Sheriff Hemlock to investigate a theft at one of the local farmsteads. They readily agree and settle in to listen to Kasa’s tale:

The Tale of the Misgivings

Built nearly 80 years ago by a Magnimar merchant named Vorel, Foxglove Manor perched elegantly atop the seaside cliffs of the Lost Coast. However, unbeknownst even to his family, Vorel Foxglove was actually a necromancer with a sinister plan to become a lich. For 20 years he experimented in secret, yet on the eve of his transformation, his wife uncovered his vile plot. She destroyed his phylactery and triggered a necromantic backlash that destroyed Vorel’s body in one horrendous blast of disease and decay. She attempted to flee the manor with their child, but the half-completed transformation had an unforeseen development. The manor itself became Vorel’s phylactery, replacing the one his wife had ruined. It was only a matter of minutes before she, the child, and all of the servants succumbed to a deadly and horrific affliction spread by Vorel’s vengeful spirit.

Foxglove Manor was shunned for nearly 40 years before Traver Foxglove decided to move his wife, daughters, and young son Aldern, into the manor to reclaim his family heritage. Yet Vorel Foxglove remained. His spirit had hibernated while the manor lay vacant, but this new presence triggered a reawakening. Over time, Vorel’s diseased essence invaded Traver’s mind. His wife realized something was amiss and became convinced, correctly so, that the manor itself was the source of her husband’s affliction. Desperate, she burned the servants’ outbuilding and intended to do the same to the manor, but Traver, now fully in Vorel’s embrace, murdered her before she succeeded. The shock of killing his wife freed Traver from Vorel’s influence long enough for him to kill himself in despair. The Foxglove children, later found terrified on the upper floor, were sent off to distant family and the manor sealed up once again.

Fifteen years passed before Aldern, now a grown man and a successful merchant himself, returned to rebuild the family home. By now, Foxglove Manor’s reputation had taken root in local superstition, referred to as “The Misgivings” in quiet whispers. Yet he was able to find skilled laborers to aid him in the restoration. As the work progressed, Aldern met, fell in love with, and married a beautiful Varisian girl. However, the vile spirit of Vorel exerted its influence yet again. Aldern’s passion for his young wife gave way to paranoia, and one night in a fit of jealous rage, he strangled his wife and locked her sheet-wrapped corpse away in the attic. There, she rose as an undead revenant seeking vengeance on her murderous husband. Avoiding the upper floors and the sounds of his dead wife’s howling, Aldern retreated to the basement where he discovered Vorel’s long-hidden laboratory. In these caverns, the source of the manor’s affliction was finally revealed: a disturbing patch of dark fungus that was the core of Vorel’s undead spirit. However, in uncovering this secret, he unknowingly exposed himself to necromantic contagion that transformed him into an undead abomination.

Aldern, now a flesh-craving ghoul, terrorized the farms in the Sandpoint Hinterlands and the people of Sandpoint proper by committing a number of grisly and gruesome murders and afflicting several innocents with his ghoulish curse. It took the timely and heroic intervention of the Legendary Five, led by yours truly, to track this vile creature back to its lair. There, with flame, sword, and arrow, put it, the other undead infecting the manor, and the vile corruption within the manor itself, to rest for good. The ruined remains of the Misgivings still sits atop the desolate crags of the Lost Coast, inviting any who dare to delve its dark depths to discover if the haunting spirit of Vorel Foxglove is finally and completely vanquished.

Nearly overcome with emotion, not just in the tale, but in it’s telling, the party calls it a night. As they enter the stables the next morning, they find Sir Didymus Rumblebottom III, a halfling cavalier, preparing to set out on his wolf steed, Ambrosius. Sir Didymus informs the party that he has heard rumors of a red dragon sighting in the area, and he intends to hunt it down (after all that’s what knights do.) When the party expresses their doubts that a halfling can tangle with a red dragon, he reminds them not to judge someone by appearances alone (DING, DING, DING, PLOT POINT!) For whatever reason, Morvahna lies to the little knight, telling him the dragon sighting is to the south. However, this only confirms the rumor for Sir Didymus as south is where the dragon was suppose to have been sighted in the first place. Wishing them luck, he sets out on his quest while the party departs south for the Sandpoint Hinterlands.

They arrive at Farmer McDowell’s house (if you don’t get the Farmer McDowell reference, watch Coming to America.) McDowell is a loud, cantankerous cuss who barely cooperates with the party’s inquiries. To exasperate the situation, Tara decides to match cantankerousness with orneriness. Needless to say, not much is gleaned from the farmer. However, they do find some interesting evidence from the farm itself. About a week prior, thieves dug a tunnel into the cellar, helped themselves to a fair store of food goods, and made good their escape without notice. Farmer McDowell is convinced it’s varmints, but Falcor determines tools were used to knock a hole in the cellar wall; not your typical varmint modus operandi. After some rather pitiful attempts at tracking, the farmer informs them that his was not the only farm to get ‘hit’. Farmer Pilkington has had his barn rifled through a number of times in the past week. He also recommends they pay the Widow Hound a visit as she has been acting peculiar of late. With fresh evidence to pursue, the party sets off.

They come to the homely little cottage of the Widow Hound, a kindly, grandmotherly sort who, with gentle words and the smell of baking pie wafting through her humble abode, invites them in for pastries and lemonade as a short respite from the harsh road. So of course the party is immediately on alert by this obviously malicious hag! Tara and Morvahna start in with the ‘bad cop’ interrogation tactics only to be brought up short when the widow calls into question their upbringing and lack of manners. However, their suspicions seem to have merit when the widow balks at having any knowledge of the strange tracks they found leading to and from her front porch, tracks unlike any they’ve encountered. Morvahna makes the intuitive leap that they were probably made by a goblin on stilts (close; not bad for an empty headed bimbo.) The widow decries any knowledge, but the party sees through her obvious lie. Furthermore, when Tara searches through the cottage (nananananana – bionic eye sound effect) she finds evidence that the widow is preparing a hasty departure. However, unable to strong-arm the helpless old lady into incriminating herself, the party decides that, with what daylight is left, they will check out the Pilkington farm then return at nightfall to stake out this den of villainy.

They approach the Pilkington (for the Pilkington reference, read Animal Farm) farmstead to find the place eerily abandoned, or so it seems. They investigate the barn where Tara and Falcor manage to set off a number of wolf traps set for some would be intruders (Lo, for want of a trap monkey!) Here they find another hole dug under the wall and the place ransacked. They approach the front door of the farmhouse where, perhaps feeling left out; Morvahna sticks her leg into a punji stake trap (guy’s, I’m implying you need a rogue.) Tara and Falcor, not falling for the banana in the tail pipe, try sneaking in through the house’s windows when Falcor gets a face full of swinging spiked ball trap (… maybe I’m not making myself clear.) Farmer Pilkington, mistaking the party for whoever or whatever has been invading his farm, starts yelling hysterically from inside the house; something about they’re not going to get him, stolen tools, siege engines, and squirrels trying to eat him. The party tries to convince him of who they are to no avail, so they force entry as Pilkington heads up into the loft. Finally detecting a trap on the stairs before triggering it, Morvahna summons a skeleton at the top. The terrified farmer finally yields and in his sleep deprived befuddled mental state, tells the party of what has transpired. Farmer Pilkington’s farm has been visited three times in the last five days by a pack of terrorizing squirrels. They burrowed into his barn, stealing farming implements and carpentry tools on each visit. Then they run around his house tormenting him with their ‘chirp, chirp, chirp’ squirrel noises. He hasn’t slept at all in the last five days as a result (speaking of nuttier than a squirrel turd ..) The party determines that whatever has been paying the farm nightly visits has arrived and left from the west, in the direction of Widow Hounds cottage. (Farmer McDowell knew Pilkington had set traps about his farm, but “forgot” to mention it, probably because he was so infuriated with Tara, that half elf bitch!)

Returning to the Widow Hounds cottage at dusk, the party sets up surveillance from the nearby trees. They don’t have long to wait before a figure approaches from the west. Tara (nanananana – bionic eyes and ears sound effect) determines that it is indeed someone on stilts with a sheet over their head pretending to be a ghost. Waiting to see how it plays out, the party witnesses the Widow Hound warmly greet the “ghost”, dance with it, and give it the pie she baked earlier. Tara overhears her call the ghost Traver, who the party correctly assumes to mean Traver Foxglove, and plead with the ghost to take her with him. They are able to piece together that she and Traver were having an affair when he was still alive 25 years earlier, and had planned to run away together until the events at Foxglove Manor ended his life. While speaking with the ghost, she also strongly implies that she had murdered her husband so they could be together. The ghost, after taking possession of the pie, leaves back from whence it came, much to the chagrin of the widow who goes back inside to weep. The party leaves the cover of the woods to confront this mysterious “ghost”.

Falcor sneaks up behind the ghost in his heavy banded mail (go figure) and snatches the sheet off to find two juvenile kobolds beneath. To simulate a medium sized ghost, one rides the other’s shoulders and the bottom one walks on stilts, hence the strange tracks. The kobolds beg for mercy and the party pauses long enough for the two to explain themselves. They are Remus, the one that does all the talking, and Romus, the smart one (I was going to use Remus and Romulus, but figured it wasn’t in kobold’s limited linguistic capabilities to enunciate more than two syllables.) The party interrogates the two while Romus desperately tries to finish off the pie before the party kills them. Being fully cooperative, Remus informs the party that they are from a group of kobolds living in a cellar near Foxglove Manor. They were the ones who stole food from Farmer McDowell’s cellar, tools from Farmer Pilkington’s barn, and had been paying the Widow Hound nightly visits disguised as a ghost. Remus assures the party that none of this was done with malicious intent. The stolen food and tools were meant as a sacrifice to someone they refer to as “The Great and Powerful”. Remus is very evasive on the Great and Powerful’s identity, claiming to discuss such matters is bad juju, however Romus lets slip that it is their god. Tara’s lore knowledge recalls that dragons are often worshipped as gods by kobolds. The prospects of such an encounter does not bode well for our intrepid adventurers. Remus also say’s they were the one making squirrel noises at Pilkington’s, first to cover their identity, then in fun as it was a great laugh to get the farmer all riled up. On their first visit to the Widow Hound’s house, they were pilfering a pie left on the windowsill when they overheard her talking to herself about the long dead Traver. They came up with the brilliant scheme to pretend to be this Traver guy’s ghost to get the nice widow to bake more sweet treats, and she, in her self-delusional state, was more than happy to comply (and they would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!)

Hearing enough, the party agrees to let them live under the conditions that they confess to the widow, return with them to Sandpoint for the night, and guide them to the rest of the kobolds in the morning. The kobolds agree as long as they are provided with as many sweet treats as the two can eat. When confronted with the truth, the Widow Hound has a manic breakdown (the Widow HOUND chased after Traver FOXglove, get it!) The party returns to Sandpoint and present their findings to the sheriff. The two kobolds are locked up in the garrison and they head to the Rusty Dragon to procure sweets, only to find the little creatures have slipped out and followed them. Morvahna agrees to take them to her grotto where her undead minions will act as dread babysitters. Not relishing that prospect, the two give her the slip as well. Come morning, Sheriff Hemlock pays the party a visit inquiring into an overnight break-in and theft at the Sandpoint Sundery’s pastry shop. The party feigns ignorance and quickly departs for Foxglove manor. Along the way, they find Remus and Romus on the side of the road, a pile of half eaten pasties strewn about them, their little bellies distended, moaning in obvious agony (man, I love these two NPC’s! I was thinking of Tulio and Miguel from The Road to El Dorado when I thought these two up.) After collecting their larcenous guides they continue on, cautiously approaching the ominous manor on the cliffs edge. The two kobolds lead the party into the cellar of the burned remains of the servant’s outbuilding where they come upon a haggard group of very young and very old kobolds, as well as the despondent tribal leader. As they offer no resistance, the party wearily listens to the chief’s tale.

For as far back as tribal lore goes, Chief Sootscale and the Nik Nak tribe of kobolds called the swampy expanse of the Mushfens to the south home. Here they competed with the other denizens of the swamp for survival. But Chief Sootscale wanted more than mere survival for his tribe, he wanted a place were they could live in relative safety without the constant warring with other tribes or with humans. Sootscale didn’t want conflict with the ‘biggins’ as the result of such a contest would mean the annihilation of his tribe. This idea met with opposition from the tribes more traditional thinking members, including the tribe’s shaman, Tartuk. Tartuk and Sootscale had a history of butting heads. Sootscale cared more for the welfare of the tribe, while Tartuk cared more for his position in it. They argued over Sootscale’s plan, with Tartuk having the support of the more war-like members and Sootscale having the support of the youngest and eldest in the tribe. Finally, Sootscale won out and led his tribe out of the Mushfens in search of a new home. One morning, the Nik Naks looked up to see the Great and Powerful soaring majestically through the skies. They followed it to its lair in this abandoned manor. Chief Sootscale beseeched the Great and Powerful that they be allowed to stay and worshipper it. The Great and Powerful agreed, as long as the Nik Naks followed it’s laws: no attracting attention to the manor, no attacking the people that live nearby, no one sees the Great and Powerful accept Chief Sootscale. The kobolds agreed and Sootscale sent out his best scroungers to find a food sacrifice for the Great and Powerful. They returned with a feast, including a number of jugs filled with hard cider. It’s here that Chief Sootscale committed his great blunder. He drank one of the jugs and, while sleeping off the effects; Tartuk stole his keys and snuck into the Great and Powerful’s room in order to curry favor with the new god. When Tartuk emerged, he was declared the new Chief of the Nik Naks, deposing Sootscale who, along with his supporters who were renamed the Not Nik Naks, were beaten, robbed, and banished to this cellar. Several times Sootscale sent his sons Remus and Romus out to find suitable tool sacrifices for the Great and Powerful to get it to change its mind, but he could not gain access to its lair. Now Tartuk means to war against the nearby human village. Sootscale fears that this will surely bring about the doom of the Nik Naks and Not Nik Naks alike.

Sootscale beseeches the adventurers that, if they were to ‘deal’ with Tartuk and the more warlike kobolds of the Nik Naks, he would reclaim his position and continue leading the tribe according to The Great and Powerful’s laws. Additionally, he promises that the Great and Powerful will bestow a boon upon them as reward. The party, remembering the insightful words from Sir Didymus, realizes that these are not your average kobolds and are deserving of their assistance (I prefer to think this is the reason rather than the fact that nothing motivates PC’s like the promise of loot, the greedy bastards!) Sootscale warns the party that the front doors are heavily trapped and guarded, and suggests they sneak into the manor’s basement via a hidden tunnel. There they will have to face Shelob, the basements eight-legged guardian.

The cocooned kobold corpses hanging within make the web-strewn basement more ominous. With Tara and Morvahna bringing up the rear, Falcor and Dresch wearily make their way to the center of the room where the monstrous Shelob and two swarms of poisonous spiders set upon them. While the two trade devastating blows with the giant web-slinger, the women attempt to set fire to the swarms using vials of lamp oil, but miss badly (yes, they throw like girls.) After a few rounds of trading blows with the melee’s, including two summoned skeleton minions of Morvahna, Shelob is forced to retreat to its den leaving a trail of ichor in its wake. The remaining swarms set upon Falcor dealing incredible damage, but unable to effect their deadly poison upon the stout warrior. With the last two vials of oil, Tara and Morvahna finally land hits and set the swarms ablaze. They retreat from the punishing flames into their web filled lairs, which only adds to the conflagration that spells their doom. Adopting this tactic, the party finishes off Shelob by setting her lair ablaze as well. However, before fire consumes all of the webbing, the party notices one cocooned victim still kicking and cut it free. The rescued kobold juvenile is Tik Tok, a member of the Not Nik Naks that had tried to sneak into The Great and Powerful’s lair to entreat the god on the tribe’s behalf, but was captured by Shelob instead. Tik Tok is grateful at being rescued and intends to follow the adventurers up through the mansion so it may complete its quest. Either unwilling to put the young kobold into more danger, or not wanting the little troublemaker underfoot, the party sends Tik Tok packing back down the tunnel from whence they came (which was unfortunate as he had some rogue skills the party could probably have used.)

The party climbs the stairs to the main floor and Falcor, the stealthy banded mail wearing dwarf fighter that he is, sneaks a peak out the door into the main hall. Leaning against the wall and propped up by its spear, a sleeping kobold stands guard over the main entrance. The party knows they must dispatch him quickly for mounted to the wall near the sleepy guard there appears to be an alarm device in the form of a stuffed monkeys head with a pull bell rope hanging from its mouth. Tara takes position, draws a bead, and drops the creature with a well-placed shot to the medulla oblongata. The party pauses to collect itself before setting out to tackle the rest of the challenges the mansion presents.

Here ends the first session.

Welcom to Sandpoint!!
  • Located snugly on the Varisian Bay, lies what many might call the sleepy village of Sandpoint. Though not as metropolitan as its southern neighbor of Magnimar, nor as wild Riddleprot to the north, this little town on the sea tends to attract a lot of attention. Maybe it is due to the surrounding wild lands, it’s convenient location along the Lost Cost Road, or maybe it’s just cursed; but what ever the reason, Sandpoint is never short of excitement.
  • For as long any one can remember, it is the adventurers of Sandpoint who have kept the city safe. True, the city does maintain a city guard, but while they are large enough to maintain order, they are not equipped to deal with all of the calamities that happen on a regular basis. Rather, it is the adventurers who seek fame and fortune to whom Sandpoint owes its security.
  • Of all of the hero’s who call Sandpoint home, none is more renowned than the “Legendary Five.” Among their many exploits, they fought off an army of goblins, brought justice to a homicidal maniac in Magnimar, and defended Sandpoint from an army of giants seeking to destroy the city. Now retired from adventuring, they stand as paragons among heroes.
  • But the time of the “Legenary Five” has passed. Over the years, many adventurers came to the city, and some of whom have become iconic. But the dangers to Sandpoint haven’t gone away; in fact, many a seasoned citizen would tell you that they’ve only gotten worse. Coming in time to stave off these threats, new adventurers have recently begun to arrive. Perhaps they will be valiant enough to keep Sandpoint secure, and perhaps, in time, they too will become legendary……

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